HBO has released episode titles and details for the first three episodes of “Game of Thrones” — each spare, concise and crafted to tease instead of illuminate. But they do shed some light along with some questions, and we’ll get to those afterward.
Here are the episodes:
“Dragonstone” (Sunday, July 16): “Jon (Kit Harington) organizes the defense of the North. Cersei (Lena Headey) tries to even the odds. Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) comes home.” Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss; directed by Jeremy Podeswa.
“Stormborn” (Sunday, July 23): “Daenerys receives an unexpected visitor. Jon (Kit Harington) faces a revolt. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) plans the conquest of Westeros.” Written by Bryan Cogman; directed by Mark Mylod.
“The Queen’s Justice” (July 30) “Daenerys holds court. Cersei returns a gift. Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) learns from his mistakes.”
To quickly parse, “Dragonstone” — referring of course to the ancestral home of the Targeryens, which lies at the head of Blackwater Bay — establishes that the seventh season will indeed open with Daenerys’ return to her birthplace. “Stormborn” refers again to Dany (born during a storm), and another indication that “GoT” could strongly tilt Targeryen in these early episodes.
Meanwhile, what “odds” must Cersei seek to “even”? (Or has she met Dany’s three pets?) What “gift” does she return? Which Jaime “mistakes?” (There have been a few). What kind of “revolt” must Jon contend with? (Another one?)
They don’t call these teases for nothing, but the broad outlines do appear to be obvious: Get ready for the Dany vs. Cersei show(down).