It is beyond established that writers David Benioff and D.B.Weiss are capable of successfully navigating George R R Martin's multiple story lines and are yet able to make it their own. And if there was any doubt, they erase it with the first episode's opening scene.
A badass Arya Stark stands in the middle of the Frey household and proudly declares how 'the North remembers.' Dragonstone begins where the stunning finale of Season 6 left off, and it's hard to shake off the blockbuster title.
All factions of the seven kingdoms have consolidated their thrones - with Jon Snow leading the Starks of Winterfell, Cersei reclaiming King's Landing for herself and Jaime, Daenerys finally getting control of her dragons and the best ships from the Greyjoys. As they take guard against the in-fighting for the Iron Throne, winter is finally here. The White Walkers are on their way towards the Wall and all men south of it. The episode features an entertaining montage of Samwell Tarley undergoing his training to become a maester, not before the makers interject a valuable piece of information he chances upon which he absolutely has to send to Jon.
With Dragonstone premiering today, the countdown for the show's final 14 episodes has begun. And the pieces are falling into place fast and quick. Daenerys has reached Dragonstone with her ships and dragons, while Cersei and Jaime are struggling to maintain their allies to keep a Lannister on the throne. Jon Snow is now the King of the North reclaiming Winterfell for the Starks and is preparing for war against the army of the dead, while Sansa warns him about the blood-thirsty Lannisters from the South. Bran has finally made his way to the Wall, which probably hints at him finally reuniting with Jon, Sansa and Winterfell.
For someone who has stuck around with the series for six seasons and 60 episodes, I couldn't help but feel privileged watching the first episode of the 7th season. Witnessing nearly a dozen characters and their respective arcs, and then to see them on the verge of an epic clash - I'm filled with excitement. The episode has set the ball in motion for the umpteen tracks which the season hopes to explore, hopefully for an explosive payoff in the latter episodes.
After having blown up a religion along with all her enemies to smithereens, will Cersei manage to find any strong allies to keep herself on the Iron Throne?
Whose face will Arya borrow as she makes her way to King's Landing for Cersei Lannister's head?
Will Jon Snow and the Wall be able to keep the White Walkers from entering?
What will Daenerys do when she finds out about the rich reserve of Dragonglass?
These are only some of the questions which remain to be answered in the latter episodes. And WE. CAN. HARDLY. WAIT.