In an infuriating feat of stupidity in a series that prides itself on jaw-dropping death scenes, Game of Thrones’ showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have screwed up the most shocking finale since the Red Wedding.
The first rule of cliffhanger club: you do not show an imperilled character averting certain fiery doom.
After three episodes that solidified mad queen Cersei’s lead over the Mother of impossibly long titles and Dragons, The Spoils of War sees Daenerys Targaryen finally striking back.
“Enough with the clever plans,” she berates Tyrion, sick of his sly tactics and questioning his loyalty, given he’s so far failed to pain his bonkers sis and Kingslayer bro.
All set for firebombing King’s Landing off of the Westerosi map, Daenerys’ still-unawares nephew Jon Snow instead counsels her to hold true to her civilian-friendly core policies.
Which leads to Dany’s most kick-arse intervention since she burned down the Dothraki Khals.
Straddling big bad boy Drogon, she takes to the skies for some prime Lannister frying time.
So if not the Red Keep, where to?
If you mourned the death of Olenna Tyrell and her mighty sick burns last week, Dany − frustrated by that loss so soon on the heels of psycho pirate Euron’s sinking of her Ironborn fleet − serves her revenge bone-melting hot.
With Jaime at the head of a convoy transporting gold from the conquered Highgarden to pay Cersei’s Iron bank debts and bring grain to feed her put upon citizens, it’s brother-lover’s time to die as Dany swoops down from the sky at the head of a berserking Dothraki horseback horde.
That’s when all hell breaks loose and Game of Thrones stuffs up royally.
The Lannister forces don’t stand a chance, as the Essos hardmen smash through their shielded ranks and Dany rains dragonfire down on screaming soldiers.
Bronn to the rescue, he unveils Qyburn’s giant crossbow and spears a mid-flight Drogon, bringing him down but not out, leaving a grounded Dany exposed amidst the furious melee.
With Tyrion watching from a nearby hilltop, willing his dumb bro to turn and run, instead Jaime seizes his chance to claim ultimate victory, picks up a spear and charges his horse towards Drogon.
Shortest episode, worst ending
The shortest episode in the program’s history to date, the moment the mighty winged beast turns his head, bares his teeth and lets loose the flaming fury is EXACTLY where the episode should have cut to black.
Instead, Drogon’s death-strike is robbed of its full import, as a blurry figure (most likely Bronn) leaps to Jaime’s rescue, plunging them both into a conveniently placed stretch of water.
We’re then thrown a second, less effective, cliffhanger as the kingslayer sinks in full armour with a gormless look on his chiselled mug.
Will he drown? Probably not.
Would it have been way cooler in a Jon Snow way to fear for a while that he’s been barbecued?