It’s here. The final season of the epic television event known as Game Of Thrones has arrived and tonight’s first episode really made its audience sit up and take notice.
Titled ‘Winterfell’ this episode had us coming full circle as we came back to the beginning of everything with he impending arrival of a royal procession and the coming of the Night King and the Long Night. From it’s brand new opening credits, to the size and scope of this new season you know that you’re witnessing something huge!
With everything moving forward and no time to waste series creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss start moving quickly and we find ourselves back in Winterfell and preparing for the onslaught that is to come from the Night King’s impending arrival. While I still find myself thinking that I have it all figured out, that of course is not the case and even in the face of the possible end of days these characters are no less complicated. From Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) to Jon Snow (Kit Harrington), Sansa Stark (Sophioe Turner) and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Samwell Tarly (John Bradley), Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), all of them are just as complicated as ever and with many of them either meeting each other for the first time or rekindling past relationships, drama is certain to rise to the surface.
While there’s plenty of plot detail that I can’t go into without me falling into spoiler territory, I will say that it was great to see Jon moving forward into accepting his destiny and his shock discovery as to his true parentage really caught me by surprise. Not that it’s who his true parents are that is the shock, no, it’s his reaction and the fact that he now really does find himself in a difficult position, not only in regards to the sacred relationship that he held with his ‘father’ Ned Stark (Sean Bean), but also what this means for his role as a leader and the burgeoning love that he shares for Daenerys.
If ‘Wintefell’ had an MVP then I definitely have to give it to John Bardley’s Samwell Tarley. Not only does he give Jon his fateful news but we also get to see how the arrival and actions of Daenerys Targaryen affect those of Westeros up close and personal. Typical of our genius writers and the stage direction of Benioff and Weiss, we now see the seeds of doubt begin to be sown as Daenerys, who for eight seasons has been seen as a heroic liberator is now shifted to that of a blood thirsty conqueror and her will and desire for the Iron Throne, may, like many, blind her to the realities of the rule she wants to apply and the repercussions that it will have on all who live throughout Westeros.
Again all of this is great work on behalf of the show’s creative team and with ‘Winterfell’ we really are seeing the foundations laid for this final season. Everything is coming to a head here and while the fate of all Westeros hangs in the balance, the personal quarrels and motivations of our characters very often seem to trump that and of course we see this playing out here as well. There were plenty of great moments played out throughout this first episode and I’m excited for what comes next. For the night is dark and full of terrors….
Game of Thrones screens on SoHo and NEON on Mondays at 8.30pm.
Image: Courtesy of HBO.