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Game of Thrones: Season 7 Episode 1, ‘Dragonstone’ Review

The North certainly remembers. Season 7 is when the side characters morph into their central roles.

The one thing that you can take away from Season 7 of Game of Thrones is that it will be the battle between two of the most powerful Queens that the Kingdom of Westeros has ever seen. Each queen with her own sweet map room. The first episode mostly takes off from all the cliffhangers which were ruthlessly dealt onto all of us at the end of Season 6. It identifies the key players of this season while also highlighting all the other important players who can swing the tide of the battle.

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The season definitely feels rejuvenated as we’re now focusing on background characters from the initial seasons whom we’d never have had considered pivotal. And thanks to the merciless way in which George R. R. Martin rids his key characters from the novel, the TV show does the same. Arya Stark seems to have turned into a stone cold killer, as was envisioned in the books, and we get a taste of her medicine in the very beginning of the episode. And it’s not just us, a lot more people get a taste of her medicine too. Another character whom most of us had wished death upon was Bran Stark, who in the last season seems to have grown into one of the most powerful characters in the series.

Much of the storyline seems to be centred around the Lannister twins, Stark children and Daenerys. The Dorne plot seems to have been completely written off in a rather pitiful manner. We don’t mind that after the awful portrayal of the Sand Snakes in the previous seasons. However, the vacuum of the Dorne storyline will be filled by Euron Greyjoy who’s had a pretty great introduction to the series.

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Up in the north, Jon prepares for the inevitable and we see a bit of friction between him and Sansa, something that Littlefinger seems to have picked up on as well. The White Walkers are heading south and we couldn’t be any happier that the Song of Ice and Fire is heading into its climactic stanzas. In the East, Dany has made landfall at Dragonstone, her birthplace and she soon makes her way into the castle – only to step into the map room before anywhere else with Tyrion, the Hand of the Queen, in follow. What she says next sent a shiver of excitement down our spines, “Shall we begin?”

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Key moments from Game of Thrones, S07E01, ‘Dragonstone’

This is the spoilery part. Be warned and only proceed further if you have watched the Episode and wish to remember a certain moment from the episode.

The north remembers, i.e. Reverse Red Wedding

We start off with a feast set in the halls of Lord Walder Frey who has summoned all the important members of his family. The feast which is the second in under a fortnight seems strangely out of place for a stingy guy like Walder Frey. He raises a toast to his family, the very one that helped him secure Riverrun by killing off his guests i.e. Rob Stark, Talisa Stark, Catelyn Stark, Rob’s bannermen and lords. The tone of Walder Frey’s toast soon hints at a much more sinister reason for why the feast was called. Members of the Frey family soon start dropping like flies and Walder Frey finally pulls off his mask to reveal herself as Arya Stark. She leaves Walder’s wife alive so that she may tell everyone what happened – The North Remembers.

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The Night’s Army advances i.e. here come the White Walkers

We don’t see exactly where they’re headed to other than the obvious fact that they’re moving south. However, the surprising part is that they’ve now got giants as wights. We clearly see Wun Wun, the one who broke the gates underneath Castle Black as one of the giant wights along with two other giants in the periphery.

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Bran has finally reached Castle Black

Set to be one of the most powerful characters in the GoT universe, Bran Stark carried along by Meera Reed finally arrive at Castle Black and are received by Eddison “Ed” Tollett and a bunch of members of the Night’s Watch. Their reluctance to believe in the identities of Bran and Meera are soon put to rest as Bran recants events from Ed’s life that only he knows of.

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Jon Snow the new King of the North

Jon Snow holds a council meeting for all of the lords of the North to discuss preparations for the upcoming war with the White Walkers. He issues diktats to have all men and women mine for Dragon Glass as it happens to be one of the weaknesses of the Night’s Army. Tormund decides to head out to Eastwatch by the Sea, the easternmost castle along The Wall which is the first in the path of the White Walkers. Next in line are the territories of the Umbers and Karstarks who renew their vow to the King of the North.

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Cersei plots to combat threats from all directions

Cersei is seen conversing with Jamie Lannister in the new map room at King’s Landing where she tells him that she has invited Euron Greyjoy to King’s Landing for an alliance against the growing threat from Daenerys Stormborn who is on her way to Westeros with her entire army. She tells Jaime that Tyrion now leads Daenerys’ army which is expected to land at Dragonstone. Jamie reminds her that they don’t have strong allies to go into battle with them. And that Euron is known to betray his word. Euron soon arrives and proposes to Queen Cersei but she rejects him. So in order to win her over, he takes his leave to find her a gift.

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Maester in training, Samwell Tarly

It’s shown that learning to be a maester isn’t all that he imagined it out to be at the Citadel. Samwell is seen doing mundane tasks at the citadel as part of his training, these include cleaning up after the maesters including kitchen duty and poop duty, all while yearning to get to the knowledge in the restricted section at the Citadel library. He requests the Arch Maester for access to the restricted section to learn how to combat the White Walkers. The Arch Maester believes that the White Walkers do exist but that the Wall will be sufficient to take care of them. Samwell then steals keys to the library from a Maester and starts reading several books from the restricted section. One of which leads him to the information that there’s an abundance of Dragon Glass underneath Dragonstone. He sends a Raven to Jon about the same. Later, as he goes about his duty at the citadel, he comes across Jorah Mormont in a cell whose Greyscale infection has grown much worse.

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Arya heads to King’s Landing

Arya is seen riding south towards King’s Landing and she comes across a group of friendly Lannister soldiers who’re listening to one of them singing. It turns out to be Ed Sheeran whose cameo in Game of Thrones has been much talked of. They share a meal and she tells them that she plans on killing the Queen. Everyone laughs while assuming she’s joking. Oh, how wrong they are.

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The Brotherhood Without Banners

Sandor “The Hound” Clegane is seen riding with The Brotherhood Without Banners who decide to take shelter in a deserted home which, ironically, the Hound had victimised back in Season 4. They find that the inhabitants have committed suicide to escape starvation. They’re then seen eating beside a fire when Thoros of Myr asks The Hound to peer into the flames to seek answers that he seeks. The Hound sees a vision about the White Walkers beyond the wall. Sandor seems visibly shaken.

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Dany and her Dragons land at Dragonstone

Dany finally arrives at Dragonstone and she makes her way into the castle where she was born many years back. However, instead of making her way to the throne, she heads straight to the iconic map room accompanied by Tyrion Lannister. She says, “Shall we begin?”

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Mithun Mohandas

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