This past weekend, April 14th, was the season premiere of one of the most iconic, well-known shows of our generation. You probably already know this, considering how difficult it is to avoid all of the talk about Game of Throne’s last season. The next episode airs tomorrow, April 21st, but before then let's talk about the first episode.
The first episode of season eight, Winterfell, gifts us a throwback to the very first episode of the show. There are, once again, outsiders coming to Winterfell, only this time, it’s Targaryens, two dragons, and an army of thousands. The parallel between Arya allowing a child to pass so they could watch the procession and her watching the kings arrival in season one was a nice touch.
Thesecond part I anticipated most of the new episode was, of course, the reunions. The Arya and John reunion was sweet, but definitely still echoed the tension between the North and the newcomers. Overall, I thought it was well done, just not the most memorable of the reunions.
The Hound and Arya reunion left me disappointed, although, it makes sense. Considering the last time they saw each other Arya robbed him and left him to die, anything else wouldn’t have stayed true to the characters.
I was very excited about the Tyrion and Sansa reunion. The sass and snark, as well as a more gentle understanding and bond between the two of them, was done flawlessly. Tyrion recognizes and admires how far Sansa has come, while still being conscious of the tension between everyone at this point. Sansa does not stand for Tyrion’s foolishness for believing Cersei’s promise to send an army, despite once believing he was the smartest man alive.
A sharp contrast between the other politically-tense reunions, Gendry and Arya’s was my favorite. The two of them teasing each other was a nice change of pace from the rest of the episode.
Of course, I can’t forget the most iconic, petty reunion I have ever had the honor of watching— Bran waiting for who knows how long in one spot in a courtyard so that he would be in the exact right spot to make eye contact with Jaime, the man who pushed him out a window in the first episode, when he got to Winterfell. Without a doubt, I had the strongest reaction to this one. I was in complete, utter awe.
Moving on from reactions, let’s talk about the worst part of the episode— Daenerys and John. While the waterfall in their romantic scene was gorgeous, their interactions were the opposite. The dragon riding scene felt like a try-hard Disney copycat that was supposed to provide some relief from the rest of the slow tension of the episode, and instead, just made me grimace the entire time. While I support the effort to further develop Daenerys beyond her ambition, this was a big miss. To make it all worse the audience at this point knows John’s true heritage, which brings me to my final point.
My most anticipated moment of the episode— John found out. This was at the very end of the episode so there isn’t much to talk about here, other than the fact that both Kit Harrington and John Bradley’s acting was incredible.
Overall, the episode had some pretty dramatic highs and lows. The reunions all went pretty well, and give a strong starting point for the relationships to further develop very well or very not. I enjoyed it, but am deeply, deeply afraid of how they are going to handle Daenerys and John’s relationship. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Frequent contributor to The Cad.