In ESSENCE’s Game of Thrones Group Chat, Assistant Entertainment Editor Sydney Scott and Supervising Producer Sean Wellington break down each episode of the final season of HBO’s hit fantasy drama.
In episode one, titled “Winterfell,” Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow return to Winterfell where tons of reunions happen as they plan to hopefully defeat the Nightwalkers, who are on the hunt for them all.
Sean: I’m going into the first episode of the final season!!! The one thing I’m most anticipating is Jon Snow and Arya finally seeing each other again. I may shed a thug tear or let a ‘song cry’ depending on how they portray it.
Sydney: I’m going to cry. I can feel the tears already. I’m not mad at this new intro.
Sean: OK good. I’m glad you’re not of those people who skip the intro.
Sydney: It’s too iconic.
Sean: This open is fire. They started from the North; they usually start from the South. The fact that they show the Crypts of Winterfell in the open make me think it has a significant part to play in the story.
Sydney: I’ve read a few theories and I absolutely think it will be.
After Dany and Jon march their way into Winterfell, we see everyone who’s waiting for them inside, including Jon’s brother/cousin, Bran.
Sydney: Bran is such a weirdo.
Sean: Bran gets straight to the point though.
Sydney: He does, but damn explain the weird shit you’re saying bro. Like how are people supposed to react?
Also inside, see the people of Winterfell are preparing to hopefully defeat the Nightwalkers. We learned last season that the only way to kill a Nightwalker is by dragonglass, which they’ve begun to harvest, store and make into swords.
Sean: I see they have a lot of dragonglass.
Sydney: You gotta be prepared. There’s not enough of it though.
And like most people in the North, who are always skeptical, Sansa is not really here for Dany coming into Winterfell with Jon having to “bend the knee” and give up his title of King in the North no less. And when Tyrion (her ex-husband) shows up as Hand to this new queen, Ty Ty announces that his sister Cersei is sending her troops to help the North battle the Nightwalkers. Too bad Sansa doesn’t believe one word of it.
Sydney: I think I’m about to be Sansa hive?!?
Sean: I’ve always been Sansa hive. She clearly knows more about Cersei than anyone else. Yet no one sees it.
Sydney: Yeah, Tyrion is too optimistic. I hope they start listening to Sansa. She learned everything she knows from Cersei.
Beyond the walls, Jon and Arya finally reunite by that big old weird tree.
Sean: Jon and Arya showing each other their swords is some kind of #siblinggoals.
Sydney: I like how she lied like ‘Well, I’ve used needle once or twice.’ Arya you are a killer!
Sean: Understatement of the century. Now they go from the awesome family of the Starks to the worst family in Westeros—the Greyjoys.
Sydney: The Greyjoys really are a flop. Wait, Cersei gonna kill both her brothers??! I love it!
Sean: No one is creepier than Qyburn, but if he gets Bron a castle somehow he’s a hero. But this sounds like a trap…
Sydney: I don’t think it’s a trap, but I doubt Bron will kill Tyrion and Jamie.
As the elders in Winterfell try to plot to get Jon to propose to Dany, the two seem to be falling in love all their own. Jon takes Dany to a place special in his childhood. The two get there by riding the dragons. It’s a hint that Jon is a Targaryen because only that house can ride dragons.
Sydney: Jon riding a dragon! 1000% sure he sh-t himself.
Sean: The one that was named after his father at that.
But there’s one reunion in this episode that doesn’t prove heartwarming—when Dany finally meets Samwell Tarley. She then has to break the news that she’s murdered his father and his brother when they didn’t bend the knee.
Sydney: Dany is ripping the Starks apart! She’s not worth all this. God, my heart is breaking for Sam.
Sean: Yeah. Out of all of the reunions, I didn’t even think of how Sam learning this would affect him.
Sydney: Yeah, I think he would have been fine if she had just killed his dad, but he was close to his brother. That sh-t cut him deep. Glad Jon finally knows about his parents, but I think he’s too blinded by love to do the smart thing.
As the episode comes to a close, another iconic character comes to Winterfell: Jamie Lannister. But of course the first person he sees is Bran, the kid whom he pushed off a tower years ago when Bran saw him sleeping with his sister, Cersei, crippling Bran for life.
Sydney: LMAO Jaime seeing Bran!
Sean: Seeing Jaime is the most emotion he’s showed since coming back from beyond the wall.
Sydney: LOL! I cannot wait to see how this plays out.
Sean: Let me try and count the reunions from this episode: Arya and Jon; Arya and Gendry; Arya and The Hound; Sansa and Tyrion; Jon and Sam; Bran and Jaime; and Theon and Yara.
Sydney: This many reunions can only mean most of these people will die. Game of Thrones is a cold world.
Sean: And they have some nerve introducing a new character at this point. I refuse to remember that dude’s name from the Golden Company, who was with Euron.
Sydney: LMAO me neither, like what??? Bruh you’ll be dead by episode three. Move along!
Sean: I was like why is the camera lingering on this dude so long?!
Sydney: Cersei will probably hook up with him and maybe it will be Euron, who kills her out of anger and revenge. Someone will betray someone in that relationship.
Sean: I see Cersei setting up her hoetation now that Jamie is gone.
Sydney: LOL! It’s gonna be so awkward if he ever makes it back to King’s Landing.
Game of Thrones returns next Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.