(Note: This post contains spoilers for the fourth episode of Season 7 of “Game of Thrones,” “Spoils of War.”)
The fourth episode of “Game of Thrones” Season 7 continues this season’s trend of ending with very intense moments. The final moment of “Spoils of War” in particular is a bit confusing, thanks to one particularly fast-moving moment and a clutch save that comes with it.
“Spoils of War” dedicates a huge part of the episode to a battle between the forces of the Lannisters and Queen Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), who shows up to attack the Lannister supply chain as it’s rolling into King’s Landing. She brings her dragon Drogon to the fight, as well, which creates a huge amount of death and havoc for the Lannister troops.
Much of the battle focuses on Bronn (Jerome Flynn), who Jaime sends off to man the scorpion, the huge crossbow the Lannisters plan to use to take down Dany’s dragons. Bronn even manages to score a hit on Drogon before the weapon is destroyed — before Drogon’s flames wreck the machine.
Bronn barely escapes death, but he leaped clear of Drogon’s fire just in time. From there on the ground, Bronn pointedly spots an unmanned horse, suggesting he’s going to try to grab it off-screen.
With Drogon landing from the injury, Daenerys jumps off his back to pull out the huge crossbow bolt stuck in the dragon’s shoulder. And at that moment, Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) sees an opening. He grabs a spear and rides toward Dany in an attempt to kill her and end the war right there.
Of course, Dany is still standing next to Drogon, who wheels around to blast Jaime with dragonfire — but at the last second, someone appears to save Jaime’s life. It’s a bit unclear just who threw themselves into the line of literal fire to save Jaime’s life, but a closer look reveals it’s good guy Bronn who appears to knock Jaime safety (kind of).
Though you can’t see Bronn’s face as he knocks Jaime off his horse, between the setup for the moment beforehand and the lighter armor on the person who saves Jaime, we can tell that Bronn’s the guy who came to his rescue. And that’s a pointed character moment for Bronn.
Bronn has been a sellsword for most of his life, and only became a knight thanks to his contribution at the Battle of Blackwater Bay. He became Ser Bronn of the Blackwater after the battle, and then helped Jaime train with his left hand after his right was cut off. Bronn became Jaime’s right-hand (ahem) man after that, accompanying him to Dorne to bring back Princess Myrcella (Nell Tiger Free). At the time, Jaime promised Bronn a castle and a wife for his trouble.
Jaime starts off Episode 4 by paying Bronn with a big bag of gold after the fall of Highgarden, after which Bronn reminds Jaime that he still owes the sellsword a castle. During the battle with the Dothraki later in the episode, Bronn loses that bag of gold that Jaime paid him.
We’ve seen Bronn abandon friends — namely, Tyrion — before, not out of spite and not in immediately pressing situations but because he’s the kind of guy who looks after himself first. That’s changed by Season 7, though. Bronn lost his gold and nearly his life, and toward the end of the battle, has a chance to save himself and escape on horseback. Instead, he goes back to save Jaime’s life.
That shows some growth on Bronn’s part, and suggests he values Jaime as a friend more than an employer. Bronn was already the MVP of Episode 4 — now we know he’s becoming a becoming a better, more loyal friend, too.