“Stark Contrast” is back! Following an unusually long delay, J and I are once again discussing Game of Thrones. The Season 7 premiere immediately strikes a positive note as Arya (Maisie Williams) executes the family that killed her own. We discuss the bizarre magic of the Faceless Men and how the show missed a chance to develop a unique training storyline for Arya when she lived among them. Still, this is a triumphant first scene which exudes an optimism generally avoided in the Game of Thrones universe.
J and I spend some time discussing Jaime Jaime’s (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) character arc. Based on what we’ve seen from him so far, I argue that Cersei’s (Lena Headey) actions last season should have led to him turning on his sister. The Kingslayer isn’t living up to his reputation. J sees that turning point as inevitable, but doesn’t agree that it’s inconsistent for him not to have left her side already. She has an iron grip on her brother as his lover and one of his only remaining family members.
Cersei’s influence extends to the Stark family, as well. Back in Winterfell, Sansa (Sophie Turner) has adopted both Cersei’s old hairstyle and her cunning as she continues to strategize with and advise Jon Snow (Kit Harington). She seems increasingly frustrated with the stubborn persistence of her brother and suitor, Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen). J and I speculate about how the two of them will handle the leadership roles that have been foisted upon them.
J and I also discuss the Lord of Light and whether his followed have, indeed, found the one true religion of Westeros. I reference The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt as I put forth the idea that perhaps the Lord of Light is just some spiteful demon who enjoys messing with humans. As this faith joins the Old Gods and Many-Faced God as having real power in this universe, questions about godly motivations continue to swirl. Of course, in a world where Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) has a fleet of ships and three dragons, what do gods matter, anyway?
We’re probably going to disappoint a few of you as we didn’t lay into Ed Sheeran this episode. Why? Because I kind of like his singing, his role as a soldier is minor and the scene was actually well done for reasons we enumerate in our discussion.
Also, I liked “I See Fire” in The Hobbit. Sue me.
As always, you can subscribe to our podcast feed (including all episodes of “Stark Contrast”) using iTunes/Google Play or by copying this link into your RSS reader. Alternatively, you can check out the episode online or download it here. Happy listening!
Tune in next week as we discuss the second episode of Game of Thrones Season 7, “Stormborn,” where — presumably — Daenerys will have more than three words to say.