Brow Beat

Let Us Now Praise the Glorious Nothingness of HBO’s Game of Thrones Episode Descriptions

“Cersei (Lena Headey) has a drink. Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) thinks things over.”

HBO

Good news, everyone! The episode descriptions for the first three episodes of Game of Thrones’ seventh season have arrived, and they give us a great idea of what to expect from the series’ hotly anticipated return.

LOL JK. Here’s what they actually say.

Episode #61: “Dragonstone” Jon (Kit Harington) organizes the defense of the North. Cersei (Lena Headey) tries to even the odds. Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) comes home. Written for television by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss; directed by Jeremy Podeswa.

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Episode #62: “Stormborn” Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) receives an unexpected visitor. Jon (Kit Harington) faces a revolt. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) plans the conquest of Westeros. Written for television by Bryan Cogman; directed by Mark Mylod.

Episode #63: “The Queen’s Justice” Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) holds court. Cersei (Lena Headey) returns a gift. Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) learns from his mistakes. Written for television by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss; directed by Mark Mylod.

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In the Peak TV era, episode descriptions have become an art form unto themselves, but with Game of Thrones moving firmly into terrain uncharted by George R.R. Martin’s books, spoiler avoidance is HBO’s first priority, which means any hint of what might actually transpire in an episode is utterly verboten. Here, for example, is the description for the Season 6 finale “The Winds of Winter,” which culminated in Cersei Lannister detonating a cache of wildefire under the Sept of Baelor and blowing several major characters to smithereens: “Cersei faces her trial.” Even after you’ve seen the episode, that’s not much to jog your memory.

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Under the stewardship of the similarly spoiler-phobic Matthew Weiner, Mad Men’s advance blurbs were  similarly vague, but their descriptive vagueness approached a kind of perverse poetry: You almost have to admire the sheer trollishness of “Don has a problem,” full stop. Twin Peaks has taken the art form even farther: Summarizing the show’s mind-blowing “Part 8” with the phrase “Got a light?” tells you nothing in advance, but it’s hilariously apt in retrospect.

Game of Thrones’ episode descriptions, by contrast, sound like when someone is trying to remember the name of a movie he or she half-watched on an airplane: “There was this guy, and he said this thing, and then he went to a place with this other guy. Remember?”

Game of Thrones returns to HBO on July 16. Winter is coming, and stuff.

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