Greetings, lords and ladies; may this post find you in good spirits. A raven has come with tidings, and we hope you have some heavy coats and boots on hand because WINTER IS HERE!!!
That’s right, everybody. The long wait is over—Game of Thrones has returned! And because you know what we’re all about over here at Married with Bookshelves (namely, foaming at the mouth over this show and its founding book series), we decided that we’d take the opportunity to have some steady content flowing up in here!
So every week, we’ll be bringing your lucky set of eyeballs (or just the single sight-seeing apparatus, if that’s your deal) a little recap of the episode and our thoughts on the events therein. Excited? We are! (OBVIOUSLY: Spoiler alert)
Shall we begin?
Lord MWB: Okay guys. Shut up. SHUT YOUR MOUTHS. I know we’re all excited about Game of Thrones being back and we’re all chomping at the bit to talk about the episode (or complain about the episode if you’re like 80 percent of the fans of the books) but shut. Your. Mouths. Nymeria is coming back, baby! I have wanted this for so long—not as long as those unfortunate souls who first read A Game of Thrones when it came out in 1996—but a long time all the same! I’m so excited for this. I’m more excited for this than I am for maybe anything else in this season. Cleganebowl included!
So yeah. Nymeria. Anyway, let’s talk about “Dragonstone”!
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I want to start by saying that my favorite part of the episode was Sandor’s story. The Hound, I think, is one of the most compelling characters in the series, both books and show. He’s not a knight—he hates knights—and for most of his screen time he presents himself as a monster. He wants people to be afraid of him, he wants people to hate him, and most of all he wants to be left alone. But beneath this veneer, he is one of the most knightly characters we see. He’s just really reluctant about it. His story isn’t a redemption arc the way that Jaime’s is, it’s more him accepting his own internal goodness. I love it! And the grave-digging scene in this episode (I think) is supposed to be a cheeky nod to where he ends up in the books, while also being one of the best bits of character work we’ve ever seen on the show.
A close second is Arya’s poisoning of the Freys. I spent more time wondering what the hell was going on in that scene than I’m comfortable admitting, but when I did realize what was happening, I was screaming with excitement. Arya is one of my favorite characters, and her story is unfortunately one of the more poorly executed in the show, but god this scene almost made all the missteps worth it.
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Meanwhile in King’s Landing, Cersei continues to be the Queen of Stinkface, Jaime is the new Ser Friendzone (sorry Nikkie, I know you hate that term), and Euron begins a slow transformation into Jack Sparrow. Good stuff. Euron has the potential to be the most frightening character in the story, and I hope the show brings some of the more gruesome aspects of the books.
At the Citadel, Sam’s story is suddenly an Edgar Wright movie and he gets touched by Jorah. Will Sam get the Greyscale too?? The answer is no, but I feel like he wasn’t freaking out nearly enough about being touched by someone with Magic Syphilis. Also, Gilly continues to be adorable.
I’ll leave most of the talking about Winterfell to Nikkie, but Littlefinger seriously needs to back off. Is it too soon to make R. Kelly jokes, or perfectly prescient?
And Dany has a few seconds of screen time in what I think was a very effective scene. She walks right past that throne ’cause shit needs to get done.
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Overall, this wasn’t the best premiere episode in a show that often has very slow and weak premieres. It certainly wasn’t the worst though, and seeing Dany finally come to Westeros made up for any slumps. I enjoyed myself throughout and my boy the Hound got some real love. Mostly this did what all premieres should do: It got me excited for the rest of the season. And guys, I think the long wait might be nearing an end. I think The Winds of Winter is close. Call me a summer child if you will but I have hope!
And shut up—NYMERIA!
Lady MWB: GET DUNKED ON, FREYS!!!!!!
Okay, but seriously. Wow. What an opening scene. Arya straight-up destroying the majority of House Frey. Winter has indeed come, you traitorous bastards, and YOU DIDN’T MAKE IT. I am definitely all the people sharing that Taraji P. Henson meme:
So, yeah. *kisses fingers* Beautiful.
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I also have to throw up some major praise hands for Sansa. Because even though it actively wrecked my soul to watch her and Jon fight in front of their bannermen/women (quick shout-out to my adopted daughter, Lyanna Mormont), her dismissing Littlefinger gave me SO MUCH LIFE. When she cuts him off with that remark about “something clever,” I wanted to run around the apartment shouting “YAAAASSS QUEEN,” but then I would’ve missed the rest of the episode, so I had to settle for whispering it to myself while wiping a tear from my eye.
Honestly though. I’m so happy to see that, at least at the beginning of this season, she’s not actively aligning herself with Littlefinger/letting him try to manipulate the bond between her and Jon. It’s clear that the rift between them is because she’s tired of people pushing her aside and assuming she has nothing of value to add, and I think that’s something that can be overcome. (With only six episodes left, they better overcome it!) So it was great to see another hint of what we’re starting to see with her in the books—that she’s learning the games of manipulation. We saw a glimpse after Lysa’s murder, when she skillfully saved Littlefinger’s ass, but that glimpse was stamped out after she was sold off to Ramsay. So I’m thrilled that we’re heading back down that path. And it’s even better that she seems to be setting her sights on the very person who helped her hone this ability. Prepare to get wrecked, Littlefinger. Your time is coming.
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Beyond that, I just have the usual short, random thoughts. When will I get my Brimund Tarthbane hook-up?! When will Jaime come to his senses and get off that Cersei shit? Why does Euron look like he cleaned out a Hot Topic? (Seriously. Just because they were having a sale on Pirates of the Caribbean merch didn’t mean he had to buy out the whole store.) Can everyone let Ed Sheeran breathe because 1) he’s not the first musician to perform on the show, 2) the song he was singing is a nod to the books, and 3) not EVERYONE knows who he is, so if you felt like you were taken out of the moment, that’s kinda your fault, now isn’t it? How do you think I felt seeing Nymphadora Tonks’s NAKED BODY as she seduced Theon and then murdered a guard back in the second season? (Forever scarred.) But I survived her repeated appearances, so I think you can grow up and get over this singing ginger’s two-second appearance. Also, how many more Harry Potter actors can we squeeze into this show? We’ve had Filch, Tonks, and now Slughorn. Would it be asking too much to have Maggie Smith cameo as a made-up character who’s best friends with Olenna?! Crossovers forever!
I hope that the next episode picks up right with Dany, as close to her “Shall we begin” as possible. It was such a great scene, and having spent the entire episode away from her storyline, I think it’s only right to start the second episode with her.
I also hope that we get some good scenes that move us ever closer to Littlefinger’s shit gettin’ wrecked. From the preview, we see that this is the episode where Jon is going to have some kind of confrontation with him in the crypts. I wonder what it will be about. There’s no way Littlefinger knows his true parentage, right? Because that news really shouldn’t come from someone who isn’t family!!! (Do you hear me, D&D?) So I hope he’s just saying something creepy about Sansa, and Jon’s like “Hey. Back your creepy ass up before I remove it from the face of the earth.” We already saw Stark justice from Arya; mayhap we’ll see some from the King in the North soon.
Additionally, rumor has it that things are going to be moving pretty quickly this season. So the sooner we move away from Littlefinger and his sticky, self-serving influence, the better.
And yes. NYMERIA!!!!!!!!!
We can’t wait for Sunday, y’all. We also recently came across a fantasy football-styled game for the show, so we may try to retroactively jump on that just to have another fun element to add to these posts.
Other than that, we’ll just be grinding our way through more How I Met Your Mother as well as rewatching the Netflix Marvel shows for fun—we just finished Daredevil season 1, so Jessica Jones is up next.
Until then, remember . . .
The night is dark, but the day is full of spoilers,
The Lord and Lady of House Married with Bookshelves