‘Game of Thrones’ Review: First Episode of Final Season Underwhelming but Necessary

Arya+Stark+%28Maisie+Williams%29+and+Jon+Snow+%28Kit+Harington%29+reunite+for+the+first+time+since+Season+One+of+Game+of+Thrones
Back to Article
Back to Article

‘Game of Thrones’ Review: First Episode of Final Season Underwhelming but Necessary

Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) reunite for the first time since Season One of Game of Thrones

Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) reunite for the first time since Season One of Game of Thrones

Via Vulture

Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) reunite for the first time since Season One of Game of Thrones

Via Vulture

Via Vulture

Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) reunite for the first time since Season One of Game of Thrones

Nick Stavas, Editor-in-Chief

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






After 595 grueling days, the wait finally ended for the massive contingent of “Game of Thrones” fans around the world. The inaugural episode of the beloved series’ final season aired Sunday night on HBO, and it didn’t seem to miss a beat. In a ultimately slow episode, all of our favorite characters from Westeros reunited in a nostalgic return to Winterfell while drama ensued in King’s Landing. There weren’t many terribly exciting events in this first episode, but let’s look at the highlights:

Cersei Shares the Bed with Euron Greyjoy

In my opinion, the most surprising thing to occur within the hour of this episode was Cersei finally giving in to Euron Greyjoy’s proposal that he made back in Season 7. While Euron is a relatively new character, we learned a lot more about his pompous and egotistical personality. Cersei even goes on to say that Euron is “the most arrogant person she has ever met.” While he seems unlikable, Cersei was likely feeling lonely in the wake of her brother Jaime’s leaving.

…Speaking of Greyjoys

In a scene that didn’t really fit the “Game of Thrones” mold, Theon Greyjoy just simply sails right into the Iron Fleet, kills everyone on the main ship, and rescues his sister, Yara, from the imprisonment of Euron. At the conclusion of Season 7, Theon rallies whatever is left of the Ironborn to take to the sea to save their proclaimed queen. While Euron is getting busy with Cersei within the walls of King’s Landing, Theon easily sneaks in and rescues his sister without a hitch. I was waiting for some kind of unexpected death or conflict in this scene, but it never came, which was slightly disappointing.

Meanwhile in Winterfell…

Snore, snore, snore. Heartwarming reunions and petty drama highlighted the happenings in the North in this episode. Jon and Arya, Jon and Sam, Jon and Bran, Arya and Gendry, Arya and the Hound, Tyrion and Sansa all reunited. Along with all of this was the annoying love story between Jon and Daenerys Targaryen. In general, it was a grand homecoming loaded with comedic lines that made you smile… which isn’t what “Game of Thrones” should be, in my opinion. “Game of Thrones” has made its money on its unpredictability and cruel twists and turns. All of these aspects were lacking greatly in this first episode. I understand, it’s probably setting up riveting battles and gruesome deaths, but they could have at least given us a taste of those facets of the story.

The Best Part of the Episode

While there wasn’t a lot of exhilarating moments, there was certainly one that stands out. When Tormund and some of the other wildlings are scrounging through Last Hearth they come across Edd and the rest of the Night’s Watch crew that we remember from Season 6. After fleeing Castle Black, the Night’s Watch men traveled to Last Hearth and met up with Tormund and his squad in a spooky scene with of a couple serious jump-scares. The most disturbing image of the entire episode was the Umber boy pinned to the wall in a cult-ish display which served as a message from the Night King. While the crew is discussing the meaning of it, the Umber boy lets out a screech that could make your ears bleed, and personally made me jump out of my seat.

What’s Next?

The episode concludes with Jaime Lannister seeing Bran Stark for the first time since he infamously threw him out the castle window in Season 1, paralyzing him for life. The scene just takes close ups of both characters making eye contact, then rolls the credits, which provides a massive cliff hanger for what’s going to happen next.