My husband has spent the interval between Seasons 7 and 8 watching and rewatching Seasons 1 through 7 but no episode has been more rewatched than Episode 10 of Season 6 when Cersei blew up the Sept of Baelor by wildfire. It’s the music, he says. That haunting piano music that, I would learn later, was also composed by the same person who wrote the Game of Thrones main theme. The song called Light of the Seven was created by Ramin Djawadi. I’m not sure if he will keep rewatching that episode just to hear the music. But, for the rest of us in the family, we no longer have to keep planning and replanning to watch Seasons 1 through 7 to prepare for Season 8.
Finally. After a year and nine months, Season 8 of Games of Thrones is here. We just watched Episode 1 and the 54-minute episode seemed like a series of bullet points that were alternately tense and tearful in varying degrees.
Sansa’s reception of Daenerys
It begins with the return of Jon Snow to Winterfell. He left as King in the North and came back with a Queen to whom he had bent the knee. When he introduced Queen Daenerys to Sansa, the Queen was effusive with her compliments both for her and Winterfell but Sansa was as cold as the snow on the ground.
She wore that bitch look perfectly. Suspicious, sarcastic and unwelcoming but still classy. And I was reminded of how, in Season 7, she told Jon that she “learned a great deal” from Cersei Lannister and Jon remarked that Sansa sounded like she admired Cersei. Well, Sansa’s look when she spoke her first words to Daenerys mimicked Cersei when she wants to belittle whoever’s in front of her.
How Sansa received Daenerys set the tone for everything that happened later.
Lyanna Mormont confronts Jon Snow
When the lords and ladies of the North gathered, Lyanna Mormont raised her voice to ask what had so far been left unsaid.
“You left Winterfell a king and came back a… I’m not sure what you are now. A lord? Nothing at all?”
It wasn’t so much a question of title even though it did sound that way. It was question of loyalty. The North pledged its allegiance to Jon Snow as King in the North, not to Queen Daenerys to whom Jon Snow had effectively surrendered his title and everything appurtenant thereto.
Tyrion Lannister, the Queen’s Hand, tried to diffuse the situation by explaining that they had to fight together or die and they brought not only the greatest army the world had ever seen but two dragons as well.
And Sansa quipped, “May I ask, how are we meant to feed the greatest army the world has ever seen? While I ensured our stores would last through winter, I didn’t account for Dothraki, Unsullied and two full-grown dragons. What do dragons eat, anyway?”
Daenerys replied, “Whatever they want.”
Sam Tarly tells Jon Snow who he really is
We’ve known it for a while but since Jon Snow always seemed to “know nothing”, Sam Tarly had to tell him because he would never have been able to figure it out himself.
In the crypts of Winterfell, Jon was lighting candles to pay respect to his father, Ned. Sam walked in at first to ask if Jon knew that Daenerys had executed his father and brother and then to tell him that the Queen to whom he had bent the knee was no Queen at all.
Sam: “Your mother… was Lyanna Stark. And your father… your real father was Rhaegar Targaryen. You’ve never been a bastard. You’re Aegon Targaryen, true heir to the Iron Throne.
Jon: “That’s treason.”
Sam: “It’s the truth.”
Jaime Lannister and Bran Stark meet again
The first time they met was back in Season 1 when a young Bran, fond of climbing walls and trees, unintentionally witnessed incestuous sex between Jaime and Cersei Lannister. Jaime pushed him off the wall he had climbed and the incident left him a cripple.
In Season 8, Bran had taken to sitting outside in the cold. He was waiting for someone, he told Sam Tarly.
In the final moments of Episode 1 of Season 8, a hooded rider entered the walls of Winterfell, alighted from his horse and pulled back his hood. Jaime Lannister who, in Season 7, had abandoned Cersei has reached Winterfell. He looked around, scanning the people that were coming and going, and his eyes landed on Bran who was looking directly at him.
I really wish that all six episodes could be delivered in one go, the way Netflix airs shows like House of Cards and Stranger Things. Another week to wait to see what happens next.