WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Revenge is a dish best served cold, or if you’re ninja assassin Arya Stark in Game of Throne’s season seven opener Dragonstone, with your enemy’s sons baked in a pie and a side order of death for all the king’s men.
Not content with slitting Walder Frey’s throat at the end of last season, finally claiming revenge for his slaughter of the Starks at the infamous Red Wedding, she of the many faces was out for more blood in the shocking opening scene.
Assuming Walder’s likeness, she finally avenges Catelyn, Rob and Talisa by inviting all loyal to him to a feast and promptly poisoning the lot of them, bar his daughters.
“When people ask you what happened here, tell them the North remembers. Tell them winter came for house Frey.”
If you haven’t figured out yet how to win the brutal, bloody war that’s been wracking Westeros for six seasons, let us clue you up: RSVP no.
On her merry way south to kill Cersei Lannister as well, Arya even finds time for a sweet sing-a-long with Ed Sheeran and his surprisingly nice bunch of Lannister soldiers. Careful lads.
Speaking of the Lannister queen, first of her name, she got the memo, just say no, refusing to turn up for her trial at the hands of the High Sparrow in last year’s explosive finale.
Instead, she ensured the separation of church and state by blowing the Great Sept sky high, neatly eradicating most of House Tyrell while she was at it.
Cersei, the self-proclaimed Queen of the Seven Kingdoms – “Three at most,” Jaime corrects – is still rocking her black leather dress, coolly writing off son Tommen’s suicidal plunge as collateral damage.
“Are you angry at me?” she asks a distressed-looking Jaime. When he responds “no”, she tries, “afraid of me?” His response is understandable. “Should I be?”
Cersei’s lover/brother points out that if they stand any chance of fending off Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons, with Tyrion in tow, they need some allies. She’s one step ahead and has posted the invite. Hello Pilou Asbæk’s mad Ironborn king Euron Greyjoy, newly promoted by fratricide and wearing matching leather with a roguish dash of eyeliner.
Always one to blow his own horn, and with his 1000-strong fleet anchored outside, he proposes marriage. Cersei’s holding out for more though, so he’s off to find a secret weapon.
Elsewhere, Samwell’s stuck in a whiffy montage of poop-cleaning duties at the Citadel, desperately trying to convince Jim Broadbent’s Archmaester they should be boning up on White Walker repellent. He also serves broth to an unseen prisoner with a familiar scaly arm…
Bran Stark’s mind-spying on the Night King’s army, complete with zombie giants, while his sister Sansa is trying to play happy families with the new King in the North, Jon Snow of the recently-updated parentage. Littlefinger’s still in her ear, fomenting unrest. The Hound has seen the light.
But most importantly, DANY HAS MADE IT TO WESTEROS. This is not a drill. Setting up camp in her ancestral home Dragonstone, last inhabited by daughter-barbecuing Stannis, she means business.
“Shall we begin?” FINALLY.