HBO’s “Game of Thrones” made a triumphant return Monday which has fans impatiently waiting for next week’s installment.
The first episode of the longtime series’ final season tied up some loose ends but left enough at large that wagers can still be made on who will sit on the Iron Throne.
Those who watched the season eight trailer will be pleased to know that a fair amount of footage used in the trailer comes from this first episode which opens many possibilities for the remaining five episodes. They also did a phenomenal job with the clips as to not give away too much of what is happening.
This season begins with Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen parading into Winterfell with a host of the series’ paramount characters such as The Hound and Ser Jorah Mormont. The residents of Winterfell are also met by the army of the Unsullied, the Dothraki and two fully-grown dragons.
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The scene beautifully melts into the reactions of amazement from Sansa and Arya Stark before things return to the status quo of the usually complicated politics.
Jon Snow reveals to his people that he “bent the knee” to Daenerys which sparks outrage and adds more fuel to the otherwise raging fire of chaos. Sansa is also no help as she passive aggressively shows her distaste for Daenerys in front of Snow.
All of this is further stoked by Tyrion Lannister who informs the people that Cersei Lannister is sending the Lannister army to Winterfell to aid in the fight against the White Walkers. This unsurprisingly turns out to be false but does lead the story back to King’s Landing where Cersei and Euron Greyjoy enjoy some alone time after Euron shows up with the Golden Company.
Theon Greyjoy returns to ambush the ship where his sister, Yara, is being held captive later that night. He succeeds, and is shown sailing off with her to the Iron Islands to reclaim them and help Daenerys should they be forced out of Winterfell.
The Lannister-Greyjoy drama will certainly be a treat to see play out as the season moves forward, especially with the serious threat of the White Walkers hanging imminently in front of the north’s face.
Ser Bronn makes an appearance in King’s Landing as he is interrupted in the middle of his “gathering” with three women and ironically tasked with killing Tyrion and Jaime Lannister with a crossbow.
This was an incredible throwback to the episode where Tyrion kills his father with the crossbow and has to also kill his lover, Shae.
The episode cuts back to Daenerys and Snow furthering their relationship before Arya and The Hound are reunited momentarily near the Dragonglass forges in Winterfell.
Daenerys also meets with Sam who offers him a reward for saving Ser Jorah. Sam asks for a pardon for taking some books and a sword from his family before Daenerys informs him that she killed his family for not bending the knee.
This confrontation adds more chaos to the fire but it will be exciting to see how the extra tension plays out between Snow’s right-hand man and his lover/aunt.
Granted, after this confrontation, Bran tells Sam it is time to tell Jon who he really is. Sam begrudgingly agrees and Jon’s shock is nothing over the top or subpar.
The real shock came from the remains the White Walkers left at the Umber Castle when the Wildlings and the Night’s Watch scare each other and stumble upon the corpse of Lord Jon Umber with his limbs arranged in one of the White Walkers’ usual patterns. Lord Umber’s corpse comes back to life and nearly kills Tormund Giantsbane but not before Beric Dondarrion kills it with his flaming sword.
A final shock comes at the conclusion of the episode when a hooded figure rides into Winterfell and the hood is removed to reveal Jaime Lannister.
The mix of personalities and motives across Westeros has already heated up during the first episode and will be more than a treat to see play out through the rest of the season.
Only the battle at Winterfell and a few other pieces are left to be seen from the trailer but these are already things fans knew would happen, so much is left in the air for fans to ponder.