The first episode of season 8 is where the characters get acclimated with what’s to come.
Spoilers Ahead! If you have not watched episode 1, season 8 then do not read!
On Sunday evening the long-awaited return to the Seven Kingdoms was more of a calm before the storm with much of the story arc revolving around individual characters coming to grips with their own sensibilities and accessing themselves along the temporal trajectory laid out by the writers.
From the very beginning, we can see that alliances are as tenuous as ever when we see Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow march into Winterfell with accompanying dragons, Dothraki riders and Unsullied elite marching in through lands they had never been.
The people of the North, a population that certainly isn’t above treating outsiders with suspicion, and perhaps rightfully so, gazed in stunned silence as the military and royal procession made its way to the Winterfell.
A Grown-Ass Sansa Stark Tells Tyrion How It Is, Instead of How He’d Like It To Be
From the looks on the faces of those who stared in amazement at the line of men, women, and cavalry from lands far east and south of Westeros, it would appear that they had never seen people of color, either.
I and many others from similar backgrounds are familiar with the look that the actors portraying the weary citizens of Winterfell so expertly displayed as Missandei and Grey Worm rode into town flying the banners of House Targaryen.
Change and revelation abound on this wintry day in the northernmost of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.
Jon Snow, as much as you love him, doesn’t appear to have enough ROM in his CPU at times. In other words, that boy ain’t very bright. But he has a belief in people, in destiny and in the people of the North, his siblings most of all.
When he arrives, he is greeted by Sansa, Bran and the remaining inner circle of House Stark. As he arrives, the audience can readily discern the love he has for those he believes are the only remaining kin he has left.
All are present, but Arya, who actually was in the crowd as Jon and Daenerys rode into town.
Sansa Stark, now the Lady of Winterfell, is immediately untrusting of the mother of dragons to whom her brother Jon Snow has pledged his allegiance.
Jon Snow And Arya’s Long-Awaited Reunion
Arya and Jon reunion – Season 8 Episode 1
This Sansa is a grown Sansa, a wise woman whose naivety has been bled out of her by countless betrayals of trust along the arc of the entire series. Daenerys, on the other hand, is resolute in one thing; that all must bend the knee or be burned alive by dragon fire.
Though the viewing audience is aware of Jon’s true lineage, Jon Snow himself is still clueless to his lineage as a Targaryan, son of Reagar, the true heir to the Iron Throne.
Said revelation has the potential to be explosive especially since his right to the throne would actually supersede that of Daenerys.
We also learn that Cersei still doesn’t give a f*ck about anyone but herself. Indeed, at the end of Season 7, we were all led to believe that Cersei, having seen a white walker in real life, would change her petty ways, at least temporarily.
Though we’re all led to believe that Tyrion Lannister is easily the most wile character in the whole show, his trust in a promise made by his diabolical sister in season 7 seven is called out as naive by his would-be wife, Sansa Stark, whom he hadn’t spoken to since she disappeared at Joffrey’s wedding following his poisoning.
In a manner that would have seemed totally uncharacteristic just two seasons ago, she calls him out as a fool for having any confidence whatsoever in Cersei, let along a Lannister Army alleged to be marching to Winterfell in support of the Starks.
The last revelation we’ll be speaking about today is a simple one, actually. You see, in this episode, the dragons seem to really take to Jon Snow for reasons that only a select few of the characters seem to be aware of.
Jon Snow Learns He’s Not A Bastard At All
As was mentioned in the books, and in several online Game of Throne groups, only one of Targaryan blood can fly a dragon. Jon Snow seems totally oblivious to that fact, as he goofily and cluelessly strides Drogon, the largest and strongest of the two remaining dragons, as Dany pursues atop Rhaegal.
Drogon is the GoT version of the adage, “if Young Metro don’t like he gon’ shoot you”, except here it’s obviously “If young Drogon don’t like you he gon’ eat you.”
As Jon holds on for dear life, Drogon buzzes the towers of Winterfell as Tyrion Lannister, Varys and Ser Davos Seaworth aka The Onion Knight all witness him as he struggles to stay astride the beast.
Jon Snow may not be aware of what he’s doing at the time, as well as the implications for it, but Seaworth, Varys, and Tyrion certainly are.
Horror at Last Hearth
And, by the end of the episode, Jon Snow is FINALLY made aware of his true lineage, thanks to trustworthy and loyal Samwell Tarley, who reveals to Jon that he is actually Aegon Targaryan after he himself only recently found out from Daenerys herself that she had burned his father and brother alive for refusing to bend the knee.
Meanwhile, the white walkers are through the wall and are making their way to Winterfell.