The beginning of the end: 6 jaw-dropping moments from the latest Game of Thrones
As if on cue, Karachi has been battered by billowing winds, and for Game of Thrones fans that means only one thing, “Winter is Here!” The first episode of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones premiered on April 14th and it rightly reminds us of why we never seem to get enough of this fantasy saga.
As soon as the opening credits began to roll, I found myself humming the theme song like most fans do. There were some big expectations from the first episode of the much hyped final season and fans expected the premiere to be a spectacle littered with major revelations. Interestingly, the episode offers few twists and turns and instead focuses more on the original essence of the show – tense encounters and gripping conversations.
The opening scene is replete with nostalgia as a young child trudges through a crowd trying to get a clear look at Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen as they arrive at Winterfell with dragons flying high above them. The imagery hearkens back to the very first episode of the show which opened in a similar manner, with Queen Cersei and King Robert arriving at Winterfell with a young Arya Stark looking on.
The episode sure has its moments, although these moments are bloodless and Walker-less. I believe the show runners didn’t want to start the season off with an overkill of computer graphics, which is why they chose to focus on character development in order to immerse us into this fantastical world while saving the major blows for later episodes.
Below are my picks for the top six moments from the latest episode of Game of Thrones.
6) Tyrion, Varys and Davos discuss the future
While watching Daenerys and Jon chatting from a distance, Tyrion, Varys and Davos discuss the likelihood of defeating the Night King and Jon and Daenerys being crowned the King and Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Davos believes that having an honourable man as King and a just woman as Queen may help the Seven Kingdoms. While Tyrion agrees that they make a handsome couple, Varys is more pessimistic and remarks,
5) Tension between Sansa and Daenerys
It is quite apparent that Sansa is not happy with the fact that her brother gave up the crown for Daenerys. Despite Daenerys’ attempts at flattery, the tension between the two when they meet for the first time remains thick enough to be cut with a knife. In another scene, during a meeting between Jon, Sansa, Daenerys, Tyrion and the North’s Bannermen, Sansa raises the issue of there being a lack of food considering there are two full grown dragons to feed. She remarks,
“What do dragons eat, anyway?”
To which Daenerys replies,
“Anything they want!”
4) Jon rides a Dragon
Jon, who we know is a Targaryen, finally rides Rhaegal upon Daenerys’ insistance. Jon is frightened and at first and says,
“I don’t know how to ride a dragon”.
Daenerys points out,
“Nobody does. Until they ride a dragon.”
Jon and Rhaegal’s flight is an exhilarating one and an important moment as well since it marks the first time Jon has ridden a dragon.
3) Daenerys and Sam meet
In the previous season of Game of Thrones, Sam’s father, Randyll, along with his son Dickon, join forces with the Lannisters, but end up being defeated by Daenerys who asks them to join her. Randyll and Dickon decline this offer and are burned by Drogon on Daenerys’ orders. In the first episode of season eight, Daenerys visits Sam to thank him for curing Jorah, but soon Samwell mentions his family and Daenerys admits to murdering them, which leaves Sam trembling as he remembers his loss. John Bradley gives an amazing performance as he hears the heart-breaking news and struggles to stop himself from breaking down.
2) Jon and Sam reunite
Although Samwell and Bran are aware of Jon’s true parentage, Jon himself is still unaware. Bran asks Sam to tell Jon the truth. Sam and Jon reunite in the crypts and the truth is finally revealed to Jon who has a hard time believing the fact that Ned Stark lied to him. Jon asserts that Daenerys is the Queen, but Sam tries to convince him that he is the true heir to the Iron Throne. Jon struggles to comprehend this revelation and the scene ends with Jon having to digest a startling realisation.
1) Bran and Jaime lock eyes
The first true shock that Game of Thrones gave us was in its very first episode when young Bran catches Cersei and Jaime having intercourse in an abandoned tower and Jaime ends up pushing Bran from the tower, crippling him forever.
In season eight, when Jaime arrives at Winterfell, he looks around and finally his eyes meet with Bran’s and the look on Jaime’s face reveals the guilt he has been burdened with for Bran’s attempted murder. Jaime wasn’t this fear-stricken even when he encountered a dragon. This moment embodies Game of Thrones at its best.
This season's premiere episode of Game of Thrones was full of intense moments and some light humour. The episode didn’t simply dive into the action but instead took its time and developed important story arcs and various tense encounters which made for some top-notch entertainment.
The final season is off to a promising start and I am sure that the coming episodes will have a lot more surprises and carnage.
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