“Game of Thrones”
Warning to following is dark and full of spoilers
After what felt like the longest wait ever, Game of Thrones finally returns! Winter is finally here, and because of that we had to wait longer than usual. However, it was worth the wait; this episode did not disappoint! It was the usual, “Where are they now?” catch up episode, but it was anything but boring!
We begin immediately in a cold open–rare for Game of Thrones, but has happened in other season premieres–with a feast at House Frey. Every member is in attendance–including Walder Frey. If you recall in the season six finale, Arya killed Walder Frey, so it was interesting that he’s there speaking, looking very much alive. He isn’t alive though; Arya is wearing his face. She poisons everyone in the room; the entire House is eradicated and she says, “Winter came for House Frey”. Arya finally gets her revenge and can move on to the others on her list. I’m so happy they jumped right in! The anticipation for this season was killing me and they didn’t make us wait any longer! Arya is a force to be reckoned with– I’m so excited to see her continue seeking vengeance for the people she loves.
I thought that Arya was on her way to the North to see her family; I even thought by the end of this episode she would be knocking on Winterfell’s door. However, this isn’t the case; she’s headed south to King’s Landing. On her way through some woods, we hear a man singing and I thought to myself: “that sounds like Ed Sheeran. It can’t be though, that would be weird”. It was most definitely Ed Sheeran, and suddenly I was taken out of the world of Game of Thrones. It was incredibly distracting to have such a well known music star just show up. I couldn’t extend my disbelief. Arya says she likes the song he sang and he says, “Thanks it’s new”. Not subtle at all! This was the main talking point with my group after viewing the episode. Apparently it was a surprise for Maisie Williams–who plays Arya–because she’s a huge fan. That’s fine, surprise her, but don’t include the scene in a serious show! Give it to her for a souvenir if you have to film it! I just couldn’t get passed it and I’m unsure what the point of that scene was.
After losing Tommen last season, Cersei Lannister is the new Queen of the Seven Kingdoms–well three at least; she doesn’t have a lot of allies left after all. Pretty much her only real ally right now is her brother Jaime Lannister, but if the prophecy is to come true he will end up being the one who kills her. I wish it could be Arya, but I believe this is Jaime’s job to finish. You can tell he’s terrified of Cersei and that he doesn’t recognize her anymore. To be fair, she’s always been conniving,just now she finally has the one thing she’s always craved: power.
Game of Thrones continues it’s teleportation and time travel this season when Euron Greyjoy and his fleet arrive in King’s Landing. Euron Greyjoy looks and acts completely different. He is clean and is wearing super stylish pirate-like attire; he’s ready for the runway. He looks good if I do say so myself. I know stories aren’t happening concurrently on this show, but did he have a complete makeover on the ship? He even looks to have lost weight. I know this isn’t terribly important, but I’m just curious. He is also funny, charming, and smooth when he talks to Cersei about his allegiance. Jaime doesn’t seem to like him. Cersei isn’t falling for his charm, though, and pretty much calls him out on his bullshit. He ominously skips off to bring her a mysterious gift to win her heart. I’m guessing he’s going to Dorne to kill or kidnap someone. The whole time he was talking to Cersei, I thought he was going to present one of the Sandsnakes as a gift. It would make sense; they killed her daughter. I’m kind of rooting for Euron, he’s changed, and I respect him a bit more. Charm is everything. He already knows how to play the game of thrones, and he just started.
In the North, Jon is heavily focused on preparing for the fight against the White Walkers. He wants to find out about dragon glass–the only thing that kills White Walkers–and mine it to make swords. Everyone–including women–from ages 10-60 must step up and begin training for battle. One man stands up and protests giving swords to woman and Lady Lyanna Mormont speaks up. She is a little firecracker that doesn’t have time for anyone’s crap. She stands up and says, “I don’t plan on knitting by the fire while men fight for me”. Yes, Lyanna for president; she is now the Lady of Feminism! She probably wields a sword better than most men there! These men need to learn not to mess with the Ladies of Thrones! Jon knows they need as many people as they can get. Can we please just have a show where Cersei, Margaery (back from the dead), Lyanna, Sansa, and Arya just sit around a table being sassy, gossiping and exchanging witty insults?
You can tell that Jon is having a tough time in his new role of King of the North. He’s being questioned by everyone, including Sansa. She questions his decision to let the Umbers and the Karstarks stay in their castles when their fathers fought alongside Ramsay. Jon gives her a look like ‘Sansa, don’t embarrass me in front of my friends’. She also questions the fact that he’s focusing on the White Walkers instead of the Iron Throne. Cersei sent a raven telling him he must surrender or face the consequences and he doesn’t really bat an eye. He doesn’t know what Cersei is capable of, but Sansa does.
Let’s talk about Sansa for a moment. She is trying to channel Cersei and you can tell by her hair style choice (Sansa always wears her hair to match the people she’s learning from) it’s very reminiscent of Cersei pre-head shave.
She’s starting to be quite manipulative, getting people right where she wants them. She’s keeping Littlefinger around, for her own gain and butters Jon up by saying, “you’re good at this you know”–but he’s not very good at this– she’s the reason they won the Battle of the Bastards, and the reason they have all that they have. I still have faith that Jon will get the hang of this and persevere, but he just needs to stop being so sensitive.
Sam is still at the Citadel, having a grand ol’ time cleaning bed pans, serving food, and putting books away in a cycle that never seems to end. In fact, I think the montage of this went on for about 15 seconds too long. He’s very curious about the restricted section of the library, which is behind a gated door. Never in my life have I seen a library with a restricted section, yet in a lot of media there are restricted sections. Why? I’ve never seen a library with a gate. Sam knows that the information he needs about how to defeat the White Walkers–the whole reason he is there–is in that section, so of course he steals the keys and finds the books he needs. He looks through them one night with the help of Gilly. I will add that another example of weird timing on this show is that Gilly’s son has aged quite a bit since we last saw him. hey find information about Dragonstone, an island that produces dragonglass. He sends the information to Jon via raven right away.
Another thing to note from Sam’s story is the reveal that Jorah Mormont is there, most likely seeking a cure for his grayscale. All we see is his arm, but we know it’s him. He asks about Daenerys because he’s still all about her and poor guy, she’s busy trying to win the throne.
A few other things to note: Bran arrives at the Wall. Maybe this means that Bran, Sansa, and Jon will reunite soon and all will be almost well! This is literally all that happened with Bran, so there’s not much to go off.
The Hound is still on his redemption tour with the Brotherhood without Banners. He had a call back to season four. Back when he had Arya hostage, a nice man and his daughter fed them and gave them shelter and the Hound repays them by stealing from them, including gold, saying they will die in the winter anyway. He feels awful about it now and buries the bodies; he’s really grown a heart in his rehabilitation. He also comes to see the light, if you will, of the beliefs of the Brotherhood, when he looks into the fire and sees the future–an icy one at that. I have a feeling he’ll play a huge role in the battle against the White Walkers now that he’s on the side of the Lord of Light.
The episode was titled “Dragonstone,” so the whole time I was waiting for Daenerys to show up. She shows up in the last scene. Emilia Clarke shows so much with just a look, and you could see the longing in her eyes when she is walking around taking everything in. She is finally back home and in her element, ready to take this game on for real. In the most epic moment she turns around to the strategy table and says to Tyrion: “Shall we begin?” Ah, chills, I felt so many chills!
Given that this is the first episode of the new episode, it’s hard to tell where the new season might be going, as Game of Thrones loves their twists. What I can tell is that this season is going to be the best yet! Dany is no longer just talking about taking the Iron Throne, she is doing! Jon is probably going to head to Dragonstone for the dragonglass where he will meet up with Dany and it will be the Song of Ice and Fire! We only have six episodes this season and I don’t know how that will be enough! One thing is for sure, Game of Thrones is killing the game on strong female characters! Is it next week yet?