From Knowing Nothing, to Learning Something: Game of Thrones Season 8 Premiere Recap

Published on April 15, 2020

GritDailySPOILERS AHEAD: If you haven’t watched Season 8, Episode 1 of “Game of Thrones,” locate your nearest dragon and fly far away.

After seven years, the King of the North, Jon Snow, finally learned something, and it wasn’t easy to handle.

When we left Season 7, the Army of the Dead, led by the Night King, breached the Wall with the help of the resurrected, yet dead, former dragon belonging to Daenerys. So, where did that leave us?

#1—The Army of the Dead Has a ‘Blue-Eyes White Dragon’

Poor Viserion. Watching one of Daenerys’ prized children not only suffer a horrid death at the hands of the White Walkers, we had to watch it come back with a brand new mission—to kill all in its path, while the Night King takes it for a spin himself.

#2—Jon Snow Bent His Knee to Daenerys

Fans were left in awe wondering how Winterfell would react to their King handing over the crown.

#3—We Finally Learned the Truth About Jon Snow’s Heritage

Thanks to Bran/Three-Eyed Raven, Thrones fans finally learned the unspoken secret surrounding Jon Snow’s heritage—he’s no bastard. In actuality, Snow, or as we learned, Aegon Targaryen,  is the heir to the Iron Throne and the true king of the seven kingdoms. But, that wasn’t what got fans riled up…it’s the fact that he comes from the line of Targaryen and happens to be in love with Daenerys…his aunt.

That’s right, step aside Cersei and Jaime, because there’s a new aunt and nephew in town. The Lannister siblings are no longer the reigning champs of ‘incestuous couple’ of the series, as Jon and Daenerys seem to make the idea not as creepy. Now, it’s all about when they find out that not only are they related, but the new queen literally has no claim to the Iron Throne.

Back to Where It All Began…Winterfell

With Sunday’s Season 8 premiere of ‘Winterfell,’ fans were dying to know what questions were answered from the Season 7 finale, and what are left to ponder as we continue down the final pathway of the series.

#1—Did the Army of the Dead Make It Through the Wall?

Most of them. Luckily, for the Night King, he chose a more elegant means of transportation, flying over his entire Army as the Dead continued their march up North.

Throughout the course of the episode, we assume that they are just up to no good. Come to find out towards the end of the episode, they definitely were keeping busy with their new pet. Surviving the attack on the Wall, Tormund Giantsbane, Beric Dondarrion, Eddison Tollett, and the gang were patrolling the Last Hearth, coming across a familiar symbol that fans have seen throughout the series.

Earlier in the episode, we saw Ned Umber, a child and head of the decimated House Umber, being ordered by Sansa Stark, Lady of Winterfell, to bring his people to Winterfell to help protect them against the Night King’s Army. However, it would appear the Night King and his pet got to him first, leaving a chilling, yet burning message for the survivors of the Wall.

Photo: Courtesy of HBO

For those unfamiliar with the meaning of the symbol, it has been a recurring icon related to the White Walkers and their origin. If you remember, the very first time we were introduced to the Army of the Dead was the extremely cold opening to the series. They left a group of dismembered wildlings arranged in a circular pattern.

Vigil of the White Walkers

But for all intents and purposes, the vigil stems back to the ancient Children of the Forest. When we learned about the power of the Three-Eyed Raven in Season 6, Bran showed us a shot of the Weirwood tree where the Children created the first White Walker. Surrounded by stones arranged in a spiral pattern, we eventually see that same pattern, covered in snow.

#2—How Did Winterfell React to their King, Bending the Knee?

Photo: Game of Thrones (Credit: Helen Sloane/HBO)

Well, they weren’t overly pleased. In what they believed to be an act of betrayal and cowardice, Winterfell did not approve of their new “Queen” coming in and taking over.

You left Winterfell a king and came back…I’m not sure what you are now…a lord? Nothing at all?”Lady Mormont to Jon Snow

In private chambers, Sansa expressed her discontent for Daenerys as well as her brother’s apparent inability to protect their family. But, according to the King of the North, the bearer of the crown simply didn’t matter. In what seemed like Sansa admitting to trusting her brother to continue protecting not just the North, but their family, she ended their conversation with a stunning question:

Did you bend the knee to save the North? Or because you love her?” —Sansa Stark to Jon Snow

#3—Jon Reunites With His Psychic Brother and Badass Ninja Sister


Photo: Maisie Williams, Kit Harington (Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO)

After seven years, Snow finally reunited with his other two siblings, who he quickly realizes aren’t the same people he remembered them to be.

Look at you…you’re a man.” —Jon Snow to Bran Stark

Almost,” Bran replied.

Photo: Isaac Hempstead Wright, Kit Harington; Kristofer Hivju, Richard Dormer (Credit:: Helen Sloan/HBO)

This very quick encounter seemed to spook Jon, as he didn’t quite understand what he meant by that, but also didn’t know who he was standing before.

Turning next to the baddest character in the series, Arya, the reunion was anything but stiff. Jon’s reunion with Arya by the Weirwood Tree was probably the most heartfelt moment of the episode.

Comparing their weapons, Jon asked his baby sister if she ever had to use his former sword, ‘Needle,’ to which she hesitated and replied, “once or twice.”

But, in their embrace, she reminded him of who their family is and to remember where his loyalties lie at the end of the daywith the Stark family, or to Daenerys.

#4—It’s Time that Jon Snow ‘Knows Something’…And It’s Weird

Soon after Sam Tarly learned the truth about his father and brother’s fate from his new queen, he stormed out in anger until he bumped into Bran.

It’s time Jon Snow learns the truth,” the Three-Eyed Raven proclaimed.

Sam decided to tell Jon the truth about who he really is—Aegon Targaryen, the true heir to the Iron Throne, by virtue of a secret wedding between Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned’s sister, Lyanna Stark. Learning that the Mad King’s Rebellion was built upon a lie, Jon is left bewildered, having just engaged in another round of steaming sexual relations with his queen and now aunt.

This seems to be a nice cliffhanger until next Sunday’s premiere of Episode 2.

Andrew "Drew" Rossow is a former contract editor at Grit Daily.

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