Previously on GoT: Sansa and Arya Stark put their sibling rivalry aside and teamed up with robo-sibling Bran Stark to eliminate Littlefinger. Cersei Lannister “promised” she would send her armies north to help against the Night King, and everyone totally believed her. Also, she may or may not be preggers. Jon Snow was revealed to be Aegon Targaryen, the true heir to the Iron Throne, but then he hooked up with his secret aunt Daenerys Targaryen. And the Night King stole sad dead Viserion and used him to bust through the Wall.
Game of Thrones is finally back!! We start things off with an extremely cool new intro. Everything is white and frosty and we’re going inside the buildings!
We start off with a kid running through snow and crowds to catch a glimpse of an army entering a city. The boy climbs a tree to get a better view.
The army soon parts to reveal Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow, looking like serious badasses.
Watching from the crowd, Arya Stark has to resist the urge to call out to her beloved Jon as he rides by. Then she goes through both shock and some sort of sense of amused joy upon seeing The Hound and Gendry, respectively.
In a carriage, Tyrion Lannister is making testicle jokes at Varys‘s expense.
Grey Worm and Missandei, Daenerys’s companions from Essos, can’t help but notice the very white Northerners staring at them with some mixture of disbelief and displeasure, a potential omen of things to come.
It’s all quiet and awkward at first, but then Dany’s dragons fly overhead and scare the shit out of everyone.
The procession finally arrives within Winterfell’s walls, where a long series of reunions (or first-time meetings) begins. First, Jon and Bran Stark.
Daenerys is introduced to Sansa and does her very best to be charming and lovely. Sansa is absolutely not impressed.
Bran is all “excuse me sorry to interrupt but one of your dragons is now a zombie and the Wall has fallen and we’re all going to die.”
A war council is quickly called, with the Stark bannermen all teleporting in. Sansa asks little Lord Ned Umber to hurry back to Last Hearth to get the Umber bannermen to Winterfell for the battle.
Lady Lyanna Mormont jumps in to accuse Jon of, well, not being much of a King in the North anymore since he bent the knee (repeatedly, ahem) with Dany.
Tyrion Lannister attempts to defend Jon, but in doing so, happens to mention the Lannister army is also coming to join forces with the North—which the bannermen are understandably outraged by.
Sansa points out that they by no means have enough food for everyone here, especially not dragons. When she asks what dragons eat, Dany replies “whatever they want.”
After the meeting, Tyrion goes to chat it up with Sansa—for the first time since Season 4. Their semi-tender moment is interrupted when Tyrion insists Cersei’s army is coming. Sansa can’t believe Tyrion fell for Cersei’s bullshit, and she tells him as much.
Now for arguably the sweetest reunion this week: Jon and Arya!
They hug, they compare swords (literally, you perverts), they talk about Sansa. Jon thinks he can talk shit about Sansa with good ol’ Arya who hates her, but his sister’s not the same Arya anymore. She defends Sansa, saying she’s the smartest person around. Yay sisterhood!
Meanwhile, down in King’s Landing, Euron Greyjoy comes down inside one of his ships to hang out with his prisoner and niece, Yara, who’s surprisingly still in one piece. Euron has been keeping her alive because he’s bored, mostly, and Southerners are not very entertaining.
Euron has returned to King’s Landing with the Golden Company, twenty thousand Essos mercenaries led by Captain Strickland. A new character? This late in the game?!
The mercenaries are all accounted for… but there are no elephants. Cersei Lannister wanted elephants.
Side note: Cersei’s queenly attire is motherfucking badass.
Nonetheless, Euron has done his job—using the Iron Fleet to bring the Golden Company overseas for Cersei’s use. Now, he wants his reward: sexy times. Cersei wants him to wait until after the war. After a little back-and-forth, she finally changes her mind.
Elsewhere, Ser Bronn of the Blackwater is doing it with three hookers at once when His Cleavageness, Qyburn, interrupts with a mission from Cersei. Bronn is being asked to head North and murder his two old buddies: Tyrion and Jaime Lannister.
After the sexy times, Euron wants to know how he compared to Cersei’s former lovers. He says he’s going to impregnate her real good. (Charming.) As he leaves, Cersei shows some genuine emotion for a fraction of a second.
Now for a half-second of action: Theon Greyjoy has mounted a rescue mission for Yara! He sneaks aboard the ship she’s being held on, kills the other pirates with some loyal men’s help, and saves her! Yay!
The next morning, when they’re far from danger, the two of them decide to go in opposite directions: Yara intends to sneak onto the Iron Islands while Euron is occupied and take them back for herself, to ensure a safe space surrounded by water in case the living dead take over Westeros. But Theon wishes to redeem himself and fight alongside Jon Snow in the North. So the star-crossed siblings part ways yet again.
Up in Winterfell, the advisors are having a little brainstorm session. Ser Davos Seaworth has an idea to help unite the North more efficiently: How about marrying Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen and making the alliance official?
A Dothraki horseman shows up to interrupt the lovebirds with some dire news: the dragons aren’t eating enough.
Apparently, the North doesn’t suit them much. In an attempt to cheer them up a bit (and entertain herself), Dany decides to go for a dragon ride with Jon. Poor Lord Snow has to actually ride his own beast, and needless to say, he is terrified.
What follows is a couple minutes of Dany and Jon riding dragons around, hanging out by a waterfall, and being a cute couple.
In Winterfell, Gendry has been put in charge of the creation of dragonglass weapons for everyone (about damn time). The Hound collects his and calls Gendry a cocksucker (keeping with the “I’m gonna make you my bitch” theme, I like it). Arya interrupts and saves Gendry from further humiliation.
Arya has a special request for a peculiar kind of weapon.
In between the weapon ordering, there’s definitely a little bit of flirting going on. I’m a little confused about their age difference, but I’m into it regardless.
Jon visits Sansa for some more bickering. Sansa thinks Jon was an idiot to give up the crown for the sake of finding allies, and Jon insists that crowns and leadership don’t matter in the face of the Night King’s army. They’re both right, but they just can’t see eye to eye. Sansa asks Jon if he bent the knee because he’s in love with Dany.
Daenerys and Ser Jorah Mormont pay a visit to Winterfell’s library in order to find Samwell Tarly. Dany wants to thank Sam for saving Jorah from grayscale. Aww. The heartwarming conversation, however, quickly moves to Sam’s family, who Dany realizes includes Randyll and Dickon Tarly—or it did until she turned them into kindling. She tells him as politely as possible.
Shoutout to John Bradley for absolutely killing this scene.
Sam runs outside to go be in his feelings but he runs into Bran, who is “waiting for an old friend.”
Bran tells Sam it’s time to go spill the beans to Jon about his heritage. Sam is absolutely not in the mood, but Robo-Bran is not one to take no for an answer. So poor Sam goes.
The revelation is sudden, intense, and fueled by Sam’s very fresh grief. He tells Jon the truth—that he’s the child of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen and the true heir to the throne—and follows it by asking Jon whether he really thinks Daenerys should be the queen, especially given recent events.
Further north, Tormund Giantsbane and Beric Dondarrion (they’re alive!) are exploring Last Hearth, the Umber stronghold, with their men. It’s looking a smidge bloody.
Halfway into the fort, they run into what looks like danger… only to find Night’s Watch men instead, led by Eddison Tollett, the Watch’s Lord Commander.
The Night King isn’t here, but he has left the visitors with a lovely surprise: poor young Lord Ned Umber, who was sent home by Sansa to get his people to Winterfell, impaled to the wall in the center of an adorable real-life collage of human limbs.
As Tormund is talking with his fellow dudes about how to get to Winterfell ASAP, something stirs behind him.
Beric Dondarrion immediately sets fire to the screaming zombie child, who dies (again) in a spectacularly horrifying way.
Back down in Winterfell, another new arrival has just crossed through the doors to the city: it’s Jaime Lannister! So much time has passed since he was last in the North that no one recognizes him, for which he’s very thankful… Until he spots someone who does, unfortunately, know exactly who he is.
Boom. That’s Episode 1! Talk about a cliffhanger. It was a slow first episode, like most season premieres on this show, but I expect the shit to hit the fan very freaking soon. How about a quick tally?
R.I.P.: Lord Ned Umber and presumably all the other Umbers too. Some Greyjoy pirates. That’s about it! A relatively peaceful week.
MVP: Samwell Tarly, for handing Jon the revelation of a lifetime mere minutes after his own world was turned upside down. Phenomenal acting.
Notably absent: Gilly. Meera Reed. Melisandre. The Night King. Ghost (WHERE IS GHOST?!).
Until next time, watchers!