'Game of Thrones' Season 7 Premiere: 'Shall We Begin?'

“Pinot Noir!/Lann-is-star!/Have-I per-haps left too-far?”: Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) takes a sip or twelve of booze in a premiere part of Game of Thrones’ seventh season.

Helen Sloane/HBO


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Helen Sloane/HBO

“Pinot Noir!/Lann-is-star!/Have-I per-haps left too-far?”: Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) takes a sip or twelve of booze in a premiere part of Game of Thrones’ seventh season.

Helen Sloane/HBO

We’ll be recapping Season 7 of HBO’s Game of Thrones here on Monkey See. We’ll try to spin them around overnight, so demeanour for them initial thing on Mondays. And of course: Spoilers abound

After a deck-clearing, barn-burner (Sept-burner, technically) of a deteriorate culmination like “The Winds of Winter” — a soaring feat by any metric, not slightest of which, we know: physique count — you’d be forgiven for awaiting a deteriorate premiere that would regard itself with fixation Game of Thrones‘ scattered, wildfire-singed gamepieces behind on a board, methodically and meticulously.

And yet: Things are evidently speeding up, right? This seventh deteriorate is an shortened one — 7 episodes, not a common 10 — and we’ve got usually a sum of thirteen episodes to go. Granted, some of those after episodes will reportedly time in with runtimes that’ll seem definitely Apatowian, though a indicate is: Now is not a time for shilly-shallying.

No, now is a time for tract threads to tighten, for a uncover to speed uncontrolled toward a ruinous conclusion. The fun, world-buildy elements will fundamentally tumble divided as a array picks adult speed in a homestretch, and we’ll learn what a show’s unequivocally about.

Because Game of Thrones has a large preference to make. It prides itself on a nuanced, implicitly gray worldview, where people make tough choices not since they are Good or Evil, though since they are tellurian and flawed, and a conditions they face direct such choices. The battles for order of a Seven Kingdoms are fought between weak, opportunistic people essay to stay alive. There have been dishonourable villains, surely, though a story of Game of Thrones so distant has been that tellurian cruelty can arise in a many startling places, from even a purest intentions. That layered bargain of tellurian frailty is what creates it all so satisfyingly complex, and thoughtful, and resonant.

But afterwards we got them ice-zombies.

The Night King and his army of a passed are not complex, courteous or resonant. They’re Ultimate Evil, and they’re coming. Has a uncover spent 6 seasons removing us invested in a doubt of usually whose boundary will finish adult perched on a Iron Throne, usually to toss it all aside for a final Tolkienesque showdown between a Good People and a Evil Not-People? Will everybody usually put aside their differences to quarrel a Undead Ice Monsters and afterwards call it a day?

Strap in. We’re about to find out.

Mission: Unpotable

First up: A cold open. That … circles behind to business we suspicion resolved final season. At The Twins, Walder Frey gathers all a group of House Frey for a feast. For a impulse we think: Flashback? But afterwards we remember that Arya Stark still has her sorcery Mission: Impossible masks (and sorcery shoe lifts, evidently, and sorcery shoulder pads, and sorcery aged male hands).

Arya does a passingly good Walder. She’s got a humorless chuckle, a leering sneer. The drinks are served — “the excellent Arbor Gold” — that boasts flirty, herbaceous records of weed and immature apple with a slow finish of poison. Arya goes off-script as she reminds them that they slaughtered a Starks during a Red Wedding, though by that indicate a crowd’s too dreaming by their organs’ liquefaction to notice.

“Tell them winter came for House Frey,” Arya tells a dumbfounded server, before walking towards a camera, divided from a stage of slaughter, and vouchsafing a slight grin play on her lips usually during a final moment. Which is to Game of Thrones what “What we talkin’ bout, Willis?” was to Diff’rent Strokes.

Intro Map! Kings Landing! Dragonstone! The Twins! Winterfell! The Wall! Oldtown! No disorienting wizz opposite a Narrow Sea! Probably ever again! Let that sink in!

Raising Bran

Bran has a prophesy of a approaching society of immorality unkillable ice-zombies, that now count some ice-zombie-giants among their number. The Night’s Watch extend him entrance into a hovel subsequent a Wall, on comment of he’s got a cold new sled and he tells people who they are, and what they already know.

Cut to: Jon Snow addressing a throng during Winterfell, flitting on information they can use about dragonglass (finally!) and a need for everybody to prepare. (No reunion with Bran, definitely yet.) Li’l Lyanna Mormont gets another event to arrangement her unqualified badassery, and there’s a initial pointer of what will certainly turn a flourishing difference between Jon and Sansa, who unequivocally publicly disagrees with Jon’s uncover of forgiveness toward dual Houses who did not behind him opposite a Boltons.

We will see some-more of this, we suspect: Characters who can't let go of their mania with a old, internecine struggles of a Seven Kingdoms pitted opposite characters who are instead oriented toward a future, and a fight with Ultimate Icy Evil. Sansa shows herself to be rapt with aged grudges – that will make her a unequivocally renouned figure in a North— and Jon has his eyes on a icy future.

“We still have a Wall between us and a Night King!” says Sansa. Put a pin in that; it’ll turn critical later.

Mapper’s Delight

In Kings Landing, Cersei had consecrated a fanciful map room, a improved for her to travel opposite a extent of Westeros like a boozy giant. Jaime visits, and they conveniently exposit their position: hemmed in from all sides. From a East: Daenerys and her armada are on a way. From a South and West: Dorne and Highgarden have assimilated her. From a North: Ned Stark’s bastard. From a North-Northwest: a city of Otisburg is yeah no never mind, fun for 6 people.

Jaime brings adult Tommen, that sends Cersei reaching — clutching, unequivocally — for a merlot. He insists that they need allies if they’re to survive.

Cut to: Euron Greyjoy’s ships sailing into Blackwater Bay.

Euron stands before a Iron Throne, looking like he’s stopped by a Flea Bottom Hot Topic on his approach in. (Seriously: Leather pants on a seafarer? Do a Ironborn not chafe?) Euron’s being set adult as this season’s Boltonesque villain, and it shows: Dude doesn’t definitely whirl that mustache of his, though he comes close. we am strictly not picking adult what this man is putting down. He proposes to Cersei, she refuses, and he vows to lapse with “a gift, a precious gift.” (Tyrion in chains, is my guess.)

Maester Maester

At a Citadel, bad Sam is saddled with a exhausting duties of being a Maester-in-training, that engage a percussive montage of poop, urine and soup. It’s a digestive-tract “Cell Block Tango” basically. We accommodate a Arch-Maester, played by a good and good Jim Broadbent, who seems cold and detached and ideally sensible, though is not about to let Sam into a … RESTRICTED AREA OF THE LIBRARY. But during slightest he believes Sam’s story of White Walkers, by trait of his cold indifference and sensibility. Which is something, though not most of it.

The Arch-Maester delivers a nifty small debate that affirms his sanguinary worldview: Everyone always thinks a universe is ending, though it never does. Here’s a critical bit: “The Wall has stood by it all.”

That’s it: Call your bookie. Put your income down on a The Wall exploding to a belligerent someday this season. we contend part seven.

Of course, Sam breaks into a RESTRICTED AREA OF THE LIBRARY and sneaks out a integrate books. (In an progressing season, all of this library business would have taken 3 to 4 episodes. You know it would.)

At Castle Black, a Tormund-Brienne whatever-it-is inches forward, as Sansa shuts down Littlefinger’s wheedling in a approach that feels deeply satisfying.

Arya meets adult with a rope of soldiers — including, yes, let’s usually pierce past this, Ed Sheeran, since a universe is a treacherous and off-putting place — who offer her food and review and Sheeran-singing. The point, we think: These are good kids who are usually doing a job, that competence start to deteriorate a edges of Arya’s calcified, vengeance-driven worldview.

Hounds of Love

The emancipation arc of The Hound continues apace, as we revisit a plcae from a deteriorate 4 part “Breaker of Chains,” in that Sandor stole china from a pleasantly rancher and his daughter. There follows a philosophical contention between Sandor, Beric Dondarrion, and Thoros of Myr, that ends with Sandor staring into a abandon and carrying a prophesy of a Night King’s army. And determining to bury a skeleton of a rancher and his daughter, since he’s now a kind of man who does things like that. (Did that sound glib? Because this was a nice, underplayed moment, and I’m blissful that they’re anticipating time for pristine characterization even as we’re barreling towards a end.)

Back in Oldtown, poring over his plundered library books, Sam creates a discovery: a towering of dragonglass subsequent a belligerent during Dragonstone. The subsequent day, he creates another discovery: Jorah Mormont, with an modernized box of greyscale, grieving in a cell.

Dragonstone. Daenerys and her armada arrive on a shore, and a Mother of Dragons deduction to denote an wholly new eldritch power: a ability to travel opposite soppy silt in a corpulent heel.

She earnings to her ancestral home as a measure swells and a camera zooms. They travel into a Targaryen bench room — a cramped place of cold shadows definitely distinct a sun-blasted plains we’ve come to brand with her — and a map room where so many of Stannis Baratheon’s cursed skeleton were hatched.

“Shall we begin?” she asks. But it’s not a question.

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