Title: Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 1:  Dragonstone
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Drama
Platform: TV – HBO
Director: Jeremy Podeswa
Writers: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Rating: TV-MA
Release: July 16, 2017
Cast: Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington
Feature imageSource

[SPOILERS]

“Leave one wolf alive, and the sheep are never safe.”  Walder Frey/Arya Stark – Game of Thrones                                   

The Twins or Arya’s Revenge Tour

It is a banquet for the men of the House Frey. Walder Frey (David Bradley) is hosting. How is this possible, isn’t he dead. Could it be a flashback? He orders the serving girls to pour the wine. This isn’t the usual horse piss he gives them, this is the best. He tells them to drink up. He won’t let his child bride have any because this is too good for women. Walder Frey congratulates his men for the Red Wedding, for killing a pregnant woman, a mother of five, and breaking their oath of hospitality. They made one mistake, they didn’t kill all the Starks. Walder Frey/Arya: “Leave one wolf alive, and the sheep are never safe.” His men are gagging and soon they are dead. Walder Frey takes off his mask, and it is our favorite little assassin, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams). She tells the women whom she all let live, “When people ask you what happened here, tell them the North remembers. Tell them winter came for House Frey.” Arya walks out with a satisfied smirk on her face.

Later on the road, Arya comes upon some Lannister soldiers taking a reprieve, enjoying the musical stylings of Ed Sheeran. They offer Arya food and drink. These guys are really nice, they must not know which show they are on. Arya is suspicious of them too, but she realizes they are just a bunch of homesick men, doing their duty. They ask her where she is going. She tells them King’s Landing. They ask for what. Arya: “I’m going to kill the queen.” Everyone is silent, then they all laugh at this ‘joke’. Arya laughs with them and enjoys their company. It is a good thing they laughed or they might have faced the fate of the House Frey.

“…Night King. He’s coming for us. All of us.”  Bran Stark – Game of Thrones

Castle Black

An army of the White Walkers, led by the Night King are on the march. It is a huge army with giant White Walkers. Bran Stark’s (Isaac Hempstead Wright) eyes go back to normal, it’s a vision. He and Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick) are outside the Wall. Eddison Tollett (Ben Crompton) and a few other members of the Night Watch open the gate to find out who they are. Meera tells them who she and Bran are. They are skeptical that this is Ned Stark’s believed dead son. Instead of trying to prove who he is, he tells them, “…Night King. He’s coming for us. All of us.” This shakes up Edd, and he lets them enter.

“I may be small. I may be a girl, but I won’t be knitting by the fire while I have men fight for me.”  Lyanna Mormont – Game of Thrones

Winterfell

Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is holding court with the Lords of the North with Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) by his side. Or at least sitting next to him, because it isn’t clear if she is on his side. Jon wants them to look for dragonglass, since they will need it to defeat the Night Walkers. He tells them everyone will need to train to fight. They think he is only talking about the men and boys, but Jon means the women and girls too. They object to this but Lady Lyanna Mormont sets them straight again, “I may be small. I may be a girl, but I won’t be knitting by the fire while I have men fight for me.” That sets everyone straight. He asks the free folk to man the castles. Tormund Giantsbane: “Looks like we’re the Night Watch now.” When Jon discusses the Umber and Karstark castles, some of the Lords want those castles razed since they fought against them in the Battle of the Bastards. Sansa doesn’t agree with this, the castles did nothing to anyone. They should give the castles to families that were loyal to them. The room grunts in agreement. Jon doesn’t agree, those families had been loyal to the Starks for centuries. Sansa reminds him they weren’t loyal this time. Sansa: “So there’s no punishment for treason and no reward for loyalty.” Jon says the price for treason is death, the ones who fought against him are already dead. Jon: “The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword…But I will not punish a son for his father’s sin.” He has Lord Umber (Harry Grasby) and Lady Karstark (Megan Parkinson), who are only kids, swear allegiance, he reminds his Lords that they will need a united north to defeat the dead. The room grunts their approval. Petyr Baelish (Aida Gillen) looks at Jon and Sansa’s public squabble with a bemused smirk. (Jon should punch that bemused smirk off his face.)

Jon and Sansa go outside alone to hash this out. Jon wants Sansa to quit undermining him, Sansa wants Jon to listen to her. She begins with everyone likes and respects him, ‘but’, Jon tells her Ned told the boys everything before ‘but’ is just shit. He never told his girls this because he wanted to protect them. Sansa reminds Jon that Ned wasn’t able to protect her and she doesn’t want Jon to either. She doesn’t want Jon to make the same mistakes Ned and Robb made. Sansa: “I loved them. I miss them. But they both made stupid mistakes and lost their heads for it.”  They get a message from Cersei, she wants them to come to King’s Landing to kneel before her, or be seen as traitors to the crown. Sansa doesn’t think Jon takes the threat from the south seriously. Jon tells her if she had seen the Night King, she’d only be concerned about him too. Sansa thinks they at least have the wall between them and the army of the dead, there is nothing between them and Cersei. Jon points out they have distance, and with it being winter, a southern army wouldn’t try to make the trip. Sansa warns Jon not to underestimate Cersei, she finds a way to kill her enemies. Jon thinks Sansa might admire her a little. Sansa admits she learned a lot from her.

“No need to seize the last word; I’ll assume it was something clever.”  Sansa Stark – Game of Thrones  

Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) is trying to teach Podrick Payne (Daniel Portman) some fighting moves, he is getting his arse handed to him. Tormund affectionately leers at Brienne and tells Podrick that he is lucky. Baelish is standing next to Sansa enjoying the sparing. He says he admires Brienne for being able to best the Hound. “I want you to be happy. I want you to be safe…Why aren’t you happy?” Baelish whispers. Before he can go on, Brienne walks up to them. Sansa curtly dismisses him with, “No need to seize the last word; I’ll assume it was something clever.” He takes his leave. Brienne wonders why he is still there. Sansa tells her they need him for his army from the Vale, without them, they would have lost the Battle of the Bastards. Brienne wonders what he wants. Sansa sadly knows.

“So here I am with a thousand ships,” and glaring at Jaime, “two good hands.”  Euron Greyjoy – Game of Thrones

King’s Landing

Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) is watching a painter paint a big map of Westeros on the floor. Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) bids the painter to leave. Cersei says she and Jaime haven’t spoken that much lately; is he angry with her? He says he isn’t. She asks if he is afraid of her; he asks should he be. Cersei says their father had been teaching them and preparing them for this moment. Cersei: “I am the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms”   Jaime: “Three kingdoms at best.” They look at the map at all their enemies, it is clear that they are surrounded. Jaime tells his sister they need new and improved allies. Someone just wiped out House Frey, and whoever they were aren’t their friends either. Cersei knows and she has found them a new ally. They walk out to see a fleet of ships heading their way. It is Euron Greyjoy’s fleet. Jaime isn’t pleased, Euron Greyjoy isn’t an improvement over House Frey. Jaime: “I know the Ironborn, their bitter, angry little people. All they know how to do is steal things they can’t build or grow themselves.” Cersei doesn’t disagree, but unlike the Frey, they have ships. Jaime wonders what Euron wants. Cersei answers, a Queen. That really doesn’t make Jaime happy. Euron struts up to the throne like he’s a rock star. He is arrogant and tries to project cool. Cersei isn’t amused. He tells them about having family members who portrayed him, and he knows they have one who portrayed them. He suggests they kill all of them. He admits his dream as a boy was to marry a beautiful queen. Euron: “So here I am with a thousand ships,” and glaring at Jaime, “two good hands.” Cersei tells him she won’t marry him because he is untrustworthy. Euron figures the best way to win a woman’s heart is with a gift, so he promises to bring her a priceless one.

The Citadel in Old Town

We get an annoying montage of Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) emptying and cleaning bed pans, serving soup, and stacking books. The montage makes the contents of the bed pans and the soup look alike. (Don’t eat soup while watching this.) The books he needs to look up information on the White Walkers is locked up and restricted to maesters. He talks to Archmaester Ebrose (Jim Broadbent) about his need to get information on the White Walkers. All the other maesters to not believe they exist. Ebrose thinks that since Sam has seen them, and with evidence from other areas, they probably exist. The members of the citadel keep themselves separate from the affairs of the rest of Westeros. People have thought the world was ending many times, but it is still here. He feels secure that with the Wall protecting them from the army of the dead, the world isn’t ending this time either. Sam is able to steal the keys to the restricted area and get the books he needs. At home with Gilly (Hannah Murray) and little Sam, he finds something important, a map of Dragonstone. Dragonstone has a large deposit of dragonglass. He will send a message to Jon to inform him. While making his rounds, an arm covered in greyscale reaches out. It is Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Gleen). He asks has Daenerys has landed yet.

“There’s no divine justice, you dumb cunt, if there was you’d be dead, and that girl would be alive.”  Sandor (The Hound) Clegane – Game of Thrones

The Riverlands

Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann) and the members of the Brotherhood Without Banners come upon a deserted house. Sandor doesn’t want to enter, because he had robbed the inhabitants of this house, possibly leaving them to starve. It turns out that is exactly what happened. There are skeletons of a father and daughter, with the knife the father used to kill his daughter and himself from having to suffer the ravages of starvation. Sandor angrily asks Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) why the Lord of Light keeps bringing him back. Beric doesn’t know and wonders about it himself. He believes he has a purpose. Sandor thinks it is just his luck to be with fire worshippers. Beric jokes it is divine justice. Sandor: “There’s no divine justice, you dumb cunt, if there was you’d be dead, and that girl would be alive.” Thoros of Myr asks Sandor to look into the fire and tell him what he sees. Sandor says a log. Thoros tells him to keep looking. Sandor: “Ice. A wall of ice. The Wall. It’s where the wall meets the sea. It’s a castle there. There’s a mountain, looks like an arrowhead. The dead are marching past. Thousands of them!” Beric tells Sandor this is their purpose. Later that night Sandor buries the mother and father, and tries to say a pray, but he has forgotten it. He tells them they deserved better than this.

“Shall we begin?” Daenerys Targaryen – Game of Thrones

Dragonstone

Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and her army arrive at Dragonstone. Her dragons fly overhead. Daenerys and her trusted advisers are all silent. Dany kneels and picks up the wet sand. She walks into the castle and tears down an old Baratheon banner. She enters the throne room where a big throne awaits her. There are carvings of dragons on the wall. Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel), Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson), and Lord Varys (Conleth Hill) give her space to feel all of it. Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) escorts her to the table map. Daenerys turns to him and says, “Shall we begin?”

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For the first time in ages, everyone is back in Westeros. At the moment there is an uneasy peace, but all of the leaders are making plans to end that soon. A war is coming from the north that no one but Jon Snow is preparing for. Instead of fighting for the iron throne, they should all be preparing to fight the dead. Cersei for sure isn’t, she is getting ready to fight everyone but the dead; Jon and Sansa from the north (Winterfell), Daenerys from the east (Dragonstone), Ellaria Sand from the south (Dorne), and Olenna Tyrell from the west (The Reach). That’s the definition of surrounded. Her only ally right now seems to be Euron Greyjoy, and with friends like that, who needs enemies. Cersei should also worry about Jaime, if you have to ask someone if they are afraid of you, there probably is a reason for them to be. I forgot to add that a certain Arya Stark is heading for King’s Landing, so look out Cersei.

Since everyone is back in Westeros, the episode was jam packed checking in on everyone. We saw everyone, even though many of them didn’t speak. If all of their primary characters spoke, it would have been a three hour episode. For all the people we saw and all the places we went to, there wasn’t that much action. Aside from Arya wiping out the Freys, it was mostly moving pieces for the rest of season. That is acceptable, we had to know where everyone is, and the characters had to know what the new environment is. It was an entertaining episode. My favorite storyline, Jon and Sansa. Both of them had valid points, and both were blind to their own faults in this. I hope they can get back in step before Littlefinger splits them up. Worst storyline, I hope to never see anyone clean bedpans again.

For those new to Game of Thrones and didn’t watch it because you didn’t think it was for you, this should get you up to speed.

Grade B+

 

 

 

 

Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Senior Contributor

Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Senior Contributor

A fan, enthusiast, and appreciator of sci-fi, comic books, and fantasy film and TV. kbeartv61@nayahscifi.com
Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Senior Contributor

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