‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 Episode 2 Recap: Stormborn

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 2
Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Gemma Whelan, and Indira Varma in ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 episode 2 (Photo: Helen Sloan / Courtesy of HBO)

Lightning strikes at Dragonstone as episode two of Game of Thrones season seven begins. Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and Lord Varys (Conleth Hill) recall Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) birth, but she seems frustrated to be stuck where she doesn’t feel at home when King’s Landing awaits. Varys assures her she won’t have to remain there long as people are plotting against House Lannister.

Tyrion reminds Daenerys that if the Great Houses support her, she wins. She wonders why Lord Varys turned against Robert Baratheon and he reveals it was because Robert had no interest in being king. She reminds him he favored her brother over her and that she was traded to the Dothraki like a prized horse. Daenerys is angry at Varys for seeking her murder via assassins and switching allegiances so easily. Varys claims he sees who deserves his loyalty and he works on the behalf of the people, not on behalf of specific houses if they don’t deserve it. He now believes, after learning more about Daenerys, the people have a better chance with her on the throne. She makes him swear he will tell her if she’s ever failing her people. In turn, she swears to burn him alive if he betrays her.

Melisandre (Carice van Houten) arrives and she’s welcomed by Daenerys as Varys explains the Red Witch once served Stannis Baratheon. Melisandre says she serves “the prince who was promised will bring the dawn” and Missandei corrects her, saying the true translation is actually “prince or princess.”

Melisandre is the first to voice the opinion that Daenerys and Jon Snow, the King in the North, have roles to play together. This surprises Tyrion, and Varys wonders why she believes those two are important. She informs them Jon is working with the wildlings and has the backing of the Northern Houses. Tyrion confirms he likes and trusts Jon Snow and that he would make a valuable ally. Tyrion adds that Jon Snow has more reason to hate Cersei than Daenerys does. Daenerys wants a raven sent to Jon Snow inviting him to Dragonstone to bend the knee before her.

At Winterfell, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) read the message from Tyrion, and Sophie believes that although Tyrion is better than the other Lannisters, he’s still a risk. They do, however, realize the dragons could kill the wights since fire kills them.

Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) gathers her supporters including Lord Tarly and tells them House Tyrell is in open rebellion and has sided with Daenerys Targaryen. When their forces attack King’s Landing, they will kill those who support House Lannister. Cersei describes Daenerys as ruthless, mentioning the crucifixion in Slaver’s Bay and suggesting Daenerys feeds her enemies to her dragons. Queen Cersei says they must stand together to fight off this Targaryen threat. Lord Tarly wants to know how she’ll stop three dragons, and it appears Cersei’s working on a solution to that problem.

Lord Tarly, his son Dickon (Tom Hopper), and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) meet and Jaime thanks them for coming. The Tarlys admit they came because they don’t want to face Cersei’s wrath. Lord Tarly defeated Robert Baratheon and Jaime asks him to now swear allegiance to Cersei. Unfortunately for the Lannisters, Lord Tarly declines. He swore an oath to House Tyrell and isn’t an oath-breaker like the Lannisters. Jaime reminds him the dragons are coming to their shores and needs to know if Lord Tarly will fight with them or with foreign savages. He offers Lord Tarly a coveted position in exchange for his loyalty.

At the Citadel, Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) learns his greyscale has spread too far to do anything about, according to the Archmaester (Jim Broadbent). Sam Tarly (John Bradley) wants to know if there’s anything at all they can do to help, but the disease is too advanced and beyond their skills. Since Jorah’s a knight, he can stay one more day but then must leave. Sam offers to send word to his family, but Jorah admits he’s been dead to his family for years.

Cersei looks at the skeletons of dragons in the dungeon, including the one of Balerion the Dread. Balerion forged the Iron Throne and brought the Seven Kingdoms to heel. But if the dragons can be wounded, they can be killed. Cersei learns a massive crossbow can launch a spear that might take down a dragon.

Back at Dragontone, it’s suggested the new allies hit King’s Landing now, hard, but Tyrion warns them that will kill thousands of innocent people including children. Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) and Lady Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) disagree with Tyrion, but Daenerys decides they won’t attack King’s Landing. They will instead lay siege to everything surrounding the city, effectively cutting off Cersei. Daenerys wants to use the Dornish army and the Tyrell army to attack, with Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) and her ships transporting them to King’s Landing. They won’t use the Unsullied or Dothraki so as not to scare people into supporting Cersei.

The Unsullied will attack Casterly Rock, with Grey Worm in command. Tyrion’s plan rips the Lannisters’ holdings out from under them. All involved in this alliance back the plan, and Daenerys thanks them for their support.

Daenerys meets privately with Lady Olenna and swears she’ll get revenge for Margaery and she’ll bring peace to Westeros. Lady Olenna advises her Tyrion is a clever man, but she’s always ignored clever men. She asks Daenerys if she’s a sheep and then tells her, “You’re a dragon. Be a dragon.”

Grey Worm visits Missandei to say goodbye and as she’s about to walk away, he admits it’s hard to leave because she is his “weakness.” He had no fears and was the bravest Unsullied until he met her. She confesses she feels the same. They kiss, passionately, and she strips naked before taking off his shirt. He stops her from taking off his pants, but then agrees with tears in his eyes. They kiss again and she leads him to bed.

Over at the Citadel, the Archmaester gives Sam a handful of books to research so he can adequately write histories. Sam believes he’s found a way to cure greyscale, but the Archmaester advises him the man who did the procedures died of greyscale. The Archmaester says that since that time, the procedure has been forbidden.

Jorah is writing a note to Daenerys when Sam interrupts and tells him he was with his father when he died. He declares Jorah will not die today and prepares the outlawed procedure. While reading from an old text, Sam admits he’s never done this before and also confesses no one else would even attempt it. He must remove a whole layer of infected skin and then apply antidote, and Jorah does his best not to scream during the brutal (and disgusting) procedure.

Catching up with another Stark, Arya (Maisie Williams) is in a tavern when she overhears men discussing Daenerys’ dragons and Cersei’s warning. Hot Pie is there and delivers her a scrumptious pie, admitting he’s happy to see her. He asks if Brienne of Tarth ever found her and she says yes, but that’s the end of that discussion. After downing ale, Arya says she’s heading off to King’s Landing. Hot Pie asks why she’s not going to Winterfell and tells her the Boltons are dead. Arya hadn’t heard about Jon Snow and the Battle of the Bastards and she’s completely taken by surprise by this bit of good news.

Game of Thrones season 7 episode 2
Maisie Williams in ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 episode 2 (Photo: Helen Sloan / Courtesy of HBO)

Leaving the tavern, Arya looks torn between which way to head. Family wins out over revenge and she heads off to Winterfell.

Jon Snow receives Sam’s message from the Citadel and gathers the Northern Houses to share the news Sam has proof Dragonstone sits on a mountain of dragonglass. He then reveals he also received a message from Tyrion, Hand of the Queen Daenerys Targaryen. He further reveals she’s ready to take the Iron Throne back from Cersei and has three dragons. He’s going to Dragonstone because they need the dragonglass and they need allies.

Sansa (Sophie Turner) looks stunned as Jon Snow says he’s going to sail to Dragonstone. Sansa finally speaks up, reminding her brother the Mad King roasted their grandfather alive and Daenerys is there to take over the seven kingdoms, not to make the North her allies. The men believe neither a Targaryen nor a Lannister can be trusted, and even young Lady Lyanna Mormont agrees they need the King in the North in the North. Jon Snow reminds them he never wanted to be king but did because the North is part of him, adding that the odds are against them. He says they haven’t seen the army of the dead and will need powerful allies to do battle. He must take this risk.

Only a king can convince them to help so he has to go to Dragonstone to meet Daenerys, but he assures the North he’ll leave it in good hands. He tells Sansa she’s in charge while he’s gone. “Until I return, the North is yours.” She accepts.

Later, Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) finds Jon Snow in the burial crypt and asks him to give Tyrion his regards. He claims to have been sad when Ned died, but then switches topics in mid-sentence to point out Catelyn Stark wasn’t proud of Ned’s bastard son. However, Littlefinger now believes Jon Snow is the last best hope against the coming storm. Jon Snow, ice dripping from his words, says Littlefinger doesn’t belong in the crypt. Jon says he has nothing to say to Littlefinger, and Littlefinger reminds him he would have been slaughtered on the field and he’s not his enemy. Littlefinger declares he loves Sansa and loved Sansa’s mother, Catelyn. “Touch my sister and I’ll kill you myself,” says Jon, holding Littlefinger against a wall.

Jon Snow and Ser Davos Seaworth head out with a small group of men. Littlefinger watches Sansa as Jon rides away.

Arya’s camped in the woods when her horse gets restless. Twigs snap and then a pack of wolves appear. They circle Arya, snarling and ready to attack. A massive wolf comes up behind her, dwarfing all the others. “Nymeria?” she asks. Her direwolf Nymeria growls and then Arya lays down her sword. She tells Nymeria she’s heading north to Winterfell and asks Nymeria to come with her. The direwolf ceases snarling but turns away. All the other wolves turn and follow.

On board the ship sailing to King’s Landing, the Sand Snakes argue over who gets to kill Cersei and the Mountain. Yara and Ellaria share ale which leads to brief, sexy foreplay that’s abruptly halted when the ship comes under attack by Euron (Pilou Asbaek). It’s a full-on battle as Euron sits fire to some of Yara’s ships as men jump overboard to save themselves. The battle on board Yara’s ship begins and it’s bloody. Two Sand Snakes – Obara (Keisha Castle-Hughes) and Nymeria (Jessica Henwick) – join in the fight and are brutally killed by Euron as Yara watches her fleet under attack. Ellaria and her only surviving daughter, Tyene, are captured and are likely the gifts Euron has promised to bestow on Queen Cersei. (Ellaria killed Cersei’s daughter and now Cersei will have a chance to kill Ellaria’s last remaining child.)

Euron and Yara go one-on-one and it’s a brutal fight. Theon watches as Euron holds a knife to his sister’s throat. Euron calls him a cockless coward and Theon, overwhelmed and experiencing flashbacks, proves him right by jumping overboard instead of saving his sister.

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