Please note: there are FULL spoilers for the second episode of season 7, as well as all preceding episodes.
At Dragonstone, Daenerys and company – Tyrion, Grey Worm, Missandei and Varys – are discussing battle strategy, when the conversation soon turns to Varys’ shifting loyalties in times of regicide. He swears himself to Daenerys (thanks to some perhaps helpful words from Tyrion) before they are informed of a new guest on the island – Melisandre, who informs the Dragon Queen that the King in the North, Jon Snow, may be a valuable ally. Again thanks to Tyrion’s vouching, Daenerys send a raven to Winterfell telling Jon to visit – and bend the knee to his Queen.
Jon receives the letter and debates with Sansa if it is really Tyrion who requested his company. Jon recognizes something Tyrion told him once (“All dwarves are bastards in their father’s eyes”) and confirms its charming authenticity, though Ser Davos notes it is a bit less charming that Daenerys’ army was mentioned in it’s entirety.
In King’s Landing, Queen Cersei has called upon the Lords still loyal to her, bannermen of House Tyrell included, warning of the dangers of a Daenerys rule. Jaime speaks with Randyll Tarly (father of Maester-in-training Samwell) and Jaime asks Tarly to be his ranking general in the war to come. Randyll Tarly is not thrilled at the notion of killing Olenna Tyrell. Jaime promises to make him Warden of the South, should he agree.
At Oldtown, Samwell Tarly and the Archmaester are treating a severely afflicted Jorah Mormont of his grey scale. Samwell believes there may be a way to cure Jorah, but the Archmaester is not so sure, and dismisses the idea. Later, Samwell performs a risky, never-been-done procedure himself, without permission. In the catacombs under King’s Landing, Qyburn shows Cersei the skulls of Aegon’s dragons, slain by her late husband, Robert Baratheon. He presents a weapon, a ballista, which is able to pierce the skulls of the mighty beasts.
Back at Dragonstone, the battle plans continue, now with Yara and Theon Greyjoy, Ellaria Sand (lover of the late Oberyn Martell) and Olenna Tyrell. Daenerys takes control, and Tyrion outlines the plans for the Martell and Greyjoy armies: they will attack King’s Landing, as Grey Worm and the Unsullied army, along with all remaining Dothraki warriors, sack the Lannister home of Casterly Rock. Grey Worm and Missandei spend the night together with a bit of bow chika wow wow.
Arya runs into her old friend, Hot Pie, where she learns the Boltons are dead and Jon Snow has claimed Winterfell. On her way to Winterfell, she is surrounded by wolves, before recognising the Alpha as her direwolf, Nymeria. It leaves her be, but does not seem to fully recognise her. In Winterfell, after a quick debate with the Lords and Ladies of the North, Jon decides to head to Dragonstone personally, and leaves Sansa in charge. Before he leaves, Jon lets Petyr Baelish know that if Petyr ever lays a hand on Sansa, Jon will kill Petyr himself.
The Sand Snakes are relaxing below deck, presumably on their way to King’s Landing. Yara is getting awfully close to Ellaria when suddenly, they are under attack. Yara and Theon recognise the sails as the flag of the Iron Islands: Euron Greyjoy has come to claim his gift to Cersei. A quick and bloody battle takes place, as Euron personally decimates two of the major Sand Snake trio before defeating Yara one on one. Given the choice of saving his sister, or fleeing, Theon chooses the latter, and Yara’s fate is left uncertain as Euron sails away.
+ so Daenerys’ plan is totally buggered, since the Martell and Tyrell armies were presumably a part of that fleet. How she reacts, especially since Jon will probably be with her, will be interesting
+ Sam finally met Jorah! Sam had served under Jeor, Jorah’s father, for so long at the Night’s Watch, before Jeor was killed in like, season 3.
+ this might just be the season of Littlefinger getting blown the fuck out at every turn. It was Sansa last week, and now Jon had some choice words for him. Can’t say I don’t get a thrill out of him not getting the last word
+ that ballista Qyburn presents Cersei sure looks handy… and familiar. Maybe they need a Bard or Bowman to pierce the mighty dragons’ hide?
– Daenerys once again came across so unlikable in her opening scene as she berated Varys. Surely if Varys were as bad as she suspects (not to say he doesn’t have his fingers in several pies, so to speak) he would not have let her get to Westeros, let alone with the dragons
– the Grey Worm/Missandei scene was a solid five minutes, when I think it could have been two. I will never complain about Nathalie Emmanuel getting her gear off, but it didn’t serve the story much at all, and raised more questions about what Grey Worm was raising
– Arya was quite rude to Hot Pie, wasn’t she? Even after she got a good meal, some great information and some wine, she didn’t have much in the way of friendly chatter to an old friend
> You know who would have solved this whole Game of Thrones problem by now? Karl fookin’ Tanner drinking wine out of the skull of Jeor fookin’ Mormont.
Final thoughts: Simply put, this was not as good as last week, which itself seemed to be setting most of the season up. I’m willing to give it another week before I completely write this off as bad fan-fic (though, technically I guess it is fan-fic, though your opinion on the quality may vary). There was a lot of talking, and one major action scene at the end, but it never really felt like anything important was happening.