Game of Thrones Season 7 Ep 2 Recap – Stormborn
“Stormborn” premiered on July 23, 2017 and is the second episode of the seventh season of Game of Thrones. Overall it is the sixty-second episode of the series. It was written by Bryan Cogman and directed by Mark Mylod.
FIRST IMPRESSION(S): The appeal of Game of Thrones is how an expansive world with people who live completely separate lives would magnetically gravitate toward one another because of a common goal or threat. Even those long separated eventually reunite due to the crossing of paths in order to obtain the ultimate prize – to see their King or Queen sit on the Iron Throne.
Stormborn is a classic storytelling example of how once isolated but now intertwining ideas and ambitions all begin to seep into the boiling pot of the “Great Game”. As Cersei now sits on the Iron Throne in the Great Hall of the Red Keep at King’s Landing, there is not a place in the [dt_tooltip title=”Seven Kingdoms of Westeros “]A single political entity that governs all the lands south of The Wall and holds fealty to The King of Andals and the First Men who sit on the Iron Throne in the city of Kings Landing.[/dt_tooltip] that her tentacles cannot reach.
She has firmly declared to the Seven Kingdoms that you are either for her or against her. Daenerys however, has other ideas.
[dt_divider style=”thin” /]
SCENE 1: The Conversation at Dragonstone
We join Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, and Varys in a dramatic opening sequence at Dragonstone during a crackling thunderstorm. As the lightning flashes bearing light upon the [dt_tooltip title=”The Chamber of the Painted Table”]The Chamber of the Painted Table is the main hall in the castle of Dragonstone. It is named after the table that dominates the room, carved in the shape of Westeros and engraved with its major cities and landmarks. The chamber is accessed through a passageway located just behind the right hand of Dragonstone’s throne.[/dt_tooltip] Tyrion speaks, “On a night like this you came into the world.” Varys remembers that storm well as Daenerys states she always thought this moment would be a homecoming but it doesn’t feel like it. What’s important to the story is that Tyrion reassures her they won’t stay at Dragonstone for long. Tyrion also counsels Daenerys to take the Seven Kingdoms strategically and not burn them down in the process saying, “You’re not here to be Queen of the Ashes” – a line that will stay in her memory.
Daenerys confronts Varys about his previous services to the father, the Mad King and King Robert Baratheon. Essentially she doesn’t trust the guy but Varys doesn’t back down and explains to her that incompetent rulers do not deserve blind loyalty (clearly stating that the Mad King was incompetent and King Robert was a tremendous improvement). She makes him promise if she ever fails the people that he won’t conspire behind her back and that he will look her right in her eyes and tell her how she’s failing the people. She swears to him if he betrays her she will burn him alive.
Daenerys is then visited by the Red Priestess Melisandre. Varys points out the ill-fated outcome of Melisandre’s previous service to Stannis Baratheon. Melisandre believes that Daenerys is The Prince That Was Promised – a prophesied savior in the religion of the Lord of Light. Daenerys obviously understands that she cannot be this “prince” but her advisor Missandei points out that the [dt_tooltip title=”High Valyrian”]The language of the old Valyrian Freehold which was located on the eastern continent of Essos. [/dt_tooltip] word for prince or princess is gender neutral. Melisandre tells them of the new King in the North, Jon Snow who has united the North and the Wildlings. Melisandre asks Daenerys to summon Jon, in which Tyrion explains that he knows Jon, trusts him, and explains that he would make a great ally. Daenerys orders a raven to be sent north to Jon saying, “His queen invites him to Dragonstone…and bend the knee.”
The last thing we see in this scene is a look of concern on Tyrion’s face.
SCENE 2: At Winterfell
Back at Winterfell we find Jon Snow reading the message sent by Tyrion accompanied by Sansa Stark and Davos Seaworth. Sansa believes it may not really be from Tyrion and that it may be a trap. Jon points out that it contains the phrase, “All dwarves are bastards in their father’s eyes.” – something Tyrion said to Jon the first day they met. Davos supports Jon accepting Daenerys’ invitation as they don’t have sufficient men or resources to fight off the White King’s army alone and that Daenerys and her fire breathing dragons will make great allies as Jon once told him that fire kills [dt_tooltip title=”Wights”]A reanimated corpse (human or animal) raised from death by the White Walkers to serve as their minions[/dt_tooltip].
SCENE 3: At King’s Landing
We join Queen Cersei sitting on the Iron Throne urging the nobles from the [dt_tooltip title=”Reach”] The second largest and also the most fertile part of Westeros, blessed with vast, blooming fields of crops and flowers, and numerous and well-populated villages and towns.[/dt_tooltip], Lord Randyll Tarly included, to swear loyalty to the Iron Throne warning that Daenerys’ and her Dothraki/Unsullied army hordes will lay waste to the realm as they know it. She explains that Daenerys is no different from her father the Mad King. Lord Tarly points out that Daenerys also has three powerful fully grown dragons. Maester Qyburn, now Hand of the Queen and known for his unethical practices conducting human experimentation, replies that he is working on a solution.
Afterward, Lord Tarly meets with Jaime Lannister and interestingly as Lord Tarly tells Jaime that he believes Jaime has already met his son, Jaime refers to him as what sounds like “Rickon” in which Lord Tarly’s son corrects him as his name is Dickon. Note: Rickon is the fifth son and youngest Stark who was killed in the [dt_tooltip title=”Battle of the Bastards”]A bloody battle in which Jon Snow and Sansa Stark retake Winterfell from Lord Ramsay Bolton, the Warden of the North, and restore House Stark as the ruling house of the North.[/dt_tooltip] in Season Six.
Lord Tarly admits his loyalty to Queen Cersei despite his lack of fondness for her. Jaime desires Lord Tarly to be his general but Tarly has sworn an oath to House Tyrell. Jaime persuasively tells Lord Tarly that ultimately he must make a choice to fight either with the Iron Throne and reap great rewards or with the lowly savages that serve Daenerys.
SCENE 4: At Oldtown
Back at the Citadel, we find Jorah Mormont, whose greyscale has spread to his torso being examined by Samwell Tarly and Archmaester Ebrose. Ebrose tells Jorah he should have cut off his lower arm before the infection could spread and now has festered to an incurable state. Ebrose tells him it could take ten or even twenty years before it kills him. Commoners in Jorah’s condition must be sent to live out life among the stone men. A knight like Mormont is given only one more day to stay and spend as he pleases. Sam offers to send word to his family at House Mormont in which Jorah replies, “There’s no need…I’ve been dead to them for years.”
SCENE 5: Beneath the Red Keep
Maester Qyburn brings Cersei down to the skulls of the dragon beneath the Red Keep. As they walk, Cersei remarks that King Robert kept the skulls of dragons as trophies. They approach the impressively massive skull of [dt_tooltip title=”Balerion the Black Dread”]Balerion, known as Balerion the Black Dread, was the dragon ridden by Aegon the Conqueror during the War of Conquest. He was so large it was said his shadow could swallow an entire town when Balerion took flight.[/dt_tooltip]This dragon belonged to [dt_tooltip title=”Aegon the Conqueror”]Aegon Targaryen, known as Aegon the Conqueror, was the founder and first king of the Targaryen dynasty when he conquered all of Westeros (with the exception of Dorne and the lands beyond the Wall) with three great dragons, Balerion, Vhagar and Meraxes. He was married to both of his sisters, Visenya and Rhaenys.[/dt_tooltip]. Qyburn tells how his flame forged the Iron Throne and brought the Seven Kingdoms to yield, powerful but not invincible. He tells her of a report in which one of Daenerys’ dragons was wounded by a spear at Meereen. The dragons apparently have a weak spot in which they can exploit. He unveils to her a ballista in which Cersei tests on the skull of Balerion. Cersei is pleased when the bolt pierces the top-center of the skull of the dragon.
SCENE 6: The Chamber of the Painted Table
Back at Dragonstone, Yara Greyjoy and Ellaria Sand advocate an immediate assault on King’s Landing. Daenerys repeats what Tyrion spoke to her in the very first scene saying, “I am not here to be the Queen of Ashes.” Daenerys explains that they do not plan to attack King’s Landing directly but will siege the surrounding areas cutting off food and supplies. Tyrion explains that the army used for this task will all be Westerosi, the Iron Fleet will ferry the Dornish army to the capital alongside the Tyrell army. The Unsullied will have the objective of taking [dt_tooltip title=”Casterly Rock”]The ancestral stronghold of House Lannister. A major goldmine is located under Casterly Rock. It is one of the most productive in the realm and provides House Lannister with their wealth.[/dt_tooltip], the seat of House Lannister’s power. The masterfully woven plan is agreed upon by all parties including Olenna Tyrell.
Daenerys requests to speak with Olenna in private. Daenerys tells Olenna she is aware that her motives are fueled more through revenge against Cersei than out of love or admiration for Daenerys. Daenerys insists she will usher in a new era of peace in which Olenna explains there will never be lasting peace under a Targaryen. Olenna comments on how Tyrion is a clever man and that Olenna has outlasted many of his kind by not taking their advice. In dramatic fashion Olenna tells Daenerys that the lords of Westeros are sheep but Daenerys is a dragon…be a dragon.
Much later we find Grey Worm in his private quarters when Missandei visits him wondering why he wasn’t going to say goodbye. In an intimate encounter Grey Worm confesses that Missandei is his weakness. He explains how the Good Masters of Astapor tortured the Unsullied by exposing them to their worst fears. He admits he was the most fearless warrior until he met her. Missandei tells him that he must face his fear and kisses him. She strips naked and undresses Grey Worm. As a [dt_tooltip title=”eunuch”]A practice in which a man who iscastrated, especially (in the past) to be employed to guard women’s living quarters or to be freed from the temptation and distraction of sexual desires.[/dt_tooltip] he is reluctant to remove his trousers but Missandei insists she must see him. He concedes to her wishes as the two have intercourse in his bed. Grey Worm apparently can still feel sexual desire despite his condition.
SCENE 7: Samwell Risks It All
Back at the Citadel in Oldtown an Archmaester tells Sam of various writers as he piles books into Sam’s arms. Sam has the idea to not give up on Jorah’s greyscale condition and tells the Archmaester of his findings through researching previous cases. A previous Maester, Pylos, successfully treated two advances cases of greyscale in which Ebrose responds that Pylos contracted the disease and died.
Later we find Jorah alone writing something in his quarters as Sam enters and tells Jorah he isn’t dying today. Sam reveals he once served under the late Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, Jorah’s father. Sam gives Jorah some rum to drink to numb what will be excruciating pain and strongly advises him to keep as quiet as possible or they are both done for.
Sam provides Jorah with a mouthguard to muffle his screams from the pain. Sam begins to remove Jorah’s infected greyscale with a scalpel and afterward applying an ointment. In an intense procedure, Jorah struggles to fight off his screams.
SCENE 8: The Inn at the Crossroads
Arya encounters her friend Hot Pie at the Inn at the Crossroads who offers her pie. Hot Pie explains he has become a pie-master before asking what happened to her. Arya does not reply. She pauses and asks for ale. He asks where she is headed to which she replies, “Kings Landing” in search of Cersei.
Hot Pie tells her of how Queen Cersei has blown up the Great Sept of Baelor and that he thought she’d be headed to Winterfell. Arya is under the belief that the Boltons have Winterfell but Hot Pie informs her that they are dead and it was reclaimed by her brother, Jon Snow, the new King of the North through the Battle of the Bastards.
She offers to pay in which Hot Pie says, “Friends don’t pay.” He compliments her on how pretty she is for someone he first thought to be a boy. Arya rides off on her horse into the frosty forest.
SCENE 9: A Raven from the Citadel
Back at Winterfell, Jon Snow receives a raven from Samwell Tarley informing him that Sam has found proof that Dragonstone sits on a mountain of Dragonglass. Jon reveals this to the Northern lords in the main hall room. He also reveals the invitation to Dragonstone that Tyrion has sent him in which he received in Scene 2. Jon tells the chamber he is going to accept because of their need to mine and weaponize the Dragonglass, in addition to their need for allies against the Night King’s army.
Jon plans to ride with Davos to White Harbor and sail to Dragonstone island. Sansa reminds Jon what happened to their grandfather as the Mad King invited him to his castle and then roasted him alive. Lords Yohn Royce and Robett Glover plead that a Targaryen cannot be trusted as Lady Lyanna Mormont urges Jon, her King in the North to stay in the North. Jon states he willing to accept the risk, making the fight against the White Walkers his highest priority. After taking much opposition on his decision he places Sansa in charge as ruler of the North in his absence. Sansa accepts with a nod.
Later we find Jon in the catacombs beneath Winterfell as he grieves before a statue of Ned Stark (Lord Eddard Stark), when Little Finger (Petyr Baelish) visits him. Little Finger tells Jon that he delivered Ned’s bones himself. He also ensures Jon that Tyrion can be trusted. Little Finger goes on to confess that he loved Jon’s step-mother Catelyn Stark. This is when Jon turns to Little Finger slowly and tells him Little Finger does not belong down there. He sternly states he has nothing to say to him in which Little Finger replies, “Not even thank you?” for his assistance in the Battle of Bastards. Where Little Finger really sets off Jon is when he confesses that he also loves his half-sister Sansa in addition to his mother Catelyn. Jon swiftly grabs Little Finger by the neck warning him to stay away from his sister or he will kill him.
Jon, Davos, and several horsemen are shown riding off south to White Harbor while Sansa watches from a nearby battlement. Before he leaves, Jon gives Sansa one last farewell look before he rides off. Little Finger, yet again and as creepy as ever, emerges through a nearby shadowy walkway with eyes fixated upon Sansa.
SCENE 10: Hungry Like the Wolf
We find Arya who has set up camp in the forest as her horse becomes startled by a pack of wolves. She grabs her sword before the wolves surround her. The wolves are silenced by her pack leader who is her direwolf Nymeria. Although it takes a few moments, eventually Nymeria recognizes Arya. Arya tells Nymeria she is going home and urges Nymeria to come with her but Nymeria promptly leaves with the pack. Enough time has passed in which now Nymeria is no longer connected with Arya. Arya sadly remarks, “It’s not you”. There also lies the possibility that Arya has become no one through her training with Jaqen H’ghar and the Faceless Men of Braavos.
SCENE 11: Battle in the Narrow Sea
In the [dt_tooltip title=”Narrow Sea”]The sea that lies to the east of Westeros. It separates Westeros from the larger continent of Essos to the east.[/dt_tooltip], we find Princess Yara Greyjoy and Prince Theon Greyjoy aboard their ship among the Iron Fleet. They are accompanying their allies from Dorne, Ellaria Sand and her daughters Obara, Tyene, and Nymeria Sand. As they drink Ironborn liquor the [dt_tooltip title=”Sand Snakes”]The Sand Snakes are the eight bastard daughters of Prince Oberyn Martell. Although noble-born bastards are often ignored by their parents, Oberyn has acknowledged and looked after all his daughters and has loving relationships with each of them.[/dt_tooltip] drunkenly argue about which Lannister they will get to kill and by which method they will execute him or her.
Meanwhile, Ellaria compares the Ironborn liquor to piss and promises Yara she will treat her to Dornish red wine when they reach [dt_tooltip title=” Sunspear”]Sunspear is the seat of House Martell and the capital of Dorne, southernmost of the Seven Kingdoms, located in the far southeast of the continent on the Summer Sea[/dt_tooltip]. Ellaria asks Theon for more liquor obviously aware that he is man once broken and still yet to recover. Yara tells Ellaria that Theon is not her servant in which Theon replies that it’s okay. Yara tells Ellaria that she will be Queen of the Iron Islands once she kills her uncle Euron and that Theon will serve as her adviser and protector. Ellaria questions this by making sexual advances to Yara. Thoroughly emasculated, Theon does nothing and begins to walk away when suddenly their ship is struck.
Their fleet is under attack by Euron Greyjoy, the current Lord Reaper of Pyke, and his portion of the Iron Fleet. Euron’s ship rams them and extends a boarding ramp onto their deck allowing his men to bring the onslaught. Yara and her crew fight fiercely but are eventually overwhelmed by the brute force of Euron and his men.
Giant fireballs assault Yara’s fleet setting them all ablaze. Tyene Sand heads below deck to protect her mother Ellaria, while Obara and Nymeria continue the fight above against Euron and his Ironborn men.
Euron impales Obara with his spear thus killing her. Nymeria seeing this enters a state of rage and ferociously attacks Euron with her whip but he grabs the whip, reels her in, and strangles her to death. Ellaria and Tyene are captured by Euron’s men. Ellaria requests to be killed in which Euron’s men deny such a request.
Alas, Euron has his gift for Cersei which is Elaria, the woman responsible for the death of Myrcella Baratheon (daughter of Cersei and Jaime) in Season 5. Myrcella was poisoned by Ellaria with a kiss of death in revenge for the Lannister family’s invovlement in Oberyn Martell‘s death. Myrcella was in Dorne in an attempt to forge a marriage-alliance with House Martell by marrying her to Trystane Martell.
Yara and Euron are now engaged in battle but Euron overpowers her efforts and captures her with his axe to her throat gaining Theon’s attention. As Theon sees this he is goaded by Euron to come to his sister’s aid. Previously Theon had been fighting quite courageously but then as Theon looks around to see Euron’s men slitting the throats of their wounded crewmen something odd happens to him.
Theon’s newfound courage seems to regress and he cowardly jumps overboard as Euron laughs in triumph. Theon clings to some driftwood as he watches Obara’s body impaled to and Nymeria’s body hanging by the bow of the ship. Euron’s fleet sails off into the night as Yara’s fleet burns into the Narrow Sea.