Last night’s season 7 premiere of “Game of Thrones” was perfect timing for me. It came on the second anniversary of me starting to read the books. Not to mention that on Saturday night I finished reading “A Storm of Swords” which had been my goal when the finale of season 6 aired last June. I obviously still have to read “A Feast for Crows” and “A Dance with Dragons” before I am done with the books. I am choosing to read them in combination rather than two separate books. Once I begin reading them I will post my progress with my blog on the show in future weeks.
It was such a race to the finish for me to meet my goal completing “A Storm of Swords” before Season 7 began that I felt kind of lost yesterday. I read the entire second half of that book since the second week of June. As I read that book my husband told me that starting at the Red Wedding I would begin to see more and more differences between the books and the show.
I mention the Red Wedding because the Red Wedding was key in the opening scene of last night’s premiere. As the show started I felt very nervous. I want the Starks and Dany to end up in a place of power when this is all done and I don’t care how it happens. I don’t want them to be Michelle Obama and go high when their enemies go low. I want them to win! Anyway…back to the opening scene. When the opening scene began and I saw Walder Frey I wasn’t sure what was going on. I thought it might be a flashback to the Red Wedding but when Rob and Catelyn weren’t shown it was clear that Arya had kept Walder Frey’s face and was going to kill all of the Frey’s.
It was fantastic to watch an entire room of the Frey’s choke to death a la Joffrey on the strangler. It was fantastic to watch Arya keep one Frey alive so that she could take off Walder Frey’s face and say “Tell them the North remembers. Tell them winter came for House Frey”—Arya’s actions here fit what I want. I don’t want Arya to go high. I want her to get her vengeance and kick some ass.
It was also interesting that Season 7 opened with a scene of vengeance against the Frey’s since that is how “A Storm of Swords” ends.
In the credits I noticed that Jorah was going to be in the episode which I was happy about but I also wasn’t quite sure of how they show would incorporate him since he is not with Dany.
After the opening credits the great war to the north grew nearer as the Night King marched south with his army of the dead including Giants.
Following this short but very ominous scene Bran and Meera come upon the Wall and the Night’s Watch allow them to pass.
I’m almost positive that Bran and Meera are heading back to Winterfell. I don’t imagine another destination for them now that they are south of the Wall. I do wonder if Bran will ever share his knowledge of who Jon’s parents actually are with Jon if he does return to Winterfell.
As the show moved to Winterfell the seeds of drama were being planted. Jon is addressing a room full of Northern families and Wildlings explaining the importance of Dragonglass in killing White Walkers. He wants everybody to begin training, including girls. I was amused when one man scoffed at the idea of girls training for battle and Lyanna Mormont shut him down. She was not going to put up with his sexism. I absolutely love her.
Then came the drama between Jon and Sansa. The discussion of what to do with the castles that belonged to the Umber and Karstark houses is where the point on conflict lies. The question of how to handle the families that betrayed the Starks is a controversial one. Sansa wants to strip the families of their castles and give the castles to families than fought with them against Ramsay. Jon wants the castle to go to the heirs of those families. As Sansa challenges him both Jon and Sansa grow more and more upset with each other. Ultimately as King Jon’s decision stands and the children of those two families swear allegiance to Jon and the Stark family. After this Jon and Sansa continue to argue when they are alone together. It seems to me that this relationship is going to be a big point of conflict this season. Jon knows about the North and the Wall and the Wildlings and the White Walkers so he is a good position to be a strong military leader. However, he seems naïve when it comes to the politics of actually dealing with threats like Cersei and the day to day routine of ruling. Doesn’t that seem to be the case throughout human history? There is often a difference between who is good at getting power and who is good at keeping power. Going back to the idea that the Starks need to be more cutthroat to win Sansa tells Jon that he needs to be smarter than Ned and Rob. He doesn’t seem to quite get what she is saying but as viewers we do. We know that Ned and Robb were both naïve to how the world actually works.
As the scene closes out Jon tells Sansa that she almost sounds like she admires Cersei to which Sansa replies that she learned a great deal from her. I don’t want Sansa to be Cersei but Sansa has had to survive in a world that none of her siblings would have survived in. She is worldly in a way that Jon isn’t and he better listen to her or he is going to get the entire north into a bad place, like Ned and Robb did.
Down in Kind’s Landing Cersei stands on a giant map of Westeros. She is as crazy as ever as tries to plot with Jamie.
I had to laugh when Cersei referenced their enemies in the South as Ellaria Sand and her brood of bitches. The problem of Cersei is that her scorched earth approach to keeping power has left her and Jamie with nothing. With no heirs it seems she is oblivious to the fact that nobody would be around to inherit the Seven Kingdoms from her if she was able to truly rule. But what choice does she have? She certainly can’t go back. With no allies left she has to make new allies and considering everybody else is against them that only leaves Euron Greyjoy. The thought of Cersei marrying Euron is enough to make me sick but when Euron arrived in King’s Landing she actually turned down his proposal.
But her refusal seems to really be a ploy. Euron promised to give Cersei a great gift to win her affection. I’m guessing he is going to try to get Tyrion and bring him back to King’s Landing so Cersei can kill him. The wild card with Cersei remains Jamie. Other than shoving Bran out a window (which is a pretty big deal) he has often seemed to operate in a grey area since the show began. He’s not his sister and father but he’s not Tyrion either. He’s not evil but he often stands by and lets evil happen. Yet, there is precedent for Jamie to kill a crazy Monarchy to save lives. Would he ever turn on his sister/lover in the same way he turned on the Mad King? I did kind of like how Euron slammed Jamie when he said that he has a thousand ships and two good hands. When I think forward to the end of the show I’m almost a hundred percent sure Cersei will die but the fate of Jamie and Tyrion is very much in question. At least one of them will live but I think there is only a 50% chance both of them will live until the end.
In Oldtown we see that Sam is, well Sam. I’m sure he thought he would arrive at the Citadel and just be a sponge soaking up knowledge. Instead he finds himself, in classic Sam fashion, doing grunt work like shelving books and emptying bed pans. The montage of Sam doing these awful tasks made me laugh because it is so right on how things would go for poor Sam.
Naturally, Sam is fed up with going such basic tasks and he asks for special permission to access the restricted area of the library to try to find information that would help defeat the White Walkers. The Maester that Sam is talking to tries to present Sam with a more balanced outlook on things. He tells Sam that he believes him that he has seen White Walkers but he also believes that the Wall will stand the test of time. He explains to same that the Citadel is the world’s memory and that every time there has been drama in the Seven Kingdoms people have proclaimed the end had arrived. To a certain extend the Maester makes sense but we all know that what is going on with the Night King and the White Walkers is unlike any threat the Seven Kingdoms has faced before and that it really could mean the end. So it makes sense that Sam would snatch the Maester’s keyes to access the restricted area of the library.
Back at Winterfell we see Brienne training Pod in sword fighting. Just like Sam is always Sam Pod is always Pod, a little bit of a disaster. Not to mention Tormund is still crushing on Brienne which cracks me up. When Littlefinger approaches Sansa his mustache twirling is out of control. He is clearly trying to get into her head but she is having none of it. This is a sign of the new, strong and worldly Sansa. Between her time with Joffrey, Cersei, Lysa, Littlefinger and Ramsay she has seen a lot of manipulative and awful people do a lot of fucked up shit. She is no longer the little girl who dreamed of being Queen and she’s not going to let herself be manipulated.
Instead you can see her wheels turning as she tries to figure out a way to make her current situation work best for her. I love this new stronger Sansa. It’s what I’ve been waiting for all these years for. Not to mention when she shuts Littlefinger down it is too funny for words.
Checking back in with Arya we find her come upon a group Lannister soldiers.
It was interesting to hear all of them speak ill of King’s Landing when Arya tells them she was going there. Prior to last night’s episode I wasn’t sure if Arya would head home to Winterfell or go to King’s Landing to try to complete her list. Well, now we know. This leads me to believe that Arya will die before the end of the show, if not the end of season 7. Her destiny isn’t to rule. Her mission is one of vengeance. A happy ending for Arya is to kill Cersei, not to be reunited with her family.
The episode next checked in with the Hound as he travels with the Brotherhood. They come upon the house where a father and daughter lived when the Hound was traveling with Arya. Back in Season 4 the Hound robbed the man and daughter and basically left them for dead. When the Hound and the Brotherhood enter the house we see the skeletons of the man and his daughter. It appears as they were starving to death (thanks to The Hound robbing them) and the man killed both himself and his daughter to end their suffering. This has a deep impact on the Hound. I was struck by something as The Hound buried the man his daughter. Arya and The Hound have switched places in a way. As she is on her mission to kill and get vengeance she has lost her humanity, while The Hound has found his.
It’s an interesting symmetry. Another interesting moment with The Hound came when he looked into the flames of a fire and saw the Wall and the White Walkers breaching the wall at the place where the Wall meets the sea. Although Melisandre didn’t appear in this episode I would imagine the Hound and the Brotherhood will meet up with her soon.
Back in Oldtown Sam reads one of the books he took from the restricted area of the library. Sam, like Jon, knows that Dragonglass kills White Walkers. He is shocked when the book he is reading reveals to him that Dragonstone is full of Dragonglass. He declares he needs to get word to Jon.
The episode was called Dragonstone, not just because of the Dragonglass that is there but because that is where Dany arrives back in the Seven Kingdoms for the first time since she was a baby but not before we find out that Jorah is in a cell at Old Town suffering from Greyscale.
The scene of Dany, Tyrion, the dragons and the rest arriving in Dragonstone is very powerful. It is a very moving moment as she touches the sand of her birthplace, home and Kingdom for the first time. As Dany and Tyrion walk through Dragonstone we see her pull a banner that Stannis left behind down. It is a great moment of the real heir to the Iron Throne pulling down the banner of a pretender.
As Dany finds herself in Stannis’ old war room with a map of Westeros the future is new, exciting and scary. The only words uttered in this sequence are the last words of the episode. They came from Dany as she says “Shall we begin?”—Indeed we shall.
Since Season 7 only has 7 episodes things should move very fast. Looking forward it looks like Dany will have to deal with the negative legacy of her father as word her arrival spread through Westeros. I still think Jon and Dany will end up in getting married to form an alliance but it probably won’t be love at first sight. I’m also not sure what Jon, Sansa and Dany will have to deal with first, the threat to the North and the White Walkers or the threat to the South with Cersei. I also have a feeling, or is it just a hope, that Arya will be reunited with her Dire Wolf. We shall see…
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Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.