Tame Thrones

SPOILER ALERT: My thoughts on Game of Thrones, Season 7 Episode 1 “Dragonstone” follow:

Though season seven began pretty much where season six left off, it was curiously bereft of the drama and excitement that had been building all of last year.

I didn’t necessarily expect dragons to burn armies or White Walkers to tear down the wall, but for a series that has promised “everything is building to a crescendo,” and with only seven episodes in this season, I did expect things to begin ramping up a bit.

Anyone who followed season six’s events would have immediately figured out what was going on at the Freys’ place during the cold open–and who was behind it. There are far-reaching implications after this “Red Wine-Tasting,” but the scene was a bit restrained for my taste. Arya’s previous “unveiling” there was more satisfying.

Jon and Sansa bickered at Winterfell, with a skulking Little Finger watching. Did we learn anything new? I don’t think so.

Bran finally arrives at the wall

Bran arrived at the wall with visions of an approaching “white” army, complete with giants. (Are there dead dragons as well? If so, that might be a game changer.)

The Hound is becoming a bit of a softie. Who knew a conscience was even possible with him?

Arya broke bread, er, a rabbit, with Ed Sheeran, and that took me completely out of the story. (Big mistake, I thought.)

Cercei and Jaime literally stood on fresh paint as it dried, which is somehow a good euphemism for the entire episode.

Euron Greyjoy stopped by the Red Keep long enough to make a half-hearted proposal to now-motherless Cercei. After insulting Jaime, he made Cercei the vague promise of a “gift,” then swaggered quietly away (taking his “two good hands” with him). Euron is something of a wild card this season.

Sam had perhaps the series’s most disgusting job (so far) cleaning slop and latrines–a scene which, though funny and brilliantly edited, went on for far too long. (I hope no one was eating while watching.)

And FINALLY, Daenerys arrived at Dragonstone. The dragons circled the castle while Dany dusted the map table. You know, the one where Stannis was ravaged by the Red Woman in another life.

That’s it. End of story. (Oh, and Jorah Mormont is alive but not well, the Greyscale having bloomed to cover his entire left arm. Pity.)

An interesting episode, if not exactly inspiring. As Dany said to Tyrion, “Shall we begin?”

© Wade Kingston

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