Dragons In Winterfell — ‘Game Of Thrones’ Premiere Recap!

The moment we’ve all been waiting for has come — and now we just can’t wait for the next episode!

The final season premiere of Game Of Thrones (*sniff*) was all about getting the pieces into place.

Related: Game of Thrones — Then & Now

Here’s our Season 8: Episode 1 recap:


It took Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) six seasons before she finally made it to Westeros. She rode with Dothraki hordes. She conquered Slaver’s Bay and freed tens of thousands.

Now she’s where we never thought we’d see her — in Winterfell.

Jon and Daenerys arrive at Winterfell
Ride or die. Actually, it’s Game of Thrones, so probably both… / (c) HBO/YouTube

Dany and Jon Snow made a relatively peaceful entrance, despite the thick tension of Northerners’ skepticism toward the white-haired queen. Quite the subtle drama there.

“I warned you. Northerners don’t much trust outsiders.”

More importantly to the common folk of the north than a new queen arriving with her army? The fact two members of her entourage are giant, flying, fire-breathing monsters!

As freaked out as anyone would be to see these things, you have to remember these people have grown up on stories of dragons.

The Targaryens came from Essos and conquered Westeros by riding the beasts into battle. When people hid in Harrenhal, the biggest castle in the Seven Kingdoms, the dragons came and melted the great stone walls.

Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) knows every facet of this lore, as she proved in her talks with Tywin. And while everyone else is looking at the sky in terror, she is stoked!

Arya sees dragons for the first time
Others see monsters; Arya sees mountable murder machines. / (c)HBO/YouTube

Dany and Jon Snow finally reach the end of their long journey to Winterfell, with a long, epically armed following behind them. Now it’s time for Jon to catch up with the fam.


This particular family meeting is undercut with resentment. Jon Snow was hailed as King in the North, but he comes back with a bent knee to a Targaryen queen. And now, he expects his family and his people to do the same. Despite Dany’s sincere graciousness toward Sansa Stark, the Lady of Winterfell finds the Mother of Dragons suspect. It may be unfounded, but it totally makes sense in Sansa’s perspective. Her entire life has taught her it is unwise to place faith in those outside her family. In comes this fancy dragon lady, whom her brother is CLEARLY in love with, and she’s expected to fight for her?

Daenerys Meets Sansa
‘Jon always speaks so highly of his family members.’ Wink wink! / (c) HBO/YouTube

Despite internal hesitation, Sansa knows there is more pressing business at hand and wastes no time obliging Jon’s wishes and granting Dany guest privileges at Winterfell. (Dragon Momma better watch it, though!)

“Winterfell is yours, your grace.”

Bran interrupts these niceties to give the new It Couple a code red FYI. The Night King has taken control of the fallen dragon, Viserion, and has broken through The Wall with his army in tow. Winter is here, and its monsters are coming.

In The North’s version of a town hall meeting, that tension we talked about earlier rears its head again as leaders of Northern homes air their frustrations with Jon resigning his power in favor of serving Queen Daenerys. They have no problem sacrificing their all for one of their own, but a Targaryen? Really, man??

In comes Tyrion with his reasonable rhetoric.

“If anyone survives the war to come, we’ll have Jon Snow to thank. He risked his life to show us the threat is real. Thanks to his courage, we have brought the greatest army the world has ever seen. We have brought two full-grown armies.”

Well that’s all well and good, but Sansa brings up the very real issue of not having enough food for all of Dany’s warriors and beasts.

“What do dragons eat anyway?” “Whatever they want.”

Later, another kind of reunion occurs. Sansa and Tyrion, former spouses, finally get some alone time. The last they spoke was Joffrey’s wedding. A miserable affair, as Tyrion puts it. “It had its moments,” Sansa reminds.

Sansa started off a naive dreamer, but time has taught her to never trust Cersei Lannister, and while she may have once thought Tyrion was the “cleverest” man she knew, now she’s not so sure. He swears his sister will fight for them, but Sansa knows better.


THIS is the one we’ve really been waiting for. Finally! F**king finally. Arya and Jon Snow. Growing up together they both felt like outsiders. He was “the bastard” (lmao), and she was the tomboy shadow of future princess Sansa.

“Where’s Arya?” “Lurking somewhere.”

Jon knows he’ll find her. He goes and waits by the tree. (Which tree? The tree.) There, they find each other.

Jon is surprised to see Arya defending Sansa’s dislike of Dany; Arya tells him she’s simply defending their family. The pack must stay together.

(Little do they know Jon’s family is both Stark and Targaryen.)


Has there ever been a villain you loved to hate more?

Cersei greets the golden company
Gold will be their crowns, and gold their shrouds. And gold their hands, and Gold their Company… / (c) HBO/YouTube

Cersei is disappointed to learn the army Euron Greyjoy brings her does not in fact bring with it elephants. (They just don’t care for cruises. It’s not their thing.) But a vast army still.

Okay, so her water boy has delivered best he can. Now he wants the favor repaid. Being the playboy he is, it’s no surprise he’s hell bent on consummating their promised relationship. His horny arrogance displeases her.

“You want a whore, buy one. You want a Queen, earn her.”

His reckless determination, though? That excites her. So off to bed they go.

Ew. Ewwww. Ewwwwwwwwww.

Afterward he promises her a prince in her belly. She smiles. She’s already pregnant with Jaime’s child, but now she can say it’s Euron’s if she wants. That’s good, since apparently she wants Bronn to murder him and Tyrion should they survive the battle to come. “That f**king family.”

The true king

So everyone’s pissy about Jon and Dany being together. Some theorize a marriage will solve all their problems (um, because it totally will?), but for whatever reason, her advisers think it best not to bring it up yet. Well, they may not have to. At the rate Jon and Dany are going, he may bend the knee again via proposal. So long as he gets Drogon’s blessing, of course.

Sadly, Jon’s bestie Samwell Tarly learns Dany killed both his father and brother after failing to respect her as the one true Queen. She tells him this, with regrets, as she was hoping for a merrier meeting with her bae’s bro. Respectfully, he leaves the room to go find Bran. Now they’ve REALLY got to tell Jon about his true heritage. Bran’s all like, okay you do it, I’m waiting on an old friend (more on that later).

Samwell finds Jon in the tunnels beneath Winterfell, paying respects to Ned Stark — the man he thinks is his father. The man he’s always thought was his father. The most honorable man the seven kingdoms had even seen. So honorable he lost his head for it.

You can imagine his astonishment when Sam reveals he and Bran discovered that Jon is actually the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. Jon Snow is not a bastard. Jon Snow is Aegon Targaryen, AKA the true heir to the Iron Throne.


Ahh, yes, here we go.

At the end of the very first episode of the series, little Bran Stark climbed up a tower and caught Jaime and Cersei Lannister bumpin’ uglies. To keep their secret, Jaime pushed Bran off the edge of the tower’s window, permanently paralyzing him. Now, they meet again…

Jaime, you in danger gurl…

Oh and also….

  • Theon freed his sister from Euron’s hold. She plans to secure The Iron Islands. He plans to fight for the Starks.
  • Bronn was enjoying a foursome until Cersei’s henchman interrupted. This may have just been the most rushed sex scene in all of Game of Thrones.
  • Arya and Gendry meet again. Arya and The Hound meet again. Incredible one-liners follow.

The Hound: You left me to die.

Arya: First I robbed you.

The Hound: You’re a cold, little bitch aren’t you? Guess that’s why you’re still alive.


Gendry: You look good.

Arya: Thanks, so do you.

Aww yeah.

Gendry: It’s Valyrian steel. I always knew you were just another rich girl.

Arya: You don’t know any other rich girls.


  • The dragons are barely eating. They don’t like the North. They do let Jon Snow hop on for a joy ride with momma, though. (Because, you know, he’s actually Targaryen, and animals know way more than humans do.) Jon on riding Rhaegal: “What if he doesn’t want me to?” Dany: “Then I’ve enjoyed your company, Jon Snow.”
  • Uhhh… Jon Snow and Dany can still marry even if he’s the true heir. She’s put in the leg work, has the Democratic vision, and has done more good than critics give her credit for. That is, if they’re okay with the whole being related thing… *shiver*
  • Also, do you think Dany would be receiving the same criticisms if she was a male ruler? We feel like she’s being lined up to become a villain by series’ end, and that just sucks for every victim of abuse who looked up to Khaleesi for inspiration in strength. Of course, the series seems intent on emphasizing that not all good guys are entirely good, and not all bad guys are entirely bad. There is a lot of gray area in the human condition.
  • Anyone else think The Night King’s fiery wall art looks a lot like the Targaryen sigil? Hmm…

[Images via HBO/YouTube.]

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Apr 14, 2019 11:37pm PDT