Before using her forces to lay siege to the capital, Daenerys is able to shatter their sense of superiority by crushing a huge swath of their military with ease and only one of her flying WMDs. This is how Dany should have handled her first salvo from the beginning. Hearing the sounds of the Dothraki before even seeing Drogon is surreal enough. While the riders of the Dothraki Sea have been in the series since the jump, Essos is a very different land than Westeros.
Having essentially a wave of American Plains Riders crash down on medieval knights in shining armor is disorienting and terrifying. Just ask the knights. But then comes the dragon. Baby Drogon toasted the slave owners of Astapor, and all three dragons made an example out of just a handful of Yunkai and Volanti ships in the waters outside of Meereen.
Yet they are only on real full display in Westeros, and the series finally has a battle as twisted as its earliest conflicts. And here they are being turned into actual ash within an instant. Ash heaps in the shape of men replace the actual bodies that once stood there. Now he must simply watch the grisly nightmare, and perhaps think of his brother and disloyal war buddy down there.
Apparently, Qyburn has only built one to date, and as expected it proves to be not nearly as effective as advertised.
Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 4 Recap: When Jaime Met Drogon - Thrillist
Who do you root for? Drogon or Bronn? Jaime or Daenerys? Game of Thrones made its bones by letting characters endure realistic repercussions for their mistakes. Trust Littlefinger and make no strong political ties in the capital? Off with your head, Lord Stark. Insult a contentious ally whose support is pivotal? Prepare to never see your child born, Robb. Fire an ineffective weapon at a dragon? Time to fry in the sky, Bronn.
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In the meantime, it just means Dany must pluck out a flesh wound on Drogon. And seizing the opportunity of the Targaryen girl stepping foot on a battlefield, Jaime unwisely charges Dany on gallant horseback. Even if Jaime had managed to kill Dany, Drogon would have inevitably done what he did: turn that noble steed into a grass stain. But like Bronn, Jaime wore heavy plot armor tonight and miraculously did not pay for his foolishness really one of them should have… , and is thrown into the Blackwater Rush.
So the episode ends with the Lannisters enduring a devastating defeat at the hands of simply Daenerys and Drogon. If she unsheathed her other two dragons, she could finish the job in an afternoon. This too, though, is to her advantage. The Lannister forces are shattered as the weather grows gray. And their edible spoils were also spoiled in flames. The main reason is because Benioff and Weiss want to make sure Lena Headey makes it to season 8. Granted, this is also a fight Cersei should want to win too, but she is even less likely to sign onto this Paris Climate Agreement than Daenerys.
Slowly but surely, the lines of the endgame are taking firmer shape. And it now is becoming clear that Mad Queen Cersei will figure just as prominently in the final battles as the Night King. I can attest to that since this review is close to tying my longest in its number of words, and this episode is 20 minutes shorter than the one that spawned that ponderous ramble! Still, I am going to have to take half a star off.
I again think that while underlining the chilliness between the Stark sisters, the showrunners forgot to let them both understand it in their hurry for new political machinations to begin in the North. Martin running through its fire and blood. The first of the endgame.
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View the discussion thread. Sign up for our newsletter Newsletter. Review David Crow Aug 7, Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4 Much was said last week, including by a certain red witch, about the poetic quality that comes from ice meeting fire. Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones Season 7. Emilia Clarke.
Maisie Williams. Hearing the "dracarys" sound cue rumble as Drogon burned a hole in the first Lannister line signaled that everything Cersei had planned only made sense fighting a war without dragons. Drogon descending out of the clouds, leading Dothraki on horseback, is a game changer without parallel in modern warfare; dragons exist in the history of Westeros, but none of the westerners we see on the battlefield have seen a dragon in the flesh before, let alone have any training in how to fight the things.
While Bronn semi-successfully uses Qyburn's ballista to down Drogon, this episode suggests that only a direct headshot will take down Dany's children. Drogon may have had to go down to ground level because of a ballista bolt, but that battlefield was mostly on fire. Most people would agree the conflict had been won except for Jaime Lannister. The fact that Drogon is no less effective in protecting his mother while on the ground doesn't look good for future anti-dragon tactics. Getting a dragon out of the air is tough enough, but to finish the job without an arrow through the eye would require a significant attacking force on the ground.
And frankly, the amount of bodies you'd have to throw at a dragon the size of a jet would be of an amount no House would be willing to spare. Bronn -- not technically a Lannister, but one in spirit -- finally returns to the series in a big way after a dialogue-free appearance in last week's episode. A few times in this episode, including the final beat, Bronn disagrees with Jaime, then ends up saving him. If these scenes are meant to echo each other, the connection between Bronn and Jaime could be fraying or Bronn is going to be the character that will be able to get Jaime to start seeing Cersei for what she's become since he left for Riverrun last season.
It makes sense to let Lady Olenna have her moment last episode , then to pick up the story of the Tyrell gold here. Cersei puts things right with the Iron Bank in a scene that treats her like the James Bond villain she's become. In her big moment, we learn that Qyburn has reached out to the Golden Company in Essos, a band of 10, fighting mercenaries from the Free Cities. We previously heard of when Davos and Stannis argued over where to pick up more troops.
Notably they are the only mercenary group in Planetos who has the reputation of never breaking a contract. It sounds like her caravan managed to get all the gold into King's Landing, but the majority of the men and the crops look to have been either seized or destroyed by Dany and her Dothraki forces. Presumably they seized the food to bring back to Casterly Rock so the Unsullied won't starve to death, but we could also learn that cutting Jaime off in The Reach after he took out the Tyrells might leave the entire Reach vulnerable to bending the knee to the Dragon Queen.
Just how much time we'll have to debate these things depends on a few people's decisions on what to focus on next week, namely the Lannisters. If they're debt free, do they care so much about their losses even though Jaime survived? Is Jaime more serious about the dragon threat now, and if so, what can they even do about it?
Drogon barbecued the only dragon ballista we've seen, even though Qyburn seems smart enough to make multiples or at least have a salvage operation ready. In case it wasn't obvious from last week, the flipping of House Tarly and the taking down House Tyrell is a really big deal when it comes to the politics of the lesser Houses of Westeros.
Much like how Sansa is currently stockpiling grain up North, Highgarden and the seat of House Tyrell up until recently , could call in crops and gold from the Houses of the most fertile lands in the continent. By pledging to Queen Cersei, House Tarly has sided against his historic allies and the oaths he took to protect them. This is unlike Randyll Tarly from the books, who wouldn't break an oath to House Tyrell, but in line with the stern and xenophobic Randyll of the show.
Since we already think the elder Tarly is a jackass, this episode doubles down on giving Randyll's non-Maester son a little pathos. Dickon Tarley had to kill a bunch of his hunting buddies in his first ever battle. Thrones gives us a moment to feel sad about it. This does not bode well for poor Dickon. He does save Jaime from a Dothraki later in the episode, but having this amount of backstory interjected into a show moving at this pace can only mean one of two things: 1 Dickon has an important part to play in the war between Lannister and Targaryen or 2 Dickon's gonna die.
As per usual, Game of Thrones would like the audience to have a mixed opinion on every death -- the nuance of mixed cheers and jeers -- and now we have enough backstory to feel bad for Dickon beyond his a-hole father. The direction of the series has me worried for the life of Peter Baelish, the Littlefinger.
When he was in King's Landing, sitting on the Small Council, being Master of Coin, and running his brothels, he had multiple schemes going at all times to make sure he could maneuver around the political climate of King's Landing. So it's puzzling that Baelish has nothing to do in Winterfell besides ham-fisted attempts to undermine Sansa and tell all the Stark children how much he loved their mother. When Brienne says that she would do anything in service of Catelyn's memory, it rings true. When Littlefinger says he would have done anything for Catelyn, all we can think is what Sansa thinks this episode when she hears about the Catspaw dagger: Littlefinger doesn't do anything unless he thinks it benefits him.
Look at Deut and Deut These are key marching order passages for what God wants the Israelites to do as they enter the land. They are wiped out not because they deserve it more. That is the reason. Whatever iniquity is building up for the Canaanites, surely its relevance to Canaanite genocide cannot be understood apart from the clear motives given in such places as Deuteronomy 7 and Iniquity is not the reason for the extermination. All nations are iniquitous. The reason is that the iniquity will lead Israel into idolatry. If we fail to take seriously the motive for the genocide, we will not be able to grasp or address the theological problem.
Conversely, we cannot assign a false motive, even if it seems to make the theological problem a bit more manageable. We see in Deut that towns outside of Canaan are treated differently than Canaanite towns. Moving along, in Numbers 31, the Israelites go to war against the Midianites. Moses was angry because the soldiers allowed the women to live.
So, Moses commands that every woman who slept with an Israelite male be put to death. But who else is executed? Should this not make us a bit uncomfortable? Like the animals and property, the virgins are property to be divvied up. Of those 32,, half went to the Israelites in general and the other half went to those who had actually been part of the battle. Every 50th virgin from the other Israelites in all was given to the Levites in charge of the tabernacle, again perhaps to serve as slaves there. Without giving ourselves up to wild speculation, what exactly do soldiers typically do with captive virgin women?
But, this is already complicated enough. Further, aside form being warm and fuzzy arbitrary, the seriousness of evil can be trivialized in a theology that is about love alone. If one chooses a Christological key, we have a circular problem…that these very human scriptures are our testimony about Christ and their human side cannot be trusted. At very least every believe needs to assert the problem as you are stating it afresh…and hopefully, we are too far into the narrative of Christian history to accept a marcionite and rather anti-semitic reading.
I can live with the tension…and see within the mixed bag of scripture the voice of God and the voice of man…but untangling that thread will always be tentative…just as every theology cannot be the final articulation of all things true of God. My 2 cents. One can perhaps more easily see this with more recent events.
Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, was and out and out racist; this is not too surprising when one realizes that essentially every white person in the US was racist, but he was LESS racist than others and that was a crucial distinction. This might not be the most satisfying answer, but it is the one I work with today in the absence of a better one.
Some statements in the NT do pose problems to this however i. Not an easy subject to untangle…. Thank you for raising a very difficult issue, and hoping that evangelicals will acknowledge it for what it is, before seeking to resolve it. On the one hand evangelicals are quick to point to violent passages in Muslim scripture and its justification for acts of terror, and yet on the other hand the far more numerous passages in the Bible are either not recognized, or easily glossed over with simplistic theological and apologetic answers.
Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4 Review: The Spoils of War
In one recent exchange, an evangelical academic with a background in Old Testament was incredulous that given the complexities of this issue that I would have the expectation that rank and file evangelicals should be willing to wrestle with them. Before one can deal with a problem the problem must be acknowledged. Thanks for helping readers take the first step.
For me, the issue that is hardest to explain is how God could command his people to do this as his agents. Even if we accept that got can kill anyone he wants at any time, and that he owes no one any explanation, that is different from commanding actual people to carry out what otherwise looks like dreadful sin. How do we respond today to people who kill because God has commanded it?
What makes their situation any different than that of Moses? After all, they may be just as certain, if not more so, that they are simply obeying God as the ultimate authority. Here is my current way of understanding this problem until I learn more: 1. Most of the Old Testament presents fictional stories not historical facts. The authors of these stories were explaining their understanding of God, but our understanding of God, just like our understanding of medicine, science, and everything else, has progressed a lot during the past 2, years or more.
I agree with this point, and it is my current way of understanding the OT. It is not uncommon even in modern history to view this trait, the American Revolution for example, when I lived in the US we were hardly taught the role of the French during the war, and we never heard the burning down of the White House in So I would ask the question, did these events happen?
Hi Peter. Great post. Disturbing when it is all so clearly laid out. He stoops to deal with us in a context that at the level of human culture and development then people could understan. He draws the analogy of the Movie Mrs Macphee who, at the beginning of the film, appears to the unruly kids as an ugly hag. She is severe with them and allows them to live with the consequences of their selfish behaviour when they pretend to be sick they get the real symptoms.
Slowly she brings more discipline and obedience into their lives and as they improve she becomes more beautiful and sympathetic. On day one they could not have related to her as she really is the gorgeous Emma Thompson! Is it a great discussion! True, there is no archeological evidence for many Bible stories.
Unsullied Recap—Game of Thrones, Episode 704—“The Spoils of War”
This does not stop the historicity from being there and being taken as told — what happened then and there for reasons suggested. Ronald, Your point 2 partly works for me, at least until we know more. As to how much some Christian thinking has progressed since the slaughter of the Canaanites, willingness to shoot hellfire missiles at Afghan and Pakistani wedding parties does suggest we may not want to pat ourselves on the back too soon. Pete has rightly brought up an exceedingly important point, not just for better understanding of Scripture but also for hopefully better current practices.
People who consider themselves Bible believing Christians usually act in ways that reflect their understanding of Scripture. Those who choose to act out some parts of the Old Testament urgently need a better understanding of it. Try as I might, I have a hard time seeing this passage in any other light than the author specifically indicating that God is withholding his hand in taking the land from the Amorites Canaanites until their sin reaches such a full measure as to warrant it. But it also seems to play into notions of tribal justice. So how does acknowledging that help us deal with the problem of violence?
This is the picture of God that unfortunately made the most sense in their culture. The Hebrew culture may have not known what to do with a more accurate picture of God. But this is another subject altogether. Hello Peter. I appreciate you discussing this aspect of Joshua. It does not shake my faith, which is built on the Gospel, but the Old Testament often challenges my insight to God. Thank goodness for the later as well as the former! Victory meant spoils. Failure meant genocide or enslavement. View the offensive Scripture from their eyes, their times, not ours.
Brutality, genocide and enslavement to the ancients was their normal. For Joshua, war would have been a total disaster if the Jews failed in battle. We have no stomach for their normal. Are we being blind to it because of modern sensitivities to the holocaust?