Monday, August 28, 2017

Game of Thrones - The Dragon and the Wolf

Two queens, a dead man, and a dwarf walk into an arena. It's the custom of Game of Thrones to offer a huge battle in the penultimate episode of each season while leaving the season finale to pick up the pieces, tie off various loose ends, and set the stage for the next year. "The Dragon and the Wolf" does all these things as it brings Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Cersei (Lena Headey) face-to-face for the first time. While the possibility of a truce doesn't interest the Queen of Westeros, the proof of what is coming for them all beyond the wall can't be denied. Daenerys' show of strength also isn't lost on Cersei. Letting herself be talked into a truce by the one man she hates more than any other in the world, Cersei gives Daenerys what she was hoping for... except she has no plans to actually fulfill her promise to help protect the seven kingdoms against the army of the dead. So much for a Lannister always paying their debts.

There are some strong moments here in Cersei sitting down with Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), playing him the entire time, Sam (John Bradley) making his way to Winterfell and learning the truth about Jon Snow's (Kit Harington) parentage, Theon (Alfie Allen) finally getting his hero moment, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) disobeying his queen and honoring his word, and the wall tumbling down under the attack of an undead dragon. Winter is here. Can two Targaryens stop the coming storm on their own without the support of the south (especially after their relationship is faced with the harsh truth of Jon's rightful claim to the throne Daenerys has been obsessed with her entire life)?

Not to be forgotten are the events in Winterfell far away from the events down south or those north of the wall. The episode offers a twist on Littlefinger's (Aidan Gillen) attempts to drive a wedge between Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Arya (Maisie Williams) as he finds himself on trial answering for the crimes of murder and treason against the Stark family. The character is given a fitting end and, if only for a brief moment, the show actually made me like Sansa Stark (although not as much as her sister).

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