Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1 Review

And so it begins.

tl;dw Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1 Recap

(here’s a link for anyone having a problem with the embed)

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-For all my ire directed at the show, it has been such a constant part of my life for the last few years -basically a decade, my Gods!- that I’m left feeling some type of way knowing it’s going to end.

-This was a typical starter episode, with pawns being placed on the board and plot threads beginning to unravel. I was pleasantly surprised by how clear and organic the set up is, because though it’s a simplified version of the books, the writers have often compensated by presenting a tortured and overwrought narrative, with motivations that change like the wind.

-The reunions! All these great reunions! Jon getting all the hugs he deserves! His conversation with Arya is special, not just because of the relationship they had, but because of how it’s changed. Many of us have found ourselves trying to reconnect with old friends we genuinely love by falling into old behavioral patterns (Sansa-dragging), only to realise that we are different people and that we have to re-establish the relationship.

-Arya and Gendry finally meeting again was also a pleasure, cause they managed to combine an “As you wish”, with the rejection of the not-like-other-girls trope and a boy making his lady a weapon (recently added to my favorite romance tropes thanks to Critical Role).

-I genuinely cannot understand how people are hating on Sansa for pointing out that they won’t survive the winter with their current numbers. It’s a matter of strategy as well as practicality. In Greece we have a saying “An un-fed bear won’t dance” which is adorable if you don’t know the origins and very much the case in this instance.

-What I most appreciated about the episode was Daenerys’ decision to tell Sam about his father and brother. I know it was probably because of time constraints, but I do detest cancerous secrets that could have easily come to life if someone had the resolve to reveal them.

-Jon finally knows everything! And I find it hilarious that the show chose to focus on the fact that he’s the rightful heir rather than the fact that he’s in a romantic relationship with his aunt. Also hilarious? Sam’s decision to reveal Lyanna as Jon’s mother before bothering with the rest of his heritage in a story that features incest quite heavily.

-I loved the parallels to the pilot episode. The young boy climbing. Jaime’s return to Winterfell being an almost exact copy of his first arrival, except this time he’s marred by time and blue filters. Twisted body-part-art. (Didn’t like the last one so much.)

-Save for the eunuch joke, there were many surprisingly pleasant upbeat moments this episode. Cersei’s elephants, Bran’s creepy staring, the dragons trying to murder their new dad, Gendrya flirting. I’m guessing it’s the calm before the storm, but I enjoyed Tormund and Edd’s X-Files shennanigans nonetheless.

-Speaking of old blue-eyes, I find it a pleasant change of pace that a fantasy world has paleness and blue eyes conflated with evil and death. More than a twist on dark vs. light, it could have been an interesting take on race in fantasy and how it relates to real-world prejudice (if we had more than two vaguely important characters of color).

-Cersei wanting her elephants was such a precious character moment I wish wasn’t marred by Euron. What is he even doing there and why should we care? Can’t wait for Asha to kill him.