I need to start by saying how EPIC this episode was. I think it did a great job of opening the season and giving us just enough action as well as focus on the characters and setting up important themes of the season. I think it’s probably one of the best premieres they’ve done so far and the sky high production value is clearly doing it’s job, as it was visually stunning too.
The episode opens with good old Walder Frey, who we saw Arya murdered last season. Initially I thought this may have been a flashback to before he meets his very overdue end but no, it’s even better. He addresses a hall full of ‘Every Frey who means a damn thing’ *cue me smiling sinisterly* and goes on to him commending them for taking part in the Red Wedding and the murders of Robb, Talisa and Catelyn (RIP) All the while jugs of wine are being poured and copiously drank…only for all the Freys to start choking and dropping like flies. Meanwhile ‘Walder’ delivers the line ‘Leave one wolf alive and the sheep are never safe’ and then rips off the mask, it’s Arya! She has singlehandedly taken down House Frey and it’s such a satisfying moment when she says ‘Tell them the North Remembers, Tell them winter came for House Frey’. BOOM!
This was an unconventional way to begin, I just assumed it would begin with a shot of beyond the wall or the walkers but the Frey murder was great too! Only a GOT watcher could utter such a sentence with a clear conscience. Sure enough the next shot is a spanning one of a snow covered field, with the white walkers alongside pint sized wights as well as giant wights…yeah, this is going to be a problem. (pun intended)
The rest of the episode certainly does a good job at establishing key themes of the seasons, and power struggles too. Take for instance Sansa and Jon over at Winterfell. Jon looking very kingly, laying forth the plans to find as much Dragon glass as possible, and that they’ll need every man, woman and child to do it. The lords predictably grumble about women being involved in the fighting, as if that’s the most outlandish topic of discussion and not the otherworldly beings who can reanimate the dead. *rolls eyes* Lyanna Mormont steps up and kicks ass as usual, saying she intends to defend the North too, causing all the men to put their grumbling aside for a second.
Meanwhile in Kings Landing, Cersei is having a very impressive floor spanning map of Westeros painted. This scene between Cersei and Jaime is pretty comprehensive and establishes that they have little to no allies, enemies from each corner and all their children are dead. Not looking too rosy for the Lannisters eh? What’s interesting here is Jaime wanting to talk about it all and Cersei being adamant that it’s all in the past. She’s clearly very focused on maintaining her position now, dead children be damned!
Naturally she’s called down the only possible allies; Euron Greyjoy and the Iron born, he is definitely a very charismatic guy and you can see how he’s dangerous. The type of guy that would be joking one second then probably murder you, kind of like Ramsay actually. He proposes marriage – to which Cersei rejects him, leading him to suggest he’ll return with a ‘priceless gift’. Immediate thoughts were with Tyrion perhaps or other captives. Time will tell.
I feel like Sam thought his time at the citadel was going to be much more glorious, basking in the knowledge of a thousand maesters…reality however, proves to be well, a bit of a mess. He spends his days in a cycle of clean up, serve up and sleep, not exactly how he planned to help Jon. Wait though, he sees the restricted section in the library, steals the keys then in what feels like a harry potter-esque move steals the books and finds key knowledge! There’s a hoard of dragon glass underground in Dragon stone! I sort of had this idea in my head anyway so not altogether shocking. He immediately sends a raven. Good old Sam.
The episode finishes off with Dany arriving at Dragonstone. This sequence fully gave me chills. The sweeping music as well as the whole symbolism of her being there was nothing if not majestically done. With the dragons encircling too, it made for such a great scene. She walks through the halls, ripping down Stannis’s banner and makes her way to the throne room. She side steps it – initially thought she’d try it out but no, to the map table she goes…and addresses Tyrion with a placid smile: ‘Shall we begin’. I think we shall!
Hope you guys enjoyed this recap! I am so excited and hopefully have one of these posts out every week! I’ll still probably be recovering from seeing Ed Sheeran in this episode to be honest, I found it so cringe inducing, but at least Arya made some friends!
Until next time,