Picking the bones out of Game of Thrones

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister - Game of Thrones

And breathe. So there goes the premiere of season 7 of Game of Thrones and what a nice sedate reopener it was. We’re in uncharted territory now, the saga A Song of Fire and Ice only took us part of the way and now the series has a life of its own – and even the most ardent of fans can only guess where it is headed now. So, let’s take a look at some of the main talking points of last night’s opener – Dragonstone.

David Bradley as Walder Frey

Walder Frey, remember him? Architect of the Red Wedding and slayer of the Starks? Season seven opens with the Freys feasting and celebrating their greater influence. However, one guest at the banquet is Arya Stark who, fresh from her apprenticeship with the Faceless Men, has been liberally poisoning all and sundry around the hall. As Walder looks on, the young Stark strumpet reveals herself and offers a greeting from her family as she slices his throat.

Ten minutes in and already a healthy body count. Arya is a child scarred by war, murder and loss and her path at present is all about revenge – and a sweet, youthful face provides perfect concealment for her deathly plan. Later on, she hitches up with some Lannister army soldiers and chats around their fire – and tells them of her plan to kill Queen Cersei. They laugh, of course, who would believe a female could be capable of holding a strong plot line (or even play Dr Who). Never mind. A cameo from Ed Sheeran is a bit of an oddity as he looks like he hasn’t been told the script and expects to be offed at any moment.  

Cersei Lannister – Queen Cersei, I beg your pardon,  isn’t resting on her laurels. She has the Iron Throne, she’s free of her father, the faith militant and even the Tyrells are conveniently off stage, so she sets about forming new alliances and first to coming knocking on the door is Ironborn-raider and all-round wrong’un, Euron Greyjoy. What could he offer the Lannisters?  

Sansa Stark and Littlefinger

Mr Jon Snow – the King in the North – bastard son of the now headless Ned Stark, has reclaimed the family seat at Winterfell but knows that it will not be long before the Night King and his host of ghoulies are south of the wall. Unfortunately, he is distracted from his preparations by some sibling rivalry as half-sister Sansa’s chief counsel is the dastardly, worm-tongued, conniver Lord Petyr (Littlefinger) Baelish and he pours nothing but poisoned words into her pretty little ears.  I long for the day when Baelish breathes his last, it will, with luck, involve fire, ice, lots of suffering and a lingering death. 

Sandor Clegane
Sandor Clegane shows that he is not all about death – even if he is digging a grave

The Hound, Sandor Clegane, could give him his just desserts. He’s honed a fine line in brutal deaths and at the moment is roaming around in the wilds with disciples of the Lord of Light, Beric Dondarrion and Thoros. He is, reassuringly, his old curmudgeonly, sour-tempered self, offering insults and slight regard to anyone within earshot.

Samwell Tarly and Gilly are safe and well at the Citadel where Sam is tutored by Jim Broadbent’s Archmaester Marwyn and uses the library (they don’t have Google) to research a means to destroy the white walkers. Sam does two good deeds in this episode: He discovers that there is a shed-load of dragon glass under the castle of the Targaryans – dragon glass is to white walkers what Kryptonite is to Superman. They don’t like it up em! And he gives a bowl of gruel to greyscale-afflicted Jorah Mormont who is languishing in a kind of quarantine cum dungeon – but at least he’s still alive and part of the storyline. So three cheers for Jorah … and Sam for finding him!

Daenerys Targaryan played by Emilia Clarke
Daenerys Targaryan (played by Emilia Clarke) could go power mad once she got comfy on that rock throne

Daenerys Targaryan has acquired a stylist between this season and the last and arrives all power-dressing in heels, with a massive entourage – three dragons, a Dothraki horde and an armada stretching back the arse end of Mereen. She takes her fleet across the narrow sea to House Targaryan, a towering abandoned clifftop fortress. Power and Targaryans is not a healthy mix so it remains to be seen just how young Dani takes to her new throne. And, with a dusty profile of Westeros carved atop a grand table, she turns to The Imp, Lannister, and invites,”Shall we begin?” 

Game of Thrones is on Sky Atlantic on Mondays at 9.00pm and is also available on Sky Go.

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