Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Though, once again, the term "moviegoers" doesn't really apply to this article. That's because today we're talking about television. Specifically, we're talking about my (and many of yours I'm sure) favorite TV show, Game of Thrones. The first episode of the highly anticipated seventh season premiered last night, and there's a lot to discuss, so let's just jump right into it.
Spoilers ahead for anyone who is not caught up through Season 7, Episode 1, 'Dragonstone'
As with the first episode of almost any season of any show, 'Dragonstone' was pretty much just all set-up for the season to come, however, there were still some really interesting things that happened. Game of Thrones is into the final stretch of its epic story. There may be two seasons left (including this one), but those two seasons will be shorter than those we have seen before. There's still a lot of story to tell, so I expect the pace of this seven-episode season, and even more-so the six-episode final season, will be much faster and more intense than we're used to.
Game of Thrones has always been good at setting up "dynamic duos". In previous seasons, there has been Arya/The Hound, Tyrion/Bronn, Jaime/Brienne, and many more. This season they seem to be setting up a really interesting relationship between Jon Snow and Sansa Stark. As you know, Jon Snow has recently been declared the King in the North. He's now in control of Winterfell and is leading many of the northern houses. However, of the two, Sansa is the only legitimate child of Ned Stark, and she knows a lot more about the way the world works than Jon. We see the two of them struggle in this episode. Sansa questions Jon's decisions, but Jon believes his decisions should be final. There's seems to be a bit of tension between the two of them, but they both agree that they need to work together to survive. I'm very excited to see what happens between the two of them, even more so if they end up reuniting with Bran, Arya, or both.
Speaking of Arya, the cold open in this episode really highlights how far she has come as a character. She's gone from accidentally killing a boy in season one to straight-up murdering the entirety of House Frey in vengeance for the Red Wedding. The acting from David Bradley, who plays Walder Frey, was fantastic in that opening scene. We've seen him as Frey before, but in that scene, he did a variety of little things that clued in that it wasn't actually him. It didn't feel like Walder Frey, it felt like somebody pretending to be him, which is a great testament to Bradley's performance.
While on the topic of Arya though, that brings me to one of my two complaints about the premiere, and that's Ed Sheeran's "cameo". I understand that having cameos in TV shows and movies can be fun. Game of Thrones has even done it in the past, the drummer of Coldplay and the entirety of the metal band Mastodon have appeared previously. However, none of those cameos actually became small roles in the episode, and none of them were as instantly recognizable as Ed Sheeran. His role became more of a distraction rather than a cameo. It was an odd thing to be watching such a show as Game of Thrones, and then being randomly taken aback by thinking "Hey, that's Ed Sheeran".
My other complaint with the episode was a lot of the stuff with Sam. I understand the need for Sam's character in the show and the importance of what he discovers at the Citadel, but I can't help but feel like that whole segment wasn't handled very well. Whenever a scene with Sam started, it really seemed to drag down the whole episode. His character, when compared to the rest of those in the show, is just so bland and uninteresting. At this point, I think I would rather just not have Sam in the show, except for maybe very briefly every few episodes.
The set-up for every other storyline in this episode was incredibly exciting. One of my favorite scenes in the episode was Jaime and Cersei talking about their children and what they plan to do about their enemies. That scene really shows what Cersei has become over these past few seasons. Her children were the one thing keeping her grounded, but now they're all gone and she's the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. There's no telling what she's going to do now, especially since Daenerys Targaryen has landed at Dragonstone. As for Daenerys, I don't have a whole lot to say about what she did. She arrived at Dragonstone, that's about it. I get that they were going for an emotional moment of her landing in Westeros, but it just didn't really work all that well for me. I'm excited that she's there, and I'm looking forward to seeing what she'll do the rest of the season, but the actual scene of her arriving didn't do much for me.
The biggest surprise to me in this episode was everything that happened with The Hound. As I recently mentioned in my review for War for the Planet of the Apes, I'm a sucker for a good character arc, and the one that The Hound has been going on recently is absolutely fantastic. Bringing him back to the house where he left that family to die in season four was a fantastic contrast between who he was and who he's become. Roy McCann's performance in this episode was arguably the best of the entire cast in my opinion. The Hound is very quickly becoming one of my favorite characters, and I cannot wait to see what they do with him in the rest of this series.
So what did you think of this season premiere of Game of Thrones? What are you most looking forward to about season 7? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook and Twitter, it really helps! Don't forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and other miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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