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Game of Thrones S8E1 'Winterfell' RECAP

How great does it feel to be back in Westeros? April 14th, 2019 has to go down in history as one of the greatest days in of the Modern Era. In case you were under a rock on Sunday but somehow found this blog, the day featured two of the greatest comebacks the world has ever seen. Tiger Woods wins his first Major Championship in 11 years and it just happens to be THE MASTERS? Game of Thrones comes back for its final season over 600 days after the last episode aired. Real tears man.

I had National Championship/NBA Finals level nerves and anxiety in the hours leading up to ‘Winterfell’. All I could think was that Dan and Dave better not mess this up, and they did not disappoint. I honestly couldn’t think of a better way they could’ve started this final season. I know a lot of you wanted some wild and crazy shit, but that really didn’t make sense given where we are in the story. It was nice to see Thrones go back to its roots as a medieval political drama after all but abandoning them in season 7. For my money, this was the best episode of Game of Thrones since Winds of Winter (S6E10) and the best season premiere since the very first episode. Let’s get into it.

Disclaimer: It's long. Duh.

Intro pt. 2

First things first, how about that new opening credits scene? Fire. It looks so much better than the other one and that one was fire too. I knew from the jump they weren’t playing around this season. They’re about to take it to a new level.

Remember the Time

We start off with just an incredible opening scene. Everything, from the little boy rushing to get a look at the army procession to Arya’s facial expressions as she sees different faces from her past, was perfect. I love how they called back to the first episode w/ the “parade” through Wintertown. The Northerners are a tough crowd, and I liked all the cutaways to the faces of the people watching seemingly unimpressed. Dany’s dragons fly overhead and everyone flips their shit while she has this smug grin on her face. She has no idea what she’s getting into.

SN: You think anybody in that crowd had ever seen black people before? I wonder what was said about Missandei and Grey Worm.

Meet the Family

I think we all expected an icy reception of the Dragon Queen when we saw the first footage of the new season way back when. “Winterfell is yours, your grace.” already sounded cold out of context, but when you add the fact that Dany showers Sansa with compliments right before it, it’s kind of jarring. Like damn, Sansa, you can’t say thanks? Fortunately, Bran gets everybody back on track because we quite literally don’t have time for this shit.

The Set Up

Okay so check this out. YOU KNOW that the Army of the Dead has broken through the wall. YOU KNOW that the Last Hearth is the closest castle to said wall. WHY are you sending a small little boy away from the relative safety of Winterfell back to the Last Hearth to meet his doom? Like what? Sansa thinks she knows everything but she clearly set Lil Ned up for failure. Not cool. Second of all, Lady Mormont, you’ve got a lot of nerve. Yes, that’s part of why she’s such a beloved minor character, but I’ll be damned if she didn’t try it. You showed up to the Battle of the Bastards with 62 men, my Lady. It’s safe to assume that AT LEAST half of those men are gone, so let’s be generous and say she has 30 men left. Jon Snow is trying to save your lil butt from impending doom and you’re so bold as to try to tell him off in front of the whole North IN HIS HOUSE. I get it. I too think Jon was wrong to bend the knee to Daenerys, but relax. There are bigger issues right now.

Third of all. Tyrion is washed. After Jon gets unnecessarily dunked on, Tyrion thinks to himself “Don’t worry guys. I got this.” and proceeds to tell an already suspicious Northern audience that THE LANNISTER ARMY IS RIDING NORTH. Bro… Read the room. Literally, NOBODY wants to hear that man, even if it were true. I’ve been saying Tyrion was losing his mojo since he left King’s Landing and he may have just run out for good. You hate to see it.

Sansa was DEEP in her Cersei bag throughout this episode, but her speech about not having enough provisions for “the greatest army the world has ever seen” was as Cersei as it gets. “What do dragons eat, anyway?” with the emphasis on the ‘t’ in eat. I know y'all heard it. “What ever they want.” LOL. Dany you hell.

Sansa + Tyrion = 4eva

This scene resembled Dwyane Wade’s dunk on Anderson Varejao. Tyrion knows he’s washed when Sansa Stark is telling him about himself. I did enjoy Sansa saying that the Purple Wedding “had its moments.” That’s a bar.

Real Tears

The Arya and Jon reunion was among the most hyped reunions in the talk leading up to the season 8 premiere. We’ve been waiting on this moment for 7 seasons and I really think they nailed it. Apparently, somebody was cutting onions in Hattie’s Tap & Tavern because I’ll be damned if just seeing them together on the screen didn’t have my tear ducts messed up. Then she smiles and runs into his arms, what?? I almost passed out. I love how they were just their normal jokey selves. It was like being back in season 1 again. Big fan of the #HumanizeArya campaign. I also like how Arya took Sansa side on her distrust of Dany. No matter how clumsily it was handled, Arya and Sansa went through some shit last season and I would hate to see her betray that whole arc for Jon when he’s been back for one day. She basically tells Jon not to forget who he is, which is always good advice. Yeah, Jon is technically a Targaryen (she doesn’t know that) but forget all that he’s a Stark. Keep the family close, King.

Meanwhile, in Kings Landing...

Euron brings the Golden Company and begs for just a crumb of that sweet p**** pie from the reigning Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Shoutout to the writers for the meta-commentary on the Golden Company not bringing their elephants. We were told we were getting elephants and Cersei spoke for the audience with her disappointment. Oh well. Cersei tells Euron if he wants his shot at the Queen, he needs to earn it. Euron quickly reminds her that he has, in fact, earned it and as we see so many times in real life, Cersei realizes she was wrong and lets him beat. Tough look for all the women who were going to use that line for IG captions. I will, however, be using “they were lesser men” in a shot attempt near you. That’s a bar.

Playoff Bronn

We already know what the lesser Bron did (or didn’t do) this season, I’m excited to see if the real Bronn can live up to the hype. I really didn’t see this twist coming so shoutout to Dan and Dave. Remember when Bronn told Jaime that until he gets his girl and his castle that nobody gets to kill him except for him? Makes you think. Would Bronn kill his two friends for gold and glory? He might. But if he doesn’t it provides a good impetus for Jaime to kill Cersei. I’d love to see it.

Tom Clancy presents: Operation Greyjoy

Before we get into the SEAL Team Six mission to rescue Yara, let’s talk about the “pillow talk” between Euron and Cersei. Euron mentions getting Cersei pregnant and we see that complicated facial expression from the trailer. How mad would Jaime be if Cersei passes his son off as Euron’s? Whew. Anyway, I’m glad the Save Yara operation was handled so quickly. I don’t care about any planning or aftermath or nothing just get that guy Theon off my screen and get that loose end tied up. Thank you, next.

How to Train Your Dragon 3 Looks Crazy

Let’s start with Davos suggesting that maybe Dany and Jon could share the throne if we all survive. I mean, I’m cool with it, but would Dany be? Hmm. Anyway, Jon Snow rode a dragon. I think we all knew it was coming but I figured it would happen out of necessity, not leisure. This scene reminded me of Hitch when Will Smith and Eva Mendes were riding jetskis around Ellis Island. I love Hitch, so that’s not a bad thing. I thought the scene was fine, and while a lot of people are arguing that it would have made more sense after Jon found out he was a Targaryen, I don’t really mind it at all. It wouldn’t have been an issue if Dan and Dave hadn’t said that only Targaryens can ride dragons (canonically false) in the Inside the Episode segment. Oh well, ride on Jon Snow, but maybe take the cape off next time. Ask Edna Mode how that tends to work out.

I also like how they’re building Jon and Dany’s relationship to show more than just a physical connection. They legitimately really like or love each other, which is cute. But how about Dany with the slight threat on Sansa. “If she can’t respect me…” THEN WHAT DANY?! You gonna burn her alive?? Whew.

Cold Little Bitch

Have Gendry make me a dragonglass syringe so I can inject every Arya scene directly into my veins. It’s great to see her laughing and smiling again, she just needed to be around people she likes. All aboard the Gendry and Arya bandwagon.

Sansa Got a Point

They’re setting Sansa up for a big role in the endgame assuming she survives. Idk coach, but she’s gotten a lot better. She asks Jon a valid question, did he bend the knee for the North or because he loves her? Considering that Dany offered to come North and help him fight the Army of the Dead BEFORE he decided he wanted to bend the knee, it’s a simple answer. He did it because he loves her. Tough look for Jonboy.

Emmy Him!

John Bradley (Samwell Tarly) put up a 60-point triple-double in 7 minutes of screen time it was incredible. Just quality acting all the way through. He made me feel everything Sam was feeling when Dany told him that she burned his father and brother alive. Respect to Dany for telling him, but it’s tough news.

The King of the Bloody Seven Kingdoms

Surprise! This was another scene that they had to get right and I think they did a brilliant job. Jon looks shocked when Sam tells him, but he’s always known there was something special about him. I mean, he rode a damn dragon earlier in the day. He doesn’t really know how to process the news, so naturally, he gets angry that Ned would lie to him about his parentage. Sam tells him that Ned was saving his life and Jon deflects by saying Dany is the queen. This is where the Anti-Dany campaign picks up some real steam. If you thought this was just going to be a happy love story you thought wrong. “You gave up your crown to save your people, would she do the same?” is a VALID ASS QUESTION. Really makes you think, doesn’t it, Dany stans?


This was some classic horror movie shit wow. Glad to see Berric, Tormund and Edd make it out alive so they can die in episode 3 :/ Berric says it’s a message from the Night King. WELL WHAT U WANT MANE? Tell us PLEASE so we can sacrifice Bran or Baby Sam and be on our way.

Loose Ends

  • Jaime vs. The People of Winterfell is gonna be great.

  • Most of the trailer footage was from this episode. So I really don't know what the hell is happening next. Nobody is safe. I don’t even want to make predictions, so I won’t.


Thanks for reading, if you got this far. No MVPs or Power Rankings this week, but definitely for the next one. Stay safe out here.

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