Game of Thrones is known to be notorious for death but man, season 7 dives right into it. Opening with a brutal massacre of… We’ll just say a LOT of people, Game of Thrones season 7 episode 1, “Dragonstone” proved that the show is not messing around anymore. Winter is here and we’re in the big game now. However chilling the scene was, savagery was kept to a bare minimum as David Benioff & D. B. Weiss focused more on how the events of the last season, affected the different Houses of Westeros.

Moving down South from the North of The Wall, where the dead continue to rise from their icy graves, Winterfell is home to brewing tensions. While the Starks managed to regain their seat in the North, unrest persists and having two leaders doesn’t make it any easier for anyone. Jon Snow is the King in the North but he does not have absolute power owing to the fact that the woman to his left bears the Stark name. Sansa Stark has all the characteristics of a Cersei Lannister in making. She’s suffered in silence but she learnt a great deal from it. She’s calculative, manipulative and wouldn’t shy away from doing what she believes is right.

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Will House Stark prevail?
Differing opinions on how to deal with treason causes a shift in the dynamic of Jon and his “half-sister” which might be a window for Petyr Baelish to widen the rift. But from what it seems, Sansa has matured greatly and would never fall into the traps he’s laying. Speaking of the Starks maturing, Arya feels a lot calmer than she was in season 6. She’s a pro assassin now and, for her own good. But, whether she’ll manage to check off “Cersei Lannister” from her list seems unlikely. At least, for now.

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“We’re the last Lannisters”
After the death of her last remaining child, Tommen Baratheon, something seems to have changed in Cersei. She’s scared yet arrogant and desperate to win which is not ideal, neither for her nor the others. However, as long as Jaime is on her side, she will be safe. And that looks like a situation that’s about to change. Jaime is not blind to how the crown on her head has affected her and also, her affinity to Euron Greyjoy.

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A new player
Cersei allies with Euron, now Lord of the Iron Islands, because what other option does she even have? Euron might look like a pea-brained, uncultured swine but he really is not. He knows how to appease the Queen and avoids barking up the wrong tree (Jaime) which may be the cause of a possible severance between the Lannister twins in the future.

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“The dead are marching”
The imminent threat of an undead army is menacing but, most of Westeros seems to be oblivious. Aside from Jon Snow barely managing to control the North and the wildlings, there is Samwell Tarly, who knows the White Walkers well. While at the Citadel, Sam hunts for any information on the walking dead, that most think of as a myth, and discovers a mountain of reserve of Dragonglass in Dragonstone. If Jon were to head to Dragonstone to extract this magical glass for weaponry he will have to face an unfamiliar face that is as close to family as can be.

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“Has she come yet? The Dragon Queen?”
With her Armada and winged deaths shrieking across the skies, Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen arrives at the shore of Dragonstone. She bends down to touch the lands, that had long been held by Stannis Baratheon, as if she had found home; an unfamiliar feeling for Daenerys. With her band of four trailing her into the castle, Dany takes it all in with stupefaction in her eyes. Turning away from her ancestral seat, she touches the map of Westeros, looks at her Hand, and says, “Shall we begin?”

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