Published On: Mon, Jul 17th, 2017

Ed Sheeran makes cameo as singing solider in Game of Thrones premiere

Spoiler alert: This story contains spoilers for Game of Thrones.

“Shall we begin?”

Those are glorious, bittersweet words coming from Daenerys Stormborn.

In the musty war room of her ancestral home, the steely Daenerys has declared that winter is finally here in the season 7 opener of HBO’s Game of Thrones. It also means, after much blood in the sand, the mother of dragons is at last on the same continent as her competitors.

Daenerys’ Dragonstone, the seat of House Targaryen is an impressive, soaring castle, although the deserted rooms suggest it could use a little fluffing from a realtor.

The art director may also have got a little carried away with the Great Wall inspired entranceway which seems to go on for miles — you understand why there will never be pizza delivery in the seven kingdoms.

With 38 Emmys, Game of Thrones, inspired by the books of George R.R. Martin is the most awarded scripted series in history. It is also immensely popular, as proven by HBO’s website breaking down for a while under the traffic during the airing of the show yesterday.

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The season opener, directed by Toronto’s Jeremy Podeswa (The Five Senses) is richly cinematic, as it picks up on the blockbuster finale of season 6.

In the opener, Podeswa deftly works with the multitude of intersecting storylines as he brings Daenerys closer to arch rival Cersei Lannister.

The show is titled Dragonstone, but it could really be called “A Marshalling Of The Troops.” There are seven kingdoms in Westeros (roughly the size of South America) and much of the first episode is a set piece — as the two Queens build alliances for the fight to come.

Cersei, of course is doing some heavy plotting herself in King’s Landing. In her map room, she declares she is “surrounded by traitors.”

To distinguish her as the new ruler, costumers have garbed the queen in a black, ready for battle outfit that looks, unfortunately like it came out of the back up dancers wardrobe for a Katy Perry tour. Cersei doesn’t need a cartoony black dress to show she is a badass.

Few rulers, short of Donald Trump have the delicious narcissism of the queen that sits on the Iron Throne. Her son, the king, committed suicide in the last episode, but she sees it as betrayal.

“He betrayed me. He betrayed us both,” she tells her brother and the father of her child Jaime Lannister.

Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss promised a quicker pace to the season and so far they are delivering: It starts pretty much as Season 6 ended with a violent bloodbath.

Arya Stark, not content to take revenge on Lord Walder Frey after slitting his throat and cooking a minced pie with a secret ingredient that wouldn’t win any awards on The Great British Baking Show, (it’s Frey’s son) starts the season rolling by poisoning all the closest relatives and allies of Frey.

“Winter came for House Frey,” she tells the young wife of Frey.

GOT producers waste no time in that anticipated Ed Sheeran cameo. Arya bumps into him and fellow soldiers from King’s Landing in the woods. The singer, is of course humming a love song, this time adopted from the books of George R.R. Martin: “For hands of gold are always cold, but a woman’s hands are warm.”

Stark ends up sharing a meal with Sheeran. And for a moment you think that the entire show will be worth it she rids Westeros of one more bad singer. You know she’s thinking about it.

Meanwhile, up in the north, Jon Snow is trying to unite his kinsmen to fight against an upcoming invasion by the White Walkers.

There is unexpected tension between his sister Sansa Stark and the new King of the north. Sansa challenges him publicly.

“You are my sister, but I am king now,” says Snow.

“Joffrey never let me question his decisions. Do you think he was a good king?” asks Sansa.

Sansa with a backbone is an infinitely more interesting character, and she tells Snow she “learned a great deal” from Cersei.

Meanwhile, while everyone is posturing for power, the man who will eventually save the day is spending his days cleaning toilets.

The demure Samwell Tarley is training to be a Maester at the Citadel, where he breaks into the restricted library to discover a map that could lead to a lode of dragon glass — the substance that can kill White Walkers.

After all that work, it turns out that the Dragon Glass can conveniently be found under the lands of Dragon Stone. That would be sort of like Iran hiding plutonium under the lands of a village called Plutonium Village, but I’m just the messenger here.

What is important is that Daenerys is locked, loaded and ready to go. So, shall we begin?




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Ed Sheeran makes cameo as singing solider in Game of Thrones premiere