Wednesday, May 31, 2023

GoT 7×01 Dragonstone Liveblog: The Salt Awakens

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Julia, Kylie, and Caroline, your Unabashed Book Snobbery Podcast co-hosts for the season, sit down to react with all their dramatic satisfaction to the Game of Thrones season opener, “Dragonstone” alongside Jess, the season reviewer. What will Larry think of Cheryl? Will Sandor find another way to make a chicken joke? Is Arya still going to be running around as Karen from Poldark? We sure can’t wait to find out!

If you’d like to play Book Snob BINGO, cards may be found on Kylie’s personal blog here. Otherwise, you can find an archive of our livechat just below our social share buttons at the bottom of this post.

Our Thoughts


You know, all things considered, I didn’t hate this episode at all. It was pretty fine, in the same way watching Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting is fine. It got me nice and ready for bed, and other than Typhoid-Jorah (I mean Greyscale. Whoops.) and his rude jump cut, it was pretty dang relaxing. I mean yes, the patriarchy magically came and went, half the conversations were of the nonversation nature, and we were treated to a five-minute montage of poop bowls, but hey. I’ll take what I can get.

Highlights: When Brittany (or was that Sandra…) told Batfinger “don’t try to get the last word in, let’s just assume it was clever” actually got a laugh out of me. I don’t think this was particularly organic dialogue, but the last time I laughed out loud at Game of Thrones was when we first saw Margaery in that potato-sack dress (with the CROWN).

If I can’t pick that, I might have to go with Sam’s Sequence of Extreme Comedy, because the editing was highly amusing. Yes, it’s an ironic-enjoyment kind of thing, but if we’re going with serious enjoyment, I don’t have much to worth with.

Lowlights: I feel really, really bad for Cheryl’s mapmaker, and it greatly upset me to see Larry and Cheryl marching their stupid feet all over the wet paint.

But no, seriously, my brain could not even begin to parse what Euron the Pooh and Cheryl were saying to each other. It was like watching a really bad high school play, down to costuming that made no sense, so that…he was persuaded to go capture Faullaria for Cheryl? It didn’t need to exist at all, and it was just terrible.


It’s wasn’t bad? Like, it wasn’t good either. It was mostly nothing. My first thought is that nothing happened, but stuff did. The Euron/Cheryl alliance is a thing. All the Frey’s dying happened. But it didn’t feel especially important. I predict the pacing will be as special as last season. I’m already not surprised that they need movie length for the last two episodes, if this is supposed to be a seventh into the season.

Highlights: I think I like Sam’s training montage of fast cuts. I’m glad the editor got to use all the skills he learned in grade 10 Media class. Though the timeline is already confusing me. The Incredible Shrinking Baby talking while, like, maybe three days passed in Winterhell is not helping.

I’m also a big fan of Eur-off the Pooh Bear’s Johnny Depp cosplay. I’m just picturing Captain Flint taking one look at him and punching him in the face.

Lowlights: I don’t usually go on about costumes, that’s Caroline’s job, but GOD Brittany’s wig was distracting. Also, I think she’s expressing her empowerment by emulating Deadpan’s delivery.


Highlights: Whelp, as expected, the first episode of Game of Thrones Seasons 7, “Dragonstone”, greatly underwhelmed me. However, there was one spoiler I prayed would come true – and thank the seven, it was our cold open!

I think it is one of my favorite (ironically) moments of the whole series. Seeing Arya literally peel off the face of Walder Frey, knowing that she had to first magic his face off to be able to use her sneaky-assassin skillz to wear it, and that this all happened off-screen and with no explanation is just comedy gold. I was literally laughing as it happened. I can’t believe it actually happened, and I can’t believe they actually used it as a cold open for the season premiere.

Additionally, this felt like a re-hash of epic proportions. They failed to use the line “the North remembers” at the opportune time last season (when Arya killed Walder), and so they just did it again but even BIGGER and with more SHOCK. I am very dramatically satisfied.

Lowlights: Lowlight has to be the inclusion of the “Hands of Gold” song, which is what they pawned off on poor Ed Sheeran. This is a song that (1) is directly from the books, (2) has significance to the story (in a bad way for Tyrion, keep that in mind) and (3) occurred in the timeline HELLA long ago (circa season 3-4). Its inclusion tells me a few things.

  1. The showrunners don’t care about the sanctity of book details, and don’t understand adaptation
  2. They think it is appropriate to include this song here, completely disregarding the timeline, and most importantly
  3. They still hold St. Tyrion above all else. They refused to include this song and its accompanying plot (which showed a dark grey/black side of Tyrion) when appropriate because it reflected poorly on their hero. However, since they didn’t have enough creativity to use another song, they lifted this song wrongfully and shoved it in with no consideration of continuity.

Ugh. In addition, this seems to be a generally magically-disappearing-patriarchy episode, which needs further analysis. But for now, the song is my lowlight.



  • Kylie

    Kylie is a Managing Editor at The Fandomentals on a mission to slay all the tropes. She has a penchant for complex familial dynamics and is easily pleased when authors include in-depth business details.

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