Photo: HBO

Attention Throners: Winter is here! Game of Thrones season 7 premiered last night (July 16) and set the stage for war. If you haven’t watched the season premiere, proceed with caution because this piece contains spoilers!

Game of Thrones season 7 premiered last night with three of the biggest Houses of the Seven Kingdoms getting ready for war. It’s come down to some political play and battle strategies. Who would make the better alliance? For those who missed the action in episode 1, “Dragonstone,” we’ve got the Game of Thrones season 7, episode 1 recap and episode 2 spoilers right here! In the words of Daenerys, “Shall we begin?”

A Cold Opening

Is Walder Frey back? That’s impossible. We saw at the end of last season, Arya avenged her family’s killing at the Red Wedding by slitting the old Frey’s throat. Yet, season 7 opens with Frey giving a toast on his latest wedding. But it’s not really Walder Frey. As the Faceless Men taught her so well, it’s Arya disguised as Frey. And she takes revenge, Red Wedding style- poisoning every member in House Frey except Walder’s child bride, while recounting their crimes. “When people ask you what happened here, tell them the North remembers,” she tells the child bride. “Tell them winter came for House Frey.”  Chills!

Much later, Arya is on a collision course to Kings Landing and encounters a group of friendly Lannister soldiers. The kicker: Ed Sheeran is a Lannister Bannerman! Yup! The singer made the most unsubtle cameo in the history of cameos and asked Arya if she’s of legal age to drink in Westeros.

Also Read: The “Game of Thrones” Story So Far: Catch Up On All 6 Seasons of “GOT”

The North Remembers

While Meera and Bran reach the Nights Watch, the new King of the North, Jon Snow and Sansa are back to their old arguing ways in Winterfell. While Jon wants to rally all Houses of the North, including the ones who sided with Ramsay Bolton (may his twisted soul not rest in peace), Sansa wants to punish Ramsay’s allies. Littlefinger, is that you smirking in the corner? Jon and Sansa seem to be playing right into his hands.

The siblings continue their argument privately. Jon doesn’t wants Sansa to undermine his authority at this crucial period. And Sansa, who’s still get the hang of politics and military affairs, wants him to be smarter than Ned and Robb. Oh, and she compares him to Joffrey, which is a big blow in these parts.

Their sibling rivalry is interrupted by a raven from Cersei herself. The new queen demands Jon to pledge his allegiance or face the consequences. Sansa tells him to deal with the shrewd and homicidal Cersei wisely. And Jon returns the Joffrey insult by pointing out he sees admiration for Cersei in Sansa. Double Ouch!

Enemies, Enemies Everywhere and Not An Ally in Sight

“Enemies to the East, enemies to the South, enemies to the West, enemies to the North,” Cersei delivers the haunting lines from the season 7 trailer as she walks all over Westeros. Literally! As in on the floor map of Westeros. Queen Cersei and Jaime have a new dynamic now, one where she doesn’t care about their dead children the way he does.

Enter Euron Greyjoy, whose fashion appears to have remarkably improved since his niece and nephew dumped him for Daenerys last season. He’s flirting with Cersei and clashing with Jaime, which is his less-than-diplomatic way to forge an alliance against Daenerys, Theon and Yara. He proposes marriage to Cersei in exchange for his Iron Fleet. Done with men, Cersei rejects his proposal. But this is certainly not the last we see of Euron.

Sam the Savior

At the Citadel, Sam makes a breakthrough. Fans of another fantasy juggernaut (*cough* Harry Potter *cough*) rightfully pointed out that the answers are always in the restricted section of the library. Sure enough, Sam chances upon a book that contains the map of Dragonstone. Stannis’ home before he marched North and was killed is now abandoned and sitting atop a mine of dragonglass —the only element besides Valyrian Steel that can kill the White Walkers. He makes quick work of sending Jon a raven.

Guess who is in Dragonstone? The Mother of Dragons, with her new Hand, Tyrion, and Theon and Yara Greyjoy touchdown in the ancestral home of the Targaryens. In a wordless scene powered by some high and low background music, the impact is magnified. Daenerys takes down the stag banner of former occupant, Stannis and enters his war room. With the scene cutting to the credits as soon as Daenerys says the words, “Shall we begin” the tension is palpable and we know, it’s truly time for the Game of Thrones.

During his chores, Sam comes across one major character we didn’t think we’d see again. Daenerys’ trusted former hand, Jorah’s hand is covered in greyscale when he asks if she’s in Westeros. At least we know where he is now. Someone alert Dany!

Meanwhile, we’re glad the Hound is back. Hurray! And he’s getting more humane these days. He has a conversation about Beric Dondarrion’s string of resurrections and encouraged by Thoros of Myr, sees a vision in the fire. With a renewed faith in God, Sandor gives the family he killed a proper burial.

Episode 2 Preview: Stormborn”

Now that Jon knows of Sam’s discovery of dragonglass he so badly needs, the much-anticipated meeting between Jon and his aunt, Daenerys seems on the card. But leave to Lord of the Vale and Jon’s new ally, Yohn Royce to be a party pooper. “The Targaryen cannot be trusted,” he says in the opening of the episode 2 preview. There’s a long list of people in this series who can’t be trusted we could make for Royce to decide the lesser evil.

Nevertheless, Jon is unlikely to heed his warning. He needs that dragonglass and Daenerys is sitting right above a mine of Night Walker kryptonite. And both have a bone to pick with Cersei. So an alliance between them makes much more sense. Fingers crossed it happens!

Cersei deals with the new arrival in Westeros by sowing seeds of distrust against the Targaryens. “The Mad King’s daughter will destroy the realm,” says the one who could easily win the title of Mad Queen.” But she may have a point. Two-thirds of Daenerys’ army- the Dothraki and Ironborn- have a very poor track record.

While Cersei rallies for support against the threat to her existence, the very threat might march to Kings Landing soon. Yara Greyjoy, impassioned as always, urges Daenerys to take the army, fleet and the dragons and invade Kings Landing which is not far from Dragonstone.

Tensions between two queens aside, two very crucial clips in the trailer has Throners going crazy. Firstly, a potential romance between Yara and Ellaria Sand, and secondly a much-awaited reunion between Arya and her direwolf, Nymeria.

Game of Thrones episode 2 “Stormborn” will air on Sunday, July 23 at 9:00 p.m. EST on HBO.