So now that we have survived the anticipation of an event that was almost two years in the making, the question is now, What did we learn from Season 8, Episode One: “Winterfell” Here’s some of it but not all:
1)Well for starters, The North was not happy that Jon Snow left them to try to recruit Denaerys Targaryen. He was supposed to be THEIR King. That was a point that both Lyanna Mormont and Sansa were more than happy to remind him of. What they failed to realize was that even though Jon Snow was flattered that they chose him, a bastard, as their King, he never really wanted the position. He DID want to help the North however, which is why he agreed to go see the Mother of Dragons in the first place. He never planned to fall in love with her and he really had never planned to bend the knee. Shit happens in the Game of Thrones. On the positive side, Jon got to ride a Dragon in this episode. He didn’t necessarily look good doing it however. Someone make that man a saddle.
2) Sansa has grown to like being the Lady of Winterfell and basically the Queen of the North. In many ways, she has gotten good at the job. She tried to plan to make whatever provisions they had last, at least until Denaerys and her army and Dragons arrived. This will be a good lesson for Sansa, in life, nothing goes as planned, as she should well know. She will learn to adapt. She must. Fortunately, she has an ally in Arya who has grown to respect Sansa more than you ever would have expected from their early childhood squabbles. After Jon and Arya’s most heart-felt reunion, it was the sisters combative relationship that Jon was remembering when he expressed surprise at Arya’s defense of her Sister. Some have taken Jon’s reaction as some kind of plot or trying to cause dissension. Nothing could be further from the truth. All Jon wants is for Sansa to trust him, and not keeps secrets from him. To remember (at least early on) that they are all family….and that they are all that they have. Arya wants Jon to remember that as well. Speaking of family…
3) Bran has completely surrendered to the Three-Eyed Raven position. So much in fact that he barely acknowledges he’s a Stark anymore. This was evident when, in spite of Jon’s discovered lineage, Bran doesn’t even acknowledge Jon as a brother, even though he was raised as such. These days, Bran doesn’t really acknowledge any of them, as much as his sisters and Jon want to embrace him as the little brother they knew. Three-Eyed Ravens have bigger concerns it seems. One of them seems to be observing everyone and everything. Whenever the camera panned, there was Bran, watching the events with a cool detachment as he waited for a soon to be arriving visitor.
4) Arya was moving among the people like a politician. Rubbing elbows with the common folk. Meeting and greeting old acquaintances like Gendry who addresses Arya like the farm boy in the Princess Bride. They are cute together. It’s not like Gendry doesn’t have royal blood. He’s part Baratheon. Some have even speculated that he is actually the child that Cersei and Robert had that she claims died after birth. Theories are like people’s ages…they are always open to interpretation. Arya didn’t stop at Gendry, as she also renewed that warm and fuzzy relationship she built with the Hound. She didn’t let the fact that she robbed him and left him for dead get in the way of their heartfelt banter. Not too bad for a “cold bitch.”
5) Cersei has plans for things after the war against the undead is settled and none of those plans involved sending her troops in to help. It appeared that Tyrion believed otherwise. That is what made Sansa bemoan the fact that she USED to consider Tyrion the cleverest man she knew. But if he believed what Cersei told him he wasn’t near as clever as she once believed. Sansa was not wrong in that aspect. It makes me wonder what Tyrion’s motives are, especially after the off camera discussion he had with Cersei at the end of a Season Seven.
6) Cersei took possession of her newly acquired “Golden Company.” It was not quite the army Cersei had expected. It came with a few men short as Euron killed them in a gambling dispute during the voyage. Who was cheating was a matter of contention but to Euron’s thinking, if they they died fighting him they were not going to be missed because they weren’t that much to begin with. They also came without the Elephants Cersei had heard would be included. How disappointing. Although in retrospect, one might question the wisdom of using mercenaries in a battle. You recruited them due to the money you paid them. If someone offers them more money than her, she could easily find herself on the opposite end of the battle. Their loyalty ends where the purse strings begin.
7) Speaking of Euron, he felt like he wasn’t getting his due respect from Cersei for all his deeds done on her behalf. She told him he would get what she promised AFTER the war as they agreed upon. Euron righty reminded her that Wars can go on for years. After contemplation, she gave him what he wanted. The question is, did she get what SHE wanted? Is she pregnant as she claimed last season or is she TRYING to be with Euron’s Assistance. Either way she will most likely use the presumed Pregnancy to control Euron. Just like she wanted to control Jaime before he left her.
8) Theon had went through more than most since the series started and he had promised to rescue his sister Yara from their Uncle’s clutches. He made good that promise, storming Euron’s Ship while he was pre-occupied with taking the Queens temperature. It was a good start for Theon to recover some of his dignity and perhaps some of his “manhood.” Once aboard their ships, Yara realized that while he was loyal to her and would go where she lead, his heart was calling him to fight with the Starks against the dead. She gave him her blessing and basically told him to kill the dead Bastards.
9) Poor Samwell Tarley. Talk about a good man who not only got shit on last season, but now just found out that his father (who was a mean bastard anyway) and his brother were both executed by Denaerys Dragon last season. Hard news to get from the woman who just minutes before was wishing to reward him for his efforts on Ser Jorah’s behalf. “Thanks for helping my good friend Jorah, by the way I turned your family into a barbecue for not kneeling before me.” There’s your reward. If THAT wasn’t enough, before he could stumble down the stairs and almost get ran over by a wagon, Bran tells him he must tell Jon that his whole life has been a lie. “Good Luck with that Samwell!” Sam must be thinking biblical here…”Just dump it all down on me Lord, I can take it.” So he told Jon what he had discovered while at the Citadel and what Bran had learned from…whatever he does and that HE was the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Jon probably thought, “Great, another freakin Throne I DO NOT WANT!” At least he SHOULD have thought that, but instead he was more disappointed that the man he called father, the most honorable man he had ever known had lied to him from the beginning. Sam explained why Ned had not told him the truth and the promise he had made to his Sister Leanna but I imagine that was cold comfort. He probably hadn’t even considered yet what that meant for him and Denaerys. One disaster at a time, I suppose.
10) After a ride that took almost two years, Jaime has arrived at Winterfell. But what’s the first thing he sees? Bran giving him the Three-Eyed Raven stare. No doubt there will be some kind of reckoning between the two. It was Jaime after all that gave him that ill-fated skydiving lesson from the tower. Of course, another way to look at it was without Jaime, Bran might have never become the Three-Eyed Raven. In a sense, he helped him be who he was meant to be. Nahhh…he shoved him out a freakin’ window. We’ll see where THAT leads.
So Episode 1 is in the books with only five left. We know that with only 5 episodes left it was necessary to get some explanations and reunions out of the way. They have accomplished that task and did it well. Starting next week, the shit starts hitting the fan. The Dead are coming, they have a Dragon and they are still making installation art with body parts and children (Poor Young Lord Umber). Who will survive and how? Stay tuned.
Did you like how “Winterfell” played out? Did you have some questions answered or do you have more now than before? Share them with us at GVNation.
I am a 50 something child of the 70’s who admits to being a Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book junkie who once dove head first over a cliff (Ok, it was a small hill) to try to rescue his Fantastic Four comic from a watery grave. I am married to a lovely woman who is as crazy as I am and the proud parent of a 15 year old boy with autism. My wife and son are my real heroes.