From a triumphant Frey feast turned bloody to Daenerys Targaryen returning to her ancestral home, “Dragonstone,” Game of Thrones’ seventh season premiere, is filled with moments long foretold that, nonetheless, lose a little of their power for essentially repeating dramatic beats from the season six finale.
Then again, the season six finale was one of the best episodes the show has ever come up with, so it’s not like this is a bad thing. Copying off the paper of the smartest kid in class can usually net you a B or B+ if you do it just right, and that’s where “Dragonstone” lands — not the best Game of Thrones episode (or even premiere) ever, but certainly far from the worst.
It’s a rollicking, surprisingly humorous hour that seems designed, mostly, to make you glad the show is back. It can deal with major plot developments a little later.
So are you glad the show is back? I certainly am. Even when I can’t stand Game of Thrones, I love Game of Thrones. It’s a weirdly addictive show, deeply fun to watch even when it’s being over the top in its grimness, because there’s always something happening.
So where is everybody as season seven begins? Let’s check in on them, and take a look at who’s on top and who’s scrambling to keep up.