Game of Thrones is back! After 13 months with no new episodes and a later than usual start, it’s finally here for our viewing pleasure and ravenous consumption. All aboard the hype train!
This was a pretty uneventful episode. Nothing really happened aside from Arya’s glorious assassination of all of the Frey men, effectively ending their house (she totally pulled a Tywin: cue “The Rains of Castamere). But it did a very good job of setting up the rest of the season.
This is how Thrones goes; the first few episodes are set up and foreshadowing and we get all of the epic moments and pay offs coming onto the end.
The second I saw Walder I knew it was Arya and that she was about to murder everyone in that room. I love that she turned to Walder’s wife and told her to let it be known that it was retaliation for the Red Wedding and that the North remembers. The entire scene was awesome. It was a brilliant opening to the episode, perhaps setting the tone for the rest of the season. Her revengeance has only begun!
As satisfying as it is to see Arya kill all of her enemies, I do worry for her. She may just be a little too far gone now. We know that she’s going to kill Ed Sheeran and the rest of those Lannister soldiers. In the short amount of time they were on screen I really grew to like them and they seem like good people and I think that she can see that they are. But I don’t think she cares. They serve the Lannisters, they have to die.
What she does next concerning them will tell us exactly who she is now. If she does kill them, there’s likely no turning back for her and her murderous rampage won’t feel that much like justice anymore if she’s killing people who had nothing to do with what happened to her family.
Jon and Sansa have their work cut out for them in the North, having two enemies to face in the coming episodes; the White Walkers and their army of the dead and Cersei. Jon is more concerned about the former and Sansa about the latter. Given that they each have experience with and knowledge of both enemies, Jon and Sansa should make an effective team. That is, if he listens to her for once and she stops undermining him.
She raised good points about punishing the Karstarks and Umbers for their treason. That being said, she shouldn’t have challenged Jon in front of everyone. Furthermore, the Karstarks betrayed the Starks because Robb beheaded Rickard Karstark. Sansa herself admitted that he and their father Ned made stupid mistakes, so punishing that house again likely would not have been a wise move.
Jon made the right decision by having Alys Karstark and Ned Umber, the new heads of their respective houses, pledge their fealty to him. It’s also understandable that he’d be hesitant to do what seems just, given what happened at the Wall: he did the right thing and his brothers killed him for it.
Also Lyanna continues to be Best Girl by chastising Lord Glover for disagreeing with the idea of training women and girls to fight in the coming war. The look of pride on Brienne’s face as Lyanna spoke was golden. The look of disgust on her face as Tormund continued to lustily eyed her was hilarious as always. I need this ship to happen canonically.
Speaking of Tormund, it looks like he won’t have much more time to long after Brienne since he and the Wildlings are being sent to East Watch by the Sea. But more on that later.
We get a version of Cersei’s enemies speech that was in the trailer and she names each of them; the Sand Snakes in the South, the Tyrells in the West and the Starks in the North. It looks like show Jamie won’t go the way of book Jamie – even though I still think he’s going to kill her – and disavow Cersei. Despite her blowing up the Sept of Baelor and what she said about their dead relatives, he still wholeheartedly supports her.
I would have liked to see him progress in the way that his book counterpart has, but at least he’s there to be the voice of reason. He corrects her on her delusions of building a dynasty (impossible when your entire line is more or less dead), points out how tenuous her situation is (she’s the Queen of “three kingdoms at best”) and questions her decision to ally herself with Euron as well as Euron himself.
Euron’s unapologetic about all of the wrong he’s done (much like Cersei) and is charismatic in spinning them into positives. Cersei doesn’t seem very impressed with him, though, and I don’t know why she had an audience with him just to turn him away. Citing reasons that she was well aware of before hand. He did say he would return to her with a gift…
Poor Sam is stuck doing grunt work at the Citadel and not actually learning what he went there to in the first place; how to defeat the White Walkers. His montage was quite funny and if I’m not mistaken it was the first time we got a montage like that one the show. It was clever – and disgusting – how the soup he was serving and the contents of the chamber pots he was emptying eventually bled into one another.
I suspect he’ll end up getting kicked out of the Citadel for stealing the books from the restricted section (if only he had Harry’s Invisibility Cloak!), but by then he’d have already found out everything he needed to to help Jon. Becoming a Maester takes far too long and Sam doesn’t have that sort of time to waste.
Jorah’s at the Citadel as well and his grey scale has gotten drastically worse. In a fun little easter egg, the passage Sam was reading about dragonglass mentions that it can be used to cure illness if ingested. Maybe Sam will be the one to heal Jorah? We’ll see.
I am so glad that I re-watched all of the previous seasons in preparation for this one because I would not have realised that the house the Brotherhood Without Banners stopped at to rest was the same one that the Hound had visited when he was travelling with Arya,
This scene did well in showing how much the Hound has changed. He never would have felt remorse about the fact that the man and his daughter died as a direct result of his actions, nor would he have taken the time to give them a proper burial (although he really should burn them).
I was surprised that he can see visions in the flames now and it looks like he can read them even better than Melisandre. He was very specific in describing what he saw and he and the rest of the Brotherhood are heading to East Watch by the Sea; the same destination as Tormund and the Wildlings. Both groups are well on their way toward the big battle up North we saw in the trailers.
I’m confident that fight will end for defeat in them, however. There’s no way the War for the Dawn is going to happen without the Walkers making it south of the Wall. And Jon’s line earlier in the episode about it being the only thing that stands between the realm and the army of the dead plus the Archmaester at the Citadel saying that the Wall has remained standing through everything the realm has suffered…if ever there was strong foreshadowing for that no longer being the case, those were it.
Finally! Daenerys has made it to Dragonstone. After six whole seasons of waiting for her to make it to Westeros, she has. The episode took so long to get to her that I thought we wouldn’t see her arrive until next week. Or that she’d have that battle at sea with Euron before she made it to Dragonstone (both he and Cersei boasted about the Greyjoy’s prowess at sea).
All she did really was walk around and tear down one of Stannis’ banner, but she had the best closing line of any episode of Game of Thrones; “Shall we begin?” Yes, yes we shall.
- Arya FTW!
- They literally brought the storm.
- Giant wights!
- Lyanna FTW!
- Euron built those 1000 ships…really fast.
- Ed Sheeran!
Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights at 9 PM on HBO.