FULL SPOILER REVIEW AHEAD
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A GAME OF THRONES, SEASON 7, EPISODE 1: DRAGONSTONE–> SOON
After lots of set back and a little bit of procrastination, here I finally am with my review for Game of Thrones, season 6’s 10th episode. Some people have complained that the seasons have been getting shorter and shorter, but I cannot praise this change hard enough. I cannot wait to see what season 7 and it’s 7-6 episodes, and season 8, will be like.
The finale starts with a particularly cinematographic and quiet start. Today is the day of judgement for Loras Tyrell and Cersei Lannister. We watch as Tommen, Margery, Cersei and the high sparrow get dressed, all in their own different ways, some in simple fashion and the other with some absolutely beautiful and impressive clothes and jewellery. The music that played during these scenes are absolutely wonderful, and I rewatched those scenes more than once because of it. Tommen is dressed but decides to skip the first half of the trial: Loras’s judgement, perhaps for his honest love for Margaery and not wanting to see her in pain, I found that saddening but sweet. Maester Pycelle gets ready to go judge Loras’s homosexuality and Cersei’s incest and “depravity” but not before saying bye to his prostitute of the night. On his way there, a child tells him that he is needed somewhere. Lora’s trial doesn’t happen since he decides to confess to everything, Renly, his “depravity”, and then promises the high sparrow to devote his life to the faith. They both agree to what this would entail, renouncing all that makes him a Tyrell, all that would be his, Mace isn’t down with this, but Margaery, who also isn’t down, stops him because it has gone too far and all that she has left to do is to continue playing the game. It hurts, but it’s true. Her cleverness knows no end.
Loras’s forehead is carved because reasons. Tommen finally decides that he probably should be present for his mother’s trial but is stopped by Gregor, meanwhile, Cersei finished getting dressed and is having a drink. I wish I was having a drink. Cersei looks absolutely amazing. It turns out that Varys’s former little birds are hard at work. Lancel is set to get Cersei but he notices a suspicious child and decides to follow him (because reasons) which leads him to get stabbed, while Pycelle receives a similar treatment. Part of me really enjoyed watching little children kill Lancel the king of bummers and Pycelle who simply is way too gross to exist. Margaery, the queen of cleverness is the only one who begins to notice that something is very wrong, and she tells the high sparrow that they need to go, but he ignores her warning. Under the Sept lays a large amount of cached wildfire, and candles have been placed above the liquid, as a wounded Lancel approaches the candles a cherry is placed on top of the cake that is this magnificent scene. The piano is chilling, the music is chilling, Margaery’s face as she understands, and Cersei’s own face as she stares at the Sept are both absolutely magnificent.
The wildfire is lit, the Sept burns, and everyone in it dies. Margery, Loras, Lancel, the high sparrow, Mace etc. Cersei and Tommen watch as the green fire burns. Cersei’s badassery doesn’t end there as she goes to pay a visit to Septa Unella. She gives her some of her own medicine, explaining that she knows that she starved and hit Cersei, not for faith, but because she liked it. Cersei confesses her actions once again, but in her own way, which she points out when she says “Confessing feels good under the right circumstances” I smiled, for once in a long time, I am enjoying Cersei. Unella thinks that Cersei is here to kill her, but instead, Cersei calls Gregor in.
For a moment there I felt incredibly uncomfortable, I began expecting a rape scene (and I’m not the only one who felt that way) and started to take notes and make assumptions in consequences, but as the scene continues Gregor seems to be hurting Unella’s top half. Cersei walks out and yells “shame” over and over, and I was relieved that Unella’s screams aren’t those of a raped woman. Tommen is delivered the news of Margery’s death, the camera stays on the cloud of smoke that is where the Sept used to be and remains there, as Tommen removes his crown and throws himself from the widow. This also was spoiled to me by the internet, but I found this scene so..well made and somewhat beautiful. (This also completely fulfills Cersei’s prophecy) I am saddened that Margaery story ends here as I had high hopes for her character, I will miss her. I am now committed to this episode.
At the Twins, Walder Frey is celebrating his “victory” and control of Riverrun as Jaime looks absolutely bored. When the celebrations start, Walder approaches Jaime and continues to express his amusement and tries to chill with Jaime, which doesn’t work. Walder mocks the Tullys and the Starks, wondering where these two families are. Jaime reminds Walder that people fear the Lannisters, not the Frey, which isn’t entirely true but sure, whatever helps you sleep at night.
Back in King’s Landing, Cersei asks Qyburn to show her Tommen’s body. Cersei remains emotionless and cold, and she tells Qyburn to burn Tommen’s body and place him with his brother, sister, and Tywin’s body.
Sam and Gilly finally arrive in Oldtown and it is so beautiful I did shed a single tear.
Sam explains to the main at the Citadel that he brings a letter from Jon Snow, the current Lord Commander, and that he is here to be the new Maester, but according to their records Jeor Mormont is lord commander. Sam tells him of Jeor Mormont and Aemon’s deaths to which the man replies that that is irregular. “Life is irregular”, Sam says, and at 4am, in the middle of the night, I burst in laughter and probably woke my neighbors. Sam is told that he can see the library, which excites him (and me) until Gilly is told by the man that children and women aren’t allowed. The patriarchy is a fucking bummer, you guys. The library is absolutely splendid, Sam almost cries while I’m in full bawling mode. I wish I could go to such a library, live there for weeks and feed my mind with history, myths and more.
In Winterfell, Jon is reminiscing. He tells Melisandre of the feats his family would have, and how he would have to sit far away. Melisandre tells him that at least he has a family, at least he had feasts. For a second there I felt empathy for her, but then Davos came in and threw Shireen’s wooden stag in her hands. Davos exposes Melisandre’s actions, forcing her to confess having murdering Shireen to Jon. She attempts to excuse her actions with her “I do what the lord of light wants” bullshit but Davos is heartbroken, furious, and done with her shit. His line “If he commands you to burn children, then your lord is evil” echoed with me. Melisandre attempts to explain that she didn’t lie about Davos and was simply wrong, but her wrong assumptions caused many deaths and for the burning of an innocent child, which resulted in nothing. Davos asks that Melisandre be executed, but instead, Jon banishes her from the north. Melisandre’s sad face is still the prettiest of them all as she rides away from Winterfell.
As Jon watches Melisandre leave, Sansa joins him. Jon tells her that she will be taking their parent’s room, she protests, he protests back, saying that he isn’t a Stark, Sansa says that he is a Stark to her. It’s cute, I enjoy it, but the tension that results from Sansa’s omission to tell Jon about Littlefinger and the Knights of the Veil weigh heavily between them.
Sansa apologizes, Jon tells her that they cannot afford not to trust one another, that they have too many enemies. Sansa says that only a fool would trust Littlefinger, and while I agree with her, everything seems to be pointing to her currently trusting Littlefinger, even if just a little bit, so her statement falls flat. Sansa tells Jon that a raven came from the Citadel, a white raven, and that winter is here. At first I cringe a little bit at Sansa’s line I’ll be honest. I saw it coming from miles away and it didn’t feel as right as it could have felt, but her words are redeemed by Jon’s smile and response, reminiscing once again of his parents, and their father words. It’s sweet, and I’m starting to like Jon. (I know, oh my god, who would have thought I’d ever say that!)
Meanwhile, the Dorne storyline might not be entirely ruined after all because Olenna is there and she is absolutely everything and much more. She is having a meeting with Ellaria and the wannabe Sand Snakes (it’s so shameful it makes me angry).
The girls are trying to beat Olenna at cleverness and one liners, it’s not working. Olenna, who I noticed is wearing black so she must be aware of the burning of the Sept and the death of her grandchildren, wants revenge. Ellaria wants the same, and there comes Varys with his “fire and blood” own one liner. I guess Varys didn’t have any problems finding some friends for Daenerys, I guess the mad king didn’t leave that much of a bitter taste in people’s mouth.
In Meereen the ships are getting ready to sail and Daenerys wants to break up with her fuck buddy Daario aka Jaime 2.0. Daenerys explains that she most likely will have to marry someone in Westeros and can’t or rather shouldn’t bring a lover with her, and although Daario confesses his love for her and insists that he wants to be where she is whatever the situation may be, Daenerys has made up her mind. Daario will then remain in Meereen until the people choose their new leader.
To be frank I am incredibly happy to see this romance end. The first Daario was a complete fail to me, a terrible departure from the book Daario we know and love, and his replacement wasn’t any better considering that what made Daario Daario, his inappropriate behaviour, his flirty ways and his culture were completely removed and replaced by a second Jaime. Dany goes to talk to Tyrion who asks her if she is scared, Dany says yes, but also says that the thing that scares her the most is that she said goodbye to a man that loves her and she felt nothing. I did sit there for a second wondering: really? THAT’s the thing that scares you the most? That some dude you that originally approached you because he wanted to fuck you, that you did end up fucking, fell in love with you and you didn’t reciprocate? That’s it? Nothing else? You’ve got some weird sense of priorities, Daenarys Stormborn.
Tyrion gives Dany some pretty good advice, although the focus on Daario and their luv feels profoundly silly considering that they are about to sail to Westeros to start a war. Daenerys like Tyrion’s advice and names him the hand of the queen. Cool/ Let’s move on now, please.
Back the Twins Walder Frey is finishing his party alone with some wine and pie. The girl who eyed Jaime earlier approaches him to serve him a second portion while he whines about his sons not being there. In a cool twist (that is inspired by the books) it turns out that his sons have been killed and cooked into pies, and that the girl is actually Arya wearing some other girl’s face. I found it amusing to think of the multiple things that don’t make sense to me: the lack of explaining how it is that Arya healed so quickly, and how she got to Westeros AND to the Twins so fast, but also the impressive commitment she must’ve had to kill Walder Frey’s sons, cut them into pieces and cook pies with their flesh in it. 10 points for commitment & hard work. Arya let’s Walder Frey know that a Stark will be the last thing he will see and slits his throat, it is a very satisfying scene and I approve.
In Winterfell, in the Godswood, Littlefinger is being a creepy fuck and is continuing with his Sansa obsession. Sansa tries to act like she doesn’t know what Petyr wants but we all know that she does because it is frighteningly obvious. Littlefinger tells Sansa that he has this picture in his head of himself on the Iron Thrones and Sansa by his side, and he attempts to kiss her but she gently stops him and tells him that it is a pretty picture but, like, nah bye. Littlefinger tells Sansa that she, a “true” Stark, daughter of Eddard Stark and Catelyn Tully, born here in the North is the real future of the North and should be the leader, not Jon aka a bastard. I agree with half of this, I do believe that Sansa should be Jon’s equal in terms of Lords of the North (although Sansa wouldn’t really be a good leader). Sansa’s face shows that Littlefinger succeeded in planting a seed of doubt or insecurity in her mind, which makes me angry because Sansa is supposed to have grown.
Even more up North, Bran, Benjen & Meera arrived at the Weirwood heart tree and Benjen declares that he is leaving, and I’m sitting there wondering where the hell is he going?
Benjen says that he cannot cross the wall because of the magic, and nobody tries to think of a way around that. Bran touches the tree and continues his vision of the Tower of Joy to discover that Lyanna had died of a pregnancy. The show does what us book readers already knew and confirms that Jon is Lyanna and Rhaegar son. The scene is touching and it was very nice to see such a widely accepted theory not only confirmed but demonstrated in the show. A lot of people seem to assume that Lyanna was not kidnapped by Rhaegar, that they were in love, that she couldn’t have been raped or anything of the sort because she was a “strong and willful woman” This is profoundly problematic and assumes that women who get raped aren’t strong and just “let” themselves be raped, or taken away. I think that pushing away the possibility that Lyanna may have indeed bee n kidnapped by the son of the mad king, raped, and then died from a pregnancy is naïve considering how prevalent rape is in medieval settings and how little of a choice Lyanna would have had if Rhaegar had decided that he wanted her.
We return to Winterfell to see everyone in the great hall speak about the battle that went on and what the plan is. Yohn Royce is a dick and decides to shit on the wildling even though they are one of the reasons why everybody wasn’t completely massacred, and then other lords decide to declare that the war is over and all is good until Lyanna Mormont gets up and starts talking. Now, my first impression of Lyanna Mormont and what I felt didn’t align with everyone else’s opinion. I didn’t like the Sansa bashing and the fact that her suffering was ignoring and she was called a Lannister and/or a Bolton because Sansa is my girl, but this scene, THIS SCENE.
Lyanna’s speak was great, she put the houses that refused House Stark’s call on blast, making it clear that even though they were pledge to follow the house, they didn’t when it was needed, and she pledges House Mormont’s support to House Stark once again, which causes the other houses to step it down a notch, apologize and declare not only their loyalty but declare Jon the King in the North. This scene was nice but…it also frustrated me. Perhaps it was naïve of me, maybe not, but a part of me was hoping for Sansa to be Jon’s partner and equal as of now, and for her to be declared Queen in the North by her brother’s side not only because she is a Stark, but because she played a large role in the victory of the battle of the bastards. As the men in the room chant and praise the new king in the north, the camera lingers on Sansa’s face and Petyr’s, whose seed of doubt and insecurity has been planted quite deep. Sansa’s discomfort is obvious and I wonder where this will be going. Part of me hopes that Sansa and Jon’s relationship will only deepen, that he will make her the player that she should be, that Sansa has indeed grown and will not be played so easily, won’t be so insecure so easily, and will indeed trust her brother. But another part of me still doubts the showrunner’s capacity to really treat the character of Sansa well. We will see.
In King’s Landing, Jaime is already back (they REALLY need to put some sort of time stamp because either everyone is teleporting or the pacing throughout and into the episodes needs some readjusting) Jaime sees that the Sept was destroyed and is arriving just in time (how incredibly convenient) to see Cersei in her BOSS ASS dress be declared queen. (Qyburn, who places the crown upon Cersei’s head, didn’t seem too sure about all that for a second) Jaime looks at Cersei with what I assume is disdain and disappointment considering that the reason he had killed the Mad King in the first place was to avoid this, but now, the woman that he loves officially is queen, but also the mad queen. (that dress though, GOD)
The episode ends with an absolutely fantastic scene and some fantastic CGI. It’s during those scenes that I think about my boyfriend, who is a 3D artist, and the many, many late nights or full 7 days work week spent on working on shots for TV shows and the incredible work, sweat and patience that those artists put into those scenes. We take so incredibly for granted the scenes we love the most about the shows we love the most, and the work that was done by people who aren’t paid nearly enough for the time that they spend and the sacrifices that they have made and make every day in their lives to give us those two minutes of absolute joy and excitement. We see as thousands of ships, Targaryen, Martell and Greyjoys, are sailing through the sea, dragons flying above ships, making it clear that Daenarys has departed for Westeros and is on her way. Season 7 will most likely open with her arrival, and that is something I am very intrigued about.
10/10 – This was one of my favourite episode of the season. The pacing was much better, each scene seems to have been given the appropriate amount of time, and I was given an interest in Cersei again which I haven’t expected. Bonus: Big wow at the people responsible for the music composition for this season, because it’s been particularly amazing.
A GAME OF THRONES, SEASON 7, EPISODE 1: DRAGONSTONE–> SOON