The penultimate season of Game of Thrones has arrived and I couldn’t help but feel as I was watching this episode, that the end is indeed nigh. After six seasons of treason, betrayal, spilled blood and more, we are edging ever closer to the climax of one of modern televisions most compelling dramas.
The episode opens with a spectacular surprise that I won’t spoil here, just know that it is likely to make you want to cheer at your television screen. From there we get a brief but haunting look at the White Walkers army marching forth in the north. Remember in the first few seasons when they were just myth and legend that we never actually saw that often, well it’s very exciting to now see them manifesting on screen with a chilling prescense (pun was intended), and I can only assume we will see more of them as we progress to the end of the show.
Essentially the main focus of this episode is showcasing the plans of certain key players in the inevitable incoming battle. Jon Snow (Kit Harrington), now King of the North is trying to ensure that the Night’s Watch are trained and ready for the arrival of the White Walkers. There’s a very good moment where Lyanna (Bella Ramsey) declares that she will not sit around whilst others fight for her, it really gives the impression that everyone is aware of what’s to come even if they haven’t seen it with their own two eyes. It also shows that regardless of that, they all want to make sure they are prepared for when that moment comes.
We also get a great scene between Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) as he tries to gain a greater understanding of what Cersei plans to do. Nikolaj does a fine job of showcasing concern and doubt in this scene, whilst threading that into certain events of last season that they are yet to discuss together. Such as the death of their last child, Tommen.
Up until this point the momentum of the episode is steadily increasing with each scene and character reintroduction. That is until we catch up with the Hound (Rory McCan), this is where the pace starts to slow down and that momentum is lost a little. Not too long afterwards, The energy is a restored thanks to a kinetically edited scene with Samwell (John Bradley) in the Citadel’s Library.
As the episode reaches it’s credits, we get a well staged sequence following Daenerys as she arrives at shores of Dragonstone. I felt an empowering sense of destiny during this whole sequence because Dragonstone is in actual fact and old Targaryen stronghold. This is Daenerys’ homecoming and the three words she speaks right before the episode cuts to credits made me feel even more eager to witness the next episode.
Overall, the season seven premiere of Game of Thrones felt like it’s purpose was to remind viewers of the position everyone was in at the end of the last season, whilst also setting in motion the beginning of the end. I’m sure this episode won’t end up on anyone’s favourites list, but with that being said a handful of scenes stood out from the rest as rather memorable.
(3 Stars out of 5)
Game of Thrones; Season Seven, Episode One “Dragonstone”.