It’s back!!!!!! And I was so excited to finally see all of the reunions that have been waiting to happen since the first season.
In this post I’ll be looking at my 10 favourite moments from this first episode and everything that happened.
If you’re not a major Game of Thrones fan I probably wouldn’t read this post just because it’s quite long and references other series and episodes.
But if you are then please dive on in to this wonderful Game of Thrones post.
THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO TURN AWAY IF YOU DON’T WANT ANY SPOILERS!
The Starks Meet the Targaryen Queen
The beginning of this episode starts with Daenerys and her armies riding back up North after their visit to King’s Landing along with the rest of her company – Jon Snow, Greyworm, Missandei, The Hound, Tyrion and Varys. I think the point of this scene is to show who’s still around as they don’t get much screen time during the rest of this first episode.
When they finally arrive at Winterfell, it’s time for the first reunion of the episode – Jon and Bran. I’m not too sure how long it’s been since these two were last together but it seems like a while seeing as Jon says “You’re a man now” and probably doesn’t realise that Bran is the three-eyed-raven.
After this is the introduction of Lady of Winterfell, Sansa Stark, to Daenerys and oh my is there some tension between them. Daenerys tries theta complement Sansa, while Sansa’s response is nothing but to look Daenerys up and down. Bran cuts all of the formalities short by reminding everyone of the work they have to do in the little time that they have before the Night King is upon them.
The tension between both female leaders remains when they have to update the rest of the Lords in Winterfell with what happened in King’s Landing.
Whilst Sansa is concerned about feeding and maintaining the massive army that was placed on her shoulders when Jon and Daenerys first left for King’s Landing, and the fact Jon gave up his title as King in the North, all Daenerys cares about is her Dragon and being respected as their new Queen. I’m not sure how well Dany’s tactics and priorities are going to rub off on Sansa and the rest of the Lords.
There are many reunions that we’ve been waiting to see for a few seasons now. Sansa and ex-husband, Tyrion, have a little catch up on what’s been happening seeing as they’ve not seen each other since Geoffrey’s death and wedding.
Sansa apologises for leaving the event so swiftly and Tyrion commends her with how far she’s come by commenting “a lot of people underestimated you, and most of them are dead now”.
Then comes the reunion we’ve all been waiting for. Arya and Jon. It’s a wonderful big brother/little sister moment and we all remember how close they were at the start of the show.
They both show off their old and new swords with Arya seriously downplaying the amount of people she’s killed and the fact she’s actually an assassin. But, other than that we see Arya stick up for Sansa claiming she’s the “smartest woman I’ve ever known” and Jon being surprised that she’s actually defending her older sister.
Jon is then reminded by Arya that he is also a part of their family with the atmosphere hinting that he should think about that more when making future decisions regarding Daenerys and Sansa.
This is the only time that we’re here during the 55 minute episode. But it gives us plenty to look into.
First, Qyburn gives Cersei the information that the dead have made it through the wall, and all Cersei responds with is “Good”, so it’s reaffirmed she’s still the cold hearted b*tch that we know and love.
That’s until fiancé Euron shows up. With him grafting to be able to sleep with her, Cersei delivers one powerful line exclaiming “You want a whore, buy one. You want a queen, earn her.”
But knowing Cersei you would expect her to stand by those words and principle, but almost as soon as she walks out of that throne room she turns and lets Euron follow her.
The show skips to the moments after they’ve been together and you can see that Cersei isn’t completely satisfied, but says everything that Euron wants to hear. Just as he leaves, he whispers that he’s going to put a little prince inside of her, and I think that’s the moment that almost breaks Cersei.
Once the door shuts behind him and she’s alone, we see that what just happened was too much for Cersei as her eyes water and it’s probably one of the first times that we see her genuinely upset. I feel like it might be to do with the fact that Jamie’s no longer there or that she’s realised that she’s actually on her own there now. Everyone has left her all because of the power that she craved and was unable to give up.
But I’m sorry to say that as a character I’ll probably never feel any sympathy towards Cersei, but as a woman, in that moment, I definitely did.
Side Note: Qyburn and Cersei offered Ser Bron a load of money and the crossbow that Tyrion used to kill Tywin to go up North and kill BOTH of her brothers. He took it all.
The Iron Fleet
Yara Greyjoy is still alive from last season but is a prisoner on her Uncle Euron’s fleet. But not for long.
ANOTHER FAMILY REUNION!
As a complete surprise to her, and probably the audience, Theon arrives in one of the easiest rescues ever on the show. After a brief headbutt from Yara, they’re both happy to see each other. Yet after this, Theon wants to go to Winterfell and fight with the Starks and not go back Pyke with his sister and Queen.
What Theon has decided to do will definitely bring a reaction from the Starks but what kind of reaction I can’t yet tell.
Drogon, Protector of Khaleesi
With everything going on in Winterfell and all of the apparent work that needs to be completed in order to prepare for the massive battle that’s about to come underway, Jon Snow and Daenerys decide to take the dragons out for a joint ride. I know we’ve all been waiting to see Jon properly ride a dragon for a little while, and the shots were beautiful, but I just felt like this was probably the wrong time to do that.
Jon ended up taking Dany to a wonderful site with massive waterfalls and end up having a little make-out session. All the while the dragons are just there watching, with Drogon and Jon making brief but quite funny eye contact during it all.
Arya’s Secret Weapon
Even more reunions!
After this awkward eye contact, we’re cut to a scene of Gendry welding his dragon glass weapons and see him reaching for a giant axe, only meant for one person, The Hound. After a brief chat between the two, we hear the voice of Arya.
There is still some bad blood between the Hound and Arya with him reminding her that she “left him to die” with her reminding him that “she robbed him first”. There is definitely tension between the two but nothing so serious that they couldn’t work things out. As the Hound leaves he calls her a “cold little b*tch” and Arya just has a kind of “smize” on her face, so even though he’s on her “Kill List” I’m not too sure if she’ll actually go through with it as there is so much history.
Then comes the fun part, Arya and Gendry’s reunion. Their characters haven’t seen each other since around Season 3 and I shipped them then and I definitely still ship them now. Throughout all of this low-key flirting Arya hands Gendry a piece of paper with what looks like a design of some kind of spear head weapon with the title “dragon glass” written on it.
We don’t yet know what this is or what significance it has for the rest of the show but I really think this weapon is going to be good.
Lord Samwell Tarley
This I one of the saddest scenes I’ve watched on Game of Thrones. A close up shot of Samwell Tarly crying hit me right in the feels and is one of the only moments out of the 8 seasons, so far, that has made me properly tear up.
Let me fill you in with the details.
Dany and Jorah Mormont go to thank Sam for being the only person brave enough to help him with his greyscale. With this Sam asks for a pardon as a repayment and mentions his dad’s sword that he stole, resulting in Dany realising who his father was. Randyll Tarly was a man she killed for not bending the knee and pledging alliance to the Lannisters alongside his son, and Sam’s brother, Dickon.
It’s after this that we get the heartbreaking scene, and what’s worse is that he reacts this way after everything that his father put him through. This would also mean that Sam could go back home and possibly claim his title as Lord Tarly.
Needing a moment to take in what he’s just heard. Sam rushes outside for some fresh air and bumps into Bran who tells him that it’s time for Jon to know the truth about his real parentage.
Aegon Targaryen, True Heir of the Seven Kingdoms
This is probably the biggest and most important scene of the whole show.
The way Sam tells Jon is powerful as he exclaims that the has always been a King. Jon says that he isn’t anymore referring to the fact that he gave up his title for Daenerys. Then comes the big hitter:
“I’m not talking about the King in the North, I’m talking about the King of the bloody 7 Kingdoms… Your mother was Lyanna stark. And your father, your real father, was Rhaegar Targaryen. You’ve never been a bastard. You’re Aegon Targaryen, true heir to the Iron Throne… You’re the True King.”Samwell Tarly, Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 1
Even after all of this emotion between the best friends, and after Jon claims that Daenerys is the Queen, Sam begs the question “You gave up your crown to save your people, would she do the same?” and again, I think line poses the idea that maybe Daenerys will have to make that choice in a future episode and deep down, in my opinion, she’ll choose her dragons and her crown over everything else. After all, it’s what she’s been fighting for since the show began.
One of the final moments in the episode shows Tormund Giantsbane and Beric Dondarrion leading a small group into an empty and abandoned castle. As they’re quietly making their way through the small halls, they bump into Eddisson Tollett and the last remaining few from the night’s watch.
From the first few shots you can’t make out where they all are, until you see little Ned Umber stapled to a wall with severed limbs all around him.
Earlier on in the episode, Jon Snow ordered Umber to go back and bring his people to Winterfell for protection. The Night King clearly got to them first.
Having the first jump scare of the season, Umbers eyes open with the icy blue colour of the white walkers but Beric stabs him and lights him on fire with his flamed up sword before anything else could happen. I don’t think I could’ve handled a major death in the first episode!
From this we realise that the Night King is closer than expected and that the war is coming very soon. Plus, I’m sure that the swirl pattern the limbs were in has a profound significance that we don’t know about yet as we’ve seen it in previous episodes.
Jamie Lannister Finally Meets Bran
This final reunion is one that everyone forgot they wanted. The first and last time they saw each other was in that final scene of the first ever episode in Season 1, so it’s rather fitting that the final first episode also ends with them both too.
Jamie made the trip up to Winterfell to warn everyone that there will be no Lannister army and to try and make a fresh start with everyone now that he’s left Cersei. Unfortunately Bran, and everyone else, has reasons not to trust him so he’s going to have a hard time trying to convince them all otherwise.
It’s quite obvious that this first episode was just building the foundations of the rest of the series with it showing you that all of the cast are now all together fighting the same war. It also didn’t have much of the Game of Thrones gore that we all love, other than a quick axe to the head and some chopped up limbs, so I’m just going to assume that they’ll make up for it in future episodes.
I adored writing this piece and being able to watch the episode a few more times. I noticed that each time I watched it I’d missed out on so many tiny details.
I’m not going to be writing a massive post for each episode but I’ll be back with a full season round up when, sadly, it’s all over for good.
Thanks for reading,