Roughly 595 days ago, I posted the Game of Thrones Season 7 finale recap, thinking we would never see the end of this series due to a Trump-related nuclear fallout, a George R. R. Martin-type setback, or simply death by anticipation — but we made it, friend-ohs. Seems like we should be rewarded for our never-ending patience with a brand new opening sequence. Reward granted!
Thoughts on the new opening sequence: ALL THE YESES. I love the upgrade, how they’re going deep into the interior of things (I think the Winterfell crypt is important this season), and that they’re tracking the undead army by turning white tiles into blue ones. Genius. Read more about what the production studio has in store for the credits here.
This first episode was one of reunions and revelations. The pace wasn’t as lightning fast as last season was — at least it didn’t feel like we were sprinting, merely trotting along with purpose — but I’ll be happier once the episodes go feature length, starting in Episode 3.
The first scenes, we saw the Unsullied, Dothraki, and two fully-grown dragons plus all the human throne hopefuls marching into Winterfell. Within 30 minutes, there was a Jon-Bran reunion, Jon-Arya, Tyrion-Sansa, Euron-Cersei, Bronn-Qyburn, and Yara-Theon. Shocking no one, Dany and Sansa are high school frenemies now. Bran is still pretty Bran, though more talkative than usual (from three words per episode to like…seven). Sansa and her ex-husband, the Imp, have an outdoor tete-a-tete. Qyburn tasks Bronn with revenge-murdering Tyrion for Cersei. Yara clocks Theon after he rescues her but they make up, Iron Islands-style. What is dead may never die.
Euron and Cersei predictably get it on because he’s the most arrogant man in the world and some women like that kind of thing. Especially when their other partner is a tender-hearted sibling who abandoned them to fight the undead. Also totally normal: Saying “I wanted those elephants” post-coitus while drinking red wine in a terrible wig.
Varys, Sir Davos, and Tyrion discuss wedding bells between Jon and Daenerys. “What if the Seven Kingdoms, for once in their whole shit history, were ruled by a just woman and an honorable man?” I think what you meant was A JUST AUNT AND AN HONORABLE NEPHEW, SIR DAVOS.
And now, a showing of How to Train Your Dragon: Game of Thrones edition. All I could hear while Jon and Dany were riding their dragons was “A Whole New World” from Aladdin. Thankfully, this is the internet, so someone already made that meme for me. Question: Does Dany not know that Targaryens are the only people dragons will allow to ride them? Jon hops on Rhaegar and they just take off, like he’s some kind of dragon whisperer — it concerns neither of them that he’s able to do this, like NBD, HE TOOK A DRAGON RIDING CLASS IN HIGH SCHOOL.
Jon: You’ve completely ruined horses for me.
Dany: And healthy sexual relationships, I bet.
They make out by a waterfall, because ugh and why and yes and nooooo. Next up in This Is Totally Normal: Meaningful, unblinking eye contact with a dragon while making out with his human mother who also happens to be your aunt. Cue music: Targaryens…are doin’ it for themselves!
Arya and The Hound reunite. It is very Arya and very The Hound.
Hound: You left me to die.
Arya: First I robbed you. *hair flip*
That line is why I love Arya and hope she never dies, I will turn this car around if that happens, I FUCKING MEAN IT. And here is where we ship Gendry and Arya, who were mildly flirting and would make a good match. She asks him to make her a special weapon and he teases her and dang, Gendry makes blacksmithing look good.
Jon and Sansa fight about Dany, which should be a fruitful conver–nope, it’s not that fruitful.
Jorah and Dany find Samwell for the most awkward conversation in Westeros. She tells him she is indebted to him for saving Sir Jorah, then says ALSO I KILLED YOUR FAMILY, FUCKING OOPS, and Bran just stares and stares as Bran does every second of every minute of every hour of every day.
Bran: Wibblety wobblety woop
Sam finds Jon in the crypt to tell him the truth about his parents. Sam’s all GIVE ME AN ‘A’! GIVE ME AN ‘E’! And then a G-O-N, I think? WHAT’S THAT SPE–
Jon: My dad was dope, this makes no sense.
Sam: You’re the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, so Dany can kick rocks.
At no point does Jon shout “BUT I’VE BEEN KNOCKING BOOTS WITH THE AUNT OF AEGON TARGARYEN, WHO ALSO HAPPENS TO BE ME” because let’s be honest, it’s a little gross and totally embarrassing.
Tormund lives!!! We join Tormund, Beric Dondarrion, and Eddison Tollett at Last Hearth, formerly the seat of House Umber. Last we saw Lord Umber — all of ten years old — he was going back to Last Hearth to get people and provisions for the war. Instead, he was used as a human pinwheel by the Night King to send a message. The pinwheel of limbs with this little guy nailed to the middle was frightening enough, but then he “woke up,” White Walker-style, and started screaming like four fucking banshees. Naturally, Dondarrion lights him on fire, which is only helpful if you enjoy horrifying visuals in your waking nightmares.
Jaime Lannister arrives at Winterfell, having traveled so long he arrives as a brunette with a beard. You still got it, buddy. He looks around and then realizes he’s staring at Bran — the little kid he pushed out of a window, which instigated the bad blood between the Starks and Lannisters — which leads to an excellent OH SHIT moment. I expect a good showdown between Jaime and Bran, not to mention Jaime and Daenerys, next episode.
I didn’t really *think* about when I would write these recaps because I was so excited, but Tuesdays after I do the KEXP overnight is NOT THE TIME. Been up way too long, so I’ll try and churn them out on Mondays. What did you think of the episode? Any favorite theories so far? One down, five to go.