I resisted as long as I could, but no longer. With just two truncated seasons left, I have to recap Game of Thrones. Hence the belatedness of this post. Future posts should go up the morning after the episode airs (these will replace my Dark Tower first read posts). This recap will be shorter than my recaps for the rest of the season.
Season 7 does not fuck about with the cold open. Arya hasn’t had her full measure of revenge against the Freys. Posing as Walder Frey, she brings the remaining male Freys together and poisons the lot of them in the same room where they murdered her mother and brother in violation of guest right. Arya drops some serious one-liners.
“So I can tell you my plans for this great house, now that winter has come.”
“Leave one wolf alive, and the sheep are never safe.”
“Tell them the North remember, tell them winter came for House Frey.
Oldtown and Dragonstone make it onto the title sequence, as well as the Twins, although we’re already done there.
First scene after the title sequence? An army of the dead. White Walkers and wights (including giants!). Winter has come. But where are the ice spiders?
Bran reaches the Wall. We don’t get the answer to either big question: Will he tell Jon who his parents are? Will his passing beneath the Wall allow the Night King to cross the Wall, since Bran is marked? Dolorous Ed isn’t nearly dolorous enough, given the circumstances. The Wall still looks incredible. This series is a visual feast.
Back at Winterfell, Jon is preparing for the coming storm. They need dragonglass, and they need their women and children ready to fight. Lyanna Mormont punks Lord Glover. Again. Jon and Sansa clash over whether the Umbers and the Karstaks should retain their lands. Under any other circumstances, I would side with Sansa. But Jon knows they need every man, and transferring lands threatens that. Sansa update: still awful.
Down in King’s Landing, Jaime confronts Cersei. He wants to grieve for their son, but she is concerned with crushing her enemies, who haven’t seemed to have lessened in numbers. Thank you Jaime for pointing out that Cersei is the queen of three kingdoms, “at best.” She is arguably the weakest sovereign in the Seven Kingdoms. Dany’s forces certainly outstrip hers by a large margin.
Cersei is doing the only thing she can, though, reaching out to Euron Greyjoy. A lot of people suggested Euron would step directly into Ramsay’s role. I take this as a sign that he will not be. No more torture porn, please! I like this swaggering, slouching Euron, if only because we haven’t seen a character quite like him on Game of Thrones.
After she refuses his proposal, Euron tells Cersei he won’t return until he bears a “priceless gift.” It looks like we may be getting a sea battle in the very near future.
After a dirty jobs montage, Sam learns that Dragonstone is basically a mountain of dragonglass. Good thing…
Daenerys arrives at Dragonstone. It’s an emotional scene for her, because she has been waiting decades to return to the place of her birth, and for us, because it feels like we’ve been waiting decades for Dany to make it to Westeros.
But, before that, Arya happens on a group of Lannister soldiers. It’s clear that she plans to kill them, hesitating before taking the proffered rabbit. Killing her enemies is one thing; killing them in violation of guest right is another. I love this scene. The soldiers, far from home, complaining about King’s Landing. Their obvious yearning for a little female companionship. Their fraternal camaraderie.
It’s not clear where the Hound and the Brotherhood Without Banners are. But it’s snowing, so it’s probably north of Arya and the Lannister soldiers. And it’s in the Riverlands, because it’s the same house where the Hound and Arya stayed a few seasons ago. The father and daughter didn’t make it to winter, much less through it. This scene is all about the Hound’s guilt. How does he move forward when he can’t possibly atone for the evil he has already committed? A good stare into the flames and a vision of the White Walkers to come has a way of sharpening the mind, though.
Oh yeah, I’m ready for the endgame.