5 Takeaways from Game of Thrones: Season 8 Episode 1

April 15, 2019
Game of Thrones Group Photo

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images


Before we get into the takeaways for last night's Game of Thrones season premiere, "Winterfell," LOOK AT THIS NEW INTRO IT'S SO PERFECT:

I could spend paragraphs dissecting all the little details, but Uproxx already did that and you can read it here

Onto the episode itself:

  1. The biggest thing, OBVIOUSLY, is that Jon Snow finally knows the most secretive secret in all of Game of Thrones: that Robert’s Rebellion was built on a lie. Jon - Aegon Targaryen - was born of love and marriage and is the true king. Nothing lasts, as Varys said, and that includes the fleeting bit of happiness Jon had with his aunt Dany (and riding on the dragon named for his father, which felt a little goofy and reminded me of Falkor from The Neverending Story). How does such an honorable man deal with this horrible situation? In the Season 7 finale, Jon told Theon he didn’t have to choose between being a Greyjoy and a Stark - he could be both. Will that be true for AeJon?
  2. Sansa Stark, Lady of Winterfell, is critical of Jon, disappointed by Tyrion, and HIGHLY skeptical of Dany. All for good reason, really. Sansa might be doing the best job of any of the assembled leaders of caring for her people right this second - like thinking about feeding them, now that they’re supporting an unexpected army and dragons through the long winter AND the Great War. Arya called her the smartest person she’s ever met during her oh-so-emotional reunion with Jon: I think that confirms that Sansa was truly playing the long game all of last season with Littlefinger. The Stark girls are very much united now. How will their view of Jon change when it turns out he’s the son of a Stark girl and a Targaryen?
  3. The North remembers. And Bran literally remembers everything now, even if he is more Three-Eyed Raven than Stark. When he was “waiting for an old friend,” who turned out to be the man who pushed him out a window in the first episode, does that prove he’s not nearly as impassive an observer as he wants us to believe? Seriously, what is his endgame? (Can we use the word endgame for things other than Avengers or no?) My husband pointed out that without Jaime pushing Bran, he never becomes the Three-Eyed Raven in the first place. Much like we all had to accept the painful fact that Hodor became Hodor (and died, sniffle) so that Bran could live, maybe Bran will have to convince his family that Jaime actually played an integral part in his evolution and survival... so they won’t kill him themselves.
  4. Cersei has her Golden Company mercenaries, and Euron got his night with the queen. That guy is SO unpredictable! He cuts out tongues! He kills dice players for cheating - or was it him cheating? What will he do next?!? Oh right, he wants to put a prince in her belly. Seems like Cersei will publicly claim her baby is his, based on the "aha" face she made after he suggested it - if there is a real baby already. Some people doubt. But either way, hopefully someone will get her an elephant for her baby shower. Cersei feels so much like the Mad Queen right now, isolating herself, paranoid about conspiracies, making wild plans to murder her enemies. Will the Mad King's signature catchphrase, "burn them all", make a comeback too?
  5. Finally: I screamed at my television when the poor dead Umber boy opened his blue eyes behind my beloved Tormund (who has always had blue eyes!) and then they set the boy on fire and that flaming spiral of body parts was EXTREMELY CREEPY. If the Night King is trying to send a message by using that pattern - which we've seen before - what is it? Besides "we are coming for you and we are absolutely terrifying."

Overall, there were a lot of satisfying reunions and setup for what I imagine will be an emotional rollercoaster of a final season. A few other questions: what does Arya plan to do with the weapon she asked for while flirting with Gendry? Will Tyrion reclaim his position as the cleverest man in Westeros? Will we get any of the episode titles ahead of time during the final season??

Need even more recapping action? Enjoy our Game of Thrones Sock Puppet Theatre!