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YMMV / Game of Thrones S7E4: "The Spoils of War"

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The real reason why Jaime refuses to give Bronn a castle and lordship, acting as if having a castle is meaningless, is because he knows fully well that if Bronn had real property, holdings and soldiers of his own, Bronn would declare for Daenerys. Treating Bronn as a sidekick and paying him a pittance of gold far below his service maintains the Sidekick Glass Ceiling, and keeps Bronn under his thumb. Even if he didn't declare for Daenerys, Bronn can simply retire like he planned to do when marrying Stokeworth and is too useful at Jaime's side for him to risk it.
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    • Jaime's suicidal charge at the end. While he was always bold, it's not like he has much to live for now. Might as well end it like a knight instead of seeing the realm fall into even more chaos.
    • Is Jon refusing to bend the knee a matter of pride and a violation of his own disregard for southern wars and titles, or is it necessary to maintain the fragile unity of the north required to face the white walkers?
    • When Meera comes to see Bran, is she genuinely planning on leaving, or is she quietly begging for a reason to stay with him? The fact that she's utterly crushed by Bran's failure to show any emotion at her departure may suggest the latter, or it may just be regret that her final moments with Bran couldn't have been more meaningful.
    • Is Bran's cold behavior entirely unthinking or is he pushing Meera away for her own good?
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    • Theon bringing up Sansa when he sees Jon in Dragonstone. Did Theon do this because he really wants to know how she's doing since he and Sansa escaped the Boltons last season and parted ways? Or did he ask as a means to remind Jon of what he did for Sansa in an attempt to keep Jon from killing him then and there, knowing that while Jon is incredibly pissed about his betrayal in Season 2, he also loves his siblings?
    • Is Bronn's valor in battle and saving Jaime's life due to him having developed genuine loyalty and camaraderie with Jaime despite his complaining and protesting, or does he simply think that given the nature of this particular battle, switching sides is no longer an option and thinks that winning and protecting Jaime is both his best chance for survival and actually walking away with something to show for all of this?
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  • Anvilicious: When Dany asks Jon what she should do, Jon Snow's speech to Dany advising her not to use her dragons to burn down the Red Keep is this trope to some viewers. The whole point about dragons burning castles being a bad thing is likewise this since when Aegon I landed, the only castle he burnt was Harrenhal, built by a tyrant who oppressed people that the Conqueror freed. On the other hand multiple cities, villages and castles were burned later, especially during the Dance of Dragons, including fairly large ones such as Tumbletown.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • After three episodes of everything going wrong for Dany, many viewers couldn't help but cheer at the utter massacre of the Lannister troops at the hands of Drogon and the Dothraki. This is may be why the Lannisters are shown taking rations and food from peasants; just to make their defeat all more sweeter.
    • On a smaller scale, after six seasons of seeing the unflappable Littlefinger commit horrible atrocities and manipulate everyone around him to better his position, it can be very satisfying to see him finally shaken by the idea that he might be dealing with new individuals who are out of his depth.
  • Cry for the Devil: The Lannister army, since several soldiers are seen shaking in fear of a massive Dothraki horde and Daenerys riding Drogon. It's more poignant in the scene where Tyrion watches from a distance in horror as panicked Lannisters are being butchered like animals and slowly burning to death.
  • Death of the Author:
    • D. B. Weiss states in the "Inside the Episode" that the battle between Dany and the Lannisters is "the first time we've ever had two sets of main characters on opposite sides of the battlefield, and it's impossible to really want any one of them to win and impossible to want any one of them to lose," and while some fans agree, others point to earlier battles with main characters on both sides, particularly the Battle of Blackwater with Davos and Stannis vs. Tyrion and the Lannisters and to a lesser extent the Battle of Castle Black with Jon, Sam, and the Night's Watch vs. Tormund, Ygritte, and the wildlings. Moreover, Jaime's recent actions like plundering the Reach, taking food from peasants who'll now likely starve, hypocritically calling Olenna a traitor, together with his only noteworthy ally being Sam's despicable father Lord Randyll, and the fact that they're ultimately serving the now utterly evil Queen Cersei, makes the Lannisters a pretty clear heel whatever their personal Villainous Valor might be. As for the other side, Daenerys and Drogon leave such utter devastation and suffering in their wake that it can be hard to root for them.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: Just picture a massive wave of Dothraki cavalry storming over the hillside towards the Lannister army... and then add the sound of Drogon screeching and flying into view...
    • The audience has seen Drogon in action before, but never on this scale, or as horrifying with his fire breath decimating entire lines of Lannister soldiers.
  • Incest Yay Shipping: Jon and Dany's interaction in the cave is full of Ship Tease, which is lessened for some viewers because it is a Surprise Incest situation with both of them blissfully unaware, and that thanks to the Tangled Family Tree, Dany is both Jon's aunt and the same age as he is.
  • Informed Wrongness: Dany's plan to take the Red Keep with her dragons is considered wrong by Tyrion and by Jon Snow, with the former suggesting that they lay siege on the capital instead. With winter coming, the entire conflict could last longer than any siege can maintain. Dany going straight to the Red Keep could conceivably end the war much faster, since it's clear that the Lannisters don't have any support base outside the capital.
  • Older Than They Think: A few commentators saw the scorpion in the show as a kind of fantasy-term for a ballista. In the real world, Scorpions were Roman era weapons, used as artillery. Of course the one in the show is visually closer to the ballista but in terms of its portability, and being able to be carried on a wagon for greater mobility, similar to how the scorpion is loaded in a covered wagon in the episode.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • If only for a moment and as a monument to his golden balls, you may want Jaime to succeed, kill Daenerys and end the war right there with his epic "Saint George and the Dragon" charge.
    • Likewise, Bronn manning the scorpion is awesome in itself.
  • Squick: Jon is Dany's nephew; while many fans have been pushing the relationship even in the book and it's context-appropriate, it is still cheering for incest. Some viewers disagree on the show's handling of this — some viewers enjoy the way they start to develop feelings for one another in this episode while others feel it is forced, as if the director is pushing them toward each other saying kiss.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Despite David Benioff claiming Jon and Dany are starting to feel "attracted to one another", some viewers feel their onscreen chemistry is pretty much non-existent and the romance they're heading towards is heavily scripted, especially with how the vast majority of their screentime together has been of two people refusing to compromise in any meaningful way beyond the mining of dragonglass.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Drogon burning the Lannister-Tarly caravan and soldiers is, well, lit.
  • The Woobie: After everything Meera went through with Bran, including her own brother dying for him, she only gets a half-hearted thank-you from him and realizes that the boy she has so much affection for essentially died in the cave.


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