Last time, everyone was pretty bummed out by the death of certain characters, the living of other characters, the way Daenerys didn't see those dragon-killing boats even though she was flying on effing dragons and how Jon emmer-effing Snow refused to pet his fucking dog like some kind of heartless monster! Tormund took off, as did Jamie; Jon told his sisters about Dany and him. Or did he? He tried to pass the buck to Bran, who stared emotionlessly like a dick.
Elsewhere, Uncle Greyjoy killed anyone and anything he could get his hands on, Cersei smiled that smug asshole smile and Tyrion and Varys got more than a little creeped out by Dany and Snow's relationship and brainstormed about who else could take over the Chair o' Swords and rule all the land. Got it? Good—It's Game of Thrones for Noobs!
Varys writes a letter to God-knows-who when a rap, rap rap befalls his chamber door. It's someone's stupid kid (we know it can't be Varys' right?), and this kid is concerned that she's being watched. Never one to coddle children, Varys is like, "You got that straight, Martha!" She is not soothed, but he doesn't give a fuck.
Outside, on the windswept bluffs and beaches of Dragonopolis, he joins his good pal Snow while Tyrion watches from a distance. Seems Varys is trying to sway Snow from Team Daenerys, but he's got boner madness or something despite his complete lack of chemistry with the blonde queen. Varys just wants things to be cool for the future, Snow just wants to get down, but never ever on the throne. Varys reads to Snow from his resume before telling him what a great president he'd be, Snow doesn't give a fuck. No one does. Tyrion scowls from a nearby hill thinking about how he better go say what's up to Dany.
She stands in the dark next to her carvings of horrifying dragon skulls. She's pretty sure she was betrayed, she's pretty sure it was Varys and Jon, but not even Tyrion is safe from her accusatory eyes. Oh sure, Tyrion tries to play if off with some line about how he needs to know her deal, but she's pissed. She trashes on Sansa, riffs on the idea of trust and secrets and their intersections, she gives our good buddy Tyrion the terror-eyes. "You're all pretty wack," she concludes.
Back in his room, Tyrion continues his letter:
How are you? I am good. Are you having a cool winter? One of the things I like about it is how the ice zombies are dead. See you in chemistry after break!
Good thing he wrapped it up, too, because Dany's soldiers pull him out to the beach to face some kind of music or another. Dany, Snow and Tyrion are all there looking super-serious, and Varys learns that he's probably gonna die in, like, two seconds. It's death by dragon-breath, Dany's favorite way to slay fools. In leans the dragon, who'd been hiding in the darkness, and he torches Varys' ass just like he torched the asses of pretty much anyone else who Dany feels wronged her. Jeeeeeeeeze.
Afterwards, in her chambers, Snow shows up, looking as sullen and pouty as ever, and he has to prove for the billionth time that he doesn't want the fucking Chair o' Swords. Dany delves deep into self-pity and Snow tries to chill her out with declarations of love and fealty, Dany gives him a one-way ticket to Fuck City. It is not hot and they both know it, but here's the thing with that—Daenerys is really into setting people on fire, so Snow better be cool.
Later, in the room of the Stone Throne, Tyrion tries to talk sense into Dany, but she's laying down platitudes about mercy. Strong words from someone who burned a dude alive 20 minutes earlier, and Tyrion reminds her that Westeros surrenders by ringing bells and opening gates and gets an agreement that if those things happen, Dany'll chill it down with the people burning. And just as Tyrion's about to leave, she's all like, "Hey, man, we found Jamie trying to reach Cersei, this is your fault somehow, you'll be burned alive if you fuck it up again." Yeesh.
Meanwhile, Arya and Clegane show up with smug declarations. "I'm Arya, and I am here to fuck shit up!" she says to some guard. Is this in King's Landing? Where are they? This is wack. And confusing.
Anyway, it's back to Tyrion who's trying to see his brother so he can ask him what his goddamn problem is. He lectures Jamie on being more careful, Jamie lectures him right back about how Cersei is cool and stuff. Turns out Jamie was being fake-nice a couple weeks back so he could take it to the limit with Brienne? Either way, he tries to rationalize Cersei's shitty actions for the past bunch of years while Tyrion makes death forecasts but also gives Jamie a fully-formed escape plan that includes Cersei. Dammit, he's just aching to die, huh? Like, Dany is gonna be pissed, right? Tyrion's banking on avoiding a war altogether and that Dany might forgive him for helping his siblings. Not smart, but whatevs. Guess Jamie wasn't such a bad older brother when they were kids.
The following morning, Uncle Greyjoy continues being a mediocre white dude as the dragon-killing arbalests are loaded. King's Landing soldiers ready themselves while civilians run for shelter—something they probably should've been fucking doing yesterday. Clegane and Arya stroll through the streets with no disguises or anything, and Jamie, free now, searches for his sister.
Everything goes quiet.
Some dick on a white horse rides out to meet Dany's ragtag army of beardos, creepers, short guys, tall dudes, hat aficionados and pals. Tyrion reminds Snow that if the surrender bells ring, he's gotta chill it the eff out. We cut to Cersei, smiling like a jerk from the safety of her skyscraper apartment.
In the streets, the gate to safety is closed while people start losing their collective shit. Jamie is particularly bummed on this, and it's clear that we were all right in assuming Cersei would kill pretty much anyone for any reason.
Anyway, here comes the last remaining dragon, and this time he's more than prepared to avoid the flying spears of Greyjoy. He blows up, like, 15 ships in two seconds, and it's pretty sick, honestly. He sets all kinds of people on fire. They should call this show "Shit Gets Set on Fire." Done with the ships, the dragon blows a hole in the wall of the city; more shit gets set on fire. The Horse Guys roll in, the Unsullied roll in, the damage in the town is weirdly minimal given the size of the explosion 30 seconds earlier. And then it's all stabs and running and burning and explosions and other stabs and throat rips and more shit set on fire. Dany's pretty much indiscriminately setting shit on fire at this point … anything with two legs, four legs, any walls or domes or, like, steeples she can find. Cersei watches from a million miles away and learns that pretty much all her shit got set on fire. She won't give up. Ugh. Pride, right? It's what let all those enemies of Cersei's just stroll on into the town.
Tyrion's still hoping they'll ring the Coward's Bell, Jamie's still trying to get to Cersei, Dany's straight-up terrorizing the innocent townsfolk. And that's when Cersei's soldiers realize there's no point in any of this shit. They ditch their weapons and start insisting on the ringing of the Coward's Bell (and yeah, I know it's not called that). For what feels like 15 real-world, actual minutes, everyone stares at nothing in particular. Is this about upping the tension? Maybe, whatever. Because the bell rings. It's over, right?
Wrong, motherfucker! It straight-up ain't good enough for Dany, who steers her dragon full-speed into the street and starts burning alive anyone she possibly can. Innocents, kids, soldiers, grown-ups—everyone. Tyrion and Snow both find this incredibly wack, but not even they can stop the bloodshed. Cue gratuitous violence (like, hands getting cut off and shit), cue lots of footage of people burning up alive. C'mon now. Dany's razing the entire fucking city. It's honestly so intense that even her side starts helping the other people. And we'll tell you something else—if Daenerys thinks Snow's gonna want to get down after this, she's sorely mistaken.
On the outskirts of town, Jamie and Uncle Greyjoy wind up in a sword fight for some fucking reason. It's … just … ugh, y'know? Who needed it? Is this because they're both into Cersei? And even so, why did we need this tacked-on fight? Jamie does get stuck good, though. A couple times, actually. But he does pull it together long enough to do some sticking of his own. Uncle Greyjoy is donezo, and Jamie might die, too.
We finally get back to Arya, easily the best part of the show, and Clegane, who drops pearls of wisdom about obsession and how it can lead to the sort of life not worth living. He advises she just go home. She gets it (maybe a little too quickly) and is just like, "Uh, OK, cool. Bye." And the Red Keep collapses all over everything and everyone who isn't Cersei, her assistant, and that one tall dude. Clegane is there, too, and he's fixin' to stab his brother, The Molehill or whatever he's called. A stairway fight it is, and we finally get a look at Cersei's huge bodyguard. As it happens, he looks a lot like the dude who played Darth Vader, and the unveiling is every bit as disappointing as it was in Star Wars, too.
Downstairs, Cersei and Jamie are reunited, but he's pretty effed up from getting stabbed before. Shit crumbles all around them as they make eyes at one another.
Back on the staircase, Clegane stabs his brother so hard the sword goes through his entire body, but it's still not enough to end him. He's a mutant or something, that guy, and probably he can't be beaten (even though he surely will be in a second here). But first we have to watch Arya walking through the aftermath of the dragon attack and coming to terms with how weird it is that almost none of the main characters were burnt up in the fracas. Wait'll she tells Sansa about this shit. This scene, though, is easily one of the best-shot GoT sequences of the series (which I say as someone who doesn't actually give a shit about any of it). The sheer chaos and madness surrounding Arya is wonderfully done.
Less cool is seeing Clegane get his eyeballs gouged by what's-his-dick. Gross. Anyway, he stabs his brother (The Mountain?), then shoves him off the super-high parapet. If this was supposed to be an emotional moment, it really didn't land. Have I mentioned I didn't see either of the first two seasons? Have I also mentioned that Dany literally spent 40 minutes of the episode burning anything she saw? Someone'll have to take her down. Someone like Arya, probably. Let's not forget, she can stab so hard that people (or ice zombies, as it were) literally explode. Anyway, it's not over yet, because even buildings that survived the dragon are now toppling onto the survivors and crushing them. Arya's so covered in dust and blood that she looks like the original Gomez Addams (y'know, from the television program?). She's sick of Daenerys' shit, that's for sure, and one can't help but wonder if she's gonna put her sick-ass fighting skills to good use.
Beneath the city, Jamie and Cersei's escape tunnel is blocked by rubble. Bad news (for them) which only gets worse when everything collapses on them. And so do the shittiest of the last remaining Lannisters die (foghorn sound).
Cut back to Arya who, while perusing the charred remains of kids and stuff, has reached a new level of fury that burns with the passion of a billion suns. She sees a horse that she knows and joins forces with the majestic quadruped. "Not today, Satan," she whispers to herself as she throws her life full force into the world of the post-disaster equine enthusiast. Off she rides, battered but not beaten; truly, she'll be stealing faces and slashing throats soon.
Well, some of the cinematography was stellar and a lot of threads came to a conclusion.
Some of that was just a little too much and some of that was a little too long. Most of it was a little too long and too much.
The Score: C
They've been telegraphing this of late, and not in any clever way, either. Like, if you didn't see this coming, who even are you?