Once Upon a Time 7x01 “Hyperion Heights” Sneak Peek - After six seasons, the residents of the enchanted forest enter Season 7 facing their greatest challenge yet as the Evil Queen, Captain Hook and Rumplestiltskin join forces with a grown-up Henry Mills and his daughter Lucy on an epic quest to bring hope to their world and ours. Along the way, new fairy tale characters and old search for true love, find adventure and take sides in the ongoing struggle of good against evil as classic tales are once again twisted and reimagined.
I don’t know if this will be a regular occurrence, but for the first episode, I’m going to be laying out my thoughts about the premiere in what will probably be a lengthy post that’s half gibberish and half maybe something substantial. Undoubtedly, not eloquent. These are just thoughts and nothing more that I’ve jotted down while watching and am now about to elaborate on.
Let’s begin with what has to be one of the most epic intros in Game of Thrones ever. No, I don’t want to hear your counter. You will not sway me on this. I don’t care, mate, because this scene was bloody awesome. The minute Filch Walder Frey’s face popped up, I knew it was Arya and I knew shit was about to go down. Now nobler humans might be like ‘Oh, Arya is going down a dark path; this is bad’ but her gathering all of the Freys in one room was poetic justice. What they did at the Red Wedding warranted retaliation and this has been a long time coming.
It was beautiful the way it happened too – a dark sadistic glee washed over you as you watch a room full of men choke on their drinks as Arya stands there telling them they should’ve killed all the Starks, and “leave one wolf alive and the sheep are never safe.”
Look, people really hated that line prior to the premiere, but in context, it was wonderful, it was justified, it was so unbelievably satisfying. Then when Arya goes, “tell them the North remembers; tell them Winter came for House Frey”, you bet I got goosebumps. Like I’ve said time and time again, ‘Winter is Coming’ is not just a warning, but it’s a battle cry for the Starks. This is their season. When the world dies, the lands become barren and the knights of Summer struggle to survive, the North prevails, and the Starks are at the helm of this changing tide. It’s their time now, and beginning it with Arya avenging the loss of her family is a truly poignant way to set the tone for the rest of the season. Yes, we’ll see Cersei and Dany duking it out, but at the end of the day, this is about the Starks.
The next thing I jotted down was ‘zombie giants’, which is just to say that: holy shit, there are zombie giants! Seeing the sheer number of White Walkers, it makes you realise how utterly inconsequential Cersei and Dany’s fight for the Iron Throne is. There won’t be a kingdom to govern when those icy bastards get past the Wall, and believe you me, they will eventually. No matter what anyone says, that Wall is coming down probably at the end of this season.
Seeing Dolorous Edd as Lord Commander gave me goosebumps as well. I adore him; I love him, and I swear to god if he dies, I will kick someone’s ass, so he’s probably going to die. But him meeting Bran and Meera made my heart race. They are so close to Winterfell and we’re so close to another Stark reunion. Also, hey Bran, I know the world is ending but cheer up, pal.
Now we get to the highly talked about scene with Jon and the Northern houses. First of all, I felt so euphoric when Jon told the North that they would need every man and woman, boy and girl fighting in this battle. Even more so when Lyanna spoke up and basically told the men in the room to shut up about it. Her “I don’t need your permission to defend the North!” speechwas seriously my top five favourite moments of the episode. The look of pride on Brienne’s face as well. I wonder, however, if this means Sansa might learn how to fight? I don’t see it. She’s a diplomat, a politician, but she should know some self-defence. Jon should teach her. Late at night. Alone. Some flirty teaching…. I’m getting sidetracked.
Speaking of Jon and Sansa though, can I just say to that redditor who apparently saw the first episode: ‘Hey buddy, you were wrong! And if you interpreted that scene as Jon putting Sansa in her place then you really are a sexist creep.’ Because while yes, Sansa does argue with Jon in public and Jon does tell her his word is final, he in no way puts her in her place. And there is no moment where the other Houses laugh at her. In fact, going by the murmurs of agreement, quite a large amount of lords and ladies wanted Jon to give Umber and Karstark lands to the houses who didn’t fight for Ramsay.
I also want to clarify something here before anti’s get all up in arms about this scene (not that I think any of them follow me or stalk my blog but if you do: hi, how are ya?). While I do agree with Jon’s decision, in the end, I also understand Sansa’s opinion on the matter. If I had gone through what she had under the ministrations of Ramsay and knew that these Houses who have sworn up and down in the past to fight for the Starks sided with him, I’d be furious. There wouldn’t be a damn thing anyone could say to me to get me to forgive their indifference and compliance in the trauma I went through. Sansa has every right to want to strip the Umbers and Karstarks of their land. I can even understand being angry with Jon for not understanding this, but here’s the thing, she wasn’t.
Immediately after this extremely public argument, it cuts to a scene of Jon and Sansa talking about it. They didn’t fight, let the emotions fester and build up resentment. No, Jon and Sansa talked it out. He told her not to undermine him in public and she told him a king needed to be questioned lest he ends up like Joffrey. Then when he asks her if she thinks he’s like Joffrey, her eyes lose that fight and there’s fondness in it, as she tells him firmly that he is the furthest man from Joffrey she had ever known. Although they’re arguing and disagreeing on important political decisions, there’s fondness and trust and respect in the way they talk to each other.
What I find interesting is that after Jon and Sansa’s scene, they cut straight away to Jaime and Cersei. Two pair of (sort of) siblings and yet two vastly different relationships. The placement of these two scenes is no coincidence. The two relationships act as literary foils for one another. Both are fighting and arguing, but in contrast, Jaime and Cersei are clearly on very different paths from one another. There’s wariness, disbelief, and disappointment in the way Jaime looks at Cersei; and she is so consumed with her grief, anger, power, she can’t see that he is questioning her very right to be on the throne. They are shot as two opposing figures circling each other with lots of space in between them. On the other hand, Jon and Sansa were shot close together, always within inches from another, with dimmer lighting, and more physicality (ie. Sansa touching his arm to assure him and let him know she may argue but she is on his side).
Don’t dismiss the sequence of these scenes. Nothing in this show is a coincidence.
Moving on, I love Sam and I am so excited to see him again, but dear lord, that was the most disgusting series of shots ever. I felt physically ill. Please never again. But I wonder if he discovers the dragon glass at Dragonstone this early in the season, what else will he uncover in the Citadel? There’s definitely more in store for Sam’s storyline and I wonder if it might be something to do with R+L=J. People have theorised about Sam confirming it somehow. We’ll see, I guess.
Nothing really of substance to say about the Brienne, Podrick and Tormund scene, but it made me laugh out loud. Tormund is the physical embodiment of the heart eyes emoji. And his “you’re a lucky man” to Podrick when he gets knocked down by Brienne was such great comedic timing and brilliantly hilarious.
I wish I could play this next scene on a loop. Sansa telling Littlefinger off has to be the greatest ‘screw you’ to all the people clambering for StarkBowl just because they don’t like Sansa. I love when she says to him, and I’m paraphrasing here, “you don’t have to get the last word. I’m sure it’s probably something clever” and just dismisses him like he’s nothing, which he is. It was so queenly, so regal and so cutting. It was exactly like Sansa. She may not have a sword, but her tongue is sharp enough to wound.
The biggest surprise of the episode was seeing bloody Ed Sheeran. When we heard the singing, I said that whoever that was had a great voice, and low and behold, it’s bloody Ed. I knew there was a huge musical guest star but this totally surprised me. I love this scene though. Arya’s always been on a very rigid path for vengeance. Those who serve the Lannisters are in the wrong and there’s no grey area about it, but you can see her sitting there listening to these men caught in someone else’s war longing to be home with their fathers, wives, daughters, etc. and realise that they are victims of this war just like everyone else. I wonder how that’ll change (if it does at all) Arya’s journey towards vengeance because truth be told, I am worried about her this season. Next on her list is Cersei, but we all know Cersei will either die by the hand of Jaime or by Tyrion (probably Jaime), so where will that leave Arya? Will she give up her quest and head home to Winterfell? Or will she die trying?
You know what? I do like the Hound. I like his redemption arc. And although I don’t believe it makes up for all the bad shit he did prior to it, I am intrigued to see where he goes from here. Also, this line is hilarious: “it’s my luck I’d end up with a band of fire lovers.”
Now, what I’m about to say people might nitpick with me being an anti-Dany person, but honestly, I’m not. I just thought the whole Dragonstone sequence was incredibly boring. It was exciting the first thirty seconds, but it dragged on for so long. Then when she stands at the table and says, “shall we begin?” it was just so anticlimactic. It was the dullest part of the episode and I’m hoping it gets more interesting for her soon. Actually, no doubt it will be considering this is her make or break moment, but let’s be honest, that sequence was way too long.
Anyway, I’m done. Those are my thoughts. Let me know what you guys think!
This is my bar. It’s my home. It’s my life. Sure, it’s seen better days, but that doesn’t mean it won’t have better days again. And just because life isn’t what you want it to be right now, doesn’t mean you should tear it down. I started thinking about all the things I want to do and have, that I’m not doing or having. And how everyone in this neighborhood seems to have given up, imagining what a better life might look like. But if we can admit to ourselves what we want is out there somewhere, then maybe we can fight for it. And if we do that, we’re halfway to getting it. That’s the thing about the people of this town. Things can seem… hopeless. When suddenly, someone gives the rest of us inspiration. Because the first step to a new beginning is imagining that one is even possible.
Roni/Regina to Lady Tremaine/Victoria Belfrey, Once Upon A Time s07e01