HBO unveils season seven of “Game of Thrones”
“Game of Thrones” reoccurred for its season seven premiere Sunday, ending a longer-than-usual wait for fans craving its unique weekly offer of violence and dragons.
HBO had detained production, meaning four more months of expectation ahead of the season debut already one of the television events every year across the world.
Taking to social media in the thousands to express delight at the explosive start opening, but viewers were not disappointed, the arrival of dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen in Westeros and a widely-hyped cameo by pop sensation Ed Sheeran.
The Hollywood Reporter said after the premiere, “There are very few shows that can deliver as much action and animation as the season six ‘Game of Thrones’ finale, and there are perhaps even fewer shows that can make a table-setting episode this much fun.”
He further added, “So it’s all the more bittersweet that not only is winter here, but the end is in sight.”
The debut episode, entitled “Dragonstone,” saw evil Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), now ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, making alliances that threaten newly-anointed King of the North Jon Snow (Kit Harington).
Trained poisoner and throat-slitter in chief Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) erupting out of the blocks in a shocking opening by taking revenge on the killers of her family at the infamous Red Wedding.
The comic comfort was provided by multiple Grammy-winning Sheeran in a cameo as a soldier who sang a ditty a “new one,” apparently about a woman’s hand.
His appearance started a torrent of memes and excited comments from fans on Twitter, but not everyone was pleased to see him.
Variety magazine called the cameo “ridiculous” while one fan on Twitter quipped: “If Arya kills Ed Sheeran it’ll be worth it.”
– ‘More humor’ –
For hours either side of the HBO premier at 9:00pm on the US east coast, #GoTS7 and #GameofThrones were the top trending Twitter hashtags worldwide
Such was the online appeal that the HBO.com website even shattered due to a surge in visitors for the first half of the episode.
For some celebrity fans the wait had been too much especially for those on the US West Coast who were made to wait an extra three hours.
“There is no amount of ‘keeping myself busy’ that makes the wait for #GameOfThrones7 any less painful,” tweeted Josh Gad Olaf from “Frozen.”
The show began on the East Coast, he snarled, “Twitterverse shut your mouth until 10:00 PM when I’m done watching, the HBO Now streaming subscription service and in foreign markets.
“Game of Thrones” tells the story of noble families vying for control of the Iron Throne, all the while charging one eye on the “White Walkers” leading crowd of the undead toward an invasion from the North.
The show, which has more Emmy Awards than any other narrative series and pulls in more than 20 million US viewers per episode, moved past George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels in season six.
It is due to run for a lessen seven episodes this year before reoccurring for a six-episode final season.
Los Angeles Times’ Lorraine Ali said, “As per every premiere episode of ‘Game of Thrones,’ the pace is slow.”
He further added, “Setting up each new carefully constructed season the complex weave of story lines, the huge cast, the breathtaking locations takes time.”
But she concluded that show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had “pulled it off once again, if not with a bit more humor than in previous seasons.”