Hold behold it’s time for the entire world to be moved once again! After a wait of almost two years, HBO is back with its most popular show Game of Thrones! Here is a rundown of what happened in the very first episode of the eighth season – Winterfell.
Before the episode begins, we see that the intro for the show is different, more prolonged and more gripping! Moving into the episode, it begins with a small boy climbing trees to watch what the whole crowd was gathered for. This boy definitely gave the audience a reminder of a younger Bran Stark before he became the three-eyed raven. We then see Arya Stark looking at the procession taking place in front of her. You can see soldiers marching forward intimating the entrance of Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow followed by Tyrion Lannister and Varys in a carriage. They were then followed by the Hound who didn’t seem to make Arya very happy. While Arya did want to meet Jon as soon as she saw him, she didn’t, because her purpose was to lurk around in the crowds. This definitely gives the audience a taste of how she is now more inclined towards being a nobody rather than a Stark.
As the episode progresses, you see that the entire North does not seem very pleased with Jon Snow bending the knee to Daenerys Targaryen. The tension between Sansa Stark and Daenerys seems very obvious in their first meeting where Sansa didn’t seem very convincing while she announced to Daenerys, ‘Winterfell is all yours, your Grace.’
The tension at Winterfell thickens when all the Lords are gathered and Lady Lyanna Mormont shows her displeasure towards Jon, claiming that they made him their king, he left as the King of North and came back as nothing. The displeasure continues as Sansa continues to say that Winterfell doesn’t have enough food for the alleged allies Jon brought along with him. There was a clash of power when Sansa asks a rhetorical question, ‘What do dragons eat, anyway?’ To which Daenerys replies, ‘Whatever they want.’
Sansa Stark goes ahead to prove that sometimes, the student surpasses the teacher in a moment between her former husband, Tyrion and herself. When Tyrion claims that the queen, Cersei Lannister has sent her army to fight alongside the North, Sansa undermines him by saying, ‘I used to think you’re the cleverest man in the world.’ Because she claims that Cersei has no intentions in sending her army to help the North.
Now comes the moment the entire world was waiting for, the reunion of Jon and Arya. This reunion may not have gone as well as the audience was hoping to but it does put an emphasis on how much Arya has grown and what she has grown into. This is seen when Arya defends Sansa and Jon seems shocked at the switch. When he asks about her change in heart, she replies as a matter-of-fact that Sansa is family and both of them are defending their family. When Jon points out that he is their family too, Arya indirectly threatens him by saying, ‘Don’t forget that.’ This moment just shows Arya’s growth in character. Even though her heart is a Stark, she is truly transforming into nobody. If you go back to the last season, you’ll remember that her own direwolf was not able to recognize her.
While the North is preparing for a fight with the Night Walkers, Cersei doesn’t seem too concerned when she hears that the Night Walkers have broken the wall and have started to march south. Cersei seemed more concerned about the Golden Company’s army reaching Kings Landing. When they do arrive she is not happy with the army as they arrived without elephants. As the episode progresses she keeps stressing over how much she wanted the elephants to be a part of her army. When Euron Greyjoy suggests to Cersei about their union, she spouts another epic dialogue, ‘You want a whore, buy one. You want a queen, earn her.’ While this does seem like one of the many iconic GoT dialogues, it does backfire on Cersei when she is later seen bedding Euron Greyjoy.
In a turn of events, you might remember that while Cersei had the chance to murder both her brothers; Jaime and Tyrion in the seventh episode of the seventh season, she decides not to. In this season, the hand of the queen, Qyburn is seen handing a crossbow to Bronn, the same one Tyrion used to kill Tywin, and tells him that the queen, Cersei, has demanded him to kill both her brothers. This is definitely a turn of events, as everyone is left wondering what Cersei is up to now.
There comes another one of the fan-favourite moments when we see Jon Snow finally riding one of Daenerys’ dragons, namely Rhaegal. If you remember rightly, you will notice that Jon Snow, who is really Aegon Targaryen, is riding Rhaegal, the dragon who was named after his father, Rhaegar Targaryen. Here, the audience is shown more reference to who Jon Snow really is. This scene will perhaps lead to the missing pieces of a puzzle when everybody finds out that Jon Snow is not a bastard after all.
Daenerys Targaryen can be cruel if you cross her path, but we do know that from within she is someone who does not forget the ones who have helped her. We know, that from within, she is the loving, caring, mother after all. She goes to thank Samuel Tarly for saving Ser Jorah’s life when she reveals to him that his father and brother, Randyll Tarly and Dickon Tarly were executed because they refused to bend the knee. Unable to control his feelings, Sam runs out and meets Bran who tells him that it’s time to tell Jon the truth. Bran tells Sam that he is not a brother anymore and Sam is the closest person to Jon and he should be the one to break the truth to him. When Sam asks Bran why he’s sitting out in the cold, he replies, ‘I’m waiting for an old friend’.
Sam goes down to the Stark crypt, to tell Jon the truth. Before he broached the topic, he shows Jon that he dislikes Daenerys by telling him that she executed both, his father and brother; a fact Jon wasn’t aware of. Sam goes on to compare Daenerys and Jon by telling him that even though he has executed those who have disobeyed him, he has also spared many. Jon argues to defend his queen and says that he has given up his crown for the people. This is when Sam breaks the news and says that he isn’t talking about the King in the North but the King of the Seven Kingdoms.
Sam reveals to him that he has never been a bastard but the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, the true heir to the Iron Throne. While others might have basked in the glory of the fact that they might be the true heir to the Iron Throne, Jon stays true to his character, and the first thing he says is, ‘My father was the most honourable man I ever met, you’re saying you lied to me all my life?’ This one sentence in itself shows how much he respects and believes in Eddard Stark. Sam then goes on to explain that Eddard Stark couldn’t tell anybody the truth as he had made a promise to his sister, to protect Jon at all costs. The next thing Jon says is that Daenerys is the queen and this is treason. To which Sam points out that it’s the truth and leaves Jon with a question, ‘You gave up your crown to save your people, would she do the same?’
You might wonder that there was no sign of the Night Walkers in this episode, which is definitely not true. You see that a few men from the Wall had survived and while they were on their way to Winterfell, they find the Umber Boy dead and hung to the wall. A message from the Night King; his armies are between the Wall and Winterfell.
While this scene leaves the audience in frenzy, we see that the episode ends in true GoT glory; with a cliffhanger. We see a hooded figure, Jaime Lannister, reach Winterfell and the first person he sees is Bran Stark waiting for him. Jaime seems extremely shocked to see Bran Stark still alive even after he pushed the boy down the Winterfell Tower. Jamie was the old friend Bran was waiting for.
The audience is very excited to see how the confrontation between Jaime and Bran plays out. While most people thought that the episode was slow considering the fact that there are only six episodes in the last season, we must consider that it is still the beginning, and the initial episodes will hold a build-up for the endgame.
What do you think of this episode and what are your predictions for the future?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!