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'Leave one wolf alive, and the sheep are never safe'

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July 16, 2017 at 09:59 PM EDT

King’s Landing: Speaking of which, Cersei is having her patio painted with a giant map of Westeros so she can visually keep track of everybody who hates her — and she doesn’t even know about Arya yet! She literally strides across the Seven Kingdoms like she owns the world, stepping on the little people at her feet. Jaime looks disturbed at her new James Bond villain decor as she lists her enemies. Can you imagine if Cersei had dragons instead of Dany? She’d just roast everybody so nobody would be left alive to threaten her. Jaime tries to temper Cersei’s Donald Trump-ian impulses, pointing out she can’t just piss off everybody; you need at least some allies to rule. Cersei has one in mind, but Jaime’s not going to like it.

Enter Euron Greyjoy 2.0, all black leather pants and low-cut pirate shirt, looking a bit like an R-rated Captain Hook from Once Upon a Time. (No, George R.R. Martin fans, Euron still doesn’t have an eye patch, which in the books the character wears just for the hell of it; I think that would be one pirate trope too far.) I’m very curious to hear the reactions to his physical and personality makeover. I’m a fan. Euron last season was like an angry ambitious warrior, something we’ve seen before on this show and others. As showrunner Dan Weiss points out in our interview with actor Pilou Asbæk about his return in this episode, “We haven’t had somebody with a rock star swagger who doesn’t give a s— before. Everybody in this world cares very deeply — whether they’re awful, wonderful, or, most of them, somewhere in between — they all care deeply about the politicking and give a lot of thought into everything they do. To have somebody traipse onto the stage with a swagger and the attitude that Euron has, it’s a lot of fun and lets a lot of air into the room.”

Euron wastes no time. He pitches himself to Cersei, not treating her like a queen worthy of respect, but like a woman in a tavern he’s hitting on while she sits right next to her boyfriend (in this case, Jaime). Euron has seemingly been reading pick-up artist forums and is peacocking and negging all over the place, trying to demonstrate his social proof. The man’s totally showing up next time in a fedora. He can’t help but test Cersei’s boundaries by advancing on her, watching The Mountain step protectively forward. He amusingly insults Jaime’s lack of hand and suggests Cersei kill her brother. Even his apparent praise of Jaime for his combat skills years ago is actually a subtle put-down — Jaime before his dismemberment was a very different man, and they all know it. Jaime may have privately engaged in some delightful Seven Kingdoms trash talk with Cersei, putting down the Iron Born to Cersei as “bitter, angry little people.” But he recognizes the desperation of their situation and, despite his misgivings, knows that they have to accept any help they can get.

Euron declares he’s willing to do some work on speculation, saying he’ll bring Cersei a gift. The Lannisters are cool with this. They have nothing to lose. What will this gift be, we wonder? (Next: Sansa, you’re spoiling it, you’re spoiling everything! )

/ ( 2 of 5 )

HBO’s epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin’s novels.
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