Surprise! After the twists and turns of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9, the time has come for us to switch over to an entirely different TV show and do some crazy recapping of a much more serious kind!
Just kidding, I’m never serious about anything in my life.
Last season on Game of Thrones: Cersei Lannister was put into a corner by just about everyone in her life. And nobody puts Cersei in a corner, so, naturally, everybody died horribly. R.I.P. Margaery Tyrell. Jon Snow and Sansa Stark killed off the last of the Boltons and took back Winterfell, where Sansa was promptly shoved into a seat at the end of the council table and never seen again. Samwell Tarly accomplished his lifelong(ish) dream of becoming an apprentice maester at the Citadel in Oldtown. After six long years, Daenerys Targaryen finally left her cozy eastern continent and got on a ship to Westeros along with all her best buds. And Arya Stark was, as per usual, a complete badass as she managed to single-handedly kill off Walder Frey.
We open our seventh season premiere on one of the show’s latest victims, Walder Frey himself, seemingly alive and well at the Twins’ dining hall. His new post-Red-Wedding underage wifey Kitty Frey is at his side as he addresses his very large assembled family.
Walder Frey sounds like his usual sassy self until he says something about being happy to have dinner with his family, which should set off all of the alarms because Walder is never nice to his family. But all his sons and grandsons and step-sons and nephews and grandnephews don’t notice, probably because their collective IQ is in the double digits.
A toast to the dumbest family in Westeros! Everybody takes a hearty swig of the new wine introduced to the room, except Walder himself. Kitty Frey goes to drink some of the wine, but Walder (who is clearly not actually Walder) secretly saves her life by saying a woman doesn’t deserve the good stuff. That’s the sweetest sexist slur ever! Of course, the drink is poisoned.
Everyone starts to die violently as Walder Frey begins to break character. Finally, with all the Frey men as dead as Joffrey Baratheon, Arya Stark removes her very convincing Walder mask.
Arya looks at poor, confused Kitty Frey and is all “the North remembers, beeyotch,” before casually strolling out the front door.
Somewhere north of the Wall, the White Walkers and their pets are all having the best. Road trip. Ever.
That’s about it, really. Okay, fine, here’s a screencap.
A little bit further south, Meera Reed and Bran Stark have finally returned to Castle Black, after three years of running about in the snow.
Eddison Tollett, a.k.a. Dolorous Edd, the New Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch Because Everyone Else is Totally Dead, answers the door, and his usual cynical outlook on life causes him to be a little wary of Meera and Bran.
Bran Stark is like “I know what you did last summer,” effectively scaring the shit out of Edd and also reminding him he’s probably gonna die this season. Edd lets them in before all-knowing Bran starts telling everyone about his secret direwolf fetish.
Meanwhile, in Winterfell, the newly-minted King Snow is handing out orders to his bannermen. He says even women are going to have to fight if they’re going to survive this thing, and Robett Glover objects before being brutally put down by the youngest badass in the land, Lyanna Mormont.
Jon requests that Tormund Giantsbane and the wildlings handle the castles around the Wall, like Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, and Tormund makes sure to rub that in the Night’s Watchmen’s faces just a little bit.
Next up on the agenda is what to do with the Karstarks and the Umbers, two families who betrayed the Starks and sided with the Boltons. Sansa Stark speaks up and fragile little Jon Snow immediately feels emasculated.
Sansa recommends giving the Karstark and Umber castles to other families who proved their worth in taking back Winterfell, but Jon Snow awkwardly shoots down her well-liked opinions by forgiving the remaining Karstarks and Umbers and returning their castles to them.
Once that’s all over with, Jon and Sansa go bicker one on one, away from the audience. Sansa goes straight for the jugular and compares Jon’s behavior to Joffrey’s. She says her father and Robb made stupid mistakes and Jon needs to be smarter. Jon’s all “so being smarter means listening to you?” like she hasn’t survived six seasons of being involved with television’s worst psychopaths.
A raven arrives with a lovely postcard from King’s Landing. Cersei Lannister wants Jon to come to the capital and bend the knee – or die. Jon Snow’s about to send the message to the spam box and move on, but Sansa wants him to take this – and Cersei – seriously. “You almost sound as if you admire her,” he says. This conversation is just full of cheap shots.
Speaking of – it’s off to King’s Landing now, and Jaime Lannister approaches his sister to speak with her. Cersei accuses Jaime of helping Tyrion reach Daenerys and add to their enemies’ strength. She’s furious, as always, and dead-set on murdering every last one of their foes.
They have zero allies left, and that’s what’s worrisome. But Cersei has a trick up her sleeve – and it’s squid-shaped.
Jaime is all, “but Greyjoys suck,” but Cersei is confident this’ll work out in her favor. Oh, and also she might be marrying Euron Greyjoy, maybe. That should be entertaining.
Jaime grills Euron on the failed Greyjoy rebellion, and Euron responds by praising Jaime’s fighting skill. But then he’s like, “I’ve got two good hands.”
Surprisingly, though, Cersei says no to the marriage proposal. So Euron promises her a “priceless gift” that he will return with to prove his loyalty.
Far, far away from King’s Landing, a certain former(ish) Night’s Watch member is slaving away at the Citadel in Oldtown. Samwell Tarly’s daily routine consists of shoveling diarrhea poop around, moving books between shelves, and serving people soup.
The whole time, he’s fascinated by this locked section of the library where the real important books probably are. During an autopsy scene that’s just as nasty as the preceding montage, Sam asks Archmaester Ebrose if he could have access to the restricted area. The Archmaester believes Samwell’s claims of the White Walkers’ existence, but he thinks they’re not as big a threat as Sam seems to say, and winter will end eventually anyway. That’s that.
So what does Sam do? Like the good little hero he is, Mister Tarly steals the keys, sneaks into the restricted section, and swipes the books he needs. Nice.
Back at Winterfell, Brienne of Tarth is sparring with little Podrick Payne, who takes advantage of a second of Tormund-related distraction to get a hit in. Of course, he gets a good ass-kicking immediately thereafter.
Watching Tormund try to hit on Brienne are Sansa Stark and Littlefinger, who starts a conversation with the Stark lady. Petyr asks her why she’s not happy, and what she could do to change that. She sasses him into oblivion.
Further south, the other Stark sister is riding a horse through the forest when she comes across a group of Lannister soldiers – including one with a great singing voice. Who looks an awful lot like Ed Sheeran.
Arya sits with them and chats them up, all the while keeping an eye on their weapons in case things get aggressive. But the whole time, they’re all as chummy as a gang of boy scouts on a camping trip. It’s nice to see Arya be friendly and smile again – I feel like it’s been years since that’s happened. Finally, they ask her what she’s up to. She straight-up tells them, “I’m going to kill the queen.” Fortunately for her, no one takes her seriously.
Somewhere further north (I think), the Hound and the Brotherhood Without Banners find an abandoned house to spend the night in. I had personally completely forgotten about this, but it turns out to be a place Clegane and Arya stayed at a while back. He had stolen the owner’s money back then, and now the man and his daughter are dead.
Lord Berric Dondarrion and the Hound talk about how the Lord of Light keeps resuscitating Berric, and the Hound wonders why him of all people. Thoros of Myr, with that ever-present man bun of his, invites Clegane to look into the flames the way Melisandre always does. Remember Melisandre? I miss her.
So Sandor looks into the flames and starts seeing shit. Not Samwell’s shit, real shit. The Wall. Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. White Walkers. He looks pretty freaked out.
In the middle of the night, Clegane takes the time to bury the dead man and his daughter. Thoros of Myr joins him and helps with the burial. Sadface.
Back in Oldtown, Samwell Tarly is studying the books he swiped from the library at his pad. Gilly and the baby are there, being all supportive and stuff.
Finally, in his search, Sam uncovers something useful: A map of Dragonstone, with a mountain full of dragonglass supposedly buried near the castle.
The next morning, Sam is wheeling meals around the medical ward as per usual when someone suddenly sticks their arm out the hole in the door and almost grabs him. The man asks if Daenerys Stormborn has come yet.
Well, turns out she has come. Just now, actually.
Daenerys’s fleet has landed at Dragonstone, meaning just about every character I can think of is now united on the same continent. Exciting stuff! Dany has an emotional moment with the ground when she touches down, then she proceeds toward the castle. Somehow the place looks very different from when Stannis Baratheon was around.
As they enter the castle, Dany comes across one of Stannis’s banners, which she takes down like it’s some nasty old curtain.
Daenerys pauses in the throne room, looking at the throne and having another moment.
Finally, she and Tyrion stop in the war room we’ve seen before, with the map-table and the fancy view. “Shall we begin?” Dany asks.
Well, it was a slow first episode, but given how short this season is going to be, I have high hopes that the rest of it is going to be fairly crazy. I’m excited! Are you?
R.I.P.: The Freys. Just about all of them. Also that one old dude and his daughter.
MVP: Arya Stark, duh. Though Samwell Tarly deserves an honorable mention for dealing with all those diarrhea poops.
Notably absent: Melisandre. Ghost. Theon and Yara Greyjoy. Ellaria Sand and her daughters. Olenna Tyrell. Bronn. And fucking Gendry.
See you next week for more bloody adventures!