Game of Thrones, based on the fantasy series by author George R. R. Martin, has consistently been one of the best shows on television over its first 6 seasons. With the show now surpassing Martin’s source material, it will definitely be interesting to see where it will go with his next novels expecting to catch up. The fact that the series will end after next season adds even more intrigue as long gestating characters and subplots will start to be resolved over the next two seasons. It will definitely be sad to see it go but it looks to do so with a bang.
Synopsis: Jon organizes the defense of the North. Cersei tries to even the odds. Daenerys comes home. (IMDB)
Writers: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Director: Jeremy Podeswa
Running Time: 59mins
It’s finally back, however, those wanting wheels turning will be a little disappointing. With only 7 episodes this season, one would think that things would move a little faster. Some wheels began to turn in this episode but it focused mostly on updating us on all the characters and for the most part, did an excellent job at this.
This war will be a series of small victories, the first being Arya using her newly gained face-changing powers to poison the Freys as part of her revenge tour. She’s killed a fair share of people on her tour with her last target of Cersei perhaps being her biggest challenge. It has been widely reported that this season would feature a cameo at some point of a famous singer so they got that out of the way early on with Arya being befriended by a group of Lannister soldiers (who obviously didn’t know who she was). She told them she was heading to King’s Landing to kill the Queen which of course got a response of laughter but it would be unwise to underestimate Arya Stark.
Bran and Meera are near the Wall and Bran gets a vision of the White Walkers marching with their considerable army that includes Giant White Walkers. They finally get to the Wall and they easily prove themselves enough to be allowed in.
Jon, Sansa, and the Northern houses plot together for what is to come. There is some division between Jon and Sansa over what to do about the Umbers and the Karstarks who betrayed them for Ramsay Bolton. Jon wants everybody to fight, boys and girls, and to mine for Dragonglass. He also wants the Wildlings to help mind the castles near the Wall. Of course Jon didn’t like to be undermined but she thought he should do things differently, after what happened to Ned and Robb, and listen to her. Cersei sent him a message to bend the knee which he isn’t going to do and Sansa warned Jon to worry about the Lannisters as well. Littlefinger also wanted something from Sansa and was interrupted before asking, however, Sansa already knew what he wanted.
Cersei and Jaime were plotting with Jaime reminding her that they had no allies. She’s stubbornly thinks that they still have a chance (although I would never underestimate them). She called upon Euron Greyjoy for help despite Jaime’s skepticism. He took a few shots at Jaime but they ultimately had common enemies and Euron wanted a bride, however, they still didn’t trust him so he offered them a gift in return (perhaps Tyrion?).
Sam’s life at the Citadel wasn’t the most glamourous as he was doing most of the grunt work. He was getting impatient since he just wanted to learn about the White Walkers. One of the Maesters, Archmaester Marwyn (Jim Broadbent), had become quite fascinated with him and believed his story about seeing them but wasn’t overly worried with the Wall still there. The books Sam wanted were in the restricted section which was for Maesters, which he wasn’t yet, although he still found a way in and learned that Dragonstone had a mountain of Dragonglass.
During his duties, Sam found Jorah, or at least his greyscale arm, asking if Daenerys had come yet followed by the episode cutting to her and her gang arriving on Dragonstone. What was cool about this was that there was no dialogue as she walked into the castle until getting to a map and telling Tyrion “shall we begin?”.
Overall, this was a great start to the season while giving us a few fun character moments with Jon and Sansa and Sam and Archmaester Marwyn. It also allowed us to catch up with all the characters while also giving us a glimpse of where things are going. We kind of know that Jon and Daenerys would get together at some point and maybe it’s for Dragonglass? Hopefully Bran and Arya will rejoin the others at Winterfell (I’m guessing Bran)?
If you’re into previews, here’s a preview of next week’s episode entitled “Stormborn”.