Sansa Snark: Season 7, Episode 1

It has been over a year since I last had to worry about Game of Thrones. Life is beautiful. My bank account is flush with cash, my jaw has stopped clicking, my coat has grown healthy and shiny. What even happened last season? A lot of people blew up? Cool, man. Sounds super interesting.

No one really knows how much actually goes into writing these: First I watch the episode closely, scribbling down notes the entire time. Then, I panic for up two days over how I’m going to approach things for that particular post. After that, I spend anywhere from like four to eight hours writing, editing, and coming up with dynamite zingers. After I’m finished, I share it on Facebook, wait for all them likes to just POUR IN, and enjoy what I’ve created for the rest of the day. Come Sunday, it’s rinse and repeat. It’s a lot, especially considering that I also have two freelance gigs, a podcast, and an actual job to worry about. At the end of a season, I am burnt-out.

So, when I found an opportunity to lazily, but effectively, write myself out of my own blog series in the season six finale outro, I decided to take it. What the hell, why not give myself an out, in case I truly was done this time. “Jeremy published his story, shut his laptop, and threw it out the window. He knew he would never be able to top himself. Ever. And now, his watch has ended.” At the time, I meant it, and I really did throw my laptop out the window (please do not fact check me.)

And, life went on. I traveled to Paris and Amsterdam with the love of my life. We adopted a dog! His name is Simon!

But, as soon as that first trailer for season seven showed up, I couldn’t walk down the street without hearing it from everyone. “Well, you must be excited for that new season, huh?”

Things only escalated by the time the second trailer got released. “Jeremy, you still doing that Game of Thrones blog this season?”

By the time all the billboards and ads started going up around the city, with the premier date plastered on them? Forget about it. “Really excited for Sansa Snark this year! Can’t wait to read!”

Shit.

I can’t be done with all this. What started out as a way to amuse myself by poking fun at an extremely popular television show my friends wouldn’t shut up about, has turned into something that some people literally know me by. I’m borderline on the periphery of Game of Thrones-related fame!

On Sunday night, I headed to the back alley, shooed away the rats, cats and raccoons, and scraped my laptop off the hot concrete. My story within the story of me writing about the story of Game of Thrones isn’t over yet.


Anyway, now that those 500 words out of the way, let’s talk about this fucking show already.

Season 7, Episode 1- Dragonstone

With the grim specter of the book series even further in its rearview, it’s a bold new world filled with cold opens for Game of ThronesWe start with Walder “Two Feasts in a Single Night” Frey, who proposes a toast to his men for being despicable pieces of shit, and killing most of the Starks. Last we saw Walder Frey, he was bleeding out after getting proper owned by Arya Stark and her undying thirst for revenge. Accordingly, you’d be forgiven for thinking this pre-credits scene was a flashback, with the end featuring Walder stating that his men “left one wolf alive,” being a sort of ominous reminder that in the game of Game of Thrones, you either tie up all loose ends, or you get your neck cut after having been fed your own sons for dinner.

But AWWWW HELL NAW ya’ll, this ain’t no flashback, it’s the cot dang present day! Walder Frey’s statement that his men “left one wolf alive,” was actually a warning from the one wolf herself, Arya Stark, who rips off Walder Frey’s face as all of his men drop dead from the poison they just got tricked into drinking. Life hack: If you want to trick someone into drinking poison, all you need to do is pretend you’re toasting them. People will do anything if they think you’re paying them a compliment.

Murdering Frey and all of his men was nothing for a cold-blooded killer like Arya, but later on, murdering Lannister men somehow becomes a chall…1600

Holy shit, why is Ed Sheeran in this? What is this stunt casting? Sure, the show has had celebrity cameos in the past (for example, some of the guys from Mastodon as Wildlings) but this is next level. Neither Sheeran nor the show need this cameo, there’s no reason they could not have cast an actual actor in this role. More than anything else, it’s just distracting. Stay tuned next week for Pitbull’s inspired turn as a brother of the Night’s Watch!

Phew! Alright, as I was saying before, Arya encounters a group of Lannister men who have been sent up her way to keep peace in the Riverlands. Clearly Arya wants to murder them all, that’s what she does now. Why else take note of where all their swords are? But… hoo boy, are these guys ever aggressively humanized as a means to amplify Arya’s INNER STRUGGLE between being no one, and being a human being with compassion for innocent lives. One guy misses his dad, another wonders whether the child his wife has had is a boy or a girl, and I’m sure Ed Sheeran has some studio time booked in a couple of weeks so he can really flesh out that next album of his. Does Arya really want to kill all these HUMANS when they still have so much beautiful LIFE ahead of them??? Does she really want that on her conscious right as she’s about to return home?

Speaking of! The Jon-Sansa tension teased in last season’s finale seems to be a very real thing. Houses Karstark and Umber betrayed the Starks to align themselves with the Boltons. Remember the Boltons? Not a nice bunch! Sansa wants these traitors to get the punishment that they deserve, to be stripped of their home and effectively excommunicated from the greater “The North” community. Jon however, has them re-pledge their loyalty to the Starks, as he feels The North is going to need as many people (men, women, boys, and girls) working together as possible in order to defeat The Night’s King.

Seeing no punishment for treason, and no reward for loyalty, Sansa is unhappy. Seeing an opening for some good, old-fashioned scheming, Littlefinger schemes quietly to himself. Sansa isn’t mad at Jon, she just wants him to be smart, smarter than Ned and Robb, two smart Starks who famously aren’t alive anymore. They have little time to sort things out though, before a raven arrives from King’s Landing compelling them to bend the knee to Cersei. Jon wants to remain focused on the more immediate threat to the North, but Sansa doesn’t want him to sleep on Cersei. She’s a wildcard, that Cersei. Actually, no. She’s pretty predictably going to murder anyone that crosses her. Soooooo, don’t cross her, I guess? Idk, I’m honestly not much of a tactician when it comes to these sorts of things.

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In a COMPELLING METAPHOR, Cersei stands on a map of the world. Yet, despite this view from above, she’s oddly unconcerned with any of her enemies, enemies who surround her from literally all sides. The only thing she cares about is her love, who is still also her twin brother, Jaime. Forget all of her children that have died, including the one that recently killed himself due to her actions, to Cersei it’s her and Jaime that are the only Lannisters that matter. Of course, “mattering” is literally not going to matter when the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms only controls three at best and has zero allies, so Cersei opts to enlist the help of the extremely trustworthy Euron Greyjoy.

On one hand, Euron killed his brother in order to become King, tried to kill his niece and nephew, and generally seems to offer nothing beyond having a lot of ships. But on the other hand, he does have a new haircut so, who’s really to say the Lannisters can’t trust him going forward? They don’t cement an alliance quite yet, but I don’t see what the hold up is. Clearly this would be a partnership that would be nothing but beneficial to all parties involved. Yep, I can’t see this turning out badly for any single person.

We also get to check on Samwell Tarly, who is living the life at The Citadel! Sure he’s spending a good portion of his time cleaning up literal shit, but it’s Citadel shit! If it gets recorded in The Citadel, that means it’s historic! Sam is desperately trying to get off shit duty however, to be able to get into the restricted area of the library so as to learn some information to help Jon solve the White Walker problem. Unfortunately, that damn Arch Maester won’t let him, instead offering up a history lesson centered on proving that things won’t actually be that bad if The White Walkers come for everyone’s souls. Typical white privilege. The world won’t listen.

So, Sam does what any university freshman does when trying to prove themselves: he breaks into the library to steal books! Later, Sam and Gilly flip through the stolen books in their charming off-campus apartment, and well wouldn’t you know it, right as Sam is ready to give up, they stumble upon what they’re looking for. Turns out there’s a whole underground mountain of dragonglass (one of the only things that can kill a White Walker!) at Dragonstone.

And who is conveniently arriving at Dragonstone, touching sand, tearing down old Baratheon banners, and wearing her new all-black attire? Daenerys Stormborn, Mother of Dragons, Khaleesi, Mhysa (not to be confused with “meesa”, what Jar Jar Binks says,) Targaryen, of course. Finally, finally across the Narrow Sea, things should actually get really interesting for Daenerys for the first time in a long…Oh look, another throne room for her to stand in for three seasons!

Spare Thoughts

-Also happening this episode: I’d hate to relegate the amazing character work done with The Hound to this section, but alas here we are. The Hound atones for past sins by digging a grave for, and burying, a man and child whose deaths he may have been partly responsible for, after robbing them in an earlier season. He also takes peyote and totally sees visions in a fire, man, and shares a philosophical discussion with Beric Dondarrion on why the Lord of Light insists on repeatedly bringing Beric’s boring ass back to life. Like an actual dog, looks like all The Hound needed was a little socialization to help overcome his behavioral issues. Get it! Because he’s The Hound!? A DOG!?!? God, I kill me. And sure, maybe being brought back from near-death by a kind man has a little to do with The Hound’s maturation too, but mostly the other things I said that served my dog joke.

Also also happening this episode: Bran and Meera make it to The Wall! Woo!

-With regards to Walder Frey’s men being gullible idiots: I may be missing or forgetting something here, but why would Walder be toasting his men for killing the Starks, what, like two to three years later? What a bunch of rubes!

-Tormund Giantsbane looks longingly as Brienne knocks Podrick on his ass. “You’re a lucky man,” he says to Pod. He wants her to beat him up so badly right now, and I wish she would already! Tormund and Brienne 4eva.

Untitled.png-Euron killed his brother to become King of the Iron Islands and no one cares, but Jaime still gets shit for killing the Mad King and saving the city? Fuck that noise.

-The montage featuring Sam cleaning up multiple bedpans filled with diarrhea was the most harrowing sequence in the history of this show.

-Sam weighs a dead man’s liver and tells the Arch Maester that it weights 147. 147 what?! How much alcohol did this dead dude drink?!

-Wig Talk: Gilly’s wig is HORRENDOUS. This has been another segment of Wig Talk.

-Shout out to Jorah’s gross hand!

-And an additional and final shout out to my old notebook, which was used for various forms of writing, but was mainly a home to my tireless Game of Thrones notes that make it impossible to fully enjoy the show in real time. Turns out I ran out of pages as of last season’s finale.

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Well, I had one page left, but I wasted it for this photo op. This notebook served me very well, but has now been placed where it, and all books truly belong.

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Thanks black, leaf-themed notebook!

 

(To find every single edition of Sansa Snark, click right here.)

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