Shall we begin?
Spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched the episode yet.
Ah, Winter is finally here. After an unusually long period of waiting and prevaricating, the world’s biggest TV show today, Game of Thrones finally graced us with its penultimate season. Dragons and direwolves, heroes and villains, violence and gratuitous nudity, everything we love about the show is back.
Well, not quite.
Here are some of my takeaways from the Season 7 premiere ‘Dragonstone’.
The North Remembers
Oh yes, it does. I’ll admit I wasn’t surprised by how the scene would turn out to be once we see Walder Frey cackling over his goblet of wine. But, that didn’t in the slightest mean that I didn’t enjoy the Frey clan and many of its soldiers choking over their own wine, poisoned by a vengeful wolf. Fan service or not, that really was one satisfactory scene to watch. Did it have to open the show though? Maybe, just maybe not.
Also, Arya is going to King’s Landing to kill the Queen. Should go well for both of them.
Sansa Stark v. Ned Stark
There is honor in Jon Snow, just like his ‘father,’ Ned Stark. But, honor cost poor Ned and Sean Bean a head.
Winterfell didn’t get a lot of screen time but, it’s the place on Westeros where you see the most conflict this episode, with Sansa and Jon butting heads as we expected them to. And it makes for an interesting dynamic; the honorable ‘bastard’ who rules as King and the first-born, rightful Queen of the North who understands the price of honor and loyalty. This was a great little scene.
Also, I swear I never want to get on the end of a Lyanna Mormont stink eye ever again.
The Queen is Ready
Not the beggar queen Daenerys but, the actual Queen, Cersei of the House Lannister has been busy trying to make allies to fight the enemies to the North, South, East, and West. An alliance between Cersei and Euron sounds reasonable, and although the formal alliance has been pushed forward to later (Pretty sure what/who the gift is), that is one sociopathic couple I would pay to watch. Credit to Pilou Asbæk for that smooth burn on Jaime. Smooth and savage AF.
Speaking of everyone’s favorite boy crippler, all’s not well between Jaime and Cersei, which is very interesting to see.
Also, hi-five to anyone who caught the Valonqar reference in that scene.
Burying the Legacy of the One True King, Stannis Baratheon
Game of Thrones has given us some wonderful characters such as Jaime, Tyrion, Jon, and Arya but for us book readers, there was Stannis too. Apart from Dorne, Stannis Baratheon was the only other character or storyline absolutely butchered by D&D.
You can feel Stannis’s presence in the episode this week when Dany finally makes her way to Westeros and Dragonstone. Whether it is Dany taking down Stannis’ unique banner or the way she hunches over the stone table a la Stannis, Stannis lives on, which is a yayyy for me. Shame, D&D.
Also, for an episode titled ‘Dragonstone,’ there is shamefully very little of the subject or even Dany.
The Night’s King….. Walks?
Here’s the thing about great villains in franchises of any kind. The lesser the makers show us the baddies, the lesser we know about them, the more surprising and invested we as viewers will be to the storyline. This is the ‘Jaws’ effect.
If Hardhome was any evidence yes, we get that the White Walkers a real threat but, what was the point of that shot of the Night’s King and his army taking a stroll in the park. Served no utility whatsoever.
To conclude, the Season 7 premiere of Game of Thrones, ‘Dragonstone’ was far from a great or even a pretty good episode of Game of Thrones. It was serviceable for what it was and was more appetizing and table-setting rather than one which took the plot forward substantially.
It’s not a huge complaint though. Table-setting is alright, especially when you have so many characters and storylines to catch up to. But, can Game of Thrones afford to? We’ll see.
A few random observations,
- So, the much-hyped Ed Sheeran cameo was …… pretty okay. Rupert Grint’s richer doppelganger did what he does best, sing. As it happened, it also gave way to one rare scene where characters speak freely and honestly to each other as Lannister troops shared their troubles with Arya after the Frey massacre. Who would have imagined that?
- The first fifteen minutes after the title sequence was a mess with stories jumping around and the editing not very seamless. I mean, Bran and Meera got less than a minute on screen.
- I like the Brotherhood but, unless it’s Clegane bowl, the Hound and Rory McCann is being wasted. Just saying.
- Every fictional hero’s best friend, Sam is back as he trains to be a Maester by emptying out chamber pots and helping with the dissection of corpses. And we finally got a peek at the famed Archmaester Marwyn of the Citadel. Welcome aboard, Jim Broadbent.
- I absolutely love Cersei but, I think Lena Headey is overdoing the malevolent villain part a tad. A bit too much of finger twirling and angry glaring.
- Missing in Action: Dorne (Thank God), the Greyjoys (Maybe?) and Olenna Tyrell (This cannot be happening!)
That’s all this week. Keep checking this space for more GoT stuff. Until next time, Hodor.
Images Sources: Google Images
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