Game of Thrones season 7, episode 2 recap: “Stormborn”


If you thought last week’s episode of Game of Thrones was great, baby you ain’t seen nothing yet. “Stormborn” took our breath away.

Last week we spent our time checking in with all our favorite players in the Seven Kingdoms after the long absence between seasons. Much time had passed in Westeros, so catching up with everyone was a bit of a necessary evil. This week, however, Game of Thrones took a hold of our hearts and did not let them go until well after the credits rolled. “Stormborn” had a bit of everything, from action packed battles to cringe worthy scenes that made you want to fast forward, “Stormborn” was a huge success. So let’s get right into it!

(Spoilers follow below, and by that we mean we describe in detail every scene of the entire episode.)

We pick up at the island of Dragonstone, where a storm rages outside the castle as Team Dany is plotting their conquest of the Seven Kingdoms. Varys, Tyrion and Dany reminisce about Dany being born in a similar storm, hence the episode and Dany’s shared title. Before proper plans can be discussed, however, there are few things Dany needs to clear up, having apparently woken up on the wrong side of the bed. It seems it’s just occurred to Dany that Varys might not be entirely trustworthy. Despite Dany’s withering assault of questions, Varys weathers the storm (see what we did there?) and Dany softens.

And then, we get our first shocker of the night; Melisandre has arrived at Dragonstone. Last we saw the Red Woman she was banished from the North and fled to parts unknown. Melisandre did seem committed to serve Jon Snow despite her exile, and keeping true to the new King in the North, speaks on his behalf to Daenerys. Tyrion vouches for Jon as well, and it seems we might have the beginnings of a super hero team up. Oh, wait, wrong show. Also, they certainly cleaned up that throne room pretty damn quick. Also also, Missandei’s grammatical Valyrian knowledge level is off the charts.

Dany orders a raven sent to Jon Snow, ordering him to Dragonstone to “bend the knee.” The raven arrives in Winterfell but a moment later, something that would have taken six episodes in seasons past. Sansa is naturally skeptical, but Jon appears to trust Tyrion, if not Daenerys. Davos, ever the voice of reason quickly picks up on how useful fire breathing dragons might be against a horde of ice zombies though, and it seems as if Jon might be leaning towards meeting with Dany. More on that later, when the next raven arrives.

It seems this season is going to be a merry go round of monarchs, so it’s off to King’s Landing to find out what Cersei is up to. As it turns out though, Cersei has hired a new speech writer. Rather than bully the assembled lords in the throne room into supporting her, Cersei is all charm and alternative facts. Cersei attempts to spin Dany’s predicted use of Dothraki and Unsullied against her in the public eye, and it’s a refreshing change for Cersei. Jaime gets in on the action as well, having hired the same publicist, and puts a full court press on Randyll Tarly (Sam’s pops). Tarly is Olenna Tyrell’s most powerful Bannerman, so it would be quite the coup for House Lannister should they sway him to their side.

Speaking of the Tarlys, it’s time to catch up with Sam in his continued adventures in all things disgusting at the Citadel. Last week we caught but a glimpse of Jorah Mormont, but this week we get a better look than we ever wanted. After being examined by Archmaester Ebrose and dismissed as hopeless, Jorah begins to write a final letter to Dany. Sam isn’t giving up so easily though, and we are treated to yet another cringe worthy scene involving Sam “operating” on Ser Jorah. Sam, of course, served with Jorah’s father, Jeor Mormont, so is perfectly willing to ignore his superiors and attempt to heal Jorah.

Jumping back to King’s Landing, Qyburn brings Cersei down into a dungeon where the skulls of dead Targaryen dragons are kept. One of Qyburn’s duties in his new role as the Hand of the Queen is dealing with Dany’s dragons. It’s a wonderful scene full of callbacks to everything from Viserys’ tub speech to Robert and Cersei’s marriage, and is capped off by Qyburn’s Hobbit inspired solution to the dragon problem; giant spears that when shot from a ballista can pierce dragon bone.

Returning to Dragonstone, Dany has called a proper war council that includes all of her allies. Ellaria Sand, Yara Greyjoy, and Olenna Tyrell all argue for a direct assault on King’s Landing, but Tyrion and Dany are interested in winning the hearts and minds of the people of Westeros, commoner and lord alike. Refusing to use her Unsullied or Dothraki on King’s Landing, Dany opts instead for the Tyrells and the Dornish to attack King’s Landing. It’s a savvy political move but remains to be seen if it’s a sound military strategy. Olenna Tyrell remains unconvinced, and attempts to goad Dany into “being a dragon.”

Watch Game of Thrones for FREE with a no-risk, 7-day free trial of Amazon Channels.

And in the first of several tender moments during the episode, we get a surprisingly touching love scene between Grey Worm and Missandei before the former departs for Casterly Rock. It’s a touching sequence, one that the series has built towards over the past few seasons.

Not to be left out, Arya and Hot Pie are reunited at the Inn at the Crossroads. It’s a bit more casual than Grey Worm and Missandei’s moment, but it’s no less powerful. The scene also serves to inform Arya of Jon Snow’s kingship in Winterfell, sending Arya north instead of to King’s Landing. Arya’s reunions don’t stop there, as she soon runs into Nymeria, her long lost direwolf. The pair hardly recognizes one another, and it’s a painful scene to watch. Both have grown more wild since they last saw each other and perhaps lost their moral center. Nymeria does not stay, but it’s doubtful we’ve seen the last of her.

Once more in Winterfell, Jon has received yet another raven, this time Sam’s message from last week’s episode. Sam’s message about the dragonglass on Dragonstone, coupled with Tyrion’s previous message, is too hard for Jon to ignore. Jon’s lords and ladies are against his departing for Dragonstone, but Jon is adamant. Sansa stands ready to oppose Jon but concedes when Jon shockingly leaves her in charge of the North in his absence. Shout out to Sophie Turner for convincingly depicting Sansa as utterly caught off guard. A great moment.

Before Jon leaves Winterfell, he stops in the crypts to pay his respects to his believed father, Ned Stark. Littlefinger can’t help but turn his creep mode up to eleven though and attempts to confess his feelings for Sansa to Jon. Wrong move douche bag. Channeling Ned Stark, Jon slams Littlefinger against the wall, before threatening to kill him. Littlefinger just can’t seem to catch a break. Poor guy.

And then, we arrive at the main event. As Yara and the Sand Snakes sail for Dorne, we witness a few quiet moments before the chaos hits. Perhaps to rob us of any sympathy for what’s about to happen to them, we are subjected to one last horribly written scene involving the Sand Snakes. Game of Thrones writers are making their dialogue intentionally bad right?

Before Yara and Ellaria can get it on, but not before Yara jinxes Theon by dubbing him her “protector” crazy Uncle Euron attacks, and we are off to the races. Euron’s ship, the Silence smashes into Yara and we have just entered crazytown. Euron leaps off a wicked looking catapult and is insanity personified. Swinging an axe and having the time of his life, Euron is a sight to behold.

Friendly Ironborn put up an admirable fight, but it’s of no use. Euron is clearly one of the best warriors we’ve seen in a long time. Two of the Sand Snakes (who cares which) are dispatched by Euron personally, and really, who brings a whip to an axe fight? Not gonna miss you, sorry dum dum.

Euron isn’t finished there though, and continues his rampage, with Yara his next target. Despite some impressive moves not involving a whip, Yara is quickly subdued by Euron. Not wanting to simply kill his niece, Euron taunts Theon into attempting to rescue his sister. Theon, lacking literal and figurative balls, jumps into the sea and abandons Yara. And despite all Theon’s sins, this one broke our heart into a million pieces. Killing children is one thing, abandoning your sister is a whole other level of despicable.

Next: Game of Thrones season 7: Are Yara and Ellaria dead?

While we wish Theon would have drowned, we watch him drift in the sea as Euron sails away, the bodies of the Sand Snakes his only company. This is exactly how we felt after Empire Strikes Back, except if you removed the hopeful scene on the hospital frigate. And if Leia left Luke on Bespin. What an amazingly stunning episode. We can’t wait until next week.