Game of Thrones is back! And with it comes our weekly recap columns every Monday morning. As well as our immediate live reaction shows on Periscope and Facebook Live.
Here was last night’s reaction show to episode one of season seven if you missed it.
Game of Thrones reaction show. https://t.co/QbzbCTypNF
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) July 17, 2017
Season Six culminated in a Battle of the Bastards between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton, now it looks like season 7 is gonna be a Battle of the Bitches between Daenerys and Cersei. (This could also very well extend into season 8 since this year is only seven episodes.)
I can’t wait for that to happen.
But with that in mind, here we go.
1. Arya as Walder Frey was the best opening of a season I can remember, the sporting equivalent of an opening kickoff being returned for a touchdown in a huge football game.
Just positively fantastic, a reverse Red Wedding.
My only quibble with this opening scene was the montage that played beforehand — would it have been better if you had been sitting there thinking, “Wait a minute, I thought Walder Frey was dead, is this a flashback scene?”
Because the moment they showed Arya killing him I knew it was Arya pretending to be Walder Frey in the opening scene, and I knew she was poisoning everyone, and so I didn’t get that pop of excitement when the grand reveal happened. So I wish they hadn’t shown the past season’s montages.
As is, “Leave one wolf alive and the sheep are never safe,” and “When people ask you what happened here, tell them the North remembers. Tell them winter came for House Frey,” were absolutely incredible lines.
So great, in fact, that I’m almost willing to overlook the fact it took innumerable hours of Arya training to become a many-faced person to make this scene payoff happen.
Now I’ve got an interesting idea for you — will Arya try to kill Queen Cersei dressed up as Ned Stark? Or could she begin to torment Cersei this season by pretending to be figures from Cersei’s past — her dead children, those she blew up in the Sept, it’s just a fascinating question to think about who Arya will inhabit next.
2. How about the transition to GIANT WHITE WALKERS?!
Honest question, are there any Game of Thrones nerds who jerked off to this scene of the giant white walkers? There’s got to be some nerd who did this somewhere in the world, right? Just hitting replay over and over again, treating his body like an amusement park while he looked at giant white walkers.
Also, Hodor is a white walker now, right? When will we get to see Hodor as a white walker? And who will he wreck?
3. Meera Reed and Bran Stark reach the wall.
One of the most intriguing theories out there is that Meera Reed and Jon Snow are twins, born of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, which would mean both of them would have fire and ice in their blood.
But is this too much Luke and Leia to actually happen?
Otherwise I really don’t see why Meera Reed exists in this story. What reason do we have for her? So far not much of one. There has to be a connection between her father being with Ned when they killed Rhaegar and found Lyanna Stark dying. Could each of them have gotten a body and could she be Jon’s sister?
4. Jon Snow and Sansa debate how to handle disloyal northern soldiers.
Ultimately Jon allows the young children of traitors to pledge loyalty to him and then asks Sansa not to defy him publicly.
Here’s an interesting question for you — if Jon Snow/Stark finds out from Bran that he’s not actually Ned’s bastard son — as seems likely at some point this season — wouldn’t Sansa become the Queen of the North then? Because then Jon’s claim on the Winterfell throne would be based on his descent from Lyanna, right? Which would mean that Ned’s oldest child should be the natural heir. And Ned’s oldest living child, given the fact that Rob Stark is dead is Sansa.
That’s just something to keep in mind as early conflict seems to be emerging between Sansa and Jon. Especially with Little Finger out there scheming for something. Potentially Sansa’s hand in marriage which could unite him as leader of both the Aerie and Winterfell, providing a strong claim for the Iron Throne as well.
Here’s the other question, does Little Finger know who Jon’s actual parents are? And could he be waiting for this reveal to happen?
Speaking of a strong claim on the Iron Throne, how about Tormund and Lady Brienne potentially having a torrid love affair? That kid they’d produce would be a walking PED. Just unfair to everyone else in the kingdom.
Also, how about Lyanna Mormont? Out here living that #dbap lifestyle as a 10 year old girl.
5. Queen Cersei is shown for the first time standing on a map — a scene that will be mirrored with Daenerys later in the show.
Cersei has demanded loyalty from the north and is intent on uniting her kingdom.
Jaime questions why she cares about conquering anyone: “Our children are dead, we’re the last of us,” he says.
Here’s a prediction for you, Cersei now childless embarks on a reign of terror that has many calling her the Mad Queen. At some point in time Jaime will be called upon to reenact his role of Kingslayer — Queenslayer this time — and will be forced to either kill or try to kill Queen Cersei to protect the kingdom. My bet right now is Jaime fails at this attempted assassination and that season seven ends with Jaime, the last person keeping Cersei human, dying at the hands of the Mountain.
That or Arya accidentally kills Jaime as he gives up his life to protect Cersei.
Essentially, I am betting pretty strongly that Jaime doesn’t survive season seven.
6. Euron Greyjoy arrives with his ships and promises a gift for Cersei to prove he’s worthy of her hand in marriage.
As part of that meeting he drops this incredible line, “So here I am with a thousand ships and two good hands,” which is absolute shot at Jaime, who killed tons of Greyjoys in years past.
What’s the gift that Euron is going to provide Cersei?
His gift has to be Tyrion, right?
7. Samwell has a shit job, literally, in the library.
He’s there at Jon Snow’s behest trying to find a solution for how to combat the white walkers.
By the way, did you see the partial nudity tag at the beginning of the show? Because I did. Do you know what the partial nudity was? A dead dude’s penis during at autopsy.
Talk about a downer.
The maester has a great line during the autopsy, “We are this world’s memories,” as he discusses Samwell’s comments about the coming white walkers. And it’s pretty amazing to think about a time like this, when information was so tenuously stored in a building — remember the great fire in the Alexandria, Egypt library and the learning it wiped out.
The maester also refuses to believe the white walkers will get past the wall, “And every winter whatever came has ended…the wall has stood through it all.”
Samwell steals the keys to the protected book area and begins his research, where he discovers that Stannis Baratheon’s old castle, Dragonstone, which used to be the Targaryen castle before Stannis, rests up on a mountain of dragon glass.
Bang, Samwell! making plays.
8. Ed Sheeran is singing soldier on GOT?!
This is just Game of Thrones pulling its dick out and twirling it around like a helicopter. The show is so damn good now that they can just toss pop singers into a medieval kingdom and you can’t do anything about it.
But why do we need this scene at all?
It’s as if George R.R. Martin’s wife said she’d only sleep with him if he put Ed Sheeran in the show as a singing soldier. Otherwise, what do we gain here? Why does Arya need an awkward encounter with soldiers? Just so she can say she’s heading to King’s Landing to kill the queen and everyone can laugh?
Not much payoff here.
Hopefully Arya is going to kill all these soldiers next episode and not get involved in some sort of awkward romantic relationship with the ugly soldier who made the blackberry wine.
9. The Hound is such a badass.
He consistently has the best lines on the show now. Among them, “I’ll tell you who doesn’t scare me, bald cocksuckers like you.” And “There’s no divine justice, you cunt, if there was you’d be dead.”
We return to the cottage where the man and the little girl that the Hound robbed in season four have now died — it appears the man killed his daughter as they both starved — confirming the prediction he made then, “They’ll both be dead come winter. Dead men don’t need silver.”
The Hound is now the moral center of the show and we see him burying the man and his daughter, repaying the debt he now feels to them.
Meanwhile, the Hound, who was horribly disfigured by being pushed into the fire by his brother The Mountain, is now staring into the fire and seeing visions. He sees the white walkers advancing over the wall.
10. Jorah is in prison at the library.
Why is he in prison? The best guess is he went there to try and find a cure for his greyscale.
Jorah asks if Daenerys has yet arrived in the seven kingdoms and many of you thought he appears to touch Samwell. But it appears Samwell is safe from the greyscale because Jorah and Samwell only pass a bowl, their skin never touches.
11. Daenerys arrives to take over Dragonstone castle.
When her ships reach shore she leans over and puts her hand into the sand. At long last she has returned to the place of her birth.
Then she enters the absent castle — remember Stannis took everyone in the kingdom with him, including the daughter he burned at the stake, convinced by what he saw in the fire that he would sit on the Iron Throne — and stops in the map room.
Bingo, it’s a battle of the bitches, a perfect mirroring for season seven, Daenerys vs. Queen Cersei with the Iron Throne as the prize.
If you enjoy the Outkick “Game of Thrones” columns, you can now search our archive and read reviews of every episode from seasons four, five, six and now seven. Just go the archives here if you want to catch up.