By Ashley Smith
WHEN we were first introduced to the Targareyn ancestral home of Dragonstone, way back in the Game of Thrones (GoT) Season Two opener, titled The North Remembers, Daenerys Targareyn and her three tiny dragons were wandering through the Red Waste, while Stannis Baratheon was launching his bid to sit on the Iron Throne.
How far we have come since then was radically apparent in the Season Seven premiere, titled Dragonstone, which saw Daenerys finally making it to Westeros, after a long path to raise an army and her dragons, which now tower over the landscape like Boeings.
It has been long wait for Game of Thrones fans, after Season Six ended on 26 June 2016, with Cersei Lannister on the Iron Throne.
Although the HBO show’s producers have often in the past promised to break the trend, generally speaking, the first episode of each season of Game of Thrones is mostly uneventful.
In Dragonstone, we had a cold open in which Faceless assassin Arya Stark, is wearing the face of the despicable Walder Frey, whose throat she split in the final episode of last season.
The scene is set by ‘Frey’ congratulating his men during a feast for the mass murder of the Starks at the Red Wedding of Season Three. The scene ends with the assembled Freys choking to death on poisoned flagons of wine, taking Arya’s badassery to new levels. In the Season Seven opener, we played catch up with our favourite dysfunctional families, but by and large nothing of note occurs. The highlight for me was seeing zombie giants marching with the army of the undead towards The Wall, while my least enjoyable moment was watching Ed Sheeran’s singing cameo as a Lannister soldier. However, the scene may become important later, as it made a clear distinction between the protagonists and the armies that fight for them. Most of these soldiers are just boys, who want to go home to their families. With just 13 episodes to go, spread across two seasons, there has been much talk of an increase in pace in this penultimate season, and a rapid ramping up of tension. However, Dragonstone features no battles, no large set-pieces of the sort the show has become renowned for, but primarily sets the scene for the much-anticipated season ahead.
Despite the Hound’s storyline being dragged out, it still packed an emotional punch. He was racked with guilt for the way he treated the father and daughter who helped him and Arya during their travels together, and who have subsequently died of starvation.
Jon and Sansa butting heads was always going to happen sooner or later. They are two very different people, yet both of them yield the qualities required to lead a team.
There were definitely pros and cons to each debate they presented. Sansa, however, had the best argument. Alliances on this show shift on an episodic basis, so why should the people who ran off to help the Boltons, be allowed safety for their families, over the people who helped the Starks take back Winterfell?
Hearing Euron Greyjoy out was a good move on Cersei’s part, because she needs to even out the odds, before it’s too late.
One wonders who or what he will present her with as a gift, in order to win over her hand in marriage. Perhaps her brother Tyron, who is serving as Daenerys’ Hand of the Queen?
We wait with bated breath for episode two, titled Stormborn.
*Catch Game of Thrones on DStv channel 101 on Monday morning’s at 03:00 and on DStv Catch Up
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015