Winter has arrived and along with it comes the first of a new series of episodic reviews. Pull up a throne.
Written By: Graeme Baldock
So after what seems like an eternal wait it’s returned….Winter is here.
I have to admit that I’ve not been this excited over a series for a long time, season 6 left us with so many questions and my want for answers did nothing but enhance my want for this season, so after a 5:30 am start to watch episode 1 before work. I’m now sat writing this summary/review of it.
So this episode starts unlike any other with a pre titles scene, a scene where apparently Walder Frey is hosting a feast for his most loyal house members to “thank” them for their part in the slaughter of the Starks at the Red Wedding. Initially confused and thinking that this must have been prequel to Walder’s murder by Arya…his speech then starts taking a sinister tone and the realisation hits…this isn’t Walder at all….this is Arya masked as Walder…instant elation and joy. Arya then watches as the Freys start choking on poison, leaving the hall with a harrowing message to be passed to the surviving Frey house members……….roll the titles…..
The next thing we see is he white walkers marching through the snow behind the Night King, as part of this army we see Knights watch, Wildlings (one of which looks uncannily like Ygritte) and Giants! We focus in on one of the Giants eyes to see he’s been Greensighted by Bran Stark which leads us to Bran’s arrival at the wall. We see Jon Snow hosting a meeting between loyal houses, wildlings and knights watch. Jon’s request for the Umbers and Karstark’s loyalty after their previous deceit in Battle of the Bastards, this is met with much, understandable, dispute and leads to the following scene where we see, what’s probably going to be one of the biggest stories through the season, a power struggle between Jon and Sansa….and whilst initially it seems like it is going to be a heated debate, Sansa soon seems relinquish to Jon and become supportive of him. This is going to be an interesting storyline as the season goes on and I imagine that power will swing back and forth on this one. Sansa also declares to Brianne, that she knows exactly what Littlefinger is after and does so in a way that suggests, should the Starks REALLY need it….she’ll go there!!
Later in the episode we see Arya come across a group of singing soldiers on her travels, one of which is Ed Sheeran. An expected Cameo and he does not look out of place. Arya then takes up the soldiers offer of food and engages in a conversation about her intentions, declaring that she’s “heading to Kings Landing to kill the Queen”….answering the question from last season as to where she’s heading….she’s only off to kill Cersei!
Not much of them in this episode, we do however see a giant map being painted ono the floor with Cersei overseeing the painting. Jamie then joins her and a heated discussion arises over what direction they should focus their attempts to rule the 7 kingdoms. Cersei proclaims that she rules the 7 kingdoms only to be shot down by Jamie saying she rules 3 at best. The almost bitchy argument ends with what seems to be an agreement to attack Olenna Tyrell, an understandable attack from her considering the past “tensions” between the houses. We also see her send a raven to Winterfell to demand Starks fealty and promises destruction should they refuse.
Cersei then unveils a secret plan where we see Euron Greyjoy and his Iron Fleet arrive in Kings landing promising support from the fleet in return for marriage, a proposal that Cersei sharp knocks down. Undeterred, Euron promises to return to King’s Landing wih a priceless gift.
In this episode we also see a lot of Samwell and his training to be a master, it starts with a somewhat humorous video mix of him completing his jobs in the Citadel, from dishing out food to cleaning bed pans. We also see Sam putting books back in the library, and him focusing on books in a restricted area, Sam then steals the key on his night rounds and accesses this area, Sam then discovers, in the book, the location of Dragonglass and its at Dragonstone. This is where the final scene plays out….
Daenerys and Tyrion arrive at Dragonstone with her massed army. This scene shows Danys emotion of returning home and the sheer scale and grandeur of Dragonstone. Dany is seen walking towards the throne but then we cut to her and Tyrion looking over a map of Westeros and proclaiming “Shall we begin”
This episode starts with an awesome pre-title scene, sets up as a great starting block for the rest of the season and immediately draws us back into all the story lines. It feels that this episode is a meaty teaser to the rest of the season. It leaves you wanting more instantly and sets up the journeys of the characters for the forthcoming series. Whilst this episode will never be classed as one of the greatest of the programme, for me it’s a perfect start to the season…introduces most of the characters back to you…teases you with excitement and open ended scenes that leave you wanting next week’s episode already. Hey only 7 days!!!!!