Especially the sight of that dragon. As our story heads toward the final showdown, the speed with which everyone’s traveling around Westeros has become a little alarming, and it would be easy to ignore the sheer weight of some of these big meetings just to keep the plot moving. But I loved how important Jon and Daenerys’s first summit was and how the episode gave it the proper amount of build-up. Talk of dragons aside, no one alive in Westeros has ever seen one of the mythical beasts. When Drogon swooped over the heads of the Northern visitors as they walked to Dragonstone, Jon and Davos hit the deck—as well they should. These beasts are terrifying to behold, and their sheer existence remains the crux of Daenerys’s claim to the throne.
Which is why I also loved the politicking between Jon and Daenerys once he finally made it to her throne room and was read her long list of regnal names. For all Dany’s accomplishments, her power in Westeros remains purely theoretical, and her presentation came off partly as flimsy posturing, so quickly undercut by Davos’s plain introduction of Jon. But when she stepped off the throne and unfurled her personal narrative, her resolute will in the face of untold challenges, it was easy to see Jon getting ever-so-slightly swayed by her, as so many have before. Rather than have the connection be instant, Benioff and Weiss let it develop slowly through the episode (encouraged, of course, by Tyrion). But it’s undoubtedly there—and Daenerys doesn’t even yet know that Jon is her nephew.
Another realization, concerning Jaime’s relationship with Cersei, is taking a similarly long time to build up, but trust me, it’s coming. The episode saw Cersei having sex with her brother and openly parading their relationship in front of her attendants, but his investment in their union continues to feel tenuous. His argument to Olenna Tyrell for Cersei was clunky and unconvincing: Simply, that all this chaos would somehow lead to a long reign of peace and prosperity, which would be enough to forgive all her monstrous deeds. That’s a long line of bad credit for Cersei to run up—remember, her war cabinet right now consists of Euron Greyjoy, a mad scientist, and a silent zombie—and that’s before she’s tried to engage in open warfare against three dragons.
The idea of Cersei reigning over anything but a severely diminished kingdom in open rebellion is a tough sell, and Jaime knows it—he remains an excellent tactician who did a great job evacuating Casterly Rock and setting up shop in the better-located Highgarden. But he still doesn’t fully seem to accept Olenna’s warning of just how monstrous his sister has become, dutifully poisoning her on Cersei’s orders and finally learning the truth of who really killed his son Joffrey (what a tremendously played final scene by Diana Rigg). There’s a reason everyone is trying to dismantle his family line, root and branch, and I still believe Jaime’s going to come around to that and return to his Kingslayer days (only, this time, acting as a Queenslayer).