First things first -Grey Worm is alive, we don’t have to riot. We might have called off our revolution, but it seems the Mother of Dragons is just beginning hers.The fire-lit wrath of the dragon queen is beautiful to behold; finally attacking so long in retreat, the Khaleesi is again ascending to the drums of war, and has recovered her Targaryen sense of humour: ‘don’t want to overfeed them’ indeed. Yet a husband bought of fear and dragon fire may not tow her line willingly….
Across the Narrow Sea Maester Aemon, the unsung hero of The Night’s Watch, hears news of his long lost relation; ‘It’s a terrible thing, a Targaryen alone in the world”. And the night is dark and full of foreshadowing as, at this point, JON SNOW ENTERS. Is this a sign? Or a false clue? Certainly Jon’s bravery knows no bounds, the crows may flap at his proposal, and the Wildlings will wail, but the Stark wolf waits and prepares for battle. But what wall will Jon return to after his mission of mercy?
Stannis tutors the men that imminent death is no excuse for poor grammar, whilst encouraging more haste and less waffle in the war to come- I could almost warm to him, had he not killed his own brother.
Brienne broods, planning her rescue of the reluctant Sansa. Luckily she learnt from her late great mistress, and knows that northern scars run deep. Gwendoline Christie’s performance is truly extraordinary- Brienne’s face can be read like a book, pained but ethical in a world where such pages are few.
Luckily post Joffrey Sansa is no longer surprised by any form of sadism- Miss Stark’s hackles merely raise: ‘This isn’t a strange place this is my home. It’s the people who are strange’ advantage Miss Stark. Could she withstand the Bastard of Bolton due to home advantage?
An episode without Arya, Cersai or the long promised Dorne could seem an episode wasted, but the best has been left for the close.
We end on the shores of Valyria, a lost isle sleeping in smoke, lush greens and columns rising in the sleeping city- the most magical setting so far. The line of the night, as normal, belongs to Tyrion: ‘long sullen silences and an occasional punch in the face- the Mormont way’ . Before the laughter dies Drogon rises from the mist and stories collide- imp meets dragon and for once even Tyrion is speechless…Until the stone men make a rude interruption with a touch even less desirable than Ramsey’s; the battling boulders may look a little rudimentary, but their legacy is anything but.
Tyrion sinks into the black and we hold our breath in the silence for ten seconds of fear, until he blinks and we shake our collective fists at HBO for the near death experience.
Then a sleeve is lifted, the stone revealed, a death sentence passed . Will the lovelorn exile reach his queen, or die trying?