‘Shall we begin?’ asked Dany (Emilia Clarke) as she stood in her ancestral home, surveying a map of Westeros alongside her Hand, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). ‘YES!’ cried the millions of viewers around the globe, who have waited seven seasons for her to finally come home to Westeros to reclaim her family’s throne. ‘Yes’ to Dany’s conquest, and ‘yes’ to the start of the long-awaited season seven. With only thirteen episodes left until the end, there was never going to be time for a slow build-up. In true Game of Thrones style, ‘Dragonstone’ began the new season with a flurry of revenge-killings, sibling squabbles, and questionable alliances.
Arya finally avenged the death of her family in the Red Wedding by wiping out House Frey without breaking a sweat. Jon (Kit Harington) and Sansa had a public disagreement over whether to punish children for their father’s mistakes, whilst Baelish smirked in the corner. Sam endured his duties as a trainee Maester, in an increasingly sped-up sequence of gagging, emptying bedpans, and dishing out lunch. He also snuck into the forbidden section of the library to find out, shockingly, that underneath Dragonstone is a mountain of dragonglass – a fact, if not obvious by the names, Stannis had already told us seasons earlier.
‘Shall we begin…TO MIC DROP THE S**T OUTTA SEASON 7?!’. Yes, please.
Elsewhere in King’s Landing, much to Jamie’s distaste, Cersei (Lena Headey) entertained the suit of Euron Greyjoy, pretty much her last potential ally. Euron left proclaiming he would bring Cersei back a ‘priceless’ gift, to win her hand – a gift I desperately hope is not her brother, Tyrion’s, head. Back in the North, Baelish continued to whisper sweet nothings into Sansa’s ear. ‘You’re not happy,’ he whispered. No Baelish, she’s not. Not with you creepily breathing down her neck. Unfortunately, Baelish controls the Knights of the Vale, still desperately needed at Winterfell after they saved Jon’s forces in the Battle of the Bastards last season. This means he won’t be going anywhere for now, and will keep trying to turn Sansa against Jon, a power struggle that would divide the Starks only just as they have reunited.
Some Starks, however, still roam far from Winterfell. Bran was seen passing through the Wall with Meera, and Arya was seen to be on her way south to ‘kill the Queen.’ Arya killing Cersei is unlikely, although not impossible. Avid fans would point to the prophecy that Cersei will be killed by her valonqar, little brother, be that Tyrion or even more interestingly, Jamie. Yet I doubt Cersei will be going anywhere for now as, after Ramsay’s death last season, we are still in search of a (below-the-Wall) arch-villain of the show. Having burned half of her city alive in the most recent finale, Cersei has real potential, especially partnered with the seemingly crazed Euron. Meanwhile, the Hound wandered Westeros with the Brotherhood without Banners, continuing his redemptive journey as loveable bad guy. But the final scenes were dedicated to Dany’s arrival home. Incredible, soaring shots of her making the long walk up to her birthplace, ended the episode with the line I opened with, or as Clarke herself put on Instagram, ‘Shall we begin…TO MIC DROP THE S**T OUTTA SEASON 7?!’. Yes, please.
‘You’re a lucky man’ – Tormund leered to Pod, who was being taught to fight by Brienne. This #Briemund romance is one to watch.
‘No need to seize the last word Lord Baelish, I’ll assume it was something clever’ – Sansa dismissed Littlefinger.
‘You think you’re fooling anyone with that topknot?’ – The Hound has the best comebacks.
Most random plot line/character appearance:
Ed Sheeran’s little cameo as a singing Lannister soldier was at the behest of producers in order to surprise Maisie Williams (Arya), but received mixed reviews from critics and fans.
Easiest moment to overlook:
Jorah’s grey-scaled hand shooting through a hole in the Citadel cells to reach Sam – how on earth did he end up here?
Has to be Arya’s epic opening scene, although this was less of a ‘wtf is going on,’ and more of a ‘yes you go girl, don’t let anyone survive’ kind of moment.
Based on Next Week’s Trailer:
Dany plans an attack on King’s Landing; Jon is told not to trust a Targaryen; Cersei spreads anti-Dany propaganda; Yara kisses someone; Baelish is pushed up against a wall. But where is Gendry?!