Sunday night was the premiere of the 8th season of Game of Thrones, HBO’s hit fantasy show. Fans around the country gathered around their TVs to take in the spectacle, and while the episode was a bit of a place setter, plenty did happen and we learned quite a bit.
Where are things going? Who will sit on the Iron Throne? All remains to be discovered. No major questions were answered in this episode, but it is cool to see all the characters who have been spread across the seven kingdoms finally coming together.
Here are five things we learned from the first episode.
1. Dragons, and Dothraki, gotta eat
For a show with so much magic (and dragons), Game of Thrones has always been at its best when the showrunners pause the action to remind us about the very human parts of their world.
After Daenarys and Jon Snow ride into Winterfell, and all our characters are finally brought together, we see them … discuss what everyone is going to eat. It’s a wonderful moment that reminds us that before they take on the army of the dead, they got to figure out how to keep everyone on their side living.
The new Lady of Winterfell, Sansa Stark, had prepared to feed her people for the winter. She hadn’t prepared to feed an army of Dothraki, Unsullied, and dragons, and before anyone battles with anything, she’s gotta dig up some instant ramen and find couches for everyone to crash on.
“What do dragons eat, anyway?” Sansa asks, in the best early moment of the show.
Daenarys waits a beat, then answers: “Whatever they want.”
2. Euron Greyjoy is the perfect man for this world
If there’s anything we’ve learned in eight seasons in Game of Thrones it’s that being loyal and honest will just as quickly get your throat cut as it will lead to anything good happening to you. Those who survive are those who feel nothing, and are happy to double cross whoever is needed to double cross.
Euron Greyjoy is the man for this world. On his way to King’s Landing to meet Cersei, he talks to his niece, Yara, and calmly tells her he won’t be killing her because he needs someone to talk to. She tells him he’s joining the wrong side, linking up with the Lannisters, to which he shrugs. If it’s the wrong side, well, then he’ll just switch sides. This isn’t that complicated.
When he arrives at King’s Landing and meets Cersei, she wants to know why some of her troops have gone missing. They’re dead, he tells her. And why?
“They cheated at dice,” Euron says. “Or I cheated. Someone cheated.” It’s irrelevant, of course. Finally. Someone gets it.
Later, after bedding Cersei, he asks how he compares to the late king … and the kingslayer. She asks him if he likes risking his neck. Of course he does. The reason: “Life is boring.” My man.
3. Varys and Tyrion are playing matchmaker
All I’ve ever wanted is Varys and Tyrion hanging out together indefinitely, trading one-liners and being perfect in every way. In this episode we got that, and they have a new mission: Hook up Daenarys and Jon Snow. Davos Seaworth gets in on the fun as well, and all around the world the fans cheered as one: MAKE IT HAPPEN, YOU THREE OLD MEN. EVEN THOUGH TYRION ISN’T THAT OLD, AS HE HIMSELF POINTS OUT. NOT AS OLD AS DAVOS, ANYWAY.
Later we see Jon and Dany hop on the two remaining living dragons and re-enact the “A Whole New World” scene from Aladdin. Just, you know, with flying magical murder reptiles as opposed to a magic carpet.
4. Samwell gets to break some news
Samwell, sweet Sam, comes stumbling into Winterfell and has a lot of news for Jon Snow. One, that Daenarys killed Sam’s father and brother. And two, just the little bit of news that, oh yeah, Jon is the heir to the Iron Throne.
“You’ve never been a bastard,” Samwell says. “…You’re Rhaegar Targaryen.”
“This is treason,” says Jon.
“It’s the truth.”
And just like that, finally, the big secret is out in the open. If Jon had only had access to Reddit he could’ve figured this out years ago.
Also, I guess shout out my dude for realizing he’s been with his aunt and only thinking about the honor of Ned Stark. Would not have been my first concern with the news.
5. The Night King isn’t into subtle messages
A pinwheel of detached arms with a screaming undead child in the middle of it? Could have just left a note, Night King. Would’ve been a lot easier and not made me scream and wake up my neighbors. Jeez.