We’re less than a month into Game of Thrones’ seventh season, yet already we find ourselves at the halfway mark. Quickly becoming one of the best years the show has seen, this latest season has already given us some epic moments with both Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) war against Cersei (Lena Headey) and the oncoming war for the North being the main driving force. This impressive run of form continues as we enter “The Spoils of War,” with the aptly titled episode focusing on the aftermath from the sacking of Highgarden. During the early portion of this we get a glimpse at Cersei’s plans to reclaim the Seven Kingdoms, with the tail end of her conversation with Tycho (Mark Gatiss) sure to grab the attention of fans of the books.
On the opposite side of this, we see the anger of Daenerys boil over, with her lack of faith in Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) causing her to consider going in all dragons blazing (so to speak). What transpires both before and after this, however, is something much more intriguing, with the growing relationship between Dany and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) leading to some captivating revelations. During this not only do we get some tremendous acting from the talent in front of the camera, but writers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss do an amazing job of teasing a romantic connection between these two rulers (which would be weird if Rhaegar Targaryen proves to be Jon’s father).
The Stark reunions continue to come thick and fast, as following Bran’s (Isaac Hempstead Wright) return to Winterfell last week, Arya (Maisie Williams) also finally makes her way home. Considering how widespread the Stark children have been since the end of the first season, it is rather strange to see so many of them under the same roof. Much like the previous reunions, it is evident that these characters have changed since the first season, with Arya’s list of names resulting in a disconcerting response from Sansa. Despite this return being the key development in Winterfell, Bran’s abilities as the Three-Eyed Raven also continue to result in some awkward conversations, with Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) looking particularly unsettled by Bran’s comments.
The last three episodes have seen some major action set pieces. Whereas last week saw a much more stylish display of action, “The Spoils of War” goes in a much more explosive direction, rivalling the likes of “Hardhome” and “Battle of the Bastards” in grandeur. Though I won’t go into any further details about the scene (as to avoid spoilers), I will say that both the cast and crew do a splendid gob of keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. Giving us a beautiful display of chaotic action, director Matt Shakman conveys the passion and determination of both sides, with the inclusion of main cast members making it hard to consider any major fatalities.
Game of Thrones “The Spoils of War” is yet another sensational hour of television, with the current season quickly becoming one of the best the show has produced. Giving us an explosive aftermath to the sacking of Highgarden, the cast and crew do an excellent job of building tension moving forward, with there being more than a few reasons to tune in again next week.
(9 / 10)