As always, SPOILERS BELOW.
All right, we’re almost halfway through the season, and here’s where we are:
The North (as in, King in Da): Sansa is handling things well while Jon is on vacation, and she met up with Bran again. I knew there wouldn’t be two Stark reunions in one episode. Bran weirded her out by knowing stuff, but I think in time she’ll come to learn more about him. (I also hope that brief Meera shot wasn’t the end of that character…). I am still not sure of the physics of Westerosi travel, so Arya may be back Sunday, or next season, or… … Littlefinger continued to be an irritant, and I think he didn’t plan very well at all for the current situation.
The Citadel: Sam is really turning into the ultimate GRRM Mary Sue, isn’t he? And his punishment is feed for more possible Mary Sueing. I’ll get on that later.
King’s Landing: Euron, now promoted from Urine because he ended two of the Sand Snakes, was basically the Song of Ice and Fire Jack Sparrow I expected him to be after last week. He’s bordering between annoying and pro-wrestling level over the top heel, but at least he’s moving the story along. Cersei’s revenge on “MAMA” Sand was pretty much what one would expect in a fantasy situation: it came full circle. Oh, and there’s a dude wanting his money back.
Highgarden: Holy Never Saw That Coming! I don’t recall even a moment of hint that Olenna was going to be in her keep this week, much less that there’d be a battle. Boy, they’re really rushing to close off loose ends this season. (Yet, still, a five+ minute sex scene between minor characters…) Her confession was, to use the parlance, on point.
Casterly Rock: Well, that ended poorly.
Dragonstone: The meat of the episode. My, how annoying they’re making Dany lately. The more power she gets, the more… I don’t know, it’s bothersome. I really do hope she lives to find out Jon is somehow the legitimate heir so I can see the look on her face. Losing some allies might give her some pause, some humility. She’s had a ton of unchecked success, and it shows. Jon played it well, and I’m damn glad he didn’t kneel to her. Why should he swear fealty to this woman?
Oh, and Theon is still being useless.
Now, for the predictions.
Dragonstone: Clearly Dany gets some bad news based on the preview — “I’m losing” — and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her take some of the late Olenna Tyrell’s advice. She might not go full on “dragon”, but she may have to take the gloves off. Which might not be good for the Euron fleet. I’m not sure what he’s up to now.
King’s Landing: Somehow, I feel like we won’t see as much here this week. I just get a feeling that we may need more time elsewhere, and there are a lot of moving pieces on the board. That said, Jamie may use the Westerosi Subway and already be back. Who knows?
Winterfell: I think Arya will be back this episode, and she’s going to weird out Sansa too. I’m not sure where the plot will take the three siblings, but together is better for them than apart. I am not sure Arya will like Littlefinger, and Bran might ferret out something the man did wrong. (So Littlefinger will need to move against Bran/ingratiate himself, if he has any sense.) Probably won’t spend too much time here this week, either.
Dorne: Haha just kidding.
The “Middle”: We got Bronn and his bro out there with an army, we got Dothraki, we got the Unsullied. Is Episode 4 a confrontation? Maybe; the writers have to take as many pieces off the table as they can. I just hope Bronn isn’t one of them. I rather like his attitude.
The Citadel: Ok, maybe not this episode, but: Sam is being punished with a bunch of rotting old manuscripts and letters he has to copy. I don’t know how long Westerosi Paper lasts, but there are several possible things he could come across:
– How to make Valyrian Steel.
– Something to do with Jon Snow, or Robert’s Rebellion, or the Mad King, or the Night King, OR:
– Something that screws over Littlefinger somehow.
We’re getting toward the end, and all the players are moving, either off the board or toward the final confrontation. I cannot imagine that Cersei vs Dany is the endgame of this story, and that means one of them has to go. I also cannot see Euron lasting much longer. He’s too crazy/risky.
Cersei is going to die at the hands of the “younger brother” or “younger sibling.” Which applies to damn near every remaining character except Cersei: Dany is the youngest of the Mad King’s children, all the Starks are younger than Robb would have been, Jon is a younger sibling, Tyrion and Jaime, The Hound, Theon, possibly Yara, et cetera. I have a feeling it’s going to be Tyrion or Jaime, but I wouldn’t write Arya off. Especially if Cersei won’t put aside her bull in order to fight the Night King. (Hey, is the Night King a younger sibling?)
Dany and Jon will likely end up “in love” because, Ice and Fire? Jon and Dany, right? Similar ages, both have been reborn in various ways. I seem to recall something in the books about the Prince that was Promised having to kill his love, so that might not end well for Dany. If she truly can’t produce an heir Jon won’t be able to settle down with her anyway, if he’s going to end up on the Iron Throne. (I think he is, personally.) Or they may skip right past that part and have him have to kill something else other than his literal love. There’s just too much symmetry for them not to at least briefly end up together.
The Night King will lose, eventually, to: all the dragon glass, the dragon fire, and the potential dragon steel. But Winter is Winter. GRRM promised a bittersweet ending: the sweet will be the end of the Night King. The bitter? More reason I think Dany won’t make it. Jon already died once, I don’t think it’ll happen again. But it might.