Welcome to another episode of Game of Thrones, which we're sure that you didn't pirate early at all.
SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't seen episode 4 stop reading now, or you’ll regret it. 'I’ve waited a week for this and I can’t believe you’ve ruined it, you monster' regret. No one likes regret. So, stop thinking about it and just book a Mustang test drive already.
For only the second time this season we don't find ourselves in Dragonstone at the top of the episode. Instead, a Lannister entourage is heading away from Highgarden.
We hear Jaime call for a wagon to be stopped so he can have a peek inside. It is full of treasure. He pulls out a Scrooge McDuck sized sack of gold and thrusts it at Bronn.
The sellsword calls him out for being a bit of a moody bitch, and correctly surmises that, "Queen of Thorns [gave] you one last prick in the balls before saying goodbye?"
Speaking of whinging, Bronn still wants the castle that he was promised. There's some talk of upkeep, the recent riches they acquired and how all the money is going to the Iron Bank. Because Lannisters always pay their debts.
Bronn — "Just not to me."
Jaime continues to call Bronn basic for getting stroppy when he's just been handed a fat stack of gold. Also, he can have whatever castle he wants once the war is won.
- Bronn — "Yes I'm sure Queen Cersei's reign will be quiet and peaceful."
- Jaime — "Lolz."
The shade party is broken up when some riders appear to discuss food being taken from the local storehouses. Jaime decides Bronn would be very talented at convincing farmers to hand their food over in a speedy fashion.
Back in King's Landing, The Iron Accountant is impressed at the speedy loan repayment, but some of his constituents at the Iron Bank are rather sad at the prospect of no-more Lannister interest repayments.
Fortunately for them, Cersei needs money for armies and ships. Also Qyburn has been in talks with The Golden Company in Essos. The Iron Accountant knows these people, as they have helped him recover money from people who have fallen into arrears.
Yeah, the word "arrears" just got dropped. Apparently we're watching Game of Loans now.
As it happens, Cersei would like them to help recover something that belongs to her. He's absolutely down with that, just as soon as the gold arrives from Highgarden. Foreshadowing!?
Speaking of which, cut to a dark room. Littlefinger hands Bran a dagger, saying it came from the man who almost killed him, but Catelyn stepped in.
He waxes rhapsodic about how he would have stopped the dagger that then killed her with his own heart if he had been there. But instead he will protect her children. And try to marry one of them. Considering that Three-Eyed Bran knows everything now, this ought to be good.
After some talk surrounding who owned the dagger, Littlefinger laments what the young Stark has been through, and the chaos he came home to.
- Bran — "Chaos is a ladder."
- Littlefinger — "THAT IS THE THING I SAID BACK IN SEASON 3!"
Meera enters to break up the stink-eye-athon. Littlefinger calls Bran Lord Stark. Bran says he's not Lord Stark. Same old, same old.
Once they're alone, Bran reveals that she's leaving because she needs to be with her family and he's pretty safe now. He doesn't need anyone anymore. Bran concurs and she is pretty pissed. A bunch of people died for him and he doesn't seem to care.
He says that he's not really Bran anymore. He remembers what it felt like to be Brandon Stark, but he remembers so much more now. He's basically transformed into that one mate who became insufferably smug when they discovered Yoga and became vegan.
Meanwhile, Arya finally returns home.
Unsurprisingly, the guards don't believe she is who she says she is. She tries to convince them by name dropping Maester Luwin and the old master of arms, Rodrik, but they've never heard of them.
After a failed swing in her direction, she finally utilises fear to talk her way in. The pair argue over who will tell Sansa of her arrival, while Arya looks around lovingly. By the time they turn back around she has already hightailed.
Cut to them trying to explain their ineptitude to their Lady. She doesn't seem to give a toss until they mention the name dropping. She knows where she is.
We see Arya standing in the Stark crypt, looking at her fathers carving. She hears Sansa approaching and in classic little-sister style, asks if she has to call her Lady Stark now.
There is smiling and hugging. Arya says she needs to get better guards and that being Lady Stark suits her. Sansa says that Jon's heart will stop when he sees her.
They discuss their father and Arya asks if Sansa killed Joffrey. She also reveals her murder list, which Sansa clearly thinks is a joke.
In a particularly sweet moment, they both divulge how neither of their journeys back to Winterfell were pleasant, but that their stories aren't over yet. It's perfectly indicative of the entire scene. I like how these two have grown up. I hope that despite their differences they will remain close from here on out.
Sansa also reveals that Bran is home. Arya looks really excited until she sees the look on her sister's face.
The two head to the godswood where they find their brother. It's a good thing we had that previous Bran scene, otherwise I would have assumed he was still stuck out there from last week.
He's sitting there staring, which we can all agree is #OnBran these days.
"You came home."
Well spotted, Three-Eyed Bran.
Sansa reveals how Bran has visions. For example, he told her how hot she looked in her wedding dress, rather than tell her Arya was coming. Or even alive. He says that he saw her at the crossroads and thought she might head to King's Landing, since Cersei is on her hit list and all.
Yeah lol Sansa, she wasn't joking about that. She asks who else is on the list and Arya reveals that most of them are dead already. Sansa seems into it.
Bran busts out the Littelfinger dagger. Arya is surprised he is in Winterfell.
Arya asks why a cuthroat would have a Valerian steel dagger? "Someone very wealthy wanted me dead," Bran quips.
Mate you can say the name. You allegedly know everything.
Sansa is freaked by all this. Littlefinger always be scheming so he must want something. Bran DGAF and gives the dagger to Arya.
The siblings head back into the castle. Brienne watches with pride. Podrick says Catelyn would be proud and that she kept her vow. Meanwhile Littlefinger watches from above.
- Bran — "I can see everything that has ever happened"
- Arya — "I have a murder list"
- Sansa — "WTF is actually going on?"
Over at Dragonstone, Missandei is worried that "The Unsullied" haven't called or texted yet.
Dany gets it and asks what happened.
- Missandei — "Many Things"
- Dany's Face — "Damn girl, tell me everything"
Of course, Jon appears like a Reverse Homer GIF to interrupt the goss session.
"Oh hey guys, what's going on?"
The three walk across the beach to a cave opening. Jon says he wanted her to see it before they started hacking into it. The dragonglass is beautiful and Dany looks around in wonder.
- Jon — "There's something else I wanted to show you, Your Grace"
- Shippers — "YEAH THERE IS"
- Dany — "Can we hurry this up? I'm all about Missandei's slam sesh right now"
Jon and Dany enter a section of the cave that is decorated with intricate carvings created by the Children of the Forest.
Some of the drawings show the Children and the First Men fighting against a common enemy. You guessed it — White Walkers.
Enter a lazy analogy about how they worked together despite their differences.
The pair talk about how Jon needs Dany to win. She says she will help him... when he bends the knee. And that the survival of his people needs to be more important than his pride.
Pot. Kettle. Black.
They leave the cave to find Tyrion and Varys waiting. Also Ser Thirstos was there the whole time? I presume he was trying to find Missandei so he could talk to her awkwardly about the weather.
Her advisers bring the good news of Casterly Rock. Dany is all "Wooooo" but from the looks on their faces things are decidedly not "Woo".
Dany is angry that her allies are getting their arses handed to them while she chills in her castle. Despite having the biggest army Cersei has taken all the food from Highgarden, so she can't feed them.
She also has a go at Tyrion because his plans lost them Dorne, The Iron Islands and The Reach. She thinks this may have been intentional.
She's done with clever plans and decides to fly her dragons to the Red Keep.
- Dany — "My enemies are in the Red Keep. What kind of queen am I if I'm not willing to risk my life to fight them?"
- Tyrion — "A smart one."
- Dany's Face — "I will END you"
She asks Jon's advice.
He says that she made a seemingly impossible thing happen bringing dragons back. Perhaps her followers will also believe she can build a better world than the one the have known. But that melting castles and burning cities may not be the best way of showing that. He basically dragon-shames her to say it wouldn't make her any different to previous rulers.
Back in Winterfell, Brienne is sparring with Podrick and Arya wants some of the action.
Brienne digs on her sword and dagger and eventually agrees to train with her after Arya reminds her that she swore to serve BOTH of Catelyn's daughters.
- Brienne — "Your sword is took small."
- Arya — "Lol."
Sansa watches on above and looks a little perturbed by the whole thing. Meanwhile, Littlefinger seems to love her discomfort. As a classic manipulator, it's important that he isolates her from her support network.
Arya does a great job of dodging Brienne's attacks and getting a few good hits in herself. Podrick looks like all of his dreams are coming true.
After a genuinely fun-to-watch sparring match, Brienne is all admiration. She asks who taught her to do that.
Arya stares Littlefinger down in the meantime. He bows and walks off. And now all I want is for Brienne, Podrick and Arya to tool around Westeros solving mysteries together.
Meanwhile, Thirstos and Jon are having their own gossip session About Dany.
- Jons — "She has a good heart."
- Thirstos — "I've noticed you staring at her good heart."
Jon quickly changes the subject to the Night King who he has apparently seen with his own eyes. You don't say, Jon!?
Thirstos spots Missandei, who looks like she wants to throw herself off the side of the castle.
She asks about Jon's name being different to his father's. Apparently marriage doesn't exist in Naath. Thirstos thinks this is all very modern and wonders what time A Current Affair is on.
Jon asks about why Missandei left and she explains about being stolen by slave traders. He is lovely and apologetic while Thirstos immediately refers to her as a slave girl. She explains how Dany bought her and set her free and he proceeds to point out that she is still serving. Jesus, is he actually attempting to neg her right now?
Missandei isn't buying it. She could leave tomorrow if she wanted to and Dany would wish her well. Clearly, this conversation links back to the side quest that Tyrion gave Jon last episode — to find out what Dany's followers think of her.
- Missandei — "She isn't our queen because she is the daughter of some king we never knew. She's the queen we chose."
- Thirstos to Jon — "Will you forgive me if I switch sides?"
Honey, she's just not that into you.
It's okay though, because she is saved by a Greyjoy ship sailing in. On the beach, Theon helps carry a boat to the shore and spots Jon.
After being all "Oh Heeeeeeeey, is Sansa okay and stuff," Jon declares Sansa is the only reason he isn't killing Theon dead right now.
Basically old mate is there to ask the queen to help get Yara back. But sadly, the queen is gone.
Cut to Jaime and Bronn in what appears to be Westworld.
Lord Tarly reports that the gold has safely made it to King's Landing. But they still need to get the wagons over Blackwater Rush before nightfall. In case of an ambush. Foreshadowing!
Tarly wants to whip the stragglers. Jaime is all, "Calm down, my dude."
Oh look, Dickon is back! I guess his random introduction a few episodes back wasn't so odd and random. Bronn thinks his name is as funny as we do. As it turns out, it was his first fight. Since daddy isn't around, he admits he wasn't that chill with it.
"Men shit themselves when they die, didn't they teach you that at Fancy Lad School?"
Never change, Bronn.
But that's enough of the literal shits and giggles. There's rumbling on the horizon.
Jaime, Bronn and Lord Tarly get their armies in line for the impending attack. The camera keeps cutting back to Dickon, which tells me this may not end well for him.
The army steels itself as the Dothraki let out there war cries, still out of view. The tension building is actually amazing.
Bronn tells Jaime to go back to King's Landing because they're about to get swamped. Jaime thinks they're all good though... and then they hear the dragon roar. Yep, Dany is riding Drogon. And with a simple "Dracarys" in the ear, a bunch of Lannister soldiers get roasted.
Everything basically goes to hell after this. The Lannister/Tarly lines are broken relatively easily in the chaos, the normal archers are superfluous against the dragon and even the unbridled horses are like, "I'm out!"
Dany begins targeting the supply wagons next, as Jaime orders Bronn to go get their secret weapon. Just as he rides off Jaime nearly gets capped by a Dothraki soldier, but Dickon saves him. Maybe this character is more important than I thought.
Bronn manages to get hunted by a Dothraki and loses his bag of gold in the process. It looks dicey for awhile, but he manages to take him out with the giant crossbow just in time.
Meanwhile, Tyrion and some Dothraki overlook the battle. The later throws some shade about how Westerosi can't fight.
While Jaime looks around at the carnage in horror, Bronn manages to land a serious shot on Drogon. After flapping and burning about for awhile, he lands and Dany tries to get the giant arrow out.
Jaime spots a spear and clearly intends to use it. Tyrion watches his brother and whispers for him to flee.
Jaime rides towards Dany. Just as he gets close, Drogon shields her with his head and bares his teeth before letting out a mighty breath of fire. Just as we think the Kingslayer is finally done for, Bronn crash tackles Jaime into a convenient body of water.
The last image we're left with is Jaime sinking in a very Jack Dawson manner. Will he survive? Probably. But we won't know for sure until next week. For now, let's be thankful that we got the best Game of Thrones action season all season.
We've waited a long time for Dany to let her dragons loose across Westeros and I for one am not disappointed. Was it the right move to go against her advisers' advice? Maybe. But regardless of the outcome it was an incredible sight to see.
Just a few things swirling in my head.
- Who is looking after The Eyrie while Littlefinger is in Winterfell? Surely Robin Arryn hasn't been left to his own devices?
- If Bran knows everything, why isn't he giving his family the down low on information that pertains to them? Is he too busy seeing the past, present and future of Farmer Fred down the street?
- Would Dany bend the knee if someone with a better claim to the throne appeared? Like, if Jon turns out to be the legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen? Or if Rhaegar himself wasn't dead (there are some who theorise this). I really think not.
- Why was Dany targeting the Lannister food supplies when she needs them for her own armies? There's really no logical need for a literal scorched earth policy here.
- I wonder what The Hound, Thoros and Beric are up to? We haven't seen them for a few episodes and all three are on Arya's Murder List. Will she will have the opportunity to kill three birds with one stone?
- Speaking of which, Sansa seemed awfully interested in Arya's list. Maybe she's hatching a plan there?
- What is the point of Three-Eyed Bran right now? He said earlier in the season that he needs to learn more. Is he actually doing that sitting around the Godswood all day? And what will his eventual learnings accomplish?
- I really want Littlefinger to also get on with it. Does he even have a plan other than 'try not to make Sansa projectile vomit' at the moment?
That's enough violence, flirting and scheming for one day. It’s time to stop thinking and start driving. Book your Mustang test drive today.
The Mother of Recaps is back for another week. And with an episode title like that, we know it's going to be juicy. Maybe even literally. Who knows what Cersei is capable of at this stage?