Game of Thrones season eight finally aired after a nearly two-year wait on Monday, and the opening episode gave fans plenty of new things to talk about as the characters prepare to take on the army of the dead. Take a look at the best moments in the opening episode but be warned – MAJOR spoilers ahead for season eight, episode one.
The opening credits
Fans of the show (who don't skip the credits, that is), are used to seeing the miniature versions of Westeros build up, depicting which area of the world the characters are in at the time. But for the final series, this has been given a whole new makeover. Beginning at the broken down Wall, the new world now depicts that winter is here, and it is BEAUTIFUL.
Sansa Stark, Lady of Shade
Jon Snow might have bent the knee to Daenerys Targaryen, but Sansa certainly hasn't, and she is not pleased that a would-be usurper has brought her giant army and giant dragons into her ancestral home. Sansa has learned not to trust anyone but her family, and is absolutely not going to accept Daenerys as her queen just because Dany tells her she is. While we massively respect Sansa for her stance, we're also a bit worried about how the Mother of Dragons is going to deal with this slight. She's burned men to death for less…
Reunions, reunions everywhere
Episode one was all about bringing the characters together, and the writers got all of the key reunions out of the way quickly – giving fans something to scream over while getting the inevitable confrontations or emotional get-togethers over and done with. Most notably, former wedded couple Tyrion and Sansa spoke, and Sansa pointed out (accurately), that there was no way Cersei would ever bring her army to Winterfell, once again proving she's the smartest character in Winterfell right now. Jon reunited with (and was confused by) Bran, and had a lovely moment with Arya – which was perhaps the most anticipated reunion among Thrones fans and definitely worth the wait.
Arya and Gendry are ON
Speaking of reunions, Arya met up with Gendry so that he would make her a dragon glass dagger (all the better for killing White Walkers), and the pair most definitely did some flirting. Plenty of fans already see these two as 'end game', so could we be seeing the beginnings of a new Baratheon/Stark alliance? Either way, the viewers were loving it. One person wrote: "Since I can't write about Jaime and Brienne, I'm gonna write about how #GameofThrones finally did some ship setup right. Tell me that Arya/Gendry [expletive] wasn't some [one true pairing] SETUP AND I'LL CALL YOU A LIAR. #Gendrya." Another person added: "GENDRY AND ARYA FLIRTING. I AM CRYING ON THE FLOOR #GameOfThrones #ThronesYall."
Theon steps up
Theon is BACK. After literally jumping ship when his uncle Euron ambushed them and took Yara prisoner, Theon took 20 good men to King's Landing while Euron was, ahem, distracted, and rescued his sister and his Queen. She head-butts him for leaving her, and then they're friends again and she gives him leave to go and fight at Winterfell. Cue another extremely awkward reunion with Bran!
Cersei wants an elephant
Possibly one of the most hilarious moments of the first episode is when Cersei meets her new army, the Golden Company, and laments that they didn't bring their elephants from Essos with them, because, 'elephants are too heavy for the boats'. Cersei is pretty devastated by the revelation – and fans loved her reaction to the bad news. One person wrote: "Game of Thrones spoiler: Cersei hearts elephants," while another person added: "Cersei's obsession with the elephants is hilarious. And surprisingly relatable."
Jon trying a trip on a dragon for the first time was both funny and really sweet, particularly considering we know what we know (that he was born to be riding dragons, he's Aegon Targaryen). It also showed how his relationship with Daenerys has developed, and basically the pair are completely in love with each other. It was almost upsetting watching them race each other on the dragons while knowing that they were inevitably about to find out the truth about Jon's parentage. Speaking of…
THE MOMENT. THE. MOMENT.
"I wasn't a king."
"You were. You've always been."
Samwell Tarly, justly upset that Daenerys had burned his father and brother alive, finally tells Jon the truth about his parents – a moment book fans have been waiting decades for – aptly in front of Ned's statue in the crypts of Winterfell. It's actually pretty heartbreaking that Jon's first reaction is that his father, the man he admired more than anyone, had lied to him for his entire life. Then there's a question of the Iron Throne – if Jon's claim is better than Daenerys', will she be willing to bend the knee to him? We're going to say no.
Jaime arrives at Winterfell
Just as the episode begins with a young boy climbing over Winterfell to see the arrival of the army, which is a throwback to the first ever episode of season one, the episode concluded the same way too – with Jaime and Bran coming face to face. Of course, this is the first time Jaime has seen Bran since he pushed him out of a window, and Bran knows all about what he did. Good thing that he's an emotionless Three-Eyed Raven now, or those two would be having words.