Winter has come in August this year, after Game of Thrones debuted their newest season of Keeping Up with Starks. Fans rejoiced and deployed the standard pre-show ritual, emptying the liquor store of every mead and ale in boozy/bougie anticipation of the carnage and carnal action to come. When 8:59pm struck this past Sunday, the eager watch parties were quickly reminded of the cluster-fuck that is the GoT storyline. To make matters even worse, the 11 month vacation we took from The North and Kings Landing was ample time to wipe our memories all but clean. I considered my Adderall and SparkNote medley to recount the 100+ hours prior, but my guy was out, so instead I tuned in cold as a White Walkers dick. Not so surprisingly, I was totally and completely lost, bewildered by just how much was jammed into this medieval world. God bless my brother for fielding my arbitrage of “wait, who’s that”-esque questions…without you I wouldn’t have known Walter Fray from the Hound and for that I thank you, Pete. There was one character however, that I recognized so immediately, that I think we probably used to bang in a past life. As the camera panned to show a wispy haired Englishman croon a war song, it was all too obvious. That ain’t no Targaryen….that’s Ed fucking Sheehan !!
The rumor mill was spinning for weeks now, hinting that season 7 would have some not so subtle celebrity cameos. Without wasting time, Ed Sheeran graced the screen in all of his wide eyed glory in the premier episode. For me, it was a welcomed sight as his orange beard afforded me my only moment of confidence to speak during the entire show. For the die hards, the people who wished each other 7 blessings all day, Eds appearance in the 3 minute fireside discussion was about as necessary as new basketball shoes for a goldfish. The scene was a waste, and oh boy did people let HBO know.
To the Game of Thrones virgins who binge watched 1-6 all summer, congrats on catching up. To the social watchers who joined us just to hit the vino, your thirst is understandable, but your confusion likely caused a pretty severe hangover. Ed was likely the silver lining of your hour long stupor, which is perhaps the reason why HBO is adding some flair via celebrity appearances. It’s good old fashioned-click bait…a little extra ingredient to hopefully bring a shred of new viewers to the Thrones family. In that sense, mission accomplished. For the loyal following…the ones who sat through the Red Wedding and rode with the Dothraki hoards in real time, your frustration is palpable.
Greed is a near impossible urge to appease. As a deadly sin, it’s a nefarious derivative of action, especially when it comes to television execs who masterbate to any trace of new revenue. With that, HBO and the appearances they have scheduled this season are a blatant attempt to diversify their offering a bit; Ed Sheehan, Connor McGregor (maybe), and Noah Syndergaard certainly have the star power to get a few more asses to the couch on any given Sunday. Regrettably, the high profile pawns being played steal from the integrity that the show has established in its near 6 year broadcast. While the NOTORIOUS MMA is always a welcome site, adding more elephants to a circus isn’t always the right move.
I’m under the impression that we can expect two more cameos, perhaps Connor will lead the Battle of the Bastards Vol. 2 and Noah will throw some Dragonstone through the Knight Kings heart…but I wouldn’t count on it. The celebrities will be gifted filler scenes, seconds on the hour that offer little to no plot progression or character development. While the initial excitement of seeing one of these A-Listers will perk us up like a Daenerys sex scene, the after taste is pretty sour. Hopefully they execute a bit better this week…if not, it may be a perfect chance to take a bathroom break.