Last night’s episode can be described as a wonderfully satisfying appetizer platter before the main course of the coming episodes. Episode 1, Dragonstone, manages to push the entire narrative forward well enough that everyone’s favorite Stark, Lannister, Targaryen and Tarley gets their time in the spotlight. Spoilers Below.
With that being said, the episode starts off with one of the most satisfying toasts the show has ever offered and one that most House Stark loyalists have been dying to see. The scene opens up to a close up of everyone’s favorite grumpy old man, Walder Frey. The hall is full of “every Frey who means a damn thing.” As they enjoy the feast, Walder Frey proposes a toast. As each slurp is taken, the sharp eyes of Frey never stop looking through each man there as he continues his speech. The men stop to listen, mouths full of wine.
Walder Frey congratulates them on the slaughter of the Starks, the bravery of killing a woman with an unborn child and killing the guests. Coughs are heard mid-speech and that’s when is starts.
Blood spewing through each of their mouths, Walder Frey talking over each blood-ridden cough. And before you know it, House Frey is gone.
The North Remembered.
Arya removes her mask and steps out. After all her training and all the bloodshed she vowed to shed, Arya has not only crossed a name of her list, but she quite simply took down an entire house by herself.
This is a continued theme I’ve noticed when it comes to the surviving players. Whether its Jon, Cersei or Daenerys, each of their decisions have huge risks and rewards. In a show that isn’t afraid to kill off a character due to a simple blunder, Arya risked her life to remove an entire house from play. Jon risked his life to destroy House Bolton and Cersei took out half of Kings Landing. From this point on, each choice made can lead to a number of deaths, including kings and queens.
As the episode progresses, you are given almost equal run time of each perspective to give you a sense of power by each house and kingdom. While Jon Snow, The King of the North, prepares his region for the battle against the Night King, Queen Cersei looks to find all the help she can get before she is inevitably attacked by either side.
It is at this moment where we see the Lannister vulnerabilities. With both House Frey and House Bolton removed and against the entire north and the Dragon Queen’s army, House Lannister needs to play each of their next moves extremely well or King’s landing and Casterly Rock will fall in the next couple of episodes.
This I believe is the most exciting of all perspectives, with the fight against the Night King and the Invasion of the Dragon Army tying for second. While I may be Team Targaryen, House Lannister has done anything and everything they could to strike down their enemies and claim the Iron Throne. They should basically rename themselves House Lann-Sinister.
Just like House Frey and Bolton, their fall will be very satisfying for fans whose favorite house was dealt a heavy blow. But, this being Game of Thrones, doesn’t play by the same simple rules that other cable television shows have. The good guys don’t always win. The bad guys have the same chance to win at the end of the show.
Every choice matters and everyone needs to be smart. That’s what makes this episode so great.
Besides the deadly toast, there is little to no blood being shed. Everyone is planning towards what could be the best Game of Thrones season as of now. The tense atmosphere is felt by everyone and anything can happen.
For example, Samwell Tarly, risked his life and the lives of Ginny and his son in order to get more information about Dragon glass. In a ballsy move, he steals the keys to the restricted area of the Citadel’s library for books that may help the fight against the White Walkers. Considering the times and the location, if caught, season 7 episode 1 could have been the last breaths of Sam and his family.
While I have a biased for Samwell, the obviously more serious moment in the entire episode was the raven from Kings landing.
With news of the new King of the North, the new Queen of Westeros is not happy. So when Jon receives a message to bend the knee at Kings Landing, a decision will have to be made soon. Everyone who is caught up knows what happens when someone goes against Cersei and with White Walkers at the north, all of the choices Jon makes will decide who lives and who dies.
Which again, stirred up the tension for me because time and time again, the show has proved that any choice made has dire consequences. So when I saw the Mother of Dragons take her first steps on Westeros, I yelled inside.
Not only was this one of the greatest moments for me personally, but it was also my most paranoid. All I was thinking was “Why is no one scouting ahead,” “Why are they not shielding her,” “Why is no one wearing a blonde wig and dress taking the first step just in case.”
The previous seasons have completely freaked me out and with such high stakes, I don’t think my heart can take any surprise, especially in the first episode. The episode comes to an end with Daenerys walking through Dragonstone. Fans will remember this as the stronghold of Stannis Baratheon. We see the Targaryen throne room before reaching the table. The table used by Stannis during his fight to claim the crown and the table used by the late Mad King. Daenerys, looking over the map ends the episode by simply saying “shall we begin.”
Next Sunday should be the start of a war of 3 monarchs, we just have to wait.