Game of Thrones Season 8’s episode 1 has just premiered and honestly, it was nothing less than an event for fans worldwide. Starring Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams and Lena Headey, the first episode delivered many promises but also fell short in some ways.
Warning, Spoilers Ahead
As we all know Daenerys and Jon had been planning to return to Winterfell with the allies – but it remained to be seen how well their welcome was taken. Sansa Stark was clearly not happy with any of this and the whole dynamic between Arya, Sansa and Jon makes you think of a totally desi household where the dude brings home the bride. None of the nands are happy with the new Bhabhi and question the brother’s loyalty to the fam now that he’s got a new lady in his life.
The high moments of the episode were definitely all the reunions which showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have said were the main focus of most of the episodes. A lot of characters that had previously never met would meet in climactic or sometimes not so climactic moments. Perhaps this was one of the cringey moments of the episode.
Arya Stark’s meet with Jon Snow was beautiful and evoked feeling. So did Bran Stark’s meeting with Jaime Lannister. Sansa Stark stood out the most when it came to reunions mainly because her conflicts with most of these returning people were very layered. She was previously married to Tyrion Lannister and she did not take very kindly to Queen Daenerys. Daenerys’ encounter with Samwell Tarly also struggles to reach to the high moment that it should have because of how long it has been between season 7 and season 8.
There’s a lot of soppy smiling in the season premiere which is a bit unlike the ethos of GoT. Perhaps the showrunners want to ease in their audience, invite them into a mirage of calm and then, as always, suddenly shake their world view.
The best lines of the episode are between Varys, Ser Davos Seaworth and Tyrion Lannister when they discuss respect and age.
‘I sense that you’re leading to a proposal,’ says Tyrion when Ser Davos Seaworth talks about how good Jon and Dany are as leaders.
‘A proposal is what I’m proposing,’ says Ser Davos Seaworth (his nickname as the Onion Knight is also alluded by Tyrion earlier when Tyrion says the Karstarks’ sigel, a white sunburst, is a better sigel than an ‘onion’.) ‘On the off-chance that we survive the night king, what if the seven kingdoms, in all of their horrible history, were ruled by a just woman and an honorable man.’
‘They do make a handsome couple,’ says Tyrion.
Varys, being Varys with his infinite wisdom, interjects. ‘You do overestimate our influence. Jon and Daenerys don’t want to listen to lonely old men.'
‘I’m not that old,’ says Tyrion. ‘Not as old as him,’ he looks at Davos. ‘Our queen respects the wisdom of age.’
‘Of course she does,’ responds Varys. ‘Respect is how the young keep us at a distance. So we don’t remind them of an unpleasant truth.’
‘What’s that,’ asks Tyrion.
‘Nothing lasts,’ answers Varys profoundly.
That last line may actually allude to the upcoming ‘incendiary’ rift between Jon and Dany.
Watch the trailer here.