Game Of Thrones: Season 7

“Shall we begin?” This is a fitting final line for a trò chơi of Thrones season premiere episode that spends most of its hour checking in with characters rather than making any significant progress on the plot. Though it seems lượt thích a bit of a waste when there are only 12 episodes left in this story, for now, it’s just good to lớn be baông xã in this world.

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The Riverlands

Most of the action in this episode took place in the cold open, before the title credits even rolled. If you thought Arya was going to leave sầu the rest of the Freys who slaughtered her family unpunished, then you don’t know her very well. Walder Frey may have sầu been the crotchety old creeper who gave the order, but these men were the ones who carried it out. They had no reservations about killing a pregnant woman and the mother of five sầu children, amongst the other Starks và allies who died that day.

It’s a regular Red Feast, with Arya inviting the men & allies of House Frey to lớn a celebration. (How long was Arya pretending lớn be Walder Frey while she waiting for the gang to lớn arrive? I don’t know, but I wish it had been a website series.) Once there, she gets the men khổng lồ drink wine under the guise of family và kinship before the vengeful truth is exposed: the wine has been poisoned. Everyone who drank it will die.

Image via HBO
Arya isn’t interested in having the men know it was a Stark who killed them, not like she was with the real Walder Frey, but she does want the larger world khổng lồ know: “When people ask what happened here, tell them the North remembers,” she tells one of the Frey girls who witnesses the massacre. “Tell them Winter came for House Frey.”

But Arya isn’t done with House Frey. She has a to-vì chưng các mục khổng lồ get through, you know. Her next stop? King’s Landing, where she plans khổng lồ take out Cersei. She even announces her plans khổng lồ a gang of Lannister soldiers who are kind enough to tóm tắt their fire and dinner with her. They laugh it off, unwilling lớn believe sầu that such a young, small girl could carry out such an epic task. They obviously haven’t heard that the future is female.


While Arya has been off getting shit done, Jon and Sansa are seemingly in the same meeting with their followers as where we left them, trying to lớn figure out what lớn bởi next. While Jon goes unchallenged in his desire khổng lồ have sầu everyone of his bannerman Google tìm kiếm their records for any mention of the White Walkers, Sansa is less than pleased with Jon’s decision to leave those families that betrayed the Starks unpunished. She challenges hyên ổn in front of everyone, but Jon holds his ground. He will maintain the house structure because men love their tradition.

It’s easy lớn see why Jon và Sansa see the world slightly differently. Jon has spent the last few years in a world that, more or less, adheres khổng lồ some sense of honor. He is still naïve sầu enough to believe sầu that if you trust in those around you, they will repay you with their allegiance. Sansa, on the other hand, has spent the last few years in King’s Landing, learning that honor is not impermeable.

“You almost sound as if you admire Cersei,” Jon tells Sansa, later when they are by themselves. “I learned a great deal from her,” Sansa tells hyên. She has grown up in Cersei’s toxic shadow. It has not yet made her cruel, but it has made her smart. “I loved them. I miss them, but they both made stupid mistakes and they lost their heads for it.” This is how she remembers Ned and Robb. Sansa is all grown up, and not oblivious to lớn what Littlefinger wants. (Namely, her.)

Image via HBO
While the two Stark siblings may disagree on how to lớn proceed, the love sầu and respect they have for one another is obvious. Sansa tells Jon that he is the least Joffrey-like person she has ever met, which should really be a valentine. She tells hyên ổn that he is good at this ruling thing, even if he does not return the favor. And isn’t that how it always goes? The dude needs tons of positive reinforcement, but doesn’t think lớn bởi vì the same for the lady? “And how should I be smarter? By listening lớn you?” Jon asks, almost condescendingly. Um, yes. Sansa spent five sầu years by Cersei’s side. She has valuable knowledge Jon can use.

King’s Landing

Speaking of Cersei, she’s as socipathic as ever. Without her children khổng lồ pass her much-coveted empire along to lớn, she only cares about the present và what power she can wield now. Even Jaime seems to lớn be wondering if he should jump ship before she goes full-on genocide. When he tries to lớn get her khổng lồ talk about the death of their final child, Cersei just tells hyên that Tommen betrayed them. Tommen, a child who was so upphối and heartbroken và alone that he threw himself out of a window. Are you still Team Cersei, Jaime?

Let’s face it: Things have sầu not been great between siblings/lovers Jaime and Cersei for a long while now. The introduction of Euron Greyjoy into the equation is certainly not going to lớn help. Cersei is poised khổng lồ make a giảm giá with the ruler of the Iron Isles: her hand in marriage for his fleet of one thous& ships. The washed up rocker pirate seems giddy with the knowledge that he has something that Cersei needs, dropping thinly-veiled jokes about Jaime’s one-handed-ness left and… well, then just left.

While Cersei turns down the offer, it seems more like a negotiation technique then a final decision. Cersei needs allies if she stands any chance of keeping Westeros, và when has she ever valued love over power?

The Citadel

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Meanwhile, at the library…

Sometimes, Sam feels like he is on a complete different show. Right now, his show is a cross between the bloodiest parts of Điện thoại tư vấn the Midwife, the parts of Harry Potter that take place in the library, và that terrible Dinotopia miniseries starring a young Wentworth Miller.

While everyone else in Westeros is trying to get what they want by murdering, scheming, & wearing other people’s dead faces, Sam is trying lớn get what he wants by scrubbing bedpans, re-shelving library books, và assisting Jim Broadbent in medieval-style autopsies. It’s so Sam.

What Sam wants is some mother-frakking information about the White Walkers… you know, that undead threat that is coming lớn destroy us all. Unfortunately, the maesters seem khổng lồ be all about paying your dues (I’m telling you — dudes và their obsession with tradition). Sam isn’t allowed in the restricted section of the library until he becomes a maester.

Sam plays by the rules for a while, almost convincing Jyên Broadbent lớn let him see some books, before he blows the operation by making a vaguely racist phản hồi about southerners. So Sam cuts right khổng lồ the chase, và he steals the keys for the restricted section. (Jon Snow would have done this Day One, I’m just saying.)

The caper pays off! Sam finds out that Dragonstone is sitting on a mountain of dragonglass, one of the only substances known khổng lồ be able to lớn take out the White Walkers (though, notably, not wights). He quickly writes a raven lớn Jon, then gets baông chồng lớn his chores, which include picking up the dishes of the quarantined patients infected with greyscale. One of their number includes Jorah, who asks Sam if the Long queen has made it to lớn Westeros yet. Not khổng lồ judge, but he doesn’t seem to be doing a very good job looking for a cure for greyscale.

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Arya isn’t the only one currently meandering around the Riverlands. Her old frenemy Sandor Clegane, aka The Hound, is traveling with the Brotherhood Without Banners after having joined up with hyên ổn at the kết thúc of last season.

The Hound is a much-changed man from the one who first encountered the Brotherhood back in Season 3. After his near-death experience, his time with Arya, & his time with Septon Ray, The Hound seems more inclined to help the little guy, which just so happens khổng lồ be the Brotherhood’s mission statement.

The Hound spends most of his time making snarky comments about the Lord of Light, but it’s clear that, beneath his sarcasm, he has genuine questions about this power that he has seen bring Beric bachồng khổng lồ the dead (though Thoros’ magical healing). When Thoros asks him to lớn look into the fire, he not only works through his long-held fear to lớn bởi vì so, but also sees something real: the army of the undead marching on a castle. He may not want lớn be put in any religious category, but The Hound has seen enough khổng lồ believe that there are greater powers at work at Westeros. The big, angry question he has for them: Why save sầu the life of Beric Dondarrion (or Sandor himself) and not the lives of the farmer và daughter they find dead? It is the same farmer và daughter The Hound stole from in Season 3, & the same farmer and daughter he left to lớn die.

The Hound might not be able to go baông xã & save sầu these innocents he has wronged, but he can give sầu them a proper burial. And he does, with Thoros’ help. Most characters on this show have become more jaded as this series has gone on. Against all odds, The Hound has found a way to lớn believe in things greater than himself. More importantly than that, he has found a way khổng lồ be a better man.


After six seasons, Dany has returned to lớn the place she was born. She has reached the shores of Westeros.

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Almost all of Dany và company’s arrival at Dragonstone is without dialogue. The rồng queen makes her way off her boat, her closest allies — Tyrion, Varys, Missandei, & Grey Worm — at her side. It says a lot about the tangible power of this moment that Tyrion stays quiet. Instead, they give sầu the leader space as she makes her way up the beach, through the gates, and inkhổng lồ the castle that is her ancestral home. The Targaryens are baông chồng in Dragonstone, and Cersei should be shaking in her boots.

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“Shall we begin?” Dany asks Tyrion, as they stand over the war strategy board we once saw Stannis fail at. In the game of thrones, you win or you die. This is the beginning of the end, people. Place your bets: Dany, Cersei, or the White Walkers. Extra points for wild cards. At this point, it’s anybody’s game.

The Wall

And we can’t forget the happenings at the Wall, where poor Meera has finally finished dragging Bran khổng lồ. While, at first, the Night’s Watch doesn’t seem lớn believe sầu the haggard looking Meera và Bran aren’t wildlings, they know how lớn be convincing. It’s official: the Stark children have stopped biding their time. They are truly starting khổng lồ fight baông xã.

Rating: ★★★ Good

Additional thoughts

I’m still not sure how I feel about the wearing people’s faces effect Game of Thrones tries lớn pull off. It’s a little bit too Classic Doctor Who for my liking.

The "previously on" was almost as long as the episode.

It’s been fun khổng lồ see David Bradley both in the Doctor Who season finale và this premiere. It’s been a good summer for the actor.

“I’m not wasting good wine on a damn woman.” Arya spares the life of the Frey women. Did she bởi this so they would be alive sầu to lớn deliver a message or because she doesn’t hold them responsible for the actions of a house & family that kept them in such subjugation? How far gone is Arya?

“Leave sầu one wolf alive & the sheep are never safe.” Arya

The White Walkers march ever on, bolstered by all of the men & giants they have recruited from their attacks against the miễn phí folk.

“Not just the boys. We can’t defkết thúc the North if only half the North is fighting.” — Jon Snow

“Looks like we’re the Night’s Watch now.” — Tormund, after Jon asks the free folk khổng lồ man the Wall.

“Yesterday’s wars don’t matter anymore.” — Jon Snow

“Everything before the word but is horseshit.” — Ned Stark, by way of Jon Snow

“Father can’t protect me và neither can you.” — Sansa

“A dynasty for whom? Our children are dead.” — Jaime

If Cersei could, she would strike up a khuyến mãi with the White Walkers.

“I know the Iron born. They’re bitter, angry people.” — Jaime, demonstrating the casual racism of Westeros.

“Murdering them would make me feel a lot better.” — Euron, demonstrating he and Cersei might have something in common.

Jaime: “The people I was cutting down wrre your own kin.”

Euron: “The isl& was getting crowded.”

Cersei: “You murdered you own brother.”

Euron: “You should try it. It feels wonderful.”

“We are this world’s memories, Samwell Tarly.” — Maester Marwyn

“The Wall has stood through it all. And every winter that ever came has ended.” — Maester Marwyn. telling Sam that everything is going lớn be OK. The cost of being able khổng lồ say “I told you so” is too high for Sam in this scenario.

Brienne continues to lớn train Pod, which is adorable. Also adorable? That Tormund thinks being taken down by Brienne makes you a lucky man.

“Why aren’t you happy?” — Littlefinger to Sansa. Um, most of her family has been murdered. She was repeatedly raped by the husbvà you made her marry. And, now, she has lớn listen to you blather on.

“No need khổng lồ seize the last word, Lord Baelish. I’ll assume it was something clever.” — Sansa

“Why is he still here?” — Brienne on Littlefinger

Ed Sheeran fits right in, but he is a unwelcome distraction from this story.

“My mother always told me to be kind to strangers và strangers will be kind khổng lồ you.” ‘— A random Lannister solder. Um, has he watched this show?

When one of the Lannister soldiers mentions his dad, Arya gets this sad, faraway look in her eye. Do you think she is thinking about Ned?

“I hope it’s a girl … Girls take care of their papas when papas grow old. Boys just go away to lớn fight in sometoàn thân else’s war.” — A Lannister soldier. Dude, break the cycle..

Thoros: “Why are you always in such a foul mood?” The Hound: “Experience.”

“You think you’re fooling anybody with that top knot?” — The Hound khổng lồ Thoros. Can we all just Điện thoại tư vấn Thoros “Top Knot” from now on? OK, we’re in agreement then.

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“I’m sorry you’re dead. You deserved better. Both of you.” — The Hound delivers a eulogy the farmer và his daughter. Septon Ray would be proud.