Top 6 Moments from the Game of Thrones Season 7 Premiere
Major spoilers are coming.
Here are my 6 key takeaways from the premiere.
1. Arya jumps into the “Frey”
There’s an interesting thing about episodes that begin with a sequence rather than the opening credits. This happened last year with the Sandor Clegane resurrection sequence. Before that, it was the Season 4 premiere sequence of ‘Ice’ being melted into two swords. These kind of sequences always make for an interesting build-up
This sequence was predictable the moment you saw Walder Frey. He died last season so the only reasonable explanation would be Arya using his face. Plus, he was being nice, and Walder Frey, bless his soul, was the worst! So that rousing speech about killing the “woman pregnant with her babe”, the mother of five and Robb, you knew Arya was coming.
So Arya avenged the Red Wedding by poisoning the remaining Freys. One moment they’re celebrating, the next moment, they’re choking on their own blood, right after chugging wine. Arya’s Walder (before she takes off her mask) doesn’t let Walder’s young wife drink the wine. You could say, mercy, but I think it’s more of a “tell the others” thing that Tyrion Lannister did with the remaining Master of Meereen last season. Nothing better than a witness to strike fear in the hearts of one’s enemies.
2. Cersei felt Tommen “betrayed” her
Tyrion Lannister once said that the only redeeming qualities about Cersei were her children and her cheekbones. I, however, feel a little differently. I think Cersei went mad just before Tommen jumped to his death. She was so consumed by her desire to win, she just started seeing everything that didn’t go her way as a plot against her. Naturally, she felt Tommen betrayed her. But this was an interesting moment. Whatever bit of compassion that was left in Cersei, I feel that went away before Tommen did. She’s even colder than she already was, which makes her even more dangerous (albeit currently powerless with no real allies, which I’ll come to in a bit) than she was last season.
3. Samwell Tarly’s shit montage
Second funniest sequence on the show — his routine of never learning, only picking up shit, cleaning the bed pans, assisting an Archmaester, going by the look of Jim Broadbent’s character (in my head, I was imagining Horace Slughorn with a not-so-favourite student of his when he was talking to Sam). The shit montage was just so funny, and also because it was happening to Samwell.
4. Jon’s going the Ned Way.
“Don’t lose your head,” says Sansa.
Jon can’t help himself. He’s always been a bit of a horse with blinkers on, staring at the goal while unaware of who or what might hit him as he races towards it. And if I were Sansa, I’d want to punch him in the face, probably. I mean, look at his history on the show — he got killed off by his own Brothers, was fortunate enough to get resurrected, was then warned by Sansa not to be emotional, not to do what Ramsay wanted him to do, got baited by Ramsay and ended up bringing whatever tiny army he had to the battlefield, where they were surrounded by the Bolton army. Until Sansa rescued him. I’d be frustrated too. She’s been around Westeros. She’s had terrible romantic liaisons. She’s been groomed by Cersei, who knew that Power is power. And speaking of Cersei, Sansa knows the impending threat of Cersei attacking them from the South. Jon’s more focused on the fight beyond the North though. And he’s right in doing that, because ultimately, it won’t be about allies and friendship, it will come down to survival.
Whether or not Jon admits it, Sansa knows how to play the game. Ned didn’t, Robb didn’t. He doesn’t. But Sansa has gotten good at it. I think this is going to be an interesting spanner in the works, a temporary distraction until the end of the season when it gets resolved — Littlefinger slowly turning Sansa against Jon, which would be especially relevant when Bran eventually reveals the truth of Jon’s parentage. A dragon amongst the wolves isn’t something Littlefinger might let slide, unless he’s dead by then.
5. Sun sun sun, Didi tere liye ek rishta aaya hai.
Clearly not a tune Jaime’s singing.
Translation: You’ve a new suitor, sister!
Euron Greyjoy strikes me as a bit of wisecrack with a propensity for murder but nothing beyond. I find his character terribly half-baked and such a far cry from everything I’ve read about Euron in the books. Euron is almost as dangerous or worse than Ramsay Bolton in the books. I thought they’d give him a bit of an edge. Instead, we get the episode’s funniest moment — Euron listing his capabilities as a suitor, saying he has both hands — an obvious slight at Jaime, who obviously looked incensed.
I think this, among other horrible Cersei behaviour, is going to drive a wedge between Cersei and Jaime. Jaime’s truly redeeming qualities are his ability to think of the greater good than power, as opposed to Cersei. He enjoys power, yes, but he doesn’t relish it or use it to crush people unless he needs to win wars for other people (mostly his sister). I have a feeling Jaime’s going to come into his own this season, just like his younger sibling Tyrion. He burnt the Mad King to save the realm, will he give up the woman he loves most for the good of the realm? There’s a good reason he will, once he knows the truth of the Whitewalkers (something neither he nor Cersei care about currently).
Also, overall, who else thinks Tywin Lannister would never let this mess happen?
6. Shall we begin?
I’ve said it too often. Emilia Clarke is terrible as Daenerys. Nowhere near the restraint Lena Headey shows. So that whole emotional set-up where she returns to Dragonstone, where she was born, failed to arouse any emotion in me. The only good bit about it was the end — “Shall we begin?”
I think the good thing about Daenerys’ storyline is that she generally has things going in her favour (except when the carpet gets yanked from under her every now and then). She’s empathetic, wise, kind and loved by many, unlike her father who displayed no visible redeeming qualities. So, you want her to win, like you want Jon to win. But swooping in with dragons is getting a bit old, really. What fun is a battle sequence if only one side is always winning?
I’m looking forward to her meeting Jon, not for some Targaryen-incest thing that’s waiting to happen, but just so that it could take her predictable plot in a different direction.
Also, on a lighter note, when certain families are defeated in war, aren’t the lands of those families given to others. Harrenhal has changed hands a few times this way. The Freys has Riverrun in the aftermath of the Red Wedding until the Blackfish briefly snatched it from them last season. So why leave the whole of Dragonstone (especially when Jaime clearly took good geography lessons from Daddy Tywin) unguarded after Stannis died? Who leaves a whole unclaimed castle lying around when you’re Queen? And then she gave that speech about ‘Enemies to the East…’!
Those were my top 6 moments from today’s episode. Let’s see what action episode 2 begins. I’m hoping Daenerys begins her conquest of Westeros, because that means less stone-faced Dany and more Tyrion being cool, strategic and rubbing Cersei’s nose in the mud.