Game of Thrones S7 E2 Deep Analysis & Opinion
We open with a strategy session, in which Daenerys & Co. implement a split sided attack simultaneously against Casterly Rock & King’s Landing (pretty decent strategy); which brings up some very pertinent history. Varys used to serve Dany’s father but jumped ship to serve King Robert & led a scheme to assassinate Dany & her brother. It’s really good that the show bring up this important continuity as otherwise people would be complaining that Dany would never trust Varys despite his recent contributions. She did make a rather huge fuss about it back when she vanished Jorah for his involvement. This is really the 1st time Varys & Dany face each other. Varys gives Dany a lesson against blind loyalty and how he will never follow blindly but rather consciously. Dany seems convinced but reminds him of the consequences of betrayal: Fire and Blood. Varys is unphased.
I highly doubt Varys will ever turn on Dany so long as she maintains her sanity.
Speaking of burning people, Melisandre is announced as a visitor to see the queen. She appeals to Dany by complimenting her for her effort to end slavery, which she informs them that she was born and sold into slavery. Immediately after, she gets to the heart of why she came; to recruit Dany in the war for the dawn so that she may serve the lord of light. The way she goes about doing this is to warn Dany about the coming threat (without naming White Walkers) and that Dany will be a key figure, possibly even the princess that was promised, however she is quick to cover her ass by admitting that the prophecy is not cut and dry, but rather very loosely interpreted.
Varys is quick to oppose her (possibly seeing her as a threat) by pointing out that she once claimed Stannis Baratheon was the aforementioned chosen one and she lead him to his doom. Varys unequivocally hates and distrusts the religion of the red god due to its practice of sorcery, as do most Westerosi. Varys was just in some hot water for his past so it makes sense that he would be in the mood to turn the tables and call someone out on their past.
For no apparent reason to us, Mel brings up Jon Snow, that he is the King in the North, and has a very important role to play in the war to come. She really didn’t need to call to attention the fact that he was “king in the north” which implies political standing; something that Dany is trying to overcome. That wasn’t too well thought out if Mel’s intention was to unite the two (politically AND romantically?)
So, naturally Dany infers that she will invite him there, and he will need to “bend the knee”. Smart viewers know that this is not gonna fly with Jon, however, Tyrion is able to smooth things over in a letter to Jon by refraining to mention that part but giving him good motive to join their forces. 3 full grown Dragons are no doubt a big selling point as Davos infers. But… the big question is: is it worth the risk for Jon to 1. Travel that far during winter, when food is scarce and enemies are everywhere (not to mention Cersei probably has a bounty on him) and 2. Will Dany be hostile towards him, if he neglects to pledge fealty? We all should remember what happened when Ned trusted a Lannister ally (King Robert) and went south, and when his son Robb did the same. This is a huge debate and Sansa bring up some more much relevant history mentioning how her grandfather and uncle left the north, met with the mad king and 1 was burned to death (the other murdered gruesomely).
So there is plenty of reason not to leave the north especially with the WW’s on their way as Lady Mormont points out. However, Jon, being Jon and never really being one for sound logic, does what he always does and goes with his heart. I mean, last time he failed to listen to the logic of his peers and let the wildlings in, it cost him his life, but apparently that wasn’t a good enough lesson. This makes me wonder if his stab wounds have healed because if they haven’t…He’s not quite human, and more like that thing in armor Cersei has hanging around. So Jonjon announces his departure & that he’s taking what I call his best negotiator with him in Davos the onion breath 1st of his harvest. They mention how they are going to White Harbor, which means sailing instead of horsing, which is probably a better idea during Winter EXCEPT there’s a massive fleet of Ironborn on that very coast just a bit south. It’s like some characters are only half listening to the news. So he leaves Sansa in charge, which I think lady Mormont is a bit perturbed by. So unfortunately we won’t be getting a Sansa & Tyrion reunion, nor an Arya & Jon reunion for that matter, at least not for quite a while.
Jon leaving the north is definitely not a good sign. Jon is a decent negotiator at best but luckily he has Davos who does quite well as we have seen with Lyanna Mormont and when he convinced Stannis to go to the wall. Dany can be tolerant of independance as seen with Yara or really strict about fealty especially after Olenna has just advised her to "be a dragon." Damn it Olenna, you may be right 90% of the time but this is just bad timing. Unfortunately I don't see Jon & Dany agreeing to terms any time soon. It may take a miracle or 3 to convince either side, and now that her ships are destroyed the dragon queen won't be in a good mood. However if either side is going to give, I think Jon will be the 1st. He would much sooner bend the knee if it meant saving his people, but when word gets out that he chose to serve the dragon queen, The north & Sansa will probably decide to secede from him, opening the door for Littlefinger to have his cake and eat it too.
Dany keeps saying she doesn't want to be queen of ash, but when it comes time to prove it will she set her biggest goal aside & fight the WW's rather than Cersei?
Speaking of reunions, Arya had a couple with her ol’ travel buddy Hot Pie, and her childhood companion Nymeria. Both of them seem to notice drastic changes in her. She’s a lot more focused and deadpan. I think the idea is that she is traveling down a road in which no one can follow her.
the Royal Campaign
Meanwhile in the glorious land of King’s Landing Cersei is giving her best campaign speech & public service announcement which has a very pro prejudice Dotharki slant.
Cersei encouraging prejudice, imagine that. Anyway the speech seems to have raised some loyalty & ire which will be good for battle. Speaking of battle Jaime tries to persuade Randyll Tarly to betray his liege lords of house Tyrell, by complimenting him (mentioning him being the only man to beat Robert in battle) and bribing him by basically promoting him to head general. Randyll seems to agree. Will Randyll and house Tarly be the death of Olenna and kind? Or will he rue the day he turned on the Queen of Thorns? My bet is on the later.
Deep down in the dungeons Qyburn reveals to Cersei a secret weapon to annihilate dragons: a scorpion bolt cross bow, powerful enough to penetrate even the skull of the largest dragon ever. This is no doubt a boon to her arsenal but will it have enough maneuverability needed to aim where it needs to? Dragons fly awfully high and fast. We were reminded that Drogon took a heavy blow from a spear/s in the fighting pits and had to recover so it appears that a direct shot will pierce the thick textured hide. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the show did kill off 1 of her Dragons before the big apocalyptic battle to save humanity & we would have Cersei n Qyburn to thank for that.
At the Citadel, Ebrose gives Jorah the prognosis of dread, stating that he has roughly 6 months before greyscale takes over him and implies suicide. He also states that he would normally ship him off to Valyria to amongst the other stone men, but I doubt he could find anyone willing to make that trip. Sam however, is not going to take this lying down.
Sam not just simply being the good natured person that he is decides that he wants to pay respect to Jeor Mormont by curing his son & heir of a horrible disease. Sam is brave enough to do this even knowing that there’s a good chance he himself will catch the disease as a result. Never the less Sam sets about performing the daunting task of carving the stone off the flesh. There’s gotta be a better way, this is the worst form of torture. Meanwhile, Ebrose sets about writing the novel we know as a Clash of Kings.
Trouble at Sea
Near Dragonstone, Theon, Yara, and Ellaria are engaging in some lollygagging and gallavanting inside the cabin of their boat, drinking piss ale and sharing debauch comments that disturb Theon’s nether regions, when out of the darkness emerges a terrible sight; Euron’s fleet attacks their ships. What a joy it was to see Euron come literally crashing down onto them with a smile only a fellow psychopath could appreciate, as we are treated to scenes in the background of his men cutting out the tongues of their enemies.
Euron disposes 2 of the 3 sand snakes on his own, before defeating and capturing Yara. While downstairs Ellaria and the remaining sandsnake Tyene, are taken in custody. Euron pistol whips Yara with his custom kraken embossed axe, holding her hostage and taunting Theon. Instead of saving Yara, Theon decides to go for a swim, opting to avoid having any more of his body parts chopped off, and no doubt disappointing his dear sister, and his uncle who was expecting a kiss. I’ll give ya 1 guess where Euron is headed next with his new found hostages, and it ain’t the YMCA.
The aftermath of this event will be quite significant, as Dany's allies have been effectively circumcised, crippled, immobilized, and cut off at the knees. And Theon...Well...
So what do you think of this episode? Will Theon find his courage, ever again? Is Mel going to be secretly stoking the flames of romance between Jon & Dany? Will Sam get the grey? Who is gonna kill the last sand snake? Will Dany take Olenna's advice?