Every since the finale of season one of Game of Thrones, when three little tiny dragon babies popped up on Danerys’ shoulder, they’ve been part of the show. We’ve got to see them in action, burning up some slavers or rescuing their mother from an arena filled with assassins, but we’ve never got to see them in action like we did tonight, and that was just one of them. It was a stunning display of unbelievable destruction and it was absolutely amazing. Can we get a whole lot more of that please? Like so many episodes this season, this one spent the first 45 minutes devoted to following our pawns around the chess board, and the last quarter devoted to one seriously awesome battle scene. So far the hellscape unleashed by Dany is the coolest sequence we’ve been treated to yet this season. Let’s get to the winners and losers.
Dragons: Did you see what this dude can do? Sure, we learned that Qyburn’s The Walking Dead-branded crossbow could hurt one of the fire breathers, but watching him burn a whole line of carts with the world’s most deadly halitosis was one of the greatest pleasures the show has given us yet.
Daenerys Targaryen: It was a decisive victory over Cersei’s army thanks to some fire and a style of fighting that the Westerosi were not ready for at all. The Dothraki are shooting arrows standing up on their horses (that is a warrior pose that would make any yoga instructor say Namaste) and the Lannister army is standing there holding shields waiting to get murdered. And their formation is nothing when a dragon can slice through it like a flaming hot knife through butter. She also got the expert advice of Jon Snow not to burn the Red Keep and be the kind of deadly monarch that all of the people are used to. He needs her to keep inspiring people. But all of these wins are making her a little blood hungry. Is there some of the Mad King in her after all?
Arya Stark: Sure, Jay and Silent Bob standing at the gate at Winterfell had no idea who she was, but once Sansa laid eyes on her in the crypt (why does everything important in Winterfell happen amid the old bones of the dead?) she was warmly welcomed back. Then she got a Valeryan steel dagger, which is sure to help out in the war to come. But, best of all, she finally got a sparring partner who is her equal when she took advantage of Brienne of Tarth’s oath to serve her and enlisted her in the world’s deadliest game of Tae Bo. Are these two going to fall in love and get married? Quite possibly.
Bronn: Things did not go well for him and Jaime in the battle. His horse lost a leg and he lost all of his gold, but he did manage to strike a blow against one of the dragons, proving that Qyburn’s machine works. It was also probably him that jumped up and saved Jaime Lannister from getting his ass melted while rushing Dany in the final moments. If Bronn manages to survive (and he always does) and he manages to help the Lannister’s win, he’s going to be set for life.
Petyr Baelish: Sansa knows that the reason Littlefinger gave Bran the Catspaw blade, the Valeryan steel dagger that an assassin tried to kill him with wasn’t out of his own generosity. Something is afoot, but she has no idea what it is yet. Maybe it has something to do with the enigmatic phrase “Chaos is a ladder,” Bran said to him when he was offered the weapon. That no one has figured out his plan yet means he’s in the lead and everyone else is in for a nasty surprise.
The Iron Bank of Braavos: The grain that Cersei wanted from Highgarden didn’t make it back to King’s Landing, but all of their gold did. The Lannisters did what they always do and repaid their debts, and in such spectacular fashion that the bank is happy to invest once again in Cersei’s leadership. What would Elizabeth Warren think of these predatory lending practices. Too bad she’s already talking to the Golden City of Essos about possible funding, and all of those lucrative interest payments.
Brooches: No matter what else happens, the brooch game this season is incredibly strong, whether it’s Tyrion’s hand of the king, Missandei’s new three-headed dragon, or whatever it is that goth teen Sansa is wearing around her neck. (OK, maybe that’s not a brooch.) But this week the award goes to Dany, who was sporting a three-headed silver dragon of her own with a chain connected to it to keep her cape in place. It reminded me of the nose ring/earring combo Jane Child used to rock in the ‘80s.
Jaime Lannister: He got his ass handed to him at the Battle of Something That Looks Like a Leftover Set from Westworld That HBO Wanted to Reuse to Save Money. He managed to pull off getting the gold back to the palace to pay their debts, but now his army is in tatters, his allegiance with the Tarley’s is being tested, and he was a “fucking idiot” as his brother Tyrion called him and tried to kill Dany with a spear while she was standing next to a dragon. Now he may sink to the bottom of a lake (one of the problems with having a golden hand) and die. We’ll have to wait to next week to see his fate, but I’d bet you seven silver brooches he makes it out of this alive.
Tyrion Lannister: His allegiance had the first big “w” of the year, but Dany blames him for losing Dorne, the Iron Islands, and High Garden. Then, when he was watching what used to be his family’s troops burn under the queen he fought for, he seemed to be having second thoughts. He didn’t do anything to help his brother Jaime, but it was clear that he was rooting for him to survive. Could the queen’s littlest big fan be on his way out?
The Stark Children: The ones that have survived are safe and reunited, but this is like the world’s saddest cast of the Three Stooges. They need to get on Cersei Care so that they can all get some free psychiatric counseling. Bran might be the Three-Eyed Raven, but someone clearly gave him his vaccinations, because he is clearly somewhere on the autism spectrum now that he spent a few years on LSD under a tree in the Arctic. Arya came back and finally has the fighting skills that she wanted back in season one, but she’s a ruthless killer who can mask her emotions just like she can wear the masks of other people. When she was springing up from the ground in her fight against Brienne, she looked just like the evil nameless intern that she fought against for so long.
Sansa may seem like she’s the best adjusted, but I think she’s the actual problem child here. Bran and Arya have both returned with superpowers from their journey and Sansa is clearly angry and jealous, at least that’s how she seemed when she stormed off after Arya and Brienne’s first match in the UFC Winterfell division. What Sansa doesn’t realize is she has powers of her own, thanks to her political education from people like Cersei and Littlefinger. Either she doesn’t know she has them or is too insecure to really harness them. Whatever the case, it seems like she’s about to do something really stupid really soon.
Jon Snow: This guy still knows nothing and hasn’t been able to convince Dany that the threat of the Night King is real and get her on his side. She’s convinced he needs to pledge his fealty and he’s convinced that he needs to continue brooding around her island like he’s in the world’s most expensive emo video. At least he has some cave drawings to stare at now.
Meera Reed: Bran, the kid who she dragged through the wilderness on a rickety toboggan, can’t get any more than a thank you out of him after she watched all of their friends and her brother die so that he could become the world’s worst autistic hippie. That’s a fine how-do-you-do.
Dickon Tarley: Need I say more?
Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke’s Style Is More Fairytale Princess Than Mother of Dragons
Emilia Clarke arrives at the 12th Annual AFI Awards held at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 13, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.
Emilia Clarke attends the Closing Ceremony and The Golden Nymph Awards at the Grimaldi Forum on June 10, 2011 in Monaco, Monaco.
Emilia Clarke arrives at Entertainment Weekly’s Comic-Con celebration at Float at Hard Rock Hotel San Diego on July 14, 2012 in San Diego, California.
Emilia Clarke attends the BAFTA Los Angeles TV Tea 2012 Presented By BBC America at The London Hotel on September 22, 2012 in West Hollywood, California.
Emilia Clarke arrives at the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
Emilia Clarke arrives at the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on January 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
Emilia Clarke attends the Altuzarra fall 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Skylight Studio on February 9, 2013 in New York City.
Emilia Clarke attends the 2013 Actors Fund Gala at the Marriott Marquis Hotel on April 29, 2013 in New York City.
Emilia Clarke attends the Costume Institute Gala for the “PUNK: Chaos to Couture” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2013 in New York City.
Emilia Clarke arrives to HBO’s “Game Of Thrones” Los Angeles Premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre on March 18, 2013 in Hollywood, California.
Emilia Clarke arrives at the “Dom Hemingway” Premiere during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 8, 2013 in Toronto, Canada.
Emilia Clarke arrives at Louis Vuitton “Series 2” The Exhibition on February 5, 2015 in Hollywood, California.
Emilia Clarke attends the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.
Emilia Clarke attends HBO’s “Game of Thrones” Season 5 Premiere and After Party at the San Francisco Opera House on March 23, 2015 in San Francisco, California.
Emilia Clarke attends the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
Emilia Clarke arrives at the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on January 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
Emilia Clarke attends the Chanel and Charles Finch Pre-Oscar Dinner at Madeo Restaurant on March 1, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
Emilia Clarke attends the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.
Emilia Clarke attends the “Game Of Thrones” Season 4 New York premiere at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center on March 18, 2014 in New York City.
Emilia Clarke attends premiere of Paramount Pictures’ “Terminator Genisys” at Dolby Theatre on June 28, 2015 in Hollywood, California.
Emilia Clarke attends the GQ Men of the Year Awards at The Royal Opera House on September 8, 2015 in London, England.
Emilia Clarke attends the European Premiere of ‘Terminator: Genisys’ at the CineStar Sony Center on June 21, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.
Emilia Clarke attends HBO’s post 2016 Golden Globe Awards party at Circa 55 Restaurant on January 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Emilia Clarke attends the Lancome BAFTA nominees party at Kensington Palace on February 13, 2016 in London, England.
Emilia Clarke attends the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.
Emilia Clarke arrives at the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.
Emilia Clarke attends the The 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 30, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Emilia Clarke attends “Me Before You” World Premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on May 23, 2016 in New York City.
Emilia Clarke attends the European film premiere “Me Before You” at The Curzon Mayfair on May 25, 2016 in London, England.
Emilia Clarke arrives at the premiere of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 6 at the TCL Chinese Theatre on April 10, 2016 in Hollywood, California.
Kit Harington auditioned for Game of Thrones with a black eye: