Daenerys Targaryen officially enters the war in this episode of Game of Thrones
, titled "The Spoils of War." We've seen the dragons in action before, but this time we see what Drogon's really capable of. And the battle is absolutely brutal.
Daenerys had been struggling over whether using a lot of force would make her a bad queen or not throughout this season of Game of Thrones. But she finally decides to take things into her own hands when she, Drogon and the Dothraki take on Jaime, Bronn and the Lannister army. It's one of the craziest, flame-filled battles we've seen. It leaves Jaime's fate terrifyingly uncertain and may put Daenerys at odds with Tyrion.
The Lannisters Always Pay Their Debts
Jaime and the Lannister army begin marching back with the Tyrells' gold. Jaime's naturally upset after he learned that Olenna killed Joffrey, and Bronn keeps asking about it and provoking him. Jaime gives him some gold, but he wants more gold and the castle he was promised. But the gold's going to the Iron Bank because the Lannisters pay their debts (just not to Bronn). Jaime promises that Bronn will be paid back later.
And, thanks to Jaime, Cersei promises she can repay her debts to the Iron Bank, and Tycho Nestoris says she can count on the Iron Bank in the war once the gold actually arrives. But is she counting her chickens before they hatch?
The Stark Reunion We've Been Waiting For
Meanwhile, in Winterfell, Petyr tries and fails to manipulate Bran. He gives Bran the Valyrian steel dagger that was meant to kill him. He couldn't stop the dagger from killing Catelyn, but now he's here to protect her children. He knows that the dagger changed the course of Bran's life. Bran's been through a lot, and now he's come back to so much chaos. "Chaos is a ladder," Bran quotes Petyr, which really freaks him out. He also tells Petyr that he's not Lord Stark.
Meera, meanwhile, has decided to leave because she needs to be with her family now that things are getting crazy. Plus, Bran doesn't need her anymore. Again, Bran's very unemotional about everything. And she does not take his easy dismissal well. Her brother died for him, and she almost died for him. "Bran," she begs. "I'm not really, not anymore," he says. He remembers being Bran, but Bran died in the cave. He's the Three-Eyed Raven now.
But that doesn't really matter right now because, finally, after waiting forever, Arya makes it back home to Winterfell. And we get yet another Stark reunion! The problem? Some guards don't believe she's who she says she is. They think Arya's dead. She asks for Jon Snow, but he's gone. So Arya finds out that Sansa's in charge, but they still won't let her in. Ultimately, she threatens them, and they let her in. Arya sees her home again for the first time. It's pretty powerful.
Arya sneaks off while the guards argue over who's going to tell Sansa about the crazy girl pretending to be Arya Stark. Then they have to tell her that the girl ran off, but Sansa believes she really is Arya and goes to find her in the crypts.
They both see how much the other has changed. Arya even tells Sansa about her kill list, and Sansa just laughs at her. They both admit that they have had bad paths up until this point, but their stories aren't over yet. Then Sansa tells Arya that Bran's home too, but things don't look hopeful.
Sansa takes Arya to see Bran. And like Sansa, she tries to be warm, but Bran's weird again. He tells her he saw her "at the crossroads" and thought she'd go to King's Landing to cross Cersei off her list. Then Bran shows them the dagger that Littlefinger gave him. Littlefinger had to have given it to him for a reason, but he doesn't want it, so he gives it to Arya. When they all head back in, Brienne, Podrick and Petyr all see that the Starks have been reunited. The thing is, they've all changed so much and have been through so much that this reunion feels bittersweet. Have they all been damaged beyond repair?
Later, Arya finds Brienne and Podrick training and asks to train with Brienne since Brienne beat the Hound. Sansa and Petyr watch as Arya proves just how skilled she's become. When asked who taught her, Arya simply says, "No one." And Sansa and Petyr both look pretty uncomfortable with her skills.
Will Jon Snow Bend the Knee?
Missandei is getting worried about Greyworm and the Unsullied, but Daenerys assures her that they'll be back. Before they can talk about Missandei and Greyworm's relationship, though, Jon Snow calls them over and shows them the Dragonglass he found.
But he found something else too. The Children of the Forest made a bunch of drawings in the walls a long time ago. They drew themselves and the men working together to fight against their common enemy: the White Walkers. Jon and Daenerys need to do the same thing if they're ever going to survive.
Now Daenerys has proof that the White Walkers are real, and Jon can't defeat them without her armies and dragons. In the end, Daenerys promises to fight for the North when Jon bends the knee. He says his people won't accept a Southern ruler, but she says they trust Jon and they'll trust her if he does. It's the same debate again and again. Can he set aside his pride to do what's best for his people?
When they leave the cave, they see a somber Tyrion and Varys. They took Casterly Rock, but they lost the Tyrells. Daenerys is pissed that she's lost all her allies, and she blames Tyrion and his war strategy. She accuses Tyrion of helping his family. Now she wants to ride her dragons to the Red Keep. Tyrion says not to, so Daenerys asks Jon what to do. He tells her that bringing the dragons back gave people hope that she could make the impossible happen. If she uses them for destruction, she'll prove that she's just more of the same.
Later, Ser Davos asks Jon what he thinks of Daenerys. She has a good heart and he's pretty attracted to her, but he has too much work to do with the Night King coming. They meet up with Missandei, who says they don't have marriages or bastards in her home. She talks about her slavery and how Daenerys freed her. She serves Daenerys now because she believes in her and she could leave whenever she wants. Daenerys is the queen they chose. "Would you forgive me if I switched sides?" Davos asks Jon. It looks like they are warming up to Daenerys.
Just then, the Greyjoy ship with Theon arrives back at Dragonstone. And let's just say Jon's not too happy to see him. Theon saved Sansa, so Jon won't kill him, but that's it. Theon wants to ask Daenerys for help getting Yara back, but she's gone.
Daenerys Joins the War
Jaime and his men are recuperating after the battle at Highgarden when they hear a rumbling noise. They all prepare for battle when the Dothraki show up. But it's not just the Dothraki. That's right -- Daenerys has taken Drogon and gone looking for the Lannister army.
And she ruthlessly sets them ablaze. Jaime's archers are no match for a dragon, and the fight is absolutely brutal. Tyrion ends up pretty conflicted as he watches his brother fight in the slaughter.
Bronn even loses his gold in the battle, but he makes it to Cersei's dragon-killing weapon. He misses the first time, but he gets Drogon the second time just as he's about to incinerate Bronn. Drogon destroys the weapon, but it's too late.
In a unbearably suspenseful moment, Jaime goes to attack Daenerys as she's pulling the arrow out of Drogon. It's hard to know who to root for!
And Tyrion watches the whole time, praying that his brother makes it. With Tyrion watching the battle horrified, and hoping that both Jaime and Daenerys will survive, it looks like his loyalty will be seriously tested.
Luckily, Bronn pushes Jaime just as Drogon's about to open fire. But Jaime ends up falling into the water and being pulled towards the bottom because of his armor and golden hand. Now the question is: will he survive? What a cliffhanger!
Will Jon bend the knee to Daenerys? Will Tyrion continue to side with Daenerys? Have the Stark kids changed too much for them to truly have a happy reunion? And did Jaime just die? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.