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Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 1 review: Dragonstone sets the wheel spinning

Game of Thrones Season 7 episode 1 review: Dragonstone brings Jon Snow and Sansa together, while Arya and Daenerys continue their individual missions.

tv Updated: Jul 19, 2017 09:57 IST
Soumya Srivastava
Soumya Srivastava
Hindustan Times
Game of Thrones,Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 1,Game of Thrones Review
Down south, Cersei has found an only ally she will find in the kingdom, Euron Greyjoy.

Director:Jeremy Podeswa
Cast: Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey
Rating: 3.5/5

SPOILERS AHEAD

Game of Thrones, Season 7, is back after making us wait for longer than it has in the past. Still, the wait has been worth it: The first episode was aired on Monday, and the world’s most famous TV series already looks a winner.

GoT season 7 picks up right where we left it: Season 6 ended with Arya slitting Walder Frey’s throat, Daenerys making her way to Westeros with her massive fleet, and Jon and Sansa fighting sibling rivalry but still trying to bring North together.

It may have been more than a year since we last saw them but in the characters’ timeline, it’s been little more than a day or two.

The opening scene, with Arya striking a few more unmentioned names off her murder-list, may very well be one of the most deservingly brutal and satisfying ones in the show’s season premiere history. The parallels to the Red Wedding are too perfect to miss. We were left gasping in shock and horror when almost half the Stark family was murdered in season 3. This time we sit comfortably in our seats, well aware of what is to unfold on the men who were responsible for it. Last time, we were conspired against, this time we were in on the conspiracy. This is as close as we will come to avenging the worst TV death of all time. What made the scene so powerful was not the element of shock but the deep, satisfying closure.

Higher up North, seeds of tension are being sown in the relationship between Jon and Sansa. While they managed to drown the scuffle with a little effort this time, it is just a matter of time before an ugly, thorny ivy sprouts out of it, watered and cared for by Lord Baelish. The foreshadowing is incredibly subtle but isn’t hard to miss. We know that things will go wrong between them, and when it happens, they won’t be able to fix it with words.

Down South, Cersei has found an ally in the kingdom, Euron Greyjoy. His attempts at flirting with her and humiliating her loving brother have made him one of the more interesting characters of the season. And the promise on which he leaves threatens there is something sinister cooking in his head; maybe he plans to bring her the head of one of her enemies. Whatever that may be, it will be sad for us considering Cersei is enemies with most of the characters we love in the show.

Daenerys finally lands in Dragonstone as was seen in the trailers and promotional images. The last segment offers no dialogues other than the one that ends the episode but sets in motion a ride we waited for so long: ‘Shall we begin?’

The dialogue also in a way tells the theme of the episode. It tries to build curiosity, give new, clear ambitions to the characters without relying on cheap thrills. The sole purpose was to get us excited about what lies ahead and to pique our curiosity on why things will not go the way they should. Jon will have to go to Dragonstone for dragonglass, Euron has to impress Cersei with something we wouldn’t like, Arya has to murder Cersei, Bran has to find his way to Jon, and Dany has to take over Westeros. The teams are all in position and the episode does a stellar job of getting us interested in the race.

Side note: That Ed Sheeran cameo was totally wasted on us. Even with all its dragons and zombies, Game of Thrones is one of the most immersive fictional shows ever made, and to give a super famous, smirking singer screen space just for a song wasn’t a good choice. The scene, mostly the part where Sheeran shows his face, was an ugly smudge on an otherwise rather perfect season opener. Also, where was the need to make him a kind-hearted Lannister soldier? Can he persuade Arya not to fight against them? Because if that doesn’t happen, these precious 10 minutes in an already shortened season would have been a complete waste. And no one wants time wasted on Game of Thrones, not even for the angelic voice of Ed Sheeran.

Game of Thrones will air in India on Star World and Star World HD on Tuesdays. It will also be streamed on Hotstar simultaneously with the US premiere.

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The author tweets @soumya1405

First Published: Jul 17, 2017 10:33 IST