‘Game of Thrones’ makes long awaited, triumphant return

Nate Day

  • “Game of Thrones airs on HBO at 9 p.m. on Sundays
  • Based on books written by George R. R. Martin, the story is loosely based on the historical War of the Roses.

Fans waited 386 days for a new episode of David Benioff and D.B Weiss’ “Game of Thrones.” For those of you keeping score, that is over a year; and for those of you wondering, it was well worth the wait.

Clocking in at 59 minutes, “Dragonstone” is one of the show’s longest episodes, and likely one of its most satisfying. Not only did viewers get to see their favorite characters return to the screen, but they got to see some real development as well. Arya Stark and The Hound both turned new corners for their characters, while Cersei Lannister fell even deeper into her wicked ways. Jon Snow and Sansa Stark proved that they are both born to lead, and Samwell Tarly adjusted to his new life as a scholar; the characterization within the episode is truly beautiful—perhaps one of the best of the entire series.

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The acting was, as usual, phenomenal. Sophie Turner and Lena Headey both proved for the umpteenth time why they have been mainstays since episode one, Maisie Williams gave an incredible and eerie performance of someone walking the fine line between good and bad, and John Bradley put his comedic chops to good use. However, no one in the show compared to Emilia Clark, who managed to raise goose bumps with only three words.

The episode also provided some interesting guest stars. Oscar winner Jim Broadbent popped up as an Archmaester, a role that is hopefully expanded upon in the show’s future. Grammy Award winner Ed Sheeran also made a cameo, but his was much more limited. He sang a few bars of an original song from the books on which the series is based, then sat around quietly while others engaged in dialogue. Truthfully, it was a bit awkward and unnecessary, but it was far better than having him butcher anything that was written for him, so we will take it.

Perhaps the biggest winner of the episode, however, was the editing team. One scene features John Bradley exchanging and cleaning bed pans for older gentlemen in a medical facility. “Game of Thrones” is well known for its dramatic capacity, but this sequence proved that it could just as easily be a comedy. It is rare to belly laugh watching this show, but the scene was done so well, and fit in so seamlessly, that we can only hope to see more of it in the future. Secondly, the editing team once again proved their genius in the final scene of the episode, in which Daenerys, Targaryen and company return to Westeros, army and dragons in tow. The scene beautifully captured the character’s triumph, as well as her longing for more.

Should you watch it?: Yes.

While the episode itself was fantastic, it left plenty to be explored in the future. Who was the prisoner that asked about Danerys? Will Jon and Danerys be allies or enemies? Will Arya successfully kill Cersei? Do we have to see Ed Sheeran again? We will just have to tune in next week to see.

Collegian Reporter Nate Day can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on twitter @NateMDay.