Episode Title: “Winterfell” (Season 8, Episode 1)
After season 7 wrapped up and the Wall came tumbling down all the way back in August 2017, HBO’s record-breaking, Emmy Award-winning drama Game of Thrones finally returned tonight for its season 8 premiere.
Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1 Recap
The episode kicks off with a brand new intro that only features a couple locations, mainly Winterfell and King’s Landing.
Jon, Dany, Tyrion, Missandei, Greyworm, Davos, the Hound, Gendry, Varys, the Unsullied, the Dothraki and the two dragons all arrive in Winterfell. Jon reunites with Bran, who is extremely different from the last time they saw each other, to say the least.
Sansa and the rest of the northerners are not a fan of Dany and give Jon tons of grief for giving up his title as King in the North and pledging loyalty to Dany. Both Sansa and Dany seem steadfastly committed to a “resting bitch face off.”
Young Lyanna Mormont says to Jon, “you left Winterfell a king and came back a … I’m not sure what you are now.”
Sansa reunites with Tyrion, whom she chastises for trusting Cersei when she said she would pledge her army to the fight against the dead. The two also share a moment basking in Joffrey’s death and discussing Sansa’s subsequent disappearance from King’s Landing.
“I used to think you were the cleverest man alive,” she disappointingly says to Tyrion before walking away.
Jon then reunites with Arya by the Weirdwood Tree as Arya shows Jon her new weapons while Jon lets Arya get a look at his sword, Longclaw. Jon asks Arya if she’s ever had to use the sword he gave her long ago, to which she replies “once or twice.”
The Golden Company arrives in King’s Landing as Cersei Lannister learns that the Army of the Dead has broken through the wall. However, she could not give less of a shit.
“Good,” Cersei tells Qyburn upon hearing about the Army of the Dead’s march south. Even Qyburn, arguably the most twisted person in Westeros, finds Cersei’s response slightly off-putting.
There’s a quick scene of Euron Greyjoy toying with Yara, because in case you didn’t already notice, he’s kind of an asshole. They’re really hammering that point home, and frankly, Euron is one of the worst characters left on the show, as his JV-Jack Sparrow impression became old after his first appearance.
Cersei meets with the head of the Golden Company, Captian Strickland, and Euron Greyjoy. Captain Strickland tells Cersei that the Golden Company has arrived with 2,000 horses and 20,000 men. Cersei is disappointed to learn that they did not bring any war elephants, though, as they do not travel well across water.
Following the meeting, Cersei finally has sex with Euron. The man was persistent and arrogant, which the Queen apparently likes. Cersei having horrendous taste in men comes as no surprise.
Cersei sends Qyburn to visit everyone’s favorite non-main character, Bronn — who was busy with three (3) prostitutes during Qyburn’s interruption — in an effort to hire him to kill Jaime and Tyrion, which just seems ridiculous considering that the Lannister brothers are arguably Bronn’s only two friends. Needless to say, we doubt Bronn goes through with that one.
“That f*cking family,” Bronn says while mulling Qyburn’s offer.
Theon then frees Yara from Euron’s captivity, who she repays by prompting headbutting in the face. Yara heads back to the Iron Islands while Theon heads north to Winterfell to fight alongside the Starks against the Army of the Dead.
In Winterfell, Davos Seaworth, Tyrion, and Lord Varys debate the merits of a potential marriage between Jon and Dany.
Then, it happens: Jon finally rides a dragon before landing at a serene water full for some personal time with his Queen.
Arya reunites with Gendry and the Hound — the former made a Dragon Glass ax for the latter –two people she spent most of her time with following her escape from King’s Landing and prior to her Bravosi adventures with The Many-Faced God.
She asks Gendry to make her a weapon and the two flirt for a bit, which is sweet, considering impending death is literally marching inbound.
Quick scene of Sansa complaining to Jon about the whole Dany situation, yet again.
Dany thanks Samwell Tarley for saving Jorah’s life before telling him that she uhhhhh executed his brother and father. Dany’s look of remorse is telling because it appears to be the first time she understands the human consequences of ruling with an iron fist.
Samwell then crosses paths with the Three-Eyed Raven, who convinces him to tell Jon the truth about his parentage.
While in the crypts beneath Winterfell, Samwell Tarley tells Jon about Dany roasting his family to pieces (something she had not told Jon about) and that he is actually Aegon Targaryen, the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, which makes him the true heir to the Iron Throne.
Tormund, Beric Dondarrion, Dolorous Edd, and members of the Night’s Watch arrive at the home of House Humber, which has been sacked by the Night King and the Army of the Dead.
The Night King crucified the young lord of House Umber and used various body parts to create another one of those weird symbols that have been popping up ever since the show began.
Jaime Lannister arrives in Winterfell and is greeted by the Three-Eyed Raven, a callback to the first episode where Jaime pushed the Three-Eyed Raven, then just a young boy named Bran, out of a Winterfell tower.
Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1 Analysis
While the season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones was light on action and did not feature any of the Night King, it was heavy on plot as it put the chess pieces in place for the final five episodes.
Cersei has further aligned herself with Euron while it appears Yara may have been cut out of the plot entirely. As for what exactly Cersei’s true goal is, she doesn’t appear to have one other than bloodshed.
In the North, the politics of Game of Thrones past came to the forefront, although we feel that won’t be the case for long once word arrives that the Night King and the Army of the Dead are only a couple days march away from Winterfell.
As for what to expect next week, the arrival of Jaime Lannister in Winterfell will be a focal point for a number of reasons, the least of which will be because he pushed Bran out of a tower, as the Three-Eyed Raven clearly could not care less.
What makes Jaime’s arrival in Winterfell particularly interesting will be his face-offs with both Dany and the Stark children, who likely still hold extreme ill will towards the King Slayer for helping imprison their father back in season one.
The eighth and final season of HBO’s Emmy Award-winning fantasy drama ‘Game of Thrones’, which consists of just six episodes, premiered on Sunday, April 14.