After two years of waiting, the final season of Game of Thrones has arrived. In light of this, we here at ETG thought it prudent to break down the highlights from each of the final six episodes of this monumental series. Through the years this series has made the fantasy genre more mainstream than anything since Lord of the Rings. It has been a fantastic journey with some great moments and some very sad ones. This conclusion will no doubt carry with it the most devastating emotional bombs the show has brought thus far. Beware of SPOILERS for the first episode of season eight of Game of Thrones. Stay tuned each week to ETG for all the highlights from this final season.
The first highlight from episode one is all the reunions. Everyone is arriving at Winterfell for the coming battle against the undead armies of the Night King. Jon first reunites with Bran, whom he hasn’t seen since he left home to join the Nights Watch. Bran has definitely grown up since then and now has a creepy vibe about him that seems to make Jon uneasy. We get to see Sansa reunite with Tyrion for the first time since the death of Joffrey. They have a catching up moment that really sells how much they have both changed since last seeing each other. Sansa is obviously in a bad position because of Jon’s actions renouncing his title as King in the North and thus she comes across as very dismissive of everyone, especially Tyrion. The most emotional reunion definitely has to be Jon and Arya. Their love for one another is on full display as they compare swords and catch up. For some reason, Arya seems unwilling to tell Jon of her adventures and the revenge she has taken on her families enemies. It leaves their reunion feeling a little awkward, but nonetheless a welcome one. Our final reunion of consequence comes right at the end of the episode when a hooded rider, revealed to be Jamie Lannister, comes face to face with Bran, whom he tried to kill way back in the first episode. Bran doesn’t seem to show any emotion at seeing the man who tried to murder him so long ago. We will have to wait until the next episode to see this reunion play out.
My personal favorite moment from the episode has Jon claiming his birthright and learning to ride a dragon. He and Daenerys give us the most fan service moment of the episode as they take to the skies for some calm before the storm. The significance of this scene is not lost on fans as Jon rides Rhaegal, the dragon that is named after his true father Rhaegar Targaryen, more on that later. This scene provides the only comic relief we get, and will probably get all season, from the episode. Jon is obviously worried Rhaegal will not accept him and might even eat him. When he finally gets up he hilariously fumbles while trying to get control. Eventually, much to Danys surprise, he is able to gain control of the beast and begins to really let loose. Seeing the full grown dragons streak across the sky is absolutely breathtaking. We end the scene with a tender moment between Jon and Dany near a cave, Jon really like getting it on in caves, where Jon comments that horses are now ruined for him. This will likely be the only moment of peace these two will get until this war is over. Will Jon ride into battle on Rhaegal? We will have to wait until next week to find out.
Finally, one of the moments we have all been waiting for happens at the close of the episode. Sam, after having just been emotionally devastated hearing his father and brother were put to death, is told by Bran that the time has come for Jon to learn the truth of his heritage. Sam feels the information would be better coming from his brother but Bran reassures Sam that Jon trusts him more than anyone. Sam finds Jon down in the family crypt honoring his “father” Ned. He reveals to Jon that he is not Ned’s son and indeed not a bastard. “You’re the true king: Aegon Targaryen, Sixth of His Name, Protector of the Realm, all of it.” Yes, it’s finally been revealed to Jon that his true parents are Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. This is information that book fans theorized for years. We are left wondering how Jon will react to this information, and how Dany will feel considering she is in a relationship with her nephew. This first episode does all the setup necessary to hit the gas starting with episode two. Stay with ETG over the next six weeks for all the highlights from the finale.
Oh, and a bonus one. It seems Bran’s whole job now is to sit in his wheelchair and stare creepily into the souls of all who walk the grounds of Winterfell. It’s almost comical every time the camera pans to Bran staring at whoever happens to be caught in his gaze. Here’s hoping he has a larger role in the coming episodes. We will find out next week on Game of Thrones.