Game of Thrones Season 7 Ep 1 Recap – Dragonstone
“Dragonstone” premiered on July 16, 2017 and is the first episode of the seventh season of Game of Thrones. Overall it is the sixty-first episode of the series. It was written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss and directed by Jeremy Podeswa.
FIRST IMPRESSION(S): Dragonstone sets the table by putting the pieces in place for the fireworks that are yet to come with an engaging opening sequence that quenches the thirst of every faithful viewer after its year long hiatus.
There is no longer, “winter is coming”. Winter is officially here and it’s now painfully obvious that it has become a small world for the players involved in the power struggles among the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.
« Previous [dt_tooltip title=”The Winds of Winter”]The Winds of Winter was the tenth and final episode of the sixth season of Game of Thrones. It is the sixtieth episode of the series overall. It premiered on June 26, 2016. It was written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss and directed by Miguel Sapochnik. It is most notable for the revenge of Cersei over her enemies and Tommen’s suicide.[/dt_tooltip] | Next » Stormborn
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SCENE 1: Enter Arya Stark
We’re quickly reminded that every and any character is expendable. After previously killing Lord Walder Frey, Arya Stark, impersonating Lord Walder, holds a feast to honor all of his sons. She offers a stirring speech celebrating the many victories of House Frey as Walder’s many sons drink poisoned wine from their chalices. Arya does not allow the women to drink, presumably aware of their innocence.
As the many Frey sons cheer upon references of the [dt_tooltip title=”Red Wedding”] A massacre seemingly orchestrated by Lord Walder Frey as revenge against King Robb Stark for breaking the marriage pact between House Stark and House Frey that resulted in the deaths of King Robb, his wife, Queen Talisa, his mother, Lady Catelyn, and his men-at-arms. [/dt_tooltip], she mocks through sarcasm by mentioning how they butchered a pregnant woman, cut the throat of a mother, and slaughtered the Stark family after inviting them into their home.
As the men perish from the poisoned wine, Arya removes her mask to reveal her true self. She asks Kitty Frey, Walder’s ninth wife, to tell anyone who asks what happened there that “the North remembers” and winter has come for House Frey.
SCENE 2: The Night King’s Army
After the show’s opening sequence we watch the Night King’s army march toward [dt_tooltip title=”The Wall “]The Wall is a colossal wall of solid ice that stands over 700 feet tall and stretches for 100 leagues (300 miles) along the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms, defending the realm from the wildlings who live beyond and the White Walkers who apparently dwell in the far north.[/dt_tooltip]. We can clearly see that the army has not one, not two, but THREE GIANTS.
Bran Stark is watching this (though his special ability “[dt_tooltip title=”Greensight”]Also called “The Sight”, is the ability to receive prophetic visions, starting off in the form of dreams. Bran’s powers extend far beyond simply viewing events unfold; he is capable of influencing past events, though he cannot change what was predestined to occur already. [/dt_tooltip]”) as he and Meera are waiting outside The Wall as they are soon greeted by Lord Commander Ed who first suspects they are wildlings. After identifying themselves Bran warns of the impending arrival of the Night King and his army.
Lord Commander Ed stares worriedly off into the distance knowing full well he doesn’t have the defenses nor the manpower to withstand the onslaught of the White Walkers.
SCENE 3: Jon Snow Organizes The North’s Defenses
Here we find Jon Snow, the newly-acclaimed King in the North, back at Winterfell asking the Maesters, the order of scholars and healers in all the Seven Kingdoms, to look up all records of [dt_tooltip title=”Dragonglass”]The common name in Westeros for obsidian, a form of volcanic glass that along with Valyrian steel are the only two substances capable of killing White Walkers[/dt_tooltip].
Through various discussions, Jon orders the wildlings to man The Wall. Sansa and Jon have a tense disagreement as Sansa argues that the Umbers and Karstarks be stripped of their lands and titles as punishment for supporting Ramsay Bolton. Jon advocates forgiveness insisting the children not be punished for the crime of their fathers. Jon insists his decision is final and has Ned Umber and Alys Karstark reaffirm their loyalty to House Stark. They oblige and kneel before King Jon.
Jon chides Sansa for undermining his authority before the other lords and ladies. Jon asks Sansa to trust him, Sansa reminds Jon of Joffrey Baratheon, and Jon reassures her that he is nothing like Joffrey. Jon receives a message from Cersei Lannister informing him that she is the Queen and all must bend the knee to her. Sansa seems very worried but Jon’s concern lies with the impending threat of the Night King’s army of White Walkers.
SCENE 4: Enter Cersei and Jaime Lannister
After her coronation, Cersei shows Jaime a giant map of Westeros as they discuss the many foes they now face. Cersei dreams of ushering in a long dynasty. Jaime asks her about Tommen, in which she angrily explains of his betrayal by suicide as Jaime explains to her that now they have no more living children to inherit the [dt_tooltip title=”Iron Throne”]The throne upon which the King of the Andals and the First Men sit, located in the Great Hall of the Red Keep in the city of King’s Landing. [/dt_tooltip]. She reveals that she is aware that Tyrion is alive and in a position of power. She explains to Jaime that they are the only living Lannisters who count.
Jaime reports to her that they are seriously in need of allies with House Frey now exterminated. She reminds him that she has listened to their father’s counsel for forty years and learned a few things. Cersei explains that she has a new ally in mind with a thousand ships and a talent for killing – Euron Greyjoy. Euron asks Cersei for her hand in marriage, which greatly displeases Jaime, in which she declines. Euron departs promising to return with a gift that will win her heart.
SCENE 5: Samwell at The Citadel
Here we find the new life and times of Samwell Tarley at the [dt_tooltip title=”Citadel”]The Citadel, also known as the Hightower, is both the headquarters of the Order of Maesters – scholars who advise lords of the Seven Kingdoms on matters scientific, medical, and historical – and the seat of House Hightower, vassals of House Tyrell and rulers of the city of Oldtown.[/dt_tooltip] who deals with more human waste and bedpans than the books he originally thought he’d be reading. After noticing a closed-gate section in the library he asks Archmaester Ebrose about the files in that area while dissecting a human body. Sam tells him that he has seen the White Walkers. While Ebrose sees truth in Sam’s words he explains that The Wall has always stood and every winter that has came has also passed. Burning with curiosity, Sam ends up stealing the keys to the closed-access area anyway.
SCENE 6: Back to Winterfell
Lady Brienne of Tarth trains Podrick Payne in combat in the Winterfell courtyard and is suddenly struck by Podrick when distracted by the appearance of Tormund Giantsbane, red-bearded leader of the Free Folk. Brienne punches Podrick to the ground as she rejects Tormund’s flirtations. Little Finger (Petyr Baelish) disapprovingly watches over Jon Snow’s decisions, especially in regards to handing the castles of Last Hearth and Karhold back to Ned Umber and Alys Karstark, despite their parents’ role in the [dt_tooltip title=”Battle of the Bastards”]A battle late in the War of the Five Kings in which Jon Snow and Sansa Stark retake Winterfell from Lord Ramsay Bolton, the Warden of the North, and restore House Stark as the ruling house of the North. [/dt_tooltip]. A short chat between Sansa and Little Finger (Petyr Baelish) reminds us how bad he wants her but she’s just not into him.
SCENE 7: Arya’s Travels
This scene takes place after Arya’s departure from House Frey in Scene 1 as she comes across a small group of Lannister soldiers, one who attracts her through a song (played by Ed Sheeran). The soldiers ask her to join them with offerings of food and drink. Cautiously she agrees to camp with them. When asked where she is headed, she replies with brutal honesty that she is headed for King’s Landing to kill Queen Cersei. The soldiers all laugh believing this to be said purely in jest.
SCENE 8: Back Up North with The Hound
This scene takes place far up north as we find The Hound (Sandor Clegane) traveling through the Riverlands with the [dt_tooltip title=”Brotherhood without Banners”]An outlaw group working against Lannister interests in the Riverlands at the time of the War of the Five Kings, though their goal is to protect the smallfolk from any force preying on them, regardless of which King or Lord they support. [/dt_tooltip]. There is much more snow here than in Winterfell. They stop at a farmhouse during the journey. The Hound recognizes this house as he and Arya had stayed there a few years prior. Taking shelter inside, The Hound discovers the farmer and his daughter’s remains as they died in each other’s arms.
He begins to question Beric Dondarrion on why he keeps being resurrected to which Beric replies he doesn’t know. Thoros of Myr (Beric’s pal who just keeps on resurrecting him) shows The Hound a vision in the flames of a fire he has created. The Hound doesn’t see anything at first but then finally notices a mountain of Dragonglass and a castle on The Wall. He also sees [dt_tooltip title=”Wights”]A reanimated corpse (human or animal) raised from death by the White Walkers to serve as their minions[/dt_tooltip] marching towards it.
The Hound buries the father and daughter while the Brotherhood sleep. Thoros hears The Hound’s shoveling and assists him with the burial. What’s interesting here is that Thoros offers a prayer but forgets the wording of The Seven. He then apologizes, saying that they both deserved better before going back inside the farmhouse.
SCENE 9: Sam’s Great Discovery
Sam has stolen some books from the forbidden section of the library at the Citadel and after reading through them with Gilly he discovers than a massive collection of Dragonglass exists at Dragonstone castle, the island located in Blackwater Bay. This island is the ancestral seat of House Targaryen. Samwell sends a message by raven to Jon informing him of this discovery. The next day as Sam is making rounds in the infirmary collecting bowls from the sick cells, we see him stopped by a patient with an arm covered in [dt_tooltip title=”Greyscale”]Also known as “Prince Garin’s curse”, is a dreaded and usually fatal disease that can leave flesh stiff and dead, and the skin cracked and flaking, and stone-like to the touch.[/dt_tooltip], who asks him if Daenerys Targaryen, has arrived, in which Sam replies he doesn’t know. That patient is Jorah Mormont, former Hand to Daenerys Targaryen.
SCENE 10: Daenerys Arrives at Dragonstone
In the final scene Daenerys Targaryen is seen arriving at Dragonstone by boat with Tyrion Lannister, Varys, Missandei, and Grey Worm. She is accompanied by her army and dragons. We see her remove one of Stannis Baratheon’s old banners in her ancestral home and after examining the Painted Table of Westeros, Daenerys asks her Hand, Tyrion, “Shall we begin.”