Warning: This post contains plot details from Sunday's episode of HBO's Game of Thrones. Read on at your own risk.
It was a dark and stormy night, much like the one on which Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) was born, she of the perfect curls, the icy stare, and the overfondness for fire.
Night has long been the friend of Game of Thrones producers, who often succeed in leaving us just a little bit in the dark when our clearly seeing, say, a ferocious sea battle might be a tad more expensive.
Most of the lighting in Sunday's final scene seemed to be reserved for the teeth of Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk), who never seems to stop smiling. He's like some medieval-fantasy version of the Joker.
And, of course, he ruins everything, including the scene in which his niece, Yara (Gemma Whelan) and Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) seemed to be just about to get to know each other much better. And then there's the moment when it looked as if Theon (Alfie Allen) might reclaim a tiny bit of his manhood, and, went all Reek on us instead.
Those weren't the only teases in the episode titled "Stormborn," in which, in typical Game of Thrones fashion, one of the series' most romantic sex scenes ever occurred between the lovely Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and a eunuch, the equally lovely Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson). And even that got cut short so we could all head back to the dusty library of the Citadel, to talk about what might be done for Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) and his greyscale.
I like Sam (John Bradley-West) more than many GoT fans, and I love Jim Broadbent as the archmaester who shoots down all Sam's best ideas, but I wasn't so glad to see either of them at that moment.
Arya (Maisie Williams) was briefly united with her long-lost direwolf, Nymeria, only to be rejected by her beloved pet and protector. I think Arya saw more of Ed Sheeran last week than she (and we) saw of her beloved pet, and that's just not right.
Her reunion with her old comrade Hot Pie (Ben Hawkey) at least yielded a recipe tip (and a reminder of where Arya probably learned, at least, the basics of pie-making). Which, I'll admit, I hadn't thought much about in last season's finale.
A few other thoughts on "Stormborn":
— I'm so glad Lady Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) is still around to have a finger in Daenerys' pie. Because while I might have considered Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) to have the more sensible approach to unseating his sister Cersei (Lena Headey) from the Iron Throne (at least until Euron showed up), sensible hasn't ever gotten much traction in this story. "You're a dragon. Be a dragon," sounds much more like it.
— Dany did her best to make Lord Varys (Conleth Hill) squirm over his shifting allegiances (and she's still a bit put out by his helping to ship her off to the Dothraki that time), but he came out safely, owning all his past actions while framing himself as a champion of the people. This is politics at its finest.
— Daenerys' reply to Varys, "If you ever betray me, I'll burn you alive," is just the kind of statement that makes me glad the Mother of Dragons doesn't have a Twitter feed.
— How long has Jon (Kit Harington) wanted to wipe the smirk off Littlefinger's (Aidan Gillen) face? And how surprised will Arya be to see her sister Sansa (Sophie Turner) in charge of Winterfell while Jon goes off to Dragonstone?