Winter might have finally arrived in Game of Thrones but OUR long winter is over….our show is back….and that means SO is the Game Guide for the LAST season of Game of Thrones.

Ugh…that was painful to write but alas,….necessary. Since it is the final season I feel EVERYTHING is worth covering and we’ve waited long enough….let’s start where the show did:

The North.

The most important detail from this episode is how it was a large reference for the first time we saw Winterfell assembling for a royal visit. The line up might have familiar faces but everyone has changed, including the royal visiting. Dany’s reception is less than warm and that’s not cause of the snow…kinda…a lot has to do with Jon Snow. Apparently the North wasn’t super duper jazzed about the one they named king bending the knee. You would think considering their house words are “Winter is Coming” they would understand Jon did what he had to but alas, nah they’re still pressed. I guess this is the same people who rag on Jamie for being the “Kingslayer” but also all agree that Aerys was a garbage king.

As if to hammer the pilot’s Winterfell homage home, think of how we see Jamie coming into Winterfell in S1E1 and then look at him arriving home Beaten, being hunted, coming there not as a celebrated King’s Guardsman, but cause he has no where else to go…so it’s fitting that he first sees Bran. I’m sure Bran knew he was coming.

With the arrival of Dany and her peeps we have a series of reunions and first meetings that we’ve been waiting on:

Sansa and Tyrion which was honestly a great moment. I’m glad that Sansa got to show HIM how smart she has become. Showcasing that, on some level, she knows more about his sister than she does. This scene was about two people banking on their own knowledge of how Cersei works because they can only plan two steps ahead of her correctly once. If they don’t do that, Cersei will have the upper hand if they can survive the dead first.

Arya reunited with the Hound which, fun, I kinda expected better but also she reunited with Gendry and um….she def has the eyes for him. She can tell the abs have gotten better. Remember in season one when Robert discussed with Ned about marrying their kids cause Ned has a daughter and Robert had a son…guess that still could happen.

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Jon was reunited with Bran, Arya, Sam but not as he left them. Jon clearly was expecting a happier reunion that could never exist given all the circumstances. I love this, it shows Jon as someone who has grown into a hopeful person. He tries to no longer be brooding, but Bran, Arya, and Sam still gave Jon something brood about. Especially the final truth…of Jon’s parentage. I’ll be interested to see how he takes that. I mean, after everything, why would he want it? He could easily say “Nah” and we are back where we started. I think it would be out of character for Jon to all of a sudden WANT the Iron Throne. It was a nice touch to have his dragon be the one named after his father.

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Despite all the bad PR around her, Jon is still into Dany so naturally they go on a romantic couples dragon ride. I know it was beautiful and precious, but shouldn’t the Dragon being affectionate towards Jon be a tip off for Dany they are related. I guess not and now we are gonna wait for the banner of the Awkward Turtle sigil as we wait for one of the more awkward convos coming up. 

Speaking of her Dany’s no good terrible first impression: She didn’t exactly get off to the right foot with Sam. I knew this was coming. When Sam found out she killed his dad and brother, it would be bad, and it is because Sam believes he now sees in Dany the thing that everyone else is afraid exists: Madness.

Before we leave The North, we need to discuss that while everyone is getting all hurt by titles and the like, the Army of the Dead is halfway to Winterfell and they are making the presence known. We once again see the symbol the Night King leaves behind, this time it’s made of Northerners enflambe. It’s interesting how they’ve shown the symbol of the dead made of icey bodied and now fire. I hope we get an indication of what the Dead know.

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King’s Landing

Cersei remains the most unbothered person in Westeros. Everyone up North is prepping for the end times and when Cersei hears the Dead have breached the wall she gets all grumpy cat and is like, “GOOD.”

Well…until Euron gets there. 

Euron’s arrival brings Cersei full circle in many ways. Cersei has amassed more power than she every expected to have in this world. She’s gone from Real Housewife of King’s Landing to running the network but here she finds herself in the same place she was with Robert: having to be with a man to maintain her station in life. She knows this feeling and she detests it.

…not having the elephants seemed like salt on the wound. 

Another man has Cersei’s mind. Qyburn lets Bron know Cersei is offering a massive fortune to kill Jamie and Tyrion. I really don’t know how well that’s gonna work…I don’t know how this is gonna end but I’m thinking so many levels of bad. 

The Title Sequence

The change was brilliant in how they not only used it to show a passage of time, but also to get people’s mindset not of the world we left, but in the world of the last eighteen months where everything has changed. They used the title sequence to set the tone of your expectations.

Winterfell, In summation. 

No one warned people who had never seen dragons before that dragons are coming apparently. You must attend a full Toastmakers course to sit on Dany’s council. If you don’t feel delight when Arya smiles then I’m calling the police on you. The show will truly never be able to find something for Yara to do. Cersei TRUE friend zones you cause she’s that bitch. Straight men can’t tell two people don’t need their help. Viserys didn’t tell Dany that dragons only respond well to Targaryens, he continues to suck from beyond the grave. The Hound was low-key proud Arya robbed him before leaving him to die. Is it legal to ship Arya and Gendry? The Night’s Watch vows are muted by the wall being breached or Sam is gonna need one more pardon from Dany. HOLY SHIT THAT KIDS ALIVE! Winterfell is the most ADA compliant place in Westeros.”

A month and a half ago I started rewatching the show, I finished right before tonight’s episode and I’m very glad I did. This episode wasn’t about moving forward it was about going back to the beginning and resetting the game pieces one last time. Nothing remains the same, everything is different. Tonight was not about showing you there is no going back, it was letting you know there is now nothing to go back to.

Keep geek.