TL;DR – Dragonstone moves everyone into place and sets the scene for what is to come, whilst really trying to get you to give up your lunch in the process
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
We’re in the penultimate season of Game of Thrones and goodness what a ride it’s been so far we’ve had the highs of the Battle of the Bastards, and the lows of Dorne, and everything in between. But now after six seasons, things are starting to fall into place, pieces that have been moving for seasons are now ready to collide, and boy are we looking forward to it.
So to set the scene and to recap a bit, at the end of last season Cersei (Lena Headey) just vaporised half the cast in the Sept of Balor and has appointed herself the Queen over all of Westeros, Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) got near on everyone still north of the Wall killed after lingering in a dream too long, John Snow (Kit Harington) is now the King in the North and you know that pissed off Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) is now the king of the Salt Throne and he’s one person you do not want to mess with, and the forces of the Targaryen’s, Dorne, Highgarden, and the other Greyjoy’s are on the move and they have Westeros in their sights. Everything is brewing for a royal rumble, but will we actually get there, we’ll see, as they still have one more season to go.
So when you open a season, you need to grab people from the start and that is just what Dragonstone did, by making you go “wait what is this a rehash from last season” only to go nope surprise everyone’s dead. However, as far as big reveals go this is the only one for the episode, because what Dragonstone is interested in the most is to start moving everyone into position and setup the conflicts for the rest of the season while not doing much of anything else, besides the odd cameo.
So before we go on to talk about the rest of the story I want to take a moment to talk about the technical sides of this episode because I feel this is where some of the highlights are. Firstly costume design, most of the cast have new costumes this season to show a change, indeed all the Queen’s Guard is now clad in black armour. But it is the small touches that this show excels, like Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) outfit which is black but when you look at it, it has a texture of reptile scales with a hint of red, which is just exploding in symbolism. Also, Euron and his all leather outfit when meeting Cersei which once again tells you a lot of what you need to know about the character with just visuals alone. I have to give credit to the landscape designers for the wide shots of Dragonstone, Oldtown and Winterfell. Not only were they spectacular, but they are giving us the scope of these cities/fortresses that up until now we’ve only seen glimpses of. Also that map room, goodness do I want that map room, actually I wouldn’t mind either of the map rooms in this episode. Also finally the editing, and wow, you do not want to have eaten before watching this episode, beware if you have a queasy stomach because tonight we have the montage of the poop.
[SPOILERS] When it comes to the story we start with whitewalker giants walking toward the frame, and if that does not get you excited for what is coming then I don’t know what can. So high points for me was Daenerys arriving at Dragonstone. There is no dialogue but you feel it, you feel history happening, also you are reminded what happened to the last person who held onto it. Also, that montage of what life is like at the Citadel was amazingly awful, that slow building cuts when you start to realise that the food pot and the bed pans are the same types of pot and well I’m feeling ill just typing about it. Also, having The Hound (Rory McCann) have to face the consequences of his actions, I think they have done really well with his character arc. The low point was Sansa (Sophie Turner) and John, you’re meant to be this strong character Sansa, but how are you meant to show that when you bicker in front of the combined council, talking about stupid mistakes, though more Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey) is always appreciated. Also not a big point but, you need to ignore things like they could not build a fleet like this that soon, I mean it looked cool but nevertheless. [End of SPOILERS]
In the end, I did like the episode, but it did feel more of moving people into position, so I think it will work much better once we’ve had the rest of the season and we can look back at the seeds that were planted here.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Trailer – Click Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Game of Thrones
Directed by – Jeremy Podeswa
Written by – David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Based off – A Song of Fire and Ice by George R.R. Martin
Created for TV by – David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Starring in Season 7 – Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Aidan Gillen, Liam Cunningham, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Alfie Allen, John Bradley, Gwendoline Christie, Iain Glen, Nathalie Emmanuel, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Conleth Hill, Jerome Flynn, Kristofer Hivju, Carice van Houten, Pilou Asbæk, Rory McCann, Diana Rigg, Hannah Murray, Indira Varma, Richard Dormer, Joe Dempsie, Gemma Whelan with Anton Lesser, Jacob Anderson, Tobias Menzies, Daniel Portman, Ben Crompton, Ellie Kendrick, Paul Kayne, David Bradley, James Faulkner, Rupert Vansittart, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers, Jessica Henwick, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Joseph Mawle, Tim McInnerny, Bella Ramsey, Mark Gatiss, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson and Vladimir Furdik