Game of Thrones S08 E01: Allegiances are tested & Jon Snow gets to ride a dragon but where is Ghost?
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Game of Thrones S08 E01: Allegiances are tested & Jon Snow gets to ride a dragon but where is Ghost?

Bruce McAvoy

Note: This story contains major spoilers for Game of Thrones season eight premiere.

Somehow even after a screen time spanning over seven seasons, the dragons in Game of Thrones still come across as intimidating, if not more, with every passing episode. Owing to the fact that they have been thought to be extinct since millennia, they're an unfamiliar sight in the Westeros. The people fear them and Daenerys sees that as part of her strength.

The first episode starts to close up loose ends as we head to the culmination of this epic saga. Daenerys arrives with Jon at Winterfell and the Stark siblings finally meet for the first time since Season 1. There's some palpable tension between the other houses in the North that's definitely got to do with the presence of a Targaryen in their midst.

Loyalty seems to be the theme of the Season 8 premiere episode as its discussed very often throughout the run. Ser Davos Seaworth, Varys and Tyrion first bring it up in context to Daenerys. Jon and Sansa discuss about Jon's loyalty towards the Northerners at a later point but the former scene is pretty interesting. Davos and Varys might just play matchmakers to bring together Daenerys and Jon as the Queen and King of the Seven Kingdoms. It's a pretty compelling development as both of them are clearly shown reciprocating to each others feelings. That's until...

Jon gets to know about his lineage from Samwell Tarly who has just been told by Daenerys that she executed his father and brother. He's in mourning but Bran pleads to his better self that he should be the one to tell Jon about his parentage as he trusts him more. Earlier on in the episode, Jon gets to ride Viserion and the dragons seems to like him. Daenerys also gets to know courtesy of Bran that Rhaegal is alive and kicking but has changed his allegiance.

There are moments throughout the episode that will excite viewers who have been investing in the series since 2011. Reunions like Arya-Hound, Arya-Gendry, Jon-Sam, Yara-Theon make the premiere episode feel like the beginning of the end. But clearly, the cold reunion between Bran and Ser Jamie Lannister took the crown as being every bit anti-climatic. Going on out from here, the stakes are high as ever and HBO has released a teaser for the second episode to remind us.

The second episode seems to serve as a precursor to the big battle that's been teased by the showrunners as the biggest on the TV. A showdown between the Army of the Dead vs the army of the living led by Aegon Targaryen will happen in the third episode, which also happens to be the season's longest.

PS: Don't forget to watch the redesigned opening title below!