Warning: contains spoilers.
Now that the Game Of Thrones season seven opener has aired (our spoiler-filled review is here), here are the answers to one or two questions that may or may not have floated up while you were watching…
How come Walder Frey was in it? Didn’t Arya slit his throat last season?
Had you sneezed at an inopportune moment, you may not have seen Arya peeling his face off her own like a Scooby Doo villain, using a trick she learned from her time with the Faceless Men. The North remembers, remember?
What song was Ed Sheeran singing around that campfire?
Despite Sheeran’s character telling Arya the song he and his soldier friends were singing is new, it’s at least seventeen years old. The song featured in 2000’s A Storm Of Swords, the third novel in George R.R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire series. It was written as a composition by Symon ‘Silvertongue’, a singer in King’s Landing who attempted to use it to blackmail Tyrion, then the Hand of the King (hence the references to chains, keeps, and golden hands), about his secret relationship with Shae. The attempt failed, and Silvertongue was swiftly dispatched by Tyrion’s man Bronn.
That wasn’t Sheeran’s acting debut, by the way. Among other cameo appearances, he had a recurring role as Sir Cormac in Kurt Sutter’s historical drama The Bastard Executioner.
Where did I recognise Ed Sheeran’s friendly mate from?
Most likely, Shane Meadows’ This Is England and its follow-up TV series. The generous soldier was played Thomas Turgoose, best recognised for playing This Is England’s Shaun.
Was that Jim Broadbent slicing up human corpses to weigh their vital organs?
Yes! Arch-maester Jim Broadbent! Hooray!
Who were the giants marching in the Night King’s army in Bran’s vision?
Drongo, Mag the Mighty and Wun-Wun, we presume. The first two were killed in the Battle of Castle Black, while the latter survived the Battle of Hardhome only to fall at the cruel hands of Ramsay Bolton in the Battle of the Bastards. A close-up of one wight-giant marching in the Night King’s army revealed him to have only one eye, making him most likely Wun-Wun, who was possibly the last of his kind. They should have burned the bodies.
What was the deal with the Hound and those corpses?
The dead bodies discovered in the cottage stumbled upon by the Brotherhood Without Banners were characters we met in season four episode three, Breaker Of Chains.
While travelling as the Hound’s prisoner, Arya spun a sob story to a kindly, devout farmer and his young daughter that the Hound was her widower father who fought for House Tully in the war. They were duly welcomed in for the night and fed. After making a deal to stay and work for the farmer (“fair work for fair wages”), the Hound attacked him and stole his silver, telling Arya it didn’t matter because the pair were weak and would both be dead by winter anyway.
The Hound’s prediction came true (though admittedly his actions likely played a hefty part in it coming to pass). Him burying the corpses and attempting to say a prayer over their bodies, as the farmer had said over dinner years ago, was therefore an act of atonement on the Hound’s path to redemption.
Can I be Lyanna Mormont when I grow up?
Deep in your heart, you already are.
Is Sansa turning into Cersei?
It’s not just the goth gowns they have in common, Sansa seemed to be channelling Cersei’s attitude in the season seven opener. First there was her lust for revenge on the Karstark and Umber traitors, then her sassy sign-off to Littlefinger “No need to seize the last word, Lord Baelish, I’ll assume it was something clever,” and her knowing assurance to Brienne that she knows “exactly what [Littlefinger] wants”.
Cersei and Sansa’s scenes in the season opener were also of a pair – for the sake of their military might, they’d made alliances with men they didn’t trust, both of whom wanted to marry them.
You look as though you admire Cersei, Jon told Sansa. “I learned a great deal from her,” she replied. You watch, the Stark girl will be guzzling Dornish wine before we know it.
Who was that shadowy figure in the Citadel prison/hospital at the end?
Ser Jorah Mormont, who, after declaring his love for Daenerys Targaryen, was sent off to find a cure for his greyscale (as seen on the arm that grabbed Samwell Tarly) so he could return and rule by her side. Jorah obviously went looking for his remedy in Old Town, which makes sense what with it being the repository for all knowledge in the Seven Kingdoms. The Maesters must have spotted his communicable disease and slapped him in quarantine.
What accent was Euron Greyjoy doing?
Rupert ‘Ripper’ Giles from Buffy with a splash of Eurotrash Captain Jack Sparrow.
What’s the precious gift that Euron Greyjoy is going to retrieve for Cersei?
What would she really, really like? The head of her brother Tyrion, perhaps?
Where have I seen that spinny thing in the Old Town opening credits sequence before?
At the start of every single episode of Game Of Thrones ever. As spotted in the season six finale, the Citadel houses a gyroscope depicting the history of the Seven Kingdom’s major houses, to which magnifying glasses are attached. It’s the same object we’ve seen spinning before the camera swoops down onto the map in the Game Of Thrones opening credits since day one.
A smaller version of the gyroscope features in the map’s animated sequence depicting Old Town. Samwell Tarly actor John Bradley has posited a theory that the story we’ve been watching seeing is based on written accounts made by Sam at the Citadel, hence the doo-dah and magnifying glass at the start of each episode.
If there’s a mountain of dragonglass underneath Dragonstone, could Dany’s dragons breathe fire on it and turn it into a massive sea of White Walker-killing lava that covers the Seven Kingdoms, much as the Smooze did in My Little Pony: The Movie?
Don’t see why not.
But wouldn’t that also kill all the humans?
Probably. We haven’t thought this through.
Was that the Stark sigil I saw back where it belonged on top of Winterfell in the opening credits?
It was. It replaced the Flayed Man of House Bolton in the season six finale after Ramsay Bolton’s defeat in the Battle of the Bastards. Long may it remain there.
When Jon said “I will not punish a son for his father’s sins”, that was quite apt in his case, wasn’t it?
Yes. Jon’s real dad, Rhaegar Targaryen, was a woman-kidnapper from a cruel, notoriously incest-loving family, and the enemy of the Starks, so that’s a pretty sound attitude for him to have.
And finally, when will Brienne of Tarth make an honest man of Tormund Giantsbane?
Over Jaime Lannister’s dead body?