And we're off!
Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 1 featured some big payoffs, wild twists, and some hilarious moments.
Below, TV Fanatics Christine Orlando, Becca Newton, Taylor Whalen, and Paul Dailly discuss those reunions, Jon's next move and so much more!
Which reunion did you like the most, and why?
Christine: Sansa and Tyrion. I've been waiting for this one for a long time. These two aren't friends but their not quite enemies either, and they've both survived and risen to places of power despite the odds.
I loved it when Tyrion told Sansa, "Many underestimated you. Most of them are dead now." I'd love to see these two team up over the course of the season. They might be unstoppable.
Becca: Jaime and Bran, it was cathartic to see Jaime realizing he was in for a reckoning for throwing Bran out of the tower. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau did an excellent job of wordlessly conveying what Jaime was feeling and thinking.
Taylor: Jon and Arya. No contest. These two have been separated since Game of Thrones Season 1! In the little amount of time that we got to spend with them in the beginning, it was so clear that there was so much love there.
To see them finally reunite after so long apart was so fulfilling and relieving, both for the audience and the characters.
Paul: I’m with Becca on this one. It’s been a long time coming, and I was fascinated that Bran said he was waiting for an old friend.
Jon knows the truth about his lineage. How will this affect his relationship with Daenerys?
Christine: Jon can be selfless, and he has the ability to see the greater good. I don't think he's going to tell her, at least not right away.
Or he may tell her and not try to usurp her as queen of the seven kingdoms. In the end, I'd love to see them rule together equally, but that may be wishful thinking on my part.
Becca: During the next episode, I’m expecting Jon to throw himself entirely into the war effort and distance himself from Dany while he grapples with the question of telling her the truth.
Knowing Jon, he’ll feel obligated to tell her even though he doesn’t want to press a claim, which means the direction of their relationship will be determined by how she reacts to his claim and how he feels about the incest.
Taylor: I really don't know. My gut is telling me that they're setting Daenerys to be a villain. If I had to guess, I think that they will pit these two against each other within the next few episodes.
Dany isn't going to like that Jon is the rightful heir to the throne, and if the only thing standing between her and that title is him, I think we'll see her true colors come out and she'll try to eliminate him like she's done to so many others.
Paul: Jon will be conflicted, for sure. His relationship with Daenerys is blossoming, and she thinks she’s in line for the Iron Throne. If Jon comes clean, this is going to drive a wedge between them.
What will it take for Sansa to trust Daenerys?
Christine: Daenerys will have to earn Sansa's respect, and I think that will come as much from showing mercy at the appropriate time, as showing strength.
If Daenerys acknowledged Jon's place as king, given what he's just learned, I think Sansa would forever have her back, but I'm not sure Daenerys will give up the throne she's fought so hard for easily.
But Sansa and Daenerys is another pair I'd love to see work together to overcome the odds.
Becca: My prediction is it will take Daenerys saving Sansa’s life during a battle.
Taylor: Sansa has incredible instincts. She's easily the most intuitive and clever person on the show. She has a gut feeling that she shouldn't trust Daenerys. She's been trusting her gut since day one, and that's what's kept her alive.
I don't know if there will ever be a point where Sansa trusts her. And I think she's right not to.
Paul: Sansa has been through so much that she’s hesitant to trust people. I do think there will be a life or death scenario involved that brings them closer together, assuming both of them make it out of the battle alive.
Cersei plans to allow the others to fight the Night King and for her army to fight whoever is left. Is that a good plan, or a terrible one?
Christine: If Cersei wants to remain in power, it could be a great plan. The armies fighting the Night King will take heavy losses even if they win.
Cersei may have a stronger army in the end and be able to take control of all seven kingdoms. The risk is that this is an all or nothing plan. If the Night King wins, she will either be destroyed or go into hiding, but Cersei would rather risk that than bend the knee to anyone.
Becca: It’s a terrible plan because her strategy relies on the army of the dead’s defeat. She’s mistaken if she thinks the White Walkers will be weaker after winning against Jon and company.
Cersei has resources at her disposal, but it’s hard to imagine she could take on an army of the dead comprised of the majority of Westeros’ human and animal population.
Taylor: Cersei is the queen of bad plans. Tywin said it best - Cersei is nowhere near as smart as she thinks she is, and she keeps showcasing that.
I think King's Landing will be dust by the end of the series and as much as I love to hate her and appreciate the complexity of her character, I think Cersei will too.
Paul: Oddly, I’m Team Cersei on this one. In her mind, she knows that the threat of the Night King is great.
Whichever armies go to battle are going to suffer some heavy losses. It’s a big risk and one that I don’t think Cersei is concerned about taking.
What was your favorite quote/scene from the episode?
Christine: Since I already mentioned my favorite from Tyrion to Sansa above, I'll go with Cersei, “You want a whore? Buy one. You want a queen, earn her.”
You want a whore, buy her. You want a queen, earn her.Cersei
Becca: For me, it was Jaime and Bran based on the reasons I mentioned above. The runnerup is Theon and Yara’s goodbye.
In an episode mostly devoted to reunions and first-time meetings, their farewell — with both of them knowing they would likely never see each other again — had a poignancy to it.
Taylor: "What is dead may never die, but kill the bastards anyway."
Yara: You want to go to Winterfell to fight for the Starks. Go. What is dead may never die.
Theon: What is dead may never die.
Yara: But kill the bastards anyway.
Paul: I’ll go with Eddison and Tormund and the blue eyes. That scene was pure gold.
Eddison Tollett: Stay back! He's got blue eyes!
Tormund: I've always got blue eyes!
What are your hopes for the final episodes?
Christine: That none of my favorites end up dead! I'd love to see Sansa take down Cersei. I'd love to see Jon and Daenary's rule together.
And I can't wait to see how this reunion between Bran and Jamie plays out. But overall, I'm just happy this ride has begun and can't wait to see where it takes us.
Becca: I hope Tyrion, Davos, and Jorah are given more to do than be sidemen in the Jon and Dany show.
I hope Bran finds a way to pull himself out of robot mode. Even though I want to see Ghost and Nymeria, they would probably be killed moments after showing up, so I’m ok with not seeing them if that’s the tradeoff for keeping them alive.
Taylor: I hope that, at least, for the most part, nothing is left too open-ended. Not asking for everything to be wrapped in a pretty bow, or for everyone to ride off into the sunset, but closure with all of our core characters would be ideal. Also, Sansa on the iron throne.
Paul: I want these big payoffs we’ve been waiting years for. I want to get to the end and feel like this whole journey has been worth it. I don’t doubt the battles are going to be amazing, but I want some of my favorite characters to survive.
Okay, it's YOUR turn, Game of Thrones Fanatics!
Hit the comments with your take on the questions.
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Game of Thrones airs Sundays on HBO.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.