Lion of the Blogosphere

Game of Thrones, Season 7 Episode 4

with 30 comments

Spoilers

Brienne of Tarth is the best swordsperson in the North. But is Arya just as good if not better? Even though she’s a short mousy little girl? (Remember that Arya has magical “Faceless Man [or Person?]” powers.) It looks like Sansa doesn’t appreciate Arya’s skill at fighting. Do I sense conflict ahead?

I’m not sure what Littlefinger’s plan is, but he seems so slimy. Someone needs to bash his head in.

Jon Snow passes another shit test by not bending the knee again. I predict one more time, and then Dany is going to have hot royal sex with him.

How about that amazing battle between the Dothraki horde and Jaime Lannister’s army, with dragons who apparently are like flying armored flamethrowers? I thought for sure Jaime was a goner (because I figured that Dany is too significant to the story to kill, but I could imagine Jaime being dispensable), but Bronn (I presume that was Bronn) saved his life at the last second. That Jaime is really hard to kill.

So after all those defeats last episode, Dany has a Dothraki army and at least two good dragons, and Cersei has nothing except verification that those anti-dragon ballistas work. Or does Cersie have another army somewhere? Perhaps the “Golden Company”?

Who we didn’t see in this episode: Sandor “the Hound” Clegane, Grey Worm, Euron Greyjoy and Yara, Samwell Tarly, Jorah Mormont.

* * *

The main purpose of the battle was to look good on TV and advance the story, and not to present a realistic view of how medieval armies would fight.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 6, 2017 at 10:19 pm

Posted in Television

30 Responses

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  1. During the battle I was thinking that Daenerys has the air power advantage but doesn’t really know what to do with it. A smarter strategy I would think would be to for her to attack after the enemy line is formed, parallel to the line, rather than directly through it, which is what she did. So yes, she was able to break the line to allow the Dothraki to pour through, but if she had attacked the line itself, all along it’s length, she could have decimated the army and saving lots of Dothraki lives.

    Somebody get her a manual on close air support.

    Mike Street Station

    August 6, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    • Holding a tight formation is a good tactic for defending against a cavalry charge, but a really bad tactic against dragonbreath.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 6, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    • Don’t mansplain away her grrllll power Mike!!

      Peterike

      August 6, 2017 at 10:57 pm

      • You mean the power in her hands to withstand however many G’s of force whenever that dragon changed directions?

        Anonymous Funk

        August 7, 2017 at 1:23 am

  2. I’m not sure what Littlefinger’s plan is, but he seems so slimy. Someone needs to bash his head in.

    You should be grateful that a character makes you feel anything other than boredom.

    So after all those defeats last episode, Dany has a Dothraki army and at least two good dragons, and Cersei has nothing except verification that those anti-dragon ballistas work.

    Those ballistas would also work really great against humans and horses as the Romans knew well. Cersei just needs to use them for something other than shoe horning Bron into the action and have multiple teams manning multiple weapons.

    Brienne of Tarth is the best swordsperson in the North. But is Arya just as good if not better? Even though she’s a short mousy little girl? (Remember that Arya has magical “Faceless Man [or Person?]” powers.)

    I thought the whole point of faceless manning was that you didnt need to be good at swordplay? Although I do recall these really stupid and absurd training montages of her with the faceless man.

    (because I figured that Dany is too significant to the story to kill, but I could imagine Jaime being dispensable)

    I was hoping against hope that Jaime would kill her. That character and that actress are such a drag on the show. But I fear you’re right that it’s all going to come down to two worst characters, Jon Snow and Daenerys , teaming up.

    Overall they haven’t gotten any better at making you care about the characters but the action has been really good. Who doesn’t want to see a semi realistic portrayal of a fire breathing dragon participating in medieval combat?

    Magnavox

    August 6, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    • I was really hoping Jamie would kill her too, and you’re right that Jon Snow and dragon skank are the worst characters on the show. Tyrion is a traitor to his family and is no longer an interesting or sympathetic character. I understand he was treated badly, but he should have went and lived out his days doing something other than destroying his family and getting thousands of his countrymen killed. I’m cheering for the Lannisters even though they’re going to lose. I suspect Jamie will survive to reunite with his brother and fight the ice zombies.

      Overall a good episode. This episode and last week’s were better than anything in the previous two seasons.

      Jean Ralphio

      August 7, 2017 at 12:21 am

    • “Your people can’t fight” says the Dothraki as the heavily outnumbered side that doesn’t have dragons, that’s nonetheless run circles around their queen’s forces thus far, is losing the battle.

      Remind me again why we’re supposed to root for Danaerys?

      Also, when is Tyrion going to have the realization that he’s the GoT Universe’s Ephialtes?

      Dubious

      August 7, 2017 at 10:17 pm

  3. The battle was exciting but ridiculous (at least what they showed).

    Light cavalry doesn’t trample through heavy infantry. Yes, the line was broken by dragons and that would have been fine if they simply showed a rout – light cav is fantastic at turning a rout into a slaughter – but that wasn’t what they showed. Dany punches one hole in the line then for some reason she incinerates the food that was supposed to be motivating her attack instead of continuing to punch holes in the lines. The lines were shown being overwhelmed from the front by the Dothraki.- rather than the first horses getting killed by spears and the rest getting tangled by the giant pile of dead horses and men that would have been in front of the line.

    Dany appears to be riding a dragon bareback – her not falling to her death is quite a feat when the dragon climbs and dives.

    Bronn hits the dragon with the scorpio / ballista (in history it was a precursor to the crossbow rather than something invented later but meh) then rather than reloading as the dragon falls admires the shot. Guess it had to happen that way since the dragon, Dany, and Bronn all had to survive for plot reasons.

    Thousand year old cave paintings / carvings that are still properly colored enough to show blue eyes on the army of the dead / Night’s King.

    Hmm, other problems. Well, the Dothraki looked great and made for a super dramatic scene but what are they doing in Westeros? Sure, they’re following Dany but this is sort of like being on Dothraki sabbatical – they’re not doing any of their usual pillaging or even riding. How many of them killed each other because they’re cooped up in castle(? are they? who knows?)? That’s the type of thing a Khal Drogo could have quelled by personally fighting people – Dany doesn’t have that type of authority. Barely showing glimpses of a few Dothraki here and there is a wise move for the show because the whole thing is a loose thread waiting to be pulled. They’re a 10,000+ army of horsemen without any women. They’re going to rape and pillage Westeros for years. Realistically once they’re on the mainland thousands of them are going splinter off and look for rapine and plunder.

    Other point about the Dothraki – how the fuck do they survive the multi-year winters that the whole planet has or is the years long winter only a Westeros thing? The mongols lived off of the land because their horses (ponies) ate grass, they drank horse blood and horse milk and ate horse meat. How do pastoralists survive years long winters? [This is more of a book problem that only occurred to me when watching this episode].

    Still a good episode and far better than the episodes that have been the norm since after the early seasons.

    Steve Johnson

    August 6, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    • The idea that the Dothraki can easily beat the much more advanced and armored armies of Westeros has always been one of the more ridiculous plot points of the show. They’ve never really given a good reason as to why the Dothraki are such better fighters, other than that they’re crazy or something. We’re the Dothraki dark-skinned in the book? Seems like someone told me once that they weren’t.

      Jean Ralphio

      August 7, 2017 at 12:26 am

    • Good points about the Dothraki cavalry versus the phalanx, and the dragon torching the grain. It’s not entirely clear exactly how much control Dany has over the dragons.

      Conceivably, they could have killed off that dragon and let Dany survive a low fall, because there are 2 other dragons. But I wonder if both sides made a WWI tank-style error in bringing one dragon and one scorpio to the battle, rather than using overwhelming force of multiple ones, before the other side could react.

      A couple of minor nits to pick:

      – The orders to the infantry (“grab spears and shields”, “fill in the gaps”) seemed silly in their details. Presumably, the troops would have been drilled in how to form proper lines and wouldn’t have needed that sort of micromanagement.

      – As in the use of fire in the naval battle earlier this season, it seems risky to the attackers too. No Dothraki got accidentally burned by the dragon?

      – The Dothraki archers standing on their horses looked cool, but surely they would have been more stable sitting.

      Dave Pinsen

      August 7, 2017 at 3:28 am

    • Yeah I was a bit dumbfounded that Daenerys purposefully targeted the loot train, destroying all of the grain that she desperately needed. I’ve no idea if there is a show reason she did that, or the writers just thought it would look cool on TV.

      Mike Street Station

      August 7, 2017 at 6:15 am

    • Where was the Lannister’s cavalry screen? Their scouts? Why aren’t they leap-frogging the gold and grain from one temporary Roman legion type fort-camp to another?

      Ok, they’re tired from just taking Highgarden. So why leave? What’s the rush?

      Oh yeah, Iron Bank interest payments, penalties and fees. But didn’t they know the Dothraki were in Westeros? And the dragons?

      CMC

      August 7, 2017 at 10:35 am

      • Oh yeah, Iron Bank interest payments, penalties and fees. But didn’t they know the Dothraki were in Westeros? And the dragons?

        Here’s how an actually intelligent person deals with this situation. Highgarden isn’t perfect for defending against dragons (neither is any castle) but it’s better than the open field. Keep the gold at Highgarden. Go to Highgarden with the IB representative. Turn over the gold to him at Highgarden. Make sure you get a receipt. Wish him luck on the road.

        The next step is for the IB rep to travel with the gold under the banners of the IB – a neutral party that presumably Dany doesn’t want to anger.

        Steve Johnson

        August 7, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      • I missed it the first time, but “all the gold is in Kings Landing.”

        So it’s only the grain –and the army of course, that’s lost.

        CMC

        August 7, 2017 at 9:10 pm

  4. Always with the “badass” women and the girl power. Yeesh. I watched S1 back in 2011, and only dropped back in to S7 because the show has gone beyond the books. Say what you will about GRRM, but he was a biological realist about chick warriors. I like Arya a lot, but it was absurd that she would repeatedly get inside the guard of an opponent who is two feet taller and whose sword is twice the length of hers. Or maybe not. It’s not as though I’ve personally sword-fought.

    I wondered why Dany was burning the food, too.

    Miss Conduct

    August 7, 2017 at 12:15 am

  5. Danerys was somewhat sympathetic in the first season ’cause her brother pimped her out, but the show also went to great lengths to say that the Targarayens, especially Danerys’ father the Mad King, were horrible people and that a lot of them were insane from all the incest, so it’s always seemed a bit odd that you’re supposed to be rooting for her. They seemed to allude to her cruelty in the preview for next week’s episode.

    Danerys’ crew is highly representative of the Democratic Party’s Coalition of the Fringes, as Sailer calls it. A former pimped out slave leading the bunch, two eunuchs, a dwarf, a bastard, a guy missing most of his fingers, and a shit load of brown people, half of the former slaves, invading an all white continent. Subtle. And what was that bizarre statement from the hot mixed girl about marriage being a bad thing? I seriously doubt Benioff and Weiss believe that themselves, but they don’t mind pushing that crap on everyone else. Irresponsible.

    Jean Ralphio

    August 7, 2017 at 12:40 am

    • I liked her a lot the first season. It’s much more interesting watching women wield power in realistic ways than just making them into Uber men. That’s why Cersei has remained compelling and interesting.

      Magnavox

      August 7, 2017 at 4:19 pm

  6. Here’s another one: Arya and Brienne sparring. Ok, first of all there’s the absurdity of making Brieanne not just strong for a woman but one of the strongest people in Westeros but that’s because to be a believing progressive you have to believe that women are just as strong as men but put that aside as not unique to this episode. Why is Arya such a great fighter with swords / daggers? She got trained at the House of Black and White but they’re assassins not pit fighters – ya know, assassins – infiltration, disguise, poisons, etc. Her training as shown was her getting hit by girl with a stick when she was blind.

    Whatever – forget all those problems and accept that Arya is a great fighter for whatever reason (more grrrrl! power) – why the hell were they sparring with steel weapons? In season 1 when the show had sense the first sign that Joffery was a bit off was him wanting to spar with Robb using real weapons – now it’s routine that Brieanne and Pod square off with real swords? Before Brieanne knew that Arya was supergrill she was swinging in such a way that she’d have cut Arya in half if she connected! Good thing Arya dodged – could you imagine Brieanne’s embarrassment? “Sorry Sansa, I cut your sister in half – thought she would dodge – well I didn’t really think that because I had no idea she was any good at fighting – but you know how it is”.

    Steve Johnson

    August 7, 2017 at 1:26 am

  7. The Dothraki leader was too cocky (ie “you’re men can’t fight”). The Lannister infantry was ambushed and outnumbered against a cavalry charge with a dragon keeping them from forming a defensive line. Of course they’re going to lose.

    But I can see Dothraki hubris and Lannister cunning leading to a major Dothraki defeat in the future. One underestimates Cersei at their peril. Plus, it has to be that way for plot reasons. Otherwise, a Dothraki army and an unsullied army would outnumber the Lannister’s too badly. At some point the Lannister’s have to even the odds with a major victory.

    destructure

    August 7, 2017 at 1:50 am

  8. I bought HBO’s streaming to watch GoT, but decided to give Big Little Lies a go on account of Lion’s enthusiastic commentary. That show should instead be titled “Cunts, Everywhere…” Those harridans were absolutely toxic and I stopped shortly into the third episode.

    Vince

    August 7, 2017 at 4:47 am

    • “Those harridans were absolutely toxic”

      That’s precisely what makes it entertaining. And women like the show because women LOVE being critical of other women, and that gives you all kinds of women to hate.

      peterike

      August 7, 2017 at 8:47 am

  9. Apparently Daenerys bought Littlefingers teleporter. That guy has sold his proprietary technology to Jon Snow, Euron Greyjoy, Cersei Lannister and now Daenerys.

    He must be making a lot of money of his invention…

    Chris

    August 7, 2017 at 8:03 am

  10. The main purpose of the battle was to look good on TV and advance the story, and not to present a realistic view of how medieval armies would fight.

    That was done in the battle of the bastards.

    I’m convinced Varys* is a traitor, Tyrion may turn on Danaerys, Danaerys is the main human villian, Danaerys and Jon will bang and/or get married (DOTHRAKI WEDDING!!!!), and Jaime will bend the knee because he isn’t dumb.

    *The hot new theory is that Missandei is feeding info to Cersi. I find that unbelievable.

    Dsgntd_plyr

    August 7, 2017 at 8:17 am

  11. Others have pointed out many of the absurdities in this episode. Well, you just have to forget all that and roll with it, I guess. Like superhero movies.

    One other minor absurdity, but maybe I have to rewatch it. When Jamie is about to be made into Drogon Toast, he gets thrown off his horse into the water. Now he’s about three feet from shore, yet he’s shown sinking into what looks like at least twenty feet of water. But the water would likely only be a few feet deep at most. Oh well! I guess it’s possible the lake could get really deep really fast. I wonder how they fish him out of there, since I don’t think he’s gonna be dead. After all, he would make a great hostage, and you’re supposed to show royal prerogative to leaders on the battlefield. You don’t let them die in lowly ways like drowning. You capture them and then cut their heads off.

    Maybe Jamie is saved and then Tyrion talks him into going against Cersei.

    By the way, how far is that battlefield from that Dragon castle place? Because Tyrion is all like “the Dragon Lady ain’t here” when Reek shows up, and then bang he appears at the battle like five minutes later.

    peterike

    August 7, 2017 at 8:55 am

    • Well, you just have to forget all that and roll with it, I guess. Like superhero movies..

      But this is supposed to be thinking man’s high fantasy. But more importantly, as much as they’ve bastardized the story and inserted cheap political points, i only watch it now to revel in my hatred for it.

      All those poor Lannister men incinerated. I dream that there’s a version of this where Jamie skewers the dragon bitch with his spear.

      Anonymous Funk

      August 7, 2017 at 11:07 am

    • “I guess it’s possible the lake could get really deep really fast. I wonder how they fish him out of there, since I don’t think he’s gonna be dead. “

      Some lakes are very shallow. Others drop off like a cliff. Just depends. But as deep as that looked he ~SHOULD~ be a goner. He was wearing armor. You can’t swim with armor. And no one could pull someone with armor up. They’d either have to swim down with a rope or spend 5 minutes unbuckling all those straps.., on the bottom of a deep lake with low visibility. There’s just no way. Though I suspect they’ll find a bs way to do it.

      destructure

      August 7, 2017 at 2:17 pm

      • “Some lakes are very shallow. Others drop off like a cliff.”

        That is true. But the cliff ones are usually in mountainous territory where the lake is like a filled in valley, and there are steep sloping sides. Some of the New York reservoirs in the Catskills are like that. You’re five feet from shore and it’s 90 feet down beneath you.

        But this was on a plain. There’s no way you’d have a severe drop off, unless it was like an old volcano hole or an ancient meteor strike. But then, lakes may be different in GoT world!

        peterike

        August 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm

  12. If you’re a film nerd, they have a really good behind the scenes video of how they filmed the battle scene here, under “Unleashed Fury.” It’s pretty incredible how they put all this stuff together.

    http://gameofthrones.com/game-of-thrones/season-7/episode-4

    PS – Back to my “the lake is too shallow” theory, in the shots in this video those lakes look like they’re about a foot deep!

    peterike

    August 7, 2017 at 3:05 pm

  13. Littlefinger wants to be King. He wanted to marry Sansa and since he cannot do that, he is still has the chance to marry either the Dragon Queen or the Queen of King’s landing. He does not appear interested in Dragon Queen, so he will betray the Stark and try to marry the Queen of King’s landing.

    Imperial Energy

    August 9, 2017 at 10:31 am

  14. Brienne lives for honor. Arya for hatred and revenge. Many signs Arya isn’t the same person any more (like the quid pro quo scene with the wolf). The same complete change for Bran Stark who is the omniscient magician now. The same happened to Olenna Tyrell (changed since the destruction of her family). Circei was probably wrong when she said Olenna was blinded by vengeance feelings. It looks as her advising Daenerys on attacking Lannister with the dragons and not following clever advisors plan was well thought, even if it came out of hatred. She was my favourite characte with Ygritte

    I don’t have a television, and I’ve benetited from those vacations to see all 64 episodes in 5 weeks (2 each day).

    Bruno

    August 13, 2017 at 7:06 pm


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