Typically, the season premiere is filled with a ton of slow scene setting. Things don’t really start hitting the fan until midway through the season. Dragonstone radically departs from that trend kicking things off with a delicious shot of payback.
Like the North, Arya Stark has a long memory. It wasn’t just Walder Frey who killed her family at the Red Wedding after all. Disguised as Walder, Arya offers the worst toast ever culminating with all the Freys poisoned and dying Hateful Eight style. I nearly swore off the show after the Red Wedding, but this scene was everything.
From Arya’s killer lines of ‘leave one wolf alive and the sheep are never safe’ and ‘Winter came for House Frey,’ this was an epic moment. This revenge took a long time for Arya to carry out, but it was completely worth it with the benefit of hindsight. I kinda feel like I can go home now as I’m not sure if anything else this season will be nearly as satisfying.
And to celebrate her big moment, she even kicked it with Ed Sheeran. Ok, it was Ed making his debut as a King’s Landing guard, but I’m all for hearing that song again provided Cersei isn’t evil enough to make it a Tidal exclusive.
Cersei had a helpful map of Westeros painted on the floor — the better for her to walk over her enemies. She’ll need the map as there’s enemies on every side and pretty much all are directly due to her actions. Jaime is rightfully concerned that this is a war they’ve got little chance of winning. But Cersei never likes being told a thing about the odds and has summoned Euron Greyjoy to King’s Landing.
Euron makes a solid pitch about why they should team up — both have family aligned with Daenerys — but wastes his good will with a proposal. Then for good measure, Euron starts slyly taunting Jaime. Cersei doesn’t trust Euron though and he promises to make good by bringing her something of value. Is there anything more valuable to her at this point than Tyrion’s head? Stay tuned!
Back up North, there’s a mini power struggle brewing. Jon calls for a search of dragon glass to help stave off the white walkers and wants every man, woman and child prepared to fight. Lyanna Mormont ensures everyone else won’t argue with this plan by pledging her support.
If only every female was agreeable. Sansa challenges Jon’s plans to welcome two houses that fought for the Boltons despite previously being Stark banner men. From the initial grumblings, some of the council agree with Sansa’s plans to turn the castles to loyal banner men. In the end, Jon regains their trust even if Sansa seems perturbed.
This leads to a fascinating discussion as Sansa reminds Jon he needs to be smarter than Ned and Robb, who were good people that made stupid decisions. And lost their heads over those dumb moves. Truth. Even if Jon is focused on the white walkers, Cersei will still come after them.
Maybe if Sansa saw what Bran saw — the White Walker army with new additions giants — she’d be more understanding. Bran and Meera make it to The Wall and Eddison welcomes him. Let’s get those ravens out to Winterfell people!
Everyone’s making big discoveries. Beric Dondarrion and his Lord of Lights crew stumble onto an abandoned home. The Hound remembers it he stole silver from its owner and left him and his daughter to die. That’s exactly what happened, but now The Hound actually feels remorse.
With that nagging thing called a conscience slowly forming, The Hound is open to gazing into the fire and sees thousands of walkers. Looks like another group is getting ready for the walker invasion.
Poor Sam’s training at the Citadel is crap…literally. Fortunately his mentor believes his story about the walkers and grants him permission to research ways to stop them. Turns out there’s a helpful mountain at Dragonstone that would help Jon and the North stop the walkers. While on latrine duty, Sam has a panic-inducing encounter with Jorah now stuck in isolation thanks to his greyscale. Wouldn’t he like to know about Dragonstone? Nope, he’s just curious if Daenerys has shown up yet.
No Jorah, Daenerys has arrived at Dragonstone, Stannis Baratheon’s old bachelor pad. As usual, Daenerys doesn’t do much this episode besides doing a lot of posturing and sizing up the place. You might want to scrub down that strategy table there, boss.
Dragonstone was an eventful season premiere setting up what already looks to be an exciting and memorable penultimate season.
Rating: 9 out of 1o
Photo Credit: HBO