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Game of Thrones S08E01 Discussion [SPOILERS]

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This is it. Season 8 is here. With a new opening sequence and everything. SO LET'S BEGIN!

THIS THREAD CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 1 OF SEASON 8.

(ALSO READ THE IMPORTANT NOTE AT THE BOTTOM BEFORE POSTING)

Game of Thrones S08E01 "Winterfell" Discussion Thread

"Winterfell" is an excellent season opener. It does a great job of bringing everything back while continuing the beginning of the end. This episode had a lot of parallels to the pilot episode "Winter is Coming". Here are a few that I could make out from a single viewing:

  1. A southern ruler comes to Winterfell with an army (with the same music playing). In pilot episode, Robert Baratheon came to Winterfell with his army to ask Ned Stark to be his Hand.
  2. Again, in the pilot, Arya as a kid excitedly watched the king coming into the castle. This time, she smiled as another kid tried to climb up to get a good view of the Queen coming.
  3. Jaime Lannister coming to Winterfell. In the pilot, he was a member of the kingsguard, and took off his expensive helmet as everyone looked at him. This time, he takes off his hood as nobody but Bran notices him, the kid he threw off a tower in episode 1. This episode also ends with Jaime and Bran, the same as the pilot.
  4. The similar scenes in the crypt (Robert and Ned in season 1, Jon and Sam this time)

 

REUNIONS

This episode had a number of reunions that we were all waiting for, and some we didn't know we needed until now.

  • Arya and Jon. Of course. The last time they met, Jon gave her a sword, Needle. Now they meet after all these years, going through what they went through, still together in their home, and she still has Needle. Don't hold your tears.
  • Arya and the Hound. I wanted some more tbh. I know the Hound is probably not the most honest person about his feelings, but still. But I loved it when he called her a bitch and then complimented her. Felt right.
  • Jon and Sam
  • Arya and Gendry
  • Jaime and Bran. Honestly, I didn't even think of this one until I saw it happen. This was the highlight of the episode for me and deserves a separate dedicated section.

 

DISCUSSION POINTS

Sansa and Jon

In this episode, Sansa asks Jon if he bent the knee to protect the Northerners or because he loved DaenerysMy first thought was "of course he did it to protect the Northerners". But after thinking a little bit more about it, I'm not so sure. Yes, he knew that he had no chance of defeating the Night's King without her help and he acknowledged this in front of her in Dragonstone in the seventh season. But he had still refused to bend the knee. Of course,  the obvious reason would be that he didn't know her enough to bend the knee to her. But he didn't do it until they.. well.. had boat sex in the season 7 finale. That's what makes me think that while the decision did make sense for him and he had to do it someday if he wished to defeat the Night's King, when he did do it, it was more emotionally motivated than anything else. Daenerys told him that her dragon dying was necessary for her to see the dead army and that she's gonna help him in defeating it. And yeah I guess Jon got a lil emo and gave up his crown.

Sam and Daenerys

Daenerys comes to thank Sam for saving his friend's life, only to realize she had burned his father and his brother alive. She tells him this herself. Sam tries his best to not cry in front of the queen. He was trying to accept that his cruel father was dead, only to be told that his younger brother is dead too. What will be the future of his family?

Big props to John Bradley who portays Sam. His acting was top notch in this scene.

Jon's claim to the throne

We know that Jon is actually a Targaryen and the true heir to the Iron Throne. But not knowing this, he has bent the knee to his aunt Daenerys who while might be a good ruler, is NOT the rightful heir. Now Rhaegar might be Jon's real father, but he ain't his daddy. Ned Stark is his daddy, and he was all about the line of succession, and even gave his life trying to protect it. Robert's Rebellion was built on a lie. And so is Dany's.

Now Jon has to make a choice: should Daenerys rule or him? Daenerys devoted her life to conquering Westeros and is finally so close. Was that all for nothing? And even if he decides to tell Daenerys, would she even believe him? And even if she did, will she step aside to let him rule? And how long before he realizes he had sex with his aunt? This also means that they can't be together. Or maybe they don't even reveal this information to the public and Jon remains Jon. But would that be the right thing to do? This is the one thing that I'm the most excited to see fold out.

Jaime and Bran

Jaime Lannister abandons Cersei and comes to Winterfell. He gets off his horse and sees Bran sitting right there, looking at him. It all comes back to him, in an instant. The man he was. The last time he saw Bran, he pushed him out a window and crippled him, and this was one of the biggest catalysts to the war of the five kings. After all this time with one less hand, here he is, joining the Starks, with the reflection of his horrible past waiting for him right at the gates. It took me a while to realize that Jaime was who Bran was referring to when he told Sam that he was "waiting for an old friend". Hit me hard. 

Now I don't think Bran holds a grudge anymore. He doesn't feel much anyway, and he most likely knows that Jaime has changed. But what will be interesting to watch is what the Starks decide to do with him. They will most likely try to punish him for his crimes of years ago. Another parallel to the pilot here. The pilot episode ends with him arrogantly pushing Bran out the window. But this one ends with him being the shocked one. Here he is, abandoning all he had, abandoning the love of his life, trying to do one right thing in his life after a lifetime of evilness, believing there's still time. Only to see Bran sitting right there, a living reminder that one's past always comes back to haunt them.

And man, props to Nikolaj. His acting is underrated. This right here, was the most powerful scene of this episode for me:

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IMPORTANT NOTE:  ALL LEAKS, INFO FROM THE NEXT EPISODE'S PROMOS, AND ALSO INFO FROM NEW EPISODES AFTER THEY ARE OUT SHOULD BE INSIDE SPOILER TAGS. THIS THREAD IS ONLY FOR EPISODE 1 AND HENCE SPOILERS FROM LATER EPISODES (OR POTENTIAL SPOILERS) ARE NOT ALLOWED OUTSIDE SPOILER TAGS. SPOILERS WILL NOT BE TREATED LIGHTLY.

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ok the new opening theme looks awesome

also wow, i did not notice the 'old friend' thing before you mentioned it. That's pretty cool :0

that Arya-Jon reunion tho ;;

Btw why would Jon and Daenerys be concerned if they're related? Didn't Targaryens wed brother and sister all the time? Unless it's different for an aunt and nephew relationship lol

 

 

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5 hours ago, Archie said:

Btw why would Jon and Daenerys be concerned if they're related? Didn't Targaryens wed brother and sister all the time? Unless it's different for an aunt and nephew relationship lol

That's more of an excuse in the current world of Westeros. Yeah the Targaryens wed brothers and sisters but neither Jon not Daenerys were brought up by Targaryens so they probably don't share those values. Plus they know that there's a high chance of the kid not being.. "normal" if they're a product of incest

Yeah the new theme was a bonus, pretty cool :D 

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That Bran and Jaime meme at the end is literally the best GoT interaction in the series. I was incredibly impressed with Sam's acting for this episode, especially in his interactions with Daenerys. I remember thinking I was watching the new How to Train your Dragon half way through the episode though 😅 Very excited for Epsisode 3...should be great

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