SPOILERS AHOY: Only read on if you’ve watched episode one of season 7
There were plenty of standout moments in the season 7 premiere of Game Of Thrones. Ed Sheeran eating rabbit! Jim Broadbent! A Harry Potter reference about the ‘restricted section’ of the library! The Hound being called a “grumpy old bear”! Jorah’s gnarly grey-scale hand shooting out the darkness and scaring the bejesus out of us!
But ultimately, the first episode of the new season was all about the women; they steered the plot, delivered some of the best lines, and exercised their power with precision. We’ve always loved Game of Thrones for delivering multiple fearsome female characters – and it felt like they set the tone for the season ahead…
Arya gets her bloody revenge
Talk about kicking off with bang. In the opening scene we’re back at the site of the infamous Red Wedding; Walder Frey has gathered all his clan to toast their slaughter of the Starks. But it isn’t really Walder – it’s Arya wearing his face! (We will never tire of a face-peeling reveal. Never). And she’s poisoned the lot of them; cue blood being choked up everywhere. She spares one of Frey’s girls, telling her: “When people ask you what happened here… tell them Winter came”. *Proper chills*
Lady Mormont is seriously hardcore
Jon Snow is persuading the Lords of the North to fight the White Walkers with him – and he needs the women to fight too. The Lords are, predictably, not down with that. Until young Lyanna Mormont pipes up: “I don’t plan on knitting by the fire while men fight for me. I might be smaller, and I might be a girl, but I am every bit a Northerner. And I don’t need your permission to defend the North.”
We can have a fictional 10-year-old girl as our Prime Minister, right?
The last Lannisters
Cersei is as magnificently ruthless as ever, striding about a huge, hand-painted map of the Seven Kingdoms. While Jaime dithers and doubts, Cersei delivers some brilliant – if chilling – lines:
“I understand we’re in a war for survival. I understand whoever loses dies… Should we spend our days mourning the dead: mother, father, and all our children? I loved them. I did. But they’re ashes now and we’re still flesh and blood. We’re the last Lannisters, the last ones who count.”
Sure, Cersei is a megalomaniac, but there’s something magnetic about her stop-at-nothing ambition (as Sansa kind of admits to Jon, when she says: “I learned a great deal from her”).
Sansa delivers a zinger to Littlefinger
Sansa is pure, steely focus in this episode. She publicly disagrees with Jon Snow about his tactics for protecting the North. And she doesn’t want Jon playing her protector, like her father did: “He never wanted us to see how dirty the world really is, but Father couldn’t protect me and neither can you. Stop trying.”
But our favourite moment came when she cut Littlefinger short – as he did his best to needle and provoke her:
Littlefinger: Why aren’t you happy? What do you want that you do not have?
Sansa: At the moment, peace and quiet
Sansa: No need to seize the last word, Lord Baelish. I’ll assume it was something clever.
When Brienne complains that Littlefigner is ‘after something’, Sansa remarks cooly, “I know exactly what he wants.”
Brienne kicks Podrick’s ass
A small but satisfying comedic moment as she tries to train poor Podrick for the war ahead – and he fails miserably. Also, how much do you want Tormund and Brienne to get it on?
Daenerys is ready to rumble
We don’t see Dany until the very end of the episode as she and Tyrion approach the Targaeryan’s ancestral home of Dragonstone (which happens to be sat on a big old pile of dragon glass – kryptonite for White Walkers).
There is no dialogue as she sails in, then bends down to touch the sand of her homeland. As she makes her way up to the castle and into the imposing throne room – there is silence. Finally, she enters a map room – the kind military leaders use to plan the movements of their armies – and says simply: “Shall we begin?”
Three words. Big impact.
Bring on episode two.
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