Sunday, July 16th, 2017 – akin to a national holiday for those obsessed with HBO’s Game of Thrones. The long (long, long, long) awaited premiere debuted last night. I, being one of those that watched the countdown begin at 5 minutes to the start, bouncing up and down on my couch with anticipation, thought there were several themes worth pointing out with this season’s beginning.
I should start by saying I believe it was an extremely strong start – doing what Game of Thrones has always done best: building exposition. The gentle dive back into our character’s stories has set us on a beautiful trajectory and creating anticipation that will keep us on the edge of our seats all season long.
[In case you stumbled here by mistake, here is your warning:
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS]
To Start: Arya
Freaking Stark & Ed Sheeran
“Leave one wolf alive and the sheep are never safe.” – amazing line. But makes me think of the quote from the previews: “The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.” (Connection?? Maybe???)
Arya. While I fear for the end result of her rampage, one word describes her vengeance upon house Fray: chills.
It wasn’t enough for her to kill the head of the house – she cooked his children, fed them to him, killed him, then Jonestown-ed the remaining Frays. This is worrying, however, since Arya’s path for revenge has become so all-consuming she is all but losing her humanity in the process and the honor her father was known for. In her pursuit of justice for him and her family, she is losing touch with all that Ned taught her and the other Stark children to be. Worth it? I guess that answer will come with time.
Later, we see Arya trekking through the woods, and comes across a camp of soldiers. Most people have been lingering on the fact Ed Sheeran was one of these soldiers and missing the point of her hearing them singing in the woods. Here is Arya, enemy to the Queen and King’s Landing and here is a group of men heading to clean up her mess.
Arya has to take a moment of reflection – she is being confronted with the humanity she is leaving behind. These are now not simply soldiers, but men who have shared a fire, provisions, and stories with her. We are given a beautiful juxtaposition between the faceless killer Arya has become and the very clear faces of young men doing their duty. The tension existing in the scene has more to do with the state of her soul than the men’s intentions through their travels.
Another thing worth noting here is now that Arya can wear faces, we cannot be sure whomever is on screen is actually themselves now – an intriguing concept going forward.
Bran Makes it to the Wall
Important – but minimal. We do see Bran wearing a heavier sense of responsibility.
The Hound & Religion
The increasing importance of the Lord of Light tells me it is going to provide some heavy influence on the plot this season. We see the Hound revisiting a place of past sins – and atoning for them the best way he can at that point – but also starting to entertain the god who possesses that which he fears most: fire.
My thoughts are that the rumored Cleganebowl will call upon this newfound association with the Lord of Light, and that the Hound may lean on that power to defeat his crazy, zombie, mountain brother.
Winterfell stuck in a Political Joust
It is happening – the Jon/Sansa tension that was the last thing in the world I wanted to happen. Jon is holding close to the honor Ned (not his real father ahhh! still reeling) taught him to uphold, whereas Sansa is closer to the values she learned in the south – kill or be killed, the political game.
I’m falling into Team Jon here – White Walkers are not to be trifled with. Sansa has seen her fair share of troubles (horribly so), but she has not witnessed the horrors the supernatural ice men of the north can bring. And I think she needs to wake up to that fact ASAP.
Also – Lyanna with the slays. She must really hate knitting.
Cersi is going to be a little busy with the MOTHER OF DRAGONS to be preoccupied with the North. But I will get to my very short thoughts on her in a second.
Sam AKA Harry Potter
and the Chamber of Pots. But actually. The time montage implies he has been there awhile – and yet other plot-lines pick up as if it was where we left off. How long has Sam been at Hogwarts?
Joking aside, we see Sam chatting with Slughorn – I mean a Maester during an autopsy about the importance of getting into the restricted section of the library (Okay but wait, is this Harry Potter?) and an important theme arises: the disassociation of academics from realities of the world. The world has always survived whatever evils would befall it, so it will now – but the world was also prepared for those evils.
However, in being locked inside a world of knowledge has taken away the realities of what that knowledge should be used for. There is no pressing concern for White Walkers because they are legends on pages of books – not standing before them ready to turn them into ice zombies.
Sam is going to have to confront them with some serious street smarts soon cause, you know, winter is here.
Cersi… No, just, no
Over her – been over her. Girl has nothing left to fight for. Just… get outta here, Cersi. Go home or something.
Mother of Dragons (and My Heart)
Daenerys is in Westeros!! Which, like, we knew she was on the way already, but its great to know that her ships didn’t get lost in the same void Gentry still seems to be trapped in.
There wasn’t much to think on here, other than for the first time, Dany seemed small in comparison to the great halls around her. It is like she is walking into the physical representation of what she needs to accomplish.
I’m ready for her to begin. And for Tyrion to say something next week.
That stare from Tormund to Brienne has me wishing for a new couple on this show. Brienne. Deserves. Everything. Ever.
Littlefinger is still the worst.
Euron is the “bro” equivalent to the GoT world – and I really hope that Yara kills him this season. As to what present he is going to bring Cersi…?
Convenient 1-800-Dragonglass storage facility discovered in non-restricted book by Sam – eye-roll for too convenient plot (I’m hard to please).
Super eager for next week. We shall see where the plot takes us – after all, we are officially off-book.
by the old gods and the new,