Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 2 “Stormborn” Written Recap/Review Round-Up

Cersei Qyburn Stormborn

Hi, hey, hello! You don’t know what you thought of the new Game of Thrones episode? You need some critics to help piece your feelings together and form your thoughts into words? Well hold up, now! – Stop right there!! Have you checked out our own Sue’s recap for those devoted book readers past and present? How about the musings of our favorite Unsullied fellah Oz? Oh…you have? Well, why didn’t you say so! In that case, come on in and let us know what you think of your favorite and least favorite critics…respectfully, of course, and as always. While most of the critics are book readers and fewer are show-only watchers, it’s becoming less and less common for reviewers to even distinguish themselves at this point. If you are very concerned, make sure to check if the review has a *disclaimer* at the top.

Additionally, you might notice a few critics missing or substituted by other critics this week. This is due to many in attendance at Comic-Con this past weekend, presumably unable to watch GOT on time, understandably due to prior commitments. But anyway, without further adieu…

Aimeé Grant Cumberbatch The Evening Standard – In which, in a spoiler-free review, she enjoys the sense of catching up with the intricate web of GOT characters.

Alan Sepinwall, UPROXX – In which he is just as surprised as all of us to find that Euron is ‘boatloads’ of fun to watch – who’d have thought?

Alex Mullane, Digital Spy – In which he acknowledges the momentous occasion it is to have three eunuchs, a dwarf, and five women sitting around a map plotting, compared to earlier seasons, and calls this episode ‘Game of Thrones at its riveting best.’

Alyssa Rosenberg, The Washington Post – In which she analyzes what motivates people in times of crises and war, and the different ways various rulers or people in authority appeal to their followers, would be or otherwise.

Andrew Snell, Mirror – In which he highlights the uniqueness of Maester Qyburn’s badguy-ness, when compared to  villains like Ramsay, Euron, or Joffrey.

Brandon Nowalk, The A.V. Club – In which he observes the smoothly flowing scenes, one into another, as though they finally represent one grand sequence at long last.

Dave Gonzales, Thrillist – In which he speculates on the futures of many of our characters who are now in near-perilous situations.

David Crow, Den of Geek – In which he thinks the ending sea battle was nothing special, lacked emotional resonance, and negatively compares it to Spartacus.

           – [Edit from David Rosenblatt – Woah there, buddy, cool your jets. Spartacus is the greatest television show ever made and I will not take any jabs at it sitting down, so I’ll stand up for the rest of this writeup. End rant.]

David Malitz, The Washington Post – In which he compares the emotional resonance of Missandei’s and Grey Worm’s consummation compared to earlier scenes in what was once a ‘medieval porno.’

David Rosenblatt, SquintyOverAnalyzesThings – Me?! Well, I never! If you’re listening…come on in and see me struggle to find a theme, eventually settling on characters just trying to do what’s right.

James Hibberd, Entertainment Weekly – In which he suggests that the episode was so crammed with emotional climaxes and power plays that it’s surprising it’s episode 2 and not the finale.

Joanna Robinson, Vanity Fair – In which she asks 10 questions (one shy of last week – slacker!) and proceeds to do her damndest to answer them.

Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Verge – In which she analyzes in good detail the significance of GOT depicting consensual, romantic sex.

Kim Renfro – Business Insider – In which she connects many scenes from the episode with scenes from seasons’ past, among, of course, 800 other excellent articles.

Laura Hudson, WIRED – In which she reflects on the ‘be careful what you wish for’ mentality that befalls so many characters in this episode, or has befallen them previously that led them to this point.

Laura Stone, Hey Don’t Judge Me – In which she…I honestly don’t know how to summarize this one. You just need to read on for yourself – as a matter of fact it’s a requirement that you experience the greatness that is within.

Lauren Sarner, Inverse – In which she makes an astute Shakespeare reference, dubbing Olenna Tyrell the Iago of our tale.

Melanie McFarland, Salon – In which she thinks that the show continues to spend too much time frequenting loose ends and plots that aren’t central to the main story, but doesn’t mind when the loose end is a good one (Arya and Nymeria).

Michael Walsh, Nerdist – In which he dares to claim that the sea battle was ‘gorgeous’ and superior even than the Battle of the Blackwater…them some fighting words.

Mike Bloom, Salon – In which Westeros World News (™) grabs the latest headlines and puts them on a newstand for your reading pleasure. Obituaries come in pairs this week.

Myles McNutt, The A.V. Club – In which he reminds us that there are many secrets the audience knows about that the characters do not necessarily know.

Neil Miller, Film School Rejects – In which he compliments Arya’s slow return to a non-murder lifestyle (albeit one that will likely not last long).

Nina Shen Rastogi, Vulture – In which she believes that too many scenes and happenstances in the episode were too coincidental and unrealistically out of place. Prepare your pitchforks; we march at daybreak.

Rob Bricken, io9 – In which he understands that our characters, particularly Daenerys, need to go through rough times and experience difficulty if they are to ever achieve their goals, or even survive.

Sarah Hughes, The Guardian – In which she grins over GOT’s strength to subvert our expectations in scenes both small and big.

Sean T. Collins, Rolling Stone – In which he reminds us of the smaller, touching moments of intimacy (both sexual and otherwise) in an episode largely talked about for its ending action sequence.

Tim Surette, TVGuide – In which he correctly identifies redditors as overanalyzing every little mystery we still have le – Never mind. They’ve all been solved now. No more mysteries left. Thanks, Reddit!

Who wrote your favorite reviews this week?

68 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. I have a feeling next week’s episode will be a doozy. I wonder which episode this season will be the jewel…..there is always one in each season that stands out heads and shoulders above the rest.

        Quote  Reply

    2. Happy to see that the vast majority of reviews are positive. I still don’t get the bitching and moaning I saw here yesterday in the open chat comment section. Sure, it wasn’t a perfect episode, but was really good.

        Quote  Reply

    3. Davos’ Luck,

      It was a tad disheartening. I’ve been critical before but am trying a new tack this season. It’s the end game, they won’t all be perfect. And the first 2 episodes this season weren’t terrible. So I’m going to enjoy the ride and have fun. One thing is for sure; we will all miss this once it ends.

        Quote  Reply

    4. Read some of them myself today. Thank you for posting them in a summary.

      Still reading Laura Stone ones because they are full of fun, genuinely full of warm fuzzies for the good guys, feels a lot like Tyrion when it comes to bastards, cripples and broken things, and though I know she hates Petyr, I don’t hold it against her Lol

      Laura Stone, Hey Don’t Judge Me – In which she…I honestly don’t know how to summarize this one. You just need to read on for yourself – as a matter of fact it’s a requirement that you experience the greatness that is within

      You named her Paloma 😀 I love it!
      Sam IS the best heart in the whole of Westeros. Essos too. And look what he did! Are we not proud?! #DrTarlyMedicineMan
      “Well, fuck!” was my reaction too when Theon jumped ship.
      You’re right. Sansa is going to be fine “The North is yours” Aaaaahhhhhhhh. I did a fist pump followed by a “Fuck, yeah!”

        Quote  Reply

    5. I want to recognize Pilou’s excellent work this season. He has been the MVP so far, IMHO. A huge improvement over his role last season. You can see how much fun he’s having playing the maniac. And he single handedly sent the awful Dornish plot into oblivion, so that helps too. He’s becoming quickly into a fan favourite.

        Quote  Reply

    6. Chuck:
      I have a feeling next week’s episode will be a doozy. I wonder which episode this season will be the jewel…..there is always one in each season that stands out heads and shoulders above the rest.

      I thought it was a good episode. It looks like they’re turning Darny’s into a villain – she’s certainly becoming less likable as the series go on. Awayforthelads seems to have known what was going to happen to an extent in his/her spoilers – they’ve left about half the episode out but the half they do put in is right. I think they must have seen them filming some of these scenes.

        Quote  Reply

    7. David Crow, Den of Geek – In which he thinks the ending sea battle was nothing special, lacked emotional resonance,

      Did he not see Yara’s tear?

        Quote  Reply

    8. Laura Stone… wow. Yes she was at 110% this epi – LOVE IT. Did anyone freeze frame the Khaleesi letter b/c I think she would like to print/frame it/wall it.

        Quote  Reply

    9. I spend so much time reading the reviews and general chat here, that I honestly don’t bother with others. It just gets too much, and there’s always a couple that are just going to end up consistently irritating me with their interpretations. 😂 I get my fix here. 😊

        Quote  Reply

    10. Just finished watching for the first & second time (we’re on a 24hr delay in my country).

      Uugh, Sam treating Jorah’s greyscale. I couldn’t watch, I actually felt physically ill. Nauseous. (I didn’t have any problem with the poop&soup montage, goes to show different people are grossed out by different things.)

      I liked the Nort scenes the best. This time Jon & Sansa & Davos discussed at least some things in advance. I wonder how it’s going to go now that Sansa is in charge… Will Littlefinger succeed in slithering his way back to her good graces? Oh, and Jon grabbing LF by the throat and smashing him against the wall felt good… for about a second. But it’s worrying how much that recalled poor old dead Ned doing the same in S1…

      Glad to see the Varys issue was addressed, though I must say I’m not a great fan of Dany in her “queenly mode”. The map table scene was a little disappointing, maybe my expectations were too high.

      Loved how Cersei presented the situation to the lords, and then Jaime appealed to Randyll Tarly’s xenophobia and ambition.

      Hot Pie! Arya was worryingly emotionless and evasive, though. Thank gods Hot Pie told her about Winterfell and Jon and she turned north! Oh, and the wolf scene… Was that a way of disposing of yet another direwolf?

      I found the sea battle confusing and difficult to follow, but I’m sure there are a lot of fans who cheered to see two sand snakes killed. And poor Theon reverting back to Reek 🙁

      All in all, a good episode, but not great. And I’ll have nightmares of Sam’s scalpel, ugh.

        Quote  Reply

    11. The verge had another article titled
      Game of Thrones’ worst characters died as they lived — being useless

        Quote  Reply

    12. talvikorppi,

      I feel like that sea battle would have been so much better if it had had about twice as much time. Yara was supposed to be an adept naval commander as well; I wish we could have actually seen her lead, instead of Euron just suddenly being right on top of them blowing up everything and kicking ass. I can accept the ending (I HATED the ending, but I accept it) I just wish there was more of a clear, two-sided battle before it. I see a lot of people saying they were into it, but I get the feeling it would have gone over better if there had been more to it.

      I hope Theon is able to use his failure to an advantage and save his sister.

        Quote  Reply

    13. While most of the critics are book readers and fewer are show-only watchers, it’s becoming less and less common for reviewers to even distinguish themselves at this point.

      Well, I know for myself that the books have zero influence on me at this point, despite the fact that I read them several years ago (I haven’t read one for at least three years).

        Quote  Reply

    14. I am glad I don’t see the New Yorker’s Sarah Larson reviews listed.
      They are silly with a calculated adolescent twitter to them , even uniformed with facts she can’t keep straight.
      Amazing for a sophisticated magazine that was the home of famed film critic Pauline Kael.

        Quote  Reply

    15. It’s good that the NY Times is no longer hostile to GoT an attitude which morphed into indifference for a while.
      However Jeremy Enger’s friendly but lackluster reviews are not up to the standards of the Gray Lady. They are not bad reviews but wonders what their superstar film critics M Manohla Dargus and A O Scott would have to say? Scott in particular since he is genre friendly.

      Worth looking up at the Times
      “Q. and A.: Grey Worm and Missandei’s Tender Moment on ‘Game of Thrones’”
      by Jennifer Vineyard.

        Quote  Reply

    16. The Vulture review is very accurate; bad writing is probably the only option to get all the characters on the same screen and going in the same direction. When you have a ton of characters, it’s easy to pair them off and keep the story moving logically. As you get down to a basic cast, though, it requires a series of greater leaps to keep them together. Westeros hasn’t shrunk. It’s probably why GRRM is having such difficulty paring down the threads; he simply doesn’t want to put bad writing to paper. But for television, you have to soldier on, and you toss in as many coincidences as you need to jump ahead to the story you want to tell.

      This season has taken two “premiere” episodes of meet-ups, recaps and exposition without much new ground being laid. I hope it doesn’t take three..

        Quote  Reply

    17. Is it me or does Euron get stabbed/cut multiple times during the ship battle scene and seems unscathed?

        Quote  Reply

    18. Dee Stark:
      Chuck,

      What do you mean a doozy? You don’t think itll be good next week?

      Even though I came upon a promo yesterday, I forgot most of it so I cannot really rely on that… for me, I’m sure the episode will be good if not great because so far, I never came across a “bad episode”. And as much as I know you and your positive attitude, Dee, I expect it will be good for you as well.

        Quote  Reply

    19. mau,

      I know you’re trying to maintain or increase the “hype” level, but can we please avoid “leaks” talk, even in general terms ? At the very least, cover with greyscale.
      🚱🚱🚱🚱

        Quote  Reply

    20. mau,

      thanks for the hype WOOOO

      another promo spoiled for me HAHAHA
      I avoid ALL promos before the episodes to keep surprises even more LOL

        Quote  Reply

    21. Magiese:
      talvikorppi,

      I feel like that sea battle would have been so much better if it had had about twice as much time.Yara was supposed to be an adept naval commander as well; I wish we could have actually seen her lead, instead of Euron just suddenly being right on top of them blowing up everything and kicking ass.I can accept the ending (I HATED the ending, but I accept it) I just wish there was more of a clear, two-sided battle before it.I see a lot of people saying they were into it, but I get the feeling it would have gone over better if there had been more to it.

      I hope Theon is able to use his failure to an advantage and save his sister.

      It wasn’t a battle, though, it was an ambush.
      I agree that Yara was slack in not posting effective lookouts.

        Quote  Reply

    22. Dee Stark,

      I think it’s fair to say the writers want to show that Daenerys has taken actions similar to Aerys. No, I don’t that makes her a mad queen or that she will turn into Aerys. But I think it’s fair to say the show wants us to contemplate the potential for it.

        Quote  Reply

    23. Ten Bears:
      Lady Lyanna Mormont for the iron throne!,

      Oh please ! None of that leaker talk !
      🚱🚱🚱🚱🚱

      I didn’t say what the spoilers were, only that the person putting them out was being proven right. They could have said anything. Turning Dany into a villain is just my opinion based on this episode – it wasn’t part of any spoiler. You’d have to look them up yourself to see what they were – I can’t do spoiler tags anyway.

        Quote  Reply

    24. Lady Lyanna Mormont for the iron throne!,

      How is Dany the villian? That’s just people wanting her to be the villian seeing what they want. Dany has always made her goal clear: rule the seven kingdoms. That includes the North and Jon. That somehow makes her the villian now? Or maybe it was grilling Varys on his loyalty considering he did send assassin’s to kill her. That’s just super evil.

        Quote  Reply

    25. Dee Stark,

      Haha, it was actually me who accidentaly spoiled the promo for you in my review. But as I said, it aired at the end of episode… I usually don’t actively follow them.

        Quote  Reply

    26. Tycho Nestoris,

      If they had to show everything from book 4 and 5 and wait for book 6 and 7, Maisie Williams would be retired before the show was finished. They cannot keep the actors that long. There were indeed plotholes, I’m not gonna deny that, but you cannot expect the writers to write for at least 7 years before filming a season.

      Book spoilers

      And by the way book 4 and 5 also had a lot of plotholes because GRRM started meandering too much and adding new storylines out of nothing (Doran’s masterplan, Varys supporting (f)Aegon,…) He wrote himself into a corner and doesn’t know how to get out of it.

        Quote  Reply

    27. I had to laugh that Laura (Stone) mentioned Yara’s pants again. 🙂

      Yara? You filled out some leather pants like a fucking boss.

        Quote  Reply

    28. Grandmaester Flash,

      Am I the only one who believes Euron can control the seas? It sure seems like he can literally bring the storm. Maybe he was being serious when he said he was the “first storm and the last.” Perhaps the storm was able to cloak his fleet?

        Quote  Reply

    29. Chilli,
      If they had to show everything from book 4 and 5 and wait for book 6 and 7, Maisie Williams would be retired before the show was finished. They cannot keep the actors that long. There were indeed plotholes, I’m not gonna deny that, but you cannot expect the writers to write for at least 7 years before filming a season.

      Full disclosure. I didn’t always appreciate the difficulty in adaptating to television. Today, I agree with your sentiment above. GRRM has a significant advantage in that he can send his characters all over with numerous subplots and not worry about “real” issues like actors aging, financial limitations to set and costume among a million other things.

      That said, I do have problems when plots are made MORE complicated than necessary. This is why I like the article I linked. The logistics of Tyrion/Daenerys’ plan is made more complicated for dramatic effect. The crazy part is that (like Sansa’s save of Jon last season) the drama (Euron obtaining his gift and Sansa saving Jon) is possible without the strange motivations.

      In the Dragonstone case, just stop at Dorne and then separate the fleet. It could have been done off screen with Daenerys arriving at Dragonstone (like ep 1) already having left part of her fleet in Dorne.
      In Winterfell, have Sansa plan for Jon’s army to be bait for the Vale attack.

      It’s frustrating because I like the action in both BotB and Euron’s attack. It’s the setup that I find exaggerated.

        Quote  Reply

    30. Grandmaester Flash: It wasn’t a battle, though, it was an ambush.
      I agree that Yara was slack in not posting effective lookouts.

      It was long enough, longer than all of Robb’s battles put together. And exactly, this wasn’t a battle. It was a rout from the very beginning. I.e. the proper way to wage war. Marching ( in this case – sailing ) with banners flying, drums and trumpets/horns is impressive, but rarely effective. The goal of war is to take down as much of the enemy as you can, while saving as much of your own as possible. Maybe Euron found a copy of Sun Tzu’s ” The art of war ” while he was in exile. Or he can write the Westerosi equivalent of it, he did it splendidly. Caught them completely off guard, a couple of minutes later and their captain would’ve been with her pants off, literally.

        Quote  Reply

    31. Tycho Nestoris,

      March concentrated and fight divided, that’s what they did, and they paid for it immediately. And they felt kinda invincible at the war council, obviously as they were sailing to Dorne too.

      As expected, Daenerys suffered an setback at the start of the season. That was needed in order to even the odds a bit and keep the intrigue.

        Quote  Reply

    32. Laura Stone is the absolute best. Her pure, unbridled enthusiasm for the show (especially her undying love for Ser Jorah) is delightful, and her recaps always bring the humor and the emotion in spades.

      I always enjoy Sean T. Collins’s reviews as well. Concise, incisive, and well-written, and of course, his bona fides with respect to this story are well-established, even if he doesn’t draw attention to it.

        Quote  Reply

    33. hursta1:
      Lady Lyanna Mormont for the iron throne!,

      How is Dany the villian?That’s just people wanting her to be the villian seeing what they want.Dany has always made her goalclear: rule the seven kingdoms.That includes the North and Jon.That somehow makes her the villian now?Or maybe it was grilling Varys on his loyalty considering he did send assassin’s to kill her.That’s just super evil.

      I just think that’s the direction they’re going. When they started the season Danys was too much the good guy and Cersi was too much the bad guy. Danys was too strong and Cersi too weak. This show isn’t that black and white. They have to make Danys unlikable and Cersi stronger and more sympathetic.

        Quote  Reply

    34. seenGhost?,

      As expected, Daenerys suffered an setback at the start of the season. That was needed in order to even the odds a bit and keep the intrigue.

      I agree that drama/intrigue was necessary to balance the scales. I appreciate that Daenerys suffered a loss immediately. I enjoyed the scene itself (of Euron taking the ships unaware).

      I would have preferred (for what little that is worth) the setup of her loss be less logistically convoluted (my opinion).

        Quote  Reply

    35. Tycho Nestoris,

      Well if D&D had 6 years or more like GRRM maybe some things would be better, but the reality of the situation dictates this. They need shortcuts or this whole story will fell apart, just like in the books.

        Quote  Reply

    36. Tycho Nestoris,

      Could’ve been a storm at sea or an epidemic ( all the ppl and horses cramped together…brgh ), but then we should’ve missed the berserk boarding, most likely.

      One gets to wonder what they did through all the way from Essos, you’re right. Their plan should’ve been ready before landing and the fleet for Dornish troops dispatched in advance. Initial landing of the main force being at Dragonstone instead of Sunspear makes sense at it provides the element of surprise. The mysterious part is why was the most powerful castle in Westeros left completely uninhabited. Finding 5-6 lesser lords fighting over it was more realistic ( and a dragon putting an end to their brawl would’ve been a hilarious scene ).

      What I won’t understand is how Euron’s ship ran straight into his niece and nephew’s ship in the foggy night. A bit easier if the latter was sailing ahead of the fleet, which would be plain stupid. In such conditions, especially when it’s carrying allied dignitaries, the flagship should be in a safer position at the middle of the formation. If there is a formation at all, nothing like that was present when the armada sailed off Meereen.
      I guess we have to settle with overconfidence vs genius.

        Quote  Reply

    37. mau,

      Sorry, I was using “Daenerys” generically for her and her allies. Yes, it was thematically important for Daenerys to land on Dragonstone and remain there. I see no reason for Daenerys to go to Dorne.

      Her allies, not so much. Here’s the allies route so far as well as their presumed routes according to Tyrion’s plan…

      *I am removing Euron’s attack from this plan to show how it was intended to play out*

      1) Sailed to Mereen from Dorne
      2) Sailed to Dragonstone from Mereen (passing Dorne)
      3) (Ellaria, Olenna) Sailed back to Dorne from Dragonstone
      (Unsullied) Sailed to CR (passing Dorne) from Dragonstone
      4) (Ellaria team) Sail back to KL with Dornish forces
      5) Olenna leaves Dorne for Highgarden to start land march to KL

      This is not a shortcut, written or otherwise. Everything from step 2 could have been done from the moment they reached Dorne (and off screen). Did no one come up with a plan during the voyage from Mereen to the Narrow Sea? Why did it need to be constructed on DS?

        Quote  Reply

    38. Dee Stark:
      Lord Parramandas,

      itll probably be amazing

      I’m sure it will be… a question for you, Dee: was there a GoT episode you didn’t like? Because I definitely know for myself that I enjoyed them all. Some more than others though, that’s why I have a ranklist.

        Quote  Reply

    39. So far this season is off to a better start than most of the preceding seasons, but, given the fact that there are only 5 episodes left, I would think it would be moving at a quicker pace and there would be less time wasted on needless scenes like the poop/soup montage, the Greyworm/Missandei sexy time, and Sam endlessly restacking library books. That time could have been better spent on Bran’s visions, which are infinitely more interesting.

      I have also been pleased to see how much the actors have grown in their abilities as actors over the years, but I’m not happy that, with the exception, of Euron, Tormund, Sandor and Sam, all of the main characters seem to be playing their parts with emotionless disdain. Perhaps they believe this portrays cynicism and toughness, but to me it’s just boring, The worst offender of this type of character portrayal is Emelia Clarke, whose Daenerys seems flat and detached, which has caused her to become my least favorite character.

      I hope the pace will pick up and we see much more of Bran.

        Quote  Reply

    40. No, disagree with the WP article. The Dothraki are savages. They may be under the control of Daenerys because of her power, but they are really no better than the Ironborn.

        Quote  Reply

    Jump to the Top

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *