The following article is a recap of ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Episode 1 “Winterfell”.
Warning: Major spoilers ahead! If you have not seen the latest episode, click here to read Neue’s (spoiler-free) article – “Top ‘Games of Thrones’ Questions For Season 8”.
HBO and writer George R. R. Martin’s lovechild “Game of Thrones” is back for one last dance to rightfully reclaim its title as the ‘One True King of Television’.
In this on-going series, we will be analysing the weekly-released episodes of Game of Throne’s 8th season, and with that, we stamp SPOILERS AHEAD! (Or a better option would be to binge it in-one-seating like Lawrence Dai here.)
The Saga-defining introduction titled “Winterfell” startled all of us with a new opening sequence. Which originally takes off what happens after season 7, in what seems to be the Night King’s perspective as he and his legion of undead make their way towards the Winterfell, with tiles shifting to an icy-blue.
1. A feud-filled reunion in Winterfell
The whole episode summed-up was more of an emotional build-up than blades and gory-glory. It began with Daenerys and Jon walking hand-in-hand, or at least hoove-by-hoove, galloping towards fort Stark with an army of unsullied and 2 dragons, we see Arya looking at Jon from afar, Tyrion, and almost the whole cast of the series. (Whoever’s still alive that is!)
There seems to be a power struggle between Sansa and Daenerys, but before things got too awkward, Bran steps into to announce “they don’t have time for this”, and that the Night King has turned Viserion into an undead dragon, toppled the Wall and is now making his way here. Winter is coming and there is no time to care who sits upon the Iron Throne.
Alliances seem to be the most important aspect of Season 8, with Jon bending the knee to Daenerys, denouncing his title. While Dany is making sure everyone bends their knees to her tyrannous rule. In this episode, viewers can see the resemblance between Dany and the ‘Mad King’, we’ll just have to see how this plays out.
2. A focus on the Targaryens
Dany introduces the Dragon to Jon in an intimate moment, like how someone pets a dog. The episode becomes a rom-com when they take the dragons out for a spin, landing somewhere far to get a little peachy. There is that scene where Drogon (named after Khal Drogo) twitches with agitation as Dany kisses Jon. Jealousy? Let’s hope not.
Dany also pops by to thank Sam for Jorah’s life but ends up telling Sam that she murdered both his father and brother for not bending the knee. Sam, prompted by Bran, tells Jon of his true heritage, that he is actually Aegon Targaryen and the true heir to the Iron Throne.
Sam questions Jon if Dany might give up the crown to save the North as well, but from what we can tell, from Dany going around recruiting such a large army, we are sure to expect a large battle, between Cersei and Dany, and the Night King.
3. Many are approaching Winterfell
— Robin (@iamryuzaki7) April 15, 2019
Speaking of Cersei, we learn that she has sourced a contract the Golden Company, 20,000 men strong, with 2,000 horses. Along with Euron Greyjoy, a newly not-very-fond lover of Cersei. Cersei seems to be carrying another child of Jamie and does not reveal it to Euron, hoping to use this to her advantage.
After a hearing from Sam, Jon is conflicted with his decisions after finding out his true bearings. How would Dany react to the news that Jon is also a Targaryen, although it doesn’t seem to be a problem, the Targaryens are a close-knitted family of inbreds as well.
There is a quick-horror scene at the Last Hearth, the last hold before Winterfell, where Tormund, Beric and Edd Tollett, survivors of the White-Walker attack at the Wall, who are on high alert as they scan the area for survivors. They do come across a crucified Lord Umber with the Night Kings vandalised wall of dismembered arms, Umber springs back to life as a White Walker and is set on fire shortly after.
Towards the end of the episode, we see that Jamie Lannister arrives at Winterfell, alone, hoping to give 2 helping hands (1 helping hand?) to stave off the White-Walkers.
We do get a last final shot of Jamie noticing a wheel-chaired Bran, both characters met on the first episode of season 1, where Jamies pushes young Bran out of the tower, crippling him. How will Bran react to their unsuspected meeting? Or did the 3-eyed raven Bran expect this to happen?
In this new and last season of Game of Thrones, there seems to be a new contender for the Iron Throne, where the Night King does not seem to care of worldly possessions, let alone the Iron Throne.
How will the next episode pan out? We’ll just have to wait.
What’s your favourite scene?
The Neue team’s favourite would have to be when Sansa asks, “What do dragons eat, anyway?”
“Whatever they want,” Daenerys answers.