Everyone cue up your Alicia Keys Spotify playlist because this episode is ON FIRE-AHH!! OMG you guys, what I am going to do when this season ends in just three more weeks!? I’m probably going to get some TV version of seasonal affective disorder and wander drunkenly through the Bristol Renaissance Faire, trying to capture some small semblance of medieval fantasy back into my dreary everyday existence. But enough about my social life, let’s talk episode 4, “The Spoils of War.”
Just outside of Highgarden, Jaime and Bronn are packing up the gold they just seized during the capture of House Tyrell. This will make Cersei very, very happy, as she’s still entertaining Tycho Nestoris from the Iron Bank. Being able to pay off her debts in one lump sum means that she can take out a new loan for sellswords, supplies, and ton more dragon-sized crossbows. DUN-DUN-DUNNN.
Up north in Winterfell, Bran’s new status as the Three-Eyed Raven is making things totes awkward. Littlefinger gives him a Valyrian steel dagger as a gift, which is coincidentally the same weapon used in the assassination attempt on Bran in season 1. Bran says to him “Chaos is a ladder,” directly quoting Littlefinger’s speech to Varys from season 3: “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again.” Littlefinger is shaken and you can tell he’s all DAMMIT HOW DO I OUTSMART A FREAKIN’ PSYCHIC?
The awkward family reunion continues with Arya’s arrival at Winterfell. Sansa finds her in the family crypt after Arya slips past the world’s worst guards. These two haven’t seen each other since Arya was 11 and Sansa 13, and to say they’ve both changed is putting it mildly. Sansa’s all, LOL you have a list of people you want to kill, that’s cute, but she quickly realizes that Arya is much more dangerous than she thought. While observing Brienne and Arya spar in the castle courtyard, Sansa is stunned to see her younger sister easily disarm and dodge Brienne, one of the realm’s most skilled knights.
Brienne tosses a look at Sansa after being beaten by Arya, as if saying WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME YOUR SISTER IS STEVEN SEAGAL? But it’s also a look of admiration. I am so in love with this cast of powerful female characters and I want to be best friends with all of them and live in the same dorm and get ready for a night out while blasting Selena Gomez’s “Me and My Girls” while Sansa does my hair and we talk Brienne into trying liquid liner then we head out to the club and on the way we slaughter every man who catcalls us.
Sansa takes Arya to Bran, who displays his gift of Sight to her as well. He also gives Arya Littlefinger’s dagger, so if you’re keeping track at home, that’s another character who now possesses a weapon capable of killing White Walkers.
In the south, Davos and Jon are strolling along the beach of Dragonstone, talking about their impressions of Daenerys. They run into Missandei, and she joins Davos in some unsubtle wingman action in talking up how great a queen Dany is, alongside how impressive it is that a bastard like Jon became King of the North. We get it you guys, they’re great people and how are they both still single!?
Jon asks Daenerys to follow him: “I’ve got something in this cave I want to show you” must be his go-to pick-up line (amirite, Ygritte?). The two of them admire the giant amount of dragonglass within the cave walls, and Jon’s all “But wait, there’s more!” and takes her further back to see some ancient cave paintings which seem pretty conveniently located and I kinda want to ask Davos if he’s got some Crayola sidewalk chalk hidden in his pockets. The drawings consist of lots of circles and spirals like the kind of stuff you doodled in your Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper, OR made out of severed body parts, depending on where you grew up.
Jon pleads with her once again to unite in the fight against the Night King and his army, and Dany says she will but only if he bends the knee. These two are terrible at flirting. They emerge from the cave to hear the news from Tyrion and Varys (who seems to have found an L.A. Tan located in Dragonstone) that Euron’s fleet destroyed most of Daenerys’s ships, leaving the Unsullied stranded in Casterly Rock. Dany is PISSED and tired of sitting around waiting while Tyrion’s strategies keep failing. You don’t want to make a dragon mad.
Back to Jaime, Bronn, and Randyll Tarly, who are at the tail end of the loot train headed from Highgarden to King’s Landing. The wagon carrying all of Cersei’s gold has already passed through the city gates, so Jaime is cool with moving at a leisurely pace despite Randyll’s suggestion to flog the stragglers. Jaime is making small talk with Randyll’s son/Sam’s brother who he keeps calling Rickon but is actually named in Dickon, a running joke that gives Bronn (and me) endless delight. In the distance, Bronn hears something approaching, so Jaime snaps back into soldier mode and orders his troops to put up a shield wall. These men are coming off an easy victory against House Tyrell and are not ready for what they see coming at them: a Dothraki horde lead by a mother-effing DRAGON.
With the word “Dracarys,” Daenerys commands Drogon to unleash fire onto the Lannister army. A stunned Jaime watches as his men are burnt to a crisp all around him. Daenerys and Drogon fly above the army, targeting the wagons carrying food supplies back to King’s Landing. This is what we’ve been waiting for years to see--Daenerys reigning fire and blood on Westeros and it’s incredible.
While Dany and Drogon do their thing, the Dothraki plow through the burning corpses, slicing up Lannisters with scythes. It’s also fantastic to watch the Dothraki horde unleashed and being the crazy bad-asses that they are, riding straight into the shield wall, jumping off horseback, and tearing shit up. Jaime gets into some hand-to-golden hand combat with a Dothraki and almost gets scythed in the face until he’s saved by Dickon (he better not forget that guy’s name ever again). Bronn charges another Dothraki fighter, only for his opponent to slice his horse’s LEG OFF. I am traumatized by onscreen horse deaths (I’m of the Neverending Story generation, R.I.P. Artex), but at the same time, this whole battle is OFF THE FUCKING CHAIN. Bronn is able to make his way over to the Scorpion, the giant dragon-killing crossbow that Qyburn invented, and lines up a shot on Drogon that catches him just below one wing. Screaming in pain, Drogon plummets from the sky but recovers enough to blast the Scorpion with fire. Tyrion is watching the battle unfold from a hilltop, and you can tell he’s conflicted. He’s worried for Daenerys and Drogon, but he’s also watching his brother in danger for his life and his family’s house slaughtered en masse. That’s gotta cause a lot of conflicted feelings, especially for a character who had hoped the war would be won with minimal bloodshed.
Grounded on the banks of the river, Daenerys climbs off Drogon’s back to pull the bolt from his hide, and Jaime sees his chance to be a hero. JAIME DON’T DO IT thinks Tyrion and every viewer at home. Jaime charges with a spear in his good hand, aiming for Daenerys, but Drogon sees him coming and unleashes a giant fireball straight at him. Someone on horseback (Bronn? Dickon again?) rides in just time to pull Jaime out of the reach of the flames and they both tumble into the river.
He’s saved from the fire, but Jaime’s dressed in a heavy suit of armor, and the last we see of him, he’s sinking quickly into the deep as the camera fades to black.
HOLY SHIT DID JAIME JUST DIE?? The show left us hanging, but I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him yet. Whether or not he’s the brother mentioned in Maggy the Frog’s prophecy, Jaime still has a role to play in this last chapter of the saga of ice and fire. As secondary characters are whittled away in these last two seasons, we’re getting down to the core cast of characters we’ve grown to love, love to hate, and hate to love over 7 years. And as Sansa says to Arya in the Stark family crypt, “Our stories aren’t over yet.” As we near the end, the feels are growing stronger.