While Game of Thrones has always been a show with strong female leads never was that more apparent than this week, as Stormborn, the second episode of the highly anticipated season 7, aired.
Fans are entirely losing their heads over several key developments this episode, notably the fact that a meeting between Jon Snow and Daenerys is now imminent, and Arya is finally reunited with Nymeria on the road to Winterfell.
Stormborn certainly delivered an excellent episode, with a lot of the major plot points coming together. Sam realises Jorah is the son of the late Lord Commander Jeor Mormont (prompting him to take drastic action to help with Jorah’s greyscale). Melisandra meets Danaerys, and both she and Tyrion convince the Queen to meet Jon Snow. Meanwhile, Jon himself is convinced the meeting is necessary thanks to a combination of his friendship with Tyrion, Tyrion’s fair treatment of Sansa, and a message from Sam telling him there’s a mountain of dragon glass on Dragonstone.
But it was the women of the episode that stood out this week.
When Women Control The War…
As Danaerys holds a war council, we see some of the most powerful women in Westeros making all the decisions while their men take a back seat, acting as advisers and quite literally standing behind their women.
Danny herself has Tyrion, Grey Worm and Varys, as well as Missandei, while Yara takes the fore and Theon stands silently behind her, and both Olenna Tyrell and Ellaria Sand represent house Tyrell and Dorn, respectively, alone. Add to this the fact we know Melissandra is somewhere in the wings, having already advised the Queen, and it’s quite evident that the tides for gender have well and truly turned in Westeros now that most of the men have finished killing each other.
Cersei’s Losing Her Grip…
This point is only emphasised by the fact Cersei currently sits on the iron thrones, and Jon Snow leaves Sansa in charge of Winterfell as he heads out to meet Danaerys.
The fact that Cersei is now apparently on the losing side is demonstrated by her inability to retain control in King’s Landing, and the fact her power is shored up by Jaimie making deals on her behalf, and Qyburn with more of his infernal devices.
Arya’s Going Home (Finally)…
Meanwhile, Arya learns from Hot Pie that Jon is now King in the North and turns away from her quest to kill Cersei long enough to return home. Unless she happens to run into Jon on the road, it looks like we’re going to be kept waiting to see these two reunited, but there was another reunion for Arya this week, as she encountered Nymeria and her pack of wolves.
Fans of the books were well aware of this twist and had been eagerly awaiting the return of the only other surviving dire wolf. It’s evident Nymeria has been busy in her time away from Arya and has naturally risen to a position of power in the wild herself.
While Arya’s initially disappointed she can’t convince her former companion to return to Winterfell with her, the encounter still leaves a smile on her face because she’s happy to have simply seen her.
A Stark Reunion Is Imminent…
With Bran presumably somewhere between Castle Black and Winterfell following his arrival at the wall last week, Arya heading north and towards home herself, and Sansa already there, it’s likely that at least three of the Stark children will be in one place for the first time since season one very soon.
The Verdict on Stormborn…
Overall, Stromborn was an excellent episode. It was rounded out at the end by some much-needed action after the relatively slow (but excellent) pace of last week’s Dragonstone. As Yara and Yoren’s fleets collided in a fiery spectacle of blood and terror, it was once again the women at the forefront of the action. With Yara and Oberyn’s daughters getting the bulk of the action, Theon was, unfortunately, once again at the mercy of his PTSD.
I have high hopes that he will rally next week and somehow rescue them all, but we will have to see…