1. The wisdom of King Robert Baratheon haunt the Loot Train Battle (noticed by execute-order-66)

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Robert Baratheon was known more for his drinking, whoring, and fighting than his wisdom. He was a great warrior, but a pretty terrible king - but in The Spoils of War, his words are echoing loudly for multiple characters.

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In one of the best scenes in season one, Robert and his wife Cersei have one of the most honest and frank conversations they've had in years - discussing their marriage, his rule, and the threat of a Targaryen-led army of Dothraki storming the lands of Westeros. And if there's one thing Robert knows, it's battle - and he made it clear that anyone would be crazy to face off against the bloodthirsty warriors of the Dothraki in an even field. AND THAT WAS WITHOUT A DRAGON.

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When reflecting on war and death, Robert related the story of his very first kill - at the outset of his rebellion against Aerys Targaryen, several houses pledged to Robert decided to not support him in the rebellion and chose to remain loyal to the crown. Robert met them in a series of battles around the ruined Targaryen castle of Summerhall - and there killed a foolish Tarly who charged at him alone. The Tarly probably thought himself brave, but all Robert can think of is how stupid that kid must have been.

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Fastforward a few years, and Jaime Lannister - a highborn lad if there ever was one - has decided to do the same thing: disillusioned and angered, he decides he might as well charge at Daenerys and her injured dragon Drogon and try to singlehandedly end her invasion.

Shockingly, this genius plan did not work - but at least Jaime didn't suffer the same fate as the Tarly lad.

Although speaking of Tarlys, Robert's anecdote about his first kill leads into a dark truth every warrior must eventually confront: people shit themselves when they die.

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And it seems that this lesson was not passed down amongst the Tarly family, as Randyll's son Dickon seemed surprised to learn this piece of information during the siege at Highgarden:

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2. Davos is keeping Stannis' memory alive...through pedanic grammatical corrections (noticed by aharonson28)

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As King-in-the-North Jon Snow commiserates with his Hand, Ser Davos Seaworth, over the state of their forces, Davos' main contribution to the conversation is correcting Jon's grammar (when describing countable things, you say "fewer" - when more singular mass nouns, you say "less"), in honor of his PREVIOUS King, Stannis ("The Mannis") Baratheon:

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Stannis was not a popular or much loved king, and it wasn't hard to see why - he was distant, cold, and would have been a pedantic grammar nazi for sure, if Westeros had ever discovered the internet. Oh, also that whole "burning his daughter alive" thing. But it's still sweet that Davos has kept his memory alive, and in a way that's not too explicit (since it is a little tough to fondly remember a dude who burnt a little girl alive for no reason).

And it's impressive that Davos - who very recently couldn't even read - is now correcting someone else's grammar! Shireen was a better teacher than I would have guessed, for someone who introduced the concept of reading to an illiterate old man by starting with diphthongs.

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3. The dragonglass cave might hold the key to everything (noticed by trainw09)

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Jon Snow found more than just dragonglass in the cave he and his men were mining - they also came across cave drawings made by the Children of the Forest and the First Men, depicting various arcane symbols and a visual guide to the Long Night - the last time the White Walkers attempted to conquer Westeros, only to be driven back by an alliance by the First Men and the Children. And that seems to be the key part that Jon wants to communicate to Daenerys - but the really interesting part are the symbols from the Children, which just so happen to be the exact same ones the White Walkers have been seen creating using the torn apart corpses of anyone they kill north of the Wall.

Of course, Jon has no idea that these symbols mean anything, nor that the White Walkers have been recreating them (although he was present at the Spiral Body Art Installation, he didn't have the vantage point to really get a clear idea of what they were going for). And, uh, he doesn't know that the Children only partnered with the First Men to stop the White Walkers after they CREATED the White Walkers...in a ceremony that also incorporated one of the symbols written in the cave:

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Clearly, these symbols are important and mean SOMETHING. What that "thing" is, however, still appears to be a mystery, not only to the audience, but even the writers themselves:

In the behind-the-scenes feature for this episode, writer David Benioff says:

"These are patterns that have mystical significance for the Children of the Forest. We're not sure exactly what they signify, but spiral patterns are important in a lot of different cultures in our world, and it makes sense that they would be in this world as well."

So don't go too crazy trying to decipher them - just know that they probably mean something pretty huge.



4. Daenerys is saying Jon Snow's own advice back to him...without even realizing it (noticed by our boy Tristan)

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Back in his pre-resurrection days, Jon Snow was a proud member of the Night's Watch and a lot more willing to bend the knee - but there WAS someone in his presence who wasn't down with any of that knee-bending stuff: Mance Rayder, the King-Beyond-The-Wall. After his failed attempt at storming The Wall and Castle Black, Mance was taken by King (sorta) Stannis Baratheon and told to swear fealty to him as the one true king of Westeros. Naturally Mance - leader of the freefolk - spat at the request, saying he would not kneel for any man. Stannis' goal was to get Mance to bend the knee and bring the Wildlings to his cause - but Mance had none of it, and sacrificed his own life for his non-knee-bending beliefs.

A few years later, Jon Snow's words to Mance were being echoed back at him by Queen (sorta) Daenerys Stormborn - who was telling him to bend the knee to her and bring the North to her cause, or suffer the consequences. Jon Snow, like Mance, had seen the cruelty of kings and queens too often, and stubbornly refused. And if this wasn't Jon Snow we were talking about, I'd say for sure the person in this position would be burned alive by Daenerys' dragons.



5. The final battle - where Daenerys finally rides her dragon into battle - is nearly identical to the most infamous battle Westeros ever saw featuring dragons, The Field of Fire (noticed by us)

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Jon Snow warns Daenerys that if she rides dragons into battle and burns thousands alive to conquer Westeros, she won't be any different than the previous conquerors that landed in the Seven Kingdoms - and he's right. Because the setup to Daenerys' triumphant defeat of the combined Lannister and Tarly forces is nearly identical to the most deadly and infamous battle fought by the first Targaryen invasion of Westeros by Aegon the Conqueror - The Field of Fire.

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Nearly 300 years prior, Aegon's invasion of Westeros was already in full swing, having gained the surrender of a few lords and castles, most notably Harrenhal. But the combined forces of the Westerlands and the Reach were determined to stand against Aegon and his sisters...led by the leading force of the Westerlands (Loren Lannister) and the leading force in the Reach (Mern Gardener), who brought his son Edmund along for the battle, in a battle held in the northern region of the Reach.

Coincidentally, Daenerys' battle in this episode ALSO took place in the northern region of the Reach (maybe even the EXACT SAME SPOT - both notably took place south of the Blackwater Rush), led by the leading force of the Westerlands (Jaime Lannister) and the leading force in the Reach (Randyll Tarly, having taken over after the destruction of the Tyrells) and his son (Dickon). And, of course, the Targaryen side emerged triumphant.

Obviously there were some differences - Aegon brought his sisters into the battle, all riding dragons. While Daenerys only brought Drogon along, the Field of Fire was probably EVEN MORE FIERY with three dragons burning everything in sight. And maybe they would have made it that way here too, if not for the budget constraints of THREE dragons wrecking Jaime and Bronn's shit, and the fact that there would have been absolutely ZERO tension with the wildly uneven odds the Lannister forces would have faced against 3 dragons (at least here there was A MOMENT of doubt when Bronn hit Drogon with the scorpion).

This definitely feels like an intentional nod - and a very cool one, given most people watching the show wouldn't know much (if anything) about the Field of Fire or its significance here.

Anyways, CAN YOU BELIEVE THERE ARE ONLY 3 MORE EPISODES THIS SEASON?!