We've always been promised fire and blood, but not like this. While there are victories, the cost is too great for any of this to be triumphant. Some shots are so achingly gorgeous that the ugliness is made even more powerful. But the show tricked us. It made us look forward to the battles, but they're not fun anymore.
"Game of Thrones" has always made its wars heroic and epic and exciting and while there are certainly moments of that, this episode is all about the horrors of war. None of this is glamorous or designed to titillate; instead our heroes are villains, our villains are finally human and the townspeople of King's Landing are nothing but victims of another pointless war.
Everything that didn't work in last week's episode absolutely sings here. Some of the strange character choices make much more sense, now that the endgame is here. Little moments from season one come full circle and give us some extraordinary moments of catharsis and relief.
There are beautiful moments of mercy and kindness, but it's all beset by chaos and bloodshed.
Jon Snow knows nothing. Arya learns how to let go. Dany once and for all proves what kind of Targaryen she really is. The things Jaime does for love. The Hound lets vengeance and fire swallow him whole.
Here we are. Fire and blood. Are we having fun yet?