Created by: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss
Cast: Sean Bean, Mark Addy, Lena Heady, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Michelle Fairley, Iain Glen, Harry Lloyd, Jason Momoa, Kit Harrington, Aiden Gillen, Alfie Allen
Synopsis: Baratheon returns from the hunt mortally wounded, and dictates orders to Stark that he is to be Protector of the realm until Joffrey comes of age. Stark, knowing the true father of Joffrey is Jaime, sets wheels in motion to have Baratheon’s eldest brother take the throne instead. With Baratheon’s blessing, he also rescinds the command to assassinate Daenerys, but too late. John Snow learns that he is not to be a Ranger with the Night’s watch, but rather Sir Allistair’s steward.
If I were not intimately aware that this is a season with ten episodes to be aired, and that this one were but episode seven, I could otherwise have sweared that the events in this episode were worthy of a season cliffhanger. So thrilling and significant were each of the reveals in this episode, that I can only with relief accept that there are three more episodes to come, and I shall not have to wait almost a year to see these events resolved.
With Baratheon mortally wounded, drama was sure to follow considering who would indeed take the throne at his passing. The audience has the benefit of already understanding that Joffrey is a vain, loathsome child. with Cersei behind him, his rule could be very dangerous. To make matters worse, Stark had offered Cersei an ultimatum to leave the kingdom, as he was due to inform the King of the truth of Joffrey’s birth. Alas, his death came first, leading to a battle of wills between these enemies, and for everyone else in the realm, a battle of divided loyalties. Clearly, this is the recipe for some intense drama, and provides the episode with one of the thrilling cliffhangers I referred to above,
Yet two other story arcs are followed, and these are no less thrilling than the primary “game of thrones” occurring in King’s Landing. Returning to the Dothraki camp, Daenerys still covets her father’s former throne, even after (EPISODE 6 SPOILERS AHEAD) the death of her brother at Drogo’s hand. Yet Drogo has no interest in thrones and kingdoms, content with his realm on his own side of the sea. However, after the attempt on his Khaleesi’s life, which Stark was too late to stop, a sleeping giant has been wakened, and in retrospect, Baratheon’s attempt to kill his predecessor’s heir will only pitch the realm into a war which was already perhaps unlikely. It is great stuff though, to see Mamoa’s usually gruff and sullen character awake in fury, and with his physique, it does come across as truly threatening.
Jon Snow’s storyline has less screen-time, yet it promises much. He is frustrated at being declared a steward, being the best fighter in his batch of recruits. Being selected personally by Sir Allistair as steward, he clearly knows where the blame lies. It is here that Sam’s character becomes important, calming Snow’s fury and opening his eyes to the benefits of his position. Aside from more references to the myths awaking from slumber beyond the wall, this storyline still only gives glimpses of an interesting story to come, yet it is one I eagerly await.
The best episode of the series to date, I hold my breath to see whether they can build some drama that is even more exciting than what we have already seen in the coming weeks.
5 out of 5
Game of Thrones Episode 7 – You Win or You Die on IMDB
Game of Thrones Episode 7 – You Win or You Die trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR6ZCi6psn0]