Game of Thrones Season 8 Premiere “Winterfell” Recap

Rhaegal Drogon Winterfell

The look your kids give you when they catch you making out with your boyfriend.

Welcome back, Watchers! After a lengthy wait (something any George R.R. Martin fan is familiar with), Game of Thrones is finally back with a new season of six episodes to conclude the show. With only a handful of episodes remaining, did “Winterfell” use its precious minutes well? Let’s dive in and find out.

Spoiler Note: This is our book reader’s recap, intended for those who have read the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The post and the comments section may contain spoilers from the novels, whether or not that material has appeared on the show yet. Because no, we are not all Unsullied now. If you have not read the books yet, we encourage you to check out our non-book-reader recap, by Oz of Thrones!

Right off the bat, GoT knocks it out of the park with beautifully updated opening credits. The reduced scope of the episode could’ve left us with skimpy main titles but instead the show expanded the detail of GoT‘s legendary credits, going deep into Winterfell and the Red Keep, as well as adding in Last Hearth, which we briefly saw in this week’s episode, and a fallen Wall.

Back to the actual episode- season 8 begins very much as season 1 did, with a royal procession marching into Winterfell, with deliberate callbacks to the first episode. In “Winter is Coming,” King Robert arrived, as Arya raced through the town, trying to get a glimpse of the action; this time, a young boy plays that role, as a grown Arya watches, probably remembering how she once did the same.  If the emotion of that wasn’t enough, we get a one-two-three punch of it a moment later as Arya sees Jon, The Hound and Gendry all arrive. I’m not sure which reunion I’m itching to see first (that’s a lie, it’s Gendry- I’m sorry, I’m weak). In an episode loaded with reunions, it’s difficult to choose.

Bran Jon reunion Winterfell

It’s apparent it won’t be easy for Daenerys in the North, from the start. Northerners have a long memory, and her father did execute Ned’s father and brother. As far as people are concerned publicly, Dany’s brother Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna Stark. On the show, we saw Jon crowned King in the North by his people; they didn’t choose this southern queen.

I love that Jon has a weird reunion with Bran just like his siblings did. Nothing will ever be normal for the Three Eyed Raven. He has no patience for these basic human rituals when reanimated corpses are marching around the North. He really is Bran the Buzzkill now, isn’t he?

Lord Umber Harry Grasby Winterfell 1

With the Wall fallen, they decide its time to clear out Last Hearth, the Umbers’ place. Little Ned Umber heads back home with the support of the Starks and Dany, and no one thought this was a bad plan. Really? Okay. He couldn’t have designated some of his men to do it for him? He’s not even in puberty. Okay then.

Lyanna Mormont calls out the awkward elephant in the room then, that they crowned Jon only for him to immediately kneel. Jon makes a good point, but he is running into the same struggle he did when he led the Night’s Watch. He’s basically correct, but he doesn’t win people over to his cause and earn their support, before he makes drastic decisions.

People will criticize the Sansa-Dany conflict but I find it much more organic so far this season, what we’ve seen in this one episode. In season 7, the conflict between Sansa and Arya was drawn out pointlessly to fill time. But it’s understandable to me that there are genuine points of contention between Daenerys and Sansa, with the two having just met under less than ideal circumstances. That doesn’t make either of them bad people or poorly written. It’s a source of drama that I look forward to being resolved in an interesting way. I hope to see it resolved with them coming to terms, rather than being enemies.

Jon Arya reunion godswood Winterfell

Another reunion, satisfying but less emotionally resonant for me: Sansa and Tyrion. The (estranged? divorced? what’s the deal here?) spouses spar and take stock of one another, with Tyrion appreciating that Sansa survived them all as he once predicted she might, while Sansa correctly challenges Tyrion’s naivete in trusting Cersei.

Jon and Arya’s reunion in the godswood underscores how much he doesn’t know his little sister anymore. He doesn’t realize how much she’s had to use the gift he gave her, how much Needlework she’s had to do to survive. I suspect the admonition Arya gives Jon, about remembering family, will be an important one this season.

Euron Greyjoy Winterfell episode

In King’s Landing, Cersei receives news that the dead have broken through the Wall. She’s cool with that because she’s terrible and all has gone according to plan, mwahahaha.

On Euron’s ship nearby, Yara lives! Mostly because Euron is bored and narcisstic and wants someone to talk to. The only motivation they can come up with him for sticking around is that he still wants to fuck the queen. This is not that riveting, and a weak point in the episode.

The Golden Company’s leader is presented to Cersei at the Red Keep, with the show slipping in a reference to the book-Company’s elephants which clearly did not fit into GoT‘s budget. It’s just as well. Fewer elephants and time with the Golden Company means we get to spend more time listening to Euron talk about how he wants to fuck Cersei.

No, wait. Sigh.

Anyway. Cersei, sensing she’s put the unstable Euron off for too long capitulates and invites him to bed.

At a brothel somewhere, Bronn is having sexy times with three unnamed sex workers. Qyburn interrupts and brings the mercenary an offer: kill the Lannister brothers. Are we finally going to get an opportunity to see if Bronn is as ruthless as he claims to be? He once claimed he’d kill a child for the right price. Bronn is unpredictable, and strangely loyal for a sellsword. His affection for Tyrion and Jaime is a weak point. He’ll take the gig but somehow I don’t think he’ll be able to finish the job.

Meanwhile, Euron is having fun with Cersei, and wants to put a prince in her belly, but has no idea that that uterus is already occupied.

Theon Yara Winterfell

HECK YEAH THEON! But he most definitely had the headbutt coming that Yara gives him after he frees her from captivity. Theon abandoned his sister in the sea battle last season, leaving her to the mercy of her uncle. God knows how Yara has suffered all this time. But he came back for her, so four for you, Theon Greyjoy!

Yara is planning to head home to the Iron Islands, safe from the invasion of the White Walkers, but she can see Theon has other wishes. She encourages him to fight for the Starks. I suppose she’ll drop him off in the area on the shore, and a jet pack will take him the rest of the way to Winterfell.

Speaking of Winterfell, the braintrust of right-hand men (Davos, Tyrion and Varys)  convene for a walk-and-talk a la The West Wing to assess the current situation with the queen and her unofficial consort. Of special note: ominous words from Varys as he gazes at Dany and Jon and says, “Nothing lasts.”

Jon Rhaegal flying Winterfell episode

Honestly how do they stay on the dragon without a saddle and reins…or anything? Kit Harington has impressive thigh muscles but I just don’t understand how it all works. Anyway, Jon goes for a hot-rodding session on Rhaegal, with Dany and Drogon, and manages to not die, which was also very impressive of him. I mean we know he’s a Targaryen so it will work out, but Dany doesn’t, so it legit seems like she’s trying to murder her boyfriend with this joyride.

Incidentally, any single parent recognizes that funny stare from the dragons: it’s the look your kids give you when they catch you making out with your boyfriend. Yes, yes it is weird and uncomfortable.

Gendry Arya Winterfell

Reunion number…I don’t know, 5? The Hound and Arya. He calls her a bitch, she reminds him that she robbed him before she left him to die, and he walks away with the light of admiration in his eye. That’s his murder daughter, you can’t tell me he’s not a little proud. Can’t wait to see Sandor use the dragonglass weapon he scored from Gendry!

Next reunion: Gendry/Arya. I fully lost my shit over the blacksmith rom-com shenanigans. “As you wish, m’lady.” Are you fucking kidding me? Don’t tell me we’re not supposed to ship this. Christ on a cracker. I’ve got the vapors.

Sam Daenerys Winterfell

In less-cute moments, Deepwood Motte sends word that Lord Glover is staying put and not joining the Starks because of Jon’s bending the knee. Sansa gives Jon hell for it, but he defends his choice. Meanwhile Dany is off attempting to make more friends in the North…and unfortunately makes it all so much worse.

Offering her thanks to Sam for healing Jorah, Daenerys realizes she roasted his father and brother. After she steps up and admits what happened, Sam does not take it well. You did not win over Jon’s best friend, Dany. Not even close.

Running into Bran outside, Bran coyly says he’s “waiting for an old friend.” Hmmmmm, inscrutable. He encourages Sam to tell Jon the truth finally about who he is.

Still reeling from the news Dany shared, Sam rushes into the truth: Jon is the bloody King of the Seven Kingdoms.

Jon is in denial; it can’t be possible, but Sam hammers home the facts. You can see that the truth is so large and overwhelming that it hasn’t even occurred to Jon yet that his girlfriend is his aunt.

Lord Umber burning Winterfell episode

Beric, Tormund, and men from the Night’s Watch turn up at Last Hearth in a spooky sequence, that turns comical as they run into Dolorous Edd. Slowly we realize something terrible has happened, as Edd reveals a bashed-up room- and the impaled body of a boy, stuck to a wall, with limbs arranged around him in a familiar swirl pattern. It’s Ned Umber, sent home to die. He reanimates as a wight, but is quickly put down with fire.

In Winterfell, more people stream in, including a mysterious hooded figure. He dismounts, removes his hood and then we know- it’s Jaime! He’s made it to the North. But don’t be relieved just yet. He turns and finds Bran staring him down- the Three Eyed Raven was waiting for him, and there’s a reckoning long overdue.


Theon Winterfell

Stray Thoughts:

Theon’s Redemption: It was fantastic to see Theon able to save his sister, and able to make up for not only the sea battle, but also when she tried to save him from the Dreadfort. I’m relieved to see Yara saved, with her tongue intact.

John Bradley: Obviously this is a great cast but he was my star of the episode. Sam reacting to the death of his brother and the father (whom he hated, but still his dad!) was beautiful acting.

The Smart One: Can I just say how much I appreciate Arya acknowledging that Sansa is the smartest person she knows? It undoes some of the damage from season 7, for me.

Alas, poor Ned: What a cursed name.

Dragonglass Army: I am ridiculously excited to see the pile of weapons Gendry is going to make out of the dragonglass. Starting with that javelin thingy Arya designed, which seems like a split cousin of the ice javelin the Night King used to kill Viserion. Has Arya figured out something new?

Surprise! I’m shocked at the tiny body-count.

Overall? The King’s Landing portions had some clunky bits and the dragon joyride date went on too long, but I thought it was a great episode to set up the entire season, and covered a ton of ground while dealing with a lot of emotional baggage. Overall rating 8/10.

475 responses

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    1. I can’t figure out how to embed an image here, but my favorite single image: Rhaegal giving Jon and Dani side eye. I’m reminded of someone getting followed into the bathroom by the family dog, who just sits there… staring. BAD RHAEGAL!!

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    2. You can see that the truth is so large and overwhelming that it hasn’t even occurred to Jon yet that his girlfriend is his aunt.

      Love!

      Speaking of Targaryens, the lit Umber swirl reminds me obviously of previous White Walker designs, as it should, but this is the first one to also remind me of the Targaryen sigil. The similarities are striking! And the screaming and screeching could have been quite dragonlike.

      http://watchersonthewall.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Lord-Umber-burning-Winterfell-episode.jpg

      https://www.redwolf.in/image/catalog/artwork-Images/mens/house-targaryen-sigil-splatter-design.jpeg

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    3. Speaking of Winterfell, the braintrust of right-hand men (Davos, Tyrion and Varys) convene for a walk-and-talk a la The West Wing to assess the current situation with the queen and her unofficial consort

      Lol brain trust and hand trinity. Hilarious.

      Jon hasn’t processed his blood relationship with Dany poor dude. I genuinely feel bad for him.

      I don’t want the heat no one telling me once more how Dany was entitled to burn the Tarlys. Fucking bad decision if I’ve ever seen one.

      I laughed so hard at Tormund defending his blue eyes I thought I’m going to choke on my red wine. ❤️ My dude is always to be relied upon. For fighting, coming relief, advice, you name it.

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    4. I am desperately shipping Arya and Gendry. I hope she gets some from that hot boy before she dies

      Sansa and Tyrion- In fact I am shipping them too!!!! They are both very smart!!! THEY would be the most power couple across the 7 Kingdoms AND Essos!!!

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    5. I remember they teased the premiere as having a “play” like essence and I finally see what they mean. The entire sequencing felt very theatre like. And I enjoyed that. The pacing felt tight but natural enough. And the reunions weren’t what I wanted, but they gave me what I needed. So that is more than enough to suffice.

      With all the characters in one space, I don’t envy the writers for having to account for all of the interactions. But I feel they did a good job illuminating the most important ones.

      The preview for 8×02 has me HYPED though.

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    6. Mike Flohr:
      Cersei lost the baby. She’s drinking and when Euron said I’ll put a baby in you she teared up.

      That makes a lot of sense, and I feel like an idiot for not realising it while watching. I guess the only thing she has to live for now is wine.

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    7. Edward:
      I remember they teased the premiere as having a “play” like essence and I finally see what they mean. The entire sequencing felt very theatre like. And I enjoyed that. The pacing felt tight but natural enough. And the reunions weren’t what I wanted, but they gave me what I needed. So that is more than enough to suffice.

      With all the characters in one space, I don’t envy the writers for having to account for all of the interactions. But I feel they did a good job illuminating the most important ones.

      The preview for 8×02 has me HYPED though.

      Yeah the preview shows them using a catapult. Maybe they’re just testing it out?

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    8. Oops, I didn’t realize that the boy was Ned Umber.

      On the other hand: “I’VE ALWAYS HAD BLUE EYES!!!” XD

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    9. Great opening episode! Arya’s reunion with Jon was wonderful, and her reunion with Gendry really well done and brought a smile to my face. No doubt there was some filtration going on there.

      Gendry: “You look good.”

      Damn right she does, man! 🙂

      Arya’s reunion with Sandor was appropriate, but a bit brief. I’m hoping to see more of them next episode.

      I loved the way it ended — Jamie’s look on his face when he sees Bran was spot on!

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    10. I just finished a re-watch and I noticed that Arya’s new fighting stick weapon comes apart! I noticed this time that her diagram shows the top part coming off as an extended dagger. My guess is in the trailer she’s running with the top part that comes off.

      If you are a Dany fan, you probably weren’t a fan of this episode. To say the least, she did not get a welcome greeting for sacrificing so much to save the North. It’s not looking great for Dany by the end of the episode with Sam as an enemy and Jon as the rightful king.

      The episode title did show up on HBO GO on my rewatch, but it was at least an hour after the original broadcast.

      ##WHERESMYELEPHANTS

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    11. I’m glad you noticed that inflection that Bran put in his voice that let you know it wasn’t Sam he was waiting on. Jamie does have a lot to answer for to be sure (from Bran and Dany as well), but don’t they all? Didn’t Jon and Dany just make a trip to King’s Landing and agree to have the Lannister Army (lead by Jamie) to join them in the fight? Didn’t they all just agree to let let that shit go for the time being so that they all survive the attack from the dead?

      Like I get it, Jamie has more to answer to that most and Jon and Dany wont be happy that the rest of the army isnt coming, but that is on Cersei, not Jamie. So I’m hoping Jon and Dany don’t forget what they all just talked about and lose sight of the main goal of living.

      But that being said, I doubt you want beef with the Three-eyed Raven. As much as he has been saying that he is not really Bran anymore, he waited all day for Jamie to show up. What I am saying is, there is a lot of different ways that Jamie showing up at Winterfell could go. Thoughts?

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    12. WhiteWalkingFool: That makes a lot of sense, and I feel like an idiot for not realising it while watching. I guess the only thing she has to live for now is wine.

      Woah, I totally missed that, and I watched it twice already…
      I guess that’s a reason for a third time. I just thought she was thinking of Jaime leaving her…but the baby makes much more sense for Cersei’s character…

      Did anyone notice Sansa’s diction when talking at the table in the Great Hall sounded very similar to the way Cersei talks.

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    13. Tron79:
      I just finished a re-watch and I noticed that Arya’s new fighting stick weapon comes apart! I noticed this time that her diagram shows the top part coming off as an extended dagger. My guess is in the trailer she’s running with the top part that comes off.

      If you are a Dany fan, you probably weren’t a fan of this episode.To say the least, she did not get a welcome greeting for sacrificing so much to save the North. It’s not looking great for Dany by the end of the episode with Sam as an enemy and Jon as the rightful king.

      The episode title did show up on HBO GO on my rewatch, but it was at least an hour after the original broadcast.

      ##WHERESMYELEPHANTS

      David and Dan had to have thought elephants were possible at first. They had Cersei mention them last season. It must have ended up really not working out since they scrapped them.

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    14. I was hoping to see Gendry figuring out how to make Valyrian steel. They should have shown interaction between Bran and Jaime to allow the battle in ep. 2 longer (took a long time to produce). Finally seeing Jon interact with Bran was what I expected, Jon being emotional and Bran reacting as if he were still in an emotional coma. Can’t wait for episode 2!

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    15. I don’t know why they couldn’t have had a 10 second clip of Ghost greeting Jon. Unless they saved it for 802…

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    16. Jack Bauer 24,

      It will go down as a classic line though….

      Speaking of missing animals, I am hoping Ghost wanders back at some point. Remember Ghost did wander off while Jon spent time with Rose and the Wildlings. Maybe he just wandered off again.. I think it’s possible we could still see Ghost show up at Winterfell in the battle or somewhere down the line….at least I’m holding out hope… Do Direwolves and Dragons get along?

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    17. The sun in the credit sequence looks a lot like the Karstark sigil, and Tyrion comments on the Karstark sigil and notes that they had been enemies of the Starks. I wonder if there is any significance. For example, is the Night King a Karstark?

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    18. Tron79:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      It will go down as a classic line though….

      Speaking of missing animals, I am hoping Ghost wanders back at some point.Remember Ghost did wander off while Jon spent time with Rose and the Wildlings.Maybe he just wandered off again.. I think it’s possible we could still see Ghost show up at Winterfell in the battle or somewhere down the line….at least I’m holding out hope…Do Direwolves and Dragons get along?

      😀 https://twitter.com/IGN/status/1117619787046117376

      I hope we get ice spiders at least.

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    19. Great recap. I loved the episode and the way it mirrored season 1 episode 1. I’m really getting bad vibes about Dany – Sam is smart and his warning lights are going off and he’s reminding us all as well as Jon.
      I hope Jaime and Bran realize how very different they are now.
      Where was Brienne hiding? And Pod?

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    20. The Tyrion/Sansa part bugs me. The showrunners have intentionally made Tyrion dumber.

      He spent 7 seasons not trusting Cersei at all and being smart enough to outwit her, and we are supposed to believe he now “trusts” her and its Sansa whose the smart one?

      Not buying it. Thoroughly enjoyed the episode but annoyed at some of the writing and late series character trait changes. Just seems forced.

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    21. Jack Bauer 24,

      already a classic!

      I almost thought the poor Umber kid was in a spider web at first.. It sort of looked like he was stuck in a web… but then I saw the body parts and I agree with others it looked a bit like a Targ logo as well as the usual spiral. I think Ice Spiders are 85% likely and Direwolves …65%…

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    22. GIVE JOHN BRADLEY THE EMMY.

      Theon’s mission was significantly more successful than Yara’s of him. Good going! And…weirdly easy, honestly.

      That’s super duper that Arya thinks Sansa is smart. Now if they could just stop TELLING us this, and start SHOWING it, that’d be awesome. I mean it. Make her the smartest person Arya knows!

      Oh Edd. Never change. 😂

      Glad I read the spoilers beforehand as usual, it was much less stressful and not one iota less enjoyable.

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    23. The snowfall in KL sure was quick lol. It is a bit odd watching “The Dragon and the Wolf” and seeing KL covered in snow at the end of the episode and then jumping into “Winterfell” and seeing KL sunny as can be in the beginning of the episode.

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    24. Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface:
      The Tyrion/Sansa part bugs me. The showrunners have intentionally made Tyrion dumber.

      He spent 7 seasons not trusting her at all and being smart enough to outwit her, and we are supposed to believe he now “trusts” her and its Sansa whose the smart one?

      Not buying it. Thoroughly enjoyed the episode but annoyed at some of the writing and late series character trait changes. Just seems forced.

      No, Tyrion is definetley up to something … and Sansa caught him out on it. The only evidence for this is the cut off on the Cersei / Tyrion scene and the worried stare Tyrion gives during the boat scene (both in the season 7 finale). What it means is yet to be seen, but Tyrion is not “dumb” all of a sudden.

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    25. WEAK episode, They screwEd it up. No real emotion. Seeing lost friends felt like they hadn’t seen eaCH OTHER FOR 1 MONTH OR SO. And the Reveal by Sam should have been monumental. It wasn’t, It felt like meh…

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    26. Sansa didn’t catch anything I assure you. Shes not that smart. Its sloppy writing. She hasn’t actually shown being smart on screen. And if Tyrion was just playing dumb they didn’t do a good job of showing it. Just an awkward scene imo.

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    27. Ser Tan of Victory,

      I think Bran was there for a tête-à-tête with Jaime before everyone else loses their shit when they see him. Bran knows Jaime’s current intentions are pure, and he understands the threat from the NK better than anyone. That’s my take, anyway.

      I’ve been looking forward to their reunion for years, and I screamed. What an absolutely perfect ending to the episode, bookending S1 Ep1.

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    28. Jack Bauer 24,

      Right. Only so much time in one episode. Maybe in episode 2. There were a bunch of reunions but that one didn’t make it for some reason.

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    29. Anyone else notice Dany barely reacted to the news that Viserion was raised by the NK? She should have been shocked and pretty upset?

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    30. Jack Bauer 24:
      The snowfall in KL sure was quick lol. It is a bit odd watching “The Dragon and the Wolf” and seeing KL covered in snow at the end of the episode and then jumping into “Winterfell” and seeing KL sunny as can be in the beginning of the episode.

      Maybe they burned another princess?

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    31. I continue to be very nervous about the Winterfell crypts with their new found place in the opening credits and prominent place in the episode. Big tomb of every Stark that ever lived inside the walls of Winterfell. Night King who can reanimate the dead within a large radius just by raising his arms. What could possibly go wrong? I really don’t want to see unNed killing one of his kids.

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    32. Wolfish:
      Ser Tan of Victory,

      I think Bran was there for a tête-à-tête with Jaime before everyone else loses their shit when they see him. Bran knows Jaime’s current intentions are pure, and he understands the threat from the NK better than anyone. That’s my take, anyway.

      Agree, Bran/3ER isn’t interesting in revenge, he knew Jamie was coming and felt the need to meet him, perhaps to relay something important to him, a task he is best suited for… of course they woun’t tell us right away, but something will go down between them that will be revealed later. And it wouldn’t surprise me if Bran is the one that saves Jamie from Dany’s vengeance (hinted at in the preview), or at least forestalls it.

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    33. Nice one, Miss Sue – reading your column for the first time, as I’m no longer worried about spoilers. This was a great start! Not just callbacks to scenes from S1, but a return to small details placed throughout to help set each scene and tell the story.
      Aria/Gendry was unexpectedly satisfying, Baratheons still in the game I’m betting.
      Cersei may have lost the baby, and that, coupled with her disappointment over the lack of elephants, may push her over the edge. Ser Bronn will not get his castle or highborn wife, but at least we got some more bare t**s. Also, looks like Bran the Buzzkill has something in mind for Ser Jamie.
      With all the imminent gore and grimness, I’ll take what little humor is on offer – thank you Edd and Tormund.

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    34. viki,

      And it’s very telling that Bran told Sam, “Waiting for a friend.” Despite the absolutely horrific act Jaime committed against him, Bran refers to him as not only an ally, but a “friend.” Pretty powerful stuff, coming from the WeirRobot himself. Which, of course, is precisely the point: In order to face the existential threat, we must put past grievances and current squabbles behind us. Alas, that is utterly contrary to human nature.

      Sigh.

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    35. I’m also waiting for a Jorah/Lyanna scene!

      And…isn’t Hot Pie cooking at the inn down the road? Now THAT would be my dream reunion! Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie. Their union allowed each other to survive!

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    36. Leuf: I really don’t want to see unNed killing one of his kids.

      Sean Bean has been doing some promos before ep. 1. At first I assumed it was purely from nostalgia, but earlier this week I started wondering if maybe there was a role still left for him to play. I’m more sold on that idea than ever.

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    37. Cercei didn’t really drink the wine. If you watch closely, she took the tiniest of sips. I think she is still preggers and the jaunt with Euron was insurance in case she needed a cover story.

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    38. It was great on first watch. Only scene I didn’t really like was the quick and easy rescue of Yara.

      I thought the reunions were great and well played. For book readers we have this head canon that the show doesn’t always match. I thought Jon-Arya was spot on, and I got everything I needed out of it.

      Sansa will make a good peace time Lady Of Winterfell/Warden of the North. She’s on top of all the food storages. But she, like the Northern lords, doesn’t grasp the threat of the White Walkers and their army, and won’t until she sees it. If they survive, I doubt they will have to worry about how to feed the corpses.

      Love is the death of duty. The conflict between the Starks and Dany and the splitting into factions once they find out about Jon is going to be fascinating to watch. This isn’t going to end happily ever after. I think Jon is the betrayal for love.

      Bran and Jaime was the perfect way to end a very strong opener. Only 5 more to go! And now I’m sad.

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    39. Shout out to Lady Mormont and Lady Stark for asking the former King in the North uncomfortable but only reasonable questions.

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    40. Meg:
      Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,

      Tyrion has said the Cercei’s one redeeming feature is the love she has for her children.I don’t think he trusts Cercei per se, but he does think he knows her well enough that she wouldn’t put a child of hers in jeopardy.

      I never quite bought that, particularly when she blew up the woman her son married and was in love with, culminating in his swan dive out the window. Politics seems to be her bigger love.

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    41. Leuf:
      I continue to be very nervous about the Winterfell crypts with their new found place in the opening credits and prominent place in the episode.Big tomb of every Stark that ever lived inside the walls of Winterfell.Night King who can reanimate the dead within a large radius just by raising his arms.What could possibly go wrong?I really don’t want to see unNed killing one of his kids.

      A headless box of bones is going to clatter menacingly across the floor and trip someone? 😉

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    42. Wolfish:
      KellieisComing,

      They were seated in the great hall in the scene where Little Bear got in Jon’s face. I expect to see *much* more of Brienne in Ep2, with Jaime having arrived.

      I see Brienne, but not Pod.

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    43. I was a little disappointed in the Jon/Arya reunion on first viewing because I didn’t like the way she sided with Sansa. But after watching it a couple more times and thinking on it, it’s growing on me except for one small part but I’ll address that at the end.

      First, though Arya kinda chastised Jon (a little unfairly in my opinion) he actually had it much easier than Sansa had it last year. Lol. No need to play games. She came simple and direct because she knows Jon’s heart. Just giving him a reminder. And that’s “Don’t fall in love with this new girl and forget where you came from and who’s been your real family.”

      And that even includes Sansa, who Arya feels took a big step forward by executing Littlefinger. The part I didn’t like was Arya saying Sansa is the smartest person she’s ever met. As said upthread (by Pigeon I believe), stop telling us Sansa’s the smartest person and show us. And lastly, why does Sansa have to placed on a pedestal (smartest person ever…) in the Jon & Arya reunion scene???

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    44. Just finished a rewatch, and I am assured of my initial reaction that they are really hinting at Jon being the betrayal for love.

      I’d also like to add that this was the best work I’ve ever seen from Kit. I haven’t always loved his work, but he really hit it out of the park this episode.

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    45. I actually thought the most interesting scenes were at King’s Landing. Even if I can’t stand Pilou Asbaek’s acting.
      At first, I thought Cersei agreed to lay with Euron because she felt sad and alone without Jaime (whom she actually truly loves deep inside).
      But now I believe she did it because she really is pregnant, and is STILL pregnant (no miscarriage) and she realized she was going to lose Euron if he found out. So she fucked him to later pretend the child will be his. And to make sure he continues the alliance. It’s always hard to tell if Cersei is playing games or acting because of emotions.

      Overall my favorite scenes were Sam/Dany, and Last Hearth.

      Extremely disappointed about all the reunions.

      Hated the dragons scenes.

      And many clichey parts…

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    46. On rewatch, my tinfoil is going off. Where are they going with this KL stuff? Is there any chance Euron could be the Valonquor? Some of the looks that Qyburn gave were interesting. He seemed quite impressed with Euron. Notice Euron brought up Robert & Jamie. Was he subtly letting her know that he won’t play the fool like Robert? Could Cersei’s scheming lead to Euron choking her out?

      He’s finally gained “clearance” past the mountain and able to be alone with Cersei. This could play out very similarly in the books. Book Euron is known for killing women he’s married to and he’s psycho enough that a mad scientist like Qyburn (both book & show) would like him.

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    47. Jack Bauer 24:
      The snowfall in KL sure was quick lol. It is a bit odd watching “The Dragon and the Wolf” and seeing KL covered in snow at the end of the episode and then jumping into “Winterfell” and seeing KL sunny as can be in the beginning of the episode.

      It doesn’t really seem odd to me at all. Weather changes on a daily basis. If they only got a few inches of snow it could easily melt in a day or two if the weather warms up a bit. Sure, in the north in the depths of winter, it might stay consistently cold enough to maintain continuous snow coverage, but in more southern regions, the weather would probably fluctuate above and below freezing, and you might get rain or snow depending on what the temperature is when you happen to get precipitation.

      Where I live, it’s common to see significant temperature swings within a single day, particularly near the beginning and end of winter. For example, one day in late March had a high of 53°F (12°C) and a low of 22°F (-6°C). A couple weeks earlier, it had gone up to 70°F (21°C), and a week before that it had been 6°F (-14°C).

      Since the snowy day when Jaime left King’s Landing, there had been time for the Golden Company to arrive, and for Jaime to reach Winterfell, so probably about a month. That’s plenty of time for several snowfall and melt cycles.

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    48. i felt like they could’ve put something a little bit more exciting by the end . just to got us hyped up about the upcoming episode.

      i dont know. i just felt a little bit ambivalent about the first episode. we’ve been waiting for 2 years and we got this mediocre episode?. and to think that we only have 5 episodes left after today ,makes me kinda sad.

      euron/cersei was so out of place and unnecessary.

      not gonna go on about being party pooper so heres my opninion on some of the good things about the episode:

      -the king and queen’s arrival at winterfell (they use the modified track of the very first episode of the series. exactly the same but with touch of dany’s style instrument) also i like how arya smirking at the kid knowing how excited it was to see the westeros king and queen.

      -Daenerys and Sams meeting
      i was wondering about how was the relationship between Sam and Dickon was. and just by that acting john bradley did. i know sam never hated dickon. even when his father is blatantly play favorites.

      -Bran waiting for and old friend
      I know bran is up for something. probably he needed to tell Jaime that hes the only one who could kill cersei?.

      -the new opening.
      i loveeee it. especially how empty it looks now compared to the previous ones.

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    49. Lowi,

      I actually believe Cersei did take him to bed because she felt vulnerable. And his comment about a prince in her belly (ugh), reminded her that she’s already pregnant so in somewhat of a pickle.

      Did anyone else catch her brief twinge of emotion at the end? Could it be she’s realising this child will need to be aborted?

      There’s just no way Euron will believe he’s the father- she must be 3 months gone at least, given the timeline (and me KNOW how strictly the show sticks to passing of time) 😛

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    50. Well the anticipation was simply too much for me, I missed the live screening but woke up at 4am, watched it and went back to sleep afterwards.

      I thought it was really good. John Bradley/Sam was amazing when he hears what Dany did. The Bronn stuff was the biggest shock to me – I really didn’t see that coming. I also enjoyed Sophie Turners acting in this episode – not my favourite character but she was brilliant. Finally little Ned Umber, oh my god that was creepy.

      I liked the Theon freeing Yara stuff the least, it was all too easy when it really shouldn’t have been. The Jon flying the dragon, I had seen on twitter so knew that was coming but it felt humerous and dare I say it cheesy but not badly done either.

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    51. Bran’s intent stares were most interesting to me. He has the plan in his head of what needs to happen, not interested in small talk, emotions, reunions or the past – just what needs to be done to save the north.

      Thus, he needed to get Jon up to date on heritage, and needed to talk with Jamie. To me, that means both men will play significant roles in defeating Night King. He also needed Danerys to be mentally prepared that one dragon is now her enemy.

      Not buying that the Night King’s symbology is a reference to Targaryen (or Blackfyre).

      Danerys being the outcast with every new conflict is par for the course in her life. She overcomes the doubters. This time, she’ll likely almost be destroyed hearing Jon is the King. But I think in the end, she’ll be redeemed and loved.

      Very curious what Tyrion is up to. But thinking his secrets are being kept to the benefit of his queen, not his sister. Though Bran’s looking his way was ominous.

      Manye are complaining about the time spent on dragon flights. In posterity, I believe we’ll enjoy that flamboyant diversion more fully. Now, when does Ghost make his pivotal entrance?

      Best of all, “My eyes have always been blue”

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    52. I’m going to hold off on really having a point of view before I’ve seen at least episode four. Hiccup and Astrid the live action movie Drogon Looking at Jon. Who do they think is watching this show?

        Quote  Reply

    53. There’s so much I want to say, but after working myself into an emotional tizzy just waiting for the episode to start, then watching it three times already, (and I’ll watch it at least 3 more times, I’m one of those) I’m not going to write much until later.
      First I loved the episode, I thought they fit a tremendous amount of important issues into the time they had. The reunions were wonderful, and there were a few surprises.

      Bronn being hired to assassinate Jaime and Tyrion – caught me completely by surprise. I don’t think he’ll do it, but he’s got a wagon full of gold now; he could go anywhere he wanted with a fairly reasonable chance of never being found. Yet, I think he will go north. As someone said upthread, it will be interesting to see if he’s the tough guy he believes he is.

      I didn’t make too much of Cersei sleeping with Euron – it was bound to happen at some point once Jaime left the premises – UNTIL Euron made mention of putting a baby in her. Euron contemplating parenthood? That puts a whole new twist on things. If he thinks the baby is his, he’ll be more dedicated fighting harder and sticking around Cersei.

      There was a brief comment at the Citadel that makes me think there may be a strange twist to the outcome. I rewatched every season, and when I saw this scene again, my first reaction was uh-oh. I’ll look up the specific scene later today, but maybe you remember. Bran had sent ravens out warning of the white walkers, and Ebrose and the other maesters were sitting around mocking it. After they dismiss Sam’s pleas to take Bran’s words to heed, they talk about other would-be prophets, including one who insisted that the Drowned God would murder Aegon the Conqueror. Could that be taken as possible foreshadowing? It seemed so to me – with crazy Euron representing the Drowned-god and Jon/Aegon coming to harm at his hands. Maybe I’m way off base, but it seemed to add some weight to Euron’s presence in the story. It would be shitty but not impossible. I guess I’m still dreading the bitter part of bittersweet.

      Sue, your story on the open thread was extremely heartfelt and moving. I’m sorry for your loss, but so grateful that events led you to being the backbone of WotW. As others have eloquently expressed, this site has been a haven for fans; it’s certainly been a blessing for me and I thank you for the amount of heart, soul and sweat you’ve put in to do this.

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    54. I am very surprised so few people bring up the big elephant in the room, the “intentional dumbing” of Tyrion. His jokes towards Varys and Davos aren’t exactly friendly sarcastic banter, they are just evil. I guess this would be ok with his book self (I can only guess, I haven’t read the books but read a few resumes), but if we consider show only, these jokes aren’t in line with Tyrion’s character.

      Some have raised the point of him being stupid enough to believe Cersei, and also being jealous of Jon. To me, even that (believing Cersei) was out of Tyrion’s character. There is also this reunion with Sansa, who plainly tells him he is stupid.
      What I think they try to do is to align book and show Tyrion more closely, so his book and show ending can match. I just don’t buy it, I hate it, and I think it is even worse story telling then Winterfell plot S07 was. Why, oh why?

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    55. Mike Flohr,

      In our world, fetal alcohol syndrome was only discovered in the 70s, and became common knowledge in the 80s. Before, it was quite common, even with folk medicine saying things like black beer was good for breastfeeding. I don’t think we should presume that would be widely known in the medieval-inspired Westeros.

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    56. Jack Bauer 24:
      The snowfall in KL sure was quick lol. It is a bit odd watching “The Dragon and the Wolf” and seeing KL covered in snow at the end of the episode and then jumping into “Winterfell” and seeing KL sunny as can be in the beginning of the episode.

      Yeah, their lack of commitment to making all of Westeros look like it’s suffering an extreme winter is pretty disappointing.

      This was the whole premise of the show. That winter would come and be devastating. Now we only have 5 episodes left, and winter has been here since the Season 6 finale, yet there’s still no sign of real winter in the south.

      I mean, with the White Walkers south of the wall, I really thought the entire continent would be covered in ice and darkness.

      It’s supposed to be the Long Night !

      But no, it’s still sunny and beautiful. King’s Landing looking as resort-y as ever.

      What was even the point of the King’s Landing snow montage last season ?

        Quote  Reply

    57. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      People point this out a lot but in Hardhome and The Door we saw ample sights who were pretty much just skeletons in rags… and I’ve seen enough horror flicks with parts of zombies crawling back together to reassemble to believe it’s wholly possible this could happen

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    58. Jack Bauer 24,

      Bronn said he could impregnate the vale. Guess it just didn’t work out with money or time? It’s a reference so it should be in the show or “I will be sad.”

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    59. Did anyone catch the small maybe unintended word-joke? In the throne room in Kingslanding, Euron says to Cersei: “They were lesser men”. The camera shows Qyburn’s face. Qyburn’s real name is ‘Anton Lesser’.

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    60. Bran wil send Jamie back to convince the Lannister Army/Golden Company to fight for the living. For a battle, come on, even the only 8000 unsullied would be able to defeat 200k brainless attacking dead. Only the Ice dragon could prevent this.
      To me it was a very bad twist of Danny to not held a speech to all saying I am only here to fight for the living and follow Jon Snow. To introduce her as a Queen, as Jons Queen, ruined a lot for me.
      Regarding Tyrion it seems to me also that he made a secret pact with Cerzei as I also do not believe he is so dumb to believe what he says.
      Not explaining how the people could escape from the wall when the Ice dragon destroyed it – and how the ice dragon destroyed it also leaves a bad feeling. But hey, we saw Jon flying on a Dragon – must be more important to show this. Freeing Asha went to smooth for me and wtf, I would have understand when Asha kicked her brother as soon as they were safe, but not directly after freeing her.
      I hope some points will give a better complete view with more episodes, as this first episode disappointed me on several parts.

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    61. TormundsWoman,

      The moment I saw Little Ned Umber and the burning swirl I felt like there had to be a sign or some kind of message being sent…yes it looks like the Targaryen sigil but aren’t there 7 swirls of Fire in this scene? Is it possible this is the 7 Kingdoms?

      Would love to hear anyone else’s thoughts on this.

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    62. Aegon the IceDragon,

      I’ve been considering this idea for a while now, and you’re right that at this point there is actually a surprising amount of evidence for it.

      On that note another thing that always stood out to me is something Euron says to Cersei in S7E1, which could easily be interpreted as a hint regarding the prophecy for anyone in the know. “With a thousand ships, and two good hands…”

      When Tycho visits Cersei and she tells him that Euron is loyal to her in order to support her case to the Iron Bank, he outright dismisses her and replies, “For now.”

      During Dany’s negotiations with Yara, they discuss the subject of Euron’s marriage proposal to Dany, and Yara outright states that even if Dany did agree to marry Euron, he’d murder her afterwards. More potential foreshadowing.

      He is a younger brother, and him being the valonquar would actually be a pretty solid reason for them to have introduced him at the point that they did–this episode makes it clear that he obviously has a bigger role to play than simply capturing Yara so Theon can rescue her, which I always suspected (and which has already happened). It’s by no means guaranteed, but it’s a curveball that actually makes a lot of sense. Especially when you take into account the vision in the books that seemed to hint at a potential Euron-Cersei marriage/alliance well before the show pulled ahead.

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    63. Thronetender,

      I do remember that scene in the Citadel with the Maesters. I took note of it too when I first saw the scene. Good catch. That could be a nod to the books that the show won’t be able to put as much detail into. Remember book Euron is attacking Oldtown & the Citadel. One thing to note though, I think Dany is actually more aligned with the role of Aegon the Conqueror than Jon. She’s got the Dragons. She’s seen as the foreign invader. It’s like the inverse of Aegon & his sisters. It’s Dany & her nephew(s) , in the books anyway.

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    64. First of it was a really good episode, with plenty of building of stark politics going on, the look that Bran gave Tyrion has me thinking something is definitely going on there, though could be a bit of a red herring!
      i wasn’t keen on the whole John dragon joyride, think that should have been a bit of a bigger moment in the show, not just he hops on and can fly about, and Danny should have really been in shock with him being able to climb on.

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    65. I enjoyed the episode and the fact that it started slow and had a lot of exposition. I think the next episodes will be more action-packed.

      Re: the King’s Landing scenes, I do think that Cersei is still pregnant and needs some cover to explain her unborn child. There was a look she exchanged with Qyburn where he seemed to be giving her the nod to go ahead with Euron. Although whether Euron will buy it or not is another thing – could he be the Valonqar? He is Balon’s younger brother…

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    66. Azor Asshai,

      Also, when Euron first meets Cersei, he says he’s gonna marry the most beautiful queen in the world. When Dany arrives on Drogon at the Dragonpit meeting, Euron is clearly in awe of her. He doesn’t want Cersei. She’s a means to an end. And that little sip of wine Cersei took ain’t gonna be able to fool Euron. She never drank anymore.

      Euron didn’t touch her belly for nothing. He was checking. The rumor of Cersei & Jaime went out on the Westeros WWW. through Stannis. Plus he’s already called both Jaime & Cersei on the incest directly to their faces. He Cersei has let the fox into the hen house. He could be her undoing.

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    67. Arent’t we supposed to have Riverrun or Vale subplot with Edmure and Robin actors back? Aren’t they on the cast list for Ep. 1?

      I feel so sorry for Sam! I love Jon but I am getting tired of this “I never wanted to be a King”

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    68. Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,

      Agreed and I have a huge problem with ‘Sansa being the smartest person Arya knows’. I mean come on, she was ready to execute her own sister until Bran set her straight. I think she’s bitter and jaded and far more like Cersei than she realizes – but the smartest? That’s a stretch. Otherwise I loved the episode.

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    69. Upon a rewatch I noticed during the Bronn hired assassin scene, Bronn assumes they mean Dany, but Qyburn says no that Cersei has other plans for the Targaryen Queen… what could those plans be? I mean if Bronn could get a chance at Dany too, wouldn’t they want him to try, like an extra bonus if successful? But Qyburn makes it sounds as if there is another plan that they are so sure will work, that Bronn doesn’t need to even bother even trying…. wonder what their plan is? It can’t include Tyrion/Jamie, because they are Bronn’s targets…

      any thought?

        Quote  Reply

    70. Wow, this episode already has 204 written reviews on IMDB. Last years premiere currently has 83 reviews. This show has become enormous beyond belief. All worldwide twitter trends were Game of Thrones related for hours yesterday. It is quite surreal to see this happen as someone who been around since the beginning on the original Winteriscoming.net. I remember there were even some worries after the pilot ratings the show could be canceled. How exciting it was to see the ratings grow from each episode to each season, crossing the 3m mark was a huge accomplishment. Even hearing the show referenced for the first time on TV outside of HBO promotion on Conan OBrien was exciting to me. Now look at this show.

      Anyways, in regards to the premiere after seeing a few mixed and negative reactions I was a bit nervous but to me that was one of the best premiere yet and a great overall episode. I want to say it is my favorite premiere over the pilot and Two Swords but that may just because it is newer. It is certainly amongst the top 3 premieres.

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    71. WhiteWalkingFool,

      I don’t feel she has lost the baby. She would take that loss very hard. She slept with Euron to keep him close but it could be a ploy to pretend it is Euron’s baby to hide the truth that it is Jamie’s as he betrayed her and went North. She’s too calm for a miscarriage. She is always plotting and is always one step ahead.

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    72. “The army of the dead has a billion zombies and an ice dragon, has torn down the Wall, and is marching to kill us. But we’re still going to yap back and forth about titles, and names, and who likes whom.”

      At least Cersei got some. I slept better knowing that.

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    73. Nick Hartley,

      Yes, the show doesn’t mention it, but for the majority of characters (particularly major characters like Cersei) we are still effectively getting GRRM’s ending–which he himself recently confirmed for anyone who still doesn’t believe it. Therefore it’s reasonable to assume that the valonqar prophecy is going to be fulfilled in some way and that it was most likely cut from the show in order to preserve some element of surprise. We’ll see.

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    74. Just recapping what do we think we learnt from the premiere in terms of what is to come in the remainder of the story:
      – The Tyrion/Cersei conspiracy theory is less likely given she hired Bronn to kill him, although we cannot rule that out entirely.
      – The Dany is pregnant theories are less likely but I doubt we will know for sure until next week.
      – The Jon won’t find out his true parentage at all theories are now shelved, it’s really about what he chooses to do with it.
      – The White Walkers creating Targ sigils with their art is the most interesting for me, this likely means the target is the dragons, Dany or Jon and this may be how the great war is resolved.

      Anything else we learnt in terms of end game?

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    75. Tron79:


      If you are a Dany fan, you probably weren’t a fan of this episode.To say the least, she did not get a welcome greeting for sacrificing so much to save the North. It’s not looking great for Dany by the end of the episode with Sam as an enemy and Jon as the rightful king.

      For real!!! I was not happy with the treatment Dany received!!! And Jon???? What a cad and how awful! He who is forever lecturing others in attempting to win them over, had no such speech prepared to defend his “Queen.” The Queen who risked her life and her dragons lives to save his! No. He sat virtually silent against the silly Northerners and their small prejudices “writ large.” Speaking of silly Northerners, how vile and ill-bred is the “Lady of Winterfell? Not the merest thank you to Queen Daenerys for bringing such massive forces to help them!!! Zero grace of manner or social charm and certainly proving to be no lady.

      I felt this treatment of Dany, and especially Jon not advocating her virtures to the Northern Lords, was the weak point of the episode. Maybe for some queer reason, which is yet to be revealed, the writers saw fit to have Dany treated so outrageously. I’ll give them the benefit of my doubt in this case.

      Oh, and I cannot go without commenting on Bran the three eyed creep! My God he was simply awful in this episode. His entire demeanor was comic book Le Grand Guignol. I certainly expected gravitas from this episode just as I expected to win the lottery Saturday, but… did not get either. Whatever. It was enjoyable. Little Ned Umber really set it off! LOL I “laughed myself beyond tears.”

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    76. Pigeon:
      Theon’s mission was significantly more successful than Yara’s of him. Good going! And…weirdly easy, honestly.

      IKR? Yara ran away from some puppy dogs, leaving him to remain being flayed alive while saving herself, and she headbutts Theon for leaving her to save himself during his PTSD moment.

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    77. Jack Hamm,

      The Queen Nobody Invited should be happy for any ally she can get. She doesn’t have anyone of real importance from Westeros besides Jon, at least no one else on the level “I have a big army and I support you on my free will” (like Olenna / Sand Snakes were). A lot of current problems are caused by her irresponsible demand for Jon to bend the knee.
      As Sam says, it is her turn to bend the knee / offer at least a fair 50:50 rule
      (->possible marriage? 😉 Davos ), or everyone is basically fu*ked up.

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    78. Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface: The Tyrion/Sansa part bugs me. The showrunners have intentionally made Tyrion dumber.

      That’s what you get when you drink too much (alcohol). You don’t know as much as you used to. 😉

      Jokes aside. I do get where you are coming from, but until they reveal what is up with the Tyrion and Cersei “agreement”, I’ll hold my horses.

      Reek,
      Oh dear Lord (of Light), this guy…

      (Grins) Grrm goes on to say that they’re totally different endings. (pause)….do you bake bread?

      Can you be anymore condescending (and wrong)? Really liked that he got the comeuppance he deserved.

      Toothless, you are not baking bread, you are trying to ferment poison, but it only causes mild nausea.

      Indeed he does.

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    79. viki,

      Good catch. What about Faceless Men? Cersei could afford to hire them for Dany, especially with the support of the Iron Bank which is also kind of interested in Cersei’s victory.

        Quote  Reply

    80. I think Arya told Jon Sansa was smart/ thinking of her family to explain to us why he will listen next episode when Sansa disagrees with Dany – possibly over Jaime and/ or his news.

      Maybe Ayra was impressed Sansa used smarts via a trial to dispatch Littlefinger? But really, it was a bit odd and clunky in my opinion.

      Meanwhile, Sansa did do something smart – didn’t believe Cersei for a second. Arrrgh, I hope there’s a ‘reason’ why Tyrion did. I think I’d prefer it if he was betraying Dany than be that foolish… but that wouldn’t make much sense either. It was pretty stupid of Varys too.

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    81. Hey Dany, do you remember saying, “I promised their enemies would die screaming. How do I make hunger scream?” Then maybe DON’T THREATEN SANSA when she talks about setting in provisions for the winter without factoring dragons in. Grr.

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    82. BTW, this world may not know about the health risks of drinking in pregnancy, but morning sickness can make one go ‘off’ many things – coffee, eggs, garlic…Wine.

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    83. Mike Flohr,

      I totally agree. If I was pregnant Cersei and Euron told me that, tit would make me smile, like “too late, dream on, asshole”. She almost starts to cry when he mentions a prince : clear for me.

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    84. Northstar,

      I don’t think an intentional betrayal makes any sense at all, at least not at the point of the Tyrion/Cersei negotiations – you don’t go and directly betray your only remaining reason to live. Tyrion could realistically get bitter and jealous because of Jon after the boatsex scene… Which is precisely where I think things are heading and I really don’t like it.

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    85. Northstar,

      You may be right about Arya telling Jon “Sansa’s the smartest person she knows” because plot need it too. It would also explain why she tells Jon not to forget that Sansa is their family too.

      Besides, Arya didn’t see the Sansa making the super smart decision of marrying a Bolton decision taken in under 2 min at LF’s push, family that betrayed and killed Robb and her mom and held the North. Let’s face it Sansa is the smartest person and Tyrion is the smartest person and Cersei is the smartest person as long as plot needs them too in the end. And even if they were all the smartest person they can still do some stupid shit. All smart people do at some point, that’s how they become so damn smart 😉

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    86. Ginevra,

      I am here with you. PTSD or not PTSD but running away was the the most reasonable thing Theon could do in that situation. He was not a super fighter, he has zero chanches to beat Euron and all his men. But he never gave up upon Yara, he sought help, then he decided that he could do that by himself and he did that.

      Really, is it a new cannon for all the female characters to act like a bunch of spoiled brats? Sansa and Dany both treat Jon like a shit; Arya also seams to be on this “strong female character” hype train (well, she has never met all that many smart persons, right?), Cersei has always been this way but at least she is a villain. Indeed, it looks like feminism is a mistake and that Westeros is in an urgent need of patriarchy, before “strong female characters ruin it with their catfights:)

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    87. Jon Snowed,

      There is a theory that one of the wotw contributors has that says that Jon or Dany ( both Targs) may be the one to sort of take out or kill the NK not with armies but directly, since he thinks that they would lose the WF battle that’s coming up. He may be right and that it is a direct challenge. I think this may be supported by two things:

      1. Beric thinks if you kill the NK directly you kill all of the AOTD because the NK turned all of them.

      2. Jon already challenged Ramsay in a one on one fight before. It introduced the idea that this may happen again. Dragon against dragon, man against NK (?) on their respective dragons.

      Could happen.

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    88. ulfie:
      WEAK episode, They screwEd it up. No real emotion. Seeing lost friends felt like they hadn’t seen eaCH OTHER FOR 1 MONTH OR SO. And the Reveal by Sam should have been monumental. It wasn’t, It felt like meh…

      I disagree completely. There was a lot of emotion and each reunion/meeting reflected the tensions caused by the situation and the changes the characters had undergone during the time they had each been apart. I felt the writers did an excellent job of fitting so much into a single episode.

      We saw flashes of the old Ayra delighted at seeing Jon and Gendry, and unable to keep the smile off her face and yet she remained the cold assassin type she has become. I didn’t feel disappointed by any of the reunions, they all seemed believable given the paths they have all trodden.

      I felt very sorry for Jon; so much thrown at him from all angles – Ayra no longer the little girl he once knew, Bran changed almost beyond recognition, the animosity from the Northerners and his family towards Dany, Sam’s revelation that Dany had shown no mercy to Sam’s kin and then the reveal of his parentage, leaving him in total shock. Kit displayed all the confusion, shock and inner conflict I would have expected to see.

      I felt the episode did not bode well for the future of his relationship with Dany, who seems entrenched in her perceived “right” to be Queen of the seven kingdoms. She’s riding for a fall I feel, at least that’s how see it. Her entire storyline has been her belief in her place on the Iron throne and for that reason, I don’t think it will happen.

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    89. Did you notice, in the end credits : there is a “dragon team” AND just after A “wolf team” listed. Ghost soon ? Nymeria and co ? Hope BOTH !!!

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    90. I think there is a lot of symbolism is Dany riding a black dragon and Jon riding a green one – these were the colors of the two sides in the original dance of dragons conflict and I think they imply a similar war of succession to come.

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    91. Good episode, and a great start to the final season. I know some people thought that we should have had some of the missing reunion scenes, but I felt that there were enough included (and I felt the more important ones); I think any more would have been slightly overbearing.

      I also didn’t feel that the episode was rushed at all with perhaps the exception of the Yara rescue. However, it wasn’t a subplot I was particularly looking forward to, so I’m not too bothered about that. Loved the Yara headbutt!

      It might have been nice to actually see the White Walkers and/or the Night King, but we did get one of most pure-horror scenes ever in Game of Thrones.

      Overall, good start, and I think would probably concur with Sue’s rating of 8/10.

      On a separate note, that is the last episode of Game of Thrones wrritten by dave Hill who has written some great scenes over the years, with Home being my favourite episode of his. Hope to see more of his writing on other shows in the future!

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    92. Was Rhaegal giving Jon the sideeye? Or was it really that Jon has now bonded with him and doesn’t know it? I mean Rhaegal will not obey Dany now, at least from a book perspective. He is Jon’s dragon now after all

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    93. When Dany and Sansa were sniping at each other with an immobile Jon in the middle, it looked like he was reminiscing about the good times at Hardhome.

      The army of the dead are about 5 minutes away, the North is yelling at him, sisters don’t like his gf, gf doesn’t like sisters, gf roasted best friend’s family, best friend doesn’t like his gf, his brother’s being wierd, Dad’s not his Dad, his whole life is a lie, gf might not talk to him anymore, he slept with his aunt and liked it, and then

      Tormund comes with great news.

      No, maybe that is great news – the Night King might be looking pretty nice to Jon now 😉

      FRAN,

      I think those are filming units but I could be wrong. However, I desperately want to see Ghost again.

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    94. Reek:
      Book purist meltdown.https://twitter.com/ADragonDemands/status/1117534191158214657?s=20

      I don’t understand the people who watch a show that clearly causes them so much pain and anguish (and probably health problems as well). If they don’t like the show, well fair enough, but what is seriously the point. Some of the rants and raves I’ve from different people are bordering on insane. It’s fine to criticise, but the sort of stuff these people come out with is ludicrous, and borderline libellous. It’s ridiculous really, because their sensible criticisms get swallowed by the rest of the crap they come out with.

      I mean this guy is one of the editors of the Game of Thrones wiki. Surely a degree of impartiality should be evident on an encyclopedic-type website? No, he treats it as his personal blog. That place used to be a nice place to read some notes on each episode, but the amount of bloat there now is crazy.

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    95. Maise and Kit did good jobs as did Rory McCann when he saw Arya again – with their expressions/acting – but, idk, the reunions felt like ‘obligations met’ by whoever is showrunning/writing/directing this stuff. There just doesn’t seem to any profound love for the characters or their history with each other.

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    96. Poor Bran he was in that same spot for days lol Someone forgot to wheel him back inside – had to sit out there giving death stares…

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    97. Azor Asshai,
      Oh man! You really got my tinfoil going! I have been of the opinion that this baby will be the “little brother” that kills Cersei. Now, after reading your post, could it be that both Jaime and Euron have successfully impregnated her and THAT will be her death?? Ok, removing the burnt tinfoil now…😂

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    98. The Tyrion/Sansa part bugs me. The showrunners have intentionally made Tyrion dumber.

      He spent 7 seasons not trusting Cersei at all and being smart enough to outwit her, and we are supposed to believe he now “trusts” her and its Sansa whose the smart one?

      Not buying it.

      THANK YOU, I thought this same thing. It’s like the gave Sansa the “smart” trait, and they’re doing a diservice to Tyrion having him trust Cercei, when he was ALWAYS the one who had the upper hand when it came to her.

      For real!!! I was not happy with the treatment Dany received!!! And Jon???? What a cad and how awful! He who is forever lecturing others in attempting to win them over, had no such speech prepared to defend his “Queen.” The Queen who risked her life and her dragons lives to save his! No. He sat virtually silent against the silly Northerners and their small prejudices “writ large.” Speaking of silly Northerners, how vile and ill-bred is the “Lady of Winterfell? Not the merest thank you to Queen Daenerys for bringing such massive forces to help them!!! Zero grace of manner or social charm and certainly proving to be no lady.

      I felt this treatment of Dany, and especially Jon not advocating her virtures to the Northern Lords, was the weak point of the episode. Maybe for some queer reason, which is yet to be revealed, the writers saw fit to have Dany treated so outrageously. I’ll give them the benefit of my doubt in this case.

      YES, I 100% agree, I thought this same thing while watching. It is in line with Jon’s character, I mean he’s not the best communicator, he knows what he does is right but he can’t manage to make other people see his point of view. But I felt really bad for Dany, at this point, if they have even a mild of a chance against the White Walkers it’s thanks to her.

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    99. People really hate Sansa don’t they. I think the funniest part was the post about wanting Sansa to apologize to Tyrion, but for what exactly, she didn’t just leave on her own, she was basically kidnapped. Besides, I doubt she’ll have someone to break her out if she was Cersei’s prisoner. And yes, Sansa is smart and every point she made this episode had merit:
      – Cersei shouldn’t be trusted
      – what are they gonna feed everyone
      – jon bending the knee out of love, which really was the case, Dany already offered to help him.

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    100. Just a few of my thoughts:

      Sansa
      Sansa Snark didn‘t bother me. At all. Full stop.

      Yara & Theon
      I know that whole part wasn‘t perfect, but I personally really liked the rescue. They have Greyjoy ships, no one cared if it were Euron‘s or not. A quick in and out. Bye.

      I think the part with Euron talking to Yara was a nod to the books. Doesn‘t Euron have a woman he talks to? Or was it Victarion? Only difference is that her tongue was cut out in the books. Kind of glad Yara still got hers.

      The Dragon Ride
      Loved the „upgraded“ theme. Laughed and giggled through the whole part. The one shot of Jon on Rhaegal reminded me a tad of Harry Potter on his Nimbus 2000 (the Firebolt is probably more appropriate…haha) during Quidditch with his coat flapping in the wind. 😁

      add‘l: D&D saying that only Targaryens can fly dragons is of course their prerogative for the show, but we know that‘s not true in the books. But it‘s fine, whatever.

      Sam
      So satisfyingly entertaining! I think they handled it very well. Also in regards to the scene that followed. I think it was clever that Sam (understandably) was upset going into it. I thought „oh no“ as I watched it, but the tension served the scene and made it that little bit better in my eyes.

      And he is right to ask the question:

      You gave up your crown to save your people. Would she do the same?

      Last Hearth
      Has the scene that made me laugh the most in it and the one which terrified me the most. So good!

      Bronn
      I liked the tidbit about „Eddie“. Which finally buries the rumor that Arya killed the friendly Lannister soldiers. Guess what (all you people who doubted that, I mean) the scene was a parallel to the scene after the Red Wedding with the Frey soldiers, which was only fitting after the Red Wedding revenge. And served to show that she is still compassionate, and doesn‘t kill anyone.

      Arya-Jon reunion
      I wasn‘t crying, but I really liked it. Arya was never more beautiful than in the last shot of this scene, hugging Jon, both their heads in the frame. ❤️

      Though D&D need a slap on the hand for writing that a Valyrian Steel bastard sword is too heavy for Arya. Not that I want her to wield one, it‘s just that VS is specifically described as being significantly lighter (in the books anyways).

      The comment about Sansa “Einstein” Snark did not bother me. 🤷‍♀️ Sansa said Arya is the strongest person she knows and Sansa is the smartest person Arya ever met. Good for them.

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    101. I posted a comment it said it needed to be moderated and approved and it was never posted. That never happened to me before.

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    102. Premiere episode is always about setting the scene and the players, and holy flaming Ned Umber! I was impressed by how jam-packed this episode was in that regard.

      Random thoughts after a fitful night’s sleep:

      I like both Sansa and Dany and at times side with one or the other in this contrived conflict they have been setting up for Jon. Sansa’s perspective is affected by PTSD and she’s not wrong about Cersei, but everyone else who was at the dragon pit believed Cersei (except Euron of course), not just Tyrion. I agree with whoever it was upthread who said that Sansa makes a good peacetime Lady of Winterfell. Unfortunately, she doesn’t see the big picture yet.

      On Dany’s part it frustrated me last season when she demanded that Jon bend the knee, after her big speech in season 6 about breaking the wheel, but she is willing to give everything that she has for Jon’s cause and the only thing he had to give her in return was his fealty. I suspect that Dany wlll do what she always does – prove herself to people by her actions, and specifically by fighting the white walkers and wights with everything she has.

      I know that Theon’s rescue of Yara went quickly, but I think it makes sense. Euron is an arrogant narcissist who believes he more clever and stronger than everyone else around him. His hubris blinds him to the possibility that someone could sneak in while he’s not looking.

      I hope that if Cersei is going to have a miscarriage, we will know it. I think she’s still pregnant and in the wine is probably safer to drink than the water in a time without sanitation and water treatment.

      Sam… poor guy. I know that he’s grieving and angry and it was pprobably the wrong time to tell Jon the truth given his raw feelings, but on the other hand, I can only imagine how Bran would have dealt with that situation. John Bradley’s acting here was stellar.

      I liked the dragon ride. It was fun and the dragons watching mom and step-dad making out was funny.

      Speaking of funny, Tormund and Edd. And they managed to make that scene the creepiest and funniest of the episode at the same time, which is quite an achievement. I didn’t see the fires symbol as Targaryen-like. It wouldn’t have been flaming except for Beric’s sword, but it sure was a horror and very effective. I saw the kid’s eyes open and that scream made me jump.

      I liked Tyrion, Varys and Davos as the three watchers on the wall. I think a marriage between Jon/Aegon and Dany would make the most sense, but I assume that straight-laced Jon will have a problem with the incestuous nature of their relationship now. I actually hope not, but we’ll see.

      I’ve been assuming since the boat sex scene in 7.7 that Dany would become pregnant. Now I’m not so sure. Just like I’m not sure that Cersei will have a miscarriage.

      I loved the new intro with the interiors.

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    103. Nariman,

      Agree so much with this. I saw a few posts saying that Sansa should apologize to Tyrion? Yeah okay he was nice to her… but she was living in a nightmare because of his family. She does not owe him anything

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    104. While nobody was surprised that the *first* dragon to die was named for dany’s less than missed brother, the fact that Aegon mounted the dragon named for his father was a small detail that really carried a lot of weight for me.

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    105. I was all Christmas excited for S8. We’ve waited almost 2 years, and what a disappointment. It felt like they, D&D, were trying to cram everything into the 1st episode. I’m surprised we didn’t get a reveal of who the NK is, in episode 1. Everything was rushed, and felt pushed. They could have seriously stretched this out over 2 episodes, HBO gave them enough money to be able to do so. No, this felt like the first Christmas present you open is a pair of socks, really, D&D? I hope this doesn’t end up being a “LOST” disappointment all over again.

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    106. Nariman:
      – what are they gonna feed everyone

      Sansa wasn’t making a point, though, as in identifying a problem so they could address it. She was broadcasting that Dany and her army are a burden and should leave.

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    107. Can’t please everybody. The episode pleased most of the fans.

      This show has been amazing from the start. So happy it is getting a proper ending and not going on too long.

      I think we are in for some huge surprises. Danny has some anger issues. The Nights King probably isn’t all evil. Jon has a major dilemma now. And Cersei has to die. My guess is that half of the main characters are dead at the end.

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    108. Jack Bauer 24:
      #ForTheThrone

      Did nobody ask Bran how he knew the NK raised Viserion?

      They already know Bran has visions. Bran was the one who wrote to Jon about the White Walkers marching on Eastwatch.

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    109. Dee Stark,

      Feels strange but good to be back. I’ve gotten online for things that I was pretty certain weren’t going to give anything away, and to all intents and purposes they did a good job keeping things under wraps.

      I felt E1 was a bit rushed, I liked how things came together, but it was a whirlwind of happenings. I loved the episode, but it would have been nice to have it be a bit slower, even if it meant 7 episodes instead of 6.:)

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    110. First, I love GOT. Second, I thought the first episode of Season 8 was a little uneven. The conflicts that have to be resolved were presented well. My issue was the ride of Jon and Danerys on the dragons. It was too cutesy. This is GOT not Dumbo.

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    111. Just a few thoughts now that I’ve had some time to process things. First, I’ve always big a firm believer of Arya as valonquar, but after this episode, I’m leaning more toward it being Euron.

      Also, most of the non-fighting shots from the trailer were in this episode, and ALL of the King’s Landings shots were. That’s really interesting to me and makes me wonder if we’ll see Cersei at all next week.

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    112. WhiteWalkingFool: No, Tyrion is definetley up to something … and Sansa caught him out on it. The only evidence for this is the cut off on the Cersei / Tyrion scene and the worried stare Tyrion gives during the boat scene (both in the season 7 finale). What it means is yet to be seen, but Tyrion is not “dumb” all of a sudden.

      Add to that evidence the stare down Bran gives him in this episode.

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    113. ulfie,

      I couldn’t agree more.

      What a terrible episode.

      Everything was so forced and rushed it had no flow or momentum to it. The build up and greatness of the last 2 seasons has crashed and burned after last night. I can’t wait for the books and George to complete it correctly.

      I get that we were super excited and happy for it to be back on, but I cannot agree with anyone who thought this episode was even remotely enjoyable. To each his own I guess.

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    114. Sean C.,

      Ironic comment coming from the one Arya considers “the smartest person she ever met”. How smart can she be if she doesn’t recognize that Dany, her dragons, and her armies are there to save her, and that Jon did whatever it took to procure that help. She should be grateful, not snarky. Ugh.. Sansa! I used to love her, too.

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    115. Princess Shireen: THANK YOU, I thought this same thing. It’s like the gave Sansa the “smart” trait, and they’re doing a diservice to Tyrion having him trust Cercei, when he was ALWAYS the one who had the upper hand when it came to her.

      Actually, not true. Cersei checkmated him when she located and turned Shae on him during his trial. That was all Cersei. Jamie let him out – Tyrion didn’t clever his way out.

      I think Tyrion gets too much credit. A lot of the times, he’s getting out of trouble by sheer luck, rescued in the nick of time by various saviors (Bronn, Pod, Oberyn, Jamie, Varys)

      Tyrion also specifically took credit for things he didn’t do, namely it was Cersei’s idea to use wildfire against Stannis. Tyrion only knew about it at all b/c Lancel was spying for him. So yeah, Tyrion was good at routing out moles and working the spy network, but some of his greatest achievements were not wholly his own. He was basically useless in Meereen. Varys went off to get Dany her allies. What has Tyrion even actually done for Dany?

      In fact, what ARE his actual achievements? I mean we love him because he slapped Joffrey and was nice to various people who no one else was nice to. I’m not saying he’s totally useless, but Tyrion pads his resume.

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    116. Soonersfan1983:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      How did he know she lost a dragon then?

      I meant Aegon and Dany don’t know that Bran is the 3 eyed raven. So when Bran tells them that they don’t have time for the squabbling because NK is on his way and has Viserion, not only did Dany barely react to the news that Viserion was raised, her and Aegon didn’t question Bran as to how he knew this.

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    117. Sue,

      Thanks so much for the recap. I missed the liveblog as I couldn’t avert my eyes from the screen.
      All in all a very satisfying episode. Many reunions / introductions / reveals and a great setup for episode 2. No spoiler intended but I think episode 2 will continue where ep 1 left off. The biggest issue will be how Jon deals with the issue of his parentage and claim to the throne. I only wish that Sam hadn’t brought it in such a distressed state. It may have had more credibility otherwise although I know that Jon trusts Sam implicitly. It will be interesting to see how it plays out with such pressing matters at hand. I have a feeling that the prelude to the ‘battle’ will be laid out in episode 2, precluded by Tormund/Beric/Edds’ arrival at Winterfell (if they make it). D&D, please don’t make Tormund into a real blue eyes! Seems like the Glovers will be the next fodder for the NK’s army.
      Still don’t know how Yara plans to hold the Iron Islands with 3 ships??? Especially after dropping Theon. I think Yara has had enough of the North!
      Cersei, will she wait for the battle to be over or will Harry Strickland have a larger role to play given that the Golden Company is known to have a Targaryan connection.
      So many question…only 7 days to go! Ghost where are u???

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    118. Young Dragon: They already know Bran has visions. Bran was the one who wrote to Jon about the White Walkers marching on Eastwatch.

      It was never said he wrote the scroll. I could have been Sansa or Bran. Regardless, it said Bran saw the AotD marching to Eastwatch. How would Aegon deduce that Bran was the 3 Eyed Raven from that one line? The scroll didn’t say Bran saw a “vision” of them. It just said he saw them. He barely reacted to the news anyway. If he even remotely thought Bran was the 3 eyed raven, he should have looked more shocked or confused in that scene.

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    119. In a hilarious turn of events, my flight was blessedly delayed and it worked out great because I watched the premiere from JFK and I was probably the only one happy to be delayed because my flight did NOT offer WiFi.

      And poor little Ned. That reminded me of the scene way back in S1E1 with the child pinned onto a tree and awakening as a wight. I honestly don’t see the Targaryen significance other than the fire. The Whites always used the swirl symbol in past seasons the only difference this time was that it was lit on fire.

      And I have to agree with Sue (And Finrannion who posted about it previously) about the comparison to Gendry’s “As you Wish” to the Princess Bride. Honestly, it’s hard NOT to compare it to the movie since that line is synonymous with Buttercup and Westley. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the Bran-Jaime interaction next week. Such a tease to end them staring at one another!

      Also, it’s still not apparent to me that the Golden Company knows who they will be fighting against? I’m assuming that perhaps Euron mentioned this to them on the trip back to King’s Landing … or perhaps they accepted the contract without knowing who they’re actually fighting against?? Either way, I’m ok with their not being elephants and how quickly Yara’s rescue was.

      Lastly, that was a HILARIOUS Ed Sheeran reference between the prostitutes and Bronn. Poor Eddie the ginger returning home with this face burned off. “How does he sleep without eyelids?”

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    120. Jack Bauer 24,

      A crippled boy saw the army of the dead and managed to get away? No. The fact Jon wasn’t surprised by this indicates that they explained Bran’s visions in the letter. Remember, we don’t know the full contents of it. Could they have explained it better, of course, but it is what it is.

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    121. Young Dragon:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      A crippled boy saw the army of the dead and managed to get away? No. The fact Jon wasn’t surprised by this indicates that they explained Bran’s visions in the letter. Remember, we don’t know the full contents of it. Could they have explained it better, of course, but it is what it is.

      True, but even when Aegon reunited with Bran in the premeire, Bran said he was “almost a man” and Aegon looked at him funny. If he knows Bran is the 3 eyed raven, why would Aegon react like that?

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    122. Love that we now have the episode counter!

      I was thinking it would help Tyrion/Jaime some if someone reminds the North again that the Lannister vs. Stark feud was all setup by LF. But it probably won’t help much. There won’t be much time to talk about it, since the dead are coming. The dead aren’t squabbling among themselves.

      Kit had an interview about the history of Jon Snow where he says something like,….”Sansa, Sansa…Sansa…” and he goes on to show how much his character is annoyed by her always doubting him. I thought his line in this episode was great when he said something like “don’t you even have a little faith in me” (i’m paraphrasing). I think they will come together somehow. Arya will be the bridge maker for the sake of the family. The thing is that Jon and Arya are pretty much all about fighting and protecting. Sansa was never a physical warrior, so she learned the game. You can really see how Sansa is speaking and acting more and more like Cersei (her mentor).

      I loved the part where Jon shows Arya his sword knowing that she would appreciate it!

      As an Arya fan, I couldn’t have been more excited about episode 68 and where it will take her this season. Unlike some others, I liked her reunion with the Sandor. There will be much more to come. I am truly impressed by Maisie’s performance and how she takes on Arya’s cold demeanor while still letting out a rush of emotion on occasion with a smile and a comforting heartfelt hug. This character’s demeanor is so polar opposite to the other roles Maisie has played so far in her movies and stage performances. Hopefully it’s not her role of a lifetime and someone eventually can write something for her that is complex and compelling and not just a troubled teenager or some other cliched character.

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    123. Jack Bauer 24: It was never said he wrote the scroll. I could have been Sansa or Bran. Regardless, it said Bran saw the AotD matching to Eastwatch. How would Aegon deduce that Bran was the 3 Eyed Raven from that one line? The scroll didn’t say Bran saw a “vision” of them. It just said he saw them. He barely reacted to the news anyway. If he even remotely thought Bran was the 3 eyed raven, he should have looked more shocked or confused in that scene.

      I think we can assume that some catch up happened between the reveal and getting everyone settled in the great hall. It’s clear that the scene picks up mid-meeting anyway. We don’t need a repeat of all that exposition. We can assume that Sansa told Jon and Dany the same thing she told Arya: Bran has visions. Neither Jon nor Dany are going to think that’s weird b/c of their own experiences with wargs, visions, and various other supernatural events.

      Also, I don’t think we know verbatim what was in Sansa’s message to Jon anyway. They often paraphrase b/c it would be boring listening to characters read scrolls out loud.

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    124. Reek,

      Good call Reek. Clearly I am not a fan of the show. I only watch the show, follow WotW and post a comment about the show less than 24 hours later. Obviously if I thought last nights episode was aweful, I must be a hater!

      The only thing that was true to form last night was the bit at Last Hearth. Even that was a bit off of Tormund’s character. Instead of a cheesy ” I’ve always had blue eyes!” it would have been more Tormund to say “I’ve got a cock and three balls too!” He always has crude/hard manly joke to say or tell. The blue eyes line sounded more like something Sam would have replied.

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    125. JenStar Runner: I think we can assume that some catch up happened between the reveal and getting everyone settled in the great hall. It’s clear that the scene picks up mid-meeting anyway. We don’t need a repeat of all that exposition. We can assume that Sansa told Jon and Dany the same thing she told Arya: Bran has visions. Neither Jon nor Dany are going to think that’s weird b/c of their own experiences with wargs, visions, and various other supernatural events.

      Also, I don’t think we know verbatim what was in Sansa’s message to Jon anyway. They often paraphrase b/c it would be boring listening to characters read scrolls out loud.

      Well then if Aegon/Dany were caught up to speed before the meeting in the Great Hall, that means they weren’t fully aware of Bran’s situation. That just reinforces the point that Jon didn’t know Bran was the 3ER yet and didn’t question how Bran saw the AotD when he received the scroll last season.

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    126. Jack Bauer 24: True, but even when Aegon reunited with Bran in the premeire, Bran said he was “almost a man” and Aegon looked at him funny. If he knows Bran is the 3 eyed raven, why would Aegon react like that?

      I don’t think anyone other than Bran and Meera know what the Three Eyed Raven even is. Sansa describes it as “visions.” Sam describes it as “whatever it is.” So, knowing something is going on with Bran from letters from home won’t quite prepare you for the reality when you see it. I took that look to mean that he wasn’t expecting Bran to be a total weirdo now.

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    127. Wolfish,

      I didn’t guess that the friend Bran was waiting for was Jaime, but what an episode ending, indeed! I’m waiting for Jaime to reunite with Brienne, I hope her being at Winterfell will help.
      Hardly can I believe now how much I hated Jaime during season one, but Bran’s defenestration was what hooked me (I started reading the books after the first season). The bathtub scene made me reconsider Jaime’s character completely.

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    128. Jack Bauer 24,

      He probably heard of Bran’s visions, but until you meet him in person, you can’t see how much he has changed (not just physically). Jon has known wildling Wargs, so the concept of being able to see through a raven’s eyes wouldn’t be foreign to him. But he really has no idea what it means that Bran is not really Bran anymore.

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    129. TheWalkingWolf:
      What a terrible episode.

      Everything was so forced and rushed it had no flow or momentum to it.The build up and greatness of the last 2 seasons has crashed and burned after last night.I can’t wait for the books and George to complete it correctly.

      I get that we were super excited and happy for it to be back on, but I cannot agree with anyone who thought this episode was even remotely enjoyable.To each his own I guess.

      To each his own, indeed. I think everyone who remotely enjoyed the episode is just fine without your agreement.

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    130. TheWalkingWolf:
      ulfie,

      I couldn’t agree more.

      What a terrible episode.

      Everything was so forced and rushed it had no flow or momentum to it.The build up and greatness of the last 2 seasons has crashed and burned after last night.I can’t wait for the books and George to complete it correctly.

      I get that we were super excited and happy for it to be back on, but I cannot agree with anyone who thought this episode was even remotely enjoyable.To each his own I guess.

      It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t any worse than the last two seasons.

      Overall it was a decent opener.

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    131. Caroline R:
      Sean C.,

      Ironic comment coming from the one Arya considers “the smartest person she ever met”.How smart can she be if she doesn’t recognize that Dany, her dragons, and her armies are there to save her, and that Jon did whatever it took to procure that help. She should be grateful, not snarky. Ugh.. Sansa! I used to love her, too.

      Yeah, Sansa of House Snark has become unbearable, and it’s a little annoying to be constantly told how smart she is without ever seeing it.

      Also, she knew Jon was leaving to find allies. Sure, she didn’t want him to bend the knee, and that’s fine, but she knew the objective was to bring allied armies back to WF to fight.
      So why is she acting like needing to feed said allies is some unforeseen issue ?

      And more importantly, why doesn’t she understand that the point will be moot if the Army of the Dead kill everyone ? Feeding people is only even remotely a concern if you survive the White Walkers.

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    132. Mike Flohr: Cersei lost the baby. She’s drinking and when Euron said I’ll put a baby in you she teared up.

      The tear might be an indication of that, but not the drinking: the idea that drinking alcohol is bad for fetuses is a very, very new one. (As in, most of our mothers still thought it was OK to drink while pregnant!)

      Still, that would be a sort of arbitrary turn of events, wouldn’t it?

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    133. That was a very solid episode. It had a lot to do, but did so at a very brisk pace. (A lot of the first episodes have tended to lag a bit.) It’s early, but it looks like they are setting up a story about the price of unity.

      However, as a scientist, it was all too near to home. Here they are, faced with a horrible threat that only a few of them truly comprehend, but because only a few of them comprehend the extent of it, almost none of them are taking it seriously enough. It’s all become an accidental metaphor for climate change!

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    134. We already know Jamie arrives without an army. However, just how much of the Lannister Army is left? Showwise (no book stuff)… I guess the Highgarden assault army was not that big? But they were wiped out. How many at Casterly Rock? I guess there could be quite a few left?
      So the Vale of Arryn knights seemed untouched in the BoB, so lots of them and I don’t think they brought everybody.
      The Dorne army still exits? They could not all have been sailors, tho Dorne seems written out of the story.
      Can or will the Iron Islands enter the war on the right side?
      Lots of other possible armies were never see on the show that could still be around
      I mean supposedly Edmure Tully is supposed to show up will he come with an army?
      … are the Hill Tribes just gonna take it laying down?

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    135. TormundsWoman:
      Jon Snowed,

      There is a theory that one of the wotw contributors has that says that Jon or Dany ( both Targs) may be the one to sort of take out or kill the NK not with armies but directly, since he thinks that they would lose the WF battle that’s coming up. He may be right and that it is a direct challenge. I think this may be supported by two things:

      1. Beric thinks if you kill the NK directly you kill all of the AOTD because the NK turned all of them.

      2. Jon already challenged Ramsay in a one on one fight before. It introduced the idea that this may happen again. Dragon against dragon, man against NK (?) on their respective dragons.

      Could happen.

      So I would think of this as less of a theory and more of the book prophecy for Azor Ahai Reborn (and The Prince That Was Promised) and Lightbringer, where fan theories are that Jon or Dany or both are AAR/TPTWP. AAR and/or TPTWP will be the one to defeat the Others, and AAR will most likely be a Targaryen dragonrider since “the dragon has three heads.” Jon and Dany are both looking like excellent candidates. I lean more toward Jon since I think Lightbringer is a dragon-forged (Valyrian steel) literal sword that has already proven to be capable of killing Others. The look the NK gives Jon when he kills the Other with Longclaw is telling, too. And Beric’s lit sword is fueled by his reborn blood where Beric and Jon were reborn in the same way.

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    136. A very meh episode for me honestly. I thought about 90% of what happened could have easily happened offscreen. Only about the last 10 minutes or so really moved the plot along. That’s perfectly fine if this was a normal 10 episode arc but it’s not. I didn’t hate the episode, but I didn’t love it either.

      Also the Northern political stuff is so contrived. I’m watching those scenes and thinking to myself just get on with it already, please.

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    137. If I had to sum up this episode, I’d say it’s a bit like an uncomfortable Christmas when you’re happy to see some of the people and anxious about others. And then a couple of people show up who weren’t invited, and you didn’t plan enough food and you’re not sure where you’re going to put them up.

      Only it’s not a joyous occasion, so I’m fine that the reunions were muted. It would have been weird otherwise. Given the threat and the trauma literally every character has been through, I wasn’t expecting an “oh heeey, so great to see you! What have you been doing all this time? Let’s go have a glass a wine and fill me in on everything. I heard you have a new job. I want to hear all about it.”

      I enjoyed the Jon and Dany date with their dragons. It was nice to cut away from all the tension back at Winterfell. And though it was cheesy, it was still a kind of a throw back to some of the dialog with Ned and Catelyn, Robb and Talisa, or even Tyrion and Shae (“my lion” 🤢) . Genuine affection always comes off a bit corny given everything else going on in this story. But mainly I think this was a set up for Jon to learn how to ride Rhaegal so he is ready for the battle. We’d all be complaining that it was unrealistic that he knew what to do right away.

      But sadly, all signs point to a fall out with Jon and Dany. It’s not a good sign when your family is so guarded. The comment Arya made while hugging Jon reminded me of the time Cersei threatened Jamie while hugging him. I didn’t interpret Arya’s statement as supportive. It had a hint of threat to me.

      And Jon is not a stragic thinker. Even Jeor Mormont was on his case about that multiple times. Sansa may not fully appreciate the White Walker threat (no one does until they see them. She’s not an outlier in that regard), she does see the bigger picture of Westeros politics and she knows that Jon is outmatched with Tyrion/Varys advising Dany. She has been inadvertently mentored by the best, so Jon would do well to let her counsel him. I suspect he doesn’t fully appreciate what she’s been through and what she’s learned along the way. And she does learn. She hasn’t made the same mistake twice.

      Given what Jon told Dany on the Dragonstone beach about not being like the rest of them, I think the news about her executing the Tarly’s is/will continue to eat at him. Dany complaining about Sansa not being more congenial doesn’t help. Sam’s last words about whether or not Dany would give up a crown to save her people is now the biggest seed of doubt to be planted.

      I’m wondering if Jon will even tell her. I’m really intrigued how this will come out. I can’t imagine trying to break that news to her. I think he will plan to keep it to himself at least until after the battle, but everything she says and does going forward will continue to nurture those seeds of doubt. That comment Sophie Turner made about Jon thinking with his junk makes more sense now. He is going to be wrestling with feelings and the reality that Dany can be quite brutal and uncompromising in ways that undermine her goodness. And of course, how awkward the next time she leans in for a kiss and he’s thinking “this is my aunt.” Wow, this is a hot mess!

      Meanwhile, I think Cersei is still preggers and that weird look she gave as Euron was leaving showed a bit of regret/vulnerability. She knows how far she’s fallen, bottom feeding with a Greyjoy.

      I also agree that the Yara rescue was a bit underwhelming though I like what it says about Euron’s hubris. But that beach scene and the “For Yara” chanting in Season 7 kind of built up at least a bit of a fight. What we got was more of a seal team mission, which didn’t quite fit. Someone above said that Theon is not much of a fighter, and I would argue against that. Theon trained with Robb and Jon and was noted early on for his marksmanship when he saved Bran from the wildling. And after one of the offscreen battles, Theon and Robb were boasting about their kills. I think Theon is meant to be a better than average fighter if he can compartmentalize his PTSD. Since he wasn’t in any of the trailers, I think he’s got a significant role to play that they’re keeping under wraps.

      Overall, I really enjoyed the episode, but I like all of them. I’m an easy to please fan.

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    138. orange: Also the Northern political stuff is so contrived. I’m watching those scenes and thinking to myself just get on with it already, please.

      It’s not remotely contrived: it’s exactly how people always behave. Wars almost always create two sides: but those alliances du bellum do not alter pre-existing grudges between allies.

      This has come up almost every year since Series 4: a lot of viewers expect that people are going to finally wake up and realize “Oh my gods (old and new), the White Walkers are back!!!! We’ve got to drop everything and deal with that!!!” The simple truth is that, even now, 99% of them have zero clue how great the threat is bearing down on them. Yes, it’s a problem that they must solve: but it’s only marginally greater a problem than a Targaryen Queen or the Lannisters in their minds.

      I suspect that next episode and episode 3 will be the big “holy fuck, why didn’t you tell us what we were facing?!?!?!?” experience for most of the characters. After that, the survivors will probably be singing kumbah-yah. However, until they actually experience the Army of the Dead first hand, do not expect them to treat it as a bigger threat than the Targaryens or the Lannisters: after all, many of them have experienced those threats first-hand.

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    139. Personally I didn’t mind how long the Dragon ride went for, it was actually an important part of Jons Targaryen arc just before he found out about his legitimacy so it wasn’t just “some date”

      The reunion I am looking for is Jon and Ghost, more specifically Jon, Ghost and Rhaegal…

      Special probs to Bradley, genuinely felt the emotion of him hearing about his Dad and Dickon. Good that they had Dany have to face up to telling him, and right next to Jorah for whom he did a selfless deed. An important lesson for Dany to learn to consequence of arrogant hubris

      All in all they did well in so many areas. I always imagined Bran briefing everyone in front of the Weir Tree but having Jon being told in the crypts makes a lot of sense – and by his NW buddy Sam.

      Obviously he is right near his Mother (and Uncle), but in a sense he submerges as Jon Snow and that part of him “dies” and emerges as Aegon Targaryen VI, plus he would be leaving the renouncement of that Crown when he joined the NW so it’s like the death and birth symbology we’ve seen

      Obviously marrying Jon and Dany makes a lot of sense, but he only gave up the Crown of KitN emplaced on him, giving up the Targaryen Crown is another matter. But what he said about “earning” it will come back once again, as his entire arc from belittled Bastard of Winterfell to now have revolved around earning respect and recognition, starting with saving Joer Mormont leading to him getting his Hero’s sword etc

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    140. Ginevra: I lean more toward Jon since I think Lightbringer is a dragon-forged (Valyrian steel) literal sword that has already proven to be capable of killing Others. The look the NK gives Jon when he kills the Other with Longclaw is telling, too.

      I still think that our last “holy EF” moment is going to alter all of that: but we shall see!

      One thing that I think is a huge foreshadowing of what is to come: Jon’s realization that his incredibly honorable father did something very dishonorable in order to do something still more honorable. I’ve long thought that this is going to describe Jon’s actions at the climax of the story: and it’s aftermath for him.

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    141. Boy, that was a painful watch at times. It really is a shame that they’ve had to shorten the seasons, because all subtlety has gone out of the window as they try to cram as much into every episode as possible.

      It feels like none of the relationships have any room to breathe anymore. And the dialogue and acting seriously leave a lot to be desired at times. But again, I think that primarily results from having to squeeze everything into fewer episodes. Actors having to try and naturally deliver unnatural, heavy-handed exposition is bound to be a struggle.

      Anyway, the episode still had its moments. I enjoyed Jon and Bran’s, Jon and Arya’s, and Arya and Gendry’s reunions; although all are examples of how little room there is for these relationships to breathe. Within moments of reuniting, they’re shoehorning extraneous plot points into the equation.

      I thought Cersei and Euron’s scenes were decent.

      I enjoyed seeing Jon riding Rhaegal, although everything else around that was kinda bizarre. That moment when Jon glanced over Dany’s shoulder while they were kissing and saw Drogon just staring at them like a creep was so weird. I’m trying to work out the exact point of that moment (a hint at betrayal? I dunno), which will probably become clear in the next couple of episodes. But in the moment it was just unintentionally ludicrous.

      The Last hearth scenes were good.

      I’m also very glad to see that Bronn stayed in King’s Landing, as he clearly would, where there are women and warmth and gold and a Queen to serve and no threat of imminent death; rather than mindlessly go trotting off after Jaime, as some insisted he would.

      And Qyburn ran interference between Lena Headey and Jerome Flynn, as I expected the character would. That scene was quite funny too: Qyburn – “Poor girl. The pox will take her within the year” Bronn – “*cough* Which girl?”.

      I hated Theon’s rescue of Yara. What a terrible anticlimax. I can only assume that they couldn’t figure out how to fit a larger part for Yara around Gemma Whelan’s pregnancy etc. and now Alfie/Theon’s off to film/fight at Winterfell alone.

      I’m also glad to see that Sam didn’t take the execution of his father and brother well. And that the Northerners are angry with Jon’s decision to give away his crown. Some people were so insistent that this stuff wouldn’t matter – some even suggested that Sam would be glad Dany killed them – that it was a relief to see that there is still some logical consistency to the characters’ behaviour.

      There needed to be consequences for major decisions, ones which they were at great pains to telegraph last season, otherwise this show just becomes a hollow imitation of its former self.

      I seriously hope and expect the series to improve over the next few episodes.

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    142. Ghost’s Lunch: Personally I didn’t mind how long the Dragon ride went for, it was actually an important part of Jons Targaryen arc just before he found out about his legitimacy so it wasn’t just “some date”

      I thought that it was cute and added an important human element to this. Even when hell is breaking lose all around, two kids can start crushing madly on one another.

      It’s a lot like Greyworm & Missandei, or (I suspect!) Arya & Gendry: a symbol of the “humanity” for which they are fighting.

      Oh, and: I REALLY REALLY WANT A DRAGON!!!!!

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    143. Jack Bauer 24: Well then if Aegon/Dany were caught up to speed before the meeting in the Great Hall, that means they weren’t fully aware of Bran’s situation. That just reinforces the point that Jon didn’t know Bran was the 3ER yet and didn’t question how Bran saw the AotD when he received the scroll last season.

      I’m saying a couple of things could have transpired:
      1) he knew nothing per usual and he asked all the questions and got up-to-speed prior to the meeting in the great hall. He wasn’t going to act shocked and weirded out in front of literally everyone (Pod and Brienne were standing behind Sansa for anyone that was looking for them)
      OR
      2) he already new something about BranVision from Sansa’s correspondence while he was at Dragonstone and that was why he didn’t say anything. And that weird look was the reality of seeing what Bran has become sinking in. As I said in a different comment, no one but Bran and Meera knows what the 3 eyed raven is. So even if Sansa wrote him a letter and said: “Bran has returned from beyond the wall transformed into the Three Eyed Raven and now has visions and can warg,” the only bits of data that can be cross-referenced is “visions and warging” “The Three Eyed Raven” has no log entry in anyone’s awareness.

      I’m totally unbothered by which of these scenarios is true. It didn’t need to be hashed out on screen since we, the audience, already know.

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    144. JenStar Runner: Meanwhile, I think Cersei is still preggers and that weird look she gave as Euron was leaving showed a bit of regret/vulnerability. She knows how far she’s fallen, bottom feeding with a Greyjoy.

      That makes a little more sense from the perspective of story, at least to me. One thing that the show rarely has been is arbitrary: and Cersei having an offscreen miscarriage would be pretty damned arbitrary.

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    145. Jack Bauer 24:
      New “The Game Revealed” https://youtu.be/DkdbetJTZGA

      Thanks Jack. I don’t how else to say it, but this was totally awesome.
      It could be a bit of a spoiler on who survives so I’ll hide it… but I noticed something in one of the interviews.

      did you notice Maise’s new scar? I wonder if that’s after the battle for winterfell is over. She was hit in the head pretty good in the trailer when she was running. I think everyone probably assumed she survived the battle, but you never know… I’m thinking this confirms it… It’ looks like Beric’s interview was also shot later on and he was all bloody from one of his battles.

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    146. @Ramsay’s 20th Good Man Good point about Gemma’s pregnancy. Probably why the rescue mission was so short and in the premeire. It’s all the could probably film.

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    147. ThisGirlHasNoName,

      BINGO! I said the same thing! She is completely uninterested in the throne room at first, but as she walks away, it’s almost as if it hits her “with Jamie gone, I may need this cover story later…and won’t Jamie be PISSED. No one walks away from me!”

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    148. Meg,

      Eh, possibly but again just sloppy writing. Its as if that scene was to show Sansa is smarter than Tyrion now, or imply it, which is crazy. I just rewatched season 2 and Tyrion is sharp as a fox. He hasnt gotten dumber. The show has just made him seem that way.

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    149. Ginevra,

      Since Mesandi mentioned to Dany that in High Valyrian (I think) there aren’t separate words for Prince and Princess, that it’s fairly ambiguous, I have had this constant feeling that TPTWP is Arya. Now bear with me here. Arya is the only character I can recall that could technically be either. She has been Arya then ‘Arry then Arya again. Melisandre has never been particularly accurate with her prophecy talk and that makes me think that this is part of the confusion.
      I could also be absolutely bloody miles off aswell.

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    150. Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface:
      Meg,

      Eh, possibly but again just sloppy writing. Its as if that scene was to show Sansa is smarter than Tyrion now, or imply it, which is crazy. I just rewatched season 2 and Tyrion is sharp as a fox. He hasnt gotten dumber. The show has just made him seem that way.

      Hear hear!

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    151. Wimsey,

      Didn’t Cersie’s act of foregoing wine when Tyrion approached her after the Dragonpit meeting clue Tyrion in on to her being pregnant?

      I find it more likely that she is pretending not to be pregnant – by sipping wine and sleeping with Euron – to guarantee Euron’s continued loyalty until the war is over and he becomes disposable…

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    152. “Can I just say how much I appreciate Arya acknowledging that Sansa is the smartest person she knows”

      Except that it is a totally unfounded claim. I get it, Sue, you’re a female so you think you just need to support poor Sansa for everything she’s gone through. But still she is NOT smart, let alone the smartest person Arya knows. She has done NOTHING particularly smart ever.

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    153. Jon and Arya literally had a longer scene in this episode than in season one, and yet the complaint is they didn’t have enough room to breath? What would some of you preferred? I thought it was absolutely nailed, given that they knew the other was alive. The smile and giggle from Arya as she jumps into Jon’s arms was perfection. The side of Arya’s humanity that hasn’t been seen since the early seasons, was evident here. I loved it.

      I can only imagine how much whinging we will have to wade through this season from some fans who can’t move on from their head canon.

      Even Jon’s dragon ride was super important, and had to happen before the big battle. Who cares if it was a bit campy? They are riding dragons, that alone is campy. And the sight gags of Drogon staring down Jon as he makes out with his mother was a harmless light hearted moment. But the people who are upset only seem to want the dark and dreariness. Any foolishness or lightheartedness is an affront to GRRM’s books and doesn’t fit with tone of the show.

      Anyway. I enjoyed it.

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    154. Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,

      Sansa distrusts everyone and I mean everyone. She distrusts Jon who is the most trustworthy person in the entire seven kingdoms to his own detriment. And Jon wasn’t wrong when he told Arya that Sansa thinks she’s smarter than everyone else. Sansa does believe that. And this isn’t to minimize her intelligence, she is smart but people who think themselves more clever than everyone else tend to end up like Little Finger. So Sansa, Cersei and Tyrion should watch out.

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    155. It’s back!! YAY!!!

      The good, the confusing, and the oh sh**

      Good:
      Arya’s face the entire episode. The genuine excitement at seeing Jon and Gendry, the confused consternation with Sandor. The reunions with all three (she keeps making Sandor smile, Jon was so happy to see her he almost cried, and Gendry was awkward flirting-so YES!!!)
      Jon rushing to Bran and kissing his head. *sob*
      Jon making Dany smile like she’s never smiled before. Even with Daario it was a sexy smirk, not complete happiness.
      Davos being smart and awesome.
      Did I mention Gendry and Arya? “As you wish” They are so getting together. He likes it there too, so my headcanon is just going crazy right now.
      Theon saving his sister and then really wanting to go face army of the dead with the Starks. Redemption unlocked.
      Tormund and Edd-I wish they were in all the scenes. That’s all.
      Jaime’s back. He looks terrified, but I’m betting Bran and Brienne will stand up for him. Can’t wait for Brienne and Jaime reunion, and yes, Tormund.

      Confusing:
      Arya calling Sansa smartest person she knows. It just seemed-I mean I get she’s standing by family, but she could have said, “Sansa has been through a lot. She’s trying to protect the family and she’s got reasons to distrust people who come in making big promises” or something. Jon was definitely surprised by that. She looked so peaceful in his arms, but that stuck with me because it almost felt like a gentle warning. Also Jon has no idea what Arya has been through, even though Gendry and the Hound are right there in Winterfell and he’s hung out with both of them. “Have you ever used Needle”? You have no idea, buddy.

      Sansa-now her issues were A LOT more understandable than they were in season 6 and 7-giant army, dragons, Jon giving away his power and putting them under the control of someone who isn’t family again. But she was abnormally rude to a chick who brought giant fire breathing dragons with her. Maybe she just can’t pretend anymore, but it doesn’t seem smart to rile this particular queen right away. Also her private conversation with Jon almost sounded jealous? I wasn’t expecting to see that at all, but I did.

      The North-I’m including Lyanna in this because come on! He said it. He said he was leaving to get allies and dragon glass. He got the biggest army of allies ever and all the dragon glass. And everyone is hung up on King in the North. He should have brought a white walker demonstration to that meeting. People are not taking this situation seriously!

      The dragon ride: Was wonderful and amazing and I get they needed a happy moment but it was a little weird because she didn’t say anything like-if the night king is riding my dragon-I need to make sure both my remaining children are protected and you’ve already died so let’s give this a shot.
      OR They like you. I’ve noticed how much. Let’s see if Rhaegal lets you ride him
      Nope, just hang on, hope you don’t die, I’m not sure because I’ve never let anyone else anywhere near my dragons but you do that thing with your tongue so I’m sure you’ll survive.

      Oh sh**:
      Cersei either isn’t and was never pregnant, or she lost baby, or she doesn’t care because being with Euron was so gross she needed a drink. Either way, she’s truly lost now-as if we didn’t know that before. And she really wanted those elephants I guess.

      Dany is not listening to any advice about earning trust and giving Northerners time. She also sounded a little threatening when she was talking about Sansa, and was a bit too abrupt with the whole I killed your dad and brother chat with Sam (who was AMAZING and made me cry).
      Also Dany-her baby just got turned into a weapon for the white walkers, destroyed the wall and her other babies aren’t eating. There’s no reaction time for any of that? She’s so in love that I didn’t notice until it was over, but it seems a little out of character. Or they didn’t have time to deal with it onscreen.
      BTW Drogon’s look could have been a warning or it could have been interest. These dragons like Jon a lot. I think Drogon wants to be friends. (But it was very funny scene and laughed out loud)

      Sam is not happy with Dany and Jorah looked really uncomfortable too. Dany told Jon she had fewer enemies now, but didn’t mention she’d burned the Tarly family. That’s rough. I think he’s a little oblivious when it comes to Dany. Love is blind?
      And Jon looked like he was going to lose it when he got told rather abruptly that Lyanna and Rhaegar were his parents. Sam didn’t mention they were in love, but he did say legitimate so there’s that.

      If you think about it, Sam has been the driving force behind all of Jon’s promotions. He kept him in the NW, he let him know he was being groomed, he put his name in for LC and really worked that vote. And now, he wants him to be the one true king. This is what happens when you save a bookworm from a bully. I feel like this isn’t over at all.

      Tyrion keeps looking guilty and I don’t like it. Varys is also suspiciously unhappy. Wtf guys?

      What is it with the Night King pinning children to walls and trees and the body part art? I mean, that was horrifying. I get it, it’s a message, but I’m dying for someone-probably Bran, to read this morbid language and finally figure out his purpose.

      Speaking of Bran… Why isn’t someone watching over him? He was in the freezing courtyard the entire time. Was he hungry? Did he have to pee? You don’t know, because you have literally no one around to look after his needs.

      ALL that being said, I cried and laughed and woohooed and was so incredibly happy to see all the reunions and a little bit of levity before the carnage begins. Did I mention Arya and Gendry? And Jaime and Brienne are now in same location and on the same side?
      So, yeah, I’m ready for episode 2 right now!

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    156. the best bit was definitely the look on drogons face, you could see him thinking shall i risk frying him, no better not i might fry mum too right then i’m going to narrow my eyes, because sometime in the future you’re going to be a snack matey , if you don’t stop doing that with my mum

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    157. I note on the predictor thread http://watchersonthewall.com/predictions-game-of-thrones-season-8-episode-titles/ a lot of people guessed “Winterfell” as an episode title for episode 1. A lot of people thought it might be episode 3, and until we see that episode and what title it has, who knows, but I don’t think it was a particularly strong title for this episode. I doubt we’ll have another episode with ‘Winterfell” in the title this season (ruling out “Battle of Winterfell”), so I’m intrigued about the other titles for sure.

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    158. Is anyone else surprised by Dany’s lack of reaction about learning Viserion is a zombie? Later, with Jon and her dragons, she simply says they don’t like the north – rather than, they mourn their brother, etc. Given time restraints, I understand if they didn’t dwell on grief. My guess is that GRRM-less writing is the cause, though I’d be curious to know your opinions.
      Any thoughts on Dany’s “we could stay a thousand years..”? On one hand, its a callback to Ygritte. I also thought of the white walkers staying hidden for thousands of years, as wildings have repeatedly said in previous seasons. I remembered Dany’s House of Undying vision of walking north beyond the wall, away from the throne, and her baby. Is it tin foily to think that Dany might become a Night Queen? The writers hopefully have some intent with the mad Queen Dany posturing happening.
      Finally, other than Cleganebowl, what do you think is the termination of the Hound’s redemption arc? To me, his redemption story moves from leaving the Lannisters, looking after Arya, company with Brother Ray, burying the farmer and daughter, accompanying the Brotherhood, and being questioned about why he has been saved. It seems to me that he will die confronting fire, while doing something grandly heroic. Any thoughts?

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    159. Tron79,

      Good cathch! I have noticed some interesting things, too.

      I noticed that during the shots in Iceland Dany was wearing at least two cotumes: the white furcoat we saw in Ep1 and the white suede coat we saw in EW promo photos which seems to be reserved for the second half of the season as Dany is supposed to wear darker attires in Ep 2 and probably Ep4. Hence, the conclusion: whatever mistakes Dany makes in the midseason, it’s gonna be all right in the end and she’ll return to that beautiful waterfall. I hope with Jon.

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    160. my 2 takes from seing episode 1.
      i reckon there is far more to the intro than people are seeing in it. it needs a really thorough set of rewatches, but there is story in there and it’s not about things which have already happened, i’m now wondering if there may be subtle differences in each episode.
      and secondly lots of people are complaining about the dragon flight being completely unnecessary. my thoughts are that’s a gun being hung for the coming episodes and i wouldn’t be surprised to see those canyons full of the nightkings army in the coming weeks
      the episode it self was marvellous, for some reason my eyes kept leaking repeatedly must have been something funny about the photography there,and plenty of genuine laughs to go with it, can’t wait for number 2 think i mihgt have to go back and have another look at one in the mean time

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    161. Inga,

      cool catch. I dreaded the foreshadowing though. Dany told Jon almost the same thing Ygritte told him (Ygritte wished they could stay in the cave forever just as Dany hoped they could stay at the waterfall forever). You hope things work out better for Dany than Ygritte. At least she could make it back to that waterfall at some point then.

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    162. The whole dragon ride scene I was thinking the same thing!!! How the hell are they not flying off the dragon’s backs by sheer wind force?? It amazes me Dany hasn’t had a saddle or straps or something made by now! I enjoyed the animation but c’mon, those spikes and scales have to be a bit slippery. XD

      John Bradley is a gem btw…

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    163. I don’t think Cersei lost the baby. She’ll use this to her advantage and make Euron think it’s his.

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    164. Edward,

      Where was Brienne and Pod tho?!?!? They were with them in the dragon pit. And very absent now… we see them in the trailer for the battle of winterfell. Where are they- no one is talking about it

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    165. Jack Bauer 24,

      100%….how this is apparently being handled is a bad omen for me about how this season will play out. So much to cover in the time left that I fear there will be a lot of weak storytelling in order to cram for the deadline.

      1. Dany’s connection with her “children” is a central part of her character and she learns one has been wighted; we get a concerned stare, then on to flitting off with Jon Jon fantasizing about escaping to a 1000 year love fest, worrying if Jon Jon’s sister likes her, skipping around looking for the guy who cured her Jorah? Maybe she’s just in the denial phase about having to fight the corpse of one of her children for survival. OOF.

      2. After the epic capture of Yara, her escape happens like that? OOF.

      3. Sansa notices that armor needs leather, thinks about provisions for winter, gets what LF is after so plays him for his army then disposes of him; suddenly Arya’s insisting Sansa’s the smartest person around? OOF.

      4. Hokey flirting between Arya and Gendry? OOF.

      Ha maybe I hyped myself up too much and all of the above really isn’t that bad. (Calm my breathing, everything is alright 😉 )

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    166. Ser Tan of Victory,

      After telling Jon and Dany that no one has time for this shit because Viserion’s been wightified—but they still found time to go on a romantic flight through some snowy canyons to a waterfall—I think Bran thought, “Fuck it. I’m staying up all night to wait for Jaime, because at least he UNDERSTANDS we don’t have time for this shit!”

      Yeah, it’s a Monday.

      Spectacle and emotion: 11/10
      Storytelling and logic: 6.5/10

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    167. Looks like 802 will be the final preparations before the AotD arrive, so likely no major deaths. Wonder if they’re saving 803 for the majority of the big deaths? At least for the secondary characters?

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    168. I haven’t heard anyone mention that Cersei was probably never pregnant to begin with but probably going through menopause. Olenna Tyrell mentioned to Tywin Lannister when arranging the match between Cersei and Loras how old Cersei was, mainly because Olenna wanted an heir and old women don’t produce heirs. Tywin rebuffed her, but Olenna knew better. Menopause has fooled many women into believing they were pregnant. And I can’t think of anything more terrifying than a Cersei that doesn’t even have the possibility for any more children to live for.

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    169. JohnnyLaw: Didn’t Cersie’s act of foregoing wine when Tyrion approached her after the Dragonpit meeting clue Tyrion in on to her being pregnant?

      No: the idea that pregnant women were not supposed to drink alcohol is a very, very new one. Really, it was not until the 1980’s that this became commonly accepted that women should forego alcohol while pregnant. (Women my mother’s age were surprised to see women my age do this and many were very skeptical that it meant anything; after all, they drank while pregnant!) In our societies on which Westeros is based, things like birth defects were ascribed to the anger of the gods and/or women sinning. So, really: why wouldn’t Cersei drink?

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    170. Thought the episode packed a lot of great scenes and necessary plot developments to propel the story forward. Obviously that is expected with only 5 episodes left, however, still pleasantly surprised by the pacing. After last season, I have no choice but to be on board w. the fast paced nature of the story.

      Love how Arya has come around to respect Sansa. (and vice versa). Love the balance between concern and caring that both girls displayed for Jon (I came to take Sansa’s questioning as sisterly protection of her big hormonal brother). And I enjoyed how Sam didnt just brush off the death of his family. Overall a great season opener.

      I refuse to even acknowledge the Buzzjoys…I mean Greyjoys. They have always been the weak link to the show.

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    171. Wolfish: but they still found time to go on a romantic flight through some snowy canyons to a waterfall

      When Londoners were asked what (if anything) they missed about the Blitz in particular and WWII in general, far and away the most common answers involved the hook-ups and the added zest to the romantic relationships. So, this is quite logical: if under threat of major attack, then people get dippy. A little modus ponens, anybody?

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    172. Wolfish,

      Unless he had visions that Jamie plays a vital role in the upcoming battle and needs to talk to him about it? But yes totally LOL on his stare down.

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    173. Nick: 4. Hokey flirting between Arya and Gendry? OOF.

      Ha maybe I hyped myself up too much and all of the above really isn’t that bad.

      It was pretty bad flirting. However: flirting is an acquired skill, not some innate talent. Neither of them have done much of it. Ergo, we should expect them to be pretty bad at it.

      (Arya trying to “coquette” a little as she was exiting was a bit comical: but, trust me, I’ve seen that before!)

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    174. Upgrayedd: I get it, Sue, you’re a female so you think you just need to support poor Sansa for everything she’s gone through.

      Hahahahahahahaha. Not only are you assuming that she feels a certain way because she is a woman, but you feel the need to explain to her WHY she feels that way. I haven’t LOL’ed so hard in a while.

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    175. Miss Stark: I think episode 3 is going to be the big gut punch, but I’m prepared for episode 2 to surprise us with something.

      Episode 2 might provide something that makes everyone take notice of what a threat they really are facing. As of now, most of them still are not taking the NK seriously enough. However, as of now, most of them have never seen anything like this: and you cannot expect people to react properly to something the likes of which they never have encountered.

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    176. Terrible Writing by Dave Hill!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2/10

      No cold Open… the “epic?” opening scene was shown in the season 8 trailer

      If there ever was a time for Daenerys to give her “I know who my Father was and what he did” speech it would be in front of all her new allies in the North….

      Daenerys could have repeated what she said to Jon on Dragonstone about a Targaryen sitting on the Iron Throne and a Stark as Warden of North for decades of peace and prosperity to everybody in the dining hall @ Winterfell…. and told the North about the treat beyond the wall and that she is there to save the North. Daenerys didn’t say anything inspirational as their new Queen.

      No Jorah and Lyanna Mormont meeting? Jon could of introduced Queen Daenerys to Jorah’s niece Lyanna saying “this the Lord of Bear Island Lyanna Mormont, Lyanna is a strong leader and brave warrior too… just like you!!!”

      No Sandor and Sansa reunion… “good to see you little bird” …

      I liked the first season music when Jon and Daenerys arrived at Winterfell but Ghost should have been there to welcome Jon home… instead the dragons haven’t been eating so lets take them out for a joyride…. 2/10

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    177. Wolfish,

      So you would prefer all doom and gloom with no room for anything else? The Jon-Dany relationship is pivotal to the conclusion of this story. Imagine if the entire season was one long war meeting?

      I get being upset that there are so few episodes left and feeling like every mystery in the show must be answered and explained thoroughly, but that’s not going to happen. For all of the supernatural furniture, this is a human story. Jon and Dany’s falling in Love may not be what many want. They may feel it is time wasted, but it isn’t. Them being in love is going to make the sacrifice one or each makes so much more meaningful. And like it or not, they are the two main characters. Alan Taylor said GRRM told him in season 1 that they were the key to the series.

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    178. RG,

      To me Arya’s words about Sansa also sounded like a warning and also like a plea: something like be carefu with her cause she may harm you, but if she does, remember that she’s your family and be merciful.

      As for Sansa, this episode I really got a wibe that she was trying to undermine Jon (and Dany) very deliberately and also that she was incredibly rude. Her parents would have disapproved such manners, I guess. Cat never liked Cersei, but she was very polite and even tried to be friendly. All in all, Sansa has always been rude when she was in a position of power: think of how she treated her septa! So, this really gives me thoughts that Sansa is playing an intentional game to take the North and I wonder how this will play next episode. Namely, I wonder why Dany sais to her “You shoudn’t have trusted the Lannisters” – manybe, Sansa’s old letter will come into play once again?

      As for the Night King’s messages, I think I know what it means: the Night King has reinstaged the scene of his creation – a human being in the centre of the spiral stabbed and turned into an undying and unliving creature. That’s his tragedy and the source of his rage. That’s what he’s trying to convey: look what was done to me!

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    179. Wimsey,

      Exactly. Arya’s been with old killers and weird FM for years. She doesn’t know how to flirt. And the awkwardness of Gendry made it better, in my opinion. Honest.
      I love them.

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    180. firstone,

      Wow. A 2/10? Why not be bolder and give it a big fat zero?

      I predicted from the start that people will hate the ending, and this is exactly why. Most of the complaints about the episode I have seen are people being upset that it didn’t match what they had in their mind for all of these years. They didn’t get the reunions they wanted. There wasn’t enough emotion shown in what we were given. So forth and so on.

      That’s not to say that it was perfect. The condensed version of the story makes these big meetings clunky. So many characters bunched together in the same space, it’s almost impossible for it to go smoothly. A big speech by Dany bringing the North to her side in one quick scene removes much of the drama Jon/Dany are facing.

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    181. Tyrion Pimpslap: The Jon-Dany relationship is pivotal to the conclusion of this story. Imagine if the entire season was one long war meeting?

      Moreover, given that the relationship just got going, it is pretty important to show it evolving. These are the two biggest characters in the story, after all. Yes, their arcs have been taking them towards each other since about 25 minutes into the first episode: but it still needs a bit more work.

      And one long war meeting would be only marginally better than scene after scene of reunions that do not further the plot or story! At this point, stuff that does not further story really should not be a big part of the narrative: and as personal relationships are the biggest factor in these sorts of stories (it’s not “good vs. evil” here), it’s critical to develop them.

      Upon a little more reflection, I think that the story might be about what compromises one will make with oneself in order to protect the things you thing need to be protected. I’m betting that the key issue will come down to: I can Preserve A at the cost of B or B at the cost of A even though I vowed to preserve both; which do I sacrifice?

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    182. RG: Exactly. Arya’s been with old killers and weird FM for years. She doesn’t know how to flirt. And the awkwardness of Gendry made it better, in my opinion.

      This sort of very human element is something of which B&W were reminding us in several ways: it was very deliberate.

      (But, yeah: did they not totally remind you of two college kids who never have even dated trying to chat each other up? Deaf, dumb & blind might play mean pinball, but that’s about it! :cool:)

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    183. Inga,

      I saw the entire episode as planting the seeds of doubt in Jon’s mind in regards to Dany. Love clouds the mind. It makes you excuse or gloss over things you otherwise wouldn’t. This battle between his love of family and his being in love with Dany will play a key part in the final episodes.

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    184. firstone,

      So you basically wanted all the reunions to happen in one single episode, correct? Because the “missing” interactions cannot possibly take place on the second episode? Let’s be honest, for the story’s sake there was only two reunions that were pivotal: Jon/Arya and Jon/Bran. Jon and Arya to honor the characters’ history and Jon and Bran because those two are the key to destroying the threat.

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    185. Tyrion Pimpslap: Most of the complaints about the episode I have seen are people being upset that it didn’t match what they had in their mind for all of these years. They didn’t get the reunions they wanted. There wasn’t enough emotion shown in what we were given.

      I admit, I had to do a little metal readjusting last night to appreciate the brilliance of the episode. But you are 100% right. What we saw is much more believable and fits the characters. If GoT had given us Gone with the Wind-style reunions and Jerry Springer-style parental reveals (Ned is NOT the father!), it would have been farcical.

      And I still cried at least 6 times, so they did something right.

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    186. I think Sam exaggerated, I get that it’s his dad, but it’s the dad that disowned him for not fitting into the “perfect son” standard, stripped him of all titles, and forced him to join the wall against his will. Then when he came back with a woman he treated them horribly, and he had to run away from them. I get being upset, but he acted like Dany was totally ruthless, knowing what kind of man his father was.

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    187. Cersei was never pregnant. She and Qyburn bred The Mountain with The Septa. She’s going to pass off the monster baby as her own.

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    188. Miss Stark:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      I think episode 3 is going to be the big gut punch, but I’m prepared for episode 2 to surprise us with something.

      Agreed. Since they didn’t show the AotD (just an undead horse arriving at WF) in the trailer, or in the premeire, I’m not expecting to see them until 803. Maybe they want to show the entire army in one shot when they arrive for dramatic effect. They’ve never featured them much to begin with and they have a certain aura in their presence, but being in the endgame now I thought we may have seen them in all episodes this season (until they are defeated).

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    189. Inga:
      RG,

      To me Arya’s words about Sansa also sounded like a warning and also like a plea: something like be carefu with her cause she may harm you, but if she does, remember that she’s your family and be merciful.

      As for Sansa, this episode I really got a wibe that she was trying to undermine Jon (and Dany) very deliberately and also that she was incredibly rude. Her parents would have disapproved such manners, I guess. Cat never liked Cersei, but she was very polite and even tried to be friendly. All in all, Sansa has always been rude when she was in a position of power: think of how she treated her septa! So, this really gives me thoughts that Sansa is playing an intentional game to take the North and I wonder how this will play next episode. Namely, I wonder why Dany sais to her “You shoudn’t have trusted the Lannisters” – manybe, Sansa’s old letter will come into play once again?

      As for the Night King’s messages, I think I know what it means: the Night King has reinstaged the scene of his creation – a human being in the centre of the spiral stabbed and turned into an undying and unliving creature. That’s his tragedy and the source of his rage. That’s what he’s trying to convey: look what was done to me!

      I agree with all of this. Although when added to Tyrion’s compliments and a few other moments, I have to wonder why Sansa is being so elevated when she is-as you said-rude whenever she’s in any position of power. And going from her proven comments ie “I’m a slow learner” to saying she’s smarter than Tyrion is a hard sell. She’s survived a lot, and maybe her heart’s in the right place but she’s not communicating very well. Especially with Jon.
      “Do you have any faith in me at all?” That just breaks my heart, because he’s basically had to say that through this entire series. When he came back from wildlings with intel, after he was made LC, when Sansa wanted Winterfell back but didn’t tell him about her giant army, after he was king, and now. Poor guy never gets the benefit of the doubt, but he always gets all the responsibility.

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    190. HBO should do a Netflix already and drop the entire show. I love that about Netflix new season comes out – no waiting – just have at it.

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    191. Princess Shireen,

      It seemed like it was more about his brother than his dad. With Sam being a member of the nights watch she effectively killed off house Tarly.

      Nick Hartley does not sow!

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    192. JenStar Runner: Actually, not true. Cersei checkmated him when she located and turned Shae on him during his trial. That was all Cersei. Jamie let him out – Tyrion didn’t clever his way out.

      I think Tyrion gets too much credit. A lot of the times, he’s getting out of trouble by sheer luck, rescued in the nick of time by various saviors (Bronn, Pod, Oberyn, Jamie, Varys)

      Tyrion also specifically took credit for things he didn’t do, namely it was Cersei’s idea to use wildfire against Stannis. Tyrion only knew about it at all b/c Lancel was spying for him. So yeah, Tyrion was good at routing out moles and working the spy network, but some of his greatest achievements were not wholly his own. He was basically useless in Meereen. Varys went off to get Dany her allies. What has Tyrion even actually done for Dany?

      In fact, what ARE his actual achievements? I mean we love him because he slapped Joffrey and was nice to various people who no one else was nice to. I’m not saying he’s totally useless, but Tyrion pads his resume.

      I think it was Cercei´s idea to use wildfire, period. It was then Tyrion who executed the idea, when it came to the war against Stannis. One doesn’t diminish the other. I never said Cercei wasn´t smart, of course she is, she´s incredibly smart. I’m saying that when Tyrion had the power (was hand of the king), he always had the upper hand. The Shae thing happened once he had lost that power. And I don’t love him because he slapped Joffrey, I like him because he’s always been very conscious of what his limitations and strenghts are, and uses them wisely. That is what made him a smart person, not things like schemes and plans (that´s secondary). Everything that happened at the end of Season4 was extremely complex and so many factor played a role in that outcome, it wasn’t as simple as Tyrion getting himself almost killed and Jamie saving him.

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    193. Karhold, Deepwood Motte, and the Dreadfort are next on the way to Winterfell (say goodbye to Lord Glover). I think Winterfell will hear about those strongholds being taken down, and that’s what’ll get them ready for battle by the end of episode 2.

      Perhaps they’ll leave episode 2 off with the AOTD approaching.

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    194. Soonersfan1983: I can copy and paste others and offer nothing else.

      Not sure to what you are referring – my acknowledgement of many opinions from others with which I agree? That’s not cutting and pasting. I did offer something new. I recalled a conversation from a prior episode that might point to an encounter between Euron and Jon that doesn’t turn out well for Jon. I haven’t read that possibility anywhere else.

      As far as offering something new, in checking back on your offerings, all you had were a few lines of criticism of everyone else’s efforts. Nothing original there.

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    195. Mr Derp:
      Karhold, Deepwood Motte, and the Dreadfort are next on the way to Winterfell.I think Winterfell will hear about those strongholds being taken down, and that’s what’ll get them ready for battle by the end of episode 2.

      Perhaps they’ll leave episode 2 off with the AOTD approaching.

      Yeah I’m thinking 802 will end somewhat how the trailer ends, with the undead horse arriving at WF. The preview shows the scene with Missandei/Grey Worm kissing outside in the night shot.

      I’m curious to see in what they show in the preview for 803 after the next epsiode.

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    196. Nick Hartley:
      Princess Shireen,

      It seemed like it was more about his brother than his dad. With Sam being a member of the nights watch she effectively killed off house Tarly.

      Nick Hartley does not sow!

      Thankfully for Sam the NW seems to be a thing of the past now that the Wall is down. Perhaps he’ll get to keep Horn Hill afterall.

      Sam will probably get Heartsbane back from Jorah after he dies too. Re-gifting Westeros style.

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    197. Wish Ramin would have done more with the soundtrack. No music for Aegon/Arya embracing and Aegon flying Rhaegal left a lot to be desired.

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    198. Princess Shireen,

      I hear what you’re saying. However family relationships are complex and so are our feelings toward them. It’s kind of like, “I can say bad stuff about my family but YOU can’t”. I thought John Bradley was masterful.

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    199. When Aegon asks Arya is she’s jealous of his Valyrian steel, how come she doesn’t mention she has a Valyrian dagger?

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    200. isildur:
      HBO should do a Netflix already and drop the entire show. I love that about Netflix new season comes out– no waiting – just have at it.

      That’s what people want now in our impatient society. Everybody is used to the streaming services dump and demanding what they want (now) and getting it. Of course that all leads to using up what’s just received and then immediately complaining about wanting more.

      Yes, I do enjoy watching full seasons of shows when they pop on services, but no, I’ve never wanted that for GoT though. Everybody would be finished with the season by now or later today. We’d talk about it for a bit, the media buzz would last about a week and then it’s done, gone. GoT is and has been a perfect type of show for the weekly episode model and it benefits from it as people talk about it for much longer.

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    201. Princess Shireen,

      She burned, I repeat, burned his father alive. And Dickon was a decent brother to him. Do you really think Sam was exaggerating his grief? Family is family. And it’s not like, Papa Tarly was right hand to Queen Daenerys and later betrayed her which would perhaps merit a burning. Tarly was fighting against her and refused to bend the knee, that might merit a beheading (which is the way you do things in the Seven Kingdoms) but not a burning alive. She only did it to raise fear in the hearts of her enemies but what she doesn’t understand is that fear can be easily overcome but hate is hard to get rid off. Burning Dickon was just dumb of her.

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    202. Princess Shireen: get being upset, but he acted like Dany was totally ruthless, knowing what kind of man his father was.

      Sam also has yet to learn that his father betrayed the Tyrells or that his father refused Dany’s mercy when she offered to let him take the black.

      What I found somewhat amusing is that there seemed to be a lot of people (not necessarily here!) who thought that Sam would be horrified to learn that Daenerys had his father & brother burned to death, as if he would have been fine with her giving them over to an axeman. However, his reaction was purely to their deaths: she never mentioned how they died. (He probably could have guessed later: but not until the shock of the news wore off; one’s mind becomes molasses upon learning of the death of a loved one or family member.)

      I suspect that this will present a temporary challenge at most. If nothing else, then the onslaught of the NK is going to push this away. Still, it is a gun on the wall!

      Regarding the tensions between Jon and his (now foster!) siblings, this again will be hugely mitigated when Sansa & Arya see the extent of their enemy. Right now, they (and particularly Sansa) seem to feel that Jon really did not need to do this for the North to hold off the White Walkers. I strongly suspect that after Episode 3, she’s going to realize that Jon actually was not able to do enough.

      That stated, Episodes 4-6 might include a lot of “Malta” moments between Sansa & Daenerys. One thing that should have been made really clear by now is that Sansa has become very adept at (and seemingly very prone to) thinking like Cersei.

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    203. ThisGirlHasNoName,

      Of course. Maybe I expressed myself wrong. I would never judge Sam for reacting that way, I understand it’s his family regardless of what they have done to him. I mean his father was more than horrible all his life, bu it wouldn’t be Sam if he’d been like “whatever don’t care”, I wouldn’t expect that from him.
      I was more pointing out to the way Sam was talking to Jon about Dany, painting her as some ruthless ruler, after only having this information, and knowing what kind of man his father was.

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    204. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      I agree, except that Jon’s mind hasn’t been particularly clowded. He simply saw what he saw: that Dany gave him dragonglass, although he acted subbornly, that she was willing to fight her enemies in person instead of hiding behind her armies, that she chose a military targer instead of unleashing her dragons on the Red Keep, that she came to save him and the whole misshion, etc. Had he witnessed something like burning the Tarlies his wouldn’t have fallen in love with her (although the Tarlies deserved it 100%, it’s just that instead of burning them she should have given them to the farmers of the Reach:)
      One way or another, I do agree that Jon has to see Dany’s dark side (and take it under a firm control). My problem with Jon was that once again he was acting like a clumsy boy, rather than a man and that the showrunners made him too submissive and Dany too dominant. It’s not what I expected after all those scenes in 707, but let it be: maybe, that’s Jon still needs to develop his confidence after all that mistreatmen he was getting from women from Cat to Sansa.

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    205. Lady Sybil:
      Ginevra,

      Since Mesandi mentioned to Dany that in High Valyrian (I think) there aren’t separate words for Prince and Princess, that it’s fairly ambiguous, I have had this constant feeling that TPTWP is Arya. Now bear with me here. Arya is the only character I can recall that could technically be either. She has been Arya then ‘Arry then Arya again. Melisandre has never been particularly accurate with her prophecy talk and that makes me think that this is part of the confusion.
      I could also be absolutely bloody miles off aswell.

      That’s a nice thought, and I love Arya. I personally feel like she’s not a good fit for the rest of what we know about TPTWP/AAR. She’s never been a prince or princess, not really, even with a couple of brothers who were briefly kings. She’s never been reborn amidst smoke and salt. She’s not Targaryen, where Rhaegar had evidence in the Song of Ice and Fire that TPTWP would be from their line.

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    206. Danny: She burned, I repeat, burned his father alive. And Dickon was a decent brother to him. Do you really think Sam was exaggerating his grief? F

      Sam was reacting to their deaths, not the manner of their deaths. How they died is utterly irrelevant: after all, she never told him. There is zero reason to think that a different form of death would have made a difference.

      And Sam has yet to learn that both men refused Daenerys’ mercy. His father refused to take the Black. His brother refused to stand aside from his father. Daenerys would have let both men live if they had chosen to submit.

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    207. Now that we’ve seen episode 1, what does everyone think the outcome of episode 3 will be? Until now, I’ve been of the mind that they’d beat the NK in that episode. But now I have the suspicion the NK will win, and everyone who has survived will be forced to flee.

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    208. I’ve seen many comments about the WW symbol looking like the Targaryen symbol, which it does, but it also reminds me of the 7-pointed star. I know it’s not a star and it has 8 points but it did remind me of that too. Was there ever a point removed? Any thoughts?

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    209. Inga: Had he witnessed something like burning the Tarlies his wouldn’t have fallen in love with her (although the Tarlies deserved it 100%,

      I disagree. Jon would have seen Daenerys offer Randyll the opportunity to take the Black and refuse; and that would have made Jon even less sympathetic to Tarley.

      Now, what Jon might have done was wrestle Dickon away from the situation and force him to let his father die alone. Of course, given what the story demands, had he done so, then Dickon would have broken free at the last moment and dove into Dragon’s blast.

      But people have to drop the idea that what Daenerys did was insane or unusually ruthless. Given that Tarley had betrayed someone pledged to Daenerys (the Tyrells), nobody would be at all surprised that she did what she did: after all, someone in her position who did not do that would be perceived as weak and lacking resolution. (I cannot imagine that the Dothraki would have been too impressed had she spared them!)

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    210. Something I was thinking about this morning… When Tormund and Beric walked through Last Hearth they see a bunch of blood spots which would indicate the dead were raised for the aotd. These would have been Umber people that were well aware of the need to use fire or dragonglass to destroy wight… Apparently they were unable to take down a single wight when they were attacked as there weren’t any dead wight remains either.

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    211. Miss Stark:
      Now that we’ve seen episode 1, what does everyone think the outcome of episode 3 will be? Until now, I’ve been of the mind that they’d beat the NK in that episode. But now I have the suspicion the NK will win, and everyone who has survived will be forced to flee.

      I’d say the second option is much more likely otherwise we’d probably never see King’s Landing again. The AOTD will defeat Winterfell, forcing the survivors to flee south. Some will go to Dragonstone while I assume others will go to King’s Landing.

      The one thing I’m not sure about is who makes it out of this battle alive? The phrase “there must always be a Stark at Winterfell” makes me a bit nervous since, to me, that means one of the Starks will stay behind and die while Winterfell burns, but I could certainly be wrong. Maybe the bodies in the crypts can count instead of one of the Starks that’s alive.

      Maybe Dany sets fire to Winterfell as a diversion to get everyone else out of there. She would still live since she can’t be killed by fire.

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    212. Miss Stark: Now that we’ve seen episode 1, what does everyone think the outcome of episode 3 will be? Until now, I’ve been of the mind that they’d beat the NK in that episode. But now I have the suspicion the NK will win, and everyone who has survived will be forced to flee.

      I had the same general assumption, but I was never quite comfortable with it. I mean, if all is peachy after ep. 3, then what are 4-6 about? The resumed fight for the iron throne? That didn’t feel right. So now I’m with you. I think Winterfell falls to the dead. Perhaps there isn’t a second traditional style battle, but instead an assassin’s mission to kill the NK. Maybe that’s where the Azor Ahai stuff comes into play?

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    213. I expected something better but still a very good start of the season:

      ++++ Sam
      + The bonding of Sansa and Arya
      + Sansa finally smart
      + Jon/ Dany storyline
      +/- Theon Yara: I found it a little bit short, I expected more. But still not bad if there will be a big pay off later with Euron. but a big plus of Theon going to winterfel.

      The reunions big plusses
      First I though the way they revelate Jons truth was not handled right but now I see why it was done in closed quarters, I think next episode the big fallout of it will happen.

      Questions I have:
      – Targ sigil with the umber boy. Are the Targs his targets?
      – How will Jon handled the truth, will he be forced by his family to take it public? I think yes
      – Will dany step down, I think not.
      – Why does dany have a lack of emotion, this started in 6×10 when she felt nothing with leaving Daario.
      – Did we saw some dragon trap in the throne room in the title sequence?

      Conclusion: Solid episode but I think it needed 10 a 15 minutes more. I would have hoped for a longer Yara freeing scene. And a little big more horror in last hearth. I wish we saw the slaughter first but being cut halfway through.
      8,5/10

      Can’t wait for episode 2 which I think will top this one by a big mile. Jaime drama, more Dany/Jon drama. Let’s get it on.

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    214. Clob,

      Did they supply the Last Hearth with any dragonglass or does Winterfell have all of it? I’m not sure, but I think Winterfell is hording all of it.

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    215. Miss Stark,

      Yeah just from the season trailers I don’t think episode 3 is going to end all that well for the living. Which is why I know I’ll be looking back on the lighter moments of episode 1 with fondness. “Aw, remember when there was Gendrya flirting and Jon rode a dragon? That was so nice.”

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    216. Wimsey,

      IMO, first of all, Sam should learn that his father and brother robbed the farmers of their last harvest – the job even Bronn was reluctant to do. Dany’s problem was not so much that she burned them but that she allowed them to play heroes and go out on their own terms. But now situation is beyond repair and Dany will have to pay for it.

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    217. Wimsey,

      Ok. I may have missed that Dany didn’t fully disclose the how. Still she killed his family and I’m surprised people think Sam is in the wrong for being upset. Like excuse him for having emotions, I guess? And I’m not sure learning about the offering of “mercy” will do much to alleviate his pain. After all Dany is still bitching about Jamie killing the Mad King when everyone in Westeros (including her) knows her dad was a pyscho.

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    218. Miss Stark: I’ve been of the mind that they’d beat the NK in that episode. But now I have the suspicion the NK will win, and everyone who has survived will be forced to flee.

      They will lose and lose Winterfell. We’ve had a couple of guns put on the Wall for what might happen next. Basically, there will be an exodus of the survivors through the crypts. Some survivors might flee with Theon to the Iron Islands, which could be important for the plot later. However, the others will have to flee south: where Cersei is prepared to wage war upon them.

      At any rate, we will not get resolution regarding the NK until we get the “Rhaegar didn’t abduct Lyanna, he eloped with Lyanna” analog for the NK. And I suspect that this will be something that will get a big end-of-episode emphasis in Episode 4.

      I am betting that Arya uses her atlatl to take out (again!) Viserion, for what that is worth.

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    219. Tyrion Pimpslap:
      Wolfish, The Jon-Dany relationship is pivotal to the conclusion of this story. Imagine if the entire season was one long war meeting?

      I know, right?!! I mean, D&D have to make us fall in love with the love between Jon and Dany. That love will be so crucial to the end, when Jon has to Nissa-Nissa Dany through the heart with Longclaw to create Lightbringer and defeat the Others. If we didn’t feel how much Jon loved her, we might not cry when she gets stabbed through the heart.

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    220. kevin1989:

      Conclusion: Solid episode but I think it needed 10 a 15 minutes more. I would have hoped for a longer Yara freeing scene. And a little big more horror in last hearth. I wish we saw the slaughter first but being cut halfway through.
      8,5/10

      Can’t wait for episode 2 which I think will top this one by a big mile. Jaime drama, more Dany/Jon drama. Let’s get it on.

      And I’m sure they could have gotten an extra 10-15 minutes, so I’m not sure why they went with a 54 minute premiere.

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    221. ShameShameShame,

      Also possible they only experimented with the Septa, and were working on getting Cersei impregnated by The Mountain, but Jaime left. Originally, they wanted it to seem like Jaime was the father, this was why Cersei made sure the maid saw them in bed.

      But that didn’t work out, so they needed the pretense of Euron as the father.

      Regardless, her look of horror says one of a few possibilities:
      1). She was never pregnant, and now she can’t fake that she was because Euron would know she wasn’t. Now he has to die.
      2). She is pregnant, but not enough for Euron to know, which means she can pass it off as his. But she’s also horrified that she’s pregnant. Euron suggests he puts a boy in her belly, but what’s coming is a monster. (Foreshadowed by Tormund).

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    222. Wimsey: Regarding the tensions between Jon and his (now foster!) siblings,

      Hey Wimsey, so glad to see you here. Your patient logic has saved many a thread from spiraling out of control. Looking forward to your insights regarding this last season.

      Regarding “foster” siblings, when Sam told Bran that Bran should be the one to tell Jon of his parentage because Bran was his brother, and Bran replied “he’s not my brother,” I went “huh?” Oh, yeah, Jon isn’t Bran’s brother, technically. He’s a cousin.

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    223. Jack Bauer 24: And I’m sure they could have gotten an extra 10-15 minutes, so I’m not sure why they went with a 54 minute premiere.

      Agreed. From after comments “This waterfall is where Jon used to hunt as a child” to Arya and Gendry scene, to potential Ghost sighting, it looks like they had a little too much fun with the editing. No one would have complained if our intro was a bit longer. Well, I wouldn’t have. 🙂

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    224. Wimsey,

      Yeah, Randyll continued to degrade her, refused to do what she told him and pretty much refused the lighter punishment suggestion of the Night’s Watch (by saying she didn’t have the authority) in a war. Jon beheaded Janos for essentially being an insubordinate dick in a NW meeting. Ignoring the method of execution because dead is dead, was he more right in what he did? Of course Daenerys’ actions are always treated as worse

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    225. Danny: till she killed his family and I’m surprised people think Sam is in the wrong for being upset. Like excuse him for having emotions, I guess?

      Of course Sam should be upset! However, Sam probably will cool off once he learns the full truth. He’ll always be a bit torn: but these stories are entirely about what people do when they feel torn.

      If anything, then this could lead to enmity between Sam & Jaime. Sam’s father probably would have sided with Daenerys had Jaime not worked so hard to win Randall over to the Dark Side, I mean, Lannisters.

      One other thing to keep in mind right now is that we have a lot of inter-character conflicts that are based on misunderstandings. In addition to Sam not knowing the whole background, we have:

      1. Sansa & the North not appreciating the strength of NK and thus not understanding why Jon went so far to succor Daenerys’ help;

      2. Sansa & the North viewing Daenerys as the brother of the man who abducted & raped Lyanna when she is the brother of the man that Lyanna loved;

      3. Daenerys not knowing that Jaime killed her father to save countless would-be-victims in Kings Landing;

      4. Nobody having worked out Fermat’s Theorem in this world.

      So, what we have are lots and lots of conflicts with one common denominator: false assumptions by one party. At this point, it is becoming a motif!

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    226. Wimsey:
      (But, yeah: did they not totally remind you of two college kids who never have even dated trying to chat each other up?Deaf, dumb & blind might play mean pinball, but that’s about it! :cool:)

      How do you think he does it? I don’t know. What makes him so good?

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    227. Clob,

      I think that learning these things will make a big difference, particularly to Jon, but also for Sam. HOWEVER: Sam was not watching the show, so he doesn’t know yet. My question is, what bad thing will happen because of Sam’s ignorance before he finds out?

      And, of course, there is always the issue: how are Jon & Daenerys going to respond to the results of Jon’s AncestryDNA results???

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    228. Jack Bauer 24: And I’m sure they could have gotten an extra 10-15 minutes, so I’m not sure why they went with a 54 minute premiere.

      Well I think its more the writing of Dave Hill. I think he is a excellent writer when it comes to the scenes he writes, there are some big moments he done perfectly (same as in Eastwatch). But I think he has difficulty to overview the whole story.
      Where D&D have some sort of senses where they feel where things need to be cut or added I think Dave Hill misses that. The connection to the rest.

      So not really bashing Dave Hill, he writes pretty well but I think he needs to learn some tricks.

      Still I’m pretty happy what he delivered. His reunions and the stuff he wrote for Sam was just excellent.

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    229. Danny:
      Wimsey,

      Ok.I may have missed that Dany didn’t fully disclose the how.Still she killed his family and I’m surprised people think Sam is in the wrong for being upset.Like excuse him for having emotions, I guess?And I’m not sure learning about the offering of “mercy” will do much to alleviate his pain.After all Dany is still bitching about Jamie killing the Mad King when everyone in Westeros (including her) knows her dad was a pyscho.

      If you’re referring to the comment I made, I never said Sam was wrong for having emotions. First of all, I love Sam, and I understand why he showed emotion. Again, I would never judge Sam for reacting that way, I was more pointing out to the way he was talking to Jon about Dany, painting her as some ruthless ruler, after only having this information, and especially because he more than anyone knows what kind of man his father was.

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    230. Wimsey,

      I can agree on that, too. If Jon had been by Dany’s side he would have made Randyl to look like a cowardish idiot even his son would have been happy to foresake. Ned Stark taught him how to kill people without losing moral ground. And Dany has problems with that and that’s her problem.

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    231. Mr Derp,

      There is nothing to stop TNK from resurrecting the dead Starks in the crypt.

      Maybe only a Stark can stop them? Or maybe there is something special to Starks, the way Benjen didn’t actually “turn” when he died?

      Also – TAOTD will infiltrate through the crypts. It is known.

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    232. Ginevra,

      It’s been hypothesized that lack of distractions from buzzer or bells, of lights a flashin’ is critical. One outlandish suggestion is that he uses sense of smell!

      😎

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    233. Wimsey,

      As much as I don’t want them to lose, I hope this is how it goes. After all the build up, it wouldn’t resonate enough if they beat him in one episode.

      It was Yara’s comment about retreating to the Iron Islands that made me sit up and take notice. The gun has been hung.

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    234. ShameShameShame,

      The dead Starks would be nothing more than a pile of bones at this point, so I’m not worried about them being wightified. I’m just curious to know more about the “Stark must always be at Winterfell” line and how that would play out if Winterfell is burned. Maybe nothing at all will come of it.

      I suppose there wasn’t a Stark there when the Boltons overtook Winterfell, and there wasn’t one there after Sansa escaped, so there is precedent for a live Stark not being there.

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    235. ShameShameShame:
      Mr Derp,

      Also – TAOTD will infiltrate through the crypts.It is known.

      Well if the Night King was a Stark, or if that mark he left on Bran is still working, he might know things. Like that whole escape tunnel Luwin told Theon about.

      Speaking of, in the books the crypts are SO important. There’s an area below no one can get to, there might be more tunnels than anyone knows about. There’s clearly something going on down there. I’ve heard a million theories as to what it is.
      I wonder if the show will address it at all?

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    236. Miss Stark: It was Yara’s comment about retreating to the Iron Islands that made me sit up and take notice. The gun has been hung.

      Hung and mounted next to a portrait of Uncle Anton! It also provides a really good reason for giving screen time to Theon rescuing Yara.

      Still, I cannot think that they can get that entire army to the Iron Islands, even after heavy casualties. However, until we see what actually happens at the end of Episode 3, it probably is futile to speculate too much about exactly where everyone winds up, save that we can expect some to wind up with Yara.

      Is it going to be called “Helm’s Deep”? 😜

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    237. RG: Speaking of, in the books the crypts are SO important. There’s an area below no one can get to, there might be more tunnels than anyone knows about. There’s clearly something going on down there.

      They are potentially important. We got a really big clue about how they might be important when Maester Luwin was telling Theon to use them to escape Winterfell. Of course, that might require that Theon go back to Winterfell. Oh, wait…..

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    238. Mr Derp,

      Since “what is dead may never die”, a posse of dead Starks – ones like Benjen with full autonomy and use of their faculties, not zombies – would be the perfect defense against TNK? Maybe the Starks rise from the dead in the presence of TNK but are not able to be thralled?

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    239. I’ve read a lot of comments about the Targ sigil and the Umber boy’s death. I think the resemblance is not a coincidence, but I think the two don’t resemble each other per se – but both resemble something bigger.

      We’ve seen these spirals, or similar ones, throughout the series. We saw them in Bran’s vision north of the wall by the 3-eyed raven’s weirwood tree, we saw them when Dany was surrounded by Dothraki, and we saw them at Dragonstone in the dragonglass mines (among other places).

      I think all of these spirals are tied together going back to the Long Night, the Children of the Forest, and maybe they even hold the key to how to beat the White Walkers. Maybe the Night King is the center of the spiral, and if you take him out, the rest collapses? I don’t know, but there’s some significance that I believe will be revealed this season.

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    240. ShameShameShame,

      I don’t think we’re going to be getting any dead Starks rising from the dead in season 8. Unless they managed to bring back Sean Bean, Michelle Fairley, Richard Madden, etc to reprise their roles, which I don’t think they did. Couldn’t say for sure though. That would seem weird to me.

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    241. RG,

      The tunnels connect from the crypts to under the wall, that’s pretty clear in the books/histories. (Gendel/Gorne).
      Possibly to Ygritte’s cave or the TER’s cave in the show? I’m thinking the writers wanted us to connect the waterfall area with Ygritte’s cave, so those are likely some of the access points to the crypts?
      In the books, the lake in the godswood is “bottomless” so that’s probably another, not sure how that will play in the show though.

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    242. Miss Stark:
      Wimsey,

      It was Yara’s comment about retreating to the Iron Islands that made me sit up and take notice. The gun has been hung.

      Wimsey,

      So if they do suffer a loss, do you think the survivors from Wintertown and remaining soldiers will be sent to Dragonstone and the Iron Islands for safety? Was Euron’s suggestion to Dany at that last meeting prophetic? I have an island, so do you etc?

      I’m pretty sure Jon would not be okay with waiting things out.

      It makes me anxious just thinking about it. I really don’t want them to lose Winterfell again.

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    243. Mr Derp,

      They don’t need the actors, they just need a skeleton army dressed in rags, like the one under the snow outside the cave of the 3 eyed raven. Just a thought. The crypts obviously matter a great deal. And in the books, they’re even equipped with swords placed across their knees.

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    244. Mr Derp,

      Ok, I’m convinced the Starks won’t rise from the crypts as wights :). But I still have a hunch that Sean Bean makes some kind of appearance, given that he’s done a few promos for the season.

      Could be a Bran-flashback or (total random speculation) even a Faceless Man wearing Neds face. Yes I know the latter is a long shot, but we never got any kind of explanation for Jaquen H’gar’s presence at Kings Landing when Ned was executed. On the other hand, the last time we saw Ned’s face was when he was merely a head on a stick and Jaqen was already trapped in a jail-wagon, so I guess that kills that theory.

      Still fun to guess :).

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    245. ThisGirlHasNoName,

      Not as wights – as whatever Benjen was, unthrallable undead that fights the thralled wights. Why else throw all those Checkhov’s guns in the ring? Benjen, a Stark in Winferfell, what is dead may never die…

      Yes, it’s fun to wonder!

      Ned’s bones made it back to Winterfell in the show I suppose? But not Cat’s or Robb’s.

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    246. I’m wondering if we’ll see a one on one exchange between Arya and Dany. And in what context they would be speaking to each other. Would it be necessary for the story to progress or just two fan favorite characters who’ve never shared a scene together finally do.

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    247. Wimsey

      Sure, but were they merrily flying over London after hearing that the blitzkriegers were heading straight in their direction? No, they were getting it on in their hidey-holes in the Underground and behind their blacked-out windows.

      Don’t get me wrong: I absolutely fucking LOVED the dragon flight. But I thought the timing, coming right after hearing that Viserion had been wightified and the NK had broken through the Wall, was utterly bonkers.

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    248. Damn, it’s good to have GoT back. I may have had a few too many “pops” and half a box of GoT oreos before the showing.

      CGI and music was on point. I have read some concerns about opening procession music choice but it fit with what D&D and others were trying to make the call back to. I really enjoyed the Arya viewpoint. Nutter did a nice job of that.

      My girl San-San getting some hate, per usual. I mean, I would LOVE to have her loosen up a bit and not be such a hater all the time. She’s been through a lot, though, and been burned so I can see her cold side winning out. I could say the same for Robot Bran and Cold Ass Bitch Arya. But meh, minor shit.

      As for the “A Whole New World” sky ride…they had to do it. They had to show Big Jon straddling in and gettin’ jiggy with a Dragon. I thought the scenery and CGI were fantastic. And hell, with doom and gloom coming, I will take a slice of cheese early on. I will say that Hill’s writing with Jon and Dany at the waterfall was a bit stunted. Again, minor shit.

      I love Theon. Re-watching the past seasons just gave me a better sense of Alfie’s subtle acting and Theon’s overall arc. His character is the biggest one that has grown on me…like a slow burn. I don’t care if the Yara save was quick like a High School guy on Prom night. It served its purpose and now he goes back for his potential ultimate sacrifice.

      I hope everyone had a little fun with this episode. B/c the Pain Train is coming down the track and it’s going to definitely at least wreck me. I’m going to need more Oreos…

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    249. Inga: As for the Night King’s messages, I think I know what it means: the Night King has reinstaged the scene of his creation – a human being in the centre of the spiral stabbed and turned into an undying and unliving creature. That’s his tragedy and the source of his rage. That’s what he’s trying to convey: look what was done to me!

      Brilliant!!!

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    250. Wimsey,

      Fany knows why Jaime killed her father: Tyrion told her that in 609. Sure, she may doubt the story, but hardly: Baristan Selmy also told her that her father earned the nickname of the Mad King.

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    251. Jack Bauer 24,

      There were a LOT of holes in the script, hence my A+++ grade for spectacle/emotion and D for writing/logic. I really enjoyed the episode (I’d be a humorless asshole had I not), but I’m not going to pretend it was stellar work across the board.

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    252. With the way things are adding up, there’s no way we can have the major showdown at Winterfell with Jon, Dany, and the Night King all on dragonback in episode 3 right? That would be way to dark (night scenes) and I think we would be looking at mass destruction.

      In order to prolong the story, could Dany leave Winterfell before the battle begins? I think Sansa, Sam, Bran, and maybe Tyrion or Varys will try to push Jon as the true king. Jon will be feeling some kind of way about the incest, Sam’s family, and him being the true heir. Perhaps he will be distant and Dany, feeling neglected or ambushed by the news, will leave Winterfell on Drogon and maybe Rhaegal will follow (only later to return to help them secure a minor victory or at least a chance to retreat)?

      I don’t know if the NK will be at the battle of Winterfell but if he is for a while, I don’t think he will die there. Maybe he’ll be forced to retreat? Regardless, the pics we’ve seen of Winterfell burning, I think will be done by Jon on dragonback. He’ll have to burn all of the dead (many close friends, allies, and major characters among the dead). I could see it being a very emotional moment for Jon and a very powerful scene to end episode 3. I could see a scene of Jon burning Winterfell and Sansa or Arya looking back as they retreat. That could be very emotional and I wonder if it could cause more tension amongst the siblings? Can’t wait for the next 2 weeks. My goodness this is gonna be EPIC.

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    253. I don’t think Dany’s anger will be at Jaime just for showing up. I think with the cold welcome she’s received at Winterfell and then adding on Jaime telling her that Cersei isn’t coming she will just be super angry. Especially at anyone with the last name Lannister. I’m still trying to figure out the Drogon scene from the trailer where he’s blasting something or someone with fire. Could this be an execution? Could they really be making Dany turn mad?

      Dany said she was shocked with the way they had Dany act this season. No way she could burn Tyrion in episode 2 or 3 is it? Way too soon right? Varys was huddled in the crypts with the women and children so not him either. Maybe that Drogon scene is them burning the dead post battle as I’ve guessed in my post before this one?

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    254. Seriously: Arya telling Jon to remember he is part of the family. Dany somewhat threateningly discussing Sansa needing to respect her (she is the queen!). Dany not telling Jon about burning the Tarlys. Sam’s question Dany would set aside her crown for her people. And the idea that those all might come together if Sansa pushes back against Dany. Might matter.

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    255. Jason Rubright:
      Have we seen Jon burn or have any interactions w/ fire?

      Yes, he could not bear seeing a man burned to death for not bending the knee. He chose to give Mance a quick death by an arrow.

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    256. First of all, the first episode finally arriving at good old Europe, I liked it very much. It was starting to boil slowly with all the different reunions (the most promising between Arya and Sandor, who are obviously drawn to each other, no matter the wording); it was nice to see her flirting with Gendry, but she ist definitely too big a chunk to swallow for him; Arya definitely IS a cold blooded killer, and the moment she realizes that with Jon was heartbreaking and very well done; and that praise of Sansa? The sisters hate each other, or at least do not understand each other; that teaming up against Littlefinger was a nice episode that means nothing for their future interaction. I liked that dragonflight too..even if that scene has killed the elephants of Mordor…it will be the one happy moment Jon and Dany share together in the north; and it started boiling hot with Sam and the loss of his family, and Bran cold blooded using his grief to get Jon the message..very promising, very well written. Valar morghulis!

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    257. ShameShameShame: And in the books, they’re even equipped with swords placed across their knees.

      But weren’t those swords rusted and generally beyond useless?

      At any rate, people are looking for some big “magic” solution even though we’ve not seen any sign that any one in Winterfell can do that sort of magic. The series never has done that: the few examples of “big” magic always have been preceded by smaller examples of that same magic.

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    258. Mr Derp,

      Robb and Cat arent at winterfell, they are dropped and rotten somewhere in the riverlands.

      They only need Sean Bean, and some actors who could portrait the other lords of winterfell. And Sean always said he wanted to go back if they needed him for a flashback or something.

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    259. Wolfish: Sure, but were they merrily flying over London after hearing that the blitzkriegers were heading straight in their direction? No, they were getting it on in their hidey-holes in the Underground and behind their blacked-out windows.

      That was happening some of the time, particularly for the citizens. However, for soldiers & their young ladies, it often was trysts off-base, etc. There supposedly was a lot of that stuff going on in the country-side, to which a lot of civilians were evacuated. (The recent craze for testing DNA might start to reveal just how much of that there was: I’m not sure anyone has gone beyond collecting the anecdotes towards extrapolating what the numbers must have been.)

      Although it might seem somewhat paradoxical, people seem to make stoats look chaste when war is on them. And it probably is not all that paradoxical: when you could die at any moment, you probably want to embrace each one. Moreover, wars often are very “romantic” things: not in the “roses, candles and wine” sense, but in the grander sense of people feeling like that they are part of some greater cause. And often Romantic -> romantic….

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    260. Robert Petti,

      Yes. The seeds were planted. If we think this(Jon and Dany) has a happy ending, we haven’t been paying attention. The Dany being a little too impulsive and full Fire And Blood Targ gun has been hanged(hung) over the past few seasons. They are going to go there. Impossible choices for Jon. Which will he choose?

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    261. kevin1989,

      They could simply use a skeleton coming out of Ned’s crypt. After all, didn’t they just send Ned’s bones?

      (I”m trying not to think of Headless Ned throwing his skull at someone at the height of battle!)

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    262. Thronetender: OMG Pinball Wizard! Thank you for that stroll down memory lane.

      Yes, it is good that someone works in a Rock Opera other than The Wall into SoI&F! But now I’m humming “I’m You Wicked Uncle Benjen”….

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    263. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      I doubt that they are going towards Daenerys going insane. She has not been developed at all like one would develop an insane character. Her brother, however, was developed as someone who was right from the start.

      Ned & Robert won their war, and they got their story book happy endings. And yet, they hardly got “happily ever after.” I expect Jon’s & Daenerys’s endings (as well as Tyrion’s & Arya’s) to be like that: the plot will fit the fairy tale nicely, but the truth will be anything but that.

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    264. Aegon the IceDragon,

      My thoughts exactly (regarding Dany and her potential absence). But the Night King is going to be very present at the Winterfell battle. Vladimir Furdik (the actor who plays him) spoiled that as well as the Night King having a specific target. Most of the people speculate that it’s Bran or rather the 3-Eyed Raven who inhabits Bran’s body.

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    265. Aegon the IceDragon: In order to prolong the story, could Dany leave Winterfell before the battle begins?

      The Dothraki & Unsullied are in the battle, and they would not be if Daenerys was forced out (or felt forced out) of Winterfell.

      At any rate, they do not need to prolong the narrative: they still have a ton to do over the next 6 episodes; in many ways, they cannot afford something that would just be a side-excursion.

      Aegon the IceDragon: No way she could burn Tyrion in episode 2 or 3 is it? Way too soon right?

      Tyrion is a primary protagonist. He will be there at the climax of the story.

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    266. A couple of things that were not in the episode that seem necessary in e2:
      – Cersei spoke with Strickland about the GC numbers he brought. She didn’t make any plans or give him any orders. The only thing of action (supposedly made) by her was sending Bronn after her brothers. Unless she’s just going to play tiddlywinks for a few episodes shouldn’t she start some plan of action?
      – Arya’s integration and involvement IN the main story instead of just floating around it. She spoke a bit with Jon privately about little. She spoke with Sandor and then Gendry briefly (to include about a dg weapon). She hasn’t met Daenerys, wasn’t at the ‘alliance meeting,’ no training preparation… just kind of wondered around I guess. Doesn’t Jon need to see what she can do and realize she should be fighting before e3… find out what she’s become? Maisie supposedly did a shitload of filming so I’m just wondering when that all starts. 😛

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    267. Wimsey,

      This is where I differ with you, I think. I don’t think Dany is going insane, I just believe it is in her nature to be impulsive and to exhort her power with the dragons. Tyrion and Varys’ reaction to her burning the Tarlys spoke of trying to bring her under control and curb those impulses. We’ve seen Tyrion try to advise her against her Fire And Blood impulses time and again. If the show cares enough for characters like Tyrion and Varys to continually question her, then the show intends for it to be an issue.

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    268. Jason Rubright:
      Have we seen Jon burn or have any interactions w/ fire?

      Yes, in season 1 he burned his hand while he was fighting the wight at Castle Black.

      However, I don’t know if the rules for him change after he was brought back to life. I would guess not, but don’t know.

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    269. Clob,

      I think we’ll be seeing Arya integrating into the main story in ep. 2. The preview has a shot of her with a bow shooting an arrow, which could be something like her showing off her skills (one of many! 🙂 ). Hopefully this will also include interactions with Dany, more with Sandor, and her impressing them with her skills.

      I can see why Arya wouldn’t hang around the meeting stuff though, as I’m pretty sure she’d find that dreadfully boring.

      Maisie did do a ton of filming, so I expect we’ll see the fruits of that in ep. 3 and beyond. I mean, they really need to have Arya make an impact in her first battle in the series!

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    270. Tyrion Pimpslap: We’ve seen Tyrion try to advise her against her Fire And Blood impulses time and again. If the show cares enough for characters like Tyrion and Varys to continually question her, then the show intends for it to be an issue.

      True, or at least I partially agree. One, I don’t think that the impulses are “Targaryen” so much as they are from someone who has been dispossessed, impoverished, and raised on tales of her misery being the fault of others. Two, and this might prove to be important, the show also has framed what Daenerys should do in terms of a “what men tell Daenerys” and “what women tell Daenerys” issue. Yes, Varys & Tyrion say “pull back.” However, the one woman who ever gave her advice was Olenna: and she said “Be A Dragon.”

      Tyrion himself has been somewhat at fault here: he has been trying too hard to be the “centrist.” In a way, this makes sense: it offers a balance. However, we should not make the mistake of thinking “Ah, Tyrion suggested it: therefore, it is the right choice.” Tyrion is quite smart, but he will make mistakes. It probably is not coincidence that two individuals on whom Daenerys went “full dragon” were two men who had betrayed Olenna! (Although even then, Daenerys tried to give Tyrion’s Peace a Chance: but horses, water, etc.; wait, maybe that’s dragons, water, etc., as horses are ruined for everyone now.)

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    271. Clob,

      I don’t think Jon needs to see what Arya can do before episode 3. Last season, didn’t he say every child, boy or girl, 10 years and older needs to learn how to fight?

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    272. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Wimsey,

      The thing I don’t get is, why would Tyrion want “The Mother of Dragons” to be Queen of the Seven Kingdoms in the first place if he never wants her to use her dragons? Surely, he knows that she’ll have to use them at some point if she wants to defeat Cersei.

      Does Tyrion think it’s acceptable to save the citizens of King’s Landing by killing a bunch of people with wildfire, but then it’s not acceptable for Dany to use dragons to save Westeros from Cersei’s tyranny? Seems hypocritical to me.

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    273. Mango: Yes, he could not bear seeing a man burned to death for not bending the knee. He chose to give Mance a quick death by an arrow.

      Yes, you’re right he chose to give Mance a quick death, but there’s more to it than just not being able to bear it. He did watch for awhile and started shaking his head like he couldn’t just sit there and do nothing anymore. I think he just didn’t think it was necessary to have him suffer. Burning him alive was a horrible way to go just because he wouldn’t bend the knee. If he’s going to execute him, do it by hanging or by the sword, or an arrow through the heart.

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    274. An interview with John Bradley that sheds light on how the writers intend for Dany’s actions to be viewed by the man closest to Jon: http://https://www.thewrap.com/game-of-thrones-sam-daenerys-pscyhopathic-jon-aegon-season-8-premiere/

      “Sam is now very, very aware that Dany is very imbalanced and very volatile and in quite a dangerous state with people,” Bradley told TheWrap in an interview Monday. “He sees with his own eyes, and is kind of connecting this to his own set of emotions, just how cold she is and how sacrificial she is in other people’s lives. And he learns the lengths that she’ll go to if somebody decides to disobey her and how her quest for power seems to know no moral code when it comes to that.”

      “When she’s talking to him and she’s telling him about his own family, she’s telling him kind of without any sense of compassion at all,” Bradley says. “She comes at it in a very clinical way, and a very cold and a very detached way. And it feels psychopathic, really, that she didn’t offer him any kind of comfort at all. She says, you know, ‘They refused to bend the knee.’ And that’s a very pragmatic way of dealing with it, ‘They disobeyed me, and so I killed them.’ And in that moment he sees what a dangerous figure she is and that’s what motivates him to tell Jon.”

      “He’s probably dreading telling Jon Snow that very sensitive piece of information because nobody wants to hear that,” Bradley says. “And also, Sam is not the kind of person who wants to cause any trouble for Jon Snow either. He just wants things to go smoothly for Jon Snow. It’s only because of the key piece of information about Jon actually being the true heir to the Iron Throne, it’s only because things are in such a precarious state with the person who everyone thinks should be on the Iron Throne, who is such a volatile character — that’s what is actually pushing Sam on to relay the information.”

      And yes, Bradley says Sam does want Jon to rule Westeros, not Dany.

      “[Sam] can see the trouble that she could spell, not only for Jon, but for the Seven Kingdoms in general,” Bradley said. “And also, you know, just the safety of his own family. Sam is always thinking about that. Sam is always thinking about the safety of Gilly and baby Sam. And what he was put on this earth to do is protect them. And he sees all of this put in jeopardy if we continue with this campaign of volatile, murderous, completely irrational behavior. So I think he’s very scared. He’s terrified of Daenerys after that. Terrified of what she’s capable of, and he wants to do all he can to put a stop to it.”

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    275. Mr Derp: Yes, in season 1 he burned his hand while he was fighting the wight at Castle Black.

      However, I don’t know if the rules for him change after he was brought back to life.I would guess not, but don’t know.

      Oh, Jon interactions with fire meant Jon himself in flames. I am slower than usual today.

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    276. Tron79: Yes, you’re right he chose to give Mance a quick death, but there’s more to it than just not being able to bear it.He did watch for awhile and started shaking his head like he couldn’t just sit there and do nothing anymore.I think he just didn’t think it was necessary to have him suffer.Burning him alive was a horrible way to go just because he wouldn’t bend the knee.If he’s going to execute him, do it by hanging or by the sword, or an arrow through the heart.

      I agree completely.

      There has been some discussion on the board about the Tarleys and the choices made by Daenerys.

      I think the burning of Mance for not bending the knee holds some indication on how Jon (and Sam) think of burning someone as punishment for not bending the knee. Of course, we know what Varys, Tyrion think about Tarley and the political implications.

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    277. Young Dragon:
      Clob,

      I don’t think Jon needs to see what Arya can do before episode 3. Last season, didn’t he say every child, boy or girl, 10 years and older needs to learn how to fight?

      Yeah, but I think that was more in the line of making sure the little kids can help defend the back lines. The best they’re probably hoping for is that they know how to at least swing a weapon and not wet themselves. Arya is one that is suppose to have the skills to be out in the front lines fighting with the men. He’s not going to put her there without knowing what she can do…

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    278. Jack Bauer 24:
      Anyone else think Harry Strickland’s debut was kind of lackluster?

      It was, but then he’s not a major character either. Wasn’t Rissmann only reported to be in two episodes? If that’s a fact then the first one wasn’t much

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    279. Mango,

      Yes, Sam even sort of said that very thing in the crypts to Jon (or was implying it). I don’t recall the exact dialogue… I’ve only watched twice so far… This was a tough episode for Dany, but Jon was forced to open his eyes on many fronts. He was moved by Dany risking everything to rescue the team beyond the wall (and him) and losing her dragon, but he is falling in love and that had to have a little to do with it too….

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    280. Tyrion Pimpslap:
      Wimsey,

      This is where I differ with you, I think. I don’t think Dany is going insane, I just believe it is in her nature to be impulsive and to exhort her power with the dragons. Tyrion and Varys’ reaction to her burning the Tarlysspoke of trying to bring her under control and curb those impulses. We’ve seen Tyrion try to advise her against her Fire And Blood impulses time and again.If the show cares enough for characters like Tyrion and Varys to continually question her, then the show intends for it to be an issue.

      I am always interested in arguments around someone with a massive weapon; whose motto is with “fire and blood” ; and who always announces “I will rule” and demands absolute submission.

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    281. Leuf:
      I continue to be very nervous about the Winterfell crypts with their new found place in the opening credits and prominent place in the episode.Big tomb of every Stark that ever lived inside the walls of Winterfell.Night King who can reanimate the dead within a large radius just by raising his arms.What could possibly go wrong?I really don’t want to see unNed killing one of his kids.

      If this actually happens, it’ll violate the the show’s own history. When Littlefinger brought Cat Ned’s remains in season 2 when he visited the Stormlands to try and make the deal to get Jaime back, his remains were in a small box that a single person could carry. He was either cremated or already reduced to a disassembled pile of bones. I wouldn’t totally put it past the writers to ignore that, but it would be pretty jarring.

      Similar situation with Rickon’s remains. Jon tells the soldiers to bring his brother’s body to the crypts after they take him into the courtyard, but at that point, they knew about the Army of the Dead and were already burning every body, so why the heck would they not burn Rickon’s body too?

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    282. Tron79:
      Mango,

      Yes, Sam even sort of said that very thing in the crypts to Jon (or was implying it). I don’t recall the exact dialogue… I’ve only watched twice so far…This was a tough episode for Dany, but Jon was forced to open his eyes on many fronts.He was moved by Dany risking everything to rescue the team beyond the wall (and him) and losing her dragon, but he is falling in love and that had to have a little to do with it too….

      Jon needs to wise up.

      He at least needed to consult with the Starks and the liege lords. Ned had them give lives to fight the mad king – oh well, too late.

      Or to hold off on the relationship until he was able to bring this team along a bit more.

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    283. Adam,

      Benjen is the key here. He is the only undead we know who was not enthralled (not turned into a blue-eyed mindless wight) by becoming undead. Probably because he is a Stark? The reason is still unknown, but we know Benjen can’t be an anomaly, his state of being must mean something to the story. He FOUGHT the white walkers, he didn’t fight with them.

      So if any Starks are made undead, I think they’ll be like Benjen and will fight against the AOTD. What is dead may never die, right?

      They can’t show Cat or Robb, and probably not Ned, but they can use Rickon. The rest would be skeletons like the ones under the snow outside the cave of the 3ER.

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    284. Leuf,

      The crypts are connected to areas outside Winterfell via tunnels, certainly for an escape route as mentioned by Luwin in the show, but canonically they connect beyond the Wall. Very likely this could be an infiltration route by the AOTD.

      Further, I do think there will be some reanimation of dead Starks. As I mentioned a few times in the thread, they don’t even need to be recognizable Starks (maybe Rickon) they only need to be skeletons like the skeleton army under the snow we already saw. However, I think they’ll be like Benjen and won’t be under the control of the NK, they’ll fight for the Starks not against them.

      We will also, I am sure, have characters die and be reanimated. But where someone like, say, Tormund might become a regular wight, someone like, say, Sansa might become more like Benjen.

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    285. Jack Bauer 24: I meant Aegon and Dany don’t know that Bran is the 3 eyed raven. So when Bran tells them that they don’t have time for the squabbling because NK is on his way and has Viserion, not only did Dany barely react to the news that Viserion was raised, her and Aegon didn’t question Bran as to how he knew this.

      They knew of Bran’s abilities to at least some extent. Jon received ravens from Winterfell while he was at Dragonstone with updates from Bran. That was how he found out the Army of the Dead was near Eastwatch in the first place and he told Daenerys that Bran had reported that. Bran wasn’t actually greenseeing when he saw the wall fall, either. He was warging a flock of birds. Jon is well aware of the existence of wargs.

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    286. I have been just assuming that the weapon ‘schematic’ ASNAWP gave to Gendry was for a standard spear/staff with a dragonglass head. I just came across an article where they suggest that the dragonglass head could be detachable (to quickly replace the head) or (to form two weapons, a dagger and a staff). The crude drawing does look like the point has a handle that would insert into the shaft end. The trailer shows her twirling a staff and also running with just the dragonglass head. I figured the staff just broke, but detaching the dagger is a possibility also.

      https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/15/18311568/game-of-thrones-got-season-8-hbo-final-arya-stark-new-weapon-design-dragonglass-spear

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    287. ShameShameShame,

      After Benjen was stabbed by a white walker, the Children of the Forest found him and shoved a piece of dragonglass into his chest. That’s what stopped Benjen from falling under the control of the white walkers.

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    288. Clob,

      I believe it’s called a sling spear. The part with the strap and the cup is slung or thrown forward to eject the spear tip, and can be reloaded like a gun.

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    289. Clob,

      Definitely looked like a detachable weapon of some kind to me. I recall the drawing showed an arrow pointing at the detachable part to indicate where it separates. Pretty cool.

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    290. Mr Derp: Does Tyrion think it’s acceptable to save the citizens of King’s Landing by killing a bunch of people with wildfire, but then it’s not acceptable for Dany to use dragons to save Westeros from Cersei’s tyranny? Seems hypocritical to me.

      heh, yeah, it might be! But, then: Tyrion was using it to destroy an invading force and to preserve Kings Landing, not to destroy it. I suppose that it also is possible that Tyrion regrets his actions, but if this were the case, then it would have helped to have this come up already!

      Tyrion Pimpslap: An interview with John Bradley that sheds light on how the writers intend for Dany’s actions to be viewed by the man closest to Jon:

      Ah, but there is a very important point here: this is now Sam perceives Daenerys. And, let’s face it: given his scant data, that is a reasonable interpretation! However, people who have much more experience with Daenerys than does Sam have different interpretations.

      Moreover, this seems like an overreaction by Sam, albeit an understandable one. After all, most Westerosi lords would have done something like this. Sure, they would have used an axe or a crossbow, but dead is dead. Look at it this way: nobody considered Tywin to be unbalanced despite the fact that he committed acts that can only be called atrocities; Tywin was not even considered dishonorable for these actions, merely “harsh.” And most Westerosi lords would have been just as cold in their delivery.

      But, again: this is fine. This is how real people behave sometimes. Remember, Sam is not just learning that his brother that he liked died: he’s doing so while preparing for a war against an enemy that he (unlike most people) fears appropriately. Sam shouldn’t want Daenerys to rule just now: this is Martin, not Tolkien!

      What we have set up now is a lot of conflicts between parties where at least one party does not know the whole story. Sansa does not understand what they are up against. Daenerys does not know what her father was planning to do. Almost nobody knows that Lyanna went willingly with Rhaegar. And nobody knows that the NK is REDACTED!

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    291. Wimsey:

      4. Nobody having worked out Fermat’s Theorem in this world.

      Fermat is my favorite mathematician! Jack of all trades and such cheek. Not enough room, indeed.

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    292. Wimsey,

      I know this is just Sam’s perspective, but I do believe it is informative of where the show could be headed once the Aegon bombshell is dropped. Jon’s sisters and best friend pushing his claim.

      I really believe Jon and Dany could be at odds towards the end. I didn’t necessarily feel that way prior to this episode. Is there some symbolism to Jon’s dragon being green and Dany’s black? Those colors have history in a past Targaryen civil war. It’s just something to think about.

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    293. Thronetender: Oh, yeah, Jon isn’t Bran’s brother, technically. He’s a cousin.

      True! However, Jon would never stop thinking of them as siblings.

      Oh, and my blushes for your kind words! It’s good to be back, now that I do not need to worry about spoilers. (I have done a stupendous job of remaining ignorant of what is to come beyond knowing that we are in for one hell of a big battle in Episode 3.)

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    294. I liked the episode quite well but I think Podeswa would have picked up the mood and skeptical/hostile atmosphere even better.
      I think the tensions in this episode were mostly quite believable and worked well. Of course I loved Arya’s reunions although at first I was a bit surprised by the rough conversation with the Hound. But I guess that is more to the point than a hug would have been. After hall he has been her dancing/fighting/killing teacher #2. Great recall to m’lady from Gendry.
      The Yara rescue felt a bit too easy, as many have noted, and I think that is part of the general criticism of this episode, that they had to pack quite a lot of things into it such that it at times felt a bit rushed.
      About Cersei, I also saw it as a way to trick Euron into thinking it is his baby in the womb to keep him loyal.
      Anyway, things are going to get very interesting in Winterfell….quite looking forward to it.

      Oh, and great Recap, Sue! Quite enjoyed it!

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    295. Tyrion Pimpslap: Those colors have history in a past Targaryen civil war. It’s just something to think about.

      Perhaps; I just have problems seeing the show going that way in what little time remains. After all, in the 5 remaining episodes, we should see:
      1) buildup for invasion + at least temporary resolution of internal squabbles;
      2) one hell of a big fight & the fallout (I expect “RUNAWAY!!!!”);
      3) figuring out what the hell the NK is doing;
      4) big climax based on 3;
      5) dealing with Cersei.

      At any rate, the truth is on Daenerys side in this issue in most ways, just as the truth is on Jon’s side regarding the tensions between himself and Sansa. And as Clob notes above, there are really strong parallels between Randyl’s execution and Janos Slynt’s execution. But, then: this is a story, and parallelisms are everything in stories!

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    296. ThisGirlHasNoName:
      Mr Derp,

      Ok, I’m convinced the Starks won’t rise from the crypts as wights :). But I still have a hunch that Sean Bean makes some kind of appearance, given that he’s done a few promos for the season.

      Could be a Bran-flashback or (total random speculation) even a Faceless Man wearing Neds face. Yes I know the latter is a long shot, but we never got any kind of explanation for Jaquen H’gar’s presence at Kings Landing when Ned was executed. On the other hand, the last time we saw Ned’s face was when he was merely a head on a stick and Jaqen was already trapped in a jail-wagon, so I guess that kills that theory.

      Still fun to guess :).

      There seem to be a lot of mentions of Ned in the videos I’ve watched in the last couple of days: the 60 Minutes videos focused on Ned’s prop head, and John Bradley focused on telling us GoT doesn’t always give fans what fans think they want, like chopping off Ned’s head.

      One of my very favorite book theories that may not pan out in the show (hasn’t been setup in the show like it has in the books) is that the Kings of Winter will rise to defend Winterfell under the direction of a true Stark. Even though all the Starks were pictured in the crypt in trailer, Rob and Ned are the only now-dead Lords/Kings of Winter that should be there.

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    297. Wolfish: As for the Night King’s messages, I think I know what it means: the Night King has reinstaged the scene of his creation – a human being in the centre of the spiral stabbed and turned into an undying and unliving creature. That’s his tragedy and the source of his rage. That’s what he’s trying to convey: look what was done to me!

      I was being wildly facetious and stirring the pot. I didn’t mean to ever imply that’s what you thought.

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    298. Azor Asshai: Therefore it’s reasonable to assume that the valonqar prophecy is going to be fulfilled in some way and that it was most likely cut from the show in order to preserve some element of surprise.

      Yeah, even though it wasn’t explicitly stated by MtF in the show, I believe ‘Valonqar’ is still in play and Cersei/Qyburn initiated it in this episode. Bronn is headed north, where Tyrion, Jaime…and Arya are. Something makes me think that after the AotD battle (??), Bronn will strike either one (or both) and Arya may intervene or use the result to her benefit. Crazy thought?

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    299. I think the reason Sansa is not happy with Jon bending the knee , is because Jon is in love with Dany. Remember what happen to the previous King of the North…

      Sansa to Jon : ” you need to be smarter than Robb”

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    300. ShameShameShame,

      Benjen explains to Meera and Bran that a WW drove an ice sword through him and left him for dead, “to turn.” The Children found him and reversed the process of death and wightification by plunging a dragonglass dagger through his heart (“the same way they made them”). So, death and… I’m not sure. He’s like Beric and Jon, I think.

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    301. Wolfish,

      Ah, it wouldn’t be the first time I “forgot” a show event because of my book theories. It never did make sense to me that the method of creating a WW is also a way to prevent their creation.

      I can still hold out for Benjen I suppose. What is dead may never die? And Bran surely remembers what Benjen told him.

      The show writers wouldn’t have Benjen the undead anomaly just flapping in the breeze or would they?

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    302. Hodors Bastard: Yeah, even though it wasn’t explicitly stated by MtF in the show, I believe ‘Valonqar’ is still in play and Cersei/Qyburn initiated it in this episode. Bronn is headed north, where Tyrion, Jaime…and Arya are. Something makes me think that after the AotD battle (??), Bronn will strike either one (or both) and Arya may intervene or use the result to her benefit. Crazy thought?

      I was thinking the same thing! In the open chat, I said, “I thought the Bronn-Brother assassination was the perfect final straw for the valonqar: Cersei’s biggest attempt to negate her death prophecy will be the impetus for fulfilling it. That’s the way all good prophecies go, innit?”

      As to Bronn’s potential success, I wonder if Bran may thwart that for his “old friend” Jaime. I wonder if Bran’s interest in Jaime is related to him being the valonqar, now that I think about it!

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    303. Wimsey: 2) one hell of a big fight & the fallout (I expect “RUNAWAY!!!!”);
      3) figuring out what the hell the NK is doing;
      4) big climax based on 3;
      5) dealing with Cersei.

      Cool. I stand proudly (and foolishly) behind our discussion from 2015/2016 when we considered that maybe the War for Westeros may occur after the AotD battle. 😉

      As an aside…when Bran mention he was “waiting for an old friend,” I started humming that Rolling Stones’ song. Then suddenly I remembered that final scene of Silence of the Lambs during which Hannibal phones Clarice and announces “I’m having an old friend for dinner.” Yum!

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    304. Ginevra: I was thinking the same thing! In the open chat, I said,

      I was searching for a comment to respond to…sorry I didn’t find yours. I was hoping that it had been discussed. I like the way you put it. Who might have Bronn’s face when he returns? Or what if it is reported that Jaime or Tyrion have been assassinated and Bronn returns to report to Cersei…? Or can Arya give a face to another as a gift? Hmmm….

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    305. Ginevra,

      I like this idea about the valonqar, good stuff! I had another thought about this, that the “younger brother” could be the monster child Cersei is carrying. What a visual that would be.

      Re: Jaime. He brought Widow’s Wail with him to Winterfell didn’t he? And Brienne has Oathkeeper, so both halves of the ancestral Stark sword Ice are now in the North… I think this is very significant, there are more clues about this in the book, but I’m sure it will mean something in the show. Jaime might be very important to the story if he wields WW alongside Brienne and OK. Who else would wield them?

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    306. Ginevra:
      One of my very favorite book theories that may not pan out in the show (hasn’t been setup in the show like it has in the books) is that the Kings of Winter will rise to defend Winterfell under the direction of a true Stark.Even though all the Starks were pictured in the crypt in trailer, Rob and Ned are the only now-dead Lords/Kings of Winter that should be there.

      I don’t believe Robb should be there. At least, I don’t see any reason the Freys would have returned his body after desecrating it, especially given the Starks were wiped out after that as far as they knew. Winterfell had already been abandoned, so even if they were feeling generous, there was no one to return the remains to.

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    307. Inga,

      They did kind of show the NK in the Winterfell main archway in the teaser of a snow covered ransacked Winterfell. So I expect he will be there. Which means that we’re gonna have some nighttime dragon on dragon aerial warfare right? Will a dragon fall in this battle or all 3 survive for the finale? Seeing Jaime in episode 2 is gonna be nice but I can’t lie, episode 3 is the one I’m waiting on. It’s gonna be Battle of the Bastards & Hardhome level EPIC.

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    308. Aegon the IceDragon:
      Inga,

      They did kind of show the NK in the Winterfell main archway in the teaser of a snow covered ransacked Winterfell. So I expect he will be there. Which means that we’re gonna have some nighttime dragon on dragon aerial warfare right?Will a dragon fall in this battle or all 3 survive for the finale?Seeing Jaime in episode 2 is gonna be nice but I can’t lie, episode 3 is the one I’m waiting on. It’s gonna be Battle of the Bastards & Hardhome level EPIC.

      And Bran does seem like a front runner for who the NK is looking for (he did mark him in Hold the Door) but he and Jon have had some serious stare downs. Maybe he knows the prophecy that Azor Ahai (TPTWP or the Last Hero) will destroy him so he’s looking for that person? It’s gotta be Jon, Bran, or Dany right?

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    309. Wimsey,

      There’s enough time. We only got those storylines. Look at the past where a whole storyline of a season was 15 minutes for some. Count the scenes where we got the story of oberyn is less then 30 minutes and it felled long enough. Same with danys story turning mad.

      It’s already put in motion in the past. The way she acts when she thinks she is right. Burning people alive. Crusifying etc. Maybe that felt right but it was not. Never lower yourself to the level of your enemies.

      Yes she is a good person. But she has bad habits that could get the better of her if she gain power. Look at her father. He started as a good person who turned mad. At one moment he just turned.

      Look at dany this episode. How cold she told the story to Sam. How she reacts to people question her. We all know what she meant with her dragons eat what they want.

      Later she wanted to say something what she wanted to do to Sansa if she didn’t get in line. I think we all can guess what that was and if Jon heart it he would have been done with dany right there.

      Theres a reason why all the starks dislike her, Arya is a good observer. She can read dany. Same as Sam. There’s a reason why we got the information about Jon’s past. And it’s not because we could get some incest moments with jon.

      Theres only one way dany could stay on the right path and that’s if she bend the knee to jon. That’s the only solution that works. If she doesn’t even Jon know she will not go all the way to save the realm and she will lose everything and is forced to take bad actions.

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    310. Emilia: They just simply don’t like her, and how do you fight against that? You can’t. That’s a bitter pill to swallow because at this point her ego is at a place that doesn’t handle that too great.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI1n2P0MDWY

      I saw Arya’s defense of Sansa as “the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives” mentality, and also because there was so much tension between the two last season but Sansa really stood by the family at the very end, when push came to shove. Having been so wrong about Sansa, she doesn’t want to make that mistake again, but I’m wondering if that isn’t exactly what D&D hope the audience will do.

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    311. konna,

      Yep.

      They explicitly telegraphed this stuff last season.

      Sansa: “You have to be smarter than father. You need to be smarter than Robb. I loved them. I miss. them. But they made stupid mistakes and the both lost their heads for it”
      Jon: “And how should I be smarter? By listening to you?”
      Sansa: “Would that be so terrible?”

      He then proceeds to directly emulate their mistakes over the following episodes. And yet people still act like Sansa’s frustrations are unfounded.

      We’ve already seen his bannermen losing faith in him because of his decision to forfeit his kingdom. Some have abandoned him completely and now face certain death and their forces being added to the Army of the Dead as a result.

      In the next episode it will be revealed that his decision to trust Cersei (like Ned did) was a mistake.

      Ultimately, once the Army of the Dead arrives on Winterfell’s doorstep, Jon’s decision to coax Daenerys north by any means necessary will probably be proven right. But his decisions may have a lasting impact on the political situation post war, especially in conjunction with the reveal of his true parentage.

      And in the meantime, Sansa has good reason to at least question his rationale.

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    312. Adam,

      I should have clarified that Robb and Ned were the only ones with the right to be in the crypts, having been Lords or Kings of Winterfell and now dead. The only known exception to that is Lyanna, where Ned allowed that because she begged him so. Catelyn and Benjen and Rickon don’t technically have the right to be in the crypts.

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    313. Ginevra,

      But Arya wasn’t wrong about Sansa. The scripts said she was having thoughts of usurping Jon. Arya & Bran brought her back from the edge of betraying her family again. That’s how I saw it. I’m to the point I could care less what D&D & Sophie & even Maisie say about Sansa doing all these great things because their post episode discussions never align with what the scripts called for or what they showed her doing on screen.

      Jon’s done more and risked more for House Stark & the North than both Arya & Sansa combined. To question his loyalty while praising Sansa’s seems foolish. I better see a scene next episode or somewhere down the line where Arya reminds Sansa that Jon is family too because I still can’t tell if she’s fully on board with that…

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    314. Ginevra,

      All family members can have their tombs in the crypts – at one point the children even point where their tombs will be – but traditionally only the Kings of Winter have statues. Yes, Lyanna and Brandon seem to be the exceptions to the statue tradition.

      ETA and apparently Artos the Implacable also has a statue even though he wasn’t Lord.

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    315. In relation to the Ned and Robb stuff, have we seen any completely headless wight fighting? I don’t recall any. I don’t know how eyeless ones or those of just skulls can possibly attack properly either. Magic I guess eh. 😜

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    316. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Sansa calling Robb & Ned stupid is comical. What has she been all series if not a stupid pawn being moved around by real power players. Now all of a sudden she’s a political force & great thinker??? Then again she’s smarter than Lord Royce (a proven military commander from the Vale in the snowy mountains) because she had to teach him that armor needed leather insulation in colder climates. Give me a break.

      Everyone has to be dumbed down to make Sansa look special (Jon, Arya, Royce, Tyrion, & I expect Dany will be as well). That shit has gone beyond stupid. Stop “telling” us how great Sansa is without having “shown” her earning her stripes.

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    317. Clob,

      We did see independently-functioning body parts (top half, bottom half, hand) during the parley at the Dragon pit, right?

      But yes it’s hard to imagine a beheaded wight.

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    318. Azor Asshai,

      Euron Greyjoy is somewhat clever, if simply shrewd, however not
      intelligent enough to challenge someone like Daenerys.
      Whatever his ambition , whether misaligned with ASOIAF or truer
      GOT, the show runners do seem to have a unique role for him.

      If only Peter Baelish were around long enough to offer his perceptions
      of Cersei at the point. He understood her quite well, politics even
      better. “Maggythe Frog” and Baelish were great at surmising a clever
      story .

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    319. Great first show ReCap, Sue. It’s been ages since my
      commenting online , regarding any televised show.
      Good to be back and reading thought provoking
      insights from all the comments .
      The final season premiere had me full of anticipation
      and excitement. Just like season one.

      WildSeed

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    320. EE:
      Hey Dany, do you remember saying, “I promised their enemies would die screaming. How do I make hunger scream?” Then maybe DON’T THREATEN SANSA when she talks about setting in provisions for the winter without factoring dragons in. Grr.

      She wasn’t threatening her. Sansa was being snarky, Dany got tired of it and snarked back. Childish? Sure. But it’s true. They DO eat whatever they want. Hence why Dany tries to keep them supplied with more palatable options than people.

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    321. Adrianacandle:
      When Dany and Sansa were sniping at each other with an immobile Jon in the middle, it looked like he was reminiscing about the good times at Hardhome.

      That actually made me laugh out loud, thank you. 😆 “Go to your happy place, Jon….go to your happy place….fuck, I don’t have one.”

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    322. Nariman,

      Sansa had zero control over what happened at the Purple Wedding, don’t blame her one bit for scarpering with LF when she could. Who wouldn’t? What was she supposed to do – volunteer to be Tyrion’s champion?! Neither of them wanted to marry the other, but they were civil about it.

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    323. Iam not sure whether dany and her armies are illegal immigrants who is seeking asylum in the north where they have less of a food and place to hold them all.I mean come on they are here for protecting the north from a threat that will wipe everyone out.

      I imagine The backlash from the fandom would have been heavy if it was any other who received the same treatment that dany received. I mean what exactly she needs to do here other then bring all her army for defending North and giving all the supplies of Dragonglass. What else do these stupid northern lords expect .
      It would be nice if someone makes lyanna mormont shut the hell up or she can choose to go to bear island and end up the same way like the umber boy for all she likes.

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    324. Pigeon: That actually made me laugh out loud, thank you. 😆 “Go to your happy place, Jon….go to your happy place….fuck, I don’t have one.”

      Good point. How many happy memories does Jon have to take with him into this battle for the living? Cat glared him through childhood, Alliser glared him through NW boot camp, then the whole world went crazy with beheadings and white walkers, everyone gave him s*** and then he came back to life to start fighting all over again.
      So laughing with Sam, Edd and Tormund, cave time with Ygritte and now dragon riding. That’s pretty much it.
      No wonder he broods so well.

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    325. Pigeon,

      The writing on this show suffers from “why the hell didn’t they just fully explain the circumstances” syndrome.

      Too many examples to list. No one ever compares notes or revisits crossed paths.

      She should have said “Littlefinger conspired to spirit me away. He then sold me to the Boltons. I’ve since had him executed. By the way, we’re not still married right?”

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