It is that time again on HBO as their prize cow series “Game of Thrones” returned for its seventh and penultimate season. By now the general situation has been pretty much laid out by the trailers that were released in the previous month or so, building up to this long-awaited premiere. As it stands in the setting Cersei Lannister is Queen on the Iron Throne with her brother Jaime at her side. Jon Snow is the new King in the North, Bran Stark is being returned to the Wall with the White Walkers and the Night King at his heels, his sister Arya has started her revenge killing spree, and Daenerys Targaryen’s fleet and dragons approach Westeros to conquer it.

The first episode picks up from there.

Return of the queen

The first episode of “Game of ThronesSeason 7, is entitled “Dragonstone” for the fact that a key event happens at that Westerosi fortress island. This is practically the first stop of the invasion fleet of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and her Hand Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), who disembarked to explore the castle before making their next plans. And that’s about all that happens there as the rest of the episode’s events take place elsewhere.

In the capital of King’s Landing, Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) discusses with her brother Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) about their current state of being surrounded by hostile parties.

True to her careless character, Cersei proposes allying with the psychopathic and possibly magical Ironborn King Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk). Their first dealing falls through when Cersei refuses his marriage alliance proposal, so Euron sets sail offering to return with a gift that will change her mind. This gathering of the most malevolently evil human characters left alive in “Game of Thrones” was expected in quality with Headey’s acting.

Still no Stark reunion

Two events in the episode take place in the vicinity of the Riverlands, with Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann) seeing a vision of the monstrous White Walkers to the north while on the way there with the Brotherhood without Banners. At the Twins, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) completes her vengeance on House Frey’s betrayal of her brother by poisoning them all.

Her next destination is King’s Landing, to kill Cersei.

In the Maesters’ Citadel, Maester trainee Samwell Tarly learns of the obsidian deposits on Dragonstoe and sends word to Winterfell. Back to the far north Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick) finally return to the wall with news of the Night King for the Night’s Watch. And in Winterfell, King Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) discusses with Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) the threat of Cersei against them.

Things look to be set for a meeting between Jon and Daeerys in the next episode if the teased summaries are any indication. With the final battles looming closer the fewer episodes of the season will hopefully relate a concise storyline that will hopefully lead to the final season next year. “Game of Thronesseason 7 episode 2: “Stormborn” will air next Monday, July 23 on HBO.