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Missed Game of Thrones this week? Here are the top 3 revelations you need to know about season 7, episode 4.
USA TODAY

Spoiler alert! The following contains spoilers from Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4, “The Spoils of War.” Read our recap of Episode 3 here

Some rulers are loved. Others are feared. Daenerys Targaryen is either, depending on who you ask. 

The fourth episode of Game of Thrones Season 7, “The Spoils of War” started with a whisper and ended with a bang, as Dany brought a dragon into battle in Westeros for the first time, and Jaime possibly lost his life in the fiery battle. It’s the forward momentum we’ve been waiting for all season.

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The battle sequence was Game of Thrones at its very best. Not only was it an exciting and superbly shot sequence, but the character arcs made the stakes, both large and small, vital and thrilling all on their own. Jaime, as redeemed as he can be after entering the show a villain, never gives up. Dany comes one step closer to losing her humanity. Tyrion reveals he has not completely forsaken his family. Bronn is forced to choose between life and riches. Even scared Dickon Tarly gets his moment. 

“The Spoils of War” made exactly the kind of big impact the series needed at this point. And now, with Jaime’s life hanging in the balance, more Starks in Winterfell than there have been since Season 1, and only three episodes remaining in Season 7, the ramifications should be swift and decisive. There are those pesky White Walkers to deal with.

However, as Thrones begins its inevitable sprint towards the finish line of both the season and the series, it’s worth remembering that dragon battles and cliffhanger endings aren’t the only things that make the show great. Good plotting, strong character work and smart writing are all necessary, and while “The Spoils of War” was bombastic and well-paced, all that dragonfire distracts from some of its messier elements, be it clumsy dialogue (Bran and Arya deserve better) or inconsistent rules (Dany and the Dothraki are using that same teleport to get around Westeros that Littlefinger and Varys used, it seems). 

If we’re flying at dragonspeed towards a conclusion, it’s worth paying attention to details. Here’s to hoping there will be more moments like Tyrion watching Jaime on the battlefield, and fewer awkward conversations between Bran and Littlefinger.

The game is all about the players, after all.