Game of Thrones is not really the kind of show you'd typically associate with Easter Eggs — sure, we're sometimes given nice callbacks to events of seasons past (such as the cottage where The Hound found himself atoning for past sins in last night's premiere), but generally showrunners Benioff and Weiss are more concerned with keeping things moving forwards as Westeros braces again for war.
But the #GameOfThrones Season 7 opener did include one Easter Egg which seemed like a hilariously unexpected shoutout to Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince. Was it intentional? I can't say for sure, but I enjoyed it.
After an extended montage in which we see Sam serving soup and cleaning up shit at the Citadel, the young maester helps the archmaester perform an autopsy. Taking advantage of some alone time with somebody so senior, Sam asks the archmaester, played in a guest role by Jim Broadbent, whether he might be granted permission to accent the restricted section of the library.
For fans of The Half-Blood Prince, that was an instant throwback to Professor Horace Slughorn's shameful memory (retrieved and relived in the present by Harry in Dumbledore's Pensieve) of the dark day that Tom Riddle approached him in his office, having been reading in the restricted section of the library, to pose a "theoretical" question on how a man can split his soul into multiple pieces. Considering both Slughorn and the archmaester are played by Broadbent, the two scenes possess a striking similarity that had me gasping "Merlin's beard!", much like old Horace himself.
Of course, the key difference is that Sam won't be using any knowledge gained from the restricted section of the Citadel's library to create a horcrux or do anything even remotely evil. If anything, the speed at which Sam then gained the knowledge of where to find a supply of dragonglass was a bit of an eye-roller.
And no, Benioff and Weiss probably didn't have #HarryPotter in mind when they put quill to parchment to pen the slow, talky Season 7 opener. But whatever — any excuse to take a trip down memory lane to Hogwarts is always fine by me.
Check out the preview for Season 7, Episode 2 below.
What was your favorite moment of the Season 7 premiere?