Game of Thrones Season 7 is clearly heading towards becoming the most fan-serviced season so far. In "Stormborn," we were treated to some long awaited reunions, tough decision making, the cutest shipping the show's ever had and a tremendous build up for Danaerys' meeting with Jon Snow.
Since Game of Thrones is all about setting things up and paying them off later, there were some interesting callbacks from previous seasons that returned in this episode. As always, we're going to dive into those callbacks, so if you're not caught up on Game of Thrones, know that there will be spoilers ahead.
Well, this was as clear a callback as we'll ever get given the storm from the episode's title was present both in the character of Dany and with the actual storm happening during the first scene. Daenerys was born during a storm much like the one we saw on this episode (as Tyrion pointed out), which earned her the nickname "Stormborn" shortly before having to sail East because of Robert's Rebellion.
It was nice to see Daenerys be as strong and threatening as the storm was, questioning Varys' loyalties and past alliances; as it was also great to see that she'll be a malleable queen, knowing when to heed to advice, and when to stick to her own plans. Let's hope she accepts Olenna Tyrell's wise words and finally "be the dragon."
'I Serve The Realm'
When Ned Stark asked Varys who he served in Season 1, the Spider promptly responded that he "served the realm, because someone had to." It sounded cruel then, in the face of everything Ned was put through, but with Varys' speech to Daenerys in "Stormborn" his intentions were never so clear.
Varys has served three monarchs — including Daenerys — but he's never been fully satisfied or confident that the first two kings he served were actually good for the realm. Varys explained that the "realm," as fas as he's concerned, means the people of Westeros, not the noble houses and their plotting. His exchange with Daenerys could possibly be some foreshadowing of events to come when, either Dany will stop being a just Queen or Varys gets burned for scheming against her.
'Dwarves Are Always Bastards In Their Fathers' Eyes'
Way back in Season 1, in their first ever meeting, Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister started their 'relationship' at odds because Tyrion called Jon a bastard. The young Lannister went on to explaining that he knew something about being a bastard, since "all dwarves are bastards in their fathers' eyes," leaving Jon speechless and brooding. In "Stormborn," Jon — now the King in the North — received a raven from Tyrion — currently at Dragonstone, serving as Hand of the Queen Daenerys — inviting him to Dragonstone and an audience with the Queen.
While Sansa recognized that Tyrion was not like the other Lannisters, she didn't believe the letter came from Tyrion himself. However, there was no doubt for Jon that Tyrion had written it, since the Hand chose to quote that exact sentence from their first conversation back in Winterfell. It was nice to see that, after all the years and all the bad experiences both Jon and Tyrion have had, their mutual respect still remains fresh for one another.
Sam went out of his way to help Jorah and, unbeknownst to himself, help forge an alliance between Jon and Daenerys — something that happened pretty quickly, since this was set up only one episode ago. Their connection though (or at least Sam's reason for not giving up on Jorah) goes way back to the first season of Game of Thrones, when Sam joined the Night's Watch under Lord Commander Jeor Mormont. Although they were estranged for years, the father/son link didn't go unnoticed by Sam, who took it into his hands to find a cure for Ser Jorah. Let's just hope that despite being "extremely dangerous and forbidden," the cure actually works.
'You've Been Making Pie?'
Arya made her way to the Inn without killing Ed Sheeran or any other Lannister soldiers she'd met in the previous episode, and she even got to see her travel companion from Season 1 once more (even though this time she didn't get any wolf-shaped bread). Hot Pie's reunion with Arya — or Arry, as far as he was concerned — served a bigger purpose than indulging the long-time fans of the show, though. As it turned out, the reason why after all these years Arya chose to travel South and exact her revenge on Cersei — instead of going home to the North — was because she didn't know that the Boltons had been rooted out of Winterfell.
Since last season, when Arya killed Walder Frey's sons, cooked them into a pie and fed it to Lord Frey — before slicing his throat — there's been a lot of talk about Arya becoming a version of the cold and heartless Lady Stoneheart from the books. But the moment she found out that Winterfell once more belonged to the Starks, and that Jon was now King in the North, she made haste to fulfill her promise to Jaqen H'ghar: "A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell and I'm going home."
One of the most anticipated moments from the trailer this season is the meeting between Daenerys and Jon Snow, which the sneak peek for "The Queen's Justice" confirms will happen next Sunday. While the Arya and Nymeria reunion might have seemed a bit disappointing in this episode, they just might meet again before the season is over — there are only 5 episodes to go, after all.
Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3, 'The Queen's Justice' airs next Sunday on HBO.