Off to its usual, rather slow start, Game of Thrones has once again used 56 minutes for nothing but narrative exposition with splashes of foreshadowing. With a speedy update on every major character, we are also fed snippets of the future to come through little hooks. Arya Stark ushers in poetic justice, at the very start of the episode, in the form of a bloodbath (very Game of Thronesy) as she ends House Frey of the Twins with “Tell them winter came for House Frey,” leaving us a little stunned as she proceeds to move to King’s Landing to “Kill the Queen” rather than go home for the little family reunion we’ve all been hoping for.
Speaking of the Queen, Cersei seems her usual self as she plots the death of her enemies at the east, west, north and south (Sort of like Hitler) while her hand without a hand A.K.A lover A.K.A brother seems rather sceptical about their reign. But what of the much-awaited strangling of Cersei by the Valonqar? A very interesting shot in the episode is that of Cersei as she stands on her map, at the castle, directly above The Neck (a swamp in Westeros) while her twin brother, younger by a minute or so, stands at The Fingers (home of Littlefinger) as they converse; does this suggest her death at the hands of her lover? We can only wait…or hope? As she stands on her map plotting, Daenerys Targaryen has reached Dragonstone and stands at The Chamber of the Painted Table as she asks her squad “Shall we begin?” These events leave us to ponder on whether we will see a Clash of the Queens much like the Battle of the Bastards anytime soon.
Of course, no battle will compare to the Great War we are anticipating; GOT does not disappoint as it shows us the White Walkers marching towards Westeros bringing winter along with many dead giants. Yes, giants can be transformed, so… Does that mean dragons can too? (We saw your jaw drop slightly) We are aware that the concept of ice dragons is spoken of in the books, if only vaguely and in passing, but can we expect the magic and power of the Night King to extend so far? Speculation aside, this episode does, however, clearly tell us that the Great War is upon us as Sandor Clegane looks into the fire that he is so afraid of (obviously!) and sees war at a place disturbingly like Eastwatch by the Sea – where Jon Snow has sent Tormund and the wildlings to keep watch for the White Walkers.
Sansa and Jon seem to have control over the “white walker situation” as they start planning and bickering over how to go about it but that isn’t the highlight of the North, as once again, little Lyanna – living up to her namesake – sweeps our hearts away with her ” I don’t plan on knitting by the fire as men fight for me. I may be small, I may be a girl, Lord Glover, but I am every bit as much a Northerner as you.” All in all it’s a great day for feminism.
Sam is not forgotten in the season premiere as he discovers a Dragonglass reserve under the mountain at Dragonstone by knicking books from the Citadel. Yes, his usual virtuous self has undergone change but go ahead and blame all the bedpans-dragons arriving with Dany, and of course the Lord of Light bringing back people from the dead; there is some hope for Westeros as the Great War looms ahead of them.
THE REVIEW JOB
Plot progression: 7/10
Social Impact: 7/10
White Walker Cameos: 9/10