The Game of Game of Thrones: season 7, episode 1, Dragonstone

Here we are. The gang’s all back in town, and it’s time for another season of fights, hook-ups, and eviscerating burns. No, it’s not Vanderpump Rules. It’s the other one!

Forgive me for starting off this year’s Game of Game of Thrones with an admission like this, but I spent the first several minutes of season 7 thinking we were seeing a flashback to a conversation happening in the Twins just after the Red Wedding, and in spite of myself, I hoped something unspeakable: “Are they about to do Lady Stoneheart?”

I’m embarrassed about that, but I think we should start the new GOGOT league from a place of honesty. It’s never going to happen. I get it. I’m sorry about my confusion over this, and over the fact that Arya’s choice of poisonous wine, “Arbor Gold,” is a red, not a white. The first scene of season 7 is a points monster, with Arya netting +50 for using magic to try on Walder Frey’s dead body and hit the +50 points cap for random redshirt kills, effectively getting rid of what remained of the Frey family. She also delivers an icy (pardon me!) speech about the North. Cliffs Notes version: it still remembers, and “Winter came for House Frey.” (+10)

The North has been remembering for some time now (the writers blew it as an episode title five years ago, for some reason) and I’m not convinced Arya’s personal vendettas have much to do with what that phrase has come to mean on the show — i.e., that the old houses of the North remember their vows to the Starks, and will band together to defeat the Boltons. That, um, already happened. But it’s nice to imagine all the thousands of Tumblr reblogs some lucky young GIF artist will get after they line up Sansa’s season 6 slow walk and grin with Arya’s.

This is a lovely death tableau. I wish there were points for artistry, and that director Jeremy Podeswa were a draftable player. (He gets +500 for this sequence. I don’t care that it’s from…

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