Subtitle: bitches get stuff done
In King’s Landing, Euron parades his captives through the streets while the commoners hurl insults and vegetables at them just as they did to Cersei a few weeks (months? A year? I have no idea how time works anymore on this show). He struts and preens and loves every second. The parade ends in the Iron Throne Room where Euron marches on up the dais and throws Ellaria and her daughter at Cersei’s feet as an engagement gift.
Shout out to Ellaria for staying on message. Cersei vaguely agrees to marry Euron when the war is over (he’s as stupid as he looks if he believes her) and elevates him officially to commander of her navy. The Pirate King then turns his, uh, charm on Jaime, asking him out on a bro beer date to discuss how best to pleasure his sister and it is super gross, I can’t wait for Cersei to murder him in her bed.
Cersei wastes no time exacting her revenge on Ellaria. She chains her and Tyene to the wall, just too far to reach each other, monologues about how talented Oberon was, how beautiful Tyene is, and how much they all deserve their terrible deaths for killing her daughter. She seals Tyene’s fate with a kiss, just as Ellaria did to Myrcella. It’s like poetry.
Feeling pretty great about murdering a young girl (to be fair, Myrcella was more innocent than Tyene), Cersei barges in on Jaime and drags him, willingingly, into her bed. They wake up curled into each other which is disturbingly sweet. At a knock, Jaime tries to hide but Cersei is like:
And lets her random serving girl (who is dressed in black like her queen — are they all in mourning after the ‘accidental’ sept explosion?) see, and presumably say, whatever the hells she wants.
The Mad Genius Queen also meets with the Iron Bank, pulls out a great Tywin impression, and lets them know no one should bet against Cersei Lannister because she will ruin them. She wins herself two weeks to prove it.
In the Citadel, Jorah is cured! That was quick and deceptively easy, but, Jorah is only interesting in terms of his relationship to Dany so I approve of them speedreading him back to her side. Sam is complimented on his ability to read a book and follow the instructions. Like, literally. I feel as though a city full of librarians, teachers, and PhD students should have a lot of people with this particular skill set, but, sure, Sam is best at books. Although he did impress Prof Slughorn, he still loses 50 points for Ravenclaw (I know you want him to be in Hufflepuff but he is best at books!) and has to rewrite 100 scrolls in detention.
Up in Winterfell,
Queen Lady Sansa proves herself best at ruling by making quickfire decisions while strutting around Winterfell like she was born to it. Most interestingly she is calling all her bannerman to Winterfell. As she says, her home is the fortress of the North so it makes sense, but also: Sansa’s getting herself an army. Littlefinger continues to stick to her like gum on a shoe, and she continues to cut him down and roll her eyes dramatically. I love seeing Sansa throw around her upper hand but I am starting to worry this is considered flirting. In any case, he tells her his secret formula for winning: play all sides, at all times, so you are never surprised (okay, Jan).
They are interrupted, however, by the arrival of her long lost, no longer little, brother Bran. Stark reunions are the best!
But Bran is nothing like the little boy she knew. In his place there is a mystic with the creepy ability to see her past. You were so beautiful in your wedding dress when you were married to that actual sociopath-rapist, he tells her, and Sansa runs away because everything she ever loved is now a nightmare.
Notably, Bran says he needs to talk to Jon, presumably to let him in on the secret of his parentage — if only he’d arrived a few days (weeks? months?) earlier, before Jon set off for Dragonstone.
There, Jon arrives, surrenders his weapons (willingly) and ship (less so), and has an audience with the Dragon Queen. Was the meeting of Ice and Fire everything everyone hoped for? I think it was good enough for me. I don’t really want them to fall in love, though I’m not opposed, but they are definitely destined to be on the same side, riding dragons to victory (Tyrion is the favorite for riding the third dragon, but now that Cersei has a dragon killing machine I expect one of the dragons to be hit, so they might only have two in the end? Or the third dragon could just be injured, which would make him an even more fitting mount for Tyrion). Jon’s a Targaryen, yes, but what stood out about this meeting is that neither Jon nor Dany actually want to burn everything to the ground.
Because Dany is Dany, she postures, and because Jon is Jon, he blathers on about the White Walkers and the Night King being the real threat. And so Tyrion acts as a go-between since he knows and likes them both. He tells Jon that Daenerys is a good person who will be a just ruler because she chose to take on ending slavery before marching on Westeros — Cersei said the same to the Bank, so this is definitely the narrative we are meant to believe even if it seems like a bit of a retelling. And he tells Dany that Jon is a good person who could be a good ally and since they just lost two, they kind of need him.
In the end, Daenerys gives Jon her dragonglass, plus people and equipment to mine it. Jon asks if it means she believes him about the army of the dead set to kill them all and she tells him to get to work. It’s a pretty close imitation of a ‘you know nothing’ and this is almost definitely meant to be flirting.
Speaking of knowing nothing, Varys tries to interrogate and then threaten Melisandre but she gets the upper hand by telling him she has one more round of ‘screw over Westeros’ to play and also he’s gonna die here, probably soon. I’m super over Melisandre, and not all that enamored of Varys, either, and I kinda hoped one or both was gonna end up over the edge of the cliff but alas.
(Someone is gonna end up flying off that cliff, right?)
Davos, like most of Dany’s war council last week, tells her she could have already taken King’s Landing if she just wanted to win. This is an interesting repeated refrain because last week she lost her Dornish army and her Mini Greyjoy navy and this week she loses Highgarden and the (remaining) Tyrells. Dany is letting her Lannister Hand direct her attacks and so far it’s not working out. Using Tyrion’s whore tunnel attack strategy (seriously), Grey Worm successfully wins Casterly Rock but only because most of the Lannister army — and the Tarlys who Jaime successfully wooed to his side — marched on Highgarden instead. Cersei doesn’t care about the house she grew up in. She always had her sights set on the capitol, the crown.
It’s Lannister versus Lannister and Cersei is winning because she wants to win. Daenerys wants to rule. And Jon wants to fight monsters.
In Highgarden, the Lannisters take the day, the castle, and all their money, and Jaime poisons Olenna, which I thought was more poetry but then she tells him she poisoned Joffrey and he’s surprised. Poor Jaime is the Lannister with the biggest heart and smallest brain.
Finally, in whatever bay the whole Greyjoy battle happened, Theon is picked up by one of Yara’s not burnt boats and tries to play it off like he tried to save her — which I guess is true from a certain point of view, he tried to try? — but they say, rightly, he wouldn’t be with them if that were true.
Winning: Queen Cersei, Ser Jorah, Jon Snow (hey, he got what he wanted)
Dead: Olenna Tyrell
Next Week: No more clever plots! Probably something is going to burn.