But even armed with this knowledge, the events of "The Queen's Justice", the third episode of the seventh season of Game of Thrones, seem to unfold at an nearly breakneck pace, hurtling viewers from location to location, ricocheting between characters and delivering long-promised reunions and battle sequences both.
So yeah, not a particularly auspicious beginning to this song of ice and fire.
He talks about her marriage to Ramsay Bolton and apologizes that she had to go through that in their home.
"So I was expecting it".
Incest averted at Dragonstone, it's brazenly out in the open at King's Landing.
So long, the Queen of Thorns.
Even when they zoom back in on the characters, giving Diana Rigg's Olenna Tyrell one last chance to shine in a role she has thoroughly owned from minute one, the context keeps getting in the way.
House Tyrell is officially wiped out! We get Sansa and Bran Stark, whose divergent experiences since the Game of Thrones pilot have been so singular and unfathomable that they can hardly even begin to understand each other-even when Bran, as the three-eyed raven, literally witnessed Sansa being raped on her wedding night.
Cersei ended Season Six embracing her inner "Mad King Aerys", but last night's episode featured a coda or two that directly linked her to the Targaryen despot. It feels like a missed opportunity to me. From spending sleepless nights thinking of ways to exact her revenge, and more schemes to punish those who stepped all over her - Cersei visibly gets more powerful.
Cersei gets off on torturing enemies.
"I want her to know that I was behind Joffrey's death", she says, before swiftly drinking the chalice of wine offered to her. Not even the main players.
The twins could die together, as they were born together. Cersei came face-to-face with Ellaria Sand again, Bronn was spotted riding alongside Jaime on their way to take Highgarden, Olenna bowed out with one last wonderful chat with a Lannister ("He really was a cunt, wasn't he?" she said - words that should have been etched on Joffrey's tomb, if Cersei hadn't blown it up), and, finally, two more Starks came together. The saying "a Lannister always pays his debts" has been repeated many times. Ellaria, who knows the rest of her life is going to be unspeakably very bad (and that was before spotting The Mountain) spits at Cersei's feet. His promised gift has been delivered, and Cersei - trying on the grimacing version of her patently smirk face - has no choice but to accept him as an ally and possibly as her future husband. They leave us in our castles.
More secrets could be unveiled in Volantis.
Why have Jon snow and Daenerys Targaryen never met before? She might be better off winning allies than holding them casually prisoner. Littlefinger tries to warn her of Cersei, but if there's one thing that Sansa doesn't need, it's a reminder that Cersei's an insane murderous tyrant with a bloody lust for power. The absence of the red priestess did not escape Varys who eventually joined her.
Season seven of Game of Thrones isn't messing around. We'll find out all too soon. Dany did threaten to burn him alive at the first sign of betrayal. Meanwhile, guess who else is arriving Winterfell? One army, a real army, united behind one leader with one goal. So that's Stark family reunion number one; next week is Stark family reunion number two with Arya, then? But it was not the instant outpouring of love that some fans expected. Unless there is something she's still not telling us about Ramsay. Though I rather think it's all for naught. The iron throne might take a backseat for now for winter is here and the Mother of Dragons isn't the person you rooted for once, anymore.
"Tell Cersei, I want her to know it was me". After all, she once changed her hairstyle to resemble Margaery's as well. Of the two, any rational viewer would conclude that Tyrion is the superior strategist; between his victory in the Battle of Blackwater and his successful counsel of Daenerys, his military mind has been more or less unbeatable.
Tyrion needs Jorah's help. So many men have tried to kill me, I don't remember all of their names.
For the moment, their chemistry's nowhere near as hot as Sam's book swotting ability to cure Dany's lusty former lapdog Jorah Mormont of greyscale, which means there's an old flame in play as Ser Jorah makes his way back to his beloved. And that's without mentioning the meeting of Jon and Dany, Tyrion's hysterical commentary, Euron Greyjoy's delightful peacocking and some quite horrific vengeance. The episode will be telecast today in India on HBO at 7 PM. Seriously, though, where is Gendry?