You’re right. I forgot about the bedroom secrets reveal between the ladies right before Dany went into the caves with Jon. Daenerys says something like Grey Worm will come back, but there is a sureness in her voice that may imply her mind working on how to make it happen. So, she combined all three motivations: not become another Mad Queen; destroy her enemies; and, open up an easier route for Grey Worm to return to his lover.
I’m a big believer in the use of Chekov’s tongue. Good writers don’t give indications about something unless it pays off somewhere down the road. And popular writers do fan service by using call backs to tie the story back to each character’s origins and motivations.
In the case of B&W, they are consistently brilliant in these parts of the equation, but seem willing to bend time, space, and the finite quality of mass* in order to tie up all the strands of a story to get it to line up for the maximum dramatic effect. (Prediction: expect Jorah to show up at roughly the same time as Grey Worm, as they are both coming from the opposite side of the continent.)
Last night’s episode created a number of moments that either close the circle or set up another future call back like this:
- Arya tries to enter Winterfell and experiences the exact same situation she did at King’s Landing in season one. In a mirror reflection of the two seasons, this time Arya goes back down in the crypts under Winterfell to reunite with the symbol of her father, instead of exiting from the dark underbelly of the Red Keep to reunite with her father.
- When Jon and Dany speak in the cave, she tells him to swallow his pride to protect his people, the exact thing Jon told Mance Rayder when he asked him to bend the knee for Stannis.
- Jon tells Theon that it is only because he saved Sansa’s life that he didn’t kill him on the spot. (Don’t be surprised if Jamie doesn’t say something very similiar after Tyrion saves his brother.)
- Arya asks to train with Brienne, because she “beat” the Hound. (Brienne is a fantastic warrior, but her two biggest wins have major asterisks next to them: imprisoned Jamie who hasn’t been able to exercise at all for a year; and the Hound weakened by his infected neck.) Then, she looks like Syrio Forel fighting against Brienne. Each time she parried Brienne’s thrust and then stopped short of driving a sword or dagger through Brienne’s exposed flesh, I could hear Syrio sing the words of the water dance: “dead,” “dead,” “very dead.” (That might have been my favorite scene of the entire season. The only round Brienne won was when she kicked Arya. I scored the rounds 3–1–1 for Arya.) Arya has come full circle and is now the master instead of the student.
- Bronn, the guy who fired the arrow that destroyed Stannis’ fleet at Blackwater Bay, is the one who fires the scorpion. (Thank God, Edmure Tully was not fighting for the Lannisters.)
- And, of course, Tyrion watches the supply line battle, sees Jamie attack Daenerys, and will end up in perfect position to save Jamie’s life, repaying the favor his brother did him at the end of season four, and also (as you wrote) allowing him to eventually tell Cersei that Tyrion did not kill Joffrey, opening up some other story line possibilities.
The only thing where I can’t even guess what’s coming is the question of Littlefinger. He has been twitching and scheming like a humming bird in a straight jacket all season. First he gets rebuffed by Sansa. Then the new maester mentions the fact that every raven message has been copied and kept in some safe place (these records somehow survived the burning of Winterfeel). The, Bran tells Littefinger “chaos is a ladder.” Finally, Littlefinger give Bran the Valyrian dagger. B&W must be weaving something into the story that has to pay off in a big way.
*I will never get over the magical wood on Pike that could produce 1000 ships. Maybe it’s like Instant Ship™, just add water for a full scale European style galleon!