The first episode that was aired on Sunday had a lot of things to unpack. We break down a few of the main highlights of the first episode. Spoilers Ahead!
After what seemed like an eternity, the long wait was finally over for the millions of Game of Thrones fans all over the world on Sunday. And boy what a first episode of the final season 8 it was. Although sad that this is the final season, we can't wait to know what is in store at the end. It goes without saying that there are a lot of spoilers ahead so be warned! Sit tight because there is a lot to unpack. To begin with, let's go back to the first episode of the first season. I know our memories are a bit hazy since this was like ages ago. But you will surely remember how an excited and little Arya Stark moves through a crowd, climbs over onto a wooden cart to look at a procession of the Lannisters led by Geoffrey, the Hound, King Robert Baratheon and finally Queen Cersei. Ring any bell? The first season begins the same way with a boy (we don't know yet who he is but if there's anything we know about GoT is that they put easter eggs everywhere) running through a crowd and climbing a tree to watch a procession. This time however it's a procession of Jon Snow who has now become the King in the North and that of Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons and Queen of the Andals and the First Men (so many titles although all well deserved). They are followed by an army of the Unsullied as far as the eye can see and those of the Dothraki.
It all started in Winterfell, it seems appropriate that it all ends there too doesn't it? Showrunners David Benioff and D B Weiss have also explained this connection between the opening scenes of the first season and the last. Does this signify circle of life for the show? Who knows but we say this was a killer way to open the final season. More than anything else the first episode also set the scene for a meeting of a number of characters who hadn't met before or those that met but not anymore throughout the subsequent seasons. It was bittersweet for some while for others it was just bitter. Daenerys finally meets Sansa Stark for the first time and for a brief moment it did appear as though they would gouge each other's eyes.
The mutual feeling of caution between the two women is hammered time and again throughout the first episode. Watch out for the tension between the two ladies and we predict fireworks ahead. Daenerys also meets Samwell Tarly for the first time but this also does not go very well. It was supposed to be a happy meeting facilitated by Jorah Mormont who was cured of the dreaded greyscale infection due to Tarly's daring treatment. However, Sam finds out ( although we the viewers knew all along) that his father, Lord Randyll and brother, Dickon were killed by Daenerys for not "bending the knee" in episode 5 of the last season. Jorah doesn't know what to do or say. Sam is devastated and is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. She is after all his best mate's gal.
The Hound meets Arya after she robbed him "first" before leaving him to die in episode 10 of season 4. For a while, we thought that the Hound will probably do some major harm but then he says, "You are a cold b**** aren't you? Guess that's why you're still alive" smirks and walks away. A perfect greeting we'd say. Jamie sees Bran and is visibly shocked after making a mysterious entry towards the end of the episode. This is the first time he is seeing Bran since he caught him sneaking up on him and his sister Cersei during some compromising moments. Bran has become the all-knowing, stoic and we would say irritating Three-Eyed Raven and as expected he might have probably known that he was going to see Jamie. So no surprises for the smarty pants. Jamie looks like he has seen a ghost.
One of the most heartening moments was Arya's reunion with Jon Snow. The affection that the two have for each other flows every second they were together. Meanwhile, at King's Landing, Euron Greyjoy is anxiously waiting for his chance to "f*** the Queen" as he sails with the mercenaries of the Golden Company. Greyjoy presents Captain Harry Strickland, the leader of the group to Cersei but she is highly disappointed with the strength of this fleet of men and supplies. She is particularly annoyed that there are no battle elephants. Nevertheless, after some persuasion, Euron gets what he immediately wanted - the Queen. He also tells her that he is going to put a baby into Cersei. Die-hard fans are surely mining the internet after this piece of info!
Theon Greyjoy finally grows some "balls" and rescues his sister Yara who is captured in Euron's ship. Although grateful she does not fail to remind Theon that she was disappointed at the cowardice he displayed in the last season abandoning the fight with his Uncle and leaving her. They are then back bonding. She, however, can clearly see that her brother does not want to stop making amends with her. He wants to return the gratitude of the Starks. While she sails back to Castle Pyke she does not stop Theon from heading to the North to join the fight against the White Walkers.
Finally, Jon Snow knows something. Sam tells him on the instructions of the all-knowing smarty pants that he needs to know who he actually is. No better setting than the Crypt of the Starks to tell him that he is the son of Aegon Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, Eddard Starks sister. Not a bastard but a blue-blooded king all along. Lastly, we end with the words - Tormund, Beric Dondarrion, the House of Umber, White Walker Spiral and throw down a GoT styled gauntlet for you all to go figure what we mean.