As thousands of bleary-eyed fans in India woke up to watch the first episode of Game of Thrones, a technical snag on Hotstar awaited them. However, before any further damage, the Hotstar managed to stream the show. The first episode was more about catching up with where we left in the last episode of season 6. But this much-awaited premiere comes with its own deluge of hints, moods, and schemings. The first episode also seems to be inspired by the Lord of the Ring’s obsession with songs. We saw a group of soldiers singing a ballad and enjoying a nice lunch. Their conversation with Arya invites us to look into the minds of common folk who don’t want to get involved in the war.
It’s an endearing scene, a reflection on the futility of war. GoT has perhaps for the first time given us a scene where common folks are talking about the consequences of war. But that scene doesn’t last long. Very soon the shadows of gloom and power take over. In another scene, yet another reflection on consequences of war, the Hound buries the skeletons of a dead father and daughter to pay his respects. We are then gripped by the power hungry main characters who are insulated from the world where both pain and suffering are real. Cersei will do anything to stop her enemies from overthrowing her power. Arya is still living on the healthy diet of revenge. Sansa’s mind is clouded with her own inner insecurities. Jon Snow is as vulnerable as he ever was. Daenerys doesn’t need words to tell us what’s going in her mind. She is here for redemption.
The first episode belonged to the women of GoT. Arya, Sansa, Cersei, and Daenerys were, as usual, a delight to watch. If you have missed out on the first episode, don’t worry. We bring you the top 10 highlights of the show:
1. Arya Stark: North Remembers
The last season saw Arya killing Walder Frey. The first episode starts with Arya disguising as Walder Frey and murdering the people who slaughtered Starks. Arya takes her revenge and gives us some badass lines as well. Before leaving the Frey castle, she tells one of Walder’s maids, “When people ask you what happened here, tell them North Remembers”.
2. Jon Snow: I will not punish a son for his father’s sins
There is some tension brewing between Jon Snow and Sansa Stark. They have a little stretch of an argument while addressing the houses of North. Sansa suggests Jon to punish the traitor houses for betraying House Stark during its battle with Ramsay Bolton. However, Jon shows us once again why he is probably the most rational person alive on GoT. He makes his final decision and says, “I will not punish a son for his father’s sins and I will not take a family home away from a family it has belonged to for centuries”.
3. Sansa: I learned a great deal from her (Cersei)
We do not get a clear picture of Sansa’s mind yet. On one hand, she asks her brother Jon to be smarter than her father Ned and brother Robb. But she is also staying close to Littlefinger who is still as creepy as ever. While Jon Snow thinks their real enemy is the army of the dead, Sansa thinks their enemy is in South, ruling the King’s Landing. Sansa wants Jon to take revenge from Cersei. When Jon says to Sansa, “You almost sound as if you admire her (Cersei).” Sansa quickly replies, “I learned a great deal from her.”
4. Cersei: We’re the last Lannisters. The last one that counts
We see Cersei walking on a freshly painted map of lands she wishes to rule for centuries. Cersei tells Jaime that Daenerys has chosen Tyrion as the hand of the Queen. She is also aware that Lannisters are surrounded by enemies from all sides- Ellaria Sand in South, Daenerys Targaryen in East, Starks in North and Olenna Tyrell in West. Cersei is keen on winning this war at any cost and announces to Jamie, “We’re in the war of survival. We’re the last Lannisters. The last one that counts.”
5. Jaime: Right now, we look like the losing side
Jamie truly acts as a practical man who tells Cersei that they need stronger allies to win the war. He is also shameless in confessing that they are the weaker side. Jamie tells Cersei, “Even Lannisters can’t survive without allies. Where are our allies? Right now, we look like the losing side”.
6. Euron Greyjoy: Here I am with a thousand ships and two good hands
Cersei has got the support of the newly-announced king of Iron Lands- Euron Greyjoy. Euron arrives at King’s Landing with his Iron fleet and offers Cersei his army and marriage proposal. “Here I am with a thousand ships and two good hands,” Euron says, clearly taking a dig at Jamie. When Cersei declines his proposal, Euron promises and says he will prove his honest intentions. Euron tells Cersei that he will give her a gift and says, “I won’t return to the King’s Landing until I have that for you”. Any idea, what that gift could be?
7. Daenerys Targaryen: Shall we begin
Daenerys Targaryen along with Tyrion has reached Dragonstone. Just like Cersei, Daenerys has got her own map in a room where Stannis once held closed door meetings. Daenerys Targaryen takes no moment to rest and while looking at the map says, “ Shall we begin”.
8. Samwell Tarly who has got access to some forbidden books discovers that dragon-glass can be mined from a mountain in Dragonstone. Let us remind you that dragon-glass can save one from white walkers. Does that mean a meeting of Jon Snow and his aunt Daenerys at Dragonstone is in order?
9. Bran Stark has reached The Wall and is given refuge by the men of castle black.
10. Meanwhile, Sandor Clegane (The Hound) is wandering in the North along with Beric Dondarrion (who has been brought back to life several times). The Hound finally sees that army of walking dead in glowering fire and questions the purpose of his own existence.