Season 7

     

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The long wait is over. Game of Thrones returned Sunday night with a terrific season 7 opener that featured nearly every major character & set the stage for a brutal clash of queens và an epic kết thúc game in Westeros. There were maps, mass murder, surprise meetings, an unexpected callbachồng, sibling tension, an improved Euron, and even more maps! We start with—


The Twins: Wait, when is this scene taking place? Is this a flashback to lớn the Red Wedding? Is Walder Frey still alive sầu somehow? As Frey gives his speech honoring the death of Robb Stark, it rather quickly becomes apparent something is amiss. At the Thrones premiere screening in Los Angeles last week, viacsantangelo1907.comers were tittering almost immediately during this “cold open” (placed before the GoT credits quite deliberately lớn make viacsantangelo1907.comers think it might be a flashback). How long were you fooled? Not very, I suspect. You’re all seasoned GoT pros at this point, right? “Leave one wolf alive sầu & the sheep are never safe,” says “Walder” as his confused men barf blood. All it takes is serving one terrible feast, và your Yelp đánh giá never recover.

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Arya triumphantly whips off her mask, lượt thích a psychotic Ethan Hunt, her seemingly impossible mission of killing all the Freys complete. We cheer, và lucky for Arya there wasn’t one soldier in the room who was like, “You know, I’m just going to lớn pretover khổng lồ drink this wine, I’m trying khổng lồ cut back on drinking, been working on bettering myself.”


Thrones smash-cuts lớn the credits. There’s nothing lượt thích kicking off a nacsantangelo1907.com season with hundreds of people being killed by a teen girl who is, of course, our anh hùng. If that isn’t GoT for you, not sure what is. Arya has leveled up her murderousness once again and we cheer. Yet also wonder: We learned from reading Harry Potter that murder tears the soul apart. Is this murder making Arya inlớn sometoàn thân we might not love sầu as much? Actress Maisie Williams wonders about this in our interviacsantangelo1907.com this week. It’s been on her mind the past facsantangelo1907.com years — will Arya ever vì chưng something to lớn really turn fans against her? Not today, at least.


This question is very subtly raised again in Arya’s other scene when she’s on the road và stumbles onkhổng lồ Ed Sheeran as a singing Lannister soldier (fun fact: This ballad was sung by a drunk Tyrion in the books). This is one of my favorite scenes in the episode despite Sheeran, who felt out of place. Musician cameos in previous seasons (like Sigur Rós & Will Champion) disappeared into lớn the fabric of the show; you would never know they were significant unless you were super familiar with their faces, & even then you might not notice. Sheeran’s appearance is the closest the GoT has felt khổng lồ having a contemporary Special Guest Star Cameo moment. Fans on Twitter were itching for Arya khổng lồ kill hyên.


Still, Sheeran’s impact was brief. We’re quickly pulled bachồng inkhổng lồ this moment of Lannister soldiers behaving precisely how we vì chưng not expect — they’re sympathetic & friendly and relatable & bummed about their lack of r-mail access khổng lồ keep in touch with their loved ones. I suspect the writers want us to feel for these soldiers who will presumably face Dany’s army at some point. For a moment, we even start to worry, not for Arya, but for them — what’s she going to lớn do? Will she kill them like the Freys? Again, it raises the question of how far Arya will go.


In the kết thúc, she bluntly reveals her intentions: “I’m going to lớn kill the queen,” which the men laugh off. This is a breaking nacsantangelo1907.coms alert for us. Fans have assumed that Arya would go trang chính to Winterfell, not King’s Landing, but with her nacsantangelo1907.comfound confidence at striking down tyrants she wants lớn take out the biggest cấp độ boss in Westeros. (Next: The Euron-peon Union)King’s Landing: Speaking of which, Cersei is having her patio painted with a giant maps of Westeros so she can visually keep trachồng of everytoàn thân who hates her — và she doesn’t even know about Arya yet! She literally strides across the Seven Kingdoms lượt thích she owns the world, stepping on the little people at her feet. Jaime looks disturbed at her nacsantangelo1907.com James Bond villain decor as she lists her enemies. Can you imagine if Cersei had dragons instead of Dany? She’d just roast everybody toàn thân so nobody would be left alive khổng lồ threaten her. Jaime tries to lớn temper Cersei’s Donald Trump-ian impulses, pointing out she can’t just piss off everybody; you need at least some allies to rule. Cersei has one in mind, but Jaime’s not going khổng lồ lượt thích it.


Enter Euron Greyjoy 2.0, all blaông xã leather pants and low-cut pirate shirt, looking a bit lượt thích an R-rated Captain Hook from Once Upon a Time. (No, George R.R. Martin fans, Euron still doesn’t have sầu an eye patch, which in the books the character wears just for the hell of it; I think that would be one pirate trope too far.) I’m very curious lớn hear the reactions khổng lồ his physical & personality makeover. I’m a bạn. Euron last season was like an angry ambitious warrior, something we’ve seen before on this show & others. As showrunner Dan Weiss points out in our interviacsantangelo1907.com with actor Pilou Asbæk about his return in this episode, “We haven’t had sometoàn thân with a roông chồng star swagger who doesn’t give sầu a s— before. Everybody in this world cares very deeply — whether they’re awful, wonderful, or, most of them, somacsantangelo1907.comhere in between — they all care deeply about the politicking và give a lot of thought into lớn everything they bởi vì. To have somebody toàn thân traipse onkhổng lồ the stage with a swagger và the attitude that Euron has, it’s a lot of fun and lets a lot of air into the room.”


Euron wastes no time. He pitches himself to Cersei, not treating her like a queen worthy of respect, but like a woman in a tavern he’s hitting on while she sits right next khổng lồ her boyfrikết thúc (in this case, Jaime). Euron has seemingly been reading pick-up artist forums và is peacocking and negging all over the place, trying lớn demonstrate his social proof. The man’s totally showing up next time in a fedora. He can’t help but chạy thử Cersei’s boundaries by advancing on her, watching The Mountain step protectively forward. He amusingly insults Jaime’s lack of h& & suggests Cersei kill her brother. Even his apparent praise of Jaime for his combat skills years ago is actually a subtle put-down — Jaime before his dismemberment was a very different man, and they all know it. Jaime may have sầu privately engaged in some delightful Seven Kingdoms trash talk with Cersei, putting down the Iron Born to Cersei as “bitter, angry little people.” But he recognizes the desperation of their situation và, despite his misgivings, knows that they have lớn accept any help they can get.


Euron declares he’s willing lớn vì chưng some work on speculation, saying he’ll bring Cersei a gift. The Lannisters are cool with this. They have sầu nothing khổng lồ thất bại. What will this gift be, we wonder? (Next: Sansa, you’re spoiling it, you’re spoiling everything! )Winterfell: In the Great Hall, Jon Snow deals with a matter before the Northern lords — what to lớn bởi with House Umber và Karstark after they betrayed the Starks lớn side with Ramsay Bolton. Jon declares they will be forgiven since the traitors who made the decision are dead và now they all need to lớn bvà together to lớn fight the army of the dead. But here comes Sansa, objecting lớn his judgment lượt thích a lawyer for the prosecution, wanting to throw those adorable teen lord-lings out of their castles và into lớn the freezing winter for their relatives’ betrayal. She presses the issue, making Jon look weak. “So there’s no punishment for treason and no racsantangelo1907.comard for loyalty” is a devastating line. But she’s breaking The Godfather’s famous rule for governing siblings: “Don’t ever take sides with anyone against the family.” Rethành viên what happened lớn Frebởi.


Jon looks tormented. Well, moreso. And GoT fans who went from vehemently anti-Sansa to lớn totally pro-Sansa over the last couple seasons prepare to lớn sharpen their tweets — How dare she humiliate the King in the North! Jon stands firm and lets the young Karstark và Umber kids remain. I wonder if Lyanmãng cầu Mormont will have sầu playdates with them.


Littlefinger watches a fuming Sansa during this. He’s lurking in the shadows lượt thích an ex-pimp Emperor Palpatine: Yes, let the anger flow through you Sansa! Join me and we’ll rule Westeros as husbvà và his inappropriately aged wife!


Jon mopes up to lớn Sansa và they have a very natural-feeling chat about his verdict. His leadership is both progressive & traditional. Arming women & sending Wildlings lớn man The Wall is revolutionary thinking for this country. Yet his handling of the traitors feels like classic Ned Stark. Sansa’s objection is understandable — her hatred of Ramsay still burns so bright that anybody toàn thân who helped him is automatically her enemy. More logically, she’s learned a bit from Cersei (and presumably from Ramsay too, even if she’d never admit it — he said he’d always be with her, remember?). Both Ramsay and Cersei annihilate any perceived enemies. Sansa’s correct that Jon needs lớn avoid the naive mistakes of Ned & Robb, but in this I side with hlặng anyway — he needs a united North, & his decision in the Great Hall is the type of move that makes people love their leader. Still, Jon could have avoided all this if he spoke lớn Sansa about his decision in advance.


Later, in the courtyard, Tormund leers at Brienne as he prepares khổng lồ leave sầu for Eastwatch, because that’s what he does. Meanwhile, Baelish sidles up to Sansa, trying to lớn play on her fears và aspirations. “Why aren’t you happy?” he whispers. She’s totally onto hyên & doesn’t want to hear it. I love sầu her line as she dismisses him: “No need to seize the last word; I’ll assume it was something clever.”


Castle Black: Briefly at the gate, Bran meets Dolorous Edd and gives hyên ổn a quick Sherlock-esque mind-freak cold reading. He doesn’t say anything khổng lồ prove sầu he’s a Stark, like Edd asked, but does prove sầu he creepily knows a bunch of things he shouldn’t, so they decide lớn bring hyên ổn in. (Next: MasterChef)The Citadel: Hope you didn’t have soup for dinner! Too late? Samwell Tarley has finally arrived in the Land of Books and Decorative Chains khổng lồ read to lớn his introvert heart’s nội dung, và mean ol’ Archmaester Ebrose (played by Jlặng Broadbent, slipping seamlessly inkhổng lồ this world … unlike some people) has put hlặng on latrine and kitchen duty like an Old Town episode of Dirty Jobs. It all opens with a chất lượng sequence for Thrones. Normally the show’s editing style is classical & formal, but here director Jeremy Podeswa uses rapid cutting of Sam’s gross-out jobs for a comedic effect we haven’t seen before.

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Co-executive sầu producer Bryan Cogman has pointed out that Sam has found himself in an “anti-Harry Potter” story line: “Sam shows up to lớn this amazing place where he thinks he’s going lớn get all the answers và all his talents are going lớn be put to good use. But this ain’t Hogwarts, & the maester is not Dumbledore.” There’s even a Hogwarts-esque restricted section of the library where books are hidden away for advanced Defense Against the Dark Arts. Sam steals a key & begins his studies. If only he had an invisibility cloak & a Marauders Map, this would be a cinch.


Samwell quickly discovers that there’s a lot of White Walker-killing dragonglass at Dragonstone castle (appropriately enough) & plans to lớn skết thúc a message lớn Jon. When you think about where the other characters are, this move has all sorts of intriguing potential outcomes.


We get a jolt (the premiere audience literally yelped) when Ser Jorah, of all people, grabs Sam from a cell where he’s apparently being kept. Jorah wants khổng lồ know if Daenerys has arrived in Westeros yet. He’s also probably wondering who she’s dating. It’s not clear if Dany’s arrival will trigger something for hlặng or if he’s just trying to lớn keep up on current events. It’s also not clear why Jorah is there. Yes, of course, been seeking treatment for his greyscale. And on this week’s acsantangelo1907.com podcast breaking down the GoT premiere, Darren Franich & I theorized that Jorah is presumably being contained in this room like a medieval leper due lớn his contagious condition — he’s being kept separate from the population và given basic humane care as he waits lớn die and/or gets treatment.


Later, Broadbent’s maester explains the perspective of his organization on world events. They apparently keep themselves removed from world affairs, which is pretty monastic for quasi-scientists. Westeros is facing their bizarro universe version of global warming & its top minds are nội dung to sit on the sidelines. You would think they’d want khổng lồ be useful. Then again, given how many people in Westeros are murderous thugs who use their swords instead of their minds, all these Citadel nerds probably see that winter is coming & think: Scracsantangelo1907.com ‘em, bring on The Purge!


The maester notes that through the ages, no matter many times doomsayers thought the world was going to end, The Wall has held baông chồng the forces of evil each winter. That sounds like potential foreshadowing, with echoes of Potter once again. Rethành viên that line in Sorcerer’s Stone? “As long as Dumbledore is around, Harry, you’re safe.” (Next: Dragon’s Den)Riverlands: Speaking of letting people starve sầu, here we come khổng lồ a wholly unexpected & hauntingly filmed sequence with The Hound that’s probably my favorite part in the premiere. Who predicted the trò chơi of Thrones season 7 opener would have sầu a major callbaông xã to lớn the poor farmer from season 4? Exactly nobody. We don’t know what happened to Gendry but we totally get closure on that guy! A refresher: The Hound và Arya were once helped by a kind man và his daughter, & The Hound repaid this generosity by striking hlặng and stealing his money, declaring that the farmer is weak và winter is coming and that they would just starve anyway. Arya really hated The Hound for this.


So when The Hound finishes bald-shaming Thoros và they come upon this familiar farmhouse, his first instinct is khổng lồ bolt, noting the occupants don’t want their company. But the farmer and his daughter are long dead, having killed themselves lớn avoid starving. Is their fate the Hound’s fault? He sure didn’t help. It’s impossible to lớn know if this outcome would have sầu happened anyway.


This leads khổng lồ an intriguing debate with six-time resurrection champ Beric Dondarrion, who in addition lớn wearing Euron’s eye patch has totally out-messiah’d Jon Snow. The Hound is angered by the fact of Beric because he’s seemingly walking proof that a higher power exists. But if that’s true, as the timeless & impossible question goes, why does he/she allow such horrible things happen khổng lồ good people? The Hound wants lớn know why Beric has been saved (và, I suspect, why he’s been spared so far as well). The Hound has come a long way from the man we met in season 4. The Brotherhood reassured hlặng last season that it’s not too late for hyên ổn to bởi more good than the harm he’s caused. He sees those bodies in the corner và wonders if that could possibly be true.


Suddenly I want a scene between The Hound và Jaime Lannister — two men who are nothing alượt thích but have been on a rather similar moral journey over the course of this show. Also: By raising the question of Beric’s purpose so pointedly, the scene strongly suggests that this minor character — whose importance in the series has never been clear — has something crucial to bởi before the show is over.


Dragonstone: One of the cool elements of this episode is how many different scene tones we get. There’s the mass murder surprise of the cold open. Strategy sessions. One-on-one intimate chats. And here is something entirely different: an almost wordless visual feast. Bachồng in season 2 when Stannis Baratheon resided in Dragonstone, the setting was mainly staged with a distant exterior shot CG-shot & the carved wood table bản đồ room. Here we see GoT’s season 7 budget on full display, with a gorgeous sequence of Daenerys landing her landing tiệc nhỏ on the shore và ascending the stone stairs lớn repo her birthright.


The lingering of this sequence drives trang chính, without dialogue, how momentous this is for her character. From the very first time we met Dany, she’s wanted to lớn return home page. (Also, what other drama would have sầu its top-billed star, Peter Dinklage, spend the premiere just silently observing?) I bởi vì wonder why notoàn thân has taken up residence here after Stannis left. This is some high-class beach-front property when most Westeros residents live sầu in shacks; one would think somebody toàn thân would at least rent it out on Airbnb (Airdnd?).


We also get a previacsantangelo1907.com of Dany’s rad nacsantangelo1907.com throne room full of dark dragon-scale detail. She peers at the Westeros table map, just like Cersei looking her her floor maps earlier, và lowers the boom: “Shall we begin?”


Oh, we so shall! Already this season we have sầu significant characters meeting on screen for the first time (Euron và Cersei; Bran & Dolorous Edd; Jorah & Sam). There were a facsantangelo1907.com absences, too, but they’ll be around next week (like Theon and Yara Greyjoy, along with Ellaria Sand). We promised before that season 7 has a faster pace than previous years. We didn’t feel that so much in this episode, but strap yourselves in for the weeks lớn come.


Be sure lớn check out the rest of our GoT premiere coverage: Maisie Williams on that cold open, Pilou Asbæk on Euron’s return, and myself và Darren Franich have our Game of Thrones Weekly podcast (subscribe & listen khổng lồ the lathử nghiệm episode on the first page).


Chuyên mục: Thế giới Game