Game Of Thrones Recap: 10 Things That Made Our Heads Explode In 'Dragonstone'
Shall we begin?
After a delayed return, Game Of Thrones is FINALLY back, and the first episode of season seven packs so much in, it’s almost as if the writers have realised they’ve only got two more series to wrap up approximately a billion things.
That said, Dragonstone’s mostly a scene setter, but a crazy exciting one - with a fit new villain, a huge plot reveal and, um, Ed Sheeran.
Here’s those bits (and loads more) from one of the best season openers EVER.
Arya is getting REALLY good at the whole Faceless Man thing
After a ridiculously cool 'previously on' (with its own music, fancy editing and everything), we get arguably the best pre-credit scenes in Game Of Thrones history.
Arya, dressed up in a Walder Frey outfit, gathers all the people responsible for The Red Wedding in one room and POISONS THEM TO DEATH.
"Leave one wolf alive and the sheep are never safe,” Walder / Arya bellows. (which is basically another way of saying ‘WAKE UP SHEEPLE!’)
Arya pulls her Walder mask off, shrinks to Maisie Williams’ actual height, mutters something about the North remembering, and strolls out like she’s just dropped the mic.
THEN WE CUT TO THE TITLES WHICH IS LUCKY BECAUSE WE CAN’T BREATHE.
The White Walkers have three bloody giants
Bran's at the wall, experiencing a vision of Wights, who are throwing up a cloud of ice and snow as they advance on Westeros. As they shuffle forward, we see a giant looming out of the fog, as the camera zooms into his huge blue eye.
My dudes, Jon and his mates are in some pretty serious trouble. Seriously.
Still, at least Bran’s already with the Night’s Watch, which means we’re one step closer to Bran giving Jon the results of his paternity test, WHICH IS A SCENE WE’RE VERY EXCITED ABOUT.
Lyanna Mormont is still a bad-ass
'I don't plan on knitting by the fire while men fight for me. I might be small, and I might be a girl, but I'm every bit as much of a northerner as you. And I don't need your permission to defend the North!’
Sansa is starting to get reaaaaaaally annoying
Jon's doing so well as king of the North, then Sansa starts piping up and questioning his orders, telling him he should take castles away from the Umbers and Karstarks (aka traitors) and fill them up with people who are loyal to him.
Which is sort of fair enough, but Jon's got a couple of other small issues to deal with first, such as THE ADVANCING ARMY OF WHITE WALKERS so maybe take him to one side to make your suggestions Sansa, rather than questioning your brother's decisions in front of literally everybody. Also, anything that makes Littlefinger look smug in a corner probably isn't a good idea.
One brilliant detail in this scene - when Jon makes it clear he's above taking homes away from families, whether they were mates with Ramsay or not, he calls forward Ned Umber and Alys Karstark to pledge their allegiance, and they're not only kids, they're kids that remind us of the Stark family (one looks a bit like Bran, one Sansa).
This casting reminds the audience that not everything is as black and white in the Game Of Thrones universe as Sansa sees it. We suspect this isn't the only argument Jon and Sansa are going to have this season. Especially if Sansa continues to see Cersei as an aspirational figure.
Cersei has absolutely zero chill
Standing on a freshly painted map of Westeros (which she’s not using to pretend to be Godzilla like we would, but to plan how to invade and rule every single section of it) the new queen of King's Landing berates her brother for letting Tyrion go free, not realising that he's partly responsible for one of the best double-acts (Tyrion and Varys) on the show.
Cersei’s ready to go to war, and no reasonable argument is going to stop her.
Euron Greyjoy is very charismatic
Before this episode, we haven't seen much of Euron Greyjoy, outside of a couple of scenes where he shouts at people.
Here we see his charming / flirty side, which does still involve him comparing seeing his family get brutally murdered to watching a dance. Is Euron the next Joffrey / Ramsay? We'd say almost certainly. But if he is the next big bad of the show, he’s a fun one.
He asks Cersei to marry him, then leaves the scene promising to bring her a gift. We’d suggest Tyrion starts watching his back.
Arya's an Ed Sheeran fan
In a cameo that's going to divide fans faster than the Hound cutting down a butcher’s boy, Ed Sheeran pops up as a Lannister soldier with a penchant for ballads.
'It's a pretty song, I've never heard it before,' says Arya.
'It's a new one,' says Ed Sheeran.
At least it’s not Galway Girl.
We also get an appearance from This Is England's Thomas Turgoose, but we don't get to hear him sing, which is probably for the best.
The Hound can see visions in the flames
And pretty detailed visions at that. The Hound's description of what he sees in the flames is basically a preview of next week's show; we get the White Walker's exact current location, and where they're headed - the wall. Not bad from someone who's main phobia is fire.
The Hound’s journey is going to be one of the most fascinating elements of this season, especially if he keeps having to clear skeletons from his closet (literally in this episode - we see him bury some innocents he killed last year).
Dany's back home
So, just after we find out that Dragonstone is full of - uh - dragonglass (seems pretty obvious now, doesn’t it?) making it the new most important location on the show (dragonglass is the only thing that can kill White Walkers), Dany rocks up to her new digs.
Silently exploring her old home (which is full of dragon statues - this lot really like dragons, you guys) before standing in front of yet another big map, she says “Shall we begin?” and the episode ends… DRAMATIC IRONY ALERT!
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