It’s a dark and stormy night on Dragonstone – and someone get Dany a juicy horse heart, because this girl is HANGRY. Or hormonal. Or possessed by the vengeful spirit of Viserys. Either way, Varys cops it – Dany’s decided to grill the Spider about his fickle loyalties. Surely they would’ve had this conversation earlier, perhaps during their voyage across the Narrow Sea on the same ship. Or did Dany spend that entire trip standing at the prow, staring intently at the horizon?
Tyrion looks increasingly uncomfortable as Dany interrogates Varys’ motives. Varys wisely drops his usual sycophantic approach and reveals where his true loyalties lie: with the people. He’s choosing to support Dany because she’s their best hope. I dunno, dude…her arc’s looking pretty Dark Phoenix this year. Varys swears he won’t conspire behind Dany’s back, and Dany swears she’ll cook him à la Targaryen if he betrays her.
Speaking of burning people alive, Melisandre’s dropped in. Everyone gathers in awkward formation to greet her. She unloads her Prince That Was Promised spiel, but Dany’s not interested if the prophecy isn’t about her. Missandei clears up the Valyrian translation; the prophecy’s actually gender-neutral. Grey Worm adds that Doctor Who is now a woman. Newly narcissistic Dany’s happy until Melisandre name-drops Jon Snow as another contender. Tyrion vouches for Jon and wants to invite him to Dragonstone. Dany agrees – he can come and bend the knee. Not the erotic tryst Jon/Dany shippers are hoping for, but hey – it’s only episode two.
To Winterfell, where Jon’s sharing Tyrion’s raven with Sansa and Davos. Sansa channels Admiral Ackbar: it’s a trap. Having visited Winterfell’s self-help bookstore and read up on interpersonal communication skills, Jon actively seeks and listens to her opinion. Davos telegraphs the obvious for all the GoT audience members under the age of 5: dragons breath fire. Fire good. Fire kill wights.
In King’s Landing, Cersei’s spinning a PR storm against Dany and House Tyrell. Sam’s arsehole father steps forward to point out Dany has three dragons. Cersei side-eye’s Qyburn, who’s apparently Head of Dragon Defence. Eat him first, Drogon.
Jaime tracks down Lord Tarly for a time-filling conversation about political allegiance. The best part is when he mistakenly calls Dickon ‘Rickon’. Jaime wants Randyll to support Cersei, and I’m pretty sure he touches him inappropriately whilst dangling the title ‘future Warden of the South’ like a carrot.
To Oldtown next, where Sam’s about to blow chunks at the sight of Jorah Mormont’s greyscale. It’s certainly progressed…I think I might get that recurrent eczema on my knee looked at after all. The Archmaester gives Jorah a day to get his affairs in order (or kill himself) before he’s sent to Valyria. Sam realises Jorah’s the son of Jeor Mormont.
Qyburn and Cersei take a tour of the dragon museum beneath the Red Keep, where the main attraction is the enormous skull of Balerion the Black Dread, dragon of Aegon the Conqueror. Qyburn shows Cersei the weapon King’s Landing’s finest blacksmiths have been laboring over day and night; it’s a rusty crossbow on what looks like a wooden platform. Seriously, if the writers kill off a dragon with this, I’m out.
Okay, not really. But I’ll be hangry-Dany pissed off.
Qyburn: ‘Pull my finger!’ Cersei triggers the stupid crossbow’s stupid lever, and miraculously pierces Balerion’s brittle, several-hundred-years-old skull. She’s suitably impressed, and we now know where Joffrey got his crossbow fetish.
Dragonstone’s boardroom. Yara’s that person in meetings who makes sure they talk first and louder than anyone else. Tyrion doesn’t want to roast everyone in King’s Landing. Ellaria has a really long neck and an attitude problem. Dany’s in a slightly better mood but still isn’t tolerating any shit. Olenna Tyrell, ever the master manipulator, starts planting the seeds of doubt in Dany’s mind: ‘How do you mean to take the Iron Throne? By asking nicely?’
Tyrion shares the plan of attack; Dorne and the Tyrells will lay siege to King’s Landing, while the Unsullied take the ancient seat of House Lannister. I like the subtle nod to Tyrion’s innermost desire to take his rightful place as Lord of Casterly Rock. After some uncomfortable staring and foreboding music, everyone’s on board. Dany and Olenna stay behind, and Olenna keeps working on Dany: ‘You’re a dragon. BE a dragon’. No, Dany! Be more dog.
Grey Worm’s room. He’s sharpening his sword when Missandei appears. We’re- sort of-in-a-relationship-but-not drama ensues about Grey Worm not saying goodbye. Grey Worm was never afraid until he met Missandei. Missandei isn’t wearing anything – not even a fucking thermal – under that jacket-dress thing. Does anyone on this show wear underwear? It’s at this point I realise the door to grey Worm’s room is still open. It stays open as they undress, get into bed and embrace with all the sexual chemistry of two Lego figurines.
We cut to the Citadel library, thank fuck. Sam’s asking Professor Slughorn about how to make a horcrux cure advanced greyscale. Archmaester Slughorn tells him the technique’s too dangerous and expressly forbidden. Sam: Giddyup!
Sam rolls into Jorah’s cell with a trolley full of knives and suspicious ointment; greyscale can apparently be cured with a deep exfoliation treatment followed by moisturizer. What happens next isn’t exactly a Garnier product demo though…think YouTube blackhead extraction clip with the I-can’t-watch factor of The Conjuring.
Worst segue ever: flowing pus to pie filling. Arya’s at the Inn at the Crossroads, catching up with Hot Pie. She eats – rather obnoxiously, I might add – until Hot Pie drops a bomb; Jon’s King in the North now. Arya’s torn; does she continue South in pursuit of her revenge, or North towards her loved ones and the salvation of her immortal soul? After a moment’s consideration, Arya heads for home. Side note: I suspect Hot Pie’s not long for this world; he referred to himself as a survivor. Yikes.
Back to Winterfell, where Jon receives Sam’s raven. As usual he decides to have an open-mic night with the entire North about it, and not discuss his decisions with anyone beforehand. Even Lady Mormont’s appalled when he announces he’s heading to Dragonstone to meet Dany and hit her up for dragonglass. In a surprise twist, Jon tells Sansa the North is hers until he returns. Even Brienne chokes up a little at this. Awwww. But also – don’t fuck it up, Sansa.
Down in the crypts Jon contemplates Sean Bean’s stone likeness. Littlefinger sidles up to him and starts blathering about his respect for Ned and love for Catelyn. Jon doesn’t give two fucks. Littlefinger wonders where his thank you is, and btw – he’s got a boner for Sansa. Is it me, or is Littlefinger fingering Jon’s many buttons deliberately? Jon invokes season 1 Ned and throttles Littlefinger (extremely satisfying), threatening to kill him if he touches Sansa. KILL HIM NOW, Jon. Save yourself the inevitable pain and mutiny that will come from leaving him alive inside Winterfell. Ugh. Nope.
Jon waves at Sansa trustingly before riding for Dragonstone. Littlefinger emerges from the crypts like a cockroach you’ve sprayed 17 times, and sets his sights on Sansa. Maybe she’ll surprise us all?
Alone in the woods, Arya finds herself surrounded by a hungry wolf pack. Nymeria (NYMERIA!) appears as the alpha, and from the size of her I’m guessing she’s developed quite a taste for stray humans. Arya asks her if she’s seen Ghost in the past year. Also, want to come home to Winterfell? Nymeria – a wild and lethal killer now – declines. Arya realises sadly that’s not who she is anymore. Oooooooh, symbolism. Wait…does this mean Arya’s not going home either? I’m confused and also sick of the Riverlands.
The Iron Fleet’s on its way to Dorne. The Sand Snakes make the most of their last bits of dialogue EVER, while Ellaria and Yara indulge in verbal foreplay that has Theon heading for the exit. They’re all interrupted when the ship comes under fire – it’s Euron and his 1000 built-in-a-week ships, hurrah!
Euron kills the 2 most annoying Sand Snakes and manages to capture Yara. All the violence triggers Theon’s PTSD and he regresses into Reek, throwing himself overboard instead of trying to save his sister. Alfie Allen, as usual, breaks my heart. We end the episode watching Theon float alone amongst the silent ruins of what was the Iron Fleet. Dany’s totally going to blame Tyrion for this.
Next week: Dany/Jon shippers rejoice! Kind of. Let’s just hope Dany’s in a better mood and no one gets barbecued.