Fans waited for over a year.
Excitement churned in each viewer like electricity in a generator. Game of Thrones season 7 opened last night with “Dragonstone”. It didn’t disappoint.
To say “Dragonstone” was superb would be an understatement.
The episode climbed up to my expectations and then soared above them like it was one of Daenery’s dragons. It contained just about every feature that fans love so much about the series: gratuitous violence, humor, beautiful scenery, eloquent lines, and excellent story telling.
I was a bit worried I was watching an old episode when I saw Walder Frey on the screen. I soon learned it was Arya in disguise, reaping sweet revenge. She listed out the Freys’ terrible deeds and watched intently as each one choked, gagged, and spewed up blood. Her face betrayed no fear or regret. Cold and resolute, she poisoned every Frey that held any kind of meaningful position in the House. Arya displayed a deadly calm demeanor as she delivered a memorable line to the few serving girls she allowed to live. She stated, “Tell them winter came for House Frey.”
The fact that Arya allowed the serving girls to live breathes hope into the character.
It reveals that although she’s angry, violent, and consumed with revenge, she still has her humanity. Arya exemplifies the kind of protagonist George R.R. Martin strives to create. She’s a controversial hero: one who makes questionable decisions but is still ultimately on the side of good.
Humor was evident in Sam’s frequent gagging as he cleaned the chamber pots at the Citadel and Arya’s scene with the Lannister red cloaks. When asked why she’s heading to King’s Landing, she replies with a stone face, “I’m going to kill the queen.” The guardsmen, amused by the thought of this “innocent little girl” trying to kill anyone, burst out laughing. They have no idea who they’re dealing with.
He made a cameo appearance as one of the red cloaks. Called “Hands of Gold,” his woeful tune (sung with his fellow soldiers) drew Arya away from the main road: https://youtu.be/kugKIUfrOFw. She stated, “It’s a pretty song” to which Ed replied, “It’s a new one.” This was a genius move by HBO. Ed will likely attract even more fans to Game of Thrones. His fans will tune in just to see his performance but will hopefully stay after witnessing the cinematic masterpiece that Game of Thrones is.
But this scene holds deeper meaning besides Ed’s introduction.
It contains a major theme of Game of Thrones: the truth about war. Through war- time propaganda, governments instill an “us against them” mentality. They try to paint the other side as wholly evil, completely unredeemable, and deserving of slaughter. Game of Thrones portrays how there are multiple ways of looking at every conflict. It shows that no side in a war is entirely wrong or completely evil. Game of Thrones reveals the truth about war: no matter who wins, good people die on both sides of the conflict. War doesn’t care if you’re good or bad. It doesn’t care if you’re a man, woman, child, or animal. Like a rabid, ravenous beast, it indiscriminately strips life away.
Specifically, the scene with Ed shows Arya and the viewers that not all Lannisters are bad.
Ed and his fellow soldiers portray opposite qualities from the ones viewers associate with Lannisters (greed, selfishness, arrogance, avarice, and a lust for power). Sheeran’s song is about putting love above money. His fellow soldiers are generous, selfless, and humble. Indeed, Arya was surprised when one of them offered her food. When Arya told him they don’t have enough to share, he responded like the stereotypical country boy. He said, “Well my mother always taught me to be kind to strangers, so strangers will be kind to you.”
A Game of Thrones’ excellent story- telling is seen with the Hound. Sandor Clegane’s story is a fascinating one, and in this episode he returns to the home of the people who gave him shelter and food. He’s accompanied by Beric Dondarrion and the Brotherhood. They find the skeletal remains of father and child in the corner of the room. Clegane’s memorable line relates to the injustices of war time. He said to Dondarrion, the man who the Lord of Light keeps bringing back to life: “There is no justice. Otherwise, you’d be dead and that girl would be alive.”
My only complaint with this episode is the lack of combat. The exciting, artistic battles are some of my favorite scenes in Game of Thrones. I understand why this wasn’t present though. The main purpose of this episode was to show what each of the main characters are up to and to build up hype for the season. Additionally, HBO knows that reducing the number of battles makes each individual one more exciting. Also, if there was combat in every episode, Game of Thrones would lose the life- like quality it has. It would lose much of its similarity to the Medieval Times (battles didn’t happen every day in the Medieval Times, even in war time).
“Dragonstone” was an all- around great episode. I enjoyed seeing the White Walkers’ chilling scene: marching through a blinding sheet of ice with giants taking up their rear. I liked watching Circe and Jaime plot for their future and Euron Greyjoy fight for Circe’s hand in marriage. Lastly, I was thrilled to see Daenerys, Tyrion, Grey Worm, and Missandei march up the steps of Dragonstone.
Their surroundings are as impressive as Daenerys herself.
The grandeur mountain, the dangerous cliffs, the imposing statues, and the stunning ocean views parallel the power, danger, and beauty that the mother of dragons carries with her. The setting is a perfect match for the ambitiousness of her mission. Her line at the end of the show is perfect: “Shall we begin?” She’s not just talking about the start of her planning session with Tyrion. This short, suave line is a reference to the long-awaited beginning of one of the most talked about shows in the world.
If you’re not currently a fan, you need to give it a try! Game of Thrones is more than popular. It’s a pandemic. People in countries all around the world tune in every Sunday night to see their favorite fantastical characters. And for good reason. Game of Thrones has some of the best acting of any show on television, and the production value is so large, each episode is like a movie.
I wrote about how Game of Thrones is not just a fantasy show/book in a previous article. I wrote about how it’s for everyone. If you need more convincing or just want another entertaining read about Game of Thrones, click the following link: http://www.luxelifeatl.com/game-thrones-review-analysis/