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Episode 4 - The Spoils of War

17 August 2017

I absolutely loved this until the final couple of minutes.

I had goosebumps twice during this episode. First, obviously, with the reunion of Arya and Sansa. I loved the way that was constructed. Initially I was disappointed that their hug wasn't more expressive. But then they stood back and acknowledged each other as women for the first time. They've both grown so much since they were last together and their mature conversation felt like them both shedding the childhood bickering that characterised their past relationship. Once that was over they embraced again and I applauded.

Everything at Winterfell was excellent. Bran's transformation becomes clearer and it seems likely that he will instigate the end of Little Finger's career. It was nice to see Brienne fulfil her promise and for Arya to demonstrate that she has become the warrior she told her father she wanted to be.

Over at Dragonstone I really enjoyed all the Dany-Jon stuff. After all the suffering we've been threw I'll take all the candlelit cave schmaltz I can get. The idea of the cave painting was good and I really liked Jon standing up for a change to the status quo of misery. My second set of goosebumps came in seeing Jon and Theon reunited. Not nearly so emotional of course but by now I am highly responsive to reunions of those who last saw each other in Season One.

The Lannister-Dothraki battle was wonderful. It was as spectacular looking as anything we're likely to see on television. And there was genuine emotion as Tyrion watched his brother face down impossible odds.

I have a slight issue with Bronn deciding to face down a dragon. It seems like it would be more in-character for him to run. Particularly after seeing half his army fleeing or on fire. But I'll let it go because it created tremendous tension over whether Jaime or Dany was about to suffer some serious consequences. And that inevitably brings me to my disappointment with the cliff-hanger ending. Before you post your hate-comments, I'm not saying this ruined everything. It's just that I'm in this game for emotional payoff. I don't want Jaime to end up as a pile of ash (and what a beautiful/horrific image that was) but if he's going to charge down Drogon then I think he should. If he is Dany's prisoner next episode that will make up for it a little. But if he manages to swim out of this one it will feel like a cop out.

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  • @Tor I did go easy on the cave paintings. I liked the idea of them but I didn't like that the White Walkers had their eyes coloured in. As you say they looked far too intricate and well preserved.

    Posted by The TV Critic, 17/08/2017 3:54pm (3 months ago)

  • Hi

    I mostly agree with you, especially with Arya coming home to Winterfell.

    As regards the cave painting scene, though, I disagree. It was terribly convenient how these paintings happened to be in a cave on the same island, clear and legible as if painted last week, organized sequentially for clarity and with no distracting motifs apart from the exact message Jon needed to convey. I found it wholly incredible and constructed and didn't like it at all.

    Viewer score: 85 / 100

    Posted by Tor, 17/08/2017 11:55am (3 months ago)

  • Well done! I just jumped on board in season 6. I think that Jamie will get captured... and I think that was very heroic of him, although foolish.

    How did you like the horsemanship?

    Viewer score: 98 / 100

    Posted by Brian Becsi, 09/08/2017 11:03am (3 months ago)

  • @Drift I didn't mind Dany knowing where the Lannisters were because presumably Greyworm's intel tipped them off and there are only so many main roads that troops would be travelling down. And tho we didn't see this presumably Dany could have done some dragon reconnaissance. I am more bothered about the Dothraki both landing and travelling in-land at that pace and no warning reaching Jaime. But they made a point of saying that his line had stretched out to get the gold back to KL as quickly as possible etc. So I let it go. But the teleportation is an issue and as usual the producers think surprise is the key to drama.

    Posted by The TV Critic, 09/08/2017 3:31am (3 months ago)

  • I agree with almost everything you have written down here. Excellent episode!

    I believe that it made sense for Bronn to fight. Jaime trusted him todo something, and it would be out of character for Bronn to just leave without him. Judging by the look that Bronn gave Jaime before going to the crossbow it would seem that he initially wanted to leave but ended up staying against his judgement.

    I agree about the ending. It took a little away from this episode and left me a little annoyed since everything was going so well for so long but the final like 10 seconds couldn't end the episode on a high note. It was a cool visual though.

    Viewer score: 77 / 100

    Posted by Aaronic, 08/08/2017 2:17pm (4 months ago)

  • I'm very surprised you didn't rate it very low because Dany suddenly teleported to Jaime and knew where they were. You seem to be very anal about that kind of stuff, like with Littlefinger showing up at Botb and Euron finding Yara's fleet in episode 2. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Posted by Drift, 08/08/2017 12:15am (4 months ago)

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