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'Game of Thrones' recap: "The Spoils of War" 

L-R: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister and Jerome Flynn as Bronn; Macall B. Polay/courtesy of HBO(NEW YORK) -- (SPOILERS AHEAD) Things really start to heat up in this week's episode of Game of Thrones, "The Spoils of War." After a number of military defeats, Daenerys considers employing the nuclear option, i.e her fire-breathing dragons. Meanwhile, Winterfell sees another Stark reunion, while the Lannisters once again pay their debts. We begin in Highgarden, where Jaime Lannister is enjoying a victory on the battlefield, albeit not for too long.

Hey, Bronn's back! We caught a glimpse of Tyrion's former BFF during last week's episode, but this week we get a full helping of the sarcastic sellsword's famous sense of humor. After some verbal sparring with Jaime, the Lannister assures Bronn that he will be paid in full for his services, including whatever castle he wants. 

Meanwhile, the Lannister army loads up all the gold they've taken after conquering House Tyrell to settle their loan with the Iron Bank. The gold arrives in King's Landing, where Cersei is once again met by a representative from the Iron Bank. He's pleased that the Lannister debt will be paid back in full, and offers Cersei the Bank's services once again should she need them. Cersei wants a bigger army and a bigger fleet, all of which can be bought with money from the Iron Bank.

In Winterfell, Petyr Baelish continues his quest to take all the Stark children under his wing by trying to bond with the newly returned Bran. He gives Bran a dagger, the same Valryian steel dagger that someone tried to use to assassinate Bran way back in Season 1. 

Their conversation is interrupted when Bran's travel companion Meera enters to tell him that she will be leaving Winterfell and returning to her family. When Bran once again fails to show emotion and continues to talk like a first-semester philosophy major, Meera becomes upset, and tells him that the real Brandon Stark died at the Battle of at the Cave of the Three-Eyed Raven.

Just like last week's episode, we also get another Stark reunion this week. Arya finally arrives at the gates of Winterfell, but she's not welcomed with open arms at first. The guards don't believe she's in fact Arya Stark, as the youngest Stark daughter is believed to be dead. She convinces the guards to let her in, and immediately disappears. When the guards inform Sansa that someone claiming to be Arya Stark has arrived and then disappeared, she knows where to find her: at the grave of their father, Ned Stark. Sansa finds Arya, and the two embrace. They talk about how the statue of their father looks nothing like him, and Arya informs Sansa of her list of people she intends to kill. 

Arya and Sansa then go to talk to Bran, who knows about Arya's list. Sansa asks who's on said list, and Arya informs her that most of them are dead. The Stark children also debate the meaning of Petyr giving Bran the dagger, which he in turn gives to Arya. 

Never one to stay still for too long, Arya asks Brienne to train with her. Petry and Sansa watch as Arya impresses the Lady of Tarth with her fighting skills. In fact, she's so frustrated with Arya beating her that she kicks the Stark in the chest, but she immediately recovers. "Who taught you how to do that?" Brienne asks. "No one," Arya replies. 

Daenerys has yet to hear back regarding the battle at Casterly Rock. In the meantime, Jon Snow shows Dany the mountain of dragonglass he intends to mine in order to fight the White Walkers. The mountain also contains a series of cave paintings showing the Children of the Forest and the First Men fighting together against a common enemy: the White Walkers. Dany says she'll fight with Jon and for the North, just as soon as Jon bends the knee. He tells her that the North won't accept another southern ruler after all the Lannister drama. Dany replies by pointing out that the survival of Jon's people should be more important than his pride.

Tyrion then arrives to tell Dany that they've successfully taken Casterly Rock, but informs her of their real defeat at Highgarden. Frustrated and angry, Dany wants to fly her dragons to the Red Keep and burn it down. She asks Jon for his advice, who tells her if she uses the dragons to burn cities, she won't be different than all the other tyrannical rules, just more of the same.

Davos asks Jon what he truly thinks of Dany. He says he thinks she has a good heart, and Davos says he's noticed Jon staring at her, um, "heart." Much to the likely chagrin of the Jon and Dany internet shipping community, he says he has not time for such matters. They then come across Dany's advisor Missandei, who tells them that she doesn't serve Dany because of her family name, but because she's the queen they've chosen.

The remaining survivors of Theon and Yara's defeated fleet return to Dragonstone. Jon sees Theon for the first time in quite a while, and immediately grabs him by the throat. He tells Theon, who had previously tried to overthrow the Starks in Winterfell to impress his father, that his protection of Sansa is the only reason he isn't killing him. Shaken and still as cowardly as ever, Theon says he's returned to ask Dany to help him rescue Yara from their evil uncle, Euron. "The Queen is gone," he's told. "Where is she?" he asks. Oh yeah, it's about to go down.

We're back at Highgarden, and an army of Dothraki stampede towards the Lannister army. Bronn tells Jaime to return to King's Landing, but he says they can hold them off. That is, until he hears a terrifying roar. That's right, it's dragon time!

Dany flies in on one of her dragons, who proceeds to immediately burn down the Lannisters. The archers fire arrows at the dragons, which, of course, does a total of zero damage. Bronn fights his way through the fiery battlefield to get to the giant anti-dragon crossbow shown earlier this season. Dany and her dragon dodge the first shot, but the second one hits the beast in its wing. The dragon is still able to recover, and burns down the weapon. Being the Mother of Dragons, Dany dismounts and tries to take the arrow out of her scaly child.

Seeing an opportunity, Jaime grabs a spear and gallops towards Dany. From across the battlefield, Tyrion prays that his brother will flee. Just as Jaime is about to reach Dany, the dragon lifts its head and prepares to unleash fiery doom, but Bronn up and knocks Jaime into the water. The screen cuts to black as Jaime sinks towards the bottom.

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