Arya Flirts With Gendry
“You look good.” “So do you.” It got hot in the forge and it had nothing to do with the heat from the fires. Gendry called Arya “milady” and she smiled. That’s how you know it’s love. Or lust. Or… you know what, the point is that there’s definitely something there, and time will tell what that something is. Maybe it’s endgame. Maybe it’s just a flirtation to make an upcoming death that much more of a gut punch. We shall see. Long story short: YOU GO, ARYA. GET YOUR MAN. (And your customized weapons—seriously, what a great two-for-one deal.)
Sam Finally Spills the Tea
The end of season 7 officially confirmed what most book readers had predicted since the series premiere: R + L = J, a.k.a. Jon Snow is actually Aegon Targaryen, the trueborn heir of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. Bran Stark and Samwell Tarly agreed in the season 7 finale that they had to tell Jon the truth, but neither one seemed particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of actually breaking the news. While Bran was the one who confirmed the theory, did he end up actually doing the dirty work? No, of course not. It was Sam, who just learned that Daenerys incinerated his father and brother, who got left in charge of that joyful task (acting-wise, John Bradley was the definite MVP of this episode). Of course, Sam did not know that telling Jon about his parentage also meant breaking the news that his lover is technically his aunt, so there was that small mercy. Was it an awkward moment? Hell yes. But an awkward moment we waited a hell of a long time to see.
Tormund Lives! (Also Dolorous Edd)
Tormund’s had some pretty close calls. So has our old pal Edd, Westeros’s version of Eeyore. Both were at the Wall—Tormund at Eastwatch and Edd at Castle Black—when the Night King knocked it down, which was an ominous way to leave things. But they made it! (As did Beric Dondarrion, whose defining personality trait continues to be that his sword is basically a ye olde lightsaber that as of “Winterfell” also doubles as a flashlight). Unfortunately, they did not make it to Winterfell, but the Last Hearth, where they got welcomed by the remains of poor Ned Umber (see below). However, right before that gruesome discovery the duo also had one of the best exchanges of the episode after running into each other unexpectedly. Edd accused Tormund of being a White Walker on account of his blue eyes, to which Tormund replied “I’ve always had blue eyes” with practically Shakespearian gravitas and now I want that on a t-shirt.
Ned Umber Wall Art
It’s Game of Thrones. Somebody had to die. And while poor little Ned Umber might have been a rather unremarkable character, his posthumous appearance is definitely memorable. To be honest, I’m still not sure exactly what in the seven hells is going on here besides an homage to Annihilation. “It’s a message from the Night King.” No shit, Beric, you don’t say. As I’ve discussed before, this spiral symbol is clearly important, though what it actually means remains a complete mystery. A mystery that seems to finally be taking the spotlight in what was easily the most unsettling moment in the season premiere.
Jaime Sees Bran Again
Wow, Bran is great, is a thought that Game of Thrones has never inspired. At least, until now. To be clear, his eternally blank expression and monotone voice are still irksome and painfully awkward, but somehow “Winterfell” turned these qualities from “oh no not Bran again” into some quality comic relief. Ironically, though, Bran also ended up participating in one of the most dramatically compelling scenes in the film, when he saw Jaime Lannister for the first time since the encounter that cost the young Stark the use of his legs. Considering Jaime tossing Bran from the window of the Broken Tower was the final scene in the series premiere, concluding the first episode of the final season with them seeing each other again is a really nice touch, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau did such a fantastic job of single-handedly conveying the emotional roller-coaster of their meeting that he fully compensated for the fact that his scene partner has exactly one facial expression.
Related Topics: Game of Thrones