Game of Thrones Season 8 – Episode 1

The first episode of Game of Thrones Season 8 maintained a healthy amount of theatrical excitement, despite featuring no violent scenes or on-screen deaths

After a lot of anticipation, the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones began earlier today with a brilliant, crowd-pleasing episode. The episode maintained a healthy amount of excitement for fans despite featuring no fight scenes or increasingly spectacular, on-screen deaths.

As Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) returns to the North with Queen Daenarys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and her allies, her arrival sparks fear and mistrust among the Northerners. Especially Jon’s sisters Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Arya (Maisie Willias). Sam Tarly (John Bradley), learns that Daenarys executed his father and brother during the events of the last season and that leaves him shocked. Majority of the episode’s runtime is devoted to Jon and Daenarys’s attempts to deal with this situation, given that the real threat, the undead White Walkers, have breached the Wall and are quickly making their way towards Winterfell.

Reunions were a recurring theme throughout the show. Gendry and Arya, Sansa and Tyrion, even Yara and Euron Greyjoy receive great little moments in quick succession. Jon and Arya’s reunion, however, was most anticipated by fans, and it proved to be a suitably heart-warming scene — with a not-so-subtle reminder that both these remarkable characters had been resurrected, in Jon’s case more literally. When Jon asks his sister if she had ever used Needle, the sword he gave her, a shadow of weariness passes over Arya’s face as she replies, ‘Once or twice’. As fans, we’re familiar with Arya’s mounting death toll and the moment was played to perfection by Williams, who has risen in stature with every passing season.

Jon learns the secret about his true parentage and – his legitimate claim to the Iron Throne. He and Daenarys also produce the VFX scene of the episode, a breathless dragon joyride, before kissing in front of an icy waterfall. Cersei Lannister strategically beds Euron Greyjoy. The White Walkers send a typically gruesome message to Tormund and company. Bran, in his newfound avatar was his usual self. Towards the end, he forsees Jamie Lannister’s arrival and claims he is waiting for an “old friend”.

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