“game of thrones” season 7, episode 4 recap: when they go low, we shoot fire from the sky


trò chơi of Thrones makes good on ideas first raised in Season 1, và it is a glorious nightmare lớn behold.

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As the reunion that’s probably been the most anticipated this side of Jon and Arya, the Arya và Sansa scene is intentionally muted và dispiriting. Meeting the the crypts of Winterfell, & before the vague visage of Ned Stark (or at least a meager interpretation of it), the moment recalls the most recent occasion Arya previously laid eyes on her sister: the day Ned lost his head. This time, Sansa sees her sister first & in spite of going in for a warm hug, the sequence has as much warmth as the gloomy shadows that await all Starks at the kết thúc of things. Down there, Sansa jokingly replies khổng lồ Arya’s query: Do I have sầu to gọi you Lady Stark? But Arya either ignores the humor of the response or can no longer understvà it. Sansa hugs her sister, but at least at first, Arya is as despondent lớn her older sister as she was to Hot Pie.

Earlier in the episode, Arya looked around Winterfell và seemed lớn struggle recognizing her childhood memories or anything else in the location as belonging khổng lồ her. She seemed as removed from this house as she was in the Twins. Aye, I’d even wager khổng lồ say the only place she has looked comfortable in during recent seasons has been among the faces of the dead in the House of Blachồng và White. While standing next khổng lồ Sansa, neither sister can comment on more than the poor craftsmanship of Ned’s statue and skirt discussing how they both survived the many years that have sầu separated them.

Intriguingly, each Stark reunion has been less heartfelt than the last. Whereas Jon and Sansa’s embrace in the snows of Castle Blaông xã aimed to lớn elicit tears of relief for the characters and mayhaps a reviewer or two (sniff), Sansa’s joy at seeing Bran was met with awkwardness and creepy distance. Now, Arya và Sansa barely acknowledge each other as long lost siblings. For while all siblings grow apart lớn a degree with adulthood, there is a staggering distance here that’s only partially bridged by a mutual desire to have sầu been the one to put Joffrey Baratheon in the ground.

On its face, it is a strong choice by Benioff và Weiss, và evocative of Martin too. When viewers finally get what they’ve sầu wanted from almost the beginning—a Stark family reunion—it comes not as a các buổi party but as a funeral. Two acquaintances gathering in the dark khổng lồ pay their respects to a shared loved one. Still, there is something missing in either the direction or writing of this scene. One of my only two critiques of this entirely impressive hour is that while even the Sisters Stark are likely quietly underwhelmed by their surprising distance, we vị not actually feel their disappointment.

There is not enough surprise or disappointment by either, just a queer acceptance of their estrangement, & the fact that the other is alive. Personally, I’d have much preferred the sadness we felt was shared in a more cathartic way by the siblings—if even in private on both their counts.

And yet, the writers are really trying to lớn build khổng lồ something beyond simply a “big scene.”


Indeed, I think more than focusing on the bittersweet awkwardness of Stark children regrouped, it is actually the dawning realization of their unfamiliarity yet necessary kinship that the show really savors. The second hug in the crypt was the first acknowledgement by Arya that she is home, & trò chơi of Thrones is ready to lớn take full advantage of it when she meets Bran Stark by the Heart Tree.

Completing his journey toward faintly dick-ish supernhân vật sage, Bran has had a wheelchair made for hyên ổn by Winterfell’s new maester. How fitting it is that as both of his sisters go onkhổng lồ careers as X-Men heroines that Bran Stark takes one step closer khổng lồ becoming Charles Xavier himself. At the tree, the reunion between Bran and Arya goes more smoothly for the simple fact that Bran is even more damaged—at least on an interpersonal level—than Arya. Their secrets và personal losses are so great that they instantly would appear to lớn bond in their melancholy.

How grim a show Game of Thrones is when Sansa, the one who has been repeatedly beaten, tortured, creeped on by her “uncle,” and much worse, has come out as the most well-adjusted of Cat’s living children. Compared lớn Bran & Arya, she’s even an optimist… và she just fed her last husb& to lớn his own starving dogs, và then suppressed a little laugh about it!

This ironic distance is highlighted by the fact that Bran proves to lớn Arya his visions are not just insanities since he knew about her choice of Winterfell over Cersei, và likewise about her danh mục. Earlier, Sansa believed Arya was just joking about having a kill danh mục, but almost lượt thích a concerned parent who heard that her child has joined a “gang,” Sansa starts khổng lồ show concern. What kind of gang? I suspect this unspoken unfamiliarity—as both sisters quizzically have sầu little interest in hearing what the other has been doing these past several years—will be a source of great drama và angst.

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It’s even heavily hinted about when the three Stark siblings reemerge in the Winterfell courtyard. This is where Benioff & Weiss’ interests truly lie. Not just in the pain between the siblings, but in how their contrasts will begin spinning new conflicts & wheels within wheels. Seeing all three grown kids standing in the snow, happy khổng lồ be together (if Bran is even capable of such a feeling these days) but anxious about the unsatisfactory nature of lives lived apart, is quite a juxtaposition with the three fresh and eager faces that greeted Robert Baratheon, along with their departed brothers & parents.

But together they remain, and the potential is already being scratched as they cross that yard in a sight as breathtaking as any rồng. The last time Arya và Brienne of Tarth met, the “lady knight” took down the Hound, not that this won Arya over. Podrick tries khổng lồ give sầu Brienne the “W” of bringing Arya trang chính, but Brienne is right khổng lồ note that she really doesn’t deserve sầu the credit on this one.

However, she does deserve credit of now being a possibly great role Mã Sản Phẩm for Arya. The first one she’ll have sầu had since Yoren also met the Many-Faced God of Death in season 2. Their friendly duel is the perfect kind of bạn service, as Arya has finally mastered Syrio’s Water Dance, & is able lớn vanquish the Hound’s bane, if even in play. And tantalizingly, both Sansa and Petyr Baelish watch on.

Sansa is hard to read in this moment. She is clearly troubled by learning that her sister’s kill danh mục is not one of pure fancy. Arya moves lượt thích a Braavotê mê warrior that can kill lượt thích the best of them. Is Sansa saddened to lớn see that life has pushed her sister into lớn the role of murderer? Maybe even a little jealous since Sansa has grown into lớn a politician while Arya can fight her own battles? Or merely just shocked at seeing the chipper little girl only truly smile at the thrill of holding a dagger at a friend’s throat?

More than likely she’s deflated that she và Arya can’t connect while little sis is having a ball with Brienne & weapons of death below.

It’s a thread that will likely be pulled one way or the other by the man standing next to Sansa: Petyr Baelish. Petyr’s face isn’t hard to read. He sees something he hasn’t known before: A Stark girl who can kill và looks like she’d be thrilled khổng lồ vày so. What does that mean for his machinations? I doubt even he knows in that exact moment. Nevertheless, a new chess piece has been placed on his board, one that presents an opportunity for Baelish to make new power moves.

We still don’t know if Littlefinger recognizes Arya as the little girl he saw serving as Tywin Lannister’s cup-bearer many, many moons ago. Either way, she’s now a potential tool—just as she uses his Valyrian dagger to lớn defeat Brienne. He nods to lớn her out of faux-respect, but she already knows what kind of schemer a man who breaks bread with Tywin is. She even implicitly disapproved of Sansa keeping the Lord Protector of the Vale around when she heard he was in Winterfell.


Arya might have sầu a point, as we likewise saw Littlefinger try lớn wine and dine Bran. He even gave sầu the young lad a BS sob story about how much he wishes he could have given his life for Catelyn Stark, & how he’s now committed to protecting her children. Bran likely can see through all the smoke being blown up his immovable legs, nor does he care one way or the other. When he spits Littlefinger’s “chaos is a ladder” spiel baông chồng at hyên ổn, it unsettles Baelish enough to cause him khổng lồ take his leave sầu, but Littlefinger gets what he wants in the scene nonetheless.

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He departs by calling Bran “Lord Stark,” và Bran reveals he isn’t Lord Stark. That’s all Littlefinger wanted—confirmation that the cripple doesn’t know who owned the knife that nearly slayed hyên ổn (which I forgot is still a mystery in the show, unlike the books). Nor does Brandon Stark consider himself a political player. Thus he’s one less Stark Littlefinger will now have khổng lồ kill if his plans about marrying Sansa and becoming king are khổng lồ ever come lớn fruition.