(Official) Game of Thrones S8x1 “Winterfell”

Qwa'ha Xahn

High King of the Known Worlds
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Yeah, they were checking boxes like mad this episode. Stark reunions? Done. Arya Hound reunion? Done. Arya Gendry? Done. Sam finds out about his family? Done. Jon learns truth? Done. Theon rescues Yara? Done. Cersei gets her army? Check. Find out Tormon’s fate after the wall? Done.

There’s probably more. This episode was packed. Oh! Tyrion Sansa reunion. Done. Jamie arrives? Done.

Edit: Is Jon a dragon rider? Done.
 

First and Forsaken Brian

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I'm trying to decide whether the Golden Company is being specifically used because the show has otherwise run out of canon mercenary groups or because they want to set up the Company
Spoiler: Show

breaking the Lannister contract in favor of the Targaryens (in reference to the "Varys' Aegon" plot in the books).

I hope it's the latter, as this company was originally specifically formed to put a Blackfyre on the throne; while we don't have the possible-Blackfyre connection in Young Griff, transferring that loyalty to either of the Targaryens (or to their cause in general) would suit.
 

Toa

Freilanzer
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I will laugh heartily if we end up with three factions all with their own dragon and Cersei sitting there supremely pissed she doesn't have elephants.
That image gave me a good laugh. :D

I approached this season just wanting it to be over, since I really haven't been enjoying the show since they ran out of books to adapt. That said, I surprisingly enjoyed this week's episode – strong focus on character relations that harken back to the early days. Considering D&D have sole writing credit for the final four episodes, I expect that to be the point where they lose me again, but for now I'm happy with how this season started.
 

Gogmagog

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I suspect that Cersi isn't pregnant at all and has gone through Menopause(As Olenna Tyrell told Twynn would no doubt be happening when they met)
 

Lethe

Deserve's got nothing to do with it
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Yeah, they were checking boxes like mad this episode. Stark reunions? Done. Arya Hound reunion? Done. Arya Gendry? Done. Sam finds out about his family? Done. Jon learns truth? Done. Theon rescues Yara? Done. Cersei gets her army? Check. Find out Tormon’s fate after the wall? Done.

There’s probably more. This episode was packed. Oh! Tyrion Sansa reunion. Done. Jamie arrives? Done.

Edit: Is Jon a dragon rider? Done.
Eh. I feel like all of this could have been done in about half the time. Example: Jaime could have ridden into Winterfell at the beginning of the episode. Would have been a much more impactful scene than three minutes of some no-name kid running around and climbing into a tree to watch the the unsullied stroll into town. The Stark reunion was good and heartfelt. Aryan/Hound and Arya/Gentry all felt pretty perfunctory.
 

Toa

Freilanzer
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Example: Jaime could have ridden into Winterfell at the beginning of the episode. Would have been a much more impactful scene than three minutes of some no-name kid running around and climbing into a tree to watch the the unsullied stroll into town.
I actually happened to watch the first minute of the "Behind the Episode" stuff since it was attached to next week's promo, and they made a point of how that intro is supposed to mirror the intro of the first episode where Arya climbs up a wagon to look at the King's entourage marching into Winterfell. Only this time Arya is grown up and watches another kid do as she once did. Same thing goes for the ending, with the encounter between Jamie and Bran. Those parallels were actually what I really liked in this episode.
 

awesomeocalypse

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The only way this episode could possibly be described as "slow" is if literally anything thats not a fight or character death is considered slow. In terms of character moments, this episode was massive and if anything moved at a breakneck pace. Nearly every scene involved characters with major history who haven't seen each other in ages colliding in ways with significant repercussions for how their stories this season are likely to play out.

I love that Arya was overjoyed to see Jon again, but that she was also unequivocally team Sansa, and that raises a lot of interesting questions about how both she and Sansa react to the news about Jon's true heritage--Arya loves Jon but has made it clear that Stark loyalty comes first for her, and now Jon is not even a true stark. Not that I think she'll turn on him entirely, but I do think things are going to get complicated between them.
The Jon/Dany dragon ride felt like one last hurrah for their happy relationship because it all becomes a fucking mess, but I also think it was hugely important for another reason: in riding Rhaegal, there's a very good chance Jon bonded with him. In other words, if it does become Dany vs Jon (even if only for a bit before they unite against the Night King), Jon may well have a dragon of his own on his side. Dany, without even knowing it, may have just given one of her dragons away. That is huge.
I loved how Bran just chilling constantly in the courtyard initially seemed like a meme ("lol creepy Bran needs to get out of the cold" was basically the initial reaction at the viewing party I attended), only for it to all suddenly click by the end when we realize who the "old friend" he was waiting for.
John Bradley deserves a fucking Emmy for the range of emotions he displayed in that scene with Dany--first surprise and a bit of muted emotional shock upon learning his father died, and then genuine devastation (that he of course tries and fails to mask) when he learns of his brother--and I thought that was a really smart way to lend a lot of interesting emotional weight to the following scene rather than having it just all be about Jon.
And of course, Jon learned his true identity. I mean, that alone is a massive fucking gamechanger. I suspect this is pretty much the last we've seen of "Jon and Dany, picture perfect couple"
Not to mention Cersei securing her forces and sending Bronn after her brothers, and Theon rescuing his sister and heading back to winterfell (which, logistics being what they are these days, probably means he'll show up like 15 minutes into the next episode). Plus all the little scenes that established basic political realities like the Sansa vs Dany rivalry or the Northerner sense of betrayal toward Jon, and how characters now relate to each other, like Sansa's mixture of wariness, warmth and cynicism toward Tyrion, and Arya's budding flirtation with Gendry

There were some scenes I wanted but didn't get (e.g. Jorah mormont interacting with his...cousin? neice? Lyanna, who almost certainly holds him in contempt), but the scenes we did get moved a lot of important pieces into place at an impressively brisk pace. In prior seasons, this many big moments would likely be stretched out over several episodes, here its just one scene after another.

Also, they were not shy about piling on the pilot parallels and callbacks, from opening from a small child climbing up higher in winterfell to get a better view while a mass of northern soldiers look on an arriving royal entourage (only this time Arya is one of the soldiers instead of the kid), to Bronn getting one last bit of classic old school Thrones sexposition like Tyrion's whorehouse orgy in his first scene, to Sansa's clothes and manner directly calling back to Catelyn, to Jon under the heart tree in a nearly identical pose to Ned, to finally ending with Jaime open-mouthed in shock seeing Bran in an exact mirror of Bran's shock when Jaime threw him out the window all those years ago. It all underscored both how things have come full circle, but also how much all of these characters have grown.
 

Lethe

Deserve's got nothing to do with it
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I actually happened to watch the first minute of the "Behind the Episode" stuff since it was attached to next week's promo, and they made a point of how that intro is supposed to mirror the intro of the first episode where Arya climbs up a wagon to look at the King's entourage marching into Winterfell. Only this time Arya is grown up and watches another kid do as she once did. Same thing goes for the ending, with the encounter between Jamie and Bran. Those parallels were actually what I really liked in this episode.
Fair enough. I can see people enjoying that sort of thing. That didn't entertain me at all. Okay, it's the same type of scene and themes as a similar scene in the first season. So? I don't need a throwback at this point. And I don't think that scene has weight just because it recalls a prior one.

I agree that a lot of scenes that Awesomeocalyps mentioned were interesting, but those little snippets were a small part of the overall episode. Also, regarding Bronn, that scene made no sense. If Cersei wanted Jaime dead, as is implied in this scene, then why didn't she just have Gregor cave his skull in at the end of the last season? Instead, she waits until he leaves? Makes no sense.

It was still an entertaining episode on some levels, but also still one of the weakest. I'd be interested in someone naming another episode they thought was more lackluster.
 

TechnocratJT

Want be in Avengers 5
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Fair enough. I can see people enjoying that sort of thing. That didn't entertain me at all. Okay, it's the same type of scene and themes as a similar scene in the first season. So? I don't need a throwback at this point. And I don't think that scene has weight just because it recalls a prior one.

I agree that a lot of scenes that Awesomeocalyps mentioned were interesting, but those little snippets were a small part of the overall episode. Also, regarding Bronn, that scene made no sense. If Cersei wanted Jaime dead, as is implied in this scene, then why didn't she just have Gregor cave his skull in at the end of the last season? Instead, she waits until he leaves? Makes no sense.

It was still an entertaining episode on some levels, but also still one of the weakest. I'd be interested in someone naming another episode they thought was more lackluster.

Guidance:

nope. We re not going to have this little exchange where this thread becomes a “name the your least favorite episode to prove to me this one was better” game.
 
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