Game of Thrones followed its relative mellow Season 7 premiere with an especially heady hour, "Stormborn." Not only did we learn some key information that will help set up the show's endgame, but characters are making big moves. From Jon Snow's surprising invitation, to Missandei's game-changing interpretation of Melisandre's prophecy, to Euron Greyjoy's dastardly attack at sea, there's a lot to unpack. So let's get started:
Is Varys telling Daenerys the truth?HBO
Seeing how Varys has been talking about his allegiance to the realm and its people since Season 1, I'm going to say yes. Varys and Littlefinger are two sides of the same coin. Both men are wily and discreet in their machinations, but whereas Littlefinger is only out for himself, Varys truly puts the realm's fortune before his own. As he told Daenerys in Season 7, Episode 2, he knows "that people have no better chance" than her as queen. However, that was before Melisandre came knocking on Dany's door at Dragonstone. If there's one thing Varys despises more than selfish and unfit rulers, it's magic.
If Melisandre has a seat at the table, will that test Varys's loyalties to Daenerys? Or will he be able to look past Melisandre's magic for the good of the realm? After all, winter is coming, and right now, the Night's King is the biggest threat to humanity that Westeros has ever known. So there's not a whole lot of time for infighting.
Who is Azor Ahai, the Prince or Princess Who Was Promised?HBO
Melisandre has previously declared both Stannis Baratheon (R.I.P.) and Jon Snow to be the Prince Who Was Promised, a messianic figure in the religion of The Lord of Light. The reincarnation of legendary hero Azor Ahai, the Prince Who Was Promised is prophesied to lead the people against the White Walkers during the Long Night. It's easy to see why Melisandre originally thought this was Jon, but when she dropped by Dragonstone, she revealed that the prophecy may refer to more than one person. Then Missandei dropped a major bombshell when she stepped in to correct a long-held interpretation of the prophecy. "That noun has no gender in High Valyrian so the proper translation for that prophecy would be the Prince or Princess Who Was Promised will bring the dawn," she said.
THE NOUN HAS NO GENDER. Obviously, George R. R. Martin's tale is called A Song of Ice and Fire, so it's incredibly likely that the past five books and sixty hours of television have led to this exact revelation: that Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, ice and fire, are the saviors of humanity. But wouldn't that be so boring? Jon and Dany may have a significant part to play in the Great War, but are they really the endgame heroes? That's so predictable. What about Sansa Stark? She could wield a flaming sword!
Why did Nymeria turn away from Arya?HBO
Because she's a wild direwolf! The Stark children have always had deep, spiritual connections to their direwolves, and Nymeria, like Arya, can't be tamed. (At least she and her pack didn't attack.) "That's not you" is the second callback to Season 1 in this episode — after "all dwarves are bastards in their fathers' eyes" — and it's a perfect reflection of Arya's character. "Arya's not domesticated, and it makes total sense that her wolf wouldn't be either," D.B. Weiss said in Inside the Episode following Sunday's episode. "Once the wolf walks away, at first she's heartbroken to have come this close, and then she realizes the wolf is doing exactly what she would do if she were that wolf." Here's hoping Nymeria and her pack know how to kill some wights.
Will Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen be allies?HBO
If the show wants to be truly predictable, then yes. Jon Snow needs dragonglass, but what he really needs a powerful ally, one who will stand beside him when the White Walkers invade Westeros. Is Daenerys that person? Well, she could be. For the past six seasons, Daenerys's sole focus has been taking back the Iron Throne (with fire and blood, etc.), but with Melisandre's prophecy and Jon Snow's impending arrival, might Dany finally see the Great War that lies ahead? Maybe? Honestly, with Dany, it's hard to say. Lady Olenna told her to be a dragon, and part of what that entails is disregarding the opinions of the men around her. Of course when there's a horde of wights on the loose, and the only guy who's seen any of it is Jon Snow, none of that really matters.
She wants the throne, and Jon could honestly care less about being king, so if he bends the knee to get to her dragonglass (that is not a euphemism) and her dragons (dragonfire kills wights, too), then everybody wins, right? Right. To be honest, I'm just waiting for them to make out.
Is Samwell Tarly the future author of A Song of Ice and Fire?HBO
It sure seems that way, right? It's long been theorized that good ol' Samwell Tarly was the true narrator of A Song of Ice and Fire, and Sunday's episode hinted pretty strongly at that possibility. A maester's job is to document human history. (Why do you think there are so many damn books in the Citadel library?)
So, when Archmaester Ebrose asked his hapless maester-in-training to fact-check his historical tome, he gives Sam a bit of advice. "If you're going to write histories, Tarly, you have to do the research," the Archmaester says. "If you want people to read your histories, you need a bit of style. I'm not writing The Chronicles of the Wars Following the Death of King Robert I so it can sit on a shelf unread." Sam then quips that he should probably think of a more poetic title.
This is significant. There's no way showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss would spend precious screen time on this conversation if it didn't matter. Yes, it could be a joke. But in reality, it's Sam who's going to finish The Chronicles of the Wars Following the Death of King Robert — and he's going to call it A Song of Ice and Fire. It is more poetic.
Will Cersei immediately kill Ellaria Sand and Yara Greyjoy?HBO
First thing's first: She'll probably make Ellaria watch as she kills her daughter Tyene. Euron made a very pointed decision to not kill Tyene, the youngest of the Sand Snakes. Why? Because Tyene is Ellaria's biological daughter, and seeing how Ellaria ruthlessly poisoned Myrcella at the end of Season 5, Cersei's going to want immediate payback. As for Ellaria and Yara, I wouldn't be surprised if they suffered a similar fate to the Shame Nun, who was mercilessly tortured and killed by The Mountain last season.
Is Jorah's greyscale cured?HBO
For his sake, I sure hope so!!! (Unless, you know, you need that dragonglass after all.) After a bit of gnarly exfoliation, Jorah's greyscale might have been cured, and if that's the case, what's his next move? Daenerys ordered him to return when he cured his greyscale, so the most obvious move would be to head to Dragonstone. Who knows what's going to happen to Grey Worm on the battlefield at Casterly Rock. Daenerys could be in desperate need of a trusted knight by the end of the season.