After seven seasons of a blistering forecast, winter and her Night King have arrived. Sunday night HBO’s fantasy drama Game of Thrones returned, bringing with it six years of fire & brimstone. The #GOTHive across the country settled in for the beginning of the end. And it only seemed fitting the first episode be titled “Winterfell,” where our “Song of Ice & Fire” commenced.
The season’s six-episode trek packs punch as each episode stretches longer than its predecessor. The series finale clocks in at a staggering 90 minutes, while the third episode is rumored to feature television’s longest battle ever. As a result, we start with a slow build in the initial entry.
The North and its allies unite under the tutelage of their king Jon Snow. But not everyone is pleased with his recent absence, and the foreigners he has brought within their walls. His sisters are hesitant of Daenerys’ motives, and his need to bend the knee. This matter is complicated more when Samwell tells Jon his true identity: Aegon Targaryen, true and rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
Down south Cersei remains stubborn, hellbent on reigning revenge upon her enemies. As the lone Lannister left in King’s Landing, her methods have become even more despicable and desperate. She awarded Euron Greyjoy her womb. Perhaps a rouge in line with her “pregnancy.” And speaking of familial ties, she’s appointed Bron of Blackwater the dutiful task of assassinating both her brothers. With them gone, whatever is growing inside of her will be next in line for the throne.
Elsewhere we see Theon finally rise to the occasion. After failing to protect Yara from their uncle, he rallied faithful Ironborns to rescue Yara. And once reunited, he decides his (more than likely) fight lies next to the Starks in Winterfell. The two depart as they both hope their common enemy doesn’t succeed.
Ultimately, none of the that matters. The Night King and his undead army have crossed the wall, marching south. And just in case the North forgot, he leaves a grisly message inside the Umber stronghold. The men of the Nightwatch find the corpse of the young lord impaled to the wall, the center of a demented art piece.
A foreboding scene reminding viewers the end is near. Seasons of rooting for characters to survive the next scene. And now, many won’t live to see the final roll of credits. Be careful, for these next Sunday nights will be long and full of terror.