Game of Thrones Post-Mortem of “Winterfell”

Jon Daenerys waterfall Winterfell episode

The final season of Game of Thrones opened with a solid premiere episode full of callbacks, reunions, dragon riding, and yes – plenty of shade. From the stunning visuals, to the interesting character moments, to the grisly reminder of the White Walker threat, the premiere has set the stage for a compelling end to the series, and I’m excited to see what happens next. In the meantime, let’s go behind the scenes of “Winterfell” with today’s interviews and videos!

First up, Entertainment Weekly brings us an interview with episode writer, Dave Hill. He reveals that they initially thought about using a cold open before making the decision to go a more traditional route, and have the premiere mirror the pilot. Hill also explains what Daenerys’ arrival means to the northern crowd. “We start off with a little orphan boy, to see what to a commoner, to the people on the ground where it’s the most exciting thing they’re ever going to see in their life — a Targaryen queen who also has dragons. Everyone can’t help but look even though what they see makes them afraid. They have a new monarch with monsters to fight other monsters.”

Dany didn’t get the warmest of welcomes, especially from Sansa. “Sansa sees her as the foreign interloper. She trusts her family and no one else. You can see from Sansa’s view that Jon went to meet with this southern queen who burned her grandfather and uncle alive and suddenly Jon bent the knee to her.” Hill adds, “Sansa starts off this season very suspicious and not at all friendly with Dany.” Perhaps he is hinting that the season won’t end that way? Let’s hope Team Stark and Team Targaryen pull together before the White Walkers arrive.

Another character in for a hostile reception is Jaime Lannister, who arrived at Winterfell in the final scene. Hill admits, “It’s an emotional punch that works really well. I knew it was a scene that [Nikolaj Coster-Waldau] was absolutely going to nail.” It will be fascinating to see Bran’s interaction with him next week – will Jaime be forgiven?

Check out the entire EW article for Hill’s thoughts on the Jon/Arya reunion, Jon’s parentage reveal, and more!

Jon Rhaegal Winterfell episode

Speaking of that parentage reveal, another EW interview gives us Kit Harington‘s take on how Jon feels about it, saying it’s “the most upsetting thing in the world.” to his character. “If Jon could go back in time and say: ‘Whatever you’re about to say, don’t tell me,’ he would. He’d happily be in ignorance.”

Harington confesses that getting Jon’s reaction just right wasn’t easy. “You mark the particularly tricky scenes that you’re going have to concentrate on and this was one. He finds out such a massive piece of information. Not only does he find out who his mother is but also that he’s related to the person he’s in love with. It’s hard for any actor to play. It’s not a two-hour movie but eight seasons of playing a character who’s finding out.”

While Sam is clearly trying to push Jon to stake his claim to Westeros, Harington firmly states Jon isn’t interested. “He has no ambition for the throne. He’s never wanted that.” The news also complicates Jon’s life at a time when he needs to focus on defeating the White Walkers with the help of his ally and lover, Daenerys. “The end of the world might be coming soon but at least he’s in love with somebody and knows who he is, and then comes this sledgehammer.” Will their relationship survive once the truth is out? Perhaps we’ll know the answer on Sunday.

Head over to EW for the rest, including commentary from Samwell himself, John Bradley.

Sam Daenerys Winterfell

John Bradley also shares his perspective on the scene with Making Game of Thrones. “Sam is the one Jon trusts more than anyone: He knows Sam wouldn’t tell him unless he was 100 percent sure. It’s a big emotional moment for Jon because his relationship with Ned is something he always took pride in. As soon as that’s questioned, Jon reacts quite violently — you see it in Kit’s eyes. But he quickly computes that Sam is saying this for all the right reasons and has Jon’s best interests in mind.”

Bradley explains Sam’s reaction to his father and brother’s deaths, saying, “it comes as a surprise how much it affects him emotionally. There’s a moment where he rationalizes his father’s death and he looks for a positive — at least Sam can go home now…But when Daenerys mentions Dickon’s death, that really rips Sam’s heart out. Dickon is just another casualty of Randyll’s toxic masculinity.”

“This is the moment he decides to tell Jon about his heritage because he can foresee problems [Daenerys] may cause for Jon in the future. Sam realizes he is dealing with a very important, but dangerous person.” Sam should tread carefully if he doesn’t want to lose Daenerys’ vitally important support before the White Walkers arrive. The fallout from this reveal could have dire consequences for everyone involved.

Read the entire interview here.

Gendry Arya Winterfell

Speaking to The New York Times, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead Wright discuss their characters’ reunions. On Sansa and Tyrion, Turner remarks, “They never filed for a divorce or an annulment, so I guess they technically are still married! I don’t think it’s as awkward as people would say because Sansa has been through so many rocky relationships that her relationship with Tyrion actually seems pretty sweet, in retrospect.”

Williams says of Arya and Gendry that she doesn’t know if they “have a lot in common anymore. And Arya’s never really been very good at communicating verbally how she feels on the inside anyway…It’s weird for her to be reminded of the girl that she was, you know, and how she last felt when she was with certain characters, because I feel like she’s sort of severed that part of herself.”

We haven’t quite gotten a reunion between Jaime and Bran, but Hempstead Wright teases that Jaime may be off the hook for pushing Bran out of a window as far as he’s concerned. “It had to happen, I reckon. It’s given him incredible abilities, which made him far more significant than he could have ever dreamed of being, had he not had the power…he certainly doesn’t hold grudges. He kind of transcends all the petty quarrels of most of the other characters.” Maybe Bran can help the rest of the Winterfell crew get on the same page before it’s too late.

Bran Stark Winterfell Courtyard Season 8

Hempstead Wright is featured in an article by The Hollywood Reporter as well, in which he elaborates on what Bran’s priority is this season. “His sole focus is that he wants the living to survive. He’s on the side of the living. He’s the ancient arch-nemesis of the Night King. He’s so far beyond any petty squabbling or wanting to get revenge or a comeuppance on someone. He doesn’t view the world like that anymore. He just views things as timelines that intersect and have to end up in certain places.” Ancient arch-nemesis? That’s quite an interesting phrase. Hopefully we’ll find out what he means in the episodes to come.

About those upcoming episodes, Hempstead Wright cautions us to prepare ourselves, saying “The first episode was quite funny. I suppose that’s a warning, to ease you back in before all the pain that’s about to come. The rest of the season might not follow quite as happily.” Keep your tissues handy – we will probably need them!

For more on Bran’s reunion with Jon, the parentage reveal, and more, go to THR.

Jaime Lannister, Winterfell, Season 8

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has his own thoughts about Jaime encountering Bran again. Speaking to EW, he says that for Jaime “it’s like: ‘What the hell?’ and then, ‘Oh my god, that’s the kid.’ I think he knows Bran didn’t die, but he doesn’t expect to meet him.” Jaime intended to go to Winterfell “to fight the good fight” and now he’s “in deep sh–.” He adds, “This is the Lord of Winterfell that I tried to kill and I’m sure he wants revenge. That’s what Jaime expects.”

There may be a happier reunion for Jaime, however – seeing Brienne again. “For Jaime, he would assume she would be there,” Coster-Waldau admits. “I don’t think that was the reason he went. They’ve both been very good at compartmentalizing whatever feelings they have for each other.” We may finally get to see those feelings surface, especially knowing the end may be coming for all of them soon. Braime forever!

cersei

In a final article from EW, Lena Headey confesses she wasn’t initially on board with Cersei’s decision to have sex with Euron Greyjoy. “I kept saying, ‘She wouldn’t, she wouldn’t, that she would keep fighting, but [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] obviously know what they’re doing and were adamant Cersei would do what she had to do.” Headey came around to the idea, however. “Cersei is such the ultimate survivor in all of this. She refuses to fall to her knees. She goes to the place where she doesn’t want to go, which makes it more powerfully sad because of who she’s not with.”

Pilou Asbaek admits there were many conversations about whether to include the scene. “Cersei has only been with two people throughout the entire series — the fat king and her brother.” (Actually she has been with her cousin Lancel as well, but I digress). “We had a lot of discussions. Would it be out of character for her to be with Greyjoy for power? We discussed it so much that we almost ended up going, ‘Maybe it’s too much.’ Then we decided to try it out and see if it works. Sometimes you have to show different sides of a character.” Will this be the only time Cersei has to give in to Euron’s desires? I don’t see him giving up that easily…


In this week’s “Inside the Episode,” David Benioff and Dan Weiss break down Daenerys’ arrival to Winterfell, long awaited reunions, and Jon’s first dragon flight.

The next two videos are from HBO’s website, so apologies in advance if they don’t play for those of you outside the United States. In this one, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner and Nathalie Emmanuel discuss Team Targaryen’s frosty Northern reception.

Kit Harington and Maisie Williams share their thoughts on Jon and Arya’s emotional reunion.

In “The Game Revealed,” we get an in-depth (and at times hilarious) look at the making of the season eight premiere from several of the cast and crew.

In case you missed it, check out next week’s preview!

57 responses

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    1. Big praise to the acting of John Bradley. And what I found so beautiful to that scene was the way a child feels about their parents. How much he hated his father it was still his father. And poor Dickon.

      And what a handsome picture of NCW.

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    2. “First up, Entertainment Weekly brings us an interview with episode writer, Dave Hill. He reveals that they initially thought about using a cold open before making the decision to go a more traditional route, and have the premiere mirror the pilot.”

      The pilot had a cold open though…

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    3. kevin1989:
      Big praise to the acting of John Bradley. And what I found so beautiful to that scene was the way a child feels about their parents. How much he hated his father it was still his father. And poor Dickon.

      And what a handsome picture of NCW.

      I will second that , off screen Bradley is the most articulate actors on the show , off screen he comes off as a brainy guy.

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    4. Thanks for the postmortem Vanessa! “The Game Revealed” was such a fantastic video. I’m pretty sure my favourite line was: “This is how it ends. On this buck, swinging me around by my testicles, literally.” 😂😂

      I am also intrigued about Bran’s quote: “He’s the ancient arch-nemesis of the Night King.” In a previous post I think there was several of us discussing what the NK wants and theorizing that Bran is the target. Especially after The Door, where the NK himself stood before the 3ER and killed him before going after Bran.

      Also Nikolaj mentioned that Jaime probably knows that Bran didn’t die, but I was under the impression that Jaime thought he did die. I was under the impression that characters had believed Theon killed the Stark boys, but I could be remembering the books rather than the show. I mean even Catelyn died believing her boys were killed which was just so so tragic. Either way, I’m really excited about their reunion and what they will say to each other. I’m assuming Bran won’t reveal the truth about Jaime pushing him out the window just to maintain the peace.

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    5. After many moons of reading books and following shows creation, the initial reaction with Tamzin Merchant and others in original pilot was…less than stellar. And to see it now brings a tear to this GoT geek. Damn, it feels good to be a Game-ster.

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    6. Mr Derp,

      I think they should have gone with a cold opening, but I think the big problem was that Ned was still at winterfell. I think they should have skipped the scene where he wanted to go back and instead started the season with a cold opening where Ned write a letter to Winterfel and once the raven was released the NK attacks.
      That way they still could use the food-drama.

      And big praise for Emilia Clarke in this episode, I think she delivered amazingly. All the different shades of Dany was put to screen perfectly.

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    7. If we still agree to the assumption that the series is based off the books, then probably sleeping with Euron is one of the most in-character things that Cersei (in the show) has done in a while.

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    8. Dark Sister: I was under the impression that characters had believed Theon killed the Stark boys

      I don’t know exactly when this happened, but Sam was talking to the maesters in the Citadel, and they all knew Bran was alive but crippled. So by the time season 8 begins, Bran still being alive wasn’t a secret anymore. I mean, the maesters probably didn’t tell anyone about Bran’s letter, but I suspect word about Bran would probably get around somehow.

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    9. I think Cersei is playing Euron to an extent. She wins his support in a much more solid way if he believes she’s carrying his child, and to convince him of that, she needs to let him into her bed before she starts showing. I don’t think she even really likes him at all, but she’s stoking the ego anyway to keep him satisfied enough to not abandon her and go sail off for the far end of the world. She still needs all the help she can get. The Lannister army should be much reduced after the loot train battle, and the Golden Company may be famously true to their contract, but they’re still sellswords. Their loyalty only lasts as long as she can pay and there isn’t a second Highgarden to sack. Even if her best case scenario works out and the northerners, Dothraki, and Unsullied are decimated but win, the Dornish are still against her and their armies haven’t even been touched yet. It’s not like they’re just going to turn around and support her because Ellaria was captured. She’s in a crap position and really can’t afford to lose Euron.

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    10. A very good article. When watching the video “The Game Revealed”, I rolled up when Kit said when riding the buck, he got he right ball caught which felt like he was being swung around by his testicles. I can just imagine how painful that was 😮

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    11. You can see from Sansa’s view that Jon went to meet with this southern queen who burned her grandfather and uncle alive and suddenly Jon bent the knee to her.” Hill adds, “Sansa starts off this season very suspicious and not at all friendly with Dany.”

      I think there is a mistake here.

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    12. I don’t think Dany needs to prove anything to anyone.

      Jon did not bend the knee because her last name was Targaryen or she had the right to rule 7 kingdoms. He did it because she had dragons, Unsullied and Dothrakis . And that she proved to Jon that she would make a good ruler by going beyond the wall.

      Also, I don’t understand why Dany has to agree to Jon’s claims to save her people. Dany holds the best weapons and armies on the side of the living and not Jon. That line by Sam was one of the most senseless one I have ever seen on the show.

      Also, for all the hype around mad king’s daughter, I doubt why no one considered (looking at you Tyrion, Varys and Jaime) Tywin mad when he ordered mountain to brutally murder Elia Martell’s children. Robert was not mad for trying to murder innocent children, Cersei is not mad for trying to murder all of Robert’s illegitimate children. But no, Dany is mad for executing two prisoners who refuse her authority when given a chance because she has not enough to feed them.

      Sometimes I feel that Dany should take her armies and dragons to some island and wait for NK to arrive on Viserion without his army (she will have to fight that anyway) and tell all the haters to fight for themselves if they feel so capable. Dany anyway had lesser difficulty in inspiring armies and people when she did not have the biased judgement of people like Tyrion and Varys.

      Needless to say I would be the most disappointed if they show Dany turning to a mad queen.

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    13. Can anyone tell me if Harry Strickland has a relationship with Meera or Jojen and if that may influence his loyalties?

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    14. Oh please did he really mention the Toxic Masculinity buzzword?

      I would venture that he had a much more positive relationship with Dickon who the showrunners seemed to adjust their mold of from someone who was a bit pretentious in S6 to someone a bit more humble and honest in S7, so Sam likely had a decentish relationship with his brother

      Even though they were jerks (Season 1 take the Watch convo with Jon) they are still his family

      This was good for Dany too, seeing what excessive hubris brings down the line and how it makes things challenging and difficult

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    15. Bran: I think there is a mistake here.

      Lol, Sansa is treating Dany the same way she treated Jon. She wants to be Queen Bee and thought she was above everyone else from season 1.

      I don’t mind this given where I think her ASOIF arc is going and do reckon she takes power in RL and Vale but the Showrunners are all over the place in making her abused under Joffrey, Malificent after her escape and then abused again under Ramsay and now she is supposed to be “shall we go” Malificent again?

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    16. I like that Bran seems to have gone from being an encyclopedia (that has to be asked or nudged about something to then see it), to processing relevant info of his own accord.

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    17. Hi! First time posting! Why in the HBO feature on Dany’s arrival Maisie and Sophie are not dressed in character but with the same brown, distressed blouse? This is not their regular undershirt. By comparison Emilia and Kit are dressed with their regular costumes… Has anyone else noticed?

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    18. AAIA,

      It’s not the most disappointed of the show but the most sense. If you really look at the story since season 1. I said it there that she goes that route because how she treated mirri maaz duur. And she does. I already stated before in another topic why she was in the wrong there. And I shortened it now.

      She though she was doing justice by doing it because mirri killed drogo and her child.
      But she did not think mirri was doing justice for her people who were brutally raped murdered turned to slaves, people that are her friends and family. The leader of that group was drogo the one that ordered it.
      Mirri was more justice what she did than Dany. That act of the dothraki there was just pure evil, same as the action of drogo.
      How would you react if your family and friends are murdered and raped before your eyes. Do you take out their leader or think he has good motives?

      Dany was wrong here. Same with the treatment of the masters of meteen she should have done what barristan said. Same with the tarlys. Same with how she locked up doreah with xaro. That was not justice that was just an evil act letting 2 people starve to death.
      Letting a dragon eat somebody. Yes he was a master but as dany already said he was probably innocence. Good way to punish the innocent.

      There’s a saying in many countries that goes: you can judge somebody not how they treated their family and friends. But how they treated their enemies.

      Yes if you need to be ruthless like Arya with the waif do it. But if you don’t like for instance with dsny many times when there’s a better way using the most horrible way.

      There’s a reason why varys and tyrion talked about that action. There’s a reason why barristan told her if she doesn’t improve her ways she will become her father.

      No dany is not a bad person. She is kind hearted. Has a good ideology. But as a leader her emotions get the better of her and she doesn’t even listen to people having experience in politics. Yes she listen to misandei or grey worm because like her they were sold like slaves. That’s where her advisors stop.

      And her actions of episode 5 made one thing clear. She is not here to break the wheel. She just replacing the wheel with one of there one. Killing the tarlys who won’t follow her made that clear. If she wanted to break the wheel she should never have killed them.

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    19. Ghost’s Lunch,

      The problem is also she didn’t show any remorse or comfort to Sam. If she would just express it needed to be done but she hated her action. Sam would have acted differently. But instead she talked about how they deserved it.

      Ghost’s Lunch,

      She doesn’t want to be queen. She wants her family safe. Just like Arya concurred. Or does Arya also want to be queen? Because Arya also doesn’t like dany?

      Many fans saw the dark side of Dany already since season 1 so it means it is there. Now Arya etc sees it too. I think we can concur that there is some truth to it.

      Pigeon,

      +1

      In a later post I will talk about how I think the show will end and how Dany turning mad is tied with the ww invasion.

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    20. AAIA:
      I don’t think Dany needs to prove anything to anyone.

      Jon did not bend the knee because her last name was Targaryen or she had the right to rule 7 kingdoms. He did it because she had dragons, Unsullied and Dothrakis . And that she proved to Jon that she would make a good ruler by going beyond the wall.

      Also, I don’t understand why Dany has to agree to Jon’s claims to save her people. Dany holds the best weapons and armies on the side of the living and not Jon. That line by Sam was one of the most senseless one I have ever seen on the show.

      Also, for all the hype around mad king’s daughter, I doubt why no one considered (looking at you Tyrion, Varys and Jaime) Tywin mad when he ordered mountain to brutally murder Elia Martell’s children. Robert was not mad for trying to murder innocent children, Cersei is not mad for trying to murder all of Robert’s illegitimate children. But no, Dany is mad for executing two prisoners who refuse her authority when given a chance because she has not enough to feed them.

      Sometimes I feel that Dany should take her armies and dragons to some island and wait for NK to arrive on Viserion without his army (she will have to fight that anyway) and tell all the haters to fight for themselves if they feel so capable. Dany anyway had lesser difficulty in inspiring armies and people when she did not have the biased judgement of people like Tyrion and Varys.

      Needless to say I would be the most disappointed if they show Dany turning to a mad queen.

      DITTO THIS!! And also Ghost’s Lunch & Pigeon. 😀 😀

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    21. Ghost’s Lunch,

      I got the impression that Sam was fine with Randyll getting roasted. (“Oh, cool, I’ll be welcome at Horn Hill now.”) It was his brother’s death that really upset him.

      Besides, old soldiers are like Klingons – they’re supposed to look forward to dying in battle or for “honor.”

      Nevertheless, it was really shortsighted of Dany to ignore Tyrion’s advice to spare Dickon. He wasn’t really a professional soldier. He was just a newbie trying to impress his daddy (who, by the way, really should’ve argued more forcefully for his son’s life.)

      Dany’s great attribute, according to Tyrion’s explanation to Cersei, was that Dany chose advisors who could check her worst impulses.

      How is that working out? 😃

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    22. Shelle,

      You know, it might’ve been a good idea to take wightified Ned Umber for a show and tell presentation to the Northerners. Few if any have ever seen WWs or wights. They’re mostly relying on second-hand accounts from Jon and a few wildlings. Nothing like a zombie-in-box to drive home the reality of the horror they’re facing.

      Jon telling the Northern Lords in S6s10 that the enemy “doesn’t wait out the storm – he brings the storm” was a cute little speech – but as Dany acknowledged herself, you gotta see it to believe it.

      Although Lord Glover’s actor will be a no-show in S8, I hope Sansa reading quisling Glover’s “I’m going home to Deepwood Motte” scroll portends a follow up scroll in Episode 2 with breaking news that Lord Glover got wightified and spiralized on the wall of his castle, and all of his chickens*it oathbreaker followers are now brain dead zombies or fellow artwork accessories.

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    23. Hey . Where were all the Dothraki ??
      we see few of them in the march through old town but the rest aren’t there !
      only thing i could see related to the Dothraki were the tents outside of winterfell – you can see them when jon is flying towards winterfell.
      either they are in winterfell but we haven’t see them , Or they are somwhere south .

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    24. AAIA,

      ps. Forgot one thing. Depends if she is in for power or for helping. If she is there for helping the northern cause, her army is not something she can use as you stated that she has the army so they should listen to her. Because if she is there to help she would just say, I bow to you, my army will fight for you, together we will win against the NK
      if in fact her having the bigger army and 2 dragons is the deal breaker who should have the power it make one thing clear: she’s just after power.

      About Tywin: No those actions aren’t mad. Mad actions are actions that are done impulsive without thinking. Like a time bomb going off, only thing you don’t know is when it goes off.
      What tywin was was not mad, but his actions that you stated were evil. The mountain in fact is mad, because he acts impulsive. (that’s what Robb tried to do in season 3 let the mad dog chase them)

      Ten Bears,

      He looks conflicted, one side he is sad because it is his father, you saw his lip moving down. On the other hand he can live freely again at home with his mom and dad.
      But Dickon was the one that he got to him. Yes Dickon was a little bit arrogant in season 6, but still I didn’t have the feeling Dickon despised his brother like his father did. Just brothers being brothers.
      And of course (Which I think will happen in episode 2), Sam realized nobody is there to protect his mother and sister. Hopefully there wont be any bad news that we learned some bandits killed them. If that happen Sam will force Jon to overthrow Dany, and the stark siblings will side with Sam.

      There’s also a reason why Bran wanted Jon to know the truth now, Bran knows something about Dany. (or everything).

      I think that sentence of Tyrion to Cersei is I think more of a hope, he hopes Dany will listen to him. And I think he is losing faith by the minute.

      about glover: Isn’t deep mott wood the other side of winterfell. south west of the north? So that needs to be in episode 4 or 5 maybe that he get wightified.

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    25. Now my prediction:

      I think Dany will be forced to step down in episode 2. But it will be cut short because somebody attacks, I think the GC will attack in episode 2. After that the NK will attack.
      Episode 3: WW battle in which the NK loses big portion of his army but still a small treat.
      Episode 4: Going south, the forcing of Dany is real now. Dany don’t agree and go her own way. Jon have now 3 enemies that needs to be resolved.
      Episode 5: The resolving of Cersei in KL. And the beginning of the resolve against Dany.
      Episode 6: Dany and NK defeated. And now comes my theory

      I think Dany will burn KL to the ground killing almost every KL citizen.
      Bran knows this. And he wants to stop the NK from ever being created, he goes back in time but got stuck in the person that becomes the NK (probably in the way he took control over past hodor), he landed when he was created instead of before.
      Bran is the NK, thats why Jon said you don’t understand, that’s why he knew the actions of 6×05 and 7×06. The goal of Bran/NK is simple. Stop Dany from gaining the power in westeros and destroy her.

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    26. Ten Bears:
      Shelle,

      You know, it might’ve been a good idea to take wightified Ned Umber for a show and tell presentation to the Northerners. Few if any have ever seen WWs or wights. They’re mostly relying on second-hand accounts from Jon and a few wildlings. Nothing like a zombie-in-box to drive home the reality of the horror they’re facing.

      Jon telling the Northern Lords in S6s10 that the enemy “doesn’t wait out the storm – he brings the storm” was a cute little speech– but as Dany acknowledged herself, you gotta see it to believe it.

      Although Lord Glover’s actor will be a no-show in S8, I hope Sansa reading quisling Glover’s “I’m going home to Deepwood Motte” scroll portends a follow up scroll in Episode 2with breaking news that Lord Glover got wightified and spiralized on the wall of his castle, and all of his chickens*it oathbreaker followers are now brain dead zombies or fellow artwork accessories.

      That! Well said.

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    27. Best scene of the episode for me was Jaime’s reaction to Bran. I hope a well-written scene with some thoughtful dialogue scene follows in episode two. Most disappointing for me was the reveal to Jon. Kit did fine. It was the lazy, rushed writing.

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    28. Upon re-watch I question 2 things:

      Why was Sam not outside like most everyone else when the entourage arrived, or at least go say hi to Jon upon hearing that he settled in? Instead it was like, a chance encounter after he was told bad news by Dany and Bran saying it’s time to talk to him. I mean, they haven’t seen each other since Sam left the wall right? We never even got a convo where Sam recognizes Jon was murdered by their brothers.

      Also, it shows on preview of episode 2 Dany appears to have Jamie on trial for killing her mad king father, yet they had just been to Kings Landing asking for his army’s help in the North. So, he came north. Not his fault queen Cercei reneged yet he came to them still to warn them and offer his help. Why she mad?

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    29. Kevin1989,
      “Many fans saw the dark side of Dany already since season 1 so it means it is there.”

      I was one of them and I remember voicing it and getting berated by the fans of Dany to the point I forced myself to only say nice or neutral things about her. One poster in particular was quite defensive lol. “How can you just hate Dany when she shows (this good point or that good character trait…and on and on talking about how she is in the books but I not having read them couldn’t really be on the same level of knowing the character. I was like, dude I’m just saying there’s subtle foreshadowing and vibes of a “possibility.”

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    30. ygritte,

      I personally think the trailer is a little leading. I think that part of her speech regarding Viserys telling stories about the “Kingslayer” is only part of that scene and I’m hoping the next part is her admitting that this was before she knew what her father was, i.e. “The Mad King.” At least I’m hoping that happens because these power speeches are getting just a bit tiresome for me. She didn’t really have time to confront him during the final episode of last season at the dragonpit. They had more pressing matters to discuss but now, I guess she has time to confront him with her father’s death as well as him trying to kill her during the Loot Train attack.

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    31. lucy,

      It needed 15 minutes more, but still it could be worse, I’m happy what we got.

      ygritte,

      Maybe the preview is misleading. Or she is just tired from the warm welcome.

      ygritte,

      True, and personally I liked Dany’s character even in this season and last. The grey-ness make it great for me. And I like a tragic character, and Emilia can bring that too the table. Even if Dany will turn bad I still like her character and Emilia above all.

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    32. Dark Sister,

      Like, I would understand the need to lay out grievances and clear the air it’s just that she looks so very stern and Jamie looks worried. Then another scene looks like Tyrion and Varys (Jorah too?) are in an underground place, maybe going to visit someone in a cell. But you are most likely correct and there is a bit of misleading going on.

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    33. Dark Sister,

      My tinfoil speculation (about grilling Jamie) is twofold:

      First, Team Targ convened the dragonpit summit for the express purpose of persuading warring factions to cease hostilities in order to join together to fight the existential threat to the north. How can Jamie be excoriated for accepting that invitation and honoring his pledge to join with Team Targ, despite (or especially because) he risked coming alone because Cersei double-crossed everyone?

      Second, I’m pretty sure Bran will smooth everything over, for one main reason (with an unmistakable callback to S6e5, “The Door”): a predestination explanation.
      Recall when bored Bran decided to go joyriding while 3ER was napping, and wound up getting that wrist stamp from the Night Club – the magic shield protecting the cave was destroyed. That, in turn, lent a sense of urgency on the part of 3ER to immediately complete certain task before NK and his gang overran the cave.
      What was the critical task? Not just to take Bran on a nostalgic tour of WF’s courtyard about twenty years in the past.
      Rather, the purpose was to ensure that Wyllis’s brain got fried so he could be transformed into Future Hodor: Bran’s devoted chauffeur and bodyguard to ensure he made it safely to the cave.
      When Avatar Bran was visiting the past, Meera’s pleas echoed from the future, where Real Bran was in his white eyeball semi-comatose state and Hodor was paralyzed with fear. Avatar Bran heard Meera’s entreaties that he had to warg into Hodor now, since in the future the cave dwellers were under a full scale attack from the WWs.

      3ER expressly instructed Bran, “listen to your friend.” 3ER knew that there were only a few seconds left to turn Wyllis into an idiot. In essence, despite Bran’s guilt, Wyllis’s transformation from gregarious lad to brain-damaged simpleton had to happen – immediately. Despite Bran’s initial guilt and weirdness, I think he cane to realize that the 3ER’s line about the ink [of past events] being already dry meant that certain past events were always destined to happen and had to happen, so that present-day events could unfold as acproximate result of those historical, unchangead events.

      [Does any of this make sense? 😳]

      The same principles applied to Jamie’s defenestration of Bran. That fall from the tower was an essential precondition to Bran fulfilling his future (and apparently imperative) function of becoming 3ER 2.0. Jamie Lannister was just a cog in this transformative event. Bran probably knows this, and will tell Jamie (in Bran’s new Zen-Speak) that their destinies were always preordained to be intertwined; and that regardless of Jamie’s motives for pushing Bran out the window, this event was indispensable and had to transpire – just like Wyllis’s brain turning into chopped liver in order to become Hodor so that some day in the future he could live out a precognitive nightmare that would be essential for humanity’s survival – by being in the right place and time to sacrifice himself so that Meera could help Bran escape from the NK.

      Bran turned poor Wyllis’s brain to mush and condemned him to experience a waking nightmare of his eventual horrific, violent death That past event was written and the ink was already dry. Similarly, Jamie was the mechanism for the fall that commenced Bran Stark’s preordained transformation into 3ER 2.0: a development that 3ER said he’d been anticipating while surveilling Bran his entire life.

      I know this sounds a lot like Beric’s and Kinvara’s philosophical mumbo jumbo that humans are just puppets, and the Lord of Light controls everyone’s life “for a reason”, even though humans are oblivious of the master plan that guides them and only “think” they have free will.

      Still, I’d bet Bran is going to absolve Jamie of culpability; tell Jamie they have intersecting, common purposes; and insist to Jamie that regardless of his “the things I do for love” excuse, Jamie really had no choice in the matter. It had to happen. That’s why Bran cryptically referred to Jamie as “an old friend.”

      PS Incidentally, since one of Bran’s recurring slide show images is the Mad King bellowing “Burn them all!!!”, I wouldn’t doubt that Bran is aware of Jaime’s real motive for accepting the ignominy of being known as the “kingslayer”: the real reason for which only Brienne and Tyrion – and maybe Qyburn – seem to be aware, ie, to save the 500,000 innocents in KL from being burned alive in the Mad King’s planned wildfire inferno.

      Well, that’s my best guess. Dany, Sansa, and others like Alys Karstark condemn Jamie Lannister as a total POS – and let’s face it he was no angel – but Bran provides some important backstory, lets him off the hook for paralyzing him. and vouches for him.

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    34. Mr Derp:
      “First up, Entertainment Weekly brings us an interview with episode writer, Dave Hill. He reveals that they initially thought about using a cold open before making the decision to go a more traditional route, and have the premiere mirror the pilot.”

      The pilot had a cold open though…

      Yup. He also reiterated the mistake Jon made last season of claiming that the Mad King burned Ned’s brother alive. Dave Hill doesn’t seem to know as much about the show as he’d like to think, unfortunately.

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    35. Sophie Turner is incorrect about still being married to Tyrion. As explained in season 5, the marriage wasn’t consummated, so they were never technically married (as far as the show is concerned, anyway ; in the books you still need to ask for an annulment, even if the marriage wasn’t consummated, in the show it seems to be that the marriage isn’t actually complete until the couple have sex).

      As for Nikolaj’s comment about Bran, I’m pretty sure Jaime would still have been operating under the belief that Theon killed him.

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    36. Ten Bears,

      Yup, I definitely think Bran will play a role in absolving Jaime and maintaining the peace (in more ways than one). I also don’t think it’s too tinfoily of a theory. Jaime definitely had a role to play and so did Wyllis/Hodor. One of my favourtie scenes in AGoT is the events/visions just prior to Bran waking up which was another reason I think Isaac’s quote being the archenemisis of the Night King is so poignant and telling. “Every flight begins with a fall” The crow told Bran:

      North and north and north he looked, to the curtain of light at the end of the world, and then beyond that curtain. He looked deep into the heart of winter, and then he cried out, afraid, and the heat of his tears burned on his cheeks. Now you know, the crow whispered as it sat on his shoulder. Now you know why you must live. "Why?" Bran said, not understanding, falling, falling. Because winter is coming. Bran looked at the crow on his shoulder, and the crow looked back, It had three eyes, and the third eye was full of a terrible knowledge. Bran looked down. There as nothing below him now but snow and cold and death, a frozen wasteland where jagged blue-white spires of ice waited to embrace him. They flew up at him like spears. He saw the bones of a thousand other dreamers impaled upon their points. He was desperately afraid.

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    37. Nick20,
      Mr Derp,

      It’s a little clearer in the EW article that Dave Hill was mirroring the pilot in other ways apart from cold open:

      We toyed with the idea of a cold open* but the sequence that most appealed to us was a traditional Game of Thrones opening. A lot of it is mirroring the pilot. Instead of the king’s arrival, we have the queen’s arrival. We now have the budget and the crew to do it properly with a lot of crowds.

      However, he does indeed reiterate that both Starks were burned alive. Now I can’t remember if it was show canon that both were burned? Either way I’m surprised because Dave Hill has read the books and he is behind the Histories and Lore videos in the GoT special features which are fantastic. So I’m a little disappointed that his episode writings have not been my favourite.

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    38. lucy,

      What was lazy or rushed about it, i swaer some people have some keywords that they like to repeat to make themselves look smart and intellectual an it’s not like that’s the only scene they will be talking about it, it’s a tv series ffs, they can’t spend 30 minutes on one scene just because you want to, it got the point across and it’s done ! I swear to god if it’s one thing that i’m not missing about the show coming back is the unnecessary whining and bitching .

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    39. Nick20,

      Oh my god, they change one small detail about some thing in the past that 99% of show only watchers won’t give a crap or even notice, my nerdiness is getting offended, the show is totally ruined !

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    40. Mr Derp:
      kevin1989,

      Bran is not the NK.We’ve already seen the NK when he was human and it’s not Bran.

      As I explained, Bran will warg in the NK in the past like he warged in Hodor in the door. He will be stuck in the mind of the NK.

      Hodor didn’t look like Bran when Bran warged in Hodor, like the NK doesn’t look like Bran when Bran warg in the NK.

      Rewatch 3×09, 4×05 and 6×05 again and you know what i mean.

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    41. Sam’s line, “You gave up your crown for your people, would she do the same?” is probably the most important line uttered yet in this series. I truly believe her choice will determine the outcome of the existential threat.

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    42. Gean:
      AAIA,
      You are absolutely right, sometimes I can’t stand how GoT fandom use to apply double standards when they decide to judge character.

      In my honest opinion, it are in fact the die hard Dany fans that are using double standards. Tyrion, Jon, cersei fans etc all acknowledge those characters mistakes and flaws. With hard core dany fans everything she does will be forgiven without a doubt as if she is the massiah and everything she does is good. Same for the dragons. Drogon killed and have eaten a child in 4×10 and still he is loved by the Dany fans.

      I myself find Dany always interesting and kindhearted to her friends and allies. But even I can acknowledge her mistakes. I’m a fan of her character but not hardcore fan. And I can see her flaws in her character. And thank God she has them because that make her much much more interesting.

      What make the big different is how dany is handling her leadership.
      Jon did horrible things but it was more a honor thing. Like how he still after a season felt shit about killing olly. A boy that stabbed him. That still burdens him.
      As for cersei. Cersei knows she is a bad person she doesn’t lie about that. She doesn’t do horrible things and do as if it is the right thing to do. That makes her dangerous but also predictable. That’s how lf could use her. So a honest bad person.
      Sansa same she does the good thing. Fight for the north her people. She doesn’t do of her truth is the truth, even now she console in Arya for advice. She always tries to find the right path to get to the goal of the group. Yes she is shit when it comes to outsiders but she is loyal to the people around her. (those outsiders could earn that place around her. That is something Dany should learn and the north will follow Sansa who will follow dany then)
      Now to Dany, dany herself is a person with a good heart, with a sense what’s good and wrong in the world and what changes there need to be made. She is a visionary and a conquorer and a protector of her people. Her goals that she had with the slaves were right. That made it clear that her heart and thinking is in the right place.
      But her actions are sometimes impulsive and she gets a sense of justice. Her justice. And she utter that justice without thinking. She does not stop till that justice is executed. How much anyone try to change her mind. That switch will not go back to stop. And at the same time she felt that her justice is always righteous.
      Look at our history how people with that sense of justice and feeling being right end up. Theres not a single leader that didn’t turn up bad. Even when started as a good person.

      Theres a reason why a president or leader don’t have unlimited power anymore. To make sure the justice a president feel will not always be executed and go through multiple people who judge if its the right way to go.

      And about Dany always trying to do good. I always find one saying being about her character.
      The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

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    43. Michelle:
      Sam’s line, “You gave up your crown for your people, would she do the same?”is probably the most important line uttered yet in this series. I truly believe her choice will determine the outcome of the existential threat.

      The problem with that line, is that it is wholly untrue. Jon did not give up his crown to save his people.

      Jon did not have to bend the knee. Daenerys never again asked him to after 7×04. Daenerys had already pledged to fight the NK alongside him before Jon gave up his crown. The scripts also highlight that love played a role in it

      “Jon has truly never seen a girl like this before. Her beauty, her strength, her grief and the pain it makes him feel . . . they all push him to the realization that he loves her.”
      https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/12/game-of-thrones-scripts-secrets-cersei-pregnancy-tyrion-daenerys-snow-on-the-throne?verso=true

      Sansa even points this out with when she asks him if he bent the knee to save the North, or because he loves her [Daenerys].

      So whilst it is a good question to pose for the audience about Dany and one that the narrative should ask before they close out her arc; it is untrue to say Jon gave up his crown to save his people.

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    44. One of the reasons I want Jon to rule in the end is because he doesn’t crave power like the other contenders. Not only is he best placed to do it he’s simply fair and not all about himself – thinking of Dany/Cersei especially. Notably Kit doesn’t rule it out so at this point it appears to be the most likely outcome.

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    45. Kevin1989:
      AAIA,

      It’s not the most disappointed of the show but the most sense. If you really look at the story since season 1. I said it there that she goes that route because how she treated mirri maaz duur. And she does. I already stated before in another topic why she was in the wrong there. And I shortened it now.

      She though she was doing justice by doing it because mirri killed drogo and her child.
      But she did not think mirri was doing justice for her people who were brutally raped murdered turned to slaves, people that are her friends and family. The leader of that group was drogo the one that ordered it.
      Mirri was more justice what she did than Dany. That act of the dothraki there was just pure evil, same as the action of drogo.
      How would you react if your family and friends are murdered and raped before your eyes. Do you take out their leader or think he has good motives?

      Dany was wrong here. Same with the treatment of the masters of meteen she should have done what barristan said. Same with the tarlys. Same with how she locked up doreah with xaro. That was not justice that was just an evil act letting 2 people starve to death.
      Letting a dragon eat somebody. Yes he was a master but as dany already said he was probably innocence. Good way to punish the innocent.

      There’s a saying in many countries that goes: you can judge somebody not how they treated their family and friends. But how they treated their enemies.

      Yes if you need to be ruthless like Arya with the waif do it. But if you don’t like for instance with dsny many times when there’s a better way using the most horrible way.

      There’s a reason why varys and tyrion talked about that action. There’s a reason why barristan told her if she doesn’t improve her ways she will become her father.

      No dany is not a bad person. She is kind hearted. Has a good ideology. But as a leader her emotions get the better of her and she doesn’t even listen to people having experience in politics. Yes she listen to misandei or grey worm because like her they were sold like slaves. That’s where her advisors stop.

      And her actions of episode 5 made one thing clear. She is not here to break the wheel. She just replacing the wheel with one of there one. Killing the tarlys who won’t follow her made that clear. If she wanted to break the wheel she should never have killed them.

      This is a fantastic post, Dany clear treds a fine line between well intentioned and impulsive/wreckless. She’s not an evil character (yet) or a good character but somewhere in between in my view.

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    46. kevin1989,

      I never said that Dany is there because of her dragons and armies. I was objecting to Sam’s line “You gave up your crown for your people, would she do the same?”. There is no need for Dany to acknowledge Jon as the rightful heir to save her people (I don’t think Jon would even care about being a king anyway) just because Jon is Aegon Targaryen. Jon did not bend the knee because of her name, she does not need to do so because of Jon’s name.

      About Tywin/Robert etc., they didn’t think through the larger consequences or the brutality of their actions. That still qualifies as more impulsive as compared to evil to me.

      Dany does listen to the counsel, but as a leader she also has to make the judgement of whether the counsel makes sense. She burned Tarlys because she couldn’t hold prisoners at that point of time. And Drogon is to Dany what Ice was to Ned so fire was her choice as weapon. The fact that she gave them a choice during battle itself means she didn’t want to needlessly kill people. Else, the easier option was to not give that opportunity to kneel but finish everyone off during the battle. And I guess people would have then considered everyone as war casualty rather than holding Dany responsible.

      Also, it is the result of Dany weighing the counsel that she went to save Jon and co. in the first place despite Tyrions insistence on doing otherwise. If it was Tyrion as the ruler in place of Dany, Tarlys would have been alive (and prisoners?) and Jon and co would have been dead. And no one apart from Bran would have been any wiser about the WW threat.

      Someone mentioned that Arya also sees the bad instincts in Dany. I don’t think there is anything to conclusively say that. In fact, I look forward to Arya-Dany meeting and figure out what Arya thinks of her.

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    47. AAIA:
      kevin1989,

      Someone mentioned that Arya also sees the bad instincts in Dany. I don’t think there is anything to conclusively say that. In fact, I look forward to Arya-Dany meeting and figure out what Arya thinks of her.

      Right, she never said she didn’t like Dany (I don’t think they have meet yet), but that Sansa doesn’t like her, which implies that they have chatted. Arya wasn;t showing dislike for Dany, but standing up for Sansa when Jon tried to cut her down, probably like they used to as kids (I’m sure Sansa gave them cause:)) but Arya is basically saying that Sansa is family, is smart, and is only doing what she feels is best for the family.

      The most interesting passage I read was Issac’s on Bran:
      “His sole focus is that he wants the living to survive. He’s on the side of the living. He’s the ancient arch-nemesis of the Night King. He’s so far beyond any petty squabbling or wanting to get revenge or a comeuppance on someone. He doesn’t view the world like that anymore. He just views things as timelines that intersect and have to end up in certain places.”

      Given this view, why does he feel it is necessary to stir up doubt and trouble by insisting Jon know the truth about his parentage… if it gets out won’t that cause trouble right before the big battle… it must be for a reason besides who sits on the throne, because that isn’t really relevant in fighting the NK… or is it part of some long-view timeline event that he needs to set into motion? or does he know that something terrible will happen if Jon and Dany marry or have a child? It is interesting that the 3ER is concerned so much about Jon true parentage and how that is relevant to defeating the NK? or is it? can’t wait to see the reason behind this.

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    48. Ten Bears:
      Shelle,

      You know, it might’ve been a good idea to take wightified Ned Umber for a show and tell presentation to the Northerners. Few if any have ever seen WWs or wights. They’re mostly relying on second-hand accounts from Jon and a few wildlings. Nothing like a zombie-in-box to drive home the reality of the horror they’re facing.

      Jon telling the Northern Lords in S6s10 that the enemy “doesn’t wait out the storm – he brings the storm” was a cute little speech– but as Dany acknowledged herself, you gotta see it to believe it.

      Although Lord Glover’s actor will be a no-show in S8, I hope Sansa reading quisling Glover’s “I’m going home to Deepwood Motte” scroll portends a follow up scroll in Episode 2with breaking news that Lord Glover got wightified and spiralized on the wall of his castle, and all of his chickens*it oathbreaker followers are now brain dead zombies or fellow artwork accessories.

      Brilliant!! Excellent thinking. Yes.

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    49. AAIA,

      Firstline: I never talked about how dany gain power, and I think you misunderstood what I meant and tried to say. So I just focussed on Sam’s word and what I meant with Dany’s choice.
      There are 2 possibilities what Dany is doing in the north:
      1. She is there for power
      2. She is there to help the north defeating the WW and saving the northern people and the rest of westeros, dothraki, unsulied etc.

      With all the problems that arised with Dany’s arrival and Jon bending the knee, that needs to be resolved, at the same time Sam has a feeling that Dany’s temperament is a problem for the people, her people, all the people of westeros are her people, not just Dothraki and unsulied.

      Now to the point, what Sam is trying to make clear to Jon is that if Dany is there for 2. Saving the people and helping, she will not have a problem to bend the knee, to give westeros the chance to come together and heal, and at the same time defeating the WW.
      And if Dany declines the offer and keep the stance of “No I want to stay queen I will not bow” (“Not even for the safety of the people”) it make one thing clear, her first priority is power not helping.
      I think nobody can’t deny this. Jon did bent the knee because he thought it was the right choice for the people, will dany give up her pride for the people.

      As for Tywin and Robert: Tywin knew what it would bring, his involvement was just a choice, 1. Not helping Robert and his family die. Or 2. Helping and survive.
      As for Robert, yes he is even more impulsive and bad as a leader than Dany. He didn’t care for the people, he cared for his ego. And that was already made clear by the show and Bran last season. The whole war was build on a lie. Tywin choose to survive, that doesn’t make him impulsive, just a bad person (to a degree)

      As to listening to her advisors: Yes she listen to her advisers. But the only advisers she ever did anything with the advice were Jorah, Missandei and Grey worm. But the two who had the most experience Baristan and Tyrion. Even Baristan make her clear that she need to take a step back because she started to look (look not become) like her father.
      And there is place to take prisoners, there always is. Look at Robb, he took prisoners even when always on the move. every one of the lannisters were going to follow Dany. She had hordes of Dothraki with her, keeping 2 prisoner was not a problem. And dragon stone had dungeons.

      And as I said before in other topics, Dany knew she fucked up with the burning of the Tarly’s, she couldn’t get her words back. She acted impulsive, if she had time to prepare she could have make a choice beforehand how to handle with something like that but she hadn’t had the time. So no she is not evil but that action was impulsive.

      And wasn’t dany not suppose to break the wheel? That means that even if somebody doesn’t bow to you and bend the knee, they shouldn’t be killed because that action with the Tarly’s made just one thing clear, she just builds her own wheel, obbey me blindly or die. (it was even clear in 8×01 that she though about killing Sansa because Sansa didn’t stand down)

      About Jon and co be dead. If they died, and Dany didn’t went north, the NK didn’t have a dragon and the WW treat could be centuries away. So maybe Tyrion was right after all.

      about Arya: Inside fragment made it clear, that Arya is 100% on Sansa’s side with how they treated Dany. Even Maisie made clear that Arya doesn’t trust Dany and have a bad feeling with her. And I hope for Dany’s sake that Arya isn’t going to do the game of faces with Dany.

      viki,
      I think Bran knows everything about Dany what she did before and made his objective opinion (no emotions means fully objective).

      I think he wants to cut Dany’s power because Dany’s power will be the destruction of Westeros. And strangely D&D stated in the inside part that it needs to happen before the WW attack not after. Maybe if Jon will be king before the WW attack the north will follow and they have a higher chance of winning. Can’t wait.

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