Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1 finally dropped last night and millions of fangirls and fanboys lost their minds. At 54 minutes most of us felt like the episode was a blip in time. The plot was not over complicated and the goal was ultimately to bring two different armies together, both with very different goals.
In the north we see Sansa as the Lady of Winterfell, her face cold and taught watching massive armies approach. Led by Dany, Jon, and their motley crew of heroes marching into Winterfell presumably to prepare for the inevitable battle. It felt a lot like the first episode of Game of Thrones. Before any real reunions start Bran interrupts like a two year who has no patience for pleasantries. He abruptly announced the wall had fallen, the wights were coming, and with Viserion.
The episode really begins here along with my ultimate frustration with what the main conversations and theories have been about for the last several years. We’re still talking about the throne, claims, rights, alliances and petty nonsense. The north is suspicious of aid from the south? AN UNDEAD ARMY IS MARCHING TO NOT ONLY DESTROY YOU BUT TO TURN YOU! But yeah, petty arguments.
Sansa doesn’t like Dany or her dragons or the fact that she’s shagging Jon. She’s still treating Jon like a bastard. She connects with Tyrion and schools him on his trustworthiness of Cersei. Her pure and utter contempt for everyone around her is pure shades of Cersei.
Meanwhile, Jon learned to ride a dragon and yes this was a moment all of us have been waiting for. It’s a bit silly and the whole scenario felt like it was the start of a spinoff series of it’s own, but in spite of the cheese I did enjoy it. It’s fair to say everyone has wanted more dragons, and visually was incredible. Jon and Arya’s reunion was about as wonderful a moment as you are going to experience on Game of Thrones, though immediately followed by some tension. The Starks divide isn’t quite that of a Lannister family conflict, but things are not all cuddles here.
Meanwhile we get to see bits of the Hound, Missandei and Grey Worm, Davos, Jorah and Sam. Oh dear Sam. I did feel for him when he found news of his father and brother. Nonetheless, Dany didn’t have to share that information with him herself. Her confession was an acceptance of responsibility on her part and you could see it pained them both, even without sharing the context of how they were executed. For good or bad this interchange shows how one sided a perspective can be in time of war. Something may seem very righteous until you are on the other side of things. If they do survive Winterfell hopefully Dany will remember her lack of mercy when she makes her way to battle Cersei to Kings Landing. Of course that is the one battle where she should should no mercy.
Oh Cersei. She’s really just magnanimous and her costumes are incredible. She has her golden company and she has her fleet and she’s going nowhere. She is sending Ser Bronn to hunt down Tyrion and Jaime. But why?
- He follows the money. Only Cersei has it.
- Jerome Flynn and Lena Headey won’t be in the same room together.
- So he can’t “stay” in Kings Landing and serve any real purpose to the plot till battle time.
Result? I guess the answer is a pretty lame turn. Odds are both Jaime and Tyrion are going to die at Winterfell (for arguments sake), is she really going to give Bronn all the gold in the land to do his murder on the closest things he has to friends? Nope, but fine, I suppose we have to bite.
The development between her and Euron has one of the best moments I think of the episode. Since we saw Cersei in the beginning she has used her feminine wiles as a tool for manipulation, and while she despised it, she wasn’t above using it to achieve what she must. Now here she is, first Queen of Westeros, with no one and no conscience to stop forward motion. All she had to do was barter with a lowly pirate.
What I do admire is Cersei doesn’t let her pride get in the way of the fickle Euron. She knows that he is simple minded enough to control with what seems undignified. She might be disgusted by it, but for she survives it by maintaining the power. The hard choices Cersei makes never come without contemplation or understanding the consequences, she understands everything completely and that’s what makes her so formidable. This may also be why Sansa is currently more afraid of Cersei than the Night King. Sansa, the one person who hasn’t underestimated Cersei Lannister.
The Best and The Worst
The worst part of the episode was the squabbling and the preview for Jaime’s trial on the next episode. They DO NOT have time for these kinds of things. Those problems can all be addressed IF anyone survives. I don’t like the tension between Sansa and Dany. I feel like it’s a replay of Arya and Sansa season 7. Unnecessary distraction and shows regression on part of both characters. I miss Tyrion’s silver tongue, and they NEED it and him now.
The best part of the episode was The Hound seeing Arya alive. His eye went from that cold hardness we are all so accustomed to, to soft. As close to a smile as I can imagine we’ll ever see from him. The dragons were breath taking to watch, the super fan girl in me didn’t even care the context. Then we concluded with Dead Ned and the Umber circle and learning the dead army is AHEAD of Tormund, Ed and company. It was TERRIFYING.
Some things have obviously changed here. Theon didn’t die in self sacrifice saving Yara, but is heading to Winterfell. It’s not what I expected, but as much as I have hated Theon his story is one of the best from start to almost finish. He will probably die there and it will be a good death. More unnecessary divide and squabbling next episode, hopefully Dany and Sansa can be co-homecoming queens and get over the nonsense. I think we discover Dany is preggo in the next episode. Cersei will go full Mad Queen and have wildfire placed throughout the entire city in the tunnels. Ka-Boom soon baby.
Gendry’s lineage. The belief is that Gendry is two character’s from the novel merged as one. For those who haven’t read the books it may sound crazy that Gendry could be Robert and Cersei’s trueborn son, under the assumption that he didn’t die. If we’re still concerned (which I’m not currently) about a “best” claim to the throne, and this is true then that could also change things. However, there’s been little to no evidence on the show to indicate that and meanwhile we had a big ole Jon Snow is the heir to the throne reveal last night. It doesn’t seem there is time left for that……….but if he survives and Jon and Dany don’t………well……….
Mostly, we have to be coming to some final answers about the wights, Winterfell, the crypt and Bran….perhaps Jon. The first four are all connected in some form or another. Dead Ned Umber’s symbol we’ve seen repeatedly since the first season will have to be explained. By the end of the episode we will have the story of the Night King through a Bran vision. It’s a safe bet the dead will rise from the Crypt in Winterfell. But will they be fighting FOR or against the Starks? If the Night King is actually a Stark what does he want? What is under Winterfell? There’s a lot of great theories about this because there isn’t a lot more than myth surrounding it.
6 days till we have more answers and hopefully more Brienne. I missed Brienne.