After waiting for over a year for the highly anticipated seventh season of ‘Game of Thrones’, winter has finally come to sizzle the summers. With a very fast opening sequence, the seventh season premier ‘Dragonstone’ has set the precedent for the upcoming episodes. As the end is near, ‘Game of Thrones’ seems to be adequately prepared for the great war.

The episode starts with a pre-credit sequence which has to be one of the most satisfying scenes for long time members of #TeamStark. With Arya Stark back in the game, the seventh season doesn’t shies away from exploiting one of its most unpredictable characters. Using an intricate plan, Arya Stark sends a strong message, ‘The North Remembers’.

This episode covers all the previously established arcs and does with grandeur. With a fast paced sequence, the seventh season premier doesn’t wastes any of its screen time like its predecessors. From King’s Landing to The Wall, this episode sets the ball rolling which will surely leave the fans wanting for more.

Jon Snow, The King in the North, is rallying the allies of House Stark for the great war to come. With the threat of The Night King and an army of dead lurking beyond the Wall, the anticipation for the war test’s Jon’s capability as a ruler. Cersei Lannister is now the ruler of Westeros and hatches a plot for her survival. Surrounded by enemies, the Lannisters seem to be the most vulnerable in this season.

An enormous cast added with epic fantasy might seem to take the focus out of its main characters, but ‘Game of Thrones’ manages to use the colossal plot to make its characters more prominent than before. The arrival of The Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, at Dragonstone with her entire fleet of ships and three massive dragons has marked the beginning of the great war.

Apart from all the major characters, ‘Game of Thrones’ manages to squeeze in adequate screen time for its smaller characters. The humorous sequence with Samwell Tarly at the citadel, and the lecherous attempts at Brienne of Tarth by the wildling Tormund brings in the much needed comic-relief into the serious and fast paced episode.

‘Dragonstone’ deliberately deviates from its focus on the major events towards other minor characters who are just trying to survive in the midst of a brewing war. With Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane back into action, this episode uplifts his character with his forced visit to the home of a peasant whom he had ruthlessly victimized for his own survival.

Arya Stark’s encounter with a group of Lannister soldiers is one of the most sentimental scenes in the episode. The chaotic lives of normal folks in a world ravaged by war is captured brilliantly with their conversation. Interestingly, ‘Game of Thrones’ has brought in Ed Sheeran for a cameo in this particular sequence, and the entire internet has gone crazy over it. The indulgence in popular media has surely played out well for ‘Game of Thrones’.

With six more episodes to conclude the seventh season, the first episode ‘Dragonstone’ with its fast paced and no-nonsense approach has once again lived up to the colossal hype that has been building for over a year. With the onset of the long winter, ‘Game of Thrones’ has cranked up the heat for the summers!