Hello and welcome back to Game of Thoughts, our sweaty, breathless recaps and discussion of everyone’s favorite fantasy TV Show, Game of Thrones! Whew, it’s been a rough 18 months but finally we’re getting some answers after the ending of season 7. As always, spoilers are below the cut because I can’t do that to people, I just can’t. Most of these recaps are just excited gabbling, so for real critical discourse, please find some adults.
Do I have your attention? And also the attention of my poor neighbor who is probably wondering why his single female neighbor sounds like an entire sportsball bar on Super-sportsball Sunday?
Then let’s begin!
Overall this episode had many callbacks to not just previous seasons, but to the feel of the first season. For example, when Jon and Dany arrive in the Winterfell courtyard (!) there was a family lineup similar to the one that happened when Ned and Cat welcomed King Robert and his people to Winterfell alllllll those many years ago. Remember when Jaime first took his helmet off and set us swooning? Remember how Cersei looked around like she’d never seen a more disappointing dump? Good times.
There was more of a feel for Winterfell functioning as a real hold again, in the shots of people going about their business. This newfound industry is largely due to the efforts of Sansa, as we saw in the last season.
- The New Stuff: The first sign of this Brave New Westeros World is an entirely new title sequence. I MEAN. We see Last Hearth, an arrow-pierced direwolf surrounded by enemies, and an abbreviated view of the world. This is a sign that the times, they are a-changing. Except Cersei, who is probably the dumbest brick in a Little Pig’s delivery. But we’ll get to her later.
- Arya’s first sight of Jon was moving, although it was interesting that she couldn’t quite bring herself to call out. Her reunion with the Hound and Gendry was well-written, and I was kind of expecting a hug from the Hound which just shows how soft I’ve become in my old age. The Hound doesn’t hug people, unless he’s killing them. Hugkilling. That’s what he does.
- The tension between Sansa and Dany made me feel tired. When Sansa told Dany ‘Winterfell is yours’ I was like ‘oh thank god that’s not going to be a thing’ and of course IT IS going to be a thing. Sansa does have reasons not to trust the Dragonqueen, and that tension plus the Sam tension mentioned below will probably be the main conflict for Jon and Dany this season.
- Euron is still the worst and it’s a mark to how far Cersei has fallen that she’s banging this guy. But her cavernous, empty throne room is indicative of how isolated she’s become at court in King’s Landing (probably oh idk because she blew up the sept with like half the city’s nobility in it) so it’s much harder for her to find young men to pray on. The most recent crop of Lannister cousins probably hasn’t reached puberty yet.
- Bronn – well-played, showrunners. It’s my understanding that Jerome Flynn and Lena Headey NEVER share scenes because they dated twenty years ago and can’t be in the same room anymore. I wondered how they’d show him talking to her and — they didn’t. Qyburn (who is a secret favorite of mine) delivered some news and Joffrey’s famous crossbow, with which he killed Roz, who I still miss. I seriously doubt Bronn will kill Jaime or Tyrion but will instead meet up with them and all three will have a fantastic time drinking and talking epic shit to each other before teaming up to fight the Army of the Dead.
- Theon and Yara! I’m so glad that happened. Now Theon’s going to Winterfell and he’ll like, save the day or something and probably die in the process. Christ I hope someone gives him a hug first, he looks like he needs it. I hated Theon so much for so long and now that hate has purified and tempered into white-hot love for him, to the point that I hate seeing him get beaten up onscreen.
- Jon and Dany go on a dragonflying date. I expect lots of memes to hit tomorrow referencing how much it sucks to make out with a new partner in front of their pets, especially when their pets are multi-ton, flying, fire-breathing dragons. Bet you a dollar.
- Sam gets heartbreaking news. Which leads him to finally tell Jon about his true parentage, which we have all known about since season 6. Jon gets his favorite gift, which is more stuff to brood over.
- I am VERY excited and pleased to report that not only are Beric and Tormund still alive, that jolly heartbreaker Dolorous Edd Tollett is still kicking too.
- Jaime Lannister returns to Winterfell for the first time since season 1. Which Jaime is this: the one who walked away from Cersei after seeing just how consumed with pettiness and hate she’s become, or the Jaime who was ready to catapult Edmure Tully’s son over the walls of Riverrun just to get back to Cersei? When he turned around and spotted Bran I was overcome with feelings.
Overall this was a heady episode with some nice fanservice moments but also some good scenes setting up larger conflicts that’ll no doubt come into play later. The rift forming between Jon and Dany based on the kinds of leaders they are is promising.
One of my favorite things about these later seasons are trying to guess how much the show events parallel Martin’s future books.
Final Note – WHERE IS GHOST? They are doing me a concern.