Hacking winter and war: ‘Game of Thrones’ Ep. 4: The Spoils of War

Maybe it should be “The Spoilers of War” after the HBO hack attack this week.

Arya Stark sees her ancestral home Winterfell in the distance. Photo: Helen Sloan, HBO

SAN DIEGO, August 6, 2017 – Fateful encounters came at us one after another on the most recent episode of “Game of Thrones.” From preview photos of Episode 4, titled “The Spoils of War,” they aren’t finished yet.

Jaime Lannister and his bro Bronn are side by side once again. Photo: Macall B. Polay, HBO

Jaime Lannister and his sellsword turned knight buddy Bronn have been reunited after Bronn’s brief return home to find a wife and a castle of his own. We have no idea how all that turned out.

Theon Greyjoy survived the assault by Euron Greyjoy, at the expense of his sister Yara. Photo: Macall B. Polay, HBO

Theon Greyjoy is on dry land, and it seems he came ashore with the last surviving ship from sister Yara Greyjoy’s fleet at Dragonstone. The report to Danaerys Targaryen isn’t likely to be well-received. In this week’s trailer, Danaerys fumes about losing her allies, and taking matters into her own hands. “All my allies are gone. I’m losing … Enough with the clever plans.”

The Starks are on the move. Jon Snow appears ready to depart as Danaerys and Missandei look on. Is the Mother of Dragons wishing Jon a fond farewell?

Jon Snow on the shores of Dragonstone ready to depart as Danaerys Targaryen and Missandei look on. Photo: Macall B. Polay, HBO

Arya Stark learned last week her brother Jon is still alive. What she doesn’t know is that Bran is also still alive, nor that sister Sansa Stark is now running the show at Winterfell. It’s going to be quite the family reunion when the four surviving Starks end up in the same place.

Sansa Stark has transformed from a timid young girl to a formidable leader. Photo: Helen Sloan, HBO

The Stark siblings have all grown up and changed significantly since we first met them as children. Timid Sansa is now a confident, shrewd ruler, hardened by her difficult circumstances. Bran Stark isn’t completely human anymore as the Three-Eyed Raven. He is still learning to harness his seeing powers. Smart, brave Arya Stark is a cold hearted assassin with the tools to survive. Jon Snow is too brave for his own good, and it might be his end.

Jorah Mormont survived his bout of grayscale thanks to Samwell Tarly. He’s on his way to Dragonstone to serve at the side of Danaerys Targaryen. We can bet he won’t be too thrilled to see Jon Snow as a possible rival.

Can we be 100 percent sure Lady Olenna is dead? Photo: Macall B. Polay, HBO
Can we be 100 percent sure Lady Olenna is dead? Photo: Macall B. Polay, HBO

In typical GOT fashion, several major characters have already met their end this season. All three Sand Snake daughters are dead. Ellaria Sand is rotting in Cersei Lannister’s dungeon. Things don’t look too good for Yara Greyjoy. Saddest of all, the great Lady Olenna of Highgarden was dispatched via poison by Jaime Lannister – but not before she revealed her responsibility for the assasination of King Joffrey, instead of Tyrion Lannister as everyone believed.

Call me naïve but I’d like to believe Olenna might yet survive. We didn’t see her die on camera. If anyone is a survivor on “Game of Thrones,” it’s this great matriarch played by Lady Diana Rigg.

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is setting viewing records around the world. Photo: Macall B. Polay, HBO

HBO reported this week the Season 7 debut epidode “Dragonstone” has hit a record 30 million viewers in the United States alone on all its platforms, and it continues to set records worldwide. The episode drew the single largest audience ever for an HBO program with 14 to 16 million same day viewers. “Game of Thrones” now airs in 186 countries. To foil pirates, the episodes mostly premiere on the same day and even at the same time as in the United States. Ratings for HBO Asia, HBO Latin America, HBO Germany and HBO Russia are all through the roof this season.

Look for an all-time ratings record when the Season 7 finale airs on August 27. The episode is a whopping one hour and 20 minutes long.

Before then, place your bets on who comes up on top and join our live fan chat this Sunday. If you’re the HBO hacker, no spoilers please.

“Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 4 – “The Spoils of War” airs Sunday, August 5 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

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