Words: Jessica Sheridan
Winter. Is. HERE!
After what has felt like forever, Game of Thrones is finally back! Season 7 previewed on Sunday night in the US and we are all aboard the hype train for what is set to be a cracker of a season. We will be bringing you our recap of each episode every week as we try Keeping Up With The Seven Kingdoms.
Fair warning though, there are spoilers ahead, so proceed with caution.
Aaaaaaand we’re back!
It’s been over a year since we last visited Westeros and I’m quivering with excitement as the familiar content warning flashes across the screen. Nudity. Extreme violence. Drug use. It’s good to be back.
We open with an obligatory recap of all the dying that’s gone on since season one. Oh that’s right –Cersei literally killed everyone with dragon fire last season, I’d totally forgotten about that. Oh yeah, and everyone else died at the red wedding two seasons earlier – classic. Hodor died and it was just the worst. Anyone who’s ever sat on the throne was murdered. Half the Night’s Watch and Wildlings accidentally also died. Remember when Stannis burned his daughter alive? Ah, memories.
I’m also realising that I’ve forgotten at least 70% of the plotlines now weaving their way across Westeros, and almost all the characters. Who is that? Who is that? Who is that??
OH MY GOD WE ARE FIVE MINUTES IN AND ALREADY THERE IS SO MUCH MORE DEATH! Arya might not have finished her training to be a faceless man, but apparently she doesn’t need to in order to go full Hannibal Lecter and wear a dead guy’s face.
She stands in place of Walder Frey and invites all of his many sons to drink. Arya has just pulled off the prank of the century and has tricked all of Walder Frey’s children into drinking poison by wearing his face. And now we can add another house of people to the ever-growing list of the dead because Arya just killed them all. Well, all but one.
Winter is officially here. And the North totally remembers what you did last summer.
Queue the catchiest theme song of the 21st century and we are officially under way. I’m so excited, I take like three Snapchats just of the opening titles.
First stop: North of the Wall. Remember those pesky White Walkers that were causing problems last season? Well here is some dramatic exposition to indicate that they will once again be causing problems this season. Except now they have a zombie giant in tow.
We see that Bran is now a wolf and a three eyed raven, so that’s cool. He and Meera manage to get south of the wall again, and I kind of feel like they should have just? Stayed there? All along? And not gone north in the first place??
Maybe Hodor would still be alive if they had (I’m still not over it, okay!?)
Jump a little further down to Winterfell which is finally – finally – back in Stark hands. Jon Snow is looking mighty fine for a once-dead-guy and is holding court with Sansa by his side. Is this the first time things have been going right for the Starks since before season one? The Starks and their allies are discussing those pesky winter zombies and preparing for war.
I think I actually like every character in this room, which is really rare in Westeros. But by far my favourite is Lyanna Mormont aka Small But Mighty. She’s like five years old and three feet high but she is NOT going to be knitting by the fire while all the boys swing their swords around. Wonder Woman and Lady Mormont in one year, what a time to be alive.
Jon Snow reminds us about dragon glass because we haven’t mentioned it in a while and it’s probably going to be pretty important this season I’m guessing (refer to the winter zombie giant).
Sansa has learned a lot from her time in King’s Landing and like a true Lady of the court she is throwing shade at the King (in the North) for not punishing the families of traitors. I swear Jon is more like Ned than any of the other Stark kids (ironic because like – I mean, I don’t wanna spoil it. But it’s ironic – right?) Sansa is basically Mini Cersei now and warns Jon that he needs to be less naïve and remember to kill OG Cersei at some point. Listen to her Jon. Listen to Mini Cersei. The wicked witch must be stopped!
Speaking of which, it’s time to check in on Cersei, who is now the Queen. She’s got some poor peasant doing a reverse Michelangelo and painting a map of Westeros on the floor. Jaime is there too, as usual. But I’m sensing there’s trouble in incestuous paradise as the brother and sister/lovers/most messed up characters in Westeros discuss how they are going to take over the world without any friends to help them do it. It’s lonely at the top, hey Cersei?
Her new hair cut makes her look like a less feminine Joffrey. Is that on purpose?
Cut to a wide shot of the Greyjoy fleet with black sails and yellow Cthulu-like squids (symbolism, kids). There you go, guys – a whole fleet of friends for you.
Praise the old gods and the new, Euron Greyjoy has arrived in King’s Landing to try and marry Cersei. Euron is kind of cute, but I 100% do not remember him from last season. Apparently he is the uncle of Theon and Yara Greyjoy? Jaime isn’t too impressed by the pretty pirate King who proposes to Cersei. She politely declines in the kind of way that tells you she has a bigger plan going on, as usual. He promises to return to Kings Landing with a ‘priceless gift’ for the Queen, and I don’t think it’ll be jewellery.
Couldn’t you guys have sorted that out in a raven?
Sam! Samwell of Horn Hill! And he’s…. cleaning up s**t? Samuel Tarly has made it all the way to the great Citadel, filled with hope of finally becoming a Maester like he always dreamed. And they’ve got him cleaning out bed pans, day in and day out. Honestly if this isn’t the best analogy for every university graduate ever then you can sacrifice me to the lord of light.
The citadel is big, with a lot of books, including their very own Harry Potter style restricted section. It seems Sam is having trouble trying to get the other Maesters to believe his story about snow zombies. I don’t know why.
Back in Winterfell we see Brienne sparring with her squire Podrick and I’m reminded that not all the good side-characters have been killed off just yet. The mood is immediately ruined by Littlefinger’s commentary as he once again creeps around Sansa. Honestly, just his voice makes me nauseas. Thankfully Sansa is a total bad ass now and delivers enough sass to scare him away. For now.
Is that? No. No way. NO WAY! Is that Ed Sheeran! Guys, Ed Sheeran is a Lannister foot soldier. Bless that little Hobbit, such a long way from home. Arya stops by to break bread with some soldiers (including ED SHEERAN). It’s one of those classic ‘maybe the bad guys aren’t so bad?’ scenes: The soldiers talk about their mothers and their fathers and just wanting to get home to their kids. #relateable
Arya confesses to Ed Sheeran that she is going to kill the Queen and of course they all laugh. She couldn’t possibly be serious. Somebody trying to kill the ruler of Westeros? Yeah right, stranger-who-is-totally-not-the-missing-Arya-Stark. What a hoot.
Cut to the one character seemingly immune to the ravenous curse of character death that is plaguing Westeros: The Hound. The old dog is whinging about everything and delivering sassy one liners at everyone in sight. Business as usual.
He is hanging out with the Brotherhood Without Banners, and if you don’t remember who they are don’t feel bad – I had to google them. It’s those fire-worshipping dudes from like, season six? And season four, I think? Honestly this show is almost negligent with the number of characters it introduces. But who cares – The Hound just insulted a man for having a top knot and suddenly I’m placated again.
The unlikely group stumble upon a peasant house – the same one the Hound and Arya stayed in a few seasons ago. Except this time the father and daughter are frozen solid inside. The Hound buries them later and we are once again reminded that the Hound might be a good guy, but he might be a bad guy – we’ll never know.
Oh, the Hound can read the future in fire now and makes some prediction about the winter zombies entering Westeros where the wall meets the sea. Okay? I guess? Honestly, we are seven seasons in – nothing should be surprising anymore.
Cut back to Sam who is joined by Gilly and wee baby Sam. Together they discover a map of Dragonstone, the castle that once belonged to the Targaryen’s long ago. And what is conveniently located beneath the castle? A tonne of dragon glass. Sick.
We also see Jorah, just briefly, and are reminded that he is also one of the few good guys that isn’t dead yet (but probably will be soon). The greyscale sickness has well and truly taken hold, and we see his arm is coated in the rock-like disease. He asks if Queen D has rocked up to the party yet, but Sam doesn’t know. Move on Jorah, it’s never gonna happen.
Speaking of which, it’s the moment we’ve been waiting for all episode. The woman. The legend. The storm-born, dragon-riding, Dothraki-loving, slave-freeing fashion icon that is Daenerys Targaryen. And she’s finally home. We see her fleet of ships rocking up with her squad of dragons at Dragonstone, which was left abandoned by Stannis Baratheon (now dead lol).
I feel actual shivers down my spine as Daenerys takes her first steps on the beach of Westeros. You’re home baby – you’re home *wipes tear*
Queen D explores the empty castle with her usual gang in tow, that now consists of Varys (hey, I love that guy), Missandei, Grey Worm, and Tyrion – the other fan favourite. They tentatively enter the wide halls of Dragonstone, the empty throne room, the stone-walled strategy room. The drums are beating in the background but I can barely hear them over my heartbeat. This is it – this is the moment we have been building to for six entire seasons. Daenerys Targaryen is officially home in the Seven Kingdoms.
“Shall we begin?”
The bitch is back, Westeros. Are you ready?
Join us next week for our episode two recap. In the meantime try not to bite your nails too much in anticipation!