Another Thrones episode, another bevy of content to discuss and dissect at our own pleasure.
unprecedented leaking airing of The Spoils Of War, the showrunners warned us that this would be the shortest episode of the season.
With that in mind you’d be forgiven for thinking this would also come off as one of the weaker episodes, but boy did the rug get pulled from under our feet.
This week’s episode had many big moments, THE BIG ONE being Daenerys Targaryen’s surprise ambush with Drogon and her Dothraki horde in tow, charging upon the Lannister army.
But among the mayhem of dragon fire and severed limbs there were some things you may have missed.
The majority of season seven has been about the callbacks to previous seasons; the lessons learnt, the consequences and the subtle hints of things to come.
One moment where it’s painstakingly obvious was when Jon Snow showed Dany exactly why he needs the coveted dragon glass. As he brings The Mother of Dragons deeper into the mines he shows her some interesting markings carved onto the walls.
The markings bare a strong resemblance to the iconography shown in previous episodes during The Night’s Watch’s expeditions beyond The Wall – which, if you’ve forgotten, was made up of corpses.
However that wasn’t the only callback in the cave. During the conversation between Dany and Jon – in which she’s still trying to convince him to bend the knee and recognise her right as the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms – she asks The King In The North this simple question: “Isn’t their survival more important than your pride?”
This is in reference to his loyal subjects in the North. It’s also the same thing Jon said to Mance Rayder after The Watch defeated Mance and his Wildling army at Castle Black back in season four.
Another call back is Arya’s homecoming to Winterfell, I’ll be honest I was one of the few that thought she changed her mind and decided to stay the course, heading South towards King’s Landing to scrub another name off her list.
Instead we saw her reunite with Sansa and (the increasingly creepy) Bran. But when we see her first attempt to get into Winterfell she’s blocked at the door by two guards who don’t believe she is who she says she is.
This is reminiscent of the first season when Arya would go exploring the hidden tunnels and passages of King’s Landing, when she attempted to get back to the her father’s (Ned Stark – RIP) quarters the guards at the door wouldn’t let her through due to her ‘un-lady-like’ appearance.
Back on Dragonstone, it seems that (the long departed) Stannis Baratheon’s grammar-Nazi-ways have finally rubbed off on Davos.
While they’re discussing how many men and women they have to defend The North from with the oncoming onslaught brought on by the Night’s King and the White Walkers, our favourite Bastard-turned-king says they have ‘10,000 men, less?’ To which trusty old Davos replies by correcting his grammar, saying ‘fewer’.
A nice call back to a King who burnt his daughter alive on the whims of some bad advice and misinformed prophecies.
In Winterfell we see a rare scene between Bran and Littlefinger, during their brief scene he gives Bran (who insists on going by the title of the Three Eyed Raven now) the Valyrian dagger that was used in the attempt to kill him in season one.
How does Bran thank one of Westro’s sneakiest men, by telling him that ‘Chaos is a ladder’, a specific quote Littlefinger said to Varys, another call back to season one. Furthermore is this another hint at the inevitable fall of Lord Baelish?
Staying in Winterfell, if you remember the night before the epic Battle of The Bastards in season six, Sansa Stark told her
cousin bastard, half-brother Jon that ‘no one can protect me’.
With the return of her little sister Arya, who trained to be an assassin with the Faceless Men of Bravos, it seems like ‘No One’ (along with Brienne of Tarth) is here to protect her now.
As mentioned in the beginning, the ‘piece de resistance’ of this week’s episode was Dany’s devasting attack on the Lannister forces.
In the first season the old King, Robert Baratheon, told Cersei: “Only a fool would meet the Dothraki in an open field.”
For all his drunken shenanigans, adultery and general lack of interst in ruling the Seven Kingdoms the man knew his strategic warfare.
After all he is the man who overthrew Areys Targaryen, The Mad King – who also happened to be Dany’s father.