Game of Thrones season 7 episode 1 review: Dragonstone & Sam’s surprise


Game of Thrones season 7 episode 1 reviewHow awesome is Arya Stark? HOW AWESOME IS ARYA STARK? After watching her cause chaos in House Frey, we were asking that question many times over.

Early on, Game of Thrones focused on one key theme in its season 7 premiere: Heavy is the head that wears the crown. Jon Snow is now the King of the North, and one of the big issues that he had to deal with was how to handle families and houses who supported Ramsay Bolton.

Despite some opposition here and there from Sansa (and hey look — Lyanna!), Jon decided that he did not want to take land away from any of the other families. It was a difficult discussion, and that’s one that carried over into after court. Sansa was none too pleased with Jon’s attitude, whereas he was angry about her questioning him publicly. Despite the tension here, she still thinks that he’s a good ruler — granted, she only has Joffrey and Ramsay for reference. Hardly great company.

Oh, and here’s another terrible ruler: Cersei. Jon and Sansa got the news that they either had to go and bend the knee in King’s Landing or suffer whatever consequences would come her way. Sansa admitted that she did learn a “great deal” from Cersei, but we wouldn’t quite call her a mentor. Mentors can’t be this heartless and terrible much of the time.

Life in King’s Landing

Jaime was having a hard time adjusting to his new home, and understandably why — his sister/love was now the Queen, and his brother Tyrion was sailing back to the city with Daenerys, advising her as to the right way to move forward. Jaime gave her some accurate information that they would land in Dragonstone, which fittingly is the title for the premiere.

The biggest problem that Cersei and Jaime are having is a rather simple one: Allies, and not having many of them. They were aware of what happened to House Frey, and also precisely what this means in terms of the people that would be threats to them. Jaime and Cersei may not always be likable, but they are very much smart.

Now, enter Euron Greyjoy and his newfound sense of confidence. He arrived in front of the Iron Throne to make his case and to explain precisely what it is that he is fighting for. Also, he wanted to marry Cersei so that they could take over the world together using his ships and her soldiers on the ground. Alas, she wasn’t quite down for that or the massive shade that he was throwing at Jaime’s hand. She didn’t trust him, which is probably smart since there’s no reason to.

Sam’s discovery

Life at the Citadel was not altogether great for Mr. Tarly, who found himself having to engage in some menial tasks that were not up to his intellect. He knew that the White Walkers were out there, and to a certain extent tonight, he was able to be (somewhat) convincing in his efforts to get someone on his side. Will that last? Well, we gotta wait and see on that.

Here’s the good news — beyond what we saw over at the Citadel, he does still have an ally at home in Gilly who firmly believes him and everything he finds. Well, what he found tonight (mind you, in the section that he wasn’t supposed to be in) was incredibly important: A map of Dragonstone. There were secrets there, valuable secrets that Jon would need to know about.

Oh, then things got super-creepy when Sam had a visitor within the walls asking if Daenerys had come yet. What was that all about? Consider that the big shocker of this episode.

Hey look, Littlefinger’s still being creepy

We paid another visit over to the North where we saw the complicated relationship with Baelish and Sansa Stark — she wasn’t really having any of his general nonsense, which included his questioning of she was happy. There wasn’t too much substance here, beyond just signifying where the relationship between the two parties is at present.

Here’s what we didn’t love

Ed Sheeran. We like his singing. We don’t love stunt-casting that takes you out of the world of the show. All we did was see him and think “hey, it’s Ed Sheeran.” The only reason for this scene beyond that revolved around Arya spending some time with some guards near The Twins. This showed effectively that people don’t take her seriously; the issue is that there is only a matter of just 13 episodes to go in the series. That’s not a lot of time.

The Hound in the North

“Do you think you’re fooling anyone with that top knot?” is probably the line of the night as he continued his journey. The relationship between The Hound and Beric is wonderful, largely because of the clear disdain that they have. There was one wonderful moment clear here: The Hound wondering why in the world this is the guy who keeps being brought back. As it turns out, Beric wonders the same exact thing. He trusts in the Lord of Light and then offered to show The Hound something further in the fire.

What did he end up seeing? Well, it ultimately was rather appalling — he got a vision of the White Walkers presumably marching, and the danger that is coming. All of a sudden, he understood more why he ended up making that journey. He also had some sympathy for a certain family from his past with Arya.

Daenerys on the high seas

It took us most of the episode to get to the Mother of Dragons, but in due time she and her dragons fittingly reached Dragonstone and were ready to call it their home. She touched the sand, found herself in a sacred place, and prepared herself for the trials ahead … obviously knowing there would be many. It’s worth noting that she was with Tyrion, Missandei, Grey Worm, and Varys, a man with seemingly a human portal spell.

What director Jeremy Podeswa did here was a true visual feast as we saw her encounter everything from the castle to the throne for the first time. We certainly didn’t mind the writers taking their time here, even if we were a little more frustrated with what they chose to do elsewhere.

Overall Take

Game of Thrones season 7 brought you on Sunday night an episode that was all sorts of excellent — not to mention entertaining. While the ending with Daenerys was a little bit of a quick halt to the episode, “Dragonstone” did set the stage for awesomeness elsewhere. Grade: A-.

Now, your take

What was your favorite moment from the Game of Thrones premiere? Be sure to share in the comments below right now!

To preview more of what is coming up on Game of Thrones next, be sure to visit the link here. (Photo: HBO.)


Want more TV news? Then sign up for the CarterMatt Newsletter!