While the Vermont influence has been felt on HBO’s hit program “Game of Thrones” in the past, never has it been more present than in the season seven premiere, which aired last evening and is only available to subscribers and pirates.
The episode begins with a delightful party scene, and as the party starts to die down a girl says the line “the north remembers.” Fans of the drama will know that “the north” is code for Vermont in the series, filled with stoic New Englanders and never ending winters. In fact, the show often uses Vermont’s state motto, “Winter is Coming.”
From there things turn a little more political as the characters begin discussing immigration policies. There is a debate about needing more help at “the wall,” which of course is a thinly veiled stab at the ongoing controversy regarding ICE agents and the Canadian border. One hilarious scene involves two Vermonters trying to get back through the border, and being asked if they are “wildlings,” the show’s code for the Québécois. And of course they don’t have their wallets! You’ll have to watch to see how they convince the agents to let them across.
Vermont’s immigration policy features heavily in the episode, as Governor Snow and Lt. Governor Stark argue about whether they should worry more about the Canadians, whom they see regularly, or the Mexicans, who are further away but have a more direct route to the state. Is there an easy answer? Not yet, but there are six episodes left in the season.
And of course, as always, there are plenty of laughs. One memorable line comes at the expense of some flatlanders who have arrived in Vermont for their first winter. “It’s about time we taught these boys of summer how to fight!” says one Vermonter, to raucous laughter. There were also several scenes of people in other states walking around outside in the sun, with the shot quickly cutting back to Vermont where it was snowing. It’s jokes like these that keep our state watching the show.
The biggest shock, perhaps, was seeing celebrity singer Eddard Sheeran, who is currently promoting his concert tour of Westeros. No Vermont locations have been listed yet on his tour schedule, but all dates have not yet been announced. Don’t give up hope!
Overall, this was a solid start to a season which promises to showcase a lot of Vermont weather, locations, and characters. Winter isn’t coming, Vermonters; it never really left.