~Spoilers ahead of pretty much the entire episode – some thoughts on what we’ve seen so far from the first episode and some questions and musings on what those might mean for the rest of the show! You’ve been warned!~
“Cheer. Brave men, all of you. Butchered a woman pregnant with her babe. Cut the throat of a mother of five. Slaughtered your guests after inviting them in to your home. But you didn’t slaughter every one of the Starks. No, no, that was your mistake. You should have ripped them all out, root and stem. Leave one wolf alive and the sheep are never safe.”
Season 7 started marvelously. Arya, taking the face of Walder Frey as she had learn to do with her training with the faceless men, poisoned the Freys in a spectacular show of complete and utter vengeance and making the Frey men believe that their father killed them despite the words coming from Arya was satisfying on a level that came from remembering the Red Wedding. It was almost like when Joffrey died, and you know the villains got their just desserts as they lost the game of thrones. It’s a vicious sort of satisfaction of knowing that the Freys tried to play the game, did too much shady shit, and then paid for it with the destruction of the house of Frey. Although, it seems like Arya took mercy on the females of house Frey as she did stop one of the girls from drinking the poisoned wine, so there’s still hope that Arya hasn’t gone completely off the deep end, which was emphasized with her encountering the Lannister (?) soldiers on their way back to King’s Landing. It was a little heart attack inducing when Arya was honest about wanting to kill Cersei, but the group of soldiers just laughing it off relieved some of the tension. It was also fun to see Ed Shereen for a moment. It was like: “wut, Ed Shereen?” before quickly moving on and getting more tense filled because who knows what Arya’s next move would be if the soldiers turned hostile, but they seem friendly and ignorant enough as to who she actually is so she’s safe for now.
Speaking of another fierce girl, Lyanna Mormont is as fierce as always, and it’s great watching men bow before this severe little girl who’s so willing to fight for what she believes in. Despite her young age, having lost her mother to the Red Wedding and thus becoming the new ruler of Bear Island, it seems like she has things surprisingly under control enough to be representing her small island and being able to stare and talk down men more than twice her age.
In addition, considering the prophecy given to Cersei by Maggy the Frog, does that mean Arya won’t be succeeding in her quest to kill the queen? I don’t think Arya is wanting to be a queen (as it’s a queen that’s foretold that will take over and she is not the valonqar, so what does that mean for Arya? Is it possible that Arya fails and dies in her attempt to kill queen Cersei and thus we will see another Stark killed? Will Arya ever reunite with Nymeria now that she’s once more on the road to King’s Landing? Moreover, going back to the prophecy, will it actually be Jaime or Tyrion to kill Cersei? The prophecy of Maggy the Frog says that another younger, and more beautiful queen will come to and take all that Cersei holds dear (which I guess indicates the power that comes with being queen) and that Cersei will outlast her children (which happened) and she will die by strangulation by the valonqar, which is high Valyrian for “little brother”. Cersei is actually the oldest out of the three of the Lannister children, so both brothers could fit the prophecy although Cersei believes it will be Tyrion who will kill her. So far it does seem likely that Tyrion will be the one to kill Cersei, but Jaime is still a possibility with him being Cersei’s younger twin. It does seem like Jaime wants to support Cersei still as it’s a war of survival now with whoever losing most likely dying. I wonder if Jaime will be the one to kill Cersei as a way of mercy killing in order to make sure they’re not captured in the end, and thus, Jaime will not only be a kingslayer, but a kinslayer and a queenslayer. We did get a glimpse of mercy killing in Game of Thrones that in order to be spared in what the old man felt would be a worse fate for him and his daughter (starvation), he killed his daughter and then himself as a suicide measure (death by knife).
I’m interested in Sandor’s part with the men without banners, especially since Thoros got Sandor to look into the flames and see the Night King’s army, solidifying what Beric has been telling him. I wonder what the impact of seeing the Night King’s army will have on Sandor. Sandor’s scenes and Daenerys’s scenes left me wanting for more, but hopefully next week’s episode gives them more attention. They tried hard with both Sandor’s and Daenery’s scenes to emphasize a more humane kind of look. Sandor digging the graves for the man and his daughter that died because of him, and Dany with her kneeling down on the sand and finally getting a look at the place of her birth. It seems like Dany’s ready to take on Cersei and thus fulfilling the prophecy of Maggy the Frog. I wonder what Dany’s role will be when the Night’s King actually becomes a problem for her especially if she wants to be queen of Westeros.
Lastly, it’s also important to keep in mind that Bran and Meera has made it to the wall and made contact with the men at the wall. Now that Bran has a greater chance to make it back to Winterfell, what does that mean for Jon’s position as the new king of Winterfell now that there’s a surviving son of Ned Stark that’s about to make an appearance especially one who knows Jon’s true parenthood? Will Bran, with his knowledge, let Jon lead Winterfell? At the very least, one thing is for sure, Brandon Stark’s return will shake things up in Winterfell.