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It’s time! After many moons and suns setting in the east the Game has returned. With all the hype, the emmy wins, and increasing budget,this season has potential to be the biggest and boldest yet, and by golly that’s saying a lot. I’m not just referring to the death toll either. Last season went out with a bang and the number of fatalities exploded to new levels. This seasons bound to have even more metaphorical, and literal fireworks. War is on the horizon, as Daenerys Targaryen & them dragons have finally..finally come home, not to mention doom in the north looms ever closer for winter is no longer coming, winter is already here.

So here we go again with yet another round of our favorite form of Medieval Russian Roulette because "when you play the game of thrones you win or you die, and all men must die, but, what is dead may never die." Confused yet?

It’s a story of death and rebirth as a result of love (fire) and disdain (ice).

Read with me, as I break down the events, pin point locations, reveal strategies,explain motivations, and speculate on where they might take us.

Analysis of Season 7 Episode 1: "Dragonstone"

A King in the North:

Jon Snow, the newly appointed Lord of Winterfell, and now King in the North, sits in front of his banner men consisting of the few remaining Wildlings, the Vale Army ( on loan from Robin Arryn & by proxy Petyr Baelish), and of course the remaining Northern houses (still a vast number). Jon is joined on his council by what we know is his cousin; Sansa Stark self appointed Lady of Winterfell, but what most people think is his step sister, & Davos Seaworth; acting in a sense as his right hand man.

They discuss the upcoming war against the White Walkers, which I will intimately refer to as the WW’s, along with their ever growing army of undead (Wights). Jon knows they are coming from north beyond “the Wall” and is relying heavily on that wall for primary defense, which leads me to believe it’s not going to be around for much longer, especially now that Bran Stark has entered there. Speaking of Bran, now that he has “become the 3 eyed raven”, does he still have the infamous mark of the Night King? I’m going to venture that he does which is of primary concern, but strange considering that Benjen Stark didn’t mention it. Yet Benjen managed to remind Meera & Bran that the WW’s cannot get through the wall due to the magic within. We still, after all this time know nothing more about the source & nature of this magic, such as how long will it last?, what are it’s weaknesses if any? And most urgently, now that Bran is marked, will that allow the WW’s to get through? And how about where do Benjen’s go? Bran & Meera didn’t even bother to ask, never the less it is safe to assume that Bran has sort of a mental link with Benjen now that Bran is the 3ER, and thus can call upon him if needed, but it sure would be nice to know what he is doing north of the wall all by his lonesome. None the less Bran is at the Wall, which is scarcely manned for now, but is about to get Staff me Up-ed by the aforementioned Wildlings, with Tormund Giantsbane as the leader. They will occupy at east watch by the sea. Jon logically predicts that because East-watch is the closest part of the wall to the WW’s last known location, that it will be the 1st to get hit. Let’s hope his logic pays off. Meanwhile Bran & co, stay at the more central castle black. Geez Louise, I wonder where the WW’s will actually go? Wink-wink.

What Bran desperately needs to do is contact Jon. Now he can’t exactly place a collect call, but he could simply tap into the Weirwood tree just beyond the wall and holla @ yer boi, or warg a raven /wolf/sheep/goat/pig. However the method, Bran needs to tell Jon 1. who his mama & daddy were and 2. The WW’s now have undead thenn’s & giants (and maybe Ice Spiders? Oh my). The Giants pose a big problem due to their strength in breaking through gates. However, none of this would be a problem as long as the Wall is there. Yeeaa… the Wall is totally coming down this season cuz, you know PLOT MUST ADVANCE.

Anyway Jon is being micro managed in front of his boys, by nitpicky Sansa. That’s a definite no no, in the corporate world. You don’t 2nd guess your leader in the middle of a business pitch or battle plan for that matter. Sansa is trying to play Littlefinger politics, after all she did graduate from his school of revenge getting 101. She’s noticeably frustrated with Jon’s super ethical, 100% practical leadership, when she’s been taught to give and take based on leveraging loyalty. Where as Jon just expects loyalty; essentially a much more straight forward approach. Appallingly Sansa compares Jon to Joffrey Lannister while at the same time trying to compliment him, Jon takes it rather well. Frankly, Sansa’s long term reward/punishment system seems all too similar to that of false king Stannis Baratheon. These methods of operation are minor for now but, you can tell Sansa is just itching to be in a power position and Littlefinger has the scratch to satisfy her itch. It’s just a mater of time before Sansa gives in to LF’s proposal to go after the Iron Throne. Queen of the Realm Cersei Lannister is always on the back of Sansa’s mind as the major threat to her existence. She knows Cersei better than most anybody except maybe Tyrion and Jaime, and even though the Queen of Thorns Olenna Tyrell might have Cersei’s number, Sansa no doubt wants to be the one to snuff her out; that is if she can do it before her sister does.

A Stone Hearted Girl:

Arya Stark is on the bee line for revenge. Arya no doubt is completely driven by her personal vendettas and her check list is getting cleared off at an alarming rate. She recently single handedly, wiped out the entirety of house Frey in one splendid evening of fine dining. She is undoubtedly on a roll, and proven to be highly effective with her newly acquired meta morphing chameleon power, courtesy of Jaqen H’gar’s school for the gifted. Seemingly the last name on Arya’s list is crabby pants Cersei. She certainly saved the best and most challenging for last. I imagine Arya is relishing the thought of being so close to completing her entire wish list. Now that Arya has gotten in close with some Lannister troops, she is 1 step closer to striking through the final name, so you have to wonder, who or what will throw a monkey wrench in her plans?

A Queen of Cut Throats:

Meanwhile Cersei ponders her options for revenge. She notes how she’s surrounded by enemies and what should one do when completely surrounded? Logically, one should find the weakest area and tunnel out as hard as you can. But Cersei doesn't make logical decisions, she makes highly emotional ones. So, where will Cersei strike 1st? She's so busy consumed with revenge did she even take time to sort out who she hates most? She's the current lead runner in this game and has been for quite some time, but she's been relying primarily on Jaime's blind sided lust for years, and making aggressive move after move until she eventually did reach her goal of ruling solely, but just like Jaime tries to tell her, she's worked herself into a dead zone. Even though the royal army is still significant in number, they can only be spread so thin, especially when food is hard to come by. This series with credit to creator George Martin, is great at creating these military conundrums for us to ponder; like when Robb needed to cross the Trident post haste to save his family trapped in King's Landing, but the enemy force was waiting for him at the Ruby Ford, and the only other cross over was Walder Frey's bridge, and we all know how that went.

Getting back to Cersei, she doesn’t quite understand that by being so competitive, paranoid, and cut throat all these years has transformed would be alliances into enemies. So when you do such a thing, you have no alternative but to make alliances with the same ilk of folks: liars, backstabbers, and thieves. Cue the Ironborn led by the nefarious captain Euron Greyjoy the drowned king (more like the damned king). Jaime Lannister mimics the rest of the realm’s distaste for the Ironborn. They are scum. Cersei points out Euron’s poor reputation, and Euron pretty much revels in it. His sales pitch is all about how if they align, together they can satisfy their mutual desires, with 1 little hitch…Euron wants to marry her. He claims it’s due to her beauty but we know he’s more ambitious than that. Cersei & Jaime don’t take to kindly to that but Euron isn’t one to take no for an answer and being the persuasive guy that he is, promises to return with a generous sign on bonus. This part of the story creates great drama and tension between Jaime & Cersei as well as creating a rival for Jaime. Well played. Well played.

Any guesses as to what Euron was referring to as a “gift” for Cersei? I know 1 thing that she asked Santa Claus for.

Finally we see that Jaime has accurately deduced that Daenerys et all. will 1st land at Dragonstone. Well that would seem like a no brainer as it is just about the furthest off the east coast while still conveniently close to King’s Landing, not to mention the architecture is quite nice, but none of those were the reasons Jaime gave. Doesn’t this mean Euron pretty much already missed his opportunity to attack her fleet? The trip from DS to KL is not very far, so there isn’t much time to intercept her ships before they disembark. Perhaps, Euron’s fleet can be used elsewhere.

Stay tuned for part two of my review for this episode which will cover Dany’s arrival, the journey of Brotherhood without banners, and everything that happened in Oldtown. The next article will also include the episode overview and my final opinion, as well as a few predictions. See ya soon.

As always feel free to share your thoughts, opinions, questions and more in the comments, or email me personally: [email protected]

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