‘Game of Thrones’: 5 Things You May Have Missed From The Season 7 Premiere, “Dragonstone”
Game of Thrones came back with a vengeance last night — literally. The Season Seven premiere “Dragonstone” gave us a rare cold open that saw Arya “Murdergirl” Stark single-handedly take down all of House Frey with a toast. The rest of the episode gave us Dany’s arrival to her ancestral island home, Dragonstone, Mad Queen Cersei flirting with the even madder Euron Greyjoy, and Samwell Tarly handling oodles upon oodles of old man poo.
But I don’t need to tell you! You were there! You watched the episode (as soon as it was able to buffer on your HBO Go or HBO Now account). You’ve probably watched the episode again already — and read our recap! You are a Game of Thrones pro which means not much escaped you during last night’s big premiere…or did it?
Did you catch the (literary) return of a much-loathed catspaw dagger? Did you recognize the Academy Award winner slinging guts? Do you know that the song Ed Sheeran sung is from the books? DID YOU NOTICE ALL THE CRAZY FORESHADOWING? Don’t worry! We got you covered. Here are five things you may have missed from last night’s episode of Game of Thrones.
Note: you may have missed them, but you also might have totally caught them. 1: Actually, Ed Sheeran Sang A Pretty Cool Song I don’t know about your personal Twitter feed, but my personal Twitter feed was full of people dissing Ed Sheeran’s appearance on Game of Thrones last night. (YES, THAT WAS GRAMMY-WINNING POP SUPERSTAR ED SHEERAN.) However, if you paid attention to the lyrics Sheeran was singing, you would have noticed a sly reference to a storyline from the books. The Telegraph points out that “Hands of Gold” first appears in A Storm of Swords. The song was written and sung by a minstrel named Symon Silver Tongue and the lyrics explicitly referred to Tyrion’s illicit affair with Shae:
He rode through the streets of the city,
Down from his hill on high,
O’er the wynds and the steps and the cobbles,
He rode to a woman’s sigh.
For she was his secret treasure,
She was his shame and his bliss.
And a chain and a keep are nothing,
Compared to a woman’s kiss
For hands of gold are always cold,
But a woman’s hands are warm Over at Vanity Fair, they’re theorizing that the song probably has a new intended target on the Game of Thrones: Jaime Lannister. The lyrics could be referencing his literal gold hand and his incestuous relationship with Cersei. The next jump in logic? Well, if the song was a prelude to Tyrion eventually killing Shae in the books, does that mean the song is now foreshadowing that Jaime will kill Cersei?? (AND THUS BECOME THE VALONQAR?) That may be a stretch, but who knows? The bottom line: Ed Sheeran’s cameo was an Easter Egg in more ways than one. 2: Whoa! It's Jim Broadbent! Game of Thrones is continuing its quest to hire every actor in Great Britain (and Europe). Last night’s episode introduced Academy Award-winning actor Jim Broadbent as the “Archmaester.” That means he’s kind of the most important man in the Citadel. To whit, we meet him slopping his way through a cadaver. (Note: the naked cadaver was the only brush of nudity we got this episode — and it was full frontal, open chest cavity, male nudity.) If Jim Broadbent looks familiar to you, it’s probably from his exquisite work in films like Iris, Moulin Rouge!, Brooklyn, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and yes, the Harry Potter films. Professor Slughorn has a new star pupil and his name is Samwell Tarly. 3: Hey! It's THAT Dagger! Before Season Seven premiered, I wrote a quick and dirty primer on seven big storylines and plot points you would need to remember. In that post, I attempted to draw your attention to the very fashionable dagger that Maisie Williams sported on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. It was the same dagger that once belonged to both Littlefinger and Tyrion and that eventually found its way into the hands of a “catspaw assassin” sent to kill Bran in Season One. The theory, thanks to that cover, is that Arya will get the dagger by season’s end. Well, that dagger may be an even bigger deal than we initially thought because it totally popped up in Sam’s late night reading. The dagger was thought to be special because it was made from Valyrian steel. That’s the very rare kind of metal that the Targaryens brought with them from their doomed homeland. It’s forged with dragon fire, super light, and super sharp and deadly. It can even kill White Walkers. Photo: HBO This dagger pops up on a page that you can clearly read if you pause the screen and blow up the image (like a normal person). That page talks about how Targaryens had so much dragonglass that they adorned their weapons with it. This dagger is a specific example of a weapon that is made out of Valyrian steel, but has dragonglass in its hilt. Dragonglass is the other material that can kill a White Walker, which means… Arya Stark is probably going to get a weapon that may be able to kill White Walkers from both ends. 4: She Bangs! She Bangs! Oh Baby, She... Okay, so this is only a fun, small detail, but when Daenerys enters the Chamber of the Painted Table,* she lets her fingers run along the great “map table” of Westeros. It’s intended to be a poignant moment. Dany has finally come home to the place of her birth. She’s following in the footsteps of her ancestors, Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys. She’s planning her takeover of the land she loves. She’s rubbing the spot where Stannis and Melisandre did the dirty and spawned a demon shadow child. WAIT-WHAT? Don’t forget that we’ve seen this great table before. Stannis used it to plan his military engagements and he used it to engage in a little bump and grind with the Red Priestess. As our recapper, Vinnie Mancuso eloquently put it: “I really hope someone bleached [it] after Stannis Baratheon and Melisandre used it to conceive a shadow demon.” *Yes, that’s its real name. 5: The Wall Is Probably Gonna Fall There’s this fun literary device called “foreshadowing” that English teachers like to harp on when you’re reading Chekov or John Steinbeck’s The Pearl. It basically means that if you draw attention to an object, someone’s going to fire a gun in Act III. Wait, no. That’s not exactly how it goes. It’s… Anyway, last night’s premiere gave us not one, but two characters blithely writing off the threat of the White Walkers. Why were neither Sansa Stark nor the Archmaester all that pressed about an ice zombie army of the dead marching their way? Because the Wall exists and it will not fall. Guys, that means the Wall is totally going to fall. I mean, I think. I’m just speculating. I just think it’s a high probability! Of course, something else happened last night that could spell doom for the Wall. Bran Stark passed through it. If you recall last season, the Night’s King grabbed Bran in one of his visions. Once he did that, he could not only see where Bran was hiding, but he and his army could walk through ancient magic defenses that were designed to keep wights and White Walkers at bay. Hence why Hodor had to hold a door in the first place. So Bran still carries the mark the Night’s King left on him, which means he could also break other magical barriers like the one that keeps the Wall up as a magical defense against everything bad up north. Bran is going to ruin everything for everyone. This is why I’m not Bran’s biggest fan.