The wait is finally over! After what seemed like forever, Game of Thrones is finally back with season 7. After the events that transpired last season, we had to wait over a year to find out what will happen next. As most of you have probably already heard, season 7 is going to be a much shorter season. We are only getting seven episodes instead of our usual ten. The main reason behind this is that they needed a bigger budget to finally start to wrap up the epic tale that has been being told.
Now I want to give you fair warning that this will be a spoiler review of season 7 Game of Thrones’ premiere episode because it is hard to talk about what happens in this episode without giving anything away. The way I will be covering this episode is I will give a brief synopsis and then I will jump into the events that occurred. Once again, there will be spoilers – you have been warned. As Daenerys says, “Shall we begin?”
Jon Snow organizes the defense of the North to prepare for the long winter. Cersei seeks to even the odds by gaining an unlikely alliance. Sam starts working for the citadel and learns some pertinent information. Arya continues on her journey of revenge. Daenerys finally comes home.
The opening sequence that starts before the theme song is probably my favorite moment of this episode. After her sweet revenge on Waldur Frey last season, Arya takes the face of Lord Waldur and infiltrates The Twins to poison all the Frey army who betrayed her brother and his bannermen during the Red Wedding. The result was an extremely satisfying mass murder. Once the theme music started, I was ready to see where this episode would take me.
Like most episodes in the beginning of the season, Dragonstone is an exposition heavy episode. The only action we really get is in that beginning scene, but this episode is all about laying the foundation for the next six episodes. In typical Game of Thrones fashion, the episode bounces around to multiple characters and what they are doing.
We get a scene with Cersei, now the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, and Jaime Lannister discussing what they need to do to keep their dynasty alive. They realize that they are surrounded by enemies and have just received news that Daenerys Targaeryen has amassed a naval fleet and is heading to Westoros. I enjoyed this scene a lot because it showed the tension between the two siblings, with Jaime telling Cersei that her her massacre of the Sept of Baelor was a rash decision. Not only did this cause the deaths of many families that are now going to seek revenge but also because this event is what made their son, Tommen, commit suicide. It’s a somber scene that tells the gravity of their situation.
Next we get a brief image of the Night’s King slowly walking with an army of Others and White Walkers. We’ve seen something similar in previous seasons, but what caught my eye here was the addition of White Walker Giants and the fact that the White Walkers are bringing a terrible snow storm with them. These new undead monsters look like they will be devastating. They look awesome and terrifying at the same time!
After this, we head over to Old Town, where Samwell Tarley is working as an apprentice to the Maesters of the Citadel. Here we get a montage of Sam cleaning chamber pots and feeding food to the sick. This is the only complaint I have for this episode. They decided to add some potty humor levity to the show with Sam dumping the contents of the chamber pots, gagging from the smell, and then pouring a brown soup. They keep doing this over and over again for at least 30 to 40 seconds and it just wasn’t needed. We then get more scenes of expository dialogue revealing that Dragonstone is built upon a mountain of dragon glass that will help with the White Walkers.
The last two moments I need to talk about are what we have been waiting for since Game of Thrones ended lst season. We get Jon and Sansa talking with all the bannermen of the North and preparing for the long winter and the fight with the White Walkers. It sounds like we will finally get to see East Watch by the Sea as Jon assigns the wildlings to man the abandoned tower. We even get a heartfelt moment between Jon and Sansa where she says he needs to be smarter and less trusting than their father and brother. You can tell she has learned a few things from Cersei and Little Finger. I just hope this doesn’t cause a rift between the Stark children as they try to work together.
Now, the moment we have waited six seasons for… Daenerys finally makes it back to her ancestral home on Dragonstone in Westoros! This has been a long time coming, so when she sets foot on land and lays her hands on the sand, it was a truly touching moment. It becomes even more impactful as she walks through the castle not saying a word but just soaking it all in, especially when she finds the hand crafted map of the Seven Kingdoms and just lightly brushes her hands against it.
There is one scene in particular that I want to touch on. Last season, she said she wanted to break the wheel which fans thought meant there wouldn’t be one ruler to rule over Westoros, but perhaps a democracy of some sort. As she walked into the throne room, this theory seemed like it may be true. Instead of just walking up and sitting on the throne, she just ignored it and continued on. This could be the best way to break that wheel and I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out.
While all of these big moments were the main focus on this episode of Game of Thrones, there were also smaller stories going on throughout the episode that are worth mentioning. We saw Arya come across a band of Riverland soldiers, which she shared a meal with. One of these soldiers was played by the musician Ed Sheeran. This is where she learned that not all soldiers are cruel, murdering rapists. In fact, these were young men talking about how they missed their families. This is also where we learn that Arya is not heading north, like a lot of us had hoped. Instead, she is heading south to King’s Landing to kill the queen!
The last little moment I wanted to talk about is Sandor Clegane and his journey with the Brotherhood Without Banners. They came across an old hut that Sandor remembered being the home of a father and daughter whom he robbed and killed. This scene was really a great arch for the character because you could see he that felt terrible for the things he did and even took the time to bury the bodies, saying that they did not deserve this. We also got a scene where he was able to see the future in the flames like Thoris does. Maybe it’s because Rhalor sees the guilt in him and wants him to redeem himself.
For a season premiere, I feel Dragonstone was an excellent start to the series. It lays it’s cards on the table and shows us what we are about to dive into. Sometimes, I hate exposition heavy episodes, but with everything that has happened, it was needed to get everyone to where they needed to be in the story. What were your thoughts on the season premiere of Game of Thrones?