Game of Thrones wastes no time into the action this season. The show has set up its endgame, and ‘Stormborn’ has the first big battle. Only two episodes in, Game of Thrones delivers what fans are dying for. The majority of the action is relegated to the B-characters, but it’s still exciting. Game of Thrones has united all of its characters, and ‘Stormborn’ begins pushing them at each other.
SPOILER WARNING: READ ON ONLY IF YOU’VE SEEN THE LATEST EPISODE OF GoT!!
The primary characters don’t do much but talk this episode. While it’s a little more boring, it’s a strong progression. While no serious changes in motivation occur, the conflict inches forward. Daenerys and Jon Snow are put onto the path of partnership. Sansa has control of the North, and Cersei’s plotting to retain power. This episode may be mostly dedicated to plotting, but it’s in pursuit of the show’s endgame.
The Grey Worm & Missandei scene is interesting, but a bit long. It’s one part touching moment, one part Game of Thrones meeting its female nudity quota. The relationship between the former slaves is one of the few purely nice relationships the show has. Seeing the two get together before battle is touching, even without seeing them have sex. While sex is a staple of Game of Thrones, and it is a nice moment, it makes the scene lag. It also seems like a set-up for the death of Grey Worm, who’s off to take Casterly Rock. If Game of Thrones likes anything as much as sex, it likes death. The scene is nice, but it heralds
The most interesting conflict in ‘Stormborn’ comes from Arya. Arya’s run-ins with both Hotpie and Nymeria prove how she’s evolved. Arya may be a card-carrying badass, but she’s not… well, Arya. Through her time in the House of Black and White, Arya never considered a true family reunion. Now that it’s become a real possibility, Arya has to weight who she was against who she’s become. Hopefully, Arya finds a way to rediscover her old charm, without losing her cool killer edge. Waiting for that personal conflict to resolve in intensely interesting.
The big sea battle this episode was intense, though not the most interesting. The conflict focuses mostly on Daenerys’ side character forces. The conflict is exciting to watch, but the stakes feel pretty low. Certainly, it’s a shocking development, and strikes a blow to Daenerys’ plans. However, the biggest characters who die are the Sand Snakes, who everyone hated in Season 5. Theon’s a proven coward once again, and Yara’s become a prisoner. It’s like when The Walking Dead whittles down its side cast every season. It’s an exciting conflict, but no major, lasting stakes.
They’re clearly pushing the side characters at each other, to buy time for the bigger plots to bloom. These side character fights have fewer stakes, but are still exciting. Plus, the primary plots are moving forward nonetheless. Everything is moving at a wonderful pace, whether through physical action, or strategic planning. Game of Thrones may focus more on side characters this episode, but it’s still exciting to watch.
CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REVIEW IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY!