Game of Thrones Recap with Spoilers S7E1: “Dragonstone”
The Game of Thrones season six finale feels like ages ago, but the explosive (literally) nature of the episode is certainly still being felt. Cersei blew up her enemies’ spot (again – literally), sending the religious sect, her political rivals, and even some relatives to their final fiery grave with a bang. Now fffthe anointed queen with her hand-picked advisors, she’s ready to go on smiting enemies.
But there are a couple of problems: another new King in the North, Jon Snow, who fans know but he doesn’t yet is really Jon Stark Targaryen – yes, he’s an actual uniting force between the North and the South, and the lost last son of the Targaryens. Then there’s that other Targaryen, Daenerys, who has crossed the sea with a massive army and her dragons, and is ready to make Westeros her own, by birthright. OH! And Arya is a crazy vengeance-fueled assassin.
Okay. All caught up? Then let’s get started on Game of Thrones season 7, shall we? SPOILERS Follow!
The North Remembers
Game of Thrones Season 7 starts off, surprisingly, with Walder Frey – um, it’s probably Arya wearing his face which isn’t creepy or anything. “He’s” gathered the Freys together for planning for winter, and proposes a toast. “Stand Together” – they all drink – “Walder” gives a speech about the bravery of the men at the Red Wedding. “You didn’t slaughter every one of the Starks, that was your mistake.” Oh yes, they’re all poisoned. Arya reveals herself to the women. Her message is “The North Remembers. Winter came for House Frey.” Y’all, I’m… I’m scared of Arya.
Winter is Here
Speaking of things to be afraid of, a great winter storm approaches from the distance. As the cloud envelops the screen, we see the host of undead and white walkers, marching to the South. All the dead wildlings, undead giants – Bran is baring witness through the site.
Meera Reed and Bran Stark arrive at the wall, greeted by the Night’s Watch. Bran practically whispers his warnings of the Night King, and they’re taken in.
Nearby at the Stark’s keep, Jon proclaims that not just men, but women and girls must be trained too, something Lady Lyanna Mormont and Sansa seem pleased about. Jon asks the Free Folk to man the walls, and Tormund agrees on their behalf. Jon and Sansa argue – in front of everyone – about what should be done with the Karstarks’ castles, since, you know, they fought for the bastard Ramsey. Jon explains that he refuses to punish a son for his father’s sins. He calls forth the young children of the traitors, and calls for their pledge of loyalty, which they both give – it’s a 13 year-old girl and about a 10 year-old boy, for what it’s worth. Littlefinger is very pleased that Sansa doesn’t like Jon’s decisions.
Jon and Sansa talk over what happened at the meeting. She tells him he must be smarter than their father and Robb. She offers herself as council, and they’re interrupted by a raven declaring Cersei as Queen. Sansa thinks she’s just as big, if not bigger, of a threat as the Night King, and it’s hard to disagree with her.
Queen in the South
Cersei and Jaime talk about the threat of Daenerys, who has Tyrion as her Hand. Cersei has enemies in every direction. “I’m Queen of the Seven Kingdoms” – “Three kingdoms at best,” Jaime says. They’re standing on a map of Westeros and it’s awesome, btw. They need allies, and Cersei seems to think she has that covered. But who?
Euron Greyjoy, another would-be monarch. Sigh. She seems intent on marrying Euron and bringing the Iron Islands and the Lannisters together. Euron expresses his desire for them to kill all their treasonous family members together. Euron is a bit of a sadist. He says the Iron Fleet can defeat all their enemies. He offers 1,000 ships “and two good hands” in exchange for Cersei’s hand in marriage. She declines. He promises to return to King’s Landing with a priceless gift.
Maesters are Pooping
Sam’s training as a Maester is a shitty job (sorry). He’s stuck cleaning their bed pans, sorting books, cleaning bed pans, sorting books. We just saw way too much poop on screen. Sam notices, during his filing, a restricted area of the library. He asks for access from the Arch-Maester, in light of what he’s seen re: Night King and the White Walkers who are scary. Arch-Maester does believe him, making him the only one at Citadel who does. But he also believes in the Wall’s might, foolishly.
Sam ain’t having it, steals keys, and heads on in anyway. Atta boy Sam.
Back up North, Brienne tries to teach poor Pod how to fight, with a series of “Nopes,” and Tormund says he’s a lucky man, though whether that’s for being knocked on his ass by her or trained by her, it’s unclear. All aboard the Tormund/Brienne Ship, y’all. All. Freaking. Aboard.
Sansa basically tells Littlefinger to eff off, but that she still needs his men. She tells Brienne she knows “exactly what he wants.” Yeah, she does. It’s. um… well, let’s just say umm. Yeah, you know, what, not covering that.
Ed Sheeran? What?
Yes, that’s Ed Sheeran, singing, along with a few others wearing red cloaks – they’re Lannister men. They hate living in King’s Landing. Arya sees them as actual people, for once, not just Lannister a-holes. They talk of life at home, and are very kind to her. They tell of fishing boats and babies at home, offer her food and wine. She tells them she’s heading to King’s Landing to kill the Queen – and they all laugh. She laughs with them, in her best imitation of someone who hasn’t lost their shit.
The Hound and his new pals Beric Dondarrion and his men are out in the cold, and come across an abandoned home. A parent and child’s skeletons are in the corner. It’s the people Clegane and Arya stayed with. Damn. Beric and the Hound have a conversation about what they’re meant to do. The Hound wants to know why their “Lord of Light” won’t just tell them what he wants. He’s told to look into a fire, and he does – he stares. He sees a wall of ice – the wall. Where the wall meets the sea, there’s a castle. A mountain that looks like an arrowhead, and the dead marching past. Thousands.
Sandor Clegane has a new respect for people, it seems, and he buries the man and his daughter. He seems to be truly changed.
Shall We Begin?
Sam looks through the forbidden books, and finds something, finally – there’s a mountain of Dragon Glass beneath Dragonstone, the castle that is also the title of this particular episode of Game of Thrones. Yup, someone said the title – drink! He means to write Jon immediately. Later, as he feeds the invalids at the Citadel, one reaches out and asks if the dragon queen has arrived yet – yes, it’s Jorah, and he’s in a bad way.
Daenerys steps foot on Westeros. Five words we’ve been waiting to write for seven years. She touches the sand, walks up the shore, and up the steps to the entrance of Dragonstone. The Stormborn is home. I’m not shaking, you’re shaking. She walks through the halls, to the throne of her ancestors. She stares, but she doesn’t sit – it’s the Iron Throne she wants, after all. She walks through the war room, takes it all in.
“Shall We Begin?”
WHAT. A. PREMIERE. We’ll see you next week for more Game of Thrones re-caps!
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9p.m. EDT on HBO