I’ve been an avid reader of George RR Martin for quite some time, not just of A Song of Ice and Fire or a viewer of the show itself. So to say I’m a fan would be somewhat of an understatement but accurate nonetheless. The seventh season of the titanic show recently began its arduous journey towards the shows eventual conclusion and already its been interesting to see the dynamics put into place for establishing this season’s battles and encounters. I won’t be going in any particular direction or order of precedence with my points in this post however please do be aware that it blatantly and obviously will spoil the season and show thus far.
First of all, I’d like to point out that whenever a minor or side character that is not one of the hallowed main characters receives special attention in an episode, they typically die a tragic and grisly death later. So I really, really, really hope Greyworm isn’t going to bite the dust like dear old Ser Barristan Selmy already has on the show. Also, all roads apparently lead to Dragonstone- as Jon Snow seems to be heading there and Dany is of course currently residing there whilst Cersei undoubtedly plans to attack there. We may see several more large battles yet- Casterly Rock and perhaps Kings Landing still included, however the Greyjoy conflict on the high seas was one of the bloodiest and boldest battle scenes in the series to date.
The Battle of the Bastards is one of the highlights of battle scenes in modern entertainment and certainly of the show, yet for every bold stride it made the Greyjoy civil war had such raw emotion and manic fashion. Euron is obviously crazy but you can’t fault him for his boldness- he went and seized the gifts he promised the current Queen of the realm and he also took his insubordinate niece hostage whilst Theon vanished into the ocean in a PTSD induced fit. The relationship between Theon and Yara Greyjoy has always been a strained one and yet now it will be more so and perhaps Euron would even use that to his advantage and as a way to torture the eldest Greyjoy rather than outright killing her.
I’m eager to see how Euron looks so alive and well after seemingly taking a few dagger swipes to the midriff in his choreographed battle with two of the Sand Snakes whom- as we all know by now, are infamous for coating their weapons in various poisons. Perhaps Euron picked up some magical remedies in his time on the sea as well, the world may never know. Regardless, the first battle surprisingly goes to Euron/Cersei who we should really, really never underestimate in the slightest. I feel like Ellaria Sand and her daughter’s fate are pretty much sealed at this point considering either Jaime or Cersei would be apt to execute them immediately merely for the death of Myrcella and the betrayal of Dorne. I’m quite curious to see what “poetic justice” Cersei deems fit to author.
Of other interest to me is the interaction of Arya and Hot Pie, something we’ve seen done before but something that was also quite a bit different and less personal this time around. Arya seems a lot more detached and understandably preoccupied with the intent of killing Cersei rather than interacting with her old friend. Hot Pie on the other hand just had to go and make a comment about also being a “survivor just like you” which means the divine hand of direction is more than likely going to swoop down and order a band of mercenaries or a gang of thieves to terrorize Hot Pie’s inn and slice the poor boy’s throat.
That wasn’t the only reunion for the youngest Stark girl as she also met her former direwolf companion Nymeria and her adopted wolf pack. It was a touching moment even if it ultimately played out exactly how the majority of Arya’s relationships thus far have: with either herself or someone else leaving and abandoning companionship in favor of self sufficiency. I got the feeling that Arya herself understood this could and would be a possibility as her heartbreak gave way to pride in her direwolf mirroring her own decisions ultimately. Plus, now she gets to chase after Jon Snow and probably run into Sansa along the way seeing as Jon is due for a meeting with his own flesh and blood whether he knows it or not.
It’s interesting to see that Melisandre is still doing what she does best: orchestrating things from behind the scenes and moving about with all of the players in the game. Whether or not shes had much success in the past, I am at least glad that she’s bringing both Dany and Jon one step closer to more than likely discovering his heritage and what their destinies may hold in store for them as well. She does serve her purpose well when the time comes, even if that also happened to lead Stannis Baratheon and his family to their deaths. Speaking of families that have suffered greatly, let us not forget that Jorah Mormont may yet get the chance to reunite with his Queen or with his own clan if he ever returns to the North and is cured of his affliction thanks to the helping hand of Samwell Tarly.
One of the scariest things undoubtedly to be coming down the pipeline right now also pertains to the North and that would be the fact that Sansa will be governing while Jon is away and Littlefinger will undoubtedly be either trying to manipulate and coerce the girl or whispering in her ear. He holds the knights of the Vale at his disposal and could quite easily ransom the North and Winterfell or even Sansa at any given time if he thought it was a strong enough and had the guts to do so. This would be an interesting turn of events and yet I still think at this point in time if he steps too far out of line Sansa could very well order his execution at some point, mistake or not to do so. For the time being he’s at best an unreliable ally and at worst a creep and villainous schemer.
It’s going to surely be such an interesting meeting for Jon Snow and the others set on traveling to Dragonstone. Snow goes to potentially barter both an alliance with the Targaryen Queen and to hopefully receive the permission to mine dragon glass or obsidian in order to defend against the impending wight attacks. I’m definitely curious not only as to how asking the King of the North to bend the knee will go- historically, not very well after all, and also as to who makes it to Dragonstone considering the rumors about what characters will end up where. While there is the setup for an interesting Jon and Tyrion reunion, we also have the unique possibility of there being an Arya and Hound reunion at Winterfell around the same time. Even more pressing though, what happens when the Night King slaughters the Nights Watch and shatters the Wall before emerging into Westeros?
All of these questions and potentially even more could be raised or even answered as e push forward into the season and I’m severely interested already. These are just some of the most prominent things I’ve thought of thanks to the happenings of the first two episodes, although there are plenty of other issues on my mind as well. For example: how far has Gendry been rowing by this point? What will the fate of both Tormund and Dolorous Edd be when the Night King attacks? Will the Brothers without Banners and Thoros and the crew finally make it to their destination? Ahh, so many questions…