game of thrones season 7

“Shall We Begin”

The long-awaited return to Westeros finally arrived this week with the beginning to the seventh season of Game of Thrones. Spoilers for Game of Thrones from this point on.

This episode was basically all plot and there is nothing wrong with that, at this point in the game the episodes really should be all plot. We now have only twelve episodes left and that’s kind of hard to believe, we’re nearing the end of the game. We touched on almost all major storylines at least once during this episode and there is not very many characters out there in the world that we haven’t seen in a while (cough….Gendry…..cough). I assume that the characters we didn’t see this week will show up in the near future however (Sand Snakes, Tyrell’s, Daario, Melisandre).

But on to the actual episode and what an opening we had. Seriously what a better way to quick of the season than for Arya to orchestrate a Red Wedding-like feast on the remaining Fray’s. I was almost positive that we wouldn’t be revisiting the Fray’s or even The Twins after season six, mainly because we saw Walder die and it didn’t seem like we’d have any more story to tell there, I’m glad I was wrong however because seeing the Fray’s all choke on their drinks and die was a scene I think a lot of us have been waiting four years to see. Arya’s story continued as she met a group of Lannister soldiers while on her way to King’s Landing, these soldiers were extremely different from most we’ve seen in the past as these ones felt like genuinely good people. I have to admit though that seeing Ed Sheeran in the episode took me out of it a little, nothing against the guy as he seems awesome but I don’t know if he belongs in an episode of this show.

Out of all the storylines from last year the one I have been most excited about has been Jon and the North’s story. There’s something so exciting about seeing the fruition of what has been being set up since essentially the first scene of the entire show, also if you told me back in season four that i’d end up liking Tormund and the Wildlings over most of the other Northern characters, I probably would’ve thought you were watching a different show. To be completely honest there wasn’t much development with this storyline this episode, we had Jon tell everyone to start getting ready for what’s to come, Tormund is being sent to a castle at the wall, Jon nicely forgives the children of the families that betrayed the North and we got some more badass lines from Lady Mormont. I also need to mention how Sansa rightly calls Jon out on how he’s being too forgiving and merciful as a leader. I feel like this storyline will need to accelerate in the next few episodes but I have no doubt in my mind that it will as Winter is here.

We saw our first actual scenes of Queen Cersei of the three kingdoms (sorry but it’s true). She is planning for the wars that are now at her doorstep and I don’t understand why she’s so confident, if Jon and his North army wanted, they could take King’s Landing with ease, when Daenerys does eventually attack I’m very confident that her army will also be able to take King’s Landing with ease, so either Cersei has some serious power that she’s hiding up her sleeve or she just doesn’t care (I highly doubt it). I enjoyed Cersei and Jamie’s scene together as Jamie must be getting some serious deja vu to when the Mad King was in power, I also feel like he’s starting to realize that she might not be the best love interest for him. We also saw the return of Euron Greyjoy as he now seems to be a part of Cersei’s story, it also looks like he’ll be one of the big players in the final two seasons. His army combined with the fleeting Lannister army still wouldn’t be enough for either of the other two big forces however. One part of this that has me intrigued in all this is: What exactly is Euron’s gift to Cersei?

I was surprised to see that Sam’s story at the Citadel will be a big part of the season (apparently), I thought it’d be the kind of thing where we pop in to see how he’s doing towards the end of this season. I did enjoy our glimpses of daily Citadel life however as I think we got our first look at a Game of Thrones montage done during the episode (It was great though). It looks like Sam will be the link to Jon and Daenerys meeting as he is researching how Dragnstone is essentially built on top of Dragonglass, this will be a huge plot point in the episodes to come. (Also was that Jorah in the Citadel jail/ quarantine.)

I’m so happy that The Hound and the Brothers Without Banners are going to be leading members of the season, they’re without a doubt one of the more interesting groups on the show and I’m excited to see how far North exactly they will end up going (if the trailer is any indication, it’ll be far). It also seems that we’re diving head first into Sandor’s redemption, I know we’ve been steadily heading that way for a few seasons now but with him seeing visions in the fire it looks like the Lord of Light has a lot in mind for the Hound. Side note: Is that house they stayed in, the same one that he and Arya stole from back in season four?

Daenerys didn’t get much at all to do in this episode and Tyrion had even less but it was still extremely satisfying seeing her come home to Westeros since they’ve been building towards this since episode one as well. It’s also fitting that her new throne (for the time being) is a true dragon one.

This episode was a lot of putting pieces in place for the end game and it was satisfying, it truly does feel like we’re building towards something and not just getting new plot developments after plot developments. I am very excited to see what this season has in store for us.

THE VERDICT

8.5/10      Game of Thrones returned with a satisfying episode.

 

Connor Cunningham covers ENTERTAINMENT for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @Connoriscoolio

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