And we’re back! Season 7! One more after this one and it’s done. We are beyond the books, who knows what’s going to happen now. I’m intrigued and also worried, but isn’t that what Game of Thrones has always done to us?
For this episode I do wish we hadn’t gotten a flashback of the previous season as it sort of ruins a little bit of the surprise to come, I wish they had done a simple cold opening, I wonder why they chose not to.
We continue where we left the previous season, sort of, with Walder Frey as The Twins. Walder Frey is being a piece of shit as usual until his speech turns sour and the entirety of his guests are murdered, poisoned by the wine that had been served. Walder removes his face a la Scooby-gang and it is revealed that Arya is the one responsible for that absolutely majestic slaughter. Although the flashback and, well, my memory sort of spoiled the surprise, I did have butterflies in my stomach and shivers as Arya said: “Tell them the north remembers. Tell them winter came for house Fray”. Finally, some satisfaction has given us through most probably the absolute best opening to any Game of Thrones episode so far.
Jon and Sansa have a pretty public disagreement on what to do with the Umbers and KArstarks who has previously turned against the Starks and fought for the Boltons. Sansa wants to strip them of their title and homes while Jon reminds her that the people responsible for those decisions are dead, and the children should not pay for their parent’s mistakes. For what is most likely the first time, I disagree with Sansa and strongly agree with Jon. The children representing the Umbers and the Karstarks swear their loyalty, Sansa mopes around, Littlefingers creeps. In a moment of what seems to be momentary utter memory loss, Sansa tells Jon that his refusal to consider her opinion (which isn’t what he has done at all) is similar to Joffrey, something she takes back right away. Girl, you need to chill. They talk about the past, about their father and how they were raised, how she dislikes that Jon wants to protect her from things by not telling her all that is, how she dislikes not being as included in the decision making. Although I see where she is coming from, her perspective does not reflect reality, that is not what is happening.
The conversation is ended by a raven from Cersei demanding that they bend the knee, Jon brushes it off, Sansa attempts to explain that Cersei is relentless, that she cannot be dismissed, that she will never stop, that nothing can get in the way, that vengeance is what she does. Jon asks Sansa if she admires her.
Talking of Cersei, we jump to King’s Landing where Cersei is…having a map of Westeros painted and I just don’t understand why? Jaime attempts to talk about Tommen’s suicide, I’m sort of curious too, but she brushes it off. Her children are now dust and she cannot think or worry about dust. It’s cold, even for Cersei. They talk about Daenerys and where she could possibly land, Jaime demonstrates having brains that Cersei apparently totally lacks by going for…well for the pretty logical assumption, Dragonstone, Dany’s birthplace. Jaime tells Cersei the obvious, they are losing the war, they have no allies, people have her and she was never meant to be ginger so why is there so much red in her hair?! Why is Dany blonde?! Where are her silver locks, why are her eyebrows black, I am losing it and these are the questions that matter.
Somehow Cersei thinks it’s a great idea to unite with the Greyjoy. Jaime thinks it’s a bullshit idea, so do I. Nasty fucking Euron Greyjoy arrives and just, does whatever Euron does, just vomit mouth diarrhea. He complains about his niece and nephew’s betrayal like he isn’t betrayal incarnated, he boasts about his fleet (and I have no idea how he built a fleet in what seems to be a few weeks, considering, they stole the fleet and there are no trees on Pyke??) Euron proposes his allegiance in exchange for Cersei’s hand in marriage, she says no, he’s not even bothered and simply promises to return with a gift that will change her mind. I need a shower. We then get one of the most interesting few scenes out of Game of Thrones so far, a montage of Sam’s new and exciting life in the citadel of Oldtown, where his life mostly revolves around putting books away in the library, serving meals and emptying chamber pots. A lot of shit in those chamber pots. To be honest, that montage eventually grossed me out and I was glad when it was over, but kudos for doing something a little different in this 7th season. Sam is tired of his life, and I absolutely 100% get him after that nasty montage. He longingly stares at the restricted section of the library and I starting thinking about how bomb Harry Potter is. Sam asks his Archmaester about having access to that section of the library but is turned down due to his status as, well, not an archmaester. Sam talks of the Others and the archmaester surprises him by letting him know that he actually believes him as well as the night watch, yet, he does not believe that the wall would fall, or that their world would end. This is a great scene, we get some information about Westeros’s past, I wish Game of Thrones would do more scenes like this one, but oh well. That night, Sam decides to steal the key and enters the restricted section. Back in Winterfell, Sansa is watching Brienne fight like the boss that she is. Tormund is also watching, and I continue to have mixed feelings about these two. Littlefinger approaches Sansa to do what Littlefinger does best, creep creepily. He attempts to questions Sansa’s safety at Winterfell, to which she replies that Brienne and Jon, her brother (I almost cried, I don’t know why) are there and that she is the safest here, with them. LIttlefinger then questions Sansa’s happiness, to which she replies that all she wishes is peace and quiet, interrupting him in his attempt to respond, that she’ll just assume it would be something clever. When Brienne comes to check on Sansa and ask what Littlefinger is still doing at Winterfell and what it is that he could possibly want, Sansa says that she knows what that thing is. I truly wish I knew what was going on in Sansa’s head. My heart is in shambles, stop making me question you, baby girl!
Arya, who is on the road to someplace, decides to accept the invitation of random dudes who were sitting by, and have a snack with her because Westeros is totally the safest place and men are even safer companions to have at your side. Yes. Yes. Ed Sheeran is there, twitter spoiled that for me and honestly, I don’t understand why I should care in the slightest, he stands out and so does his song, please just go north girl, you said you were going home! I watched the scene with a lot of tension. Oftentimes in Game of Thrones, when a woman reaches a high peak in power she may hold, the show makers decide to write a rape scene, even if it isn’t in the books, such as with Cersei, and then Sansa. I watched because the show does not give me safety, Arya has yet to have a rape scene, and Maisie Williams is now of legal age, so, I watch anxiously. The is no rape scene though, the talk nonchalantly and Maisie tells them that she is going to King’s Landing to kill the queen, they laugh, not believing, but we know this to be the truth.
We then move on to what was one of my favourite scene of the episode, which isn’t that surprising anymore as Sandor has become a fan’s favourite for a lot of the show’s fans. Sandor, still chilling & hanging with the Brotherhood without Banners, isn’t exactly down with Winter, remember, it’s finally here. They stop at an abandoned house for some rest where they find the remains of a man and a little girl, a man and a girl Sandor had encountered in the previous season with Arya, they deduct that the father killed his girl and himself afterwards, perhaps knowing that they were going to die of starvation anyway. Sandor is disturbed, and although he and Beric have an interesting conversation about whether or not there is any divine justice, Sandor is asked to look into the fire. Unconvinced, doubtful at first, Sandor eventually sees something. He sees a wall of ice, a castle, a mountain and then an army, the army of the Others. In the middle of the night, Sandor is found digging a grave through the snow in which to lay the Farmer and his daughter’s bones. It’s there that I realize how much he has changed, how far away The Hound is from this man.
We return one last time to Sam, still at the Citadel. Night after night he has gone through the bones he took from the restricted section, finding nothing, and finding even sleep. He eventually finds information about Dragonglass and learns that dragonglass can be found at Dragonstone, a mountain of it. He immediately writes a letter to Jon. In the morning, we suddenly briefly realize that, as Sam walks through the Sanitarium, Jorah is in one of the rooms. He reaches out to Sam and we see the advancement of his Greyscale.
The episode, unsurprisingly, ends with Daenerys landing to Westeros. It’s difficult not to breathe alongside her, not to feel the strong beating of your heart accelerating as the music plays and as Dany finally reaches the shore, sets foot, after 6 long seasons, and her entire life spent away from her birthplace, where so much history took place.
Although still not an active fan of Dany, this scene is a beautiful one, a dialogue-free one, nothing needs to be said, we watch as Dany walks towards the castle through the hundred of steps, through gate after gate, door after door, enormous status of dragons everywhere representing the undeniable history of her family line, of what she feels in her heart is hers.
At the entry of the throne room, she calmly rips off a Baratheon banner and enters, but rather than sitting on the throne as some would expect, Dany continues to enter the Chamber of the Painted Table, or the war room if you’d like, her only words being: “Shall we begin”. Yeah, ok, fine, I totally did get goosebumps.
9/10To be honest, although there is a mountain worth of things that I could criticize about Game of Thrones, this episode felt good, there was more than one scene that stood out to be as excellent, and I cannot wait for episode 2, which is always something I hope for, for the desire for more to come to me by the end of the episode. This annoying feeling of having to wait a week, wondering, especially knowing that we are well past the books, that, as a book reader, I can only guess, hope, assume, as of now. I know nothing.