Game of Thrones Season 7: We React to Episode 4, “The Spoils of War”

Warning: Spoilers ahead. 

Wow, oh wow. Game of Thrones pulled a fast, fiery one on all of us this week. With a Stark family reunion, cryptic lines from Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), a seriously stellar sparing session between Arya (Maisie Williams) and Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), “The Spoils of War” felt epic even before its thrilling third act.

But all hell (and a flurry of hellfire) broke loose when Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) hopped on the back of her mighty dragon Drogon and incinerated the Lannister bannermen and soliders. Bodies were burnt to a crisp, and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) looked death straight in the eye — or, perhaps more appropriately, directly in the mouth. In perfect Thrones fashion, the seventh season’s fourth episode closed on a gut-wrenching cliffhanger: Jaime appearing to sink to the bottom of a lake, weighed down by his armor, sword, and that pesky fake hand of his.

Though it may have been the series’ shortest episode ever, season 7, episode 4 “The Spoils of War” may be one of the best yet. Check out how we felt watching the episode, then let us know your thoughts below. Maude

The real trick with this episode, aptly named “The Spoils of War,” was to not watched it when it leaked, but on a large screen in high definition as was intended. We’ve been waiting for the big battle of the season and we GOT IT — dragons and all! But first, let’s chat chemistry.

Once Dany and Jon stop yelling demands at each other while simultaneously eye-boning, we’ll get that team up of Fire and Ice, which should shift back the recent turn of war. But HBO, if you want to stretch out that sexual chemistry to breaking point by continuously putting Snow in caves where he feels at his most comfortable, then so be it.

Arya is back in Winterfell and it’s worth noting the chemistry Maisie Williams has with real-life best friend Sophie Turner, who plays her sister, Sansa. The Starks are being reunited one by one after lengthy separations, and this one felt the best because they genuinely looked happy to see each other. (Bran, I’m looking at you!) I feel the Starks’ strength is rising; just sort through the hippy BS and harness the power that is Bran for endless information.

Also it’s so obvious that Jaime isn’t dead, he hasn’t killed Cersei yet. On my word as a Garrett, it WILL HAPPEN.

Ryan 

At this point, I don’t think this is even fair to other television shows.

In my opinion, every episode of this season of Game of Thrones has easily one-upped the one that preceded it. This might end up being an historical season of television. 

Last week, I said The Queen’s Justice was my favorite episode of the season thus far. This week, The Spoils of War jumped into my top five episodes of all time. It was loaded with satisfying moments: Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) advanced further onto the same page, Arya Stark was finally reunited with her brother and sister and easily held her own in an impressive practice duel with Brienne of Tarth, and DRAGON BATTLE.

I was so paralyzed with awe that I think I drooled on myself while watching the epic battle between the House Lannister army and the Dothraki warriors/Dany. This is a moment we’ve been dying to see for so long, and it didn’t disappoint. It was especially satisfying to see Dany completely ignore everyone, go with her gut, and lead an army of Dothraki into battle while riding Drogon. Seeing her atop her beautiful child as they crept over the Dothraki-filled horizon nearly brought a tear to my eye. Get in costume, gather up some friends, hop in an RV, and head out to the desert because Burning Man is here, folks.

I have to hand (pun intended) it to Jaime, though. He stood his ground and finally fought some people, and did it with honor. I was also very happy to see Bronn (Jerome Flynn) in battle again as well.

When the episode ended, much like Jamie, I sunk (into my seat) and exhaled. Julia

My goodness, this episode! Where do I even start? [It’s] my absolute favorite episode this season, hands down. Finally seeing Daenerys believe the existence of Whitewalkers and use her dragons on an army was so satisfying and amazing.

Also as a side note: Can we appreciate how fiercely protective Jon is of his family? As much as I can give small amounts of sympathy for Theon (Alfie Allen), it was real gratifying to see Jon remind him of where the both of them stood.

My favorite part of the episode was when Arya went back to Winterfell and was reunited with Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Bran. Her duel with Brienne of Tarth was so mesmerizing to watch. Seeing her whip Needle behind her and stoop low to attack from her lower advantage was simply beautiful. I really hope that Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) has the guts to approach her soon so we can enjoy pretty much enjoy all the Stark children tell him off.

The battle of the Lannister/Tarly armies versus the Dothraki was amazing, and watching the absolute extermination of this highly acclaimed army was entertaining to watch. I got a bit annoyed that Jaie, Bronn, and Dickon (Tom Hopper) all survived [or so we think], but I suppose they had to be the characters to go running back to King’s Landing to be the key witnesses of Drogon’s fiery attack. They’ve got the plot armor now, but it’s got to shed off sometime for at least one of them.

Can’t wait to see the rest of the season because now Cersei doesn’t have her gold anymore, and it’d be interesting to see the Lannister twins discuss what happened. Mickey

Alright. I see you, Benioff and Weiss.

As far as I can see, there were three major turning points that occurred, and every moment in between was another satisfyingly tied loose end. Contemporary television improves every year with new shows being commissioned every day and established shows fighting to one-up each other and beat their own records. There’s a lot of pressure for a long-running television series like Game of Thrones to maintain its quality and audience interest, but holy hell, it does one heck of a decent job. This was easily one of the best and most satisfying episodes of any season so far.

We’ve grown accustomed to being emotionally destroyed, we’re used to seeing our favourite characters die. But this time we get to see all the chess pieces slide into position and ready themselves for the big bloody final move, and instead of being traumatised, as an audience, we’re left excited and pumped full of adrenaline.

Arya reuniting with her siblings at Winterfell is, honestly, what we’ve all been anticipating and hoping for since season one. Last season, I got tears in my eyes when the Stark banners finally hung again in the north. This episode, I got tears in my eyes as Sansa watched her little sister spar with Brienne and was reminded of how much has changed and how devastating that first trip south, all those years ago, really was.

I also loved Jon and Dany finally seeing eye to eye. We’re not quite at the “bend the knee” stage, but the cave paintings underneath Dragonstone were an incredible way to ignite the much-needed trust between the two monarchs.

Lastly, we had he incredible privilege of watching some of the Lannister army get blown away by red hot dragon flames. We’ve seen Dany and her dragons in action before, fighting the bad guys and satisfyingly turning them to ashes. But we’ve never seen them used against characters we love — or, at least, care about a little depending on how you feel about Jaime and Bronn. It’s a weird mix of emotions, as part of me roots for Dany and the Targaryen cause, but the other part of me really, really wants Jaime to not be mummified by a ball of Fahrenheit Hell like the residents of Pompeii. (Turns out we lose him to a watery hell instead…. or do we?)

I wasn’t entirely turned on by the first two episodes of this season, but after episode four, I am so incredibly pumped up and ready for winter. I hope this week flies by!


What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, @GeekBomb.

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