Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 1
After a long, long wait, winter has finally arrived… in the middle of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, but before I get into a screed about seasonal geography, we’ve waited long enough. Let’s dive into this!
Es: Holy shit, how’s that for a beginning of a season??? Cold opening into a mass murder. Mystique… I mean Arya… destroys the entire Frey house in the first five minutes of the season. “Leave one wolf alive and the sheep are never safe.” Holy fuck… did winter sure come for House Frey.
Later, the Wolf Girl stumbles across a bunch of Lannister soldiers making their way to the Twins (to clean up the mess that SHE made). Instantly I start thinking, Oh shit… these dudes are all gonna get butchered. But then they show that they’re decent enough guys, and they offer her food and drink, and laugh at the thought of her murdering the queen. (AND we find out that she is indeed going to King’s Landing!)
I thought this was a fascinating scene where this person who’s becoming (if not already is) an unrepentant killer sees the goodness and humanity in people that she views as her enemies.
So that leads to the question, do you think she’s going to kill all these dudes next time, or are they safe? Did you catch the song they were singing? (Not really a book spoiler, but it’s mentioned in the book a bit more prominently… much like the two or three other songs on the show.)
Why do you think she told them she was going to kill the queen after they seemed to be getting along so well? Do you feel like she was just daring them to do something? Did she really just want to stick a knife in Ed Sheeran’s eye?
(Speaking of him, I’m out of touch, so I didn’t know who he was, nor do I have any animosity toward him like it seems ALL of the internetz does. What did you think of the cameo/stunt casting?)
What did you think of her I’m-SO-Gonna-Murder-You speech? Does it rival Ezekiel 25:17?
Lastly here, do you… like me… question your morality in cheering for such a mean, dirty killer? I mean, girlfriend basically IS death at this point. I think we needed the scene with the Lannister soldiers to bring her back to the good side a bit… well, that’s if she doesn’t murder them next week.
Jim: For some strange reason, I almost forgot about Arya’s Face/Off trick and it took me a bizarre amount of time to realize what was happening. Then as soon as soon as Walder Frey began heaping praise on his family it became abundantly clear that it was not really him and they done fucked up.
I do NOT question my morality when it comes to Arya’s killer instinct because A) I have no morals and B) I look at Arya as the Dexter of Westeros. She pretty much tries to only kill those that deserve it, right?
I’m not sure it rises to the level of an Ezekiel 25:17 but Arya sure as shit plans to wander the earth and have adventures, just like Jules.
As for the Ed Sheeran cameo, I wasn’t really a fan simply because I have an extremely low tolerance for cameos where the guest star is too famous AND the camera lingers too long on the famous interloper as if too say “look who it is!” – and this one teetered right on the edge of acceptability. Let’s break it down.
On one end of the scale you have Sigur Rós appearing as musicians at Joffrey’s wedding. That was acceptable cuz it was super quick and also no one knows who the fuck the members of Sigur Rós are. YOU could be a member of Sigur Rós and no one would ever know. [Es: I just might be. I just might be…]
On the complete opposite of the cameo scale you have the entirety of the HBO show Arliss. Every time, and I mean EVERY. DAMN. TIME., a famous athlete appeared on the show, Robert Wuhl would immediately call out their ENTIRE name. It was never, “Hey, Emmitt, how are you?” It was, “What on earth is the Great One Wayne Gretzky doing here? What’s up, Jackie Joyner-Kersee? Shit, can I shake your hand Muhammad “Cassius Clay” Ali?”
We’ll call it the Arliss Effect. Ginger Ed nearly teetered over to the Arliss end of the scale, and for that reason I must give it a thumbs down. They might as well just have had Arya nudge Ed in the ribs and say, “For my next trick, I’ll take on the Shape of You.”
Get it? Shape…of…you…damn you, Marc Sciarabba, for that joke!
Es: You can tell from the opening credits that we’re getting close to end game by the fact that, for the first time since the series started, we don’t go overseas to Essos in the opening. Everyone is now on one continent. Though we do get a shot of a new venue in Oldtown. After this we get the Lovertwins, with Jaime talking about how fucked they are because they have no allies, and Cersei having none of it, because apparently Euron Greyjoy can make up for ALL of that. He shows up with both his hands, is appropriately crazy and insulting, and then he goes off to get his new queen something. Do you see these two eventually getting married? What do you think he’s planning on bringing her? What’s he doing back there? I never know what he’s doing.
Jim: I did chuckle to myself during the opening credits because I knew you were at home, watching it in slow-motion to determine what had changed, much like an astronomer might pore over a map of the galaxy or a serial killer inspects every pore of the skin suit they fashioned in their attic. [Es: We’ve been doing this far too long because you know me way too well… well outside of the whole skin suit thing, which is just creepy. Everyone knows you should eat your victims Thenn style… that’s how you gain their strength.]
I think there is zero chance of a Euron/Cersei wedding, simply cuz I don’t see her putting herself through that shit ever again. I think she’d sooner drown his ass for good this time than marry anyone but Jaime. Speaking of drowning, where was the Damphair? I demand more Damphair.
If I had to guess what gift Euron is planning to give Cersei, and I do because you asked, I would say he plans on bringing her The Imp. Don’t know how he would even pull that one off, but that is my guess and I’m sticking to it. Cuz, I mean really, a Roomba just doesn’t seem like it’s gonna get Cersei’s juices flowing, ya know?
Es: So a bunch of minor things happen, which I will lump together, because I don’t know if it’s worth to dive full-on into each one. Feel free to comment as you see fit.
- Bran and Meera arrive at the Wall, and Bran proceeds to creep Edd out. Since you’re a Class-A Creep, where does this creepiness level sit with you? Are you proud of the creep factor here, or would you have liked it turned up a bit?
- Sam and his seemingly never-ending montage of shit. Um… was that necessary? Would it have been better if it was set to some 80s music… or maybe even something like “Getting Better” by the Beatles? Also, he finds out something important, then starts feverishly writing to Jon. Would this have been more entertaining if he was like, “Ah, well, it’s too late to send a raven now. I’ll wait ‘til tomorrow.” Then tomorrow comes and he’s just like sitting around eating chips and then Gilly has to be like, “Um… Sam, isn’t that some important shit you have to send to Jon?” and then he’s all like, “It’ll get done when it gets done! Can’t you see I’m busy here!?”
- The Hound and Thoros getting in some bro time while burying the deadz. The Hound literally as the grave digger. What do you make of the fact that since he and Arya crossed paths that he’s become so much more repentant and less murdery, while since then she is ALL ABOUT the killing? Any thoughts about The Hound seeing the Army of the Deadz in the flames?
Jim: I see you have bullet points, and they are three-fold.
- TLC, Radiohead, and Stone Temple Pilots just aren’t enough for me cuz I ALWAYS need more creep. I found it slightly confusing when Edd asked why he should believe that he was Brandon Stark and Bran launches into a story about Edd fighting at Hardhome, then Edd was all like “Yep, that clears it up.” Why does that prove he is Brandon Stark? What am I missing?
- If I had written this episode, after Gilly spoke to Sam he would’ve sighed and exclaimed: “Shit at work, shit for brains at home…” But regardless, how could you parse this storyline and neglect to mention the return of Ser Bad Decision and his rampant psoriasis??? I don’t even know who you are anymore… [Es: I chose to ignore this… because, really, how did he wind up getting himself locked up in a prison for the sick in Oldtown in such a short amount of time? Well, by making bad decisions, no doubt!]
- I thought the grave digging Hound was a nice touch but felt his conversion to the flames a tad bit hurried. I like where that storyline is going though, the Brotherhood Without Banners make a quality foil for grouchy old Sandor Clegane.
Es: At Winterfell, Jon is starting to get into spats with Sansa… which, let’s face it, we all saw this coming. Lady Mormont, the force of nature that she is, proceeds to put everyone in their place, then Jon turns on Sansa’s idea to give the castles of the Karstarks and Umbers to more faithful families. Two questions for you here… who do you think was right, Jon or Sansa? And secondly, where do you see this headed? Will she eventually trust Littlefinger more than she trusts Jon??
Jim: I don’t think she’ll ever trust Littlefinger again but I do think she might be willing to use him as the means to an end. What that end is yet, I’m not sure. I’m not even sure she knows what she really wants.
As for who was correct, I side with Jon. Aside from him being a benevolent leader and all that, I feel Jon is the only character in this entire show who truly understands what is at stake. While literally everyone else on the show is angling, and fighting, and playing the game of thrones, I think Jon sees it is all meaningless in the face of the danger beyond The Wall. They are all rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic while he is trying to avoid the iceberg – and he realizes they need everyone to help steer the ship.
Es: Lastly here… FINALLY the Dragon Queen has come BACK to Dragonstone! Did you find the shots of her walking into this place make it seem FAR more huge and epic than when Stannis was there? Any observations about this, or about any other part of this episode that we haven’t discussed yet?
Jim: I don’t think they ever gave us quite that much of a look around at Dragonstone before, but it definitely seems a lot more grand than when Grumpis was there. This season, I am looking forward to the full redemption of Theon Greyjoy, the vicious death of Gilly [Es: WOW… just WOW. Did you have a rough year or something so far, James? She’s a tad annoying and all, but I don’t know that she deserves to be viciously murdered… then again, precious few do, but now I’m a human digression], a multitude of positive reinforcement from the Damphair, the Sand Snakes one upping the Lannister Twincest, and calm and measured debate on who deserves to sit upon the Iron Throne. All of which I am certain will happen.
The episode was a fantastic table-setter for sure and I’m excited for the season to unfold, much like my love for my beloved Queen Margaery unfolded…
What, too creepy?
Well, that’s it for this week folks. By way of plot advancement, I thought this episode did what just about every season opener does for this show – sets the scene. So, outside of Arya wiping a whole family off the map, not a whole lot happened. I have a feeling next week is when we’re going to start seeing the shit hit the fan instead of being gagged over by Samwell Tarly.
Thanks for reading!