12 Things You Missed From The Game Of Thrones Season 8 Premiere
After the longest wait imaginable -- and far too much time spent trying to guess the ending -- we were treated to the first episode in Game of Thrones' final season.
It was a lot to take in, so here's everything you might have missed in episode one.
WARNING: Spoilers are coming.
1. An episode has no name.
Unusually, Game of Thrones keeps its cards close to its chest: we might not get an episode name until a week or two before it drops. This time around? Nothing. At the time of writing -- which is 90 minutes after the premiere aired -- we still don't have an episode title. According to Wikipedia, the episode is called 'Winterfell', but that's unconfirmed at best.
UPDATE: Confirmed, the episode is called 'Winterfell'.
2. We are being set up for the Starks versus Daenerys Targaryen.
When Arya and Jon reunite in the Weirwood, it's a long-sought for moment that quickly turns ominous. "You're defending her?" Jon asks Arya of Sansa, incredulous the two warring sisters are now friends. "I'm defending our family," Arya replies. "So is she. Don't forget that."
Everything that comes next is more obvious: Sansa and Dany sparring in the great hall over food supplies ("What does a dragon even eat?" "Whatever they want"); Sansa chastising Jon for bending the knee and possibly throwing away the support of the North; Samwell Tarly revealing the truth about Jon's rightful claim to the Iron Throne.
"You gave up your crown for the North," Sam says to Jon. "Would she do the same?"
Jon finding out the truth is "the most upsetting thing in the world", according to Kit Harington. The actor told EW that Jon "doesn't want that f**king information. He doesn't want to know. He’s never wanted that. The end of the world might be coming soon but at least he’s in love with somebody and knows who he is, and then comes this sledgehammer.”
3. We have confirmation that Cersei's baby is Jaime's.
Up until this point, there was a slight window of opportunity for Game of Thrones to pull the rug out from underneath as and reveal that Cersei's baby was Euron's. This episode ended all speculation, but Euron's plans to "put a prince in her belly" should be interesting to watch; as Cersei becomes visibly pregnant, both men are going to think it's their child -- if they're around to witness it, that is.
4. Ser Bronn of the Blackwater is armed with the same crossbow Tyrion used to kill his father, the great Tywin Lannister.
You probably already spotted this, but here's the visual confirmation:
Cersei loves a bit of poetic justice, as Qyburn says. Will Bronn -- originally a sell sword, now an anointed knight -- really sell out both Jaime and Tyrion for their sister, whom he shows no love? It seems unlikely. Bronn looks out for number one at all times, but even Bronn can see that fighting against the army that's fighting the dead doesn't seem like a wise move.
5. Jon Snow is riding the dragon named after his father.
Dany's three dragons are Drogon (black with red markings, named for Khal Drogo), Rhaegal (green with bronze markings, named for Rhaegar Targaryen), and Viserion (white with gold markings, named for Viserys Targaryen -- and now in the service of the Night King). Rhaegar Targaryen was Dany's brother and, as we confirmed last season, Jon's true father.
6. What's up with Arya's new weapon?
We see Arya ask Gendry to make her a new kind of weapon, presumably from Dragonglass. While we don't know much about it yet, Game of Thrones weapons master Tommy Dunne teased to Vanity Fair that one weapon in his new season is "a showstopper .... absolutely phenomenal". It's a safe bet to say this is that showstopper.
Vanity Fair goes on to speculate that it's a double-ended spear that can split into two daggers, which would make sense given we saw Arya train with a staff for an entire season.
7. Meet Harry Strickland, the head of the Golden Company
We only glimpsed him for a second, but it's safe to say the golden-haired bloke on the ship with Euron Greyjoy is none other than Harry Strickland, head of the Golden Company and on his way to fight for Cersei -- for a price, of course.
Is it pure coincidence he could pretty much pass for a budget Jaime Lannister (a departure from his description in the book)? Maybe, maybe not.
8. Everybody is obsessed with cleverness.
In past seasons, both Cersei and Tyrion have been accused of not being nearly as smart as they think they are. We're seeing it again now, only this time, Sansa is being defended (by Arya) as "the smartest person I know".
"I'm a slow learner, it's true," Sansa told Littlefinger at the end of last season, "but I learn."
After years of being used and abused by schemers, plotters and straight-up psychopaths, Sansa is the only one looking at the bigger picture at all times. Everybody else is concerned about the approaching army of the dead, but Sansa is figuring out how to keep everyone living.
(Side note: I may be biased towards Sansa here.)
9. Bran's "old friend" is Jaime Lannister.
These two haven't seen each other since Jaime pushed Bran out a window in the first ever episode. That being said, Bran is pretty insistant he isn't Bran anymore, but the Three Eyed Raven, so how much will he even care? More likely, he can see that Jaime has a key role to play in the war to come (read: the war almost on their doorstep).
Side note: given we have Sansa and Tyrion bickering about whether Cersei is sending her armies or not (she's not), surely Bran could just see what's happening that way? What is the point of an all-seeing Three Eyed Raven on your side if you don't use him for strategy? Honestly.
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, he's still learning control over his visions. Whatever. Get it together, Bran.)
10. Ned Umber is so very, very dead.
Ned Umber -- the young Lord Umber, who returned to Last Hearth to bring his people back to Winterfell -- is the same young child speared through the gut and surrounded by body parts. RIP.
11. The White Walkers are all about circles.
Since the very first episode, we've seen the White Walkers arrange their dead in circular patterns. We've also seen it in the spiral shapes laid about by the Children of the Forest, who, remember, created the White Walkers; according to co-creator David Benioff, the Children used these symbols in their rituals.
It should be noted that these spirals have not yet been mentioned in the books, so it's more of a creepy visual for the audience than any deeper meaning.
12. NEW OPENING SEQUENCE.
Alright, this probably should have gone at the beginning, but it's a look at what's yet to come. This new opening sequence (slightly leaked by Carice van Houten, who plays Melisandre) shows a snow-covered North, a torn-open Wall, and King's Landing -- and that's pretty much it. Where else is there to go?
It means Game of Thrones has a bit more time to play around with Winterfell and King's Landing, and so for the first time we're being taken deep inside the crypts of Winterfell, where -- if fan theories are to be proven correct -- we might see the dead Starks rise up and fight for the Night King.
It also ends on a shot of the Iron Throne, which is a nice touch. After the war against the dead, there's still the matter of who is to rule Westeros (if anyone), which Varys, Tyrion and Davos Seaworth seems to be primarily concerned about.
UPDATED -- 13: We learn Ed Sheeran's character had his eyelids burnt off.
Remember the scene with Bronn and the three sex workers? He was annoyed at their idle gossip, but if you listen closely, they gave us an update on Ed Sheeran's much maligned Game of Thrones character: his eyelids were burnt off by Daenerys' dragon.
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