Game of Thrones Season Eight Premiere: Women Rule and Jon Snow Still Knows NothingApril 15, 2019
In the season eight premiere ‘Winterfell’, there is little time spent on huge battles and violent interactions and much more attention given to character reunions, both wonderful and uncomfortable, and the realization again that when all is said and done it is the women on the show who will have the biggest impact.
The episode starts off with the Queen of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen and former King of the North Jon Snow riding into Winterfell with their very sizeable army. It was an impressive sight to behold…to everyone except Sansa Stark. She understands that they need this army and the dragons, but she has also seen other men in her family come to ruin by listening to their hearts and not their heads. She tells Jon as much, wondering if he bent the knee for to save the North or because he was in love. Even Arya, after she and Jon share a nice moment of hugs and comparing weapons, gives Jon a not so subtle warning about putting family first, one which I think flew farther over his head than the two dragons that patrol the skies.
Speaking of reunions, we had a few uncomfortable but rather funny ones at Winterfell. First, Tyrion and his ex-wife Sansa come face to face for the first time since Joffrey’s wedding/death day. After some humorous verbal stickhandling around the subject, Sansa calls Tyrion out for trusting his sister Cersei, who really can’t be trusted under any circumstances. When she says to Tyrion “I used to think you were the cleverest man alive,” she hits him right where it hurts the most: in his well-earned reputation for being smart. She is right, too. Does Tyrion really think her sister will keep her word and send her army north? The more likely scenario is what actually unfolded, the hiring of a familiar face to kill him.
Also, Arya and The Hound come face to face again, the first meeting between the two since she left him to die. The exchange between them is curt, short and to the point, with some cutting remarks that border on humor and respect. The Hound does have some grudging admiration for Arya, although he’d never admit it, and Arya…I’m not sure what is going through her mind in terms of The Hound. Arya also comes face to face with another familiar face, someone she hasn’t seen in a long time. She asks him to construct a weapon for her and seeing the design it looks deadly and fun.
Meanwhile, at King’s Landing, Cersei Lannister is doing what she does best, scheming and then scheming some more. She is working with Euron Greyjoy, getting supplies, making promises, having sex with him, just so she can further her goal of sitting on that throne and ruling everything and everyone. She is cruel, evil, two-faced and so much fun to watch on screen. You never really know what she’s going to do next, except that it will involve violence, sex or broken promises, all to get what she wants. Speaking of wants, she obviously really wanted those elephants. (When you see the episode you’ll understand)
Jon Snow also finally learns the truth about his real family history, that he’s actually a Targaryen, and needless to say, he is shocked. You can see the confused wheels spinning in his head, as he turns over the facts one by one: he is the true heir to the Iron Throne…he does not want to break his word to Daenerys….he has been sleeping with his aunt. That is a lot to take in.
But if you think that’s bad, how about being in Jamie Lannister’s shoes when he comes face to face with Bran? Both are changed men, for better and worse, but nothing can change the fact that Jamie put Bran in that wheelchair. They lock eyes and the look on Jamie’s face…
I want to touch on the intro for a minute. It is new this year, and to these eyes, it’s full of more hints than ever before. Take a close look at it, hopefully, you can view it more than once, as it seemed to tell part of the tale of what happened in this episode, especially concerning Lord Umber.
The real theme of this episode is how everything comes full circle. From the Jamie/Bran meeting to the Stark children back at Winterfell, to the boy running around at the beginning of the episode. We see through his eyes the awe, wonder, and fear that the Stark children were exposed to on a daily basis. I’m sure this theme of things coming full circle will keep rearing its head and really, that’s not a bad thing.
Four stars out of five