'Game of Thrones': What You Need to Know After the Episode 'Stormborn'
Spoilers for season seven, episode two of Game of Thrones below.
Dany's Plan: "Stormborn" starts with Daenerys Targaryen and her new council watching a giant storm over Dragonstone, where they talk about a similar storm during Dany's birth (she says she can't remember it, which is fair) until Dany changes gears and threatens to kill Varys for being untrustworthy. While Varys is untrustworthy, he claims it's just because he doesn't like being loyal to kings who are terrible at their jobs, like the Mad King or Robert Baratheon.
His speech works, and Dany is so satisfied that she's willing to listen to Melisandre during her surprise visit, who asks that Dany consider working with Jon Snow if he bends the knee.
Things then lead into her plan: avoid using the Dothraki and Unsullied too much as the common people would resent being invaded by foreigners. Ellaria Sand and Olenna Tyrell quickly realize Dany intends to rely on their armies, but they're mostly swayed. Although Olenna tells her to "be a dragon" afterward, possibly because she'd rather Dany destroy Westeros with her dragons and not the Tyrell forces.
But what really brings everyone onboard is Tyrion's bold claim that the Unsullied will move to Casterly Rock and knock out the remaining Lannisters who rule from there. Things start moving, Grey Worm and Missandei have the least hostile sex scene this show's ever shown us, and Ellaria sails back toward Dorne with the Ironborn. That goes mostly well.
Euron's Gift: In the premiere, Theon and Yara Greyjoy's crazed uncle Euron visited King's Landing, promising that he would deliver "a gift" to Queen Cersei in exchange for her hand in marriage, dropping some jokes about Jaime and Cersei just to show how fearless/crazy he is. We ran a poll last week asking what people expected that gift to be, and while most people expected the Dragonbinder horn or poor Tyrion, it turns out that gift was Ellaria Sand - Euron kidnaps her and Tyene during his assault on Yara's fleet, killing off two Sand Snakes in the process.
The choice of Ellaria actually makes perfect sense: as the woman who poisoned Cersei's daughter Myrcella back in Dorne, it'd be an understatement to say that Cersei has a bone to pick with Ellaria Sand. Cersei is furious with her, and since the next episode is called "The Queen's Justice," it's likely that Ellaria is in for a horrible surprise - the two Sand Snakes who died this episode, Obara and Nymeria, might actually be luckier since neither of them got tortured first (and Nymeria's actress Jessica Henwick stars in Iron Fist as Colleen Wing, so her career's far from dead).
Yara was captured too after Theon panicked and jumped overboard, but Cersei probably doesn't care as much about her.
Arya's Direwolf: After a chance meeting with her old friend Hot Pie, who's become a treasure trove of information since he started working for an inn, Arya had another major encounter shortly afterward. When she decided to head north to see her brother Jon Snow instead of heading south to kill the queen (which might have worked, knowing Arya), she was visited by a pack of wild wolves, one of which was much bigger than normal.
This was Arya's old direwolf Nymeria (both the pup and the dead Sand Snake are named after an ancient warrior queen), and Nymeria had grown a lot since Arya was forced to send her away in season one.
While Arya tearfully attempts to get her full grown Nymeria to come along, in a rare moment where she breaks the tough-as-nails attitude that she learned from the Hound, the titanic Husky has her own wolf pack now, and she can't just brush those wolf commitments aside. Arya ends up respecting the direwolf's independence and continues north to Winterfell to look for Jon Snow, completely unaware that he just left.
Sansa's New Job: Current King in the North Jon Snow gets two ravens at the same time. One from Samwell Tarly claiming that the island of Dragonstone is full of dragonglass (a proven weapon for killing White Walkers), and one from Dragonstone, where Tyrion invites Jon over to negotiate - note that he leaves out Dany's demand that Jon bend the knee, knowing that Jon would never visit if he learned about that.
While it's immensely unpopular with the other northern lords, Jon has always been willing to piss everybody off to do what's right (which has gotten him literally killed before) and decides to go anyway alongside Davos Seaworth. In the meantime, Sansa Stark is left in charge of Winterfell - and since she's turning into a less corrupt version of Cersei, she's rather happy with the surprise.
Just before he leaves, Jon and Littlefinger have a very short chat in the Stark catacombs which is cut short by Jon's strangling of Littlefinger. Petyr Baelish gets a stern threat that he should never lay a hand on Sansa, which he agrees to. And because Jon Snow knows nothing, Jon Snow believes him.
Jorah's Greyscale: Furthest from all the wartime is Samwell Tarly, who's struggling with his dull Maester training at the Citadel even though he knows the White Walkers are coming. But in the meantime, he meets a very, very ill Jorah Mormont, who's come to the Citadel in search of a cure before his greyscale (which is a sort of fantasy-leprosy) drives him insane. Since he's far too covered in grotesque, scaly rashes to be cured at this point, he's willing to accept that he's failed until Sam sneaks in.
Despite a warning that an experimental Greyscale treatment ended up killing the original Maester who thought it up (he ended up catching greyscale, of course), Sam is still a loyal member of the Night's Watch, and he's especially loyal to the late Lord Commander Jeor Mormont. Even though Jeor and Jorah didn't get along - Jeor gave the ceremonial Mormont sword, Longclaw, to Jon Snow instead - Sam feels compelled to help poor Jorah, and we get the most pleasant sight the episode has to offer as Sam politely flays the afflicted skin from Jorah. We'll see how that went soon: either Jorah's greyscale will recede, or it'll start growing on both of them.
The next episode of Game of Thrones, "The Queen's Justice," airs July 30, 2017 on HBO.