Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) smiling that laugh of hair on Game that Thrones.

You are watching: Games of thrones season 8 episode 1

Shoulder pads courtesy the Julia Sugarbaker. HBO hide caption

Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) laugh that laugh of hers on Game of Thrones. Shoulder pads courtesy the Julia Sugarbaker.


We"re recapping the eighth and final season of Game the Thrones; look for these recaps very first thing top top Monday mornings. Spoilers, of course, abound.

Welcome back, everyone. It"s been 2 years due to the fact that last we gathered approximately the flickering digital hearth to feast our eyes on this world, and also these characters, numerous of whom – I"m thinking here of the dragons and also the ice-zombies largely – would happily feast on ours eyes. Due to the fact that Winter is Here, and it"s shaping approximately be a long, cruel one, and Sansa didn"t load away sufficient provisions for everyone.

This first episode ago is stuffed to the gills with an excellent big special chunks that plot – reunions, recriminations, spilled secrets – since the show"s sprinting towards the close and also there"s no time come waste. Ns mean, sure, the Euron scenes traction on forever, but that"s because Euron is therefore one-note and dull the time slows as you approach him. He"s an occasion horizon that boring, is ours leather-panted sea slug.

But everything else? Zipping follow me at a speed that surprised me, though i knew we"ve to be nearing the departure for the fireworks factory for part time. Again and also again, we acquire set-ups for the sort of disputes that, in periods past, would simmer end the food of four or five episodes. Now, instead, they boil over in the an extremely same scene they"re introduced. It"s not immersive, no – but it"s efficient.

Let"s begin.

Opening credits! with a significant upgrade! first off, that spinning sun-mobile thingy that flies over the clockwork map the Westeros has traded that galloping Baratheon stag for a Targaryen dragon immolating the Wall. We zoom under over the map, through the gaping breach in the wall (nice touch). There"s a neat impact of encroaching ice together we strategy a location we"ve never visited before – last Hearth. Climate it"s turn off to Winterfell, i beg your pardon has gotten a serious makeover – and also so has actually our point-of-view, i beg your pardon takes united state through the castle and down into the crypts. We soar down to King"s Landing, also looking fresh spiffy, and into the catacombs finish with a few facsimiles that Qyburn"s ballista and some dragon skulls. We complete in the throne room, as the stole Throne itself rises the end of the floor and also pokes the end its pokey swords prefer it"s a frilled lizard in courtship display.

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We"re in a small town just external of Winterfell"s walls. A young son is running frantically – we"re meant to think he"s in danger, to run from White Walkers, perhaps – however it turns out he"s not running away from something, he"s running toward it. The miscellaneous in question: He desires to acquire a glimpse the the endless line the Unsullied, marching v town ~ above their method to Winterfell. Arya is amongst the townsfolk lining the street – she watch impassive, they look worried and resentful.

Also on the march: Daenerys and also Jon Snow, The Hound (Arya"s challenge falls at the vision of him), Gendry (slight smile), Tyrion and also Varys, bickering contentedly, as is your wont, Grey Worm and Missandei. So, most of the speak to sheet, basically. Also? no for nothing? Two an excellent big honkin" dragons, which perform a screeching flyby, buzzing the townsfolk, who scatter favor startled antelope, if antelope wore ratty cloaks and looked like they smelled choose feet.

Both Arya and Sansa, that stands atop the Winterfell battlements, obtain the possibility to goggle at their first sight of a dragon. There"s an emotionally reunion in between Jon Snow and Bran Stark, though Bran being Bran, the feel in inquiry is Jon"s. In ~ one allude Sansa shoots Jon a look like, "No, yeah, Bran"s monster now, bro. And Arya"s gained her very own trippy death-cult vibe walking on now, too, simply you wait."

Sansa welcomes Daenerys to Winterfell, albeit coolly — nay, icily; she"s quiet sore that Jon swore fealty come Daenerys, providing up his title of King in the North. Also peeved: young Lyanna Mormont, uneven that hilariously intense scowl on her face method she requirements to get more fiber. Daenerys opts for a butter-wouldn"t-melt-in-her-mouth opening salvo, however they room interrupted through Bran, who brings everyone up to speed: The wall surface is down, the dragon that she lost fighting the Night King is currently the kind of dead that"s un-, and also the White Walkers room on the move.

(See what ns mean? Eleven minute in, and the personalities have learned every the info that us know. Efficient.)

In Winterfell"s great Hall, they decide to send word come the other dwellings of the phibìc to take it refuge in Winterfell, and dispatch li"l lord Umber off to his family"s castle, last Hearth (from the credits!) to retrieve them. Jon sends out for the males of the Night"s Watch as well. Lyanna Mormont seizes the minute to call Jon the end on abandoning his crown in donate of Daenerys, due to the fact that "calling individual out" is Lyanna Mormont"s entire, magnificent deal.

Jon attempts to safeguard himself, however only succeeds in sending out the scruffy assemblage to muttering "peas-and-carrots, peas-and-carrots." Tyrion tries to weigh in, but as shortly as that mentions that the Lannister army is top top its method to join the good fight, the muttering blossoms from "peas and also carrots" into an entire Birds Eye frozen vegetables medley.

Gendry heads to the Winterfell forges through wagons loaded v dragonglass if Tyrion has an awkward, wry and also respectful reunion with Sansa. Some air it s okay cleared between them — enough for him to watch that she"s been readjusted by everything she"s to be through. ("Many underestimate you," the says. "Most the them room dead now.") Sansa properly surmises the Cersei lied about sending the Lannister armies to help and mocks Tyrion for believing the lie in the very first place.

The show has inserted Sansa in a hard position here at the start of the final season. She resents Jon"s partnering through Daenerys and also is not afraid to gain salty around it; this makes her an problem in the Dany-Jon-Tyrion story path. So to make sure we continue to be on Sansa"s side, the producers do things like have actually Tyrion remind her (us) that world underestimate her, and make she able come see points that Tyrion can"t. Good for Sansa, but it go seem favor they can have discovered a way to build up Sansa together a savvy leader there is no making Tyrion look at stupid.

In the Winterfell Godswood, one more reunion: Arya sneaks increase on Jon, acting all cool and also distant and Faceless Mannish, prior to dropping she guard and offering a glimpse of an Arya we haven"t checked out in years. The asks if she"s ever before used Needle, the knife he gave her earlier in Season 1. She, um, has. (Has he no been debriefed by Sansa? Or walk Sansa figure "Our small sister is a experienced assassin that collects and wears dead people"s faces" is the type of news Jon should obtain from the source?)

Jon starts to complain around Sansa, only to obtain slapped down: "She"s the smartest person I"ve ever met," says Arya, and geeeeez it s okay we get it, show.

Down in King"s Landing, Queen Cersei receive the news the the wall has fallen with that very same close-mouthed, lizardlike, humorless laugh she greets most things with, and she welcomes Euron Greyjoy and also his stole Fleet, which has ferried 20,000 mercenaries ("The gold Company," in suggest of fact), 2,000 horses and — to the Queen"s disappointment — precisely zero elephants across the narrow Sea. (The golden Company is led through the symmetrically featured, swoopy haired bohunk Captain Strickland, whose surname reads less "George R.R. Martin fantasy character" and an ext "Delta co-pilot," but let the go.)

Euron Greyjoy is also here, since he"s acquired to be somewhere, ns suppose. Very first he gloats and smarms over his captive Yara Greyjoy, who appears as end him as I am. Next, the prattles on prior to the iron Throne, whereby Cersei cut him down to size before inviting him as much as her room, mystifyingly enough. Knew she to be evil, however I assumed she had actually taste.

Bronn cavorts v a trio that sex workers that can"t seem to prevent talking around how weird it is that dragons room back, which seems choose the type of thing that would happen. He"s climate given new marching orders indigenous Cersei, by method of Qyburn – he"s come hunt under his former besties Jaime and Tyrion Lannister and also kill them with a really familiar crossbow.

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There"s a post-coital scene between Euron and also Cersei that, yes, has a many Euron in it, yet this unpleasant truth is mostly ameliorated due to the fact that it likewise features Cersei guzzling red wine and smiling that smile, i beg your pardon will constantly be peak Cersei, and also for which i will constantly be here.

Theon rescues his sisters Yara; she decides come head earlier to the Iron islands to wait there, in case Daenerys loses her fight in the North and also needs to retreat to somewhere safe from the army of the Dead, who, famously and conveniently, cannot swim. (No word on even if it is they have the right to boat, though. I mean, they regulated to job-related together come haul a full-size dead dragon out of an icy lake – they can certainly pilot a Sunfish.)