Game of Thrones Episode 702 Recap: Stormborn
It is a dark and stormy night on Dragonstone. Daenerys is plotting her takeover of Westeros with the usual suspects: Tyrion, Varys, Missandei, and Grey Worm. Tyrion promises that they can take King’s Landing without making it into a “slaughterhouse.” Daenerys turns her attention to Varys, who favored her brother, and whom she blames for taking part in her being, essentially, sold to the Dothraki. Tyrion jumps to his defense, but Daenerys doesn’t back away from her anger. Varys sticks up for himself, assuring her that his true loyalties lie with the people, “whose hearts you aim to win.” Not with any ruler. He swears to serve her well if she lets her live. She accepts, but makes him promise that if she is ever failing the people, he tell her to her face. He agrees. Daenerys accepts this with one caveat: if he betrays her, she will burn him alive.
Melisandre comes to see Daenerys, and surprises her by speaking in High Valyrian. Melisandre says the Long Night is coming, and she is here to help “the prince who was promised will bring the dawn.” Daenerys points out that she is not a prince, but Missandei corrects her – the term has no gender, so the proper translation should be prince or princess. Melisandre continues, and brings them news of Jon Snow, and how he is now King of the North. She suggests Daenerys summon Jon for a first-hand view of the army of the dead that he has seen. Tyrion backs this play: he likes Jon; Jon has more reason to hate Cersei than Daenerys does; and if Jon does rule the north, he will make a valuable ally. Daenerys seems hesitant, but does instruct Tyrion to send a raven, asking him to come to Dragonstone – and to bend the knee.
The raven reaches the north. Sansa thinks it is too great a risk; Davos worries that if the White Walkers make it past the wall, they do not have enough army to fight them. Jon makes no decision as of yet.
Cersei has gathered the major heads, and uses fear to get them to fight with her. She insists that Daenerys is no better than her father, the Mad King. Between her Unsullied and Dothraki armies, Cersei threatens that they will rape and murder and destroy their homes. Cersei wants to protect them but they must stand together. Randyll Tarly has a greater concern than the “heathen” armies: the dragons. Qyburn promises they are working on a solution.
After the meeting, Jaime pulls Randyll aside and requests his loyalty. House Tarly swore an oath to House Tyrell, but they are now fighting with the “heathens.” Plus, Jaime promises him the title Warden of the South for his loyalty.
Meanwhile, Qyburn and Cersei are in the catacombs, where Robert put all of his dragon trophies, “because they made him look small.” Qyburn heard that Daenerys’ dragon had been injured in the battle in Meereen, and if it can be injured, it can be killed. He reveals an enormous crossbow-like weapon and instructs Cersei to pull the lever. She does, and a steel-tipped arrow shoots across the catacomb. It lands in the enormous skull of a dragon, buried deep in the bone.
At the citadel, Sam assists an archmaester who is examining Jorah’s greyscale. He gives him anywhere between ten and twenty years before it kills him, but only six months before Jorah’s mind goes. Sam brings up Shireen’s greyscale, but the archmaester insists this is too advanced. Because Jorah is a certified knight, he will give him one more day before shipping him off to live with the stone men. For anyone else, he would have sent him away immediately. Sam later suggests a cure to the archmaester, one he read about, but the archmaester insists it is too dangerous and ineffective – the procedure has been outlawed.
But Sam won’t give up hope. Late that night, he visits Jorah as he is finishing a letter to Daenerys. Sam knows who Jorah is, and he was with his father when he died. Sam is going to do the risky, painful surgery himself, and encourages Jorah to drink down a flagon of ale and bite on a piece of leather – this will hurt a lot. The process involves removing the entire upper layer of the infection, then applying a salve. Basically, Sam will be skinning Jorah alive. As he scrapes, thick yellow pus leaks from his wounds. Jorah tries not to scream.
A beautiful smash-cut sees a traveler digging into a pot pie at a pub, trying to trick viewers into thinking they are watching the same closeup. Is it wrong that seeing that made me crave a pot pie? Arya is at the pub, and is surprised when her old friend, Hot Pie, brings her some food. He sits to talk to her for a few minutes, and asks if the “big lady” ever found her. Arya admits she did, then swigs some ale. She tells Hot Pie she is going to King’s Landing, but doesn’t expand on that. Hot Pie is surprised that she isn’t going back to Winterfell. The Boltons are dead and Arya’s brother, Jon, has it now. Arya is stunned and leaves the pub quickly. Outside, she mounts her horse and considers her options. To the south is the revenge she has spent a lifetime seeking; to the north is the family and home she thought was gone.
Arya heads north.
Along the way, she stops for the night and builds a small fire. Suddenly she is surrounded by a pack of angry, snarling direwolves. She draws her sword, scared, then sees the pack leader. She believes this is Nymeria, the direwolf her father gave her and asks her to return to Winterfell with her. The direwolf eventually leaves, taking her pack with her. Arya says, “That’s not you.”
Back in Dragonstone, Daenerys and her court meet with Ellaria Sand, Yara Greyjoy, and Olenna Tyrell. Daenerys insists that they will not attack King’s Landing; she doesn’t want to be queen of a pile of ashes, which is what will happen if they invade. Instead, they will lay siege to the capital, starving them out. Daenerys does not want to send in her “foreign” army of Unsullied and Dothraki. She thinks the invading armies should be of Westerosi descent. In other words, she wants the Greyjoy and Tyrell armies. She promises that the Unsullied have another objective: they will take Casterly Rock. The heads of the family agree. Daenerys has a private chat with Olenna, promising that she will bring peace to Westeros. Olenna is doubtful: “peace never lasts.” She warns Daenerys that Tyrion is a clever man, but that clever men often make a mess of things. “You are a dragon; be a dragon,” she implores.
Then it’s the moment many fans have been waiting on. Missandei goes to say goodbye to Grey Worm. He tells her the Unsullied are raised to have no fear, to have no weakness. But she is his weakness. She undresses herself. Grey Worm is hesitant, but then gives the okay for her to undress him as well. They finally make love.
Jon gets another raven, this time from the citadel. From Sam. He shares the message with his allies, insists he trusts Sam like a brother. Sam has told Jon that there is a mound of dragonglass buried on Dragonstone. That plus the message from Tyrion, and Jon’s mind is made up. He is going to Dragonstone. The keepers of the north universally condemn this idea, but Jon’s most pressing concern is getting enough dragonglass to kill the army of the dead, and perhaps pick up a few allies. He knows it is a risk, but he insists on going. While he is gone, Jon will leave the north in capable hands: Sansa’s.
Alone in the crypt, Jon is looking at Ned’s statue when Baelish sneaks up behind him. He rambles a bit about how much he loved Jon’s mother, and how the two men never talked properly. Jon has nothing to say to him. Baelish insists that Jon has many enemies, but he is not one. “I love Sansa as I loved your mother,” Baelish says. Jon throws him against the wall and threatens that if Baelish touches her, he will kill him himself.
The Greyjoys accompany Ellaria to Dorne to pick up their army. Ellaria and Yara flirt, and Ellaria makes a move on Yara, then invites Theon to join. Theon is uncomfortable and Yara insists she leave him alone. Ellaria complies, but a sudden crash sends Yara racing up to the deck.
There is chaos. Euron Greyjoy’s fleet is attacking. It is a classic GoT hack and slash battle scene. Blood spurts, heads are bashed, guts explode. Tyene goes downstairs to protect her mother, while her sisters join the battle. Both Obara and Nym are killed with their own weapons. Euron’s men outnumber Yara’s, but Yara’s troops fight relentlessly. Several of Euron’s men capture Ellaria and Tyene. Ellaria begs him to kill them, get it over with, but one of the men just shakes his head, an evil look on his face.
Yara finally faces off with Euron and the fight is brutal and bloody. Euron holds Yara hostage and calls Theon over to get her. Theon sees the chaos around him and he crumbles. Rather than rescue his sister, he jumps overboard. Euron laughs and takes Yara.
Things are quiet. Theon is alone in the water, surrounded by flaming wreckage and corpses and the weight of his own conscience.
You can watch a preview for Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 3 by clicking here.