‘The Spoils of War’ was the title of this episode of Game of Thrones and, despite this episode unfortunately being leaked early, I avoided spoilers and resisted the temptation to watch it early. I must admit, this was very tough to do, especially as I have been waiting for what seems like an age to watch this next episode in what has been an incredible seventh season of Game of Thrones. For me, ‘The Queen’s Justice’ ranks amongst the best episodes of this TV show and I could not wait to see what would develop in ‘The Spoils of War’.
My Thoughts on Season 7 Episode 4 of Game of Thrones
Obviously, the only thing that anyone would and should be talking about after this episode of Game of Thrones was the final 20 minutes. What an incredible way to end ‘The Spoils of War’. We see Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), the Dothraki and Drogon completely lay waste to the Lannister Army. In turn, Daenerys has finally gained a meaningful victory against Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey). While this battle helped to push the story forward, the technical qualities of this battle were the real highlight.
Game of Thrones has made a habit of giving us brilliant battle sequences. Whether it was The Battle of the Bastards or Hardhome, this television series has always pushed boundaries and the battle in ‘The Spoils of War’ is no different. For me, the cinematography was absolutely superb. Some of the shots in this battle were breath-taking and seeing Drogon obliterate the Lannister Army and turn soldiers to ash was awesome to experience but there were other highlights.
Indeed, the scene of Bronn (Jerome Flynn) in what was effectively No Man’s Land was impressive from a film-making perspective. This was because it was filmed in one take which was similar to what we saw with Jon Snow (Kit Harington) in ‘Battle of the Bastards’ in Season 6. Plus, this scene was elevated since it is great to see Bronn at any time as he is one of the best secondary characters in Game of Thrones.
Additionally, seeing the charge of the Dothraki from their viewpoint was a cool moment and I give a lot of credit to director Matt Shakman in crafting what, in my eyes, was a cinematic triumph. Moreover, it ended the episode on a cliff-hanger. While I believe they are alive, the fate of Bronn and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) was uncertain after they just escaped a horrible fate at the hands of a wounded Drogon. I expect that they have survived and will be Daenerys’ prisoners of war which could make for some interesting character developments in the future.
While the final 20 minutes of ‘The Spoils of War’ completely overshadowed everything else that happened in this episode of Game of Thrones, there are many things that we must discuss. Firstly, we must talk about how Daenerys is continuing her stubborn ways. She is still insisting that Jon should “bend the knee” and, to be honest, I am finding it more and more insufferable. Her proclamation that Jon needs to rethink his prideful stance is completely hypocritical.
Granted, they are both stubborn but I find Jon’s intentions to be much purer because he is trying to save humanity whereas Daenerys just wants to conquer Westeros. Daenerys is going down a dangerous path and I feel as though the only one who will be able to guide her back on track and remind her of her own pure intentions will be Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen). I am anticipating a very emotional reunion between these two characters very soon and I hope it will have a positive impact on Daenerys and her relationships with those around her.
While that reunion is to come, ‘The Spoils of War’ gave us another Stark reunion. Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) were reunited and it is the first time that we have seen these two characters together since Season 1 of Game of Thrones. I was very pleased with how this episode handled their reunion which itself was reserved and respectful rather than emotional. We must remember that Arya and Sansa did not have the best relationship growing up. However, they have gone through so much that any animosity that was prevalent in the past has seemingly gone.
Arya was also involved in one of the best scenes in this episode of Game of Thrones. Her sparring with Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) was such a cool moment as it reinforced how deadly Arya potentially is and showed Sansa that Arya is not a little girl anymore. Plus, her reference that “No-one” taught her how to fight was a brilliant call-back. Jon and Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) were also reunited but this was much more tense and cold than Arya’s and Sansa’s reunion although Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) did his best to inject some soullessness.
Honestly, Bran has become heartless. His demeanour, his blank expression and the way he just disregarded Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick) was so surprising to see. After everything she has done for him, for Bran to just give an emotionless “thank you” shows how his role as the Three-Eyed Raven has sucked all the humanity out of Bran. Still, the way he completely shocked Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) by saying “Chaos is a ladder” was brilliant. Littlefinger is not someone who is caught off guard but he was stunned when Bran said this.
Littlefinger said “Chaos is a ladder” to Varys (Conleth Hill) in Season 3 of Game of Thrones and Bran should not know about that. If Bran knows this through his powers as the Three-Eyed Raven, he must know everything that Littlefinger has done which could be a fascinating story element going forward. The conversation that Jon and Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) had with Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) could also be relevant in future episodes, especially if it could lead to tension with Daenerys.
Once again, ‘The Spoils of War’ continued the trend that Season 7 of Game of Thrones has established. This is in regard to giving us spectacular moments while not sacrificing meaningful character development in the process. We only have three more episodes to go in what has been a terrific season of television. I am certain that there are more twists and turns to come, especially when it comes to the White Walkers.