From the updated title sequence to Cersei’s fascination with elephants, it’s so good to have the gang back. Here are some moments in the first episode of the final season of "Game of Thrones" that made us perch on the edge of our seats.
The title sequence
"Game of Thrones" is famous for its title sequence. Seeing the updated title sequence which literally takes us into the heart of the locations, was a really dope way to re-introduce the show to fans after an almost two-year absence.
We see the broken wall, a victim of Viserion’s blue flames last season; we see the home of House Umber, Last Hearth and we are taken deeper into the locations the episode takes place in, including Winterfell and the Red Keep in King’s Landing. We also see the Great Hall, where we find the Iron Throne. It’s the first time the throne has been shown in the title sequence.
Is Daenerys the true villain?
A big theme of "Game of Thrones" has been about consequences. We have seen characters die simply because of karma, either for the sins of their parents or their own.
Dany has escaped almost unscathed, until she lost Viserion to the Night King last season. She has been using her dragons as a way of striking fear into adversaries and she has unnecessarily burnt people when she could easily have shown mercy. For lack of a better term, she’s trigger happy.
The Northerners obviously are wary of her and once again she uses the spectacle of her remaining dragons, to somehow force them to accept her. But like Ser Davos says, Northerners are very difficult to please and they do not trust outsiders.
A pivotal scene for me was when she realised that Samwell Tarly, who saved her friend and adviser, Ser Jorah Mormont from the ghastly greyscale disease, is the son of Randall Tarly who she burnt when he didn’t bend the knee. We finally see the effect of the devastation she and her dragons bring.
Jon also finds out that he is actually King of the Seven Kingdoms – whether he wants it or not – and we’re all looking to the North to see how Dany will react. Although, I’m surprised she hasn’t realised that Jon must have Targaryen blood, because only Targaryens can successfully ride a dragon.
Sansa has her eyes on the bigger picture
If there was an episode that finally showed just how important Sansa Stark is, it was Winterfell.
She’s wary of Dany – whose obsession with reminding everyone that she’s queen is not lost on me – and rightfully asks exactly what all the fighters will eat as she hasn’t made preparations for the extra people in the retinue.
She finds it incredulous that Jon and Tyrion believed Cersei and even tells Tyrion that she used to think he was clever. She has her eyes firmly on what will happen after the war. She, like Cersei and the now free Yara Greyjoy, is thinking ahead.
So we pretty much knew that this episode would have the most amount of reunions. It was a big part of the first episode’s theme, including how it ended – with Bran and Jaime seeing each other for the first time since Jaime tried to kill him.
We all wondered why Bran was seated under the tower when Samwell went to him. He answered: "I’m waiting for an old friend." Who knew that old friend would be Jaime!
There were many other reunions in episode one. Arya reunited with Jon, The Hound and Gendry (their flirting was outrageous); the Sansa and Tyrion reunion was testy, while Jon and Bran’s reunion was rather distant, showing just how much they have both changed, especially Bran.
We know she doesn’t want to fight in the Battle for Winterfell. We know she is not sending any Lannister troops to help. She has, instead, hired the Golden Company, a group of mercenaries to fight for her, should the war come to the south in King’s Landing. But what is the actual plan? Is the prophecy the witch told her, playing in her mind? Is she really pregnant and has she just slept with Euron Greyjoy to pass off that baby as his, instead of Jaime’s? And what’s with her fascination with elephants?
Stream new episodes of "Game of Thrones" on Showmax every Monday at 22.00 or watch it live on M-Net and DStv Now at 03.00 from 15 April. Binge-watch all previous seasons of "Game of Thrones" on Showmax. Sign up for a 14-day free trial at Showmax.com