TV Review: Game of Thrones - Season 7 Episode 2 "Stormborn"

PLOT: Daenerys has a surprise visitor; Jon faces a revolt; Tyrion draws up plans to conquer Westeros.

REVIEW: With the shortened season, Game of Thrones has accelerated the pacing of each episode. Last week's premiere crammed a lot of development into a single hour and yet somehow the second hour seems to have even more going on. After some teased character development and reappearances at Comic Con this week, tonight's Game of Thrones did not disappoint with some shippers being very happy, battle lines being drawn, and one help of a twist ending. There was nudity, there was bloodshed, and there were lots of Westerosi playing the titular game. Overall, this was a damn good hour. Let's unpack what went down south of The Wall.

First off, the various houses of Westeros are drawing their allegiances. Cersei reveals that she has a means to defeat Daenarys and her dragons and sends her new ally, Euron Greyjoy, to intercept his niece and prevent the planned invasion of King's Landing. At Dragonstone, Daenarys brings together the Tyrells, The Martells, and the Greyjoy siblings to unite in a siege that will begin her attempted reign in Westeros. Daenarys also tests the loyalty of Lord Varys who delivers some of his backstory in such a way that he seems much more formidable than we have ever seen him. In the end, Daenarys accepts his loyalty but promises to kill him if he betrays her. Daenarys makes the same pledge to the newly arrived Melisandre who delivers the prophecy that the Mother of Dragons will be victorious but only if she enlists the aid of Jon Snow. Tyrion vouches for Jon and sends an invitation for the King in the North to vist Dragonstone which is lucky because we know that Snow needs dragonglass to defeat the White Walker army.

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At Winterfell, Sansa and many of the lords do not think that Jon should go see ot trust Daenarys but he insists he must to defend their lands. Jon leaves the North in the hands of Sansa until he returns. This makes Littlefinger smile which leads to an intense confrontation between Baelish and Jon Snow. Eventually, Jon leaves with Ser Davos to head to see Daenarys. At the same time, Arya ends up at the restaurant where she left Hot Pie a couple of seasons ago. Seemingly numb to her actions, Arya is shocked to learn that Jon Snow is alive and has retaken Winterfell, killing the Boltons. Arya immediately puts her plans to go to King's Landing on hold and decides to head home. On the way, she is surrounded by wolves led by one that looks like her former pet, Nymeria. The growling animal calms in her presence but leaves Arya alone which leaves her sad in the cold forest. It is a sad scene and one indicative of just how much Arya's life has changed since season one.

At the CItadel, Samwell makes contact with Ser Jorah who is not looking good. His grayscale has pervaded his body. Samwell discusses with Archmaester Ebrose about a method of curing grayscale that was ine one of the tomes in the library. Ebrose forbids it, but Samwell secretly visits Jorah and helps him peel the infected skin from his body in a gruesome scene. There was some damn creative editing in this episode as the grayscale surgery was intercut with a pie (lovely) as well as Greyworm going down on MIssandei being intercut with a hand reaching into a bookshelf. I see what you did there, HBO. Well done. On the Missandei front, this was a culmination for fans who have wanted to see her and Greyworm get together over the last few years. There was a great exchange between the two as he told her she was his only weakness before she stripped naked and they made sweet, sweet eunuch love.

Game of Thrones, TV Review, Fantasy, HBO, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harrington

In the final minutes of the episode, we see Ellaria Martell and Yara Greyjoy getting cozy and on the verge of some sweet loving when they are ambushed by Euron Greyjoy and the Iron Fleet. A massive battle ensues in which two of the Sand daughters are killed and Euron takes Yara captive. Euron challenges Theon to save his sister but we see a twinge in Theon's eye as he succumbs to the torturous conditioning by Ramsey Bolton and becomes Reek again. Instead of saving his sister, Theon jumps into the water amongst the wreckage of their destroyed ships as Euron sails away with his captives, giving Cersei the upper hand once more.

A damn good episode that offered quite a bit of development for a lot of the cast, this hour was not without some faults. First, there doesn't seem to be a lot for Arya to do right now but she also doesn't seem to be up on the latest news despite everyone else in Westeros knowing about Jon Snow winning the Battle of the Bastards. As much as I love Arya's revenge plan, she doesn't seem to be executing it very well. It was really brutal seeing Theon pussy out on his sister despite his triumphant return to form at the end of last season, but this gives him a chance to redeem himself once again. I love seeing the battle lines drawn between Cersei, Jon Snow, and Daenarys. It has taken a long time for this war to kick into gear and now that it has, I don't see any signs of it slowing down. I do wish they would balance the characters out more as we got no developments on Bran or event north of the Wall this week. Winter is here, people, we need to know where the Night King is!

SEX/NUDITY: Missandei and Greyworm finally get naked with one another. Nathalie Emmanuel does not disappoint.

VIOLENCE: The ambush by Euron to take down the armada of his niece and nephew was chock full of brutal killings and death including a couple of swords to the groins and the killing of both Obara and Nymeria Sand.

BEST SCENE: Seeing Theon revert to his conditioning as Reek in the face of his sister being taken captive by Euron was a gutpunch of a sequence and one that was brilliantly performed by Alfie Allen.



NEXT ON GAME OF THRONES: "The Queen's Justice" airs July 30th - Daenerys holds court. Cersei returns a gift. Jaime learns from his mistakes.

Source: JoBlo.com



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