He is the talk show host in the darkness. He is the watcher on the couch. He is the Game of Thrones expert that guards the realm of Houston. Paul Gallant pledges his life and honor to a Game of Thrones preview, for this episode and all the season 7 episodes to come
Game of Thrones is no longer just coming. It’s here. Need a refresher for the season 7 premiere Sunday? As a huge nerd who has watched the show through a good six times, I’m your guy. Here’s where we left off.
The last shot of season 7 showed Daenerys, Tyrion, an armada of Greyjoys, Tyrells, and Dornish (technically Martells), plus the 3 dragons taking off for Westeros. Based off the season 7 trailers, it’s a safe bet to assume they’ll land at Dragonstone, the ancestral seat of the Targaryens.
Makes sense. Stannis Baratheon (who used to live there) is dead (even though we never saw Brienne execute him, the show website confirms it. And seeing as he had to hire all those sell swords just to build a legitimate army, there’s a good chance the settlement is deserted.
I’m curious to know what Dany’s Westerosi reception will be. She seems to think that EVERYONE will welcome her back to Westeros with open arms. But will they?
Think about it. She’s the daughter of Aegon Targaryen – AKA “The Mad King”. Her chief advisor is Tyrion Lannister, a man infamous for killing his King (Joffrey) and father (Tywin), not to mention a man considered to be a freak due to his . . . “half-man” status. She’s backed by the Greyjoys, a house known for “reaping, raiding, and raping” the seven kingdoms. Theon is one of those Greyjoys, a man infamous for stabbing Robb Stark in the back AND burning the youngest Stark boys to death (even though that wasn’t actually the case). She’s also backed by the Martells, a house that murdered the daughter of the current Queen. And how many common people are actually aware of all the noble and good things Dany did in Essos? I doubt many.
She does have a few things going in her favor. 3 Dragons for one. There will be lots of pants soilage when those things show up. And of course Olenna Tyrell, a brilliant woman that leads the house responsible for most of the food supply in Westeros.
Meanwhile, we know that Euron Greyjoy has been building up a massive fleet. I imagine he’s close to completing it. And maybe there will be a confrontation between his armada and Dany’s before she makes it to Dragonstone. But what chance would he have in open waters against 3 Dragons and the combined might of 3.5 Houses? Plus, Euron still wants to marry Daenerys . . . even though his niece Yara told Dany that he’d betray her and murder her the first chance he got. Maybe he should holler at another blonde Queen . . .
The season 6 finale – which opened with a literal boom as soon to be Queen Cersei Lannister blew up every single enemy that she had in King’s Landing – was a scene to behold. I’m not going to lie, I was rooting for Cersei to pull this off (just like I may have been rooting for a Ramsay upset during The Battle of The Bastards) and was thrilled she did pull it off. In fact, I came very close to naming my cat Cersei . . . until a certain relative told me how upset they’d be if I named the kitty after “that B*TCH”.
But no matter how much joy she felt burning all her enemies away, or whatever difficulties Dany may have in store for her when she makes it to Westeros, let’s establish this fact:
Cersei is SO f*cked.
She has ZERO chance of surviving season 7. ZERO. The people of King’s Landing fear her. But the rest of Westeros? They’ve got to think she’s pure evil. Blowing up a house of worship? A house of worship where she was to stand trial for further punishment after confessing to an incestuous relationship with her cousin Lancel? What house would stand in alliance with her against an invasion by Daenerys?
Littlefinger – once once of Cersei’s most useful allies – is out of the question. He and the Knights of the Vale (House Arryn) have openly sided with Sansa Stark, (we’ll dive more into that later). The Freys are allied with the Lannisters . . . but they’re a complete joke AND their leader (Walder) was just murdered by Arya Stark. Hell, will Jaime Lannister even stand and fight for her after seeing what she did to King’s Landing to survive?
The biggest irony: Before the events of the show Jaime killed the “Mad King” after he crazily yelled “Burn them all” in the hope of preventing thousands and thousands of deaths in King’s Landing. That heroic act was just wiped away by the person in this world he loves – or loved – most. Jaime is a flawed character, but he has a good heart. His first 101 interaction with Cersei after her act of self preservation will be a fantastic scene.
Thanks to that little badass Lyanna Mormont, the North SEEMS to have united behind Jon Snow as the new “King In The North”. But what happens next?
The existence of Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger) is a threat to everyone near him in a position of power. That look that he gave Sansa during the “King In The North” scene was so telling. You can 100% bet that he will try to drive a wedge between Sansa and Jon. Will it work? And will he survive the attempt? That remains to be seen. The man is legendarily unpredictable, and for all we know he could work out another deal with the Lannisters.
Hot take: Sansa Stark would be a better leader of the North. She has seen the bad side of everything, and those experiences would be tremendously useful for a Queen. She knows how to lie and be duplicitous, AKA “how to be a politician”.
Meanwhile, Jon only knows how to do what he thinks is right. That didn’t exactly work out so well for him when he was the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. And he ignored Sansa’s advice about Ramsay Bolton (R.I.P. greatest TV villain ever) during the Battle of the Bastards. Will she feel devalued and turn against Jon? A couple of whispers from Littlefinger might be enough to do the trick.
IN THE GENERAL NORTH
Winter is here. And the White Walkers are coming. Will they get past The Night’s Watch (with Edd Tollett in charge now) and The Wall this season? Benjen Stark told Bran that there’s some sort of magic in place to stop them from passing through. We’ll see how long that holds.
You’ve also got to remember that when the Night King touched Bran Stark, he was able to get into that magic cave that Bran, Jojen Reed, Hodor, The old Three Eyed Raven, and The Children of the Forest were hiding in. If Bran goes South of The Wall, will the Night King finally be able to cross into Westeros proper?
Bran’s discovery that Jon Snow is the offspring of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark in the season 6 finale ought to have interesting consequences. How does he share that knowledge with Jon Snow? With Sansa Stark? Will Littlefinger or others find out? And how will it affect feelings in the North?
The Red Priestess Melisandre is also wandering around the North after Davos Seaworth and Jon told her to GTFO. Where will she go next? Something tells me there’s a good chance that she runs into our favorite assassin girl . . .
Arya Stark is back in Westeros and checked another name off of her list: Walder Frey. Based off of her appearances in the trailer, it seems she’ll be heading North towards Winterfell. Will she stop along the way to check off another name on her list?
The last time we saw The Hound, he was bro-ing out with Beric Dondarrion (the guy that keeps coming back from the dead), Thoros of Myr (the drunk priest that keeps bringing Beric back from the dead), and the Brotherhood Without Banners. It sounds like they too are preparing to fight the Army of the Dead . . . but they’ve been gone from the show so long I’m not sure what their purpose is.
A lot of people hate Sam Tarley. I get it. He’s dorky, a tad whiny, and his relationship with Gilly and baby Sam is a stale storyline. I read a theory online that he may be the Game of Thrones of Samwise Gamgee, the person who actually writes “A Song Of Ice And Fire” when the wars are all over.
This means that he’d survive all the way to the end though, which is in doubt. His father hates him, and he just stole the Tarley family sword. He’ll definitely try to hunt him down. Sam is currently at the great library of Oldtown (in the Southwest corner of Westeros) looking at books. I think it’s a pretty safe bet that he’ll be looking up ways to create more Valyrian steel and Dragon glass, the two materials that for some reason can kill the sh*t out of White Walkers.
HOT TAKES ON SUNDAY’S EPISODE BASED OFF THE SHOW DESCRIPTION
Jon organizes the defense of the North. Cersei tries to even the odds. Daenerys comes home.
The first and third part of the show description are pretty self explanatory. But the middle sentence? How the hell can Cersei even the odds? And who would possibly think about joining forces with her?
There’s only one answer to that: Euron Greyjoy. After all, the man is horny for a blonde queen. Cersei does like to keep it in the family though…
PAUL’S DEATH POOL CHOICES
I am in a Game of Thrones death pool with a variety of other Houstonians. Scoring is based on the % of people who selected the characters that die. You get 10 points per death, multiplied by the % bonus. Here is who I picked to die and why:
1. Cersei Lannister – SO, SO F*CKED
2. Gregor Clegane – Cersei’s right hand man. Dude is screwed.
3. Euron Greyjoy – Your sister is on the side with the numbers brah. Buh bye.
4. Bronn – What would this show be if they go another season without killing a fan favorite?
5. Yohn Royce – He was bitching after the Battle of the Bastards about Wildlings South of the Wall. He’s gonna die.
6. Petyr Baelish – The odds of him staying true to the King of the North are exactly ZERO
7. Sansa Stark – And I think that Sansa becomes a casualty because of old Petyr
Paul Gallant hosts “Gallant at Night” – Weeknights 7-11 PM CT – on SportsRadio 610. He also hosts SportsZone Unfiltered – Fridays at 10 PM – on The Kube: Channel 57. Get in touch with Paul via email or his facebook page.