After months of billowing stories and spoilers, HBO's Game of Thrones has finally returned with its very first episode of season 7, Dragonstone.
The beginning of the penultimate season of the HBO's blockbuster Emmy-winning show has put all the key players on the move to make the game more intricate — from Cersei Lannister to Arya Stark to Daenerys Targaryen.
Also, critics noted that this year the show writers (GoT S7 E1 is penned by executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss) tried to weave humour into the storyline more over the 'blood and sex drenched seasons'.
Let's take a look here what the critics have to say about the first episode:
One of the often flexed strengths of Game of Thrones as television is that it has never tried to reduce the complexity of its overlapping narratives, storyline strategies, and foibles amidst the swordplay and Martin's mythology, as well as the abundance of flesh, sex, violence and dragons.
How many of the pleasures of Sunday's premiere really can't be spoiled in a review, because they're about how moments are played, rather than what happened in those moments.
And how is it possible that absolutely everything Lyanna Mormont does makes me want to cheer? I'm not sure there's any character on all of TV who has developed such a high ratio of awesomeness-to-screentime so quickly. Lyanna's never just standing around in the back of a scene.
The Washington Post
This episode of "Game of Thrones" didn't have an aggressively obvious plot twist or dramatic moment. For my money, though, Cersei and Jaime's conversation about their dead children were as horrifying as some of the bloodier violence the show has employed.
If the question for Sansa is whether the older Stark woman can be wiser than the woman who molded her, for Arya it's whether she can learn to see something other than vengeance. I know plenty of "Game of Thrones" watchers and readers of George R.R. Martin's novels believe that Arya will be the "little brother" who is prophesied to kill Cersei. If that is, in fact, Arya's destiny, it won't be a glorious victory for Arya, but a dreadful damnation.
Walder Frey is dead. To the East, Danaerys and her armada are preparing to land at Dragonstone. To the South, both Highgarden and Sunspear are sworn enemies of Cersei and House Lannister. Olenna Tyrell and Ellaria Sand will never make peace, even though both Jaime and Cersei seem to believe that the 'winning side' matters. No, this has all become deeply personal. Strategy and diplomacy are just two more casualties of this terrible, bloody war.
Higher up North, seeds of tension are being sown in the relationship between Jon and Sansa. While they managed to drown the scuffle with a little effort this time, it is just a matter of time before an ugly, thorny ivy sprouts out of it, watered and cared for by Lord Baelish. The foreshadowing is incredibly subtle but isn't hard to miss.