Episode 1 is a cracking opener that sets the stones into motion for the rest of the season.
It’s finally time. After what feels like waiting for an eternity, Season 7 of Game of Thrones is here and it’s safe to say that it does not disappoint. The opening episode certainly takes a geographical adventure, visiting most of the Game of Thrones realm.
Starting in the Riverlands, its Walder Frey (David Bradley) that we first get to see. Wait! Didn’t Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) enact her revenge on him at the end of the last season? Why is he still there talking about throwing feasts for all of his allies? Except, it’s not Walder Frey at all. It’s Arya and she’s poisoned everyone that wronged her family. All this and we haven’t even had the intro sequence yet. As the series progresses, the introduction has become all all that much prettier as the televised area of Westeros grows.
Following the introduction, an army of White Walkers and the Night King march across the North. While they are presumably heading for the Wall, we aren’t given much time to speculate before we jump to Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Meera (Ellie Kendrick) confronting some of the Nights Watch. Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is the next major character we see. Embracing his latest title of King in the North, Snow demands that all men and women aged between 10 and 60 are trained to fight. Families that betrayed the Starks in the past are to retain their castle in North, but Sansa (Sophie Turner) doesn’t believe this is right. Shutting down any notion of Sansa being in charge, Jon tells her that “yesterdays wars don’t matter.”
Of course we can’t forget the Lannisters, the enemies in the South. Good old Cersei (Lena Headey) is planning and scheming away on the Iron Throne, her and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) are spectulating what to do as they are surrounded by enemies wanting revenge and the throne. The Lannisters are all alone, with no allies to support them. What tricks will Cersei have up her sleeves to rectify this? The one person who is also lacking allies is Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk). Not the best person to help retain the seven kingdoms, the Greyjoys aren’t exactly known for their loyalty. Refusing to wed Euron, Cersei is to expect a priceless gift from him to prove he is worthy. This is intriguing as it is definitely something to speculate over for the rest of the season.
It was no secret that Ed Sheeran appears in the season and sure enough he appears in the opening episode. With a quick rendition of a song, Arya joins Sheeran’s character and his friends to rest on her journey to King’s Landing. Quickly moving on to the Citadel, Sam (John Bradley-West) is the next focus. His ‘training’ is nothing more than cleaning toilets, putting away books and cooking for the Maesters. Not wanting to slow down the pace, there is then another quick visit to the North to remind us how creepy Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) is and of his obsession with Sansa Stark. We’re also reminded of the Hound (Rory McCann) and his new status as a Lord of Light fanatic. Trying to convince him to believe, he looks into the flames and sees all sorts of war. Could this be foreshadowing of what is to come in the rest of the season?
Back to the Citadel, Sam and Gilly (Hannah Murray) are researching Dragonglass to help Jon. In a shocking twist, there’s a mountain of the stuff at Dragonstone – the old home of the Targaryen family. Does this mean we will finally get Jon and Dany meeting? Let’s hope so. There’s another shock in store as Sam has to feed a prisoner of the Citadel. A familiar voice asks about Daenary’s quest. Is that Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) we hear? It’s been a while since we’ve heard heard from him, Mormont obviously having been trapped in a quarantined cell with his worsening Greyscale. Still enamoured with Dany (Emilia Clarke), Mormont isn’t dead just yet.
Finally, we see Dany and her team of advisors making their way to Dragonstone, her ancestral home. Credit is due to the team behind this episode’s soundtrack, the music used for Dany’s return to Westeros is incredibly powerful. It’s obvious that it is her turn to take of control of the war games. Standing at the same table that Stannis (Stephen Dillane) stood at all those seasons ago, Dany turns to Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) saying “Shall we begin?” and the episode closes with a bang.
The episode has set up so much for the rest of the season. Dragonstone, King’s Landing, the Citadel, Windfell and the North; there’s so many places so it will be interesting to see if the remaining episodes can cover all of these stories in enough detail. Winter has come and so has Game of Thrones.
Game of Thrones returns next Monday at 2am on Sky Atlantic. Check out the Season 7 trailer below.