Why the The Spoils of War Might Just Be My Favorite Game of Thrones Episode Yet
Here we are in Season 7 of Game of Thrones, arguably the best show on TV right now. There have been a TON of episodes of HBOs flagship series released, so saying this weeks episode was the best one is pretty hyperbolic. And that’s especially true considering what a short episode it was (only 58 minutes, including credits). But here me out.
We’ll get to the obvious battle scene in a minute, but first things first.
Up in Winterfell we have Bran being his creepy self, having a chat with the king of creeps, Littefinger. So what’s so significant about this? Bran’s mentions to Peter that “Chaos is a ladder”. If you’ll recall WAY back in Season 3, Episode 6, Litterfinger has a montage with Varys about how he sees “Chaos as a Ladder”. Only Peter and Varys were in on that conversation, so there is no way Bran should have known about that. Littlefinger is unnerved and any viewers that have been paying attention just saw things kicked up a notch. You can view the scene from season three in question here.
But that’s just the tip of the spear.
Arya has finally come home to Winterfell. She hasn’t been home in literally seven seasons. It’s amazing when you think about the journey she’s been on and how much she’s changed. Hell, the guards at the castle didn’t even believe that it was her. But she comes home and sees Bran and Sansa for the first time in what must feel like forever. Sansa, having thought Arya long dead, is understandably excited. And the Starks, who have been getting just ABUSED for 7 seasons, are finally having things look up for them. The children (the surviving ones at least) are together again, having leveled up in the process. We’ve been waiting for this reunion for years and it was oh so sweet. Sansa is an expert politician, Arya an assassin, and Bran a creepy psychic or something. Who would have predicted that.
And then there is the Loot Train attack. Sure, I could touch on John and Danny in the cave, or the wink and a nod scene between Danny and Missandei, or the tense meeting between John and Theon, or even the fantastic duel between Arya and Brienne, but that’s all just icing on an already delicious cake. The episode had been fantastic up until this point.
But then we get to the loot train. It came out of no where and, once it started, needed no hyping. We got to see the Dothraki take on a fully trained army from Westeros. The way the screamed, rumbled, and tore into the ranks was a sight to behold. Heck, even the old King Robert warned you should never take on the Dothraki in the open field…
But the real enjoyment came from Danny riding Drogon into battle.
It was like seeing and A10 warplane take on a squad of medieval knights. Fire, carnage, panic, destruction. It was everything you’d expect from a dragon attack and I can’t watch that battle scene enough. Then there was the steadicam shot following Bron during the battle, which really brought us down into the heart of the action. It was beautifully done and really brought home the desperation of a lone man in a heated battle.
But I’ve never flipped sides so quickly as when Bron shot at Drogon. I was cheering for him one minute, and then screaming at him the next. The loot train attack gave us our first taste of a dragon in a battle and it left us thirsty for more. After losing her armies left and right, being outmaneuvered by the Lannisters, Dany says To Hell With This and takes matters into her own hands. And we get to witness the sheer terror of what arial superiority can do in a medieval setting.
I’ve already watched the episode twice (something I rarely, if every do) and I’m going to have to dive back in for a third viewing. This was MY episode of Game of Thrones and arguably the best in its entire run.
What did you think of this week’s episode?