by Wes Womble

Warning: This review contains spoilers for this episode, past episodes, and past seasons of Game of Thrones.

The seventh season of Game of Thrones started with the release of “Dragonstone” last week, and the show wasted no time quickly enthralling viewers with this week’s installment.

“Stormborn” picks up where the previous episode left off, showing us Daenerys and Tyrion plotting their approach in the conquest of Westeros. Melisandre arrives in the night, telling the Mother of Dragons of Jon Snow, the King in the North. Suggesting he may be a powerful ally, Tyrion agrees with the Red Priestess, and a raven is sent north. Daenerys then meets with her council of allies, setting them off on various paths to complete different tasks.

In Winterfell Jon and Sansa receive two ravens, the one previously mentioned and another from Sam, sent last episode. Jon now knows that the Dragon Queen has summoned him to Dragonstone and that Dragonstone sits atop a mountain of “dragon glass,” something he sent his men to find and forge into weapons to fight the White Walkers. He makes the decision to head south with Davos, leaving Sansa in charge of Winterfell.

After meeting with Daenerys, Yara and Theon Greyjoy set sail with Ellaria Sand and her daughters to Dorne, where they were to pick up the Dornish army and sail to King’s Landing. However, en route to their southern destination Euron has finally found his niece and nephew, ambushing their fleet and smashing it to smithereens. Theon jumps ship, and Euron captures Ellaria, Yara, and Tyene who is now the sole surviving Sand Daughter after Obara and Nymeria were killed in the fighting.

Those are the biggest highlights from this week’s plot, though we did see Arya learn of her surviving siblings in the North, a romantic moment between Grey Worm and Missandei, and Sam helping cure Jorah in the citadel (with a scene cut that has forever ruined pot pie soup).

After what some would call a slow start in “Dragonstone,” the show has begun to pick up the pace, which only seems fitting considering the shortened season length. This newfound wind in the sails doesn’t mean disaster (far from it if Euron has any say here) and the quality of the show is still paramount. The score was fitting for every scene it accompanied; the performances are still breathing life into each character; and the writing is as cryptic as it is symbolic. For example on her way North back to her Siblings, Arya runs into her direwolf, Nymeria (not to be confused with daughter of the sand, although they are named the same). After locking eyes Arya says, “It’s not you,” after which the wolf takes her pack and leaves. While this is surely a case of Chekhov’s smoking direwolf and could mean any number of additional things, it does show that Arya, like Nymeria, has grown since last seen seasons ago.

And a personal favorite quality of the show is the willingness and accuracy to which they recreate shots from earlier seasons. One such instance from this episode is Jon choking Littlefinger just as his father did in season one, both cases where fans felt Littlefinger deserved every bit of it.

“Stormborn” did a great job of highlighting the many complications of the seven-kingdom conflict and finally allowing fans to see some favorite characters communicating with one another. Overall the episode did not disappoint but ultimately didn’t break any norms from previous seasons. There was plenty of action, scheming, and as always, a desire to see what happens next.

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 2: "Stormborn"

8.7 Great

“Stormborn” fits right in with every episode released thus far: not rocking the boat too much but ultimately providing an enjoyable viewing with beautiful cinematography and captivating performances.

  • Characters 8
  • Cinematography 10
  • Writing 8
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