WARNING – SPOILER ALERT
Finally, here we are. After 67 episodes and a 2 year wait, the final season of Game of Thrones has finally started. After an incredible Season 7, the stakes were high and we worried that Season 8 would be unable to finish this saga in a way to satisfy everyone, if anyone. So, how well did it start?
TROUBLE IN WINTERFELL
The first few minutes are a wonderful throwback to the Pilot episode, with Daenerys’ arrival in Winterfell mirroring the one of Robert Baratheon back in Season 1. It is so satisfying to see the characters we have sorely missed: Arya, Jon, Sam, Gendry are all in the North, ready for battle. However, it seems obvious that the North and the South aren’t good allies just yet as Sansa, just like her people, quickly becomes suspicious of the Mother of Dragons. She fears that Jon is too infatuated with her to think strategy in any capacity.
The best reunion happens later on in the Godswood of Winterfell, where Arya sees Jon for the first time since he gave her the sword Needle in Season 1. Maisie Williams and Kit Harrington have a great chemistry on the screen, and it makes this reunion all the better. It seems like the Starks really aren’t fond of Daenerys as Arya reminds Jon that family matters more than anything.
A central character of the episode is Bran, whose powers are helping the plot move forward. It is now apparent that the Bran we knew is dead, and that the Three-Eyed Raven lives in him. The final scene reveals that the friend Bran was expecting this whole time was none other than Jaime Lannister, who caused his accident in Season 1. The Kingslayer doesn’t appear to happy to see his victim again, but fans know how interesting this will make the next episode.
NEVER F*** YOUR AUNT
Another concerning aspect is the relationship between Daenerys and Jon. Despite a rather romantic trip to the waterfalls, it appears that the show is hinting at a potential dispute between the two lovebirds. Jon doesn’t seem too happy when his best mate Sam tells him that his beloved Queen has murdered his brother and father, prompting the King in the North to wonder what he would have done in the same occasion. Jon’s discovery of his true heritage, making him the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, could be a source of tension as Daenerys has always been so sure that she was the chosen one.
CERSEI WANTED ELEPHANTS
Back in King’s Landing things are going pretty smoothly. Cersei is as evil as ever, plotting to kill her treacherous brothers using the crossbow Tyrion used against his father Tywin in Season 4. Unfortunately, she has chosen fan favourite Bronn to commit her murderous envies, prompting us to ask whether Bronn could really turn against his old pal Jaime or not…
Despite claims in Season 7 that she would participate in the ‘Great War’, Cersei seems more committed than ever to her own cause as she has now the support of the Golden Company that might be an important ally for the wars to come. Lena Headey’s performance is still amongst the best in the show, and I cannot wait to see where her madness takes us.
BEWARE THE NIGHT KING
If you had forgotten how scary Game of Thrones can be, the scenes in Last Hearth should remind you of the horror aspect the show likes to take. As Tormund and Beric Dondarrion inspect the Umber stronghold, they encounter young Ned Umber that has met a tragic fate at the hand of the Night King. His body is pinned to the wall surrounded by limbs in similar shape to the spirals found in the cave of the Three-Eyed Raven, and it appears to be a direct message from the King of the Dead to the mortals. The danger is closer than expected!
As we can see, the start of Season 8 was a rather slow one, but it was much needed. We can only imagine that the next few weeks are going to be action packed, so it is nice to take some time to reintroduce the characters and see long awaited reunions. And even if some of you might find it too uneventful, the scene in Last Hearth should serve as a reminder that the Night King’s threat is bigger than ever before.