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‘Game of Thrones’ Recap: Daenerys Must Make a Drastic Choice

SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading if you have not seen “Game of Thrones” Season 7 Episode 4, titled “The Spoils of War”

This week’s “Game of Thrones” begins at Highgarden, with the Lannister army marching off with wagon-loads of gold taken from the Tyrells. Bronn reminds Jamie that he still owes him a castle for his service to the Lannister family. But Jamie says that the gold is meant to pay back the Iron Bank for the Seven Kingdoms’ massive debts. Jamie then tasks Bronn with getting all the farmers in the surrounding lands to surrender their grain.

In King’s Landing, Cersei meets with Tycho Nestoris from the Iron Bank, who offers to back her financially now that the kingdom’s debts have been repaid with Tyrell gold.

In Winterfell, Lord Baelish presents Bran with the dagger that was almost used to kill him years earlier, but Catelyn saved him. When Baelish mentions to Bran that there is so much chaos in the world, Bran unexpectedly quotes Baelish, saying “Chaos is a ladder.” Meera Reed interrupts, and Baelish leaves. Meera tells Bran that she must leave in order to protect her family from the White Walkers. Bran gives her a simple “Thank you,” which does not sit well with Meera, given the sacrifices she and her brother made to keep Bran safe. But Bran says he is no longer Brandon Stark, but rather the Three-Eyed Raven.

On a hilltop overlooking Winterfell, Arya approaches by horse. She walks through the castle’s gates and is stopped by two guards. They refuse to believe she is Arya Stark, but she will not be denied. They eventually escort her inside out of fear for what will happen if she is who she says she is. Arya sits in the courtyard, drinking in her home for the first time in years. She slips past the guards and goes to wait in the crypts beneath Winterfell for Sansa. The sisters reunite and embrace one another. They stand before their father’s grave, with both revealing they had long, unpleasant journeys getting back home, but their stories are not over yet. Sansa then tells Arya that Bran has also returned.

In the godswood, Arya and Sansa find Bran sitting alone in a newly constructed wheelchair. He knows all about her list of names of people she plans to kill, proving to her that he has developed psychic powers. He then draws the dagger that Baelish gave him and offers it to Arya. All three Stark siblings then return to the castle, where Brienne, Pod, and Baelish observe them.

At Dragonstone, Daenerys still has no word back from the Unsullied who stormed Casterly Rock. Jon Snow asks for a word with her on the beach. She, Jon, and Missandei walk beneath a nearby mountain, where Jon shows them the massive amount of dragon glass within. He then takes Daenerys deeper into the mountain, showing her ancient runes carved into the rock. He says the Children of the Forest made the markings “a very long time ago.” The carvings show the Children and the First Men working together to fight the White Walkers. Jon reminds her that they will need to fight together if they hope to survive. She says she will fight with Jon, but only when he bends the knee. Jon says the North will not accept a Southern ruler, but Daenerys says that they will accept her if he does.

Outside, Tyrion tells Daenerys that although they took Casterly Rock, the victory was hollow after Cersei and Jamie’s deception. Daenerys is furious and questions Tyrion’s strategy against his family. She insists that she will fly her dragons to King’s Landing and burn Cersei out. Tyrion protests, and she instead asks Jon Snow for advice. He tells her that she will lose the love of the people if she uses her dragons to kill innocent people.

In Winterfell, Pod’s training with Brienne continues. Arya observes and speaks with Brienne, asking to train with her given her victory over The Hound. Sansa and Baelish look on as Arya and Brienne begin to spar. Arya proves more than a match for Brienne, demonstrating the vast amount of training she has undergone since her days in King’s Landing under Syrio Forel. Afterwards, Arya sees Baelish has been watching all along. He quickly nods to her and moves on.

Back at Dragonstone, Davos and Jon encounter Missandei. She asks him why he bears the surname Snow instead of Stark and he explains that he is a bastard. She then tells them that Daenerys set her free from a life of slavery and that all who came across the sea with Daenerys serve her now out of loyalty and gratitude. They witness a Greyjoy ship approaching, with Theon coming ashore. Jon grabs Theon and tells him the only reason he won’t kill him is the good he did for Sansa with the Boltons. He tells them that Euron has captured Yara and needs help getting her back. They tell him that Daenerys has left.

The Lannister army is back near King’s Landing, with Jamie and Bronn at its head. While speaking with Dickon Tarly, they hear a noise. The army assembles as the noise grows louder. Suddenly, a massive army of Dothraki appear on the horizon. As they draw closer to the front line, Daenerys appears on the back of one of her dragons. She burns the Lannister soldiers en masse, leaving the rest for the Dothraki to cut through.

In the melee, Bronn is thrown from his horse. He fights his way through the carnage but is cornered by a Dothraki soldier. He uses the massive crossbow Qyburn designed to kill him before prepping it to kill Danerys’ dragon. Tyrion observes the carnage from afar, stunned at the bloody scene before him. Jamie, on horseback, watches as his soldiers burn alive. Bronn takes aim, but misses. Daenerys spots him below and circles around. She and her dragon come in for the kill, but Bronn hits with his second shot, wounding the dragon. Nevertheless, the dragon is still strong enough to destroy the crossbow.

The dragon is forced to land due to the injury. Jamie watches as Daenerys pulls the massive crossbow bolt from its hide. He then grabs a nearby lance and rides forward to kill Danereys and her dragon. Someone who appears to be Bronn barely manages to knock Jamie off his horse before the dragon spits fire his way. Jamie sinks into the nearby lake and the scene slowly fades to black.

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