Like every season of Game of Thrones, the premiere episode had little action and was more of a setup for important things to come. But it being the beginning of the end of the show made it still comparatively more important.
Here are our five favourite moments from the first episode of Games of Thrones Season 8:
Jon and Arya renuion
At the beginning of the show, we saw that Jon was Arya’s favourite brother and Jon too was fond of his fierce little sister. At the time of their parting, Jon gifted Arya a thin sword that Arya named Needle. The sword was barely able to hurt anybody, but Arya kept it as it reminded her of Jon. After years and years of being away from her brother, she kept it with herself. Now, as they reunited, Jon was pleased to see that Arya still had it. Jon also showed Arya his Valyrian sword, given to him by former Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Beor Mormont. However, Arya also gave Jon a mild warning. She said, in veiled terms, that after so much suffering the surviving Starks are finally together and they should not let others divide (like Daenerys) them again.
Jaime and Bran
Conflict in Game of Thrones began when Jaime Lannister attempted to murder Bran Stark by pushing him out of a window in the first episode. Back then, Bran was a sweet little kid who liked to climb the walls of Winterfell. Now, he is a cold, stoic seer figure who knows so much about the world that he would rather focus on bigger things, like the Night King and his army. Jaime has changed too. He is no longer brash, arrogant and cruel. His experiences have made him a kind and thoughtful person. But he did try to murder an innocent child and Bran, of course, knows that. But it is unlikely he is in any mood to punish Jaime, since if he had not lost the use of his legs, he would not have become the Three-Eyed Raven.
Daenerys, the Mad Queen?
Cersei Lannister, no matter how dangerous she is, does not have dragons. Daenerys Targaryen does and she burns those who do not kneel. Dany told Samwell Tarly pretty coldly that she executed his father and brother as they did not bend the knee. Sam now believes Jon, who has forgiven his enemies before, will be a better ruler and also has the far stronger claim to the throne.
The wight at Dreadfort
By now, we know the Night King is not stupid. He is a master strategist. He has a counter to everything the protagonists have thrown at him. He took down one of Dany’s dragons, Viserion, like a hunter would shoot a bird, and almost killed Drogon, the biggest one. We learnt in the latest episode that he sacked Dreadfort, the castle of Boltons, and slaughtered everyone (and probably complimented his Army of the Dead). He also left a message by nailing a child to a wall. Tormund Giantsbane, Beric Dondarrion and Eddison Tollett spot the child and he rises as a wight. Dondarrion stabs him with his flaming sword.
Jon rides a dragon
Jon Snow, who is actually Aegon Targaryen, rode Rhaegal, one of Dany’s dragons. Dany rode her favourite Drogon. They rode together and reached a secluded spot. As they were kissing, Drogon was staring at Jon, as though he knows exactly who he is. Dragons in the world of Game of Thrones are not dumb beasts. They are far smarter than other animals. They can hold independent thoughts, for one. The stare of Drogon almost certainly has a deeper meaning that we will discover in the upcoming episodes.
Game of Thrones airs in India on Star World. It also streams on Hotstar.