Game of Thrones fans, it’s time to dig in
Winter is here and after our first review, it’s time for a nerdy deep dive on all things related to the Season 8 opener, Winterfell.
Given the fact that it was such a strong throwback to the opening episode, there are plenty of little nods and winks at past events.
As always, here are some of the details that you may have missed from a dramatic opening episode.
1) The new map on the credits.
Right from the off, Game of Thrones threw us a curveball by introducing a new map. To begin with, let’s concentrate solely on the physical terrain itself.
Look at how the destroyed section of The Wall at Eastwatch-by-the Sea features.
Also, take a look at the blue ’tiles’ on the map that indicate the frozen lands that the White Walkers have now marched into.
A wonderful foreshadowing of what was about to happen to Ned Umber at Last Hearth.
Here’s a look at Last Hearth, the first location that the Walkers visited south of The Wall.
We’re now treated to the sights of the Great Hall and the crypts.
Given how prominent the crypts have been in the trailers – and in the Jon Snow revelation – it’s fair to assume that something massive is about to happen here.
Qyburn’s scorpion spear gets its own segment.
Mmm, we wonder if that will be used on one of the three dragons later in the season and if so, which one?
2) The Citadel chandeliers
We all know that the Game of Thrones titles are derived from the spinning chandelier in the Citadel but the story being depicted has now changed.
We think that this image below depicts the events of The Red Wedding.
The sigil of House Baratheon (stag on far left) is nowhere to be seen after being devoured by the lion (House Lannister). The lion is also eating a fish (House Tully’s sigil) and in the middle, we see the direwolf of House Stark as it hangs between the arch of The Twins (location of The Red Wedding).
On the far right, we see House Bolton holding a dagger – Roose Bolton stabbed Robb Stark – and the decapitated head of a direwolf.
Aside from this, we also get a visual representation of Dany’s dragons being born.
What’s interesting though is that if you look closely, there are four dragons in this image. The comet to the left is the red comet that we saw in the earlier seasons.
We also think that the second image represents Daenerys’ dragon Viserion being killed by the Night King.
Here’s the red comet that heralded the return of dragons into the world.
Also, after deciding to change the opening credits, it’s telling that the sigil of House Baratheon is still included.
Given the fact that it’s really only Gendry that’s carrying the Baratheon bloodline, it’s very interesting.
Right now, due to sheer numbers, there’s more chance of a Glover, Karstark, or even a Tarly taking the Iron Throne, and yet, the Baratheon’s are still in contention.
3) Mac dies
Always Sunny fans will be delighted to know that Rob McElhenney actually made an appearance in the episode. He was one of Euron Greyjoy’s soldiers that was shot through the eye as Theon rescued Yara.
Guess he didn’t cultivate enough mass to survive.
The showrunners of Game of Thrones have even wrote an episode of Always Sunny, Flowers for Charlie.
4) The opening scene and the first episode
It’s the easiest thing to spot but Jon and Dany’s arrival to Winterfell was deliberately done to parallel the arrival of Robert Baratheon in the first episode.
For example, the recent episode started with a small child climbing the ramparts to get a better view. Arya and Bran did that in the very first episode.
Sansa hands Winterfell over to Daenerys. Ned hands Winterfell to Robert.
Jon asks where’s Arya, Catelyn asks where’s Arya.
Jon seeks solace in the godswood, Ned did the exact same.
The recent episode ended on a dramatic meeting between Bran and Jaime, the first episode ended with Jaime dramatically throwing Bran out of the window.
5) Bronn’s crossbow
Unsurprisingly, Cersei wants Tyrion dead and Bronn is being asked to kill Tyrion with the same weapon that the youngest Lannister used to kill his father, Tywin.
The Lannisters are a weird family.
6) Bronn’s loyalty?
In Season One, there’s a conversation that could prove to be telling.
Tyrion: “Though I would treasure your friendship, I’m mainly interested in your facility with murder. And if the day ever comes where you’re tempted to sell me out, remember this: Whatever the price, I’ll beat it. I like living.”
7) Cersei’s look.
At the end of Season 7, Tyrion came to her chambers to make peace after Cersei stormed off – she just learned that Jon Snow had bent the knee to Dany.
In a bid to make peace, Tyrion gave Cersei a glass of wine but she refused it. At that moment, Tyrion knew that she was pregnant.
After having sex with Euron Greyjoy in the most recent episode, Cersei sips on her wine and gives us a forlorn look.
Cersei may have lost another child.
Sam asks Dany for a pardon and mentions that he has stolen a sword that belonged to his recently deceased father, Randyll.
Of course, Daenerys executed Sam’s father and brother after they refused to bend the knee but it’s worth remembering that this stolen sword is made of Valyrian steel – one of the only things that can kill White Walkers.
As eagle-eyed viewers saw in the Season 8 trailer, Jorah will be wielding it in the episodes to come. After all, Sam isn’t a fighter.
A point that may have been forgotten but before Jon ‘took the black’ and headed to Castle Black, his parting gift to Arya was the sword that she loves so much.
10) Theon’s return
The last time that Theon Greyjoy was in Winterfell, he led the Iron Born attack that killed people and forced Rickon, Hodor, Osha, and Bran to flee beyond the Wall.
Theon’s return to his adopted home is going to be very interesting.
11) Arya’s new weapon.
As you can see below, it’s a dragonglass spear. Very cool.
12) Ned’s promise
“The next time we see each other, we’ll talk about your mother”.
These were the last words that Ned Stark said to Jon Snow before he went off to join the Night’s Watch.
In the latest episode, Jon learns the truth about his parentage while standing in front of the statue of Ned Stark.
13) Robert’s promise.
In the very first episode, King Robert wanted to unite the houses of Baratheon and Stark by marrying Joffrey and Sansa.
Safe to say that their marriage plans didn’t work out.
The houses could still be united though and we’d wager that Gendry and Arya are going to get together. After all, there was some serious flirting going on.
“You wouldn’t be my family. You’d be my lady,” is what Gendry once said to Arya when they were captured.
He repeated that flirtatious line again to her.
14) Jon Snow loves an outdoor shag
He had sex with Ygritte in the cave. He flirted with Dany in the Dragonstone caves. He kissed his aunt near the waterfall.
The man loves the outdoors.
On a more sinister note, when she was dying, Ygritte did tell Jon that they should never have left the caves.
Could Daenerys meet the same fate?
15) Jon and his father
A small detail but the dragon that Jon was riding is called Rhaegal.
He is named after Daenerys Targaryen’s eldest brother, Rhaegar. Of course, Rhaegar is Jon’s legitimate father.
16) House Glover are liars
When Jon Snow was crowned the King in the North, House Glover said these exact words “House Glover will stand behind House Stark, as we have for a thousand years and I will stand behind Jon Snow. The King in the North!’
Sansa made a big deal about how they’re not going to support Jon, now that he has bent the knee.
17) The Silence
There was another reference to Euron Greyjoy cutting out the tongues of those on his ship, The Silence.
We’d give anything to see him do it.
18) Fire and blood.
This image does seem extremely telling. The wars to come should be interesting.
19) Sam tripping
When Sam went down to the crypt to tell Jon Snow the truth about his parents, he stumbled on the floor and Jon helped him up.
This is a throwback to their very first meeting at Castle Black when Sam was getting the crap kicked out of him and Jon helped him off the ground.
Take a look at that scene below.
Clip via ExploreWesteros
20) The symbols
You’ve made it this far into Game of Thrones. We’re certain that you know the wonderful horror sequence at the end of the episode were the exact same patterns that Jon found at the Fist of the First Men and in the caves of Dragonstone.
21) Ed’s not dead.
Yes, when Bronn was having sex with those prostitutes, the soldier that they were talking about was Ed Sheeran.
He survived…but he has no eyelids.