It was a return to form, or just the norm, in Game of Thrones this week, by which I mean we saw lots of sex, gore and plot exposition.
After last week's somewhat uneventful episode, season 7 episode 2, 'Stormborn', opened with a barrage of information, as Daenerys hatched plans to take the Iron Throne with help from the vengeance-seeking Olenna Tyrell and Ellaria Martel, King Jon faced dissent in Winterfell and Cersei sought fealty from the wavering houses Tarly and Tyrell.
Daenerys' scenes were particularly interesting/ominous, in that she showed her own recklessness/inexperience in her pretty unfair interrogation of Varys and demands that King Jon bend the knee. Jon is interested simply in saving lives while Daenerys is more interested in power: her inner circle must slowly be getting wise to this fact, as will Jon next week, and I hope people start unhitching their wagon from the horses of the (essentially despotic) Daenerys in coming episodes.
Elsewhere in 'Stormborn', Sam attempted to cure Ser Jorah's greyscale in an incredibly gross-out, puss-laden surgery scene in the Citadel, Melisandre's 'prince that is promised' prophecy got a gender neutral twist and Arya was reunited with Nymeria only for the direwolf to turn her back on her former owner (perhaps foreshadowing the mini-collapse of House Stark?).
We were treated to a surprise battle scene at the end of the episode, as Yara and Ellaria were rudely cockblocked by an armada that saw Euron crush her and Theon's fleet and take Yara hostage. Theon's apparently cowardly dive into the water didn't give us the satisfying conclusion to his plot arc we craved but was probably wise in kicking it further down the road (he'll likely redeem himself by rescuing her).
It was good to see Game of Thrones back in political intrigue mode tonight, with less pensive staring off castle walls and more competing house interests and monarch lobbying, plus Cersei's propaganda war (referring to Daenerys exclusively as 'the Mad King's daughter' etc) had pleasing 2017 echoes.
The Winterfell narrative is a little bothersome right now though, as Sansa's heel turn seems to have come out of nowhere. Sure, she was a bit of a brat as a child, but her experiences with Joffrey and Ramsay humbled her; so why then, is she now acting ruthless and intentionally undermining Jon at every possible opportunity? I'm struggling to find sufficient motivation for this, but hopefully Arya will set her straight irregardless when she finally makes it back to Winterfell (and plot relevance).
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