I normally avoid spoilers as best I can but I’m going to go ahead and warn SPOILERS AHEAD IT’S ALL SPOILERS
Winter is finally upon us, but with this being the season opener let’s not get too crazy here. When we last left the program, there have been seismic shifts in power throughout the world. Cersei has claimed the Iron Throne following Tommen’s suicide following Cersei’s revenge bombing which claimed Margaery’s life; Jon Snow and Sansa have managed to defeat Ramsay Bolton and are organizing remaining loyalists in a desperate stand against the impending White Walker army; Arya cut Walder Frey’s throat as she makes her way toward King’s Landing and Cersei; and Daenerys is en route to Westeros with a navy thanks to her alliance with Theon and Yara Greyjoy, who are also being hunted by their murderous uncle Euron, who himself is attempting to court Cersei into wedlock. And this is just covering the major characters.
Sunday’s episode began with…Walder Frey? Who is toasting with his vassals to the deaths of their enemies, namely the Starks. However, with this being Game of Thrones, of course the wine is probably poisoned. Granted, the fact it’s poisoned isn’t the surprise so much as that wasn’t really Walder it WAS ARYA EXACTING REVENGEOHGODYES! Arya takes a quick break from murdering to make a detour to hang out with Ed Sheeran and his band of young Lannister soldiers gathered around a bonfire. This cameo has set the Internet either into a swoon or a rage as most issues tend to go.
Next, we see Jon Snow who is still congregating with loyalists to figure out how to defend themselves against the impending White Walker invasion, who if you’ve also forgotten now count giants amongst the ranks. Jon knows their only hope is locating large caches of dragonglass though they don’t know where to begin. Beyond that Jon finds the houses fall in line quickly, though Sansa has grown frustrated with Jon’s unwillingness to heed her counsel.
Sansa is also still forced to deal with the increasingly creepy Lord Baelish who too is quickly running out of allies and may soon find himself in serious shit. We are also left wondering if Brienne will ever fall for the lumberjack wiles of a very thirsty Tormund. We briefly catch up with Samwell afterward still at the Citadel, toiling as a shitty apprentice maester doing literal shitty work. Knowing time is against him, Samwell dangerously attempts to learn forbidden knowledge, which has fortuitously shown him the location to a ton of dragonglass conveniently located beneath Dragonstone Island.
Against most odds, Sandor is still kicking and still hanging around his strange frenemies in the Brotherhood Without Banners. While always the cynic and asshole, Sandor is forced to confront that their visions in the fires are real, and the truth he too is seeing the impending doom the White Walkers will bring.
The episode concludes with a triumphant scene of Daenerys and crew landing on, wouldn’t you know it, Dragonstone Island, her ancestral home. Dragonstone, if you’ve already forgotten, was the former base of operations for Stannis Baratheon and is also the locations of the dragonglass Samwell discovered that Jon Snow needs. The episode concludes with Daenerys standing beside an absolutely bewildered Tyrion and a giant map of Westeros saying, “Shall we begin?” Yes Daenerys, oh god yes let us begin.
There aren’t going to be as many episodes in season seven , with only six remaining leading to an 81-minute long season finale August 28th (versus the usual 10 episode runs), then you can be left to your empty-inside wait for the grand finale next year. Then…well we won’t even think about after that.