As Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen arrive together at Winterfell to solidify their alliance, the northerners are not quite sure about supporting the Dragon Queen. The wall has fallen and the undead army the march south to make their attack. Queen Cersei makes concessions to Euron Greyjoy after he successfully ferries the Golden Company to King’s Landing. Jon finally learns of his true parentage when Sam tells him about what he discovered from the Citadel.
It was the longest wait for Game of Thrones fans for the final season to arrive and obviously, there was so much hype surrounding the eight season. Nobody really knew what was going to happen because even the book fans are in the dark about the fate of the Seven Kingdoms.
Thankfully, while the premiere proved to be a set up for the Great War to come, there were many significant moments that will propel the series as it moves along with its last five episodes. Jon Snow’s real parents were confirmed last season and this was significant not because of the budding relationship between himself and Queen Daenerys but because what being the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen meant — he was the true heir to the Iron Throne, which Robert Baratheon usurped with his false claim of Rhaegar’s rape and kidnap of Ned Stark’s sister. Bran was right. Sam Tarly was the best person to break the news to Jon. Now, what he will do with the information is a story for another day, perhaps in the next five episodes or so.
I liked how this revelation was handled by Sam Tarly and how he effectively asked the right questions to his friend. The episode put Daenerys and Jon’s past actions under a microscope to test how they fared as leaders of the people and it was an interesting reflection. Would Dany lay down her claim to the Iron Throne just as Jon surrendered his title as King of the North to save his people? With the way Dany is behaving now, the breaker of the wheel seems to be creating a whole new wheel of her own.
On the flipside, I was moved by Jon Snow and Arya Stark’s reunion and his immediate show of affection for his little brother Bran, although he grew up to be somewhat a weirdo. Each Bran screenshot seems to be a meme on its own. It was also interesting to see Arya and the Hound’s ruthless banter and her rapport with Gendry.
I’m still not a big fan of Dany’s prideful ways and the way she flaunted her flirtation with Jon Snow which alienated him more from his people at a time when they should be standing together, and the besotted Jon is no better. He could not look past his infatuation with Dany to look at the big picture, about how his people would feel about a foreign queen. They seemed quite nonchalant and caught in the haze of their romance when Bran specifically said that the wall has fallen and that the Night King’s Army was already on its way. Good thing Sansa, at least, has her head on straight.
The jury is still out on the Golden Company but Euron is shaping up to be a match for Cersei in the villainy department, most especially with her latest order to Hand of the Queen Qyburn. And fan theories are rife about the symbol that the Night King left at Castle Umber, which I will not explore here to minimize the spoilers. Oh, and it was super cool how the episode came full circle from the first episode of Season 1 when Jamie arrived all by his lonesome only to come face to face with Bran, whom he made a cripple and almost killed.
“Winterfell,” rightly named because of the setting for the Great War with the Night King Army ticked all the boxes and provided fans the proper update they needed to catch up with the characters during their long hiatus. The reunions were also a fitting throwback to the first season where all the conflict started, only now with an enemy that accepted neither negotiation nor compromise.
Check out the deets on what happens in the next episode.