Game of Thrones: The Reunion Episode. Oh wait, it was called Winterfell. But there sure as hell were a lot of reunions. Arya and The Hound, Arya and Gendry (was she flirting?), Arya and Jon (so sweet), Jon and Bran, Jon and Sam, Theon and Yara, Theon and his balls (figuratively speaking), Tyrion and Sansa, and (most awkward of all) Jamie and Bran. It seemed like a lot of feels and set-up for it being a season premiere, but I appreciate that they’re getting all this shit out of the way quickly. Too quickly, since this episode wasn’t even quite an hour long. There’s a whole lot of action coming so we need to move it forward super fast I guess.
I’m not going to recap every single scene. I’m more here to talk about how I felt about the episode, what I think some of these things mean, and what could be coming next. Needless to say: spoilers are coming either way. If you haven’t seen the first episode of season 8 turn back before it’s too late.
You still with me? Good. Let’s start with the opening scene. Dany and Jon entering Winterfell with her army sure looked a lot like when Robert and the King’s Landing crowd arrived in the very first episode. Robert’s entourage wasn’t nearly as impressive, but similar none the less. Sansa was just way less gracious in her welcome of Dany than her mother was. There is just so much epic side-eye happening between Sansa and Dany. She is the coldest bitch in the north. Given the competition that’s really saying something. Not one woman in this episode is very nice. Sansa, Dany, and Arya are all pretty frosty. So is Cersei, but she’s a long way from Winterfell and that’s always kind of been her thing.
Speaking of Cersei: sending Bronn off to kill Jamie and Tyrion with the same crossbow used to kill their father is one of the most dick moves she’s made since she blew up the Great Sept of Baelor. Maybe even worse. It doesn’t seem like her partnership with Euron is going to last very long (or end very well) so who’s she got after that? A maybe baby? By the time the kid is old enough for her to have sex with she’ll be long gone. But does Bronn really have it in him to kill both the Lannister men? He’s worked with them, been friends with them, and saved both of their lives over the course of the show. Sadly I think Bronn does have it in him to try, and it’s going to get him killed.
And oh shit. I’ve got something over all those people who haven’t read the books again. It’s a small something, but the man the Euron brings to the throne room is “Homeless” Harry Strickland. You heard that he’s the leader of the Golden Company, but in the books they’re supporting a very different faction. It’s a long story, but they fight for a whole other Targaryen that may or may not be a fake. What role will they play in the show? If I were a betting man I’d say that there’s a reason they used this character. Maybe they’re going to turn on Cersei. Maybe they really are just going to fight for her. I don’t know yet, but the show wouldn’t be introducing a new character this late in the game if it weren’t important.
We’ve got the Night’s Watch meeting up with Beric Dondarrion and Tormund at Last Hearth en route to Winterfell and finding the pinwheel of body parts with a kid as the centerpiece. That’s fun – no I mean gruesome as fuck, but Tormund is alive for the time being and that makes me happy. Theon still heading back to Winterfell too. I wonder if his reaction to Bran will be as dramatic as Jamie’s. Or maybe someone will finally build a fucking wheelchair ramp, and get his creepy ass inside. I know medieval fantasy times don’t have to have ADA compliant castles, but no one is going to be able to fight if Bran is giving them his half-blank/half-knowing looks all the time.
I’ve struggled through the entire show to like Sam, but he made it worth the trouble this episode. Or the actor who plays him did. When Dany tells Sam about the death of his father and brother (fairly brutally I might add) the range of emotions that play out on his poor little pudgy face are truly heartbreaking to see. Maybe if she’d been a little bit nicer about it he might not have gone straight to Jon and told him about his true parents. Sam is full of complex emotions in these 2 scenes. Jon seems to look confused and conflicted. He does that a lot though. Jon just had a romantic dragon flying escapade with his auntie that’s seeming way less fun to him right now. Personally I didn’t care for that part. It seemed like fan service, and honestly a bit silly. Didn’t Tywin Lannister once tell Joffrey that a king who had to constantly remind people who he was wasn’t really a king at all? I mean, something to that effect. The exact quote doesn’t matter. What matters is that Daenerys Targaryen has been telling an awful lot of people she’s the queen for some time now. She gives zero fucks whether or not Sansa likes her or respects her as long as she knows who’s in charge. That does not bode well for Dany when you think about what happened to Joffrey. And remember Sam’s line at the end of his scene with Jon: “You gave up your crown to save your people. Would she do the same?”. Of course we all know she wouldn’t. And you kind of can’t blame her. She’s gone through a lot to get to where she is now, but she’s gone wrong somewhere. Some of “the mad king” her father was has been showing here and there, and she has to pull her shit together before it all spirals out of control. Since within the next episode or so Jon will be telling her about their true relationship I don’t see that happening easily though.
I honestly can’t make any predictions about how the rest of the season will play out beyond the given stuff we know has to happen. There’s gonna be a big ass battle with the Night King and his army, Cersei will eventually get her comeuppance, and a shit ton of people are going to die. We’re also going to end up having to deal with a Clegane-bowl too. Why is this bad? Because who fucking cares? The Mountain is some sort of zombie. Any victory The Hound wins over him would be hollow since he’ll already be dead when he gets killed. There is so much that needs to go on in this season to tie everything up that wasting time on a fight where we know the outcome is pointless. They’ll either take the high road, and The Hound will kill zombie The Mountain or they’ll take the low road where they kill each other. If I have to put up with it I’d prefer they do something out of left field, and a dragon flies overhead and burns them both up while they’re working through their issues.
I know this is getting long, but just for fun I’ll put up my deadpool. We’ll revisit this throughout the season so I’ll let it be on record for when I have to admit I was wrong. I hate being wrong, but it’s good for me to get called out once in a while. I’m not happy about several of these predictions, and I went back and forth for a long time on many of them. Eventually I just had to stop debating, and hit publish on this thing. In a few instances I had to place realism over love. Sorry Tormund. I may go into secondary and tertiary characters here, but some people I might skip completely simply because I don’t care if Grey Worm lives or dies.
Daenerys Targaryen – dies
Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryren – lives
Arya Stark – lives
Sansa Stark – dies
Bran Stark – already dead
Three Eyed Raven – lives (sort of)
Tyrion Lannister – lives
Jamie Lannister – dies
Cersei Lannister – dies
Theon Greyjoy – dies
Yara Greyjoy – dies
Euron Greyjoy – dies
Melisandre – dies
Varys – lives
Bronn – dies
Tormund – dies
Davos – lives
Beric – dies for the last time
Brienne – lives
Ser Jorah – dies
Sam – lives
Gendry – dies
The Hound – dies
The Mountain – dies for reals
Podrick – lives “large”
Hot Pie – lives forever telling stories about how he’s tied to the big events that happened in The War of the Five Kings. Some fans say this whole story is being told by Sam as Grand Maester later in life. I think it’s all being told by Hot Pie at some random inn.