After an apparently slow start the delivered a long-awaited reunion between Arya, Sansa, and Bran, and some clever talking on the part of Jon (am I the only who who thinks he and Davos drew those cave paintings themselves??), Daenerys finally unleashed her pent up frustrations.
It was bound to happen eventually, and inevitably would lead to hear either screwing someone’s brains out (the smart money being on Jon or Jorah), or setting the world ablaze in bloody splendour.
She chose the latter, and I for one am glad.
Tired of Tyrion’s clever plans that failed, Dany took her Dothraki hoarde and Drogon and utterly decimated Jaimie’s forces and the bulk of the Lanister army. Yes, Bron got in a good shot and Drogon is wounded, but last we saw he wasn’t dead.
This is a real turn of events from how last week’s episode ended. With Bron and Jaimie sinking into the water to evade a fiery end (seriously, someone had better pull them out, because there is no way Jaimie can swim in all that armour, or remove it on his own under water – just sayin’), and so many of Cersei’s men ash, the fact she’s got the money from High Garden safely to King’s Landing doesn’t really count as a win.
Yes, she can repay the Iron Bank. But she was clearly planning on turning around and borrowing a load more money once the debt was settled. And the Iron Bank was happy to oblige…but will they still be so keen now Dany has finally showed what she’s capable of when she’s not holding back?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying roasting so many men was a good call. BUT having dragons is a little like having atomic bombs.
They’ve been gone for so long nobody in living memory has seen their destructive power. They know they’re a threat, in theory, but nobody has actually seen it.
While Dany was holding the dragons back and keeping her temper in check she was still very much an abstract concept. She had a fleet of ships that was easily matched by another fleet of ships, and an army of Unsulied who were easily avoided, but very few people in Westeros had seen the dragons.
Nobody on Cersei’s side had until now.
For the Iron Bank, she was a long shot, a foreign Queen with a foreign army, the daughter of a man the whole kingdom despised.
Now she’s suddenly a Targaryn in the truest, most terrifying sense of the word.
She’s dropped the A Bomb. Everyone (Tyrion included) is reeling in shock. But now that she’s done it how likely is it that a lot of Cersei’s supporters turn their coats and back the girl with the dragons?
The one with a legitimate claim to the throne?
The one who has, until now, done everything she can to mitigate casualties and who will (hopefully) continue to do so once people get the message.
She’s not soft, or weak. She has the power to burn the kingdom to ash. She uses it at her discretion.
The smart money’s on the Iron Bank seeing which way the ash-filled wind is blowing and switching sides.
If Randyll and Dickon Tarly survived (and we didn’t see them die) they’re likely to side with Dany. It never sat well with them turning against the Tyrells, they were essentially blackmailed into it. Given Randyll is Sam’s father, Jon is already on Dany’s side, and Sam goes where Jon leads, this has the potential for a useful resolution to Sam’s personal arc with his family.
I’m also betting Tyrion finds a way to pull his brother and Bron out of that water and convince them to switch sides.
Bron will be very easily convinced: he just needs to give him a castle. Jaimie will be a harder sell, especially considering Jaimie was the one who killed Danny’s father, and he just tried to kill Dany herself.
But Cersei has been seeming a lot like the mad king of late, and it may just be that a conversation with Daenerys and Tyrion (whom he now knows did not kill Joffrey) is enough to make him see the light.
Overall an utterly phenomenal episode. I was genuinely convinced Bron was about to die at one point, just as I recovered from that fright I was equally certain Jaimie was done for.
I’m quite sure neither of them are dead, but whether that will still be true a week from now remains to be seen…