Game of Thrones: The Beginning of the End

Image courtesy of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MZd0WbHOeg

By: Kimberly Kelly

The eighth and final season of HBO hit “Game of Thrones” premiered on Apr. 14. Fans, having long awaited new episodes, took over Twitter with #gameofthrones, counting down the hours to the invigorating start of the closing season. And it did not disappoint.

For the first time in forever, beloved characters said hello to each other again. Finally, all the living Starks are back in Winterfell. Sansa and Tyrion, Theon and Yara, Jon and Sam, Arya and Gendry, among others, reconnected in the season premiere. Still, as happy as the episode was, there is much more in store over the next five episodes.

Jon Snow learned of his true heritage in a touching moment with Sam in the crypt of Winterfell, under the watch of all the past Starks – most notably Ned Stark, Jon’s presumed father. Last time they saw each other, Ned had promised Jon that they’d discuss his mother, only to die via decapitation before he could follow through on his word. After so long, Jon is now aware that he is the true heir to the Iron Throne, which poses a great threat to his love interest, Daenerys of the House Targaryen: the First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regent of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons and Jon Snow’s biological aunt. Thankfully, Targaryens are known for wanting to keep their bloodline pure.

As stated before, most reunions were much anticipated and gratifying to watch; however, at the end of the episode, there was one reunion between two major characters that people may have even forgotten knew each other. That’s right. Bran Stark and Jaime Lannister saw each other. Their last encounter was way back in season one when Jaimie crippled Bran by pushing him out of a window. Considering Bran is now officially the Three Eyed Raven, and the direction of his storyline is still up in the air, this might just be the most important reunion of them all.

The show made use of its $15 million-episode budget, giving a lot of screen time to the two remaining dragons, Drogon and Rhaegal, the latter of which was ridden by Jon Snow. Since the Targaryens are the only people allowed to ride the dragons, this move serves as proof of his Targaryen heritage. This family fact has also prompted ideas about the identity of the Night King, who was seen riding the now undead Viserion at the end of season seven. Many have speculated that the Night King is a Targaryen, perhaps Dany’s dad. The scene in the Last Hearth, where the Night King’s sigil can be seen to have some similarities to the sigil of House Targaryen, has further launched this particular theory.

There are tons to unfold as the season goes on: What does Cersei have planned for Euron? What will happen between Jaime and Bran? Will Sansa come to like Daenerys? Will the Army of the Undead be able to be defeated? And, of course, the burning question: Who will end up on the Iron Throne? We’ll have to wait and see.