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Game Of Thrones Season 8 Premiere: Recap of Episode 1, Winterfell

Kit Harington as Jon Snow and Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, as seen in Episode 1 of HBos' 'Game of Thrones' Season 8
Kit Harington as Jon Snow and Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen. Pic credit: Helen Sloan/HBO

It’s been a long wait, hasn’t it? So long, in fact, that many fans have had to binge-watch all the seasons prior to the Season 8 premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

However, the wait was worth it. HBO has managed to cram a massive fan-service episode into the premiere that didn’t totally suck merely because it was fan-service.

Although, in saying that, it would have been nice to have more forward movement rather than just hook-ups and chatter about who should rule.

Because, let’s face it, as Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) points out, there are white walkers afoot that have an ice dragon now and sh*t is getting more real than ever before.

Winterfell Is The Place To Be

Episode 1 of Game of Thrones Season 8 opens with everyone gathering at Winterfell as they join forces against the Night King (Vladimir Furdik).

As Entertainment Weekly points out, the opening scene is reminiscent of Season 1 where viewers saw Bran scale Winterfell. This time, though, it is a small boy climbing a tree to see the arrival of the Unsullied. Luckily, no one gets their back broken this time.

However, the North is not impressed that Jon Snow (Kit Harington) brought Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) home with him, and gave up his title for her. In addition, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) alerts them to the fact that Cersei’s (Lena Headey) army will also be joining them.

The North is suitably p*ssed.

It takes another Stark, this time Sansa (Sophie Turner), to point out that there is no way Cersei is going to yield and help them with anything.

And, as per usual, Sansa is disregarded for not being knowledgeable on the situation.

As if all those seasons of living at King’s Landing and being married to Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) mean nothing.

But, at least fans get to see her throw some snark Tyrion’s way as the couple meets up for the first time since she ditched him at Joffrey’s (Jack Gleeson) wedding.

Along with Daenerys getting introduced to Sansa in Episode 1 of Game of Thrones Season 8, there are many, many other meetups.

Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) gets to compare swords with Jon, who she hasn’t seen in such an age that Jon thinks it’s funny to imply that Arya has used Needle to kill people.

Although, as USA Today points out, it’s kind of absurd in the way the pair hardly know each other anymore. She also meets up with Gendry (Joe Dempsie) and the Hound (Rory McCann), both of which gives the audience all of the feels.

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Bran gets a reunion with Jon and fails to tell him about his secret Targaryen heritage. Instead, he delegates the task to Samwell Tarly (John Bradley). This is something that poor Sam has to do after he gets to meet Daenerys for the first time and also learn that she barbequed his father and brother.

I’m not sure why Sam is upset about the news, maybe just so that he forgets to tell Daenerys that she is not really the rightful heir to the iron throne.

Because no one is telling Jon and Daenerys they are related, they manage to cram in some awesome dragon riding before they have incesty sex once more.

Eventually, though, Samwell ends up having to tell Jon the news while Jon is down in the Winterfell crypt checking on his “dad” Ned Stark.

Surprisingly, this conversation goes rather well and Jon doesn’t question the validity of Sam’s investigations or Bran’s visions.

But, I guess he was too busy thinking, firstly, that his mother, Lyanna, had sex with her own brother, and secondly, having come to the realization that he is actually shagging his aunt.

Lena Headey stars as Cersei Lannister in Episode 1 of HBO's 'Game of Thrones' Season 8
Lena Headey stars as Cersei Lannister. Pic credit: HBO

Cersei Wants Elephants

At King’s Landing, where it’s looking pretty lonely now that everyone is abandoning the actual queen, Cersei is complaining that the Golden Company which Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) has summoned didn’t bring elephants with them, just like the brochure promised.

Cersei sleeps with Euron in order to cover up the fact that she is pregnant with her brother once more. however, being Cersei, she totally makes Euron think he has won her affection and that he is not being simply used by her.

The queen also gives Bronn (Jerome Flynn) a wagon of gold to kill her brothers — Tyrion in particular. Bronn will likely take the money but I am betting he will not kill either of the Lannister boys considering he has nothing but airtime with them throughout the entirety of Game of Thrones.

Last Hearth Summons The Undead

Eagle-eyed viewers who were watching the new opening credits of the final season of Game of Thrones would have noticed the ice encroaching on Last Hearth, which is the last castle before the Wall. As a result of this, fans knew that things were going to get ugly at this location.

Tormund’s (Kristofer Hivju) group that survived the breach of the Wall in the Season 7 finale episode of Game of Thrones searches the place and discovers that the dear little lord of Umber who was sent home to gather his people and bring to Winterfell has been slaughtered.

Not only slaughtered but put on display as a human mural.

In addition, the Night King got creative and used other people’s body parts to create a collage resembling a human octopus. Considering everything the wildlings know about what happens if you don’t burn a body, Tormund gets too close and is nearly grabbed by the now undead Umber lord. It’s not cool HBO to threaten Tormund’s life so soon after revealing he survived the attack on the Wall.

Not. Cool. At. All.

Jaime Arrives At The One Place That Hates Him The Most

Episode 1 of Game of Thrones Season 8 concludes with Jaime arriving at Winterfell. While Cersei is p*ssed at him, it is nothing compared to what the Northerners think of him.

Which means that the very first person he sees at Winterfell is Bran.

Bran has, literally, spent the entire first episode of the final season stuck in the mud while no one asks him if he’d like to be wheeled somewhere warm.

However, Bran had been waiting for Jaime to arrive and it will be interesting to see how this reunion unfolds in Episode 2 of Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones Season 8 returns with Episode 2 on Sunday, April 21 at 9/8c on HBO.

Rachel is an avid watcher of television and reader of all things related to binge-worthy TV shows. When she isn't hunkered down in front of... read more

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