While Kylie changes diapers (and probably enjoys herself more), Unabashed Book Snobbery Podcast co-hosts Julia and Caroline, along with Game of Thrones Fandomental reviewer Jess welcome Matt to the liveblog along with 7×04 “The Spoils of War.” Apparently this episode leaked, but we’re sure any possible spoilers floating around won’t ruin their full and complete immersion in this rich, consistent world of Weissorff.
If you’d like to play Book Snob BINGO, cards may be found on Kylie’s personal blog here. Otherwise, you can find our livechat just below our social share buttons at the bottom of this post. Our highlights/lowlights will follow the episode.
Our reactions to this episode
Well, that was short. And boring. Again, I suppose stuff happened. The battle where the Lannisters have no gold again was super important. And there was another Stark Sibling reunion. But, man I was bored out of my mind.
Lowlight: I think I have Stark Sibling Reunion Fatigue? Robot Bran is funny for now, but I suspect that he’ll get old fast. Also, I don’t think he’s supposed to be funny… He clearly knows about all of Batfinger’s shenanigans and chooses not to tell anyone for reasons. The same reasons why Sansa hasn’t just told the Vale Lords about how she she saw him kill Lysa Arryn, I guess. And Sansa is jealous of Arya? Concerned? Why are they Scooby-Doo Solving mysteries from Season 1? Why was Arya and Sansa’s reunion scene so fucking weird and awkward.
The whole episode was weird and awkward again. The script was even more clunky and graceless than usual (Miss prompting bastard exposition, for example,) and the blocking and the camera were was… weird again. And I think there was a whole section in the middle where the episode was a slow-mo.
Seriously, considering the episode came in a barley 50 minutes… what the fuck kind of wheel spinning is this?
And I have no intention of every shutting up about how stupid it is that an army of Dothraki magically appeared in the middle of the Reach.
How did they get there. No, tell me, Jeff! How did they get there! GOD!
Highlight: Um…. The stunts with the horses were nice? I appreciate how Deadpan and Jonny reenacted a scene with Arianne and Daemon Sand from tWoW Arianne II? And how the ancient Children of the Forest artists had the foresight to depict the Others in a style that was totally distinct from all their other art?
The armourer who made Larry’s plot armour was super skilled.
I don’t have strong opinions about this episode because it felt pretty slow. Like I spent most of the time being confused. But here are my initial reactions at least, I suppose!
Highlight: I guess I liked the Dothraki horde? I’m glad we got a neat Dothraki battle. There was cool choreography with the fighting, with the guys on horses and jumping off horses, etc. I think it was also a good example of how powerful a Dothraki army can be, and why they ruled the Dothraki Sea in Essos. I have some serious logistics questions about where the Dothraki were all this time, where those horses were at, how they fed said horses and how they got to the Reach (or somewhere inland between the reach and King’s Landing) without being detected – but at least it looked neat. And there were so many pretty dapple gray horses!… the bar is really low for this show, bros.
Lowlight: Everything was kind of blah, so I have a few lowlights. First, Drogon getting hit and Dany taking the spear out. This was almost a book scene from A Dance with Dragons, but, in the books, this happens in Draznak’s (spelling?) Pit when the fighting pits are first re-opened. It’s an important moment because it shakes Dany into realizing she’s a Targaryen, re-connecting with her identity, etc etc themes and shit. It had meaning. Here, it was just suspense for the sake of suspense. At best, it was showing us that Cersei’s plan is not gonna work out which, let’s be real, we all already know is the case. Cersei is not gonna outline Dany on the show, and there’s no way Drogon is the dragon that will die. That said, I did feel sad watching Drogon fall through the sky.
My next one is the whole dagger situation, and along with that all the Stark children’s interactions. No real emotion when Sansa and Arya hugged?? No almost tears, like she gave us for Bran? It was very subdued, and it didn’t work. And neither of them know how to handle their brother going through his weird three-eyed-raven phase.
And one last honorable mention, the guards at Winterfell. (1) Why wouldn’t they let Arya in? Even if she’s just a commoner, like, you’re gonna let her freeze to death? (2) Why did they think they had to watch her? Does she look menacing? They couldn’t see her sword. (3) Does the patriarchy just stop working when Arya is there? Nobody notices she’s female, nobody notices she’s young, everyone is suspicious of her – like that’s not how this works. This is another copy/paste scene from season 1 when the Red Keep guards wouldn’t let Arya in , which makes sense because not everyone is allowed in the Red Keep. Generally, commoners are allowed in Winterfell. Duh. Ugh.
Highlight: I’d say my highlight was the somewhat-positive interactions between women as Arya first met Sansa and then Brienne. I mean, they obviously could have been better if Arya emoted more and actually showed how glad she was of seeing her sister, but at this point, I’m pleased that at least they weren’t outright catty towards each other — the Sand Fakes could have taken a page from their book. Same can be said between the scene with Brienne: she’s still a bully to Pod (you’d imagine that, with how time passes in this show and how Brienne has been underused for a few seasons, Pod would have improved greatly his swordsmanship due to training, but no), however she was kind to Arya and their sword fight was choreographed well. The question now is when did Arya get all those skills? Are they a remnant from a time when this show didn’t suck and Syrio Forel existed or is it all part of her training with the Asshole? Literally, no one knows and that includes D&D.
Oh, and I guess the production value striked again with the Dany-Attacks scene? It looked mostly fine. Perhaps not when they show Dany flying Drogon, but at least the stunt people did a good job riding the horses halfway standing.
Lowlight: And on that segue, why not talk about how that very same scene was simply not particularly exciting? Maybe it’s just a me thing as I guess other viewers will absolutely love it, but I felt next to nothing. They teleported the entire Dothraki army there somehow. The giant crossbow was already there as, I suppose, they were anticipating a dragon attack? Also, how did Dany not fall from Drogon? I feel like the retracting movement he made midair after being shot would have been enough to make her lose her grip. Also, that shot of the Dothraki slicing the leg off the horse was horribly gratuitous.
The first half of the episode was mostly boring. Something about gold. Mark Gatiss was still there as Mycroft Holmes. Cheryl walked on the map again. Dany and Jon nonversated some more. Missandei suddenly doesn’t know about Bastard Names. Batfinger is ominous and says stuff. Bran is still doing his best Dany/Jon impression. In the end, barely anything happened which surely is not what we were expecting in this “go go go, cool moment after cool moment” season, but hey, what else is new?