After 7 seasons, 67 episodes and an evergrowing list of predictions, hypotheses and wish fulfillment, Game of Thrones has finally reached its final season. The end of the biggest show to have ever existed is actually upon us, and, frankly, the cocktail of anxiety and anticipation is increasingly becoming difficult to live with. Just think about it, in 6 weeks, this will all be over, and Cersei Lannister will still be sitting on a Throne made from the bones of all those pitiful wannabes attempting to usurp her.
In all seriousness, can you believe how close to the end we actually? Give yourself a pat on the back because honestly, we should all be glad we’ve lived long enough to bear witness to the TV event that’ll be talked about for decades to come.
So, before I dive deep into the underbelly of “Winterfell,” I need to make it clear that SPOILERS ARE COMING.
Seriously, last chance…
At the end of Season 7, we discovered that Jon Snow was, in fact, Aegon Targaryen, son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen and rightful heir to the throne of the 7 Kingdoms. Furthermore, he had literally just jumped into bed with AUNTY DAENERYS, and we were meant to just be OK with everything that happened.
Between then and now, anticipation has grown exponentially to see Jon’s reaction to the news that he, in fact, is the man expected to lead the land of Westeros against the Army of the Dead. How long will we have to wait? Who will be the one to tell him? The answer. Samwell Tarley in the basement on episode 1.
This is actually a constant when it comes to the season opener of Game of Thrones. Typically, we will see everything that needs tying up in short succinct fashion. Things such as Sansa and Dany meeting for the first time, Arya reuniting with Jon, The Hound, Gendry, Theon saving Asha and staking his allegiance to the Iron Isles and Cersei literally doing everything in her power to ensure the Throne does not move from her grasp in any way.
Conversely, the second half of the episode swiftly establishes the stakes for what’s to come and generates the standard degree of intrigue synonymous with Game of Thrones. Stakes such as Sansa and Dany giving each other the mother of all dead eyes, Cersei giving Euron Greyjoy the path to nobility in the way only she could, Jon and Dany get to it after a leisurely dragon top ride through the barren wastelands of the North (where were the White Walkers by the way? Aren’t they supposed to be North of Winterfell?) And finally Brann calmly sitting in the middle of the courtyard while everyone prepares for the greatest battle in the history of mankind just so he can give Jamie Lannister the “remember me” treatment when he arrives.
As far as events go, “Winterfell” was quite laboured. But as I said before, this is what we’ve come to expect from a season’s curtain jerker. However, much like on a fancy 7-course taster menu, the star of the meal is never given first. We must ease our palette into the journey before blowing our brains away on the dish we’ve been anxiously waiting for.