Each week I will set out with a foolishness and a sense of purpose that would make Jon Snow proud by power ranking all of the plot lines in the most recent episode of ‘Game of Thrones.’
Whew. 595 days we have waited. 595 days. That is, by my count, so many days.
So. Many. Days.
It might have taken an eternity but Game of Thrones is back. Winter is no longer coming and it’s no longer starting to come. Winter is here.
And so is the drama, hence our song of the week.
On to the rankings!
1. Daenerys Meet the North, the North Meet Daenerys
At no point during the almost 600 days since the last episode of Game of Thrones aired did we ever think that the fine folks of Winterfell and the surrounding strongholds would embrace Daenerys with open arms. In fact, them giving her the cold shoulder was a rock solid bet heading into this season.
And we were right.
Man, so many side eyes! So many! I haven’t seen a crowd be that judgmental since that one kid at the playground was eating dirt while their parents sat by cluelessly looking at their phones (that’s a little something for the parent crowd).
In all fairness, it’s not as if Daenerys came in all super cool and looking to chill. She dished out some compliments and tried to say most of the right things, but at the same time, she’s pretty hardcore when it comes to the whole bit about acknowledging her as the Queen. Naturally, that’s going to be met with some resistance; it’s like if my daughter had strolled into the house after she was born and demanded loyalty from our dog. There’s no way that was going to happen. It still hasn’t happened and it’s been four years.
My dog, like the people of the North, is also stubborn as a goat.
Hey Daenerys: next time, at least bring a basket of muffins or something. Everyone loves muffins.
2. The North Remembers Everything Except for the Fact That You Know the North Remembers
I would like to take a moment or two to give some love to Sansa, the Lady of Winterfell. She, my friends, is a boss—a straight up BOSS—and I love it. She is not here for formalities and bullshit. She is here for logistics and I ‘m a huge fan of logistics.
Oh cool, you brought a couple thousand soldiers up here? Great. How are we going to feed them, and also, what do dragons eat? Oh, “anything they want?” Awesome. That will go over well. Really nailing that PR campaign, Daenerys. You might as well just come out and say, “Hey guys, my dragons are going to eat all your goats.” People will love that.
And how about Sansa’s side eyes? Whew. The stuff of genius! I don’t know if there was a camera crew from Bravo following her around or not but that girl did not come to play. She knows from the jump why Jon bent the knee to Daenerys, and even better, calls him out for it.
On top of that, Sansa also knew from the moment she heard Tyrion brag about the Lannister army coming North that it was nonsense.
“Cersei told you her army was coming North to defend you and you believed her. I used to think that you were the cleverest man alive.”
Damn Sansa. Savage.
I love it.
Meanwhile, Arya’s kicking around and having reunion after reunion. The reunion with Jon? It almost brought tears to my eyes. The reunion with The Hound? Perfect. The reunion with Gendry? Oooooohh.
And Bran? Bran’s just there doing Bran stuff.
Oddly enough, something that Bran would consider “Bran stuff” is telling hard truths but he leaves that up to good old Sam, who fresh off of learning that Daenerys (his new Queen) murdered his father and brother, has to then go tell Jon who he really is.
Thanks for nothing Bran.
Also, Jaime showed up and the first person he saw was Bran, a.k.a. the kid he pushed out of a window once. So cool. I’m sure that will go well. He better have brought at least two baskets of muffins.
3. It’s a Family Affair
So Jon and Daenerys, the love birds that they are, decided—like most love birds do—to get away for a bit and spend some time together away from the distractions of day-to-day life. It was cute.
She taught Jon to ride a dragon, although saying she “taught” him is giving her possibly more credit than she’s due. She basically told him to hop on and then laughed at his ridiculous concerns about things like steering and stopping and what side the gas tank is on.
Daenerys is a little cocky when it comes to dragon-riding. I guess that’s what happens when you’re the only one doing it.
They ride north, and again, it’s super cute. Who knew Game of Thrones could flex its romantic comedy muscles when it needs too? All that was missing was them sharing ice cream while walking home together, followed by one of them asking the other if they wanted to come up to their apartment, to which that person would decline and the audience would be bummed because they really wanted it, but wait, so did that person because guess what? They changed their mind!
It’s at this point that I should mention that I may or may not harbour a secret desire to write romantic comedies.
But yeah, things look great for these two. Things look so great that Davos thinks they should get hitched, a move that in his mind will help build trust between Daenerys and the folks of the North.
Man, I just can’t wait to watch this relationship develop. It’ll be great.
4. Keeping Up With the Lannisters
With so much emphasis on the hullabaloo happening up north, it was going to be a little tough making sure that whatever nonsense Cersei was up to remained relevant. The action down in the capital will most likely be on a slow roll-out through these first two or three episodes but we’d be wise to keep tabs on it. Once the Battle of Winterfell happens (probably around episode three) all eyes will be turning towards Kings Landing.
So, then, we should take note that Cersei now has an army of mercenaries from Essos—the Golden Company—who sadly did not bring their elephants. Like Cersei, I was a little bummed about this. Elephants are great. The promise of elephants is even greater. No elephants would then be considered a big-time letdown.
Cersei also felt compelled to reward Euron back in the master suite, which means she’ll likely be able to keep him in the fold for a little while. That is, of course, until she shows signs that she’s losing, then he’s out (his words, not mine). That moment can’t come soon enough. Euron Greyjoy is the absolute worst and I cannot wait until he dies. I hope Theon kills him. Or Jaime. Maybe both of them can. I don’t care.
SOMEONE PLEASE KILL EURON GREYJOY!
Finally, there’s Bronn. I had been wondering what was going to become of Bronn because when Jaime headed north at the end of last season, Bronn wasn’t with him. This was odd because for as long as we’ve known him, Bronn has traveled in the company of Lannisters, starting with Tyrion before linking up with Jaime. A Bronn without Lannisters seemed like a rudderless proposition and I was worried he would be sidelined at a time when he definitely shouldn’t be.
Cersei, it seems, shared my concerns, for she is the latest Lannister to offer Bronn stacks on stacks on stacks in return for loyalty.
She wants him to go after Tyrion, guys! And maybe Jaime too.
This will not end well.
5. Oh Thank God, Tormund is Alive
I was genuinely concerned that Tormund was dead when season seven ended. He was on top of a wall that was in the midst of falling, so I think I could be excused for fearing the worst.
But he’s alive! And so is Beric and his sweet flaming sword. It’s so nice of Game of Thrones to end on a positive note, with Tormund, Beric, and company running into the dudes from Castle Black.
The line about Tormund’s blue eyes? Priceless.
It’s nice to have everyone back. I guess it’s time to watch Barry and…
Holy shit! That’s Little Lord Umber cut up into pieces and displayed on the wall and now he’s attacking and now he’s on fire aaaaaaand… oof.
Nice to have you back Game of Thrones.
6. The One Where…Ugh, Freakin’ Theon
Theon’s arc on Game of Thrones really is amazing, but sadly, I don’t think it’ll be fully appreciated until the show is over. So, for now, we will appreciate it as much as we can and, at the very least, applaud his follow-through when it came to rescuing Yara, who had been Euron’s prisoner for what I can only imagine was a long-ass time.
It’s hard to say which of the two will need more therapy sessions after this madness is over.
Alright. I think that about covers it. Thus concludes our first power ranking of the final season. See you next week.