"Dragonstone" is the first episode of the seventh season of HBO's medieval fantasy television series Game of Thrones, and the 61st overall. The seventh season premiere, the episode was written by series co-creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, and directed by Jeremy Podeswa. It first aired on HBO on July 16, 2017.
Prior to the episode airing, it was announced that musician Ed Sheeran would be making a cameo appearance at some point during the season. According to David Benioff, they had been trying for years to get him onto the show as a surprise for Maisie Williams, who portrays Arya Stark in the series and is a fan of Sheeran. Before the episode's official release, Sheeran stated about his appearance that "Nothing exciting happens in this scene, we just have a conversation and that's kind of it." In "Dragonstone", Sheeran portrays a Lannister soldier, who Arya happens upon when she hears him singing a song that is unfamiliar to her. The song originates from George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series, which the television series is adapted from, and is titled "Hands of Gold". In the book series, it is sung by a character known as Symon Silver Tongue, a character unrelated to Sheeran's portrayal.
"Dragonstone" was directed by Jeremy Podeswa. He joined the series as a director in the fifth season, his first episode being "Kill the Boy", which was followed by "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken", for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. He further directed two more episodes in the series' sixth season, and also directed the seventh season's finale episode. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter following the airing of "Dragonstone", Podeswa discussed his experience with directing Ed Sheeran's cameo appearance, stating "He was lovely to work with. He was lovely on the show. I think he fit right into that world." He continued by noting that Sheeran requested to change the key of the song that he performs in the scene during the episode's filming.
Matt Fowler of IGN wrote in his review for the episode "'Dragonstone' sublimely set the stage for Game of Thrones Season 7 with some righteous revenge, a new alliance, a dramatic (and quiet) homecoming, and a surprisingly great sequence from The Hound as he began to atone for his old life." He gave the episode an 8.8 out of 10. Erik Kain of Forbes similarly gave praise to the episode, writing "This was easily one of my favorite season premieres of any season of Game of Thrones. It's a testament to the show's staying power and quality that even this far in, a season's first episode could be so good. So much of it was just setting the stage, and yet I was reeled in, hook, line and sinker, from the opening moment to the closing credits." Jane Mulkerrins of The Daily Telegraph also praised the episode, writing "One might wonder whether the biggest, bloodiest, most Dragon-heavy show on television would still have the ability to shock and surprise. The answer, happily, is yes." Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe said "The season premiere of Game of Thrones was thoroughly satisfying, a transporting hour that brilliantly reestablished the chessboard for the new, penultimate season."
"Dragonstone" is the first episode of the seventh season of Game of Thrones. It is the sixty-first episode of the series overall. It premiered on July 16, 2017 on HBO. It was written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and directed by Jeremy Podeswa.
This question is very subtly raised again in Arya's other scene when she's on the road and stumbles onto Ed Sheeran as a singing Lannister soldier (fun fact: This ballad was sung by a drunk Tyrion in the books). This is one of my favorite scenes in the episode despite Sheeran, who felt out of place. Musician cameos in previous seasons (like Sigur Rós and Will Champion) disappeared into the fabric of the show; you would never know they were significant unless you were super familiar with their faces, and even then you might not notice. Sheeran's appearance is the closest the GoT has felt to having a contemporary Special Guest Star Cameo moment. Fans on Twitter were itching for Arya to kill him.
Dragonstone: One of the cool elements of this episode is how many different scene tones we get. There's the mass murder surprise of the cold open. Strategy sessions. One-on-one intimate chats. And here is something entirely different: an almost wordless visual feast. Back in season 2 when Stannis Baratheon resided in Dragonstone, the setting was mainly staged with a distant exterior shot CG-shot and the carved wood table map room. Here we see GoT's season 7 budget on full display, with a gorgeous sequence of Daenerys landing her landing party on the shore and ascending the stone stairs to repo her birthright.
Oh, we so shall! Already this season we have significant characters meeting on screen for the first time (Euron and Cersei; Bran and Dolorous Edd; Jorah and Sam). There were a few absences, too, but they'll be around next week (like Theon and Yara Greyjoy, along with Ellaria Sand). We promised before that season 7 has a faster pace than previous years. We didn't feel that so much in this episode, but strap yourselves in for the weeks to come.
"Game of Thrones" season seven premieres Sunday, July 16, and HBO is ramping up excitement as the evening draws ever closer. Now they've released a look at what's to come on the first hour of the new season. The official description for the episode, titled "Dragonstone," is: "Jon (Kit Harington) organizes the defense of the North. Cersei (Lena Headey) tries to even the odds. Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) comes home."
The running time for Game of Thrones season seven episodes has been a subject of uncharacteristically high interest, partly because of the novelty of a shorter season, but also because of the reports showing information differing between HBO.com and Entertainment Weekly. Though a few minutes here or there have been known to change in the HBO schedule, if it is to be believed we now know the running time of every season seven episode. And the last two are record-length!
My head-canon for the 707 timing had been 75 minutes, so 81 is a nice surprise. With even the penultimate episode (with 706 as the equivalent of episode 9s in previous seasons) being so long, it looks like they are really trying to top the end of season six, which was stunning.
Ed Sheeran had one of the most talked-about cameos in Game of Thrones, and though the reason wasn't purely positive, the purpose of the appearance was good-natured. The singer/songwriter appeared in a season 7 episode of the HBO fantasy series based on the A Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R. R. Martin. Based on the show's history of using musicians as guest stars, Sheeran's presence wasn't a complete surprise, but the cameo didn't go as well as the singer had hoped. Luckily, the singer/songwriter has since been able to have a good sense of humor about the failed acting role, as Sheeran mocked his GOT cameo in Red Notice.
With appearances from Coldplay, Mastodon, and Bastille, the Ed Sheeran Game of Thrones cameo wasn't the only one, but his role was a bit more prominent than the rest. Sheeran played the role of Eddie in Game of Thrones season 7, episode 1, "Dragonstone." Eddie was a member of the Lannister army that Arya encountered when traveling through the Riverlands. While Sheeran's character sang "Hands of Gold," Arya joined them at the camp before sharing their distaste for King's Landing.
Despite only appearing in one episode of Game of Thrones, the fate of Sheeran's character was revealed in the poorly received Game of Thrones season 8. Eddie and fellow members of the Lannister army were present for the Battle of Goldroad, in which Daenerys found victory with the help of Drogon. According to prostitutes hired by Bronn, Eddie survived but suffered serious burns, including the loss of his eyelids. It's unclear if the legacy surrounding Sheeran's cameo led to Eddie's fate.
The Ed Sheeran Game of Thrones cameo gets an unfairly bad rap. Especially when one considers how many musicians the series featured. The show is no stranger to musicians as a whole. Kristian Nairn, who plays Hodor, is a long-time guitar player and DJ. Alfie Allen, who portrays Theon Greyjoy, is the brother of popular British pop singer Lily Allen. In addition, the Hold Steady version of the Westerosi song "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" appears in Game of Thrones season 3, episode 3, "The Walk of Punishment." Either way, Ed Sheeran isn't the only musician to make an appearance in the popular medieval fantasy series.
In various episodes throughout seasons 4 and 5, Joel Fry of the alt-pop band Animal Circus appeared as the recurring character Hizdahr zo Loraq. The character was previously a slaveholder in Mereen, and was briefly betrothed to Daenerys Targaryen. Coldplay's drummer, Will Champion, shows up in the season 3 episode "The Rains of Castamere," where he assists in playing the Westerosi song. The episode itself is infamously known as "the Red Wedding." Dr. Feelgood's Wilko Johnson is in various episodes of seasons 1 and 2 as the man who executed Ned Stark, Ser Illyn Payne. Michiel Huisman of the Dutch band Fontane also shows up in several episodes, but this time during seasons 4-6 as sellsword Daario Naharis. The entire band Mastodon appears in season 5's "Hardhome" as wildlings. These Game of Thrones cameos are only a drop in the bucket, as members of bands like Of Monsters and Men, Raleigh Ritchie, Sigur Rós, and Snow Patrol also appear, among many others.
There are many speculations as to who Azor Ahai could be. However, the evidence seems to be pointing to Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. Both Jon and Dany were born beneath a red star. They have both been resurrected in some way as well: Jon, in season six episode two and Dany each time she has emerged from fire unscathed. However, neither of them have been known to wield a flaming sword, a characteristic necessary to the Azor Ahai prophecy. 59ce067264