Game of Thrones, ‘Stormborn’ – Blood-Soaked Wrenches Are Thrown into Everyone’s Plans

Photo Credit: HBO

Game of Thrones, ‘Stormborn’ Plot Summary:

Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), and her council plot out their plan for war — the Greyjoy fleet, and Dornish soldiers will attack King’s Landing while the Unsullied will strike Casterly Rock. However, this plan seems to not sit well with the Dornish, or the Tyrells. Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) must decide whether he should see Daenerys who has summoned him to Dragonstone. Arya (Maisie Williams) must make a decision about her future. Sam (John Bradley) decides to help Sir Jorah (Iain Glenn).

If this were a normal season of Game of Thrones each of the plot points mentioned above would’ve been stretched out over multiple episodes.The stories would’ve unfolded slowly, and eventually we’d get the conclusions that we actually got in this episode.

Thank the gods, both old and new, this is not a normal season of Game of Thrones.

“Stormborn” was an episode that left no room for filler. Every word meant something, every scene impactful. At this point in the series, the time for waiting is done. It’s time for action.

And that ending — Weiss and Benioff still know to throw a gloriously bloody wrench into our expectations.

The surprise attack of the Greyjoy and Dornish forces by Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) was a real shocker. With the tail end of the episode rapidly approaching, and some sexy time happening between Yara (Gemma Whelan), and Ellaria (Indira Varma) — there was no way weren’t getting an episode end with either explicit sex, or a sweeping shot of the fleet coming into King’s Landing. Right?

Wrong. Dead wrong.

Instead, we’re given a explosively violent ship battle between the warring Greyjoys. It’s also (spoilers) a bloody farewell to two of the Sand Snakes. (Let’s be honest, they were never audience favorites to begin with.) Then there was the ultimate shock — Theon (Alfie Allen) — abandons his sister. Now, should we be surprised? He’s already betrayed the Starks, and he was broken mentally and physically by The Boltons, so should we have expected Theon to save his sister from his imposing uncle? Probably not. But we did have hope. And that’s the tragic beauty of this show — hope is built, then thoroughly crushed.

Now while this battle scene was the big action piece here, it was not the best scene of the episode. No, that belongs to the fierce argument between Daenerys and Varys (Conleth Hill). This intense sequence allows the usually calculated, and precise knower of secrets to spit a little fire — while also getting burned a bit himself. This may have been my favorite Daenerys scene in a long time because this was the right scene at the right time for this character. This duel showed not only her ferocity, but her maturation as a leader, and a politician. We see her playing the game, not just robotically stating she wants the throne.

“Stormborn” is filled with wonderful small moments as well — the lovely and unexpected return of HOT PIE, the long-awaited tryst between Grey Worm and Messendai, Jamie’s talk with Sir Tarly, Sam’s graphic attempt at curing Sir Jorah, and Arrya’s encounter with some wolves. All of these really built up steam for the big pay-offs we’ll get throughout the season.

Side Note: The biggest pay-off of all of these may possibly be the demise of Grey Worm. He’s admitted his weakness, and got intimate with the woman he loves. There is no way he gets a happy ending, and makes it out of this war alive. This is Game of Thrones. Only Tormund and Brienne should end up happily ever after in this series.

In the end “Stormborn” is a table setting episode that pushes aside the normal, sometimes laborious nature of a GOT table setting episode. It’s impactful, fun, and filled with twists you’re not seeing coming.

Oh, and don’t worry Ed Sheeran wasn’t in this episode.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site’s podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites