Finally, WINTER HAS ARRIVED and with it comes my favorite Game of Thrones season premiere so far. From that memorable opening scene to that sublime ending, – this episode is worth the year-long wait. Here’s a quick recap of this glorious episode.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
- Arya annihilates the Freys – Everything about this scene is poetic justice. Just when you thought you were perfectly satisfied with Walder Frey’s death last season, Arya steals his face, murders his sons, and sends a message to everyone who wants to fuck with the Starks. Remember that Walder’s motivation has always been the longevity and progression of his family, which makes this scene so powerful, as Arya wipes out House Frey with one vengeful toast. “Leave one wolf alive and the sheep are never safe.” Also, can we please take a moment to appreciate that runway walk across all those dead Freys? Damn, Arya.
- THE WHITE WALKERS HAVE ZOMBIE GIANTS /GG – Ok, did anyone else think we were going to see an undead Hodor during this scene? I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one…
- Bran and Meera arrive at the wall – Nothing special here. Bran has yet to impress me and I’m still not over his carelessness last season (RIP Hodor). I actually thought that they would meet Jon and Sansa, but I realized that they’re in Winterfell. I was too naive to think that we’ll see more than 2 Starks in the same place at the same time. We haven’t earned that privilege yet. More people need to die first.
- I DON’T NEED YOUR PERMISSION TO DEFEND THE NORTH – Smash. The. Patriarchy. Queen. Lyana. I could hear the collective z-snaps and “yas kweens” of the entire human race when Lyana Mormont ONCE AGAIN steals the show. And that side eye needs to be trademarked ASAP.
- Sansa finally finds her voice – I let out a Hallelujah when Sansa speaks her mind and openly questions Jon’s orders. The tension is thick and the two go back and forth on how to deal with the betrayal of both House Umber and House Castark. Sansa believes that their castles should be given to the families who served House Stark against the Boltons. SMART. “There’s no punishment for treason and no reward for loyalty?” Sansa gets the approval of the other bannermen, but Jon is not having any of it.
- Jon claps back – In typical Ned-fashion, Jon refuses to strip House Umber and Castark of their ancestral castles as punishment for their betrayal. Instead, he calls out the remaining house heads, who happen to be children, and have them renew their loyalty to House Stark. It was a noble act, but we all know what happens to “noble” Starks like Ned and Robb.
- Jon vs Sansa – The seed for this showdown was planted by Baelish last season and we’re beginning to see it grow into a future confrontation. The most interesting part of this is the opposing ideologies from both Starks. Jon is still quixotic like his father and still has idealistic notions of ruling, while Sansa has played the game of thrones in multiple fronts and knows how the different players work. As she said, she learned from the best (Cersei). I’m with #TeamSansa here, but with Petyr Baelysh in the mix, I’m sure there’s more to this than meets the eye.
- Cersei is unfazed by all her enemies – If nothing else, she’s looking forward to this moment – to prove that she’s more than what her father or anyone else saw her as. Jaime questions Cersei’s motivations perfectly: “A dynasty for whom? Our children are dead.” Since season 1, Cersei has always valued her family the most, fighting mostly for their survival. Now that they’re gone, she is mostly fuelled by hate, revenge, and power, which makes her the perfect villain.
- “So here I am with a thousand ships and two good hands.” – DAAAAAAMN! That has got to be the biggest burn in Game of Thrones history, and that’s saying a lot for a show with fire-breathing dragons! Euron Greyjoy just obliterated Jaime with that line.
- Euron’s gift – What could it be? What gift can he give that would make Cersei say yes to his proposal? It’s a guessing game at this point, but my guess is either more allies, an enemy’s head or the destruction of Daenerys’ fleet.
- Sam’s “training” – Nope. Gross.
- Sam finding answers in the restricted side of the library is giving me serious Harry Potter vibes.
- Has the Brienne x Tormund ship sailed yet? What is the ship name?
- Sansa keeping Baelish at bay is so satisfying to watch – She has grown so much as a character and can defend herself from his manipulation. Don’t count him out just yet. I still get some bad vibes whenever the scene pans to his face. He’s brewing something and either Jon or Sansa will be at the receiving end of his masterplan.
- A WILD ED SHEERAN APPEARS – Seriously though, where did that come from? It’s a pretty cool cameo, but I really love that scene with the Lannister soldiers. It was a glimpse into the lives of ordinary people whose lives are torn by the wars of the rich and powerful. It’s a pretty chill scene. Just a couple of blokes eating rabbit and jamming to Ed Sheeran’s new medieval-indie-underground album. It would be a shame if a revenge-driven assassin were to kill them all for their allegiance to the Lannisters. I’m looking at you Arya, you blood thirsty wolf.
- The Hound redemption arc – The show has been building up Sandor Clegane as a fan favorite. His second chance at life has left him with a yearning for a new purpose, which led him to the Brotherhood Without Banners. I just love the irony of how a pyrophobe is in the company of flame worshippers. The Hound’s skepticism and cynicism create an interesting dynamic with Beric Donadarrion and Thoros, who both see the good in him. With the vision in the flame, it’s safe to assume that these guys will have a larger role to play in the war with the White Walkers. After all, Beric still has a purpose to serve for the Lord of Light and a flaming sword that we’re all dying to see in action once again.
- SAM JR. IS LOVE
- So Sam finds out that Dragon Glass can be found in *wait for it* Dragonstone – Big shocker there, Sam. Good job. Sam sends this new information to Jon and now we have a set-up to Jon and Dany’s inevitable meeting.
- I saw that jump scare a mile away. It was sad finding out that it was Ser Jorah, though. After everything he’s been through, he’s still thinking of Dany. Ser Jorah everyone, the patron saint of the friend-zoned.
- Alright, here we are at the last scene – YEARS of waiting and Daenerys finally arrives home, and you can feel every bit of happiness through her eyes. There was a collective sigh of relief from Game of Thrones fans the moment she lands on Dragonstone. You feel as though you were a part of that exhausting journey and now you’re home. The subtleties of the scene like Emilia’s expressions, the music, the lack of dialogue, and the body language of Dany’s entourage allowing her to soak in every detail of Dragonstone, are just perfect. What I loved the most from this scene is Dany’s decision to forego the throne and go straight to the war room. This is a woman whose life was defined by going back home and taking what is rightfully hers with fire and blood, yet she wastes no time for sentimentality and gets straight to work. SHALL. WE. BEGIN.
Overall, I’m giving this episode a 5/5. Though I would have appreciated more scenes with Tyrion, the featured characters were fantastic, especially Arya and Daenerys. The premiere set the stage for an all-out war throughout the entire Seven Kingdoms and I cannot wait to see how it unfolds.