HBO’s Game Of Thrones has been on the air for six years now, long enough for all sorts of cultural rituals and games to develop on the edges of its bloody, sexy carnage. We’ve developed a few of our favorites over the years: Who’s Going To Die Next? Who The Hell Is This Vague Casting Description Talking About? And that old stand-by: What The Hell Does This Cryptic Episode Description Even Mean?
It’s time once again for a round of the latter game, because HBO has delivered the terse episode descriptions for the first three (out of seven) episodes of the show’s upcoming seventh season. Obviously, spoilers (although, admittedly, not very good ones) are part of the game, so if you want to go into the season pure (or as pure as anything Westeros-related can be), you should probably turn back now.
Anyway, here’s the description for Episode One, “Dragonstone,” as gleaned from Variety:
Jon Snow (Kit Harington) organizes the defense of the North. Cersei (Lena Headey) tries to even the odds and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) comes home.
This one seems pretty straightforward: Dany’s been on her way back to Westeros for, like, three seasons, now, so she’s finally arrived. The episode’s title refers to the old Targaryen fortress at Dragonstone, previously held by Stannis, so that’s presumably where she’ll end up. Meanwhile, Jon remains boring and cold, while Cersei fucks stuff up. GoT 101.
Episode Two, “Stormborn”:
Daenerys receives an unexpected visitor, Jon faces a revolt, and Tyrion plans the conquest of Westeros.
This one is mostly notable for that last sentence, because Badass Strategist Tyrion is second only to Drunk And Funny Tyrion when it comes to the show’s Peter Dinklage-based pleasures. Jon’s revolt probably has something to do with Littlefinger’s scheming, although it’d be cool if it was pint-sized warrior woman Lyanna Mormont finally taking her rightful role as queen of the North. (Meanwhile, “Stormborn” is one of Dany’s many, many titles.)
And, finally, Episode Three, “The Queen’s Justice”:
Daenerys holds court, Cersei returns a gift, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) learns from his mistakes.
Now, this is some good cryptic: There’s something pleasantly ominous about Cersei’s gift return, especially so close to a mention of her wayward brother Jaime. The show’s explosive sixth-season finale suggested a conflict was coming between the former Lannister lovers, but Jaime’s never been good at “learning from his mistakes” without losing, at minimum, a hand, so we’ll see if he can finally get the better of (or merely survive) the wrath of his sister/former co-parent/queen. The episode’s title is also a reminder that Westeros is about to have two queens running around it, which has got to be at least one queen too many.
Anyway, we’ll know more—i.e., anything actually concrete—when the show’s seventh season premieres next Sunday, July 16, on HBO.