The count is somewhere around 565 days for the final season of everyone’s favorite pastime this decade, and when you’re waiting that long, it only seems fair to expect a lot more bloodshed (or burning) to start a climactic six-episode season.
Maybe it’s just me, but I was expecting “Winterfell” to start the season out strong. We are, after all, hurtling toward a war between the living and the dead, and with only six episodes to do it, this one doesn’t make it seem like the entire Seven Kingdoms is in danger; not until the end.
I was at a viewing party for the premiere, and the loud reactions were only few and far between. A lot of things, such as the sex and violence, were reduced to mere implications, resulting in just the drama-evoking emotions. Not quite the welcome I’m used to from season openers, and certainly not what I’m used to from a show as notoriously gratuitous and shocking as Game of Thrones. I was hoping for more, and I’m merely whelmed by this start.
Anyway, here are the things worth talking about from this episode:
They finally tell Jon Snow the truth
I’m amazed that it didn’t take them too long to hit Jon with the truth of his real identity (R+L=J, making him the real heir to the Iron Throne). In the moment, the ‘90s Pinoy movie-like getaway scene with Jon, Daenerys, and the dragons felt pointlessly cheesy (there are zombies about to attack Winterfell, for the Seven’s sake) but looking back, it served as a necessary contrast for the truth bomb Sam Tarly had to drop.
It adds a whole new layer to the drama and politicking both Jon and Daenerys have to deal with while they’re at Winterfell, and I can’t wait to see how they deal with this—while dealing with the undead threat.
Everybody hates Daeny
There’s way too much bickering between Sansa and Jon about what he did to get help from the undead threat—can’t she (and everyone who bowed to Jon as King in the North) put their pride aside and realize that he did what he had to do for dragons? How hard is that to grasp? This is the kind of irritating human thing that makes me think the White Walkers are, as Twitter so eloquently puts it, winning in 4.
Nobody trusts the Easterners either. The White Walkers are definitely winning this war.
“I was told there would be elephants”
No elephants for you, Cersei. They can’t survive the voyage.
Euron Greyjoy is a smooth-talker
If there’s one near-pointless romance (if it could even be called romance) angle in this episode that’s actually entertaining, it’s the flirtation between Euron Greyjoy and Cersei Lannister. For all intents and purposes, it’s a trainwreck waiting to happen—mostly because Cersei is that train speeding toward disaster—but like many accidents, you just can’t look away.
Photos courtesy of SKY Cable
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