I Drink and I Know Things: Game of Thrones Sn 8, Ep 1 – “Winterfell”


Is it the season premiere already? Wow. Time flies. It feels like only yesterday that…I’m sorry, I can’t do this. HOW DARE YOU, Game of Thrones! Who do you think you are making us wait for nearly TWO YEARS?! Did you think we would just wait patiently for you to come back to us like a long lost love or a prodigal son! Well, you were right! That’s just what we did! I hope you’re happy! I hope you’re… why am I yelling? OK. You’re back. Everything is fine. We’re good. Assuming Tyrion lives of course. If he doesn’t we are no longer good and I cannot be held responsible for my actions. OK? Are we clear on that Game of Thrones? Good. Now then, please join me in raising up a glass of your chosen libation and let’s get to the pretentious, self indulgent, and all out mockery of actual journalistic integrity that is this blog!

The Basics

Game of Thrones gets back to the basics that made it what it is in the first place. Suspense, political intrigue, betrayal, foreshadowing, and fantastic dialogue. Add in bringing together several key characters in one place and you have a series of great scenes to kick off the episode and the season. The Unsullied, Dothraki, and two full grown Dragons (a fact we are reminded of several times) arrive at Winterfell and are welcomed with ice cold Northerner stares. The parallels to the pilot episode of the show are apparent and it really makes you think of how much has changed since the last time royalty made its way through the gates of this Northern stronghold. Arya, for example, went from a young girl who wore a helmet and wanted so desperately to be a knight… to a face-stealing assassin badass. Sansa has gone from a lemon cake loving lady in waiting to a stone hearted (for the book readers) leader running an entire city. Bran has… developed a weird stare since the last time he was here. Anyway, I’m glad we did not see the “Road to Winterfell” and we start off with (most) everybody being where they need to be.

Reunions… Everywhere

There were a lot of scenes showing characters interact with each other for the first time since the early seasons of the show. Some for the first time ever. Most were good, but I wish there was more time to let some of them breathe a bit. Jon and Arya was tear-jerking, Jon and Bran was weird, Arya and the Hound was perfect for their characters, Arya and Gendry was interesting (No, not because of the awkward flirting. What is that weapon she wants made?) Dany and Sansa are not fans of each other as one would expect. Sansa and Tyrion may be my favorite exchange of the episode. These two have not been together since Joffrey’s wedding which “had its moments” according to Sansa. The main thing I took from this scene is that Sansa is right, Tyrion is no longer the clever man we once knew. This is a problem that I hope the show redeems in the coming episodes. Maybe the tough love that Sansa shows him lights a spark inside him? I don’t know. He’s still my favorite character, but I want there to be more for him to do in this final season. They can’t just make him “not good” at the game anymore can they? He has to have a plan right? I mean, he’s with Varys again! They’re the dynamic duo of Westeros! They have to have something to talk about beyond the endless eunuch jokes right? Right?! And…AND SER DAVOS is with them too! That’s like being the ’96 Bulls of Westeros! (Sit down Golden State) 

How To Train Your Dragon… In 30 Seconds

Jon Snow rides a dragon! Rhaegal, named after his real father, gives him a roller coaster-like experience and it’s a fun sequence to watch. I guess since he’s actually a Targaryen he’s able to get the hang of things pretty quickly because it’s not long before he steers his dragon to a hidden waterfall in the mountains. Dany says they could stay here for a thousand years and nobody would find them which makes Jon smile. It makes us cringe because we remember Ygritte and the cave back in season 3. Poor Jon Snow. He still knows nothing. Until the end of this episode that is…

The Lion and the Kraken?

Well, it’s official, Cersei will do ANYTHING to ensure her survival. All Euron has to do is whine about all the things he has done for her and Cersei gives him what he wants. Ugh. I hate everything about this scene. I guess the only good part is that while Euron was busy asking Cersei, “was it good for you,” Theon was able to sneak on board The Silence and rescue Yara! Sweet! Yara is a great warrior and leader that will help the North…wait…she’s going back to the Iron Isles? Cool. Great. Whatever. In other news, Qyburn creepily walks in on Bronn telling dragon slaying tales and offers him a request from his queen. Gold in exchange for killing her brothers with Joffrey’s crossbow that was used by Tyrion to kill their father. I agree with Bronn, “This f*#%ing family.”

Ned Umber We Hardly Knew You

Young Ned Umber is sent back to his family’s stronghold, Last Hearth, to gather troops and supplies for the coming battle. The problem… The Night King. The result… something out of a horror movie. The remaining members of the Night’s Watch, Brotherhood, and Wildlings reunite at Last Hearth after The Wall came a tumblin’ down and find that the army of the dead have already been there. What they find is a gruesome message from the Night King, and he used Ned Umber and various other parts of Umbers to write it. We have seen this spiral-like symbol before and there is talk that it resembles the sigil of House Targaryen. I’m not buying that one just yet. I think it’s the symbol of the Children of the Forest and the Night King is sadistic and uses their symbol as his calling card so to speak. First everyone thinks he’s a Stark, now they’re certain he is a Targaryen. Oh, that reminds me…

The True Heir

After Sam gets some bad news reminiscent of a scene from “Robin Hood: Men in Tights,” he makes his way outside to find Bran sitting and staring. Again. (At this point I really thought people just forgot about Bran and left him out there.) It’s finally time for Jon to know the truth about his lineage and it’s up to Sam to tell him.

Jon takes the news of him being the true heir to the Iron Throne (and the fact that Dany is actually his aunt) surprisingly well. In the sense that he doesn’t have a panic attack and vomit everywhere at least. I’d say that’s taking it well considering the circumstances. Sam then poses perhaps the most interesting question that’s yet to be answered, “Would she do the same?” Jon gave up his crown for his people. Dany has had her eye on the Iron Throne since season one. Will she really give that up if she finds out that she is not next in line? Going to be fun watching this play out.

Old Friends

Oh so that’s what Bran meant when he said he was waiting for an old friend! This was brilliant and a perfect ending to the episode. The pilot ended with Jaime and Bran and this was a perfect bookend for the final seasons’s premiere. That look on Jaime’s face is the classic “Is that the kid I pushed out of a tower window years ago?” This is about to get good.

Thoughts and Theories

  • The Golden Company are essentially high end sell swords right? Can they be bought from under Cersei’s nose?
  • Bronn isn’t killing either of the Lannister brothers. There’s no way. Maybe this will be the first time that Tyrion will finally have to double what Bronn’s being paid. 
  • Littlefinger still alive? I’ve heard this theory and I have my doubts. His face, however, is fair game to be used. 
  • Speaking of faceless men, Arya’s weapon design looks like a double-edged spear with dragon glass. Also looks like she wants it to divide into two pieces. Hell yes. 
  • Jorah Mormont is holding a sword in the preview for episode two that looks to be Heartsbane, the sword of House Tarly. 
  • Can we get saddles for these dragons please? Seems dangerous to just hold on to whatever you can while riding. 
  • Speaking of those dragons, I have a theory. I don’t think any of them will make it to the end of the series. In fact, I think they are meant to die in the same way their namesakes did. Viserion (already dead, but still) by fire, Rhaegal with a massive blow or wound to the chest, and Drogon, after being mortally wounded, will have to be put down by Dany herself. Sad, but literarily satisfying. 
  • The opening credits are new and show some very interesting locations and symbols. Don’t fast forward through them. 

That’s going to do it for this week. I’ll try and get these out a bit sooner as the season progresses. I know, you were worried if you’d ever get to read my ramblings ever again. Fear not. 5 episodes left. The game isn’t over yet.

Let me know your thoughts and theories in the comments. As always, thank you for reading!

That’s what I do. I drink and I know things.