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The Spoils of War (RECAP) - Welcome Home Arya Stark

If there was ever any doubt that this is the greatest television show of all time, it was all incinerated in the conflagration brought to you by our favorite flame spitting winged beast, Drogon. I’m not lying to you when I say I was standing up for the entire episode and yelling at the TV for half of it. I was on the verge of tears at least twice during its 50-minute run time. It had so many great moments. From Arya’s return to Winterfell to Dany and Jon in the cave, and of course the Field of Fire pt. 2, I think it’s safe to say this was a top 5 GoT episode of all time. So without further ado, let’s take it from the top.

Bronn Byke

We start off with the Lannister army right outside of Highgarden. We see Jamie unload a bag of gold off a cart headed for King’s Landing and hand it to Bronn for his good service. Bronn then goes on to complain about how he still hasn’t received what he was promised from Jamie, a highborn wife and a castle. This scene reintroduces us to a beloved character we haven’t seen much of this season in Bronn and reminds us about what he stands for. Bronn is a sellsword, he doesn’t act unless something is in his best interests, which makes his actions toward the end of this episode even more interesting.

Paid in Full

Transition from The Reach to King’s Landing where Cersei and Tycho Nestoris of the Iron Bank are having some #ClothTalk about money. Tycho compares Cersei to Tywin again, which I hate, because of how she kept her word on paying her debt to the Iron Bank. Cersei mentions that Qyburn has reached out to The Golden Company, a sellsword company in Essos notorious for never breaking a contract, to expand her navy and army, and Tycho says that the bank would be willing to help her finance the endeavor.

“Chaos is a Ladder”

Many people were waiting to see if Bran knew anything about Littlefinger’s past mischief and I think we got our answer Sunday. In an attempt to butter him up, Lord Baelish gives Bran the dagger that was used by the cutthroat in the attempt on his life. Baelish goes on to explain how the mystery behind who the dagger belonged to at the time started the War of the Five Kings, and tries to empathize with Bran “coming home to such chaos.” This is where it gets good. If you’re a super fan like me, you remember Littlefinger’s “chaos is a ladder” monologue in season three all too well. It’s a speech that defines his character, and hearing Bran say those words tell us all we need to know about what he does and doesn’t know about Littlefinger. I think it’s safe to assume that Bran has been binge watching the show with us whenever his eyes roll back into his head.

As the Founder and President of #AryaHive, nothing made me happier than seeing my girl gazing upon her childhood home on horseback from the top of that hill. Seeing her walk to the gates was cathartic, and it was really cool how they executed that callback to season one when the guards wouldn’t let little Yaya back into the Red Keep after she had been sewer running all day. Arya sneaks past the guards and head to the crypt to pay respects to the late, great Lord Eddard of House Stark. Sansa meets her there and they bond over Ned’s statue not looking like him (which it actually does). I loved this scene because Arya and Sansa used to hate each others guts, but they’ve both been through a lot of rough shit, and it seems like that’ll bring them together. I also thought it was pretty cool how she told Sansa about her list. People need to start taking shawty more seriously. People had been speculating about how Arya would get her hands on the catspaw dagger for months after Maisie Williams was photographed with it as part of her costume for a cover story for Entertainment Weekly, and we finally got our answer. She gets it from Bran. Bran creepily recaps Arya’s scenes in s7e2 and gives her the dagger because it would be “wasted on a cripple.” Well okay then. Finally, the moment we never knew we were waiting for but dammit we’re glad it happened. Arya vs. Brienne!!!!!!!! We’ve never really seen Arya fight somebody one on one, and it was dope to finally see what all these years of training have produced. Syrio Forel would have been proud. Look out world, Team Stark just added a face-changing, water-dancing assassin with a Valyrian steel dagger. Welcome home Arry.

Love in this Cave

Did anybody else feel the heat between Jon and Dany or is it just me? Seriously, Jon does his best work in caves man. Just get shawty to the cave and Big Jon will do the rest. Really though, that wrist grab, sheesh. Anyway, Jon pulls Dany into the cave to check it out before they start “hackin’ it to bits.” As they venture deeper into the cave, Jon shows her ancient, incredibly convenient cave paintings left by the Children of the Forest and the First Men. The paintings tell the story of the two parties joining forces to defeat the White Walkers during the Long Night. Dany finally has some proof of the Northern threat and vows to fight for Jon and the North on once condition, he bends the knee. In a reverse of his conversation with Mance Rayder in season five, Jon refuses, claiming his people wouldn’t follow a Southern ruler. Another awesome callback showing how Jon has matured. He didn’t understand why Mance wouldn’t pledge fealty to Stannis when he pleaded with him at Castle Black, but now, as the King in the North, he understands fully and, just like Mance, won’t bother explaining.

Let it Burn

In the very beginning of the scene, Randyll Tarly rides up to Jamie and Bronn to deliver information that is CRUCIAL to the scene. Let me break it down.

  1. The Iron Bank’s gold has made it through the gates of King’s Landing safely.

  2. A significant part of the Lannister force is on the other side of the Blackwater Rush, a river that feeds from Blackwater Bay where King’s Landing is situated. This means they are very close to King’s Landing after coming from Highgarden, which is probably close to two weeks of traveling.

Where the battle took place is about a week’s trip for Dany and her army. This explains how Dany was able to meet them with her Dothraki and Drogon. Now that that’s out of the way, a wise man once said, “Only a fool would meet the Dothraki in an open field,” and this man was proven correct on Sunday night. Sure they had a little bit of air support, but they were impressive nonetheless. This battle was amazing in scope and exhilarating because of the very real fact that many people were rooting for both sides. We love Bronn and Jamie but we want to see Dany and Drogon win. This speaks to the amazing character development that has gone on throughout the series. I know a lot of people were complaining about nobody of consequence dying, but I’m fine with it. Bronn lives to fight another day. Speaking of Bronn, our favorite cutthroat made a hero turn during this battle. Abandoning his sack of gold, letting the yopper sing on Drogon and saving private Jamie when he most needed saving. He’s gotta be the MVP of the Battle of Blackwater Rush, right? But yeah, if you haven’t watched the ‘Anatomy of a Scene’ breakdown for the battle, I’d highly recommend it. It’s really crazy how they pulled off a battle that huge.

Also in this scene:

  • Dickon jokes (LOL)

  • Drogon looked awesome.

  • Men literally being turned into ash where they stand.

  • Conflicted Tyrion :/

  • Dany now knows about the Scorpion, dragon armor soon come? Evasion training?

Episode Power Rankings

  1. Bronn – MVP of the Battle of Blackwater Rush. Without him, everyone dies.

  2. Drogon – The LeBron of the Battle of Blackwater Rush. Clearly the best player, but let’s give MVP to someone else.

  3. Dany – Way to take charge babe. Burn baby, burn!

  4. Arya – Welcome home, I love you. Now kill Littlefinger.

  5. Jon – Refused to bend the knee, took a hot chick to a cave, still on vacation on an exotic Southern island. Life’s good.

  6. Bran – Cut off Meera. Continued to see everything. Leaked episode 5.

  7. Davos – Wingman of the Year, no questions asked. Also, becoming a grammarian. Stannis would be proud. (“fewer”)

  8. Tyrion – Finally got a W. Also got yelled at by Dany.

  9. Jamie – Oh no baby, what is you doin’?

  10. Dickon – Ya name’s Dickon, fam.

Tune in next week for more epic-ness. Looks like we’ve got some Lannister prisoners in store for next week, maybe Mad Queen Dany? Also look like Jon will get a raven from Winterfell, and will probably head home towards the end of the episode. Should be a good one. Questions? Comments? Complaints? Hit my line, let’s chat. Until next time.

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