Game of Thrones: Shall We Begin? Season 7 Premier Review

Season 7 of Game of Thrones is finally here! So far, the season has started out strong and promises more action, fantastic character development, and winter finally arriving!

Warning! There are SPOILERS in this blog post.

Game of Thrones, Season 7 Episode 1: “Dragonstone”

The North Remembers

The episode opens at House Frey where Walder Frey seems to be alive and well and serving a feast to his men. I thought this was a flashback at first, since we the audience know that Arya killed Walder in the last season.

The women in the room are signaled by Walder to serve the wine for a toast and then it clicked for me. Walder then makes a speech congratulating the men on their triumph of killing the Starks during a wedding and slaying a pregnant woman.

The men die of poisoning and Arya removes Walder’s face to reveal her disguise. She tells Walder’s widow to tell people who ask what happened “the North remembers.”

*mic drop*

Finally! Complete justice for the Red Wedding!

Arya still has a few people on her list though:

  • Cersei Lannister
  • Ilyn Payne (the executioner who killed her father, Ned Stark)
  • The Mountain (who is now a zombie-Frankenstein beast)
  • Melisandre
  • Beric Dondarrion (the guy with the eye batch who was brought back to life by the Lord of Light)
  • and Thoros of Myr (the monk who seems to have a stronger connection to the Lord of Light than Melisandre).

I’m predicting Arya may get to Cersei last, if at all. She may go through a journey of blood and carnage and possibly go through an arc about how empty seeking revenge is. She is a very young character, and she found her power at an early age and is using it for her own gain, so I think the writers may give her an arc that will likely end either in tragedy or on a bittersweet note. Not many revenge arcs end on a happy note (*see Kill Bill Vol. 2 for an exception), but I’m excited to see where her story goes.

Hi Bran! Bye Bran!

After the awesome title sequence plays, we see a shot of the white walker army walking slowly in a blizzard. It’s a perfect visual representation of how long Winter is taking. It also explains why it’s taking forever – the army is traveling on foot and horse! Of course it’s taking them 7 seasons to get anywhere!

The next scene cuts to Meera Reed and Bran Stark arriving at the Wall. They’re greeted by Jon Snow’s friends and are let inside.

Not much else to that but to establish Bran made it to the Wall and missed his brother by maybe a couple weeks or days. Time passage is hard to tell in this show.

I’m predicting that maybe a small troop of white walkers will arrive at the Wall since they were following Bran in the first place. Bran will show off his powers and defeat them and he’ll say something cryptic about winter finally arriving.

Meanwhile… at Winterfell

The next scene cuts to the Starks at the main hall in Winterfell. Everyone is debating their next move on what to do about King’s Landing and the pending threat of the white walkers.

The main issue is what to do with the people who swore allegiance to the Bolton household. Sansa wants to punish those who betrayed the Starks, but Jon makes a point that they need as many people as possible and he doesn’t want to punish the children of traitorous parents.

Since Jon is a bastard, it’s possible he sympathizes with children being punished for mistakes their parents made. Whether this will come back and bite him in the future or not, only time will tell. Sansa “undermining” Jon during the meeting adds tension to their relationship. Sansa and Jon have never been close, as far as we’ve seen, but as the only Starks at Winterfell, you’d think they would want to be on the same side.

Lyanna Mormont makes another appearance and is still just as badass as ever!

Jon makes his case about needing as many people as possible. He demands that everyone, women and men from ages 10 and up, pull their weight and make weapons or fight.

Lord Glover, being an old-fashioned knight, objects and states that only young men should be called to fight.

Lyanna then stands up and says, “I don’t plan on knitting by the fire while men fight for me. I might be small, Lord Glover, and I might be a girl, but I am every bit as much a Northerner as you. And I don’t need your permission to defend the North.”

Lyanna Mormont
Can we just put her in charge of the Seven Kingdoms and call it a day?

Petyr Baelish (AKA Littlefinger) is up to his old tricks of turning people against each other. Sansa isn’t putting up with his bullshit, though. She dismisses him and shows that she has grown from the vulnerable girl she was in season 1 and has become more wary of who to trust. Baelish is from the South, so it’s possible he may still have an ulterior motive that will put him in a good light with the Lannisters again.

Or he may still think he has a shot with Sansa since she reminds him so much of Catelyn Stark… the creep.

sansa-little-finger-dragonstone

Jon and Sansa have a moment where they seem to make up, and they at least seem like they want to be on the same side, they just have different opinions on how to approach their enemies.

Sansa does have first-hand experience with Cersei and how dangerous she is. Sansa at one point says “everyone who has crossed her, she has found a way to murder.”

Jon replies “You sound like you admire her.”

I think Sansa admires Cersei’s power over people, something Sansa never really had. Now that she’s coming into her own as a character, she has to find her own power and use it to survive. She has progressed a lot, but she still seems to have a long way to go.

I’m never eating soup again…

The episode then cuts to Sam (Samwell Tarly) at the Citadel going through his routine as a maester’s apprentice. This mostly involves putting books away and cleaning chamber pots. Being Game of Thrones, they show how disgusting cleaning chamber pots is in all of its thick, gooey glory.

Do not eat while watching this episode.

Since Sam is still an apprentice, he’s not allowed in the Restricted Area of the Hogwarts the Citadel Library. Of course, he sneaks in anyway and finds out that there is a huge supply of dragon glass at Castle Targaryen, Dragonstone. He quickly sends this news to Jon.

Sam assists with an autopsy at one point and talks to one of the maesters about the white walker threat and how the Citadel should be involved and share their knowledge to prevent lost lives.

The maester tells him basically that the world is ending all of the time. People thought it would be the end with basically every war that happened. The Citadel has always been neutral and stayed out of conflicts.

At the end of the scene, we see Sam giving food to Jorah Mormont in a cell. His Greyscale condition has obviously worsened, and it’s hard to tell if he’s completely succumbed to it mentally.

With the measter’s indifference and Sam finding out about the dragonglass in Dragonstone in mind, it’s very likely two things will happen: Jon will receive the news and meet Daenerys at some point and the Citadel may fall to the white walkers.

I sincerely hope that Jon and Daenerys meet during this season. I think it would be a very interesting moment.

Since the Citadel has always been neutral, that may be their downfall. It’s likely the white walkers will be an actual threat to everyone, even neutral parties. They’re a supernatural force bent on literally raising hell and destroying everything in sight. They’re not an ordinary army lead by king or lord on a conquest.

Hi Ed Sheeran! Bye Ed Sheeran!

The episode cuts to Arya traveling and stumbling upon a small group of Lannister soldiers. One of them is singing a tune, who is obviously Ed Sheeran. They spot her and invite her over to share their small portion of food and homemade booze.

First, to get it out of the way, Ed Sheeran is in this scene and he was perfectly fine in his role as Soldier #2. He just sings a few verses and barely says anything.

Ed-Sheeran-Arya-Dragonstone

People were so angry about this that Ed Sheeran had to delete his Twitter account.

In hindsight, this is very stupid. He didn’t distract from Arya’s scene of her meeting people from “the other side” and learning that both sides in a conflict have good and bad people. It’s a great moment for her character, but her focus is still on Cersei.

She even tells the group of soldiers she’s on her way to kill their queen and they all laugh, thinking that she’s joking.

I didn’t expect Ed Sheeran to become a main character or anything. His character wasn’t even given a name. Maybe he bought a spot on the show, who knows. It just seems weird and random, but his scene is very brief, so it didn’t bother me personally.

I Have Seen the Light!

The Hound is traveling with Thoros and Beric and they come across a deserted cabin. The Hound recognizes the cabin belonging to the father and daughter he murdered and robbed when he was traveling with Arya.

The Hound has had an interesting arc. He’s always been a complicated character with unpredictable motives. By this time in season 7, he seems to be moving towards redemption when he sees a vision in a fire, brought on by Thoros, and buries the people he killed as a way of making amends.

Maybe the Hound will be a Red Priest by the end of the show. I’m sure he will kill a couple of major characters first before that happens. He’s just one of those characters that has to kill people for whatever reason once in a while.

Meanwhile… at King’s Landing

In the next scene, we see Cersei supervise a worker painting a map of Westeros in a courtyard… Why she doesn’t have it painted on a piece of parchment instead of the floor, I don’t know. Maybe she’s going insane.

Jaime walks in and they talk about the many enemies they have in pretty much every part of world. Like Jon, Jaime makes a point that they need as many alias as possible. The only issue is that no one wants to be on the losing side and the Lannisters have already lost too many times. They’re out of money and slowly running out of food, so even using their own army is out of the question.

Cersei is surprisingly confident in winning, however. She’s either going insane and going to run King’s Landing into the ground, or she may have some sort of ace up her sleeve we haven’t been made privy to yet.

S7E1CerseiJaime

The scene also explores Cersei’s and Jaime’s relationship a little bit. Jaime brings up the fact that their children are dead and Cersei calls Tommen weak for having committed suicide.

This shows that Cersei has lost all sense of humanity if she’s even talking down to her own dead children, whom she was fiercely protective of before Tommen died.

Cersei does still seem to care about what Jaime thinks to an extent. She asks him why he’s been so quiet since he came back and asks if he’s angry with her. When he says no, she asks if he’s afraid of her. He again says no and asks “should I be?” Cersei never answers him. She then changes the subject about Tyrion being on Daenerys’ side.

She knows she needs an ally who will be willing to go against Daenerys, so enters Euron Greyjoy (Theon and Yara’s uncle) with his fleet of ships.

Euron proposes marriage to Cersei, but Cersei needs to see what marrying him would benefit her. So Euron promises to bring back “a gift” for her.

I’m guessing Euron is going to try to go up against Daenerys and try to bring back either her head, or Tyrion’s head, or both to Cersei. Either would obviously please her enough. I don’t think Euron will succeed though. I think there will be an awesome battle scene between Euron’s fleet and the Unsullied, but I think Euron will end up getting eaten by a dragon or something. Things don’t turn out well for people who go up against Daenerys.

Home Sweet Home

In the final scene, Daenerys and the gang finally arrive at the Targaryen Castle, Dragonstone. Daenerys walks around, the scene is shot well, and it’s effective emotionally as she gets to know her birth place and family home. She comes to the large black table where Melisandre and Stannis Baratheon made that weird shadow baby that never shows up again. She then gives the ending line, “Shall we begin?” and the episode ends.

Dragonstone_(day)

Final Thoughts and Predictions

Overall, I thought this was a fantastic season premier. There is a lot of set up, but that’s to be expected. It was all very good set up and it gives just enough information and foreshadowing about what may or may not happen throughout the season.

Of course, not everyone made an appearance (we haven’t seen Theon and Yara meet up with Daenerys yet), but we still have a whole season to cover everyone’s story arcs.

There’s a lot of build up and there is potential for some awesome battle scenes. It will be interesting to see how they will top the Battle of the Bastards sequence in season 6.

We’ll see what this season has in store!

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