Our long-awaited first episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones season 7 begins with the repellent Walder Frey apparently alive and well, regaling guests and proposing toasts. We of course know what is up here, and as his monologue goes on, we get to see a lot of red. And we get a Mission Impossible mask reveal, and Arya drops the mic.
Meanwhile up north, we get a very David Lynch reveal of the Night King and his endless plodding horde. Plus ice zombie giants. NICE.
A bit to the south, Bran and Meera are now guests of Lord Commander Dolorous Edd. Nice beard, Edd.
At Winterfell, Jon Snow is handing down edicts, and Sansa is getting used to being steamrolled. (Also, Lyanna Mormont continues to kick ass.) Alliances are repaired, oaths sworn.
Since Jon doesn’t have enough problems, there’s a raven from Cersei. She may be delusional, but she’s still dangerous.
Back at King’s Landing, we get a healthy dose of exposition as Cersei and Jaime dance across the map. Cersei wants to know how to defeat their encircling enemies, Jaime wants to know what they are fighting for, and with whom.
The answer to that last question turns out to be Euron Greyjoy, of all people. This gives us a delightful throne room scene, with Euron doing a decent imitation of Chopper Read, and Jaime taking Tyrion’s usual role. Cersei of course refuses his proposal of marriage, and he’s off to prove his worth with some manner of slaughter and trophy taking.
Our dear Sam is starting at the bottom of the pecking order at the Citadel, according this thoroughly disgusting montage. He does however have at least one person willing to buy his stories about the endless army of ice zombies, for what it’s worth. Archmaester Quincy is willing to use Occam’s razor here, but he’s also pretty confident that this is just another apocalypse scare and everything will eventually be fine. Which is easy to say if you haven’t seen the endless army of fucking ice zombies. Sam has, and stealing books from the restricted section seems justifiable.
Meanwhile back at Winterfell, we get a bit of Brienne/Tormund fan service at Pod’s expense. And Sansa is reading Scratchy the Pimp for filth. It’s fun, but it overlooks the fact that he’s a psychotic pimp obsessed with Sansa and capable of unimaginable treachery. Just saying.
On the kingsroad south, we get a celebrity cameo (singer Ed Sheeran) and some campfire chat with Arya and a group of common soldiers, who all seem like nice lads. This will end well for everyone.
Arya’s old chum the Hound is maintaining his light and easy temperament and cheering up his new BWB riding buddies. It’s a happy scene as we revisit the house where he did those murders back in the day, and we further revisit the possible intentions of the Lord of Light in keeping Lord Beric breathing. Thoros manages to induce a vision in the Hound, of all people, and it apparently gives him insomnia. So he busies himself cleaning up old messes, which could be the theme of this ep.
Back at the citadel, Sam’s discovered a possible source of dragonglass, and we get to catch up with Jorah Mormont for a sec. That greyscale is not looking good, old man.
The answer to his question is yes, apparently, and there’s a whole lot of sweeping scenery and CGI to welcome Dany to the old family homestead. We get a nice slow tour that ends in Dany’s own map room, which I expect to see a lot of this season.
“Shall we begin?” Oh yes, why don’t we do just that.