Wrap up warm, kids. That’s right, winter is here and it’s cold outside. It feels like a lifetime ago that we saw Cersei take the Iron Throne and Daenerys begin her voyage home but we’re finally here. Who we’re left with at the end of this season is another question but it’s fair to say that the board is now set and the pieces are moving.

First off, I’m going to make you a promise. Ed Sheeran will not be mentioned once in this article. Nope, not once. The name Ed Sheeran won’t be uttered a single time.

As an analogy, chess has been apt for Game of Thrones since its inception and that’s more accurate than ever now.

Season 6 saw our main players removing rivals and getting themselves into position. The opening to Season 7 saw that board being set. As a season opening, it picked up where Season 6 left off and let’s be fair, it’s been a while since we’ve had any Thrones so a reintroduction to our characters was a smart move.

The excitement that Thrones creates in its fans is incomparable to anything else on TV so they don’t really need to open with anything particularly flashy. Season 7 however, opens with a brutal scene that gets the heart beating before you’re punching the air with delight. It’s a smart way to start the season and removes a pretty pointless family from the battlefield.

As we move through the rest of the episode, we see Jon’s hand of rule strengthen and a revelation discovered by Sam that’s going to set up the meeting we’ve been salivating for.

Now let’s be frank, the build up to this season has been all about the White Walkers and their presence is overshadowing everything else that’s going on in Westeros. Now we’re in full swing, it almost feels as though we’re watching this through Jon’s eyes. That’s absolutely because we’ve seen what he’s seen but because of that it’s almost difficult to focus on the war that Dany and Cersei are fighting.

I ended Season 6 with a few predictions but with the White Walkers on the march so early, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to guess how things are going to play out. That’s what Thrones is good at though. It keeps us guessing, it shocks us and it keeps us on the edge of our seats.

Season 7 has been set up nicely and it’s limbering up to be the most brutal season we’ve had yet. You know what though? It’s just nice to have Thrones back.

And I didn't even mention our ginger national treasure. Not once.

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