At last, after all the waiting, our watch begins – and what a beginning!
Always one to pick fault, I nearly spat out my breakfast coffee and cursed Sky for screening the wrong episode when the late Walder Frey opened the bidding – it took me all of forty seconds to realise that my girl Arya had taken his face and assembled every last male Frey to atone for the Red Wedding and provided a fine wine for them to toast their success at seizing the Riverlands.
They should have known – old Walder was never that generous, but come on, they were Freys, they gulped it down greedily and one by one succumbed to the poison in the goblets! Go, Arya!
Just to remind us what we’re all watching for and dreading the arrival of, the army of the dead are on the move and have secured the services of several dead giants – great – as if there weren’t enough of the blighters already.
Never mind – they still have to get past the colossal Wall – Oh wait – Dolorous Edd has foolishly allowed Brandon Stark to take refuge with the remaining Brothers – run for your lives, lads – you’re all doomed – don’t you know that everyone who has any contact with the new Three-Eyed Raven has automatically secured him/herself a post in the Night King’s dead army!
Chuck him out, block the Wall up and run south – you might pass a Wildling army coming the other way to join you, sent by the King in the North, but just keep running until you reach somewhere it’s not snowing - yet!
Back at Winterfell, Ghost is nowhere in sight and Sansa is increasingly sour-faced and miserable – nothing new there, apart from her new lippy attitude to Jon who’s having none of it – she claims to know what Lord Baelish is up to, but that hasn’t stopped her exchanging meaningful glances with him. I don’t trust her and it has nothing to do with the fact that I’ve never liked her!
The Little Bear, the splendid Lady Mormont is still at Winterfell having a lot to say for herself - hooray - and Tormund is still trying to sidle up to Brienne – well he was, until Jon sent him and his Wildling buddies off to defend the Wall!
Back in King’s Landing, Cersei was having a spot of decorating done, and verbally sparring with Jaime who seems to be gradually beginning to realise that his twin sister is as mad as a box of frogs – as I said last season, it serves you right, mate – you had your chance with my beloved Brienne and you blew it!
I knew in my bones that her talk of allies meant that Urine (not a spelling mistake) Greyjoy was imminent and into King’s Landing harbour he and his armada sailed. It’s a miracle – no, not his arrival – the miracle is where he got the wood on a treeless island to build so many ships!
You may have guessed that I don’t like him – you guessed right – quite apart from being a shocking actor (so far) who'd be more at home in a pantomime (Oh, yes he would) , I couldn’t work out why he appeared in the Throne room dressed like Michael Jackson and sporting a George Michael haircut and facial hair – I half expected him to moonwalk out singing “Sexual Healing’ and pointing out his (self-proclaimed) ‘large appendage’ while rolling his eyes and twirling an imaginary moustache!
Elsewhere in Westeros, Arya spared Ed Sheeren (?sp) despite his almost falsetto singing and failure to make up a song about her destruction of House Frey to rival 'The Rains of Castamere', and the Hound took an out-of-character turn by gazing into fires and making strange predictions – Oh yes – and he also discovered a bit of a conscience when he buried that poor bloke (and his little daughter) whom he robbed way back in Series 4 and thrust into the penury which ensured they’d starve to death! Still love him, though!
Meanwhile, poor Samwell was having a dreadful time at the Citadel, which was highly reminiscent of my first four months as a student nurse on an elderly care ward.
After suffering such horrors myself and surviving by judiciously always standing at the wrong side of the bed to do the cleaning up and escaping to work in A&E at the first opportunity, I wasn’t bovvered, but the Hubba held his tablet up to cover his face and made gagging noises!
He was about to lower the tablet when I spotted what the Arch-Maester (the excellent Jim Broadbent) was up to and warned him to keep it in place for the time being, which he did, although he'd lowered it by the time Jorah Mormont, for it was surely he, shot a very scabby arm out of what appeared to be his cell in the Greyscale Isolation Ward and demanded to know if 'The Dragon Queen had landed'!
Don't tell him, Sam - he'll escape and infect all of our favourites!
And finally – Barbie the Unburnt turned up in Dragonstone, seemed to be about to kiss the ground like dear Pope John Paul II used to, then, hastily recalling that she was wearing lip-gloss, grasped a handful of sand instead and set off in her new winter clothing to inspect the Targaryan family seat!
Okay – the first episode, like all first episodes was short on action and long on setting the scene and placing the players on the chessboard - even so, the demise of the Freys and the sight of the three dragons flying over the castle thrilled me to my marrow!
I suspect I’ve missed tons of stuff, but I've done me best – can’t wait for next week when, hopefully, dear Tyrion will actually speak and someone will have given Dragonstone a good dust and a hoover through!