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‘Game of Thrones’ Recap: The Dread Pirate Euron Sinks Daenerys’ Battleship

After teasing fans with an impending, violent clash between Euron and Yara Greyjoy in its season premiere, Game of Thrones didn’t waste any time getting around to the bloodshed. Instead, HBO’s fantasy drama delivered the goods in the very next installment, as Euron crashed Yara’s pleasure cruise in the final minutes of “Stormborn.” Here’s everything that happened in the Sunday, July 23, episode.

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Maisie Williams
Maisie Williams Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

Daenerys Makes Some Friends

On a dark and stormy night at Dragonstone, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) received a surprise visit from a new friend: Melisandre (Carice van Houten). We always knew that Dany and Mel would team up eventually — after all, they both love to play with fire and prefer to work in the nude — but Melisandre’s real purpose was to suggest that Daenerys form a useful alliance with Jon Snow (Kit Harington). Luckily, Jon and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) had a friendly relationship for starters — but for finishers, Jon received the message this week that Dragonstone sits on a giant mine full of dragonglass, making it a no-brainer to pay Dany a visit at her new home. When we last saw Jon, he had just departed Winterfell, leaving Sansa (Sophie Turner) in charge … and being surreptitiously ogled by Littlefinger, but what else is new. 

Liam Cunningham and Kit Harington
Liam Cunningham and Kit Harington Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

Jorah’s Going Grey

Meanwhile, Maester Marwyn (Jim Broadbent) gave Jorah (Iain Glen) some bad news followed by some worse news: Jorah had just six months before his raging case of greyscale drives him mad, and just one day until they expel him from the Citadel. But Sam (John Bradley-West), who uncovered a dangerous experimental treatment for greyscale amid his research into dragonglass, wasn’t ready to give up Jorah for dead just yet … that is, if Jorah could kindly keep from screaming while Sam basically flayed him alive. Fun fact: folks afflicted with dragonscale develop a sort of oozy cream filling underneath the infection. Other fun fact: We are never, ever eating again.

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… And So’s Missandei

After several seasons’ worth of intense (and problematic, considering certain anatomical back stories) sexual tension between Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel), the two finally consummated their relationship on the eve of Grey Worm’s departure to attack Casterly Rock. That’s great news for them, but for those who were hoping this scene would provide a visual answer to that “the pillar or the stones?” question from several seasons ago, alas, you’ll have to continue to use your imagination. 

A Blast From the Past

Game of Thrones never misses a chance to bring back fan-favorite Hot Pie (Ben Hawkey); cue his appearance in this episode, where he gave Arya (Maisie Williams) the news that Jon Snow had defeated the Boltons and retaken Winterfell. And if there was one thing that could tempt Arya to abandon her assassin’s trip to King’s Landing, it was the possibility of a family reunion. On the road to Winterfell, she encountered a second face from her past: Nymeria, the direwolf she sent away back in season 1. Nymeria declined to accompany Arya home to Winterfell — she’s got a good gig going now as the leader of her own wolfpack — but unlike most of her siblings, at least she’s still alive. 

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A Battle on the Narrow Sea

Finally, Daenerys’ first move in the direction of King’s Landing ended up being extremely un-smooth sailing from the get-go, as Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) intercepted Yara (Gemma Whelan) en route to collect the Dornish army for a siege on King’s Landing — and by “intercepted,” we mean “rained down hell on Yara’s ship like the love child of Captain Jack Sparrow and Hannibal Lecter.” Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) and Tyene (Rosabelle Laurenti Sellers) were taken hostage amid the bloody battle, while Obara (Keisha Castle-Hughes) and Nymeria Sand (Jessica Henwick) were murdered by Euron with their own weapons. 

And Yara? We last saw her with her uncle’s knife at her throat, both of them watching as Theon (Alfie Allen) took a cowardly leap overboard rather than stay and fight. All told, Daenerys’ clever strategy to take the throne without bloodshed appeared to be over before it began — and Olenna Tyrell’s (Donna Rigg) advice that Dany embrace her violent lineage and “be a dragon” is probably sounding pretty good right now.

Game of Thrones airs on HBO Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.

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