Well folks have you all seen the first episode of Game of Thrones Season 8? I myself started watching it at 2am last night, so I am slightly sleepy today (UK based). The episode was named ‘Nothing Lasts‘ and perhaps that’s an ominous portent for the season to come more than this episode itself.
I’ll preface with something fairly obvious, I will be discussing SPOILERS for this week’s episode, if you have not watched it yet be aware.
The thing about this episode for me is that I expected almost everything this episode had to offer, and whilst there is likely to be far more drama to come, I feel like we needed this episode to provide the calm before the storm.
The episode begins as everyone predicted with the entire cast arriving at Winterfell that left for there last season, well, except one anyway. Jon, Dany and all their assorted companions, armies and two dragons are met with onlookers, but perhaps not a warm welcome for those awaiting.
This episode serves to bring character together who for some have not shared any scenes together since the first season, or ever at all. For me Arya’s reunion’s with both Jon Snow and The Hound/Gendry were the best of the bunch, apart from that cheeky little reunion at the end, but I will get to that.
The forces of good are preparing for the army of the dead to march on Winterfell, but not all is rosy in the garden. It seems pretty obvious that the North is not happy with their King Jon, after he bent the knee to Queen Daenerys. Of course, no one else seems to be aware that he is actually in love with her, and I think she him also. This got a little complicated to say the least as Davos, Varys and Tyrion seem to be planning to wed the pair off, not being aware of the familial connection between the two Targaryen’s.
The single best performance of the episode was surely John Bradley as Samwell Tarly. Bradley was very convincing with his reaction to being told by his new Queen that she had executed not only his father Randal, but his brother Dickon also in the previous season. Samwell Tarly also does a good job of putting the seeds of doubt into the audience about whether Daenerys is the right person to be ruling. Sam confronts Jon and makes him question Dany’s actions whilst at the same time dropping that bombshell on him about his true parentage and his own claim to the Iron Throne.
I’m not sure what I thought of Jon riding Rhaegal the dragon for the first time, but perhaps this needed to happen earlier in this episode before Jon found the truth of his parentage? Jon and Dany essentially sneak away for a bit of nookie far away from the prying eyes of Winterfell. Perhaps the strangest scene in the whole episode was Drogon looking vey jealous or unapproving of Jon and Dany’s embrace. Whilst I guess the audience all knows that Dany is Jon’s aunt, it seems strange for Drogon to disapprove, especially with Targaryen history. But hey, we all knew Jon was riding Rhaegal at some point this season right? I mean I even predicted, that one dragon would be killed and which one Jon would ride last season.
At Kings Landing Cersei is obviously going to do her brutal best to take over the South while her enemies get swamped in the North. As we knew from last season Euron Greyjoy has brought the Golden Company to Westeros. As a reward, (I guess?) Queen Cersei grants Euron a night of passion, though she doesn’t seem to happy about it in the end. Euron says he will put a prince in Cersei, but…..oops he’s too late, as we know Cersei is already pregnant to her brother Jaime. Only in Game of Thrones eh?
Finally, with the stage set for a divide between Jon and Dany, and Cersei gearing up for domination, we are reminded where the true threat lies. Tormund and Beric (who were obviously alive) are journeying back from the wall, but the problem is that the army of the dead lie between them and Winterfell. Luckily they run in to Dolores Edd and the Night’s Watch and we get my favourite line from the whole episode after Dolores shouts at his men to stay back as Tormund has blue eyes. “I’ve always had blue eyes?” Tormund replies, classic. The men find little Lord Umbar, who had earlier been sent to get the rest of his people back to Winterfell, dead and pinned to the wall. The pattern of the body parts around the child is the same pattern we have been seeing the White Walkers use since Season 1 and the dead child comes to life before Beric sets the gruesome sight ablaze.
Oh and last, possibly my favourite reunion of them all, as Jaime Lannister arrives in Winterfell and see’s who has been patiently awaiting him. Bran Stark aka The Three Eyed Raven, the boy Jamie pushed from the tower and paralysed away back in the first ever episode.
Not the most exciting episode, but I think it successfully set the stage for the drama that will come in Season 8. Oh and about that, yeah we also have a short preview of next weeks episode, check it out.
What did you think of Nothing Lasts? Were you happy with this first episode or not? Head down to the Godswood below and take your vows. “We are the watchers, on the waaaall!”
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