The last season of “Game of Thrones” — Episode 1


Evan Suk, Staff Writer

While here in Brookline winter is finally over, as many millions of people witnessed in the premiere of the last season of “Game of Thrones” (GOT), winter in Westeros has just begun. On April 18, the final season of the hit HBO series aired its first episode. Today we will be reviewing and breaking down everything that happened in the much-anticipated episode, “Winterfell.”

Spoilers for all seasons of “Game of Thrones” ahead.

Written for television by David Benioff and D.B Weiss and directed by David Nutter, the premiere of the final season begins with something no one was expecting: a brand new title sequence. The GOT title sequences have been a staple of the show for years, offering up enticing information about which locales and characters would be appearing in each installment. Seeing as most of the cast has been consolidated to two main regions this season, it only makes sense that the sequence feature only those two, Winterfell and King’s landing, along with the broken Wall.

Moving right along, this episode covers a surprising amount of ground. We kick things off with Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) returning to Winterfell after Jon has bent the knee. However, despite Jon’s faith in the Northern lords, they immediately begin to distrust Jon, as does his own sister, Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner). Meanwhile, in King’s Landing, Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) continues to grow her alliance with Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek), now with the Golden Company under her command (unfortunately sans elephants). And finally, although we do not see them in this episode, there is plenty of evidence of the Night King and the white walkers travelling south of the wall, as seen by Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) and Beric Dondarrion’s (Richard Dormer) encounters with corpses.

From the perspective of a fan, this episode has everything necessary for a great opener. Along with some classic GOT dialogue, we see a massive increase in budget, perhaps best shown through Jon and Daenerys breathtaking dragon ride through the snowy mountains. While Jon riding a dragon is indeed a sight to behold, it expertly asks the audience to draw their minds back to the reveal from the end of season seven, that Jon is in fact Aegon Targaryen, the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.

While all of this is nice, the drawbacks of having these characters all together can be seen immediately. The reunions in this episode are rapid fire and some, such as the one between Samwell Tarly (John bradley) and Jon Snow, feel a little rushed, especially with that same scene also having Sam break the news to John about his true parentage. At the same time, the reunions between Arya (Maisie Williams), the Hound (Rory McCann), Gendry (Joe Dempsie) and Jon Snow are all beautifully symbolic of the relationships they have built over the course of these eight seasons.

Overall this episode certainly did satisfy the fans in their wait for a new season. While certain moments didn’t seem to live up to their full potential and certain fan favorite characters were left more to the side, the scenes that did land made the premiere just enticing enough without giving too much away. With only five episodes left to close out this grand fantasy epic, it will be very interesting to see how the creators intend to put this incredible piece of television to rest. See you next week.