Hot Stuff: Returning to Winterfell!

Well, we’re back! It feels like forever since we were in the great game- I almost feel out of practice. And though I’ve tried to be a little bit vague, I’m still gonna have to put a *MASSIVE Spoiler Warning* cos I don’t want to ruin a second of this for anyone looking forward to this as much as I was! Personally, I will admit I’m often so conflicted about the newer seasons, because they’re never as good as when it followed the books- AND YET it’s always so entertaining!! There were some low points- particularly in the dialogue- yet there were some definite upsides and the last 3-4 scenes ultimately restored my faith. But we’ll not get ahead of ourselves…

Let’s take a quick detour down south, before we discuss the main meat of the episode. Even if I’m never that excited to go to King’s Landing anymore, I have to say Lena Headey puts in one hell of a performance. On the other hand, even if Cersei says Euron is not boring, I’m afraid that’s exactly what he is. He’s diverged so far from his book counterpart that there’s really nothing left that’s interesting about him. Actually, thank goodness for Theon (never thought I’d say that), cos his rescue saved those scenes from feeling interminably dull.

I will say that there are many, many moments that feel fanfic-y. I don’t believe for a second that the dragon scene will go down like that in the books. Buuut at the same time, it also made my heart swoop out of my chest. I mean, who doesn’t love watching dragons fly? (fools, I tell you, fools!) And that knowing look from the dragon was a nice touch 😉

The emotional heart of the episode revolved around Samwell’s scenes. Not only did he find out what happened to his family, but he also had to tell Jon the truth. And wow, I don’t think they could have done that scene any better. What I especially liked was how it followed the Tarly reveal and Sam pointing out that Dany would never give up her throne for her people. It was a nice touch and pretty much explains why I’ve gone off the character.

Which I guess is why if it comes to a proper Sansa vs Dany fight, I’d be on #TeamSansa all the way. What can I say? The girl speaks sense. And yes, I see it as a logical progression of her character. At the same time, I’m not entirely sold on the Stark camaraderie OR the incessant squabbling. It feels less like political manoeuvring at this stage and more pointless drama- especially when you consider what they’re up against- which is brought into focus by the end of the episode. And yeah, that ending was *s-p-o-o-k-y* and that JUMPSCARE freaked me out! What a horrific reminder of what they’re all fighting.

There were so many reunions in the episode, I don’t know if I can go through them all. The Jon/Arya scene was pretty close to what I’ve wanted since season 1- though weirdly I think I preferred Sansa/Jon, Sansa/Arya and Sansa/Tyrion (basically Sansa is the queen of reunions for a range of reasons). Even more strangely, my favourite reunion of the episode had to be Jaime’s little *surprise* when he finally arrived at Winterfell. Can’t wait to see where that goes!

And that’s all I have for this first episode. It’s not the best season opener I’ve ever seen- I guess cos there weren’t so many shocking death scenes… hey, I don’t watch this show for the romance 😉. Because of that though, I still have time to do some death predictions. Here’s all the people I think will die:

Yeah, I think we’re getting cleganebowl and I’ve put both Dany and Jon on there to be safe- although I think Dany is more likely to kick the bucket.

Let me know if you think I’ve missed anyone! And what did you think of the first episode? Disappointed or excited? Hit me up in the comments!

62 thoughts on “Hot Stuff: Returning to Winterfell!

  1. I think I mentioned this on Twitter, but we are doing screenings of the show in our own screening room on a big videowall at work and we also have a little game of who lives, who dies, who turns white walker. Out of the people you predicted would die, I only had Dany, Cersei and the Mountain as dying. Maybe also Jon. But other than that, I just really hope that Jaime and Theon survive because I love a good redemption arc and the boys are doing great.
    Also, can we just talk about the amount of shade my personal Queen, Sansa, served in that single episode. I thought it was interesting that Arya defended her to Jon, but I liked it a lot. The whole “I once thought you were the smartest man alive” or whatever the exact words were hit hard. But yeah, Sansa is best at reunions so far.
    Lastly, my favourite quote from that episode was “I’ve ALWAYS had blue eyes!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so cool! hehehe sounds fun! 😉 Oh I’d like Jaime and Jon to live as well- I just don’t think they will. I don’t think there’s anything else Theon can do except die for so some starks can live tbh- but I get what you mean.
      hahaha she really did. I did expect Arya to defend her- in a way I thought it was more surprising that Jon was surprised that they were getting on- I dunno I thought he’d have figured out that they all got over their childhood grievances (he did). Oh yeah I really agree with you about that. She definitely has. hahaha!! Yes! That was the funniest line!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, I totally get where you are coming from on all of these. I also just wanted to add that I was living for the fact that Arya was downright flirting with Gendry. Never thought I’d actually see that and ship it. I just wanted him to meet Sansa haha

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Have you seen the meme comparing Sansa to Boy George? I laughed muchly!

    The first episode was fabulous! I love Sam, just love him. I’m so intrigued with what will happen next!

    That kid in the wall, when he started screaming I nearly peed my pants!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mixed feelings from that episode, but first episodes of a season do often feel like that. The writers have to get everyone’s stories going so not much always happens!

    I liked the reunions, especially the ones involving Arya, and Sam’s scenes were done brilliantly. Lived how they showed his compassionate nature by having him heart broken by his father’s death, in spite of how his family have treated him.

    Hated the fact that there was no Ghost and the dragon flying scene. It didn’t feel very Game of Thrones in its execution. I completely agree that it won’t go down like that in the books.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Totally get that and I agree with you there. good point!

      Me too- especially the Sam one. Yes!! The Sam scenes were the best part of the episode for me.

      Ahh I really agree with you about both of those. I’ll admit that I have a soft spot for dragons- but it felt very out of place and I just missed Ghost too much. I’d have preferred if they had a Ghost reunion over the dragon flying.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do enjoy the dragons usually, that scene was just a bit strange, but it is a shame that the direwolves seem to have been cut out. I heard they cost a lot of time and money on CGI, so they have to be selective in their use.

        Like

  4. I think I’m actually looking forward to the Jaime stuff next week more than the big battles. I swear though if Dany doesn’t call Tyrion out on the, at this point, undeniable fact that Cersei screwed them over and everything that he counseled was for nothing especially with the cost I might break my television!

    It was also a little annoying for Jon to seemingly have a go at Sansa to Arya who was the one I’m pretty sure told him Cersei could never be trusted and it was a waste of time.

    Ugh. I ship no one currently alive on the show but if Dany could dump Tyrion and Jon and hook up with Sansa as an advisor or whatever Westeros would be better for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m afraid I’m not and never have been a fan of Sansa. I don’t know what it is but she’s just always annoyed me so I’d probably come down on team Dany. That being said Dany is turning into a bit of an evil despot. I felt so sorry for Sam and she showed zero remorse. Will be interesting to see how she reacts when she finds out about Jon.

    I’m kind of with you on who’s going to die although I also have a bad feeling about Tyrion and Brienne, although that’s mostly based on them being fave characters and GoT has a habit of killing off faves. I would like to see Jaime make it and Arya but it seems doubtful.

    As first episodes go I kind of liked it. Even if there wasn’t much action it was nice to see everyone coming together.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s fair enough. I really didn’t like her for the first 3 seasons tbh- but have grown to like her. haha it’s funny cos if you told me at the beginning I’d prefer her to Dany, I’d never have believed you. But the remarkable thing about GOT is how fast you can switch allegiances- and Dany definitely comes across as a bit of a despot to me too.

      Oh yeah that’s a good point- I thought about putting them on the list, but then I realised everyone would be on it 😉 Yeah me too.

      Yeah I get what you mean- I wasn’t so crazy about the middle (though I liked the beginning and loved the last 10-15 minutes)- but like you said, it was good for a first episode 🙂

      Like

  6. Hi, I’m Wanko McBumpkin! My uncle will be buggering me in graphic detail for your viewing pleasure while I hang over a castle parapet. At the same time, both of us will eviscerate somebody who all the fans know and eat their entrails, once again in graphic detail for your viewing pleasure.

    That pretty much sums up what I’ve gotten from this series (which I’ve not watched) through everyone else’s reviews. since you’ve watched this to date, how accurate would you say that is?
    1 for Not Accurate at All
    5 for Yeah, I Can Totally See That
    10 for You Nailed It!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. More like, “Hi, I’m Wanka McBumpkin and a random stranger slash my brother will be brutally raping me,” because in order to get the true GoT experience the sexual violence has to be gendered.
      (Still love the show because Dragons and Revenge)

      Like

    2. Unfortunately there seems to be a consensus that you’re not far off (though I’m not sure what score I’d give you- I want to give you a “totally nailed it” for the ironic pun, but I think it’s closer to 5 😉 ) Your assessment does remind me of this song that basically summarises the show and says “wait, why do we watch this?” I guess I’m gonna shuffle away awkwardly and say something about dragons… cos you know, there are dragons too… and hope… (but also zombies and lots of death… yeahhh gonna dig my own grave here)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I remember last time I gave the show a spin, it was for one of those free HBO weekends, and I found the episodes a bit slow. But having caught up on the last season, found it to pick up momentum considerably, so looking forward to this final season.

        Totally off topic, but just finished binge watching Deadly Class and was blown away.
        It is such a spot on adaptation of the graphic novel and the casting is AMAZING.

        Like

  7. I will mourn deeply if and when Dany goes.

    As for the first episode, it was understated and yet necessary perhaps. Bringing the gang back together has its deets that must be tended to. And really, if any show knows how to kick it into fifth gear at a moment’s notice, it’s this show.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Her transformation was my favorite part of the show while I was still watching it. I actually stopped because I heard what was going to happen to her and I didn’t want to see her undergo that kind of trauma.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this!
    I’m hoping for an Arya/Gendry romance. Did you see how she undressed him with her eyes as she left the forge?
    Also, I think Sam had an incredible point about Dany. I was #teamdany all the way until he said that and now I’m questioning everything. But I do think Jon Snow is likely to die.
    Have you heard the Firewight theory? That all the people who are brought back by the prophets for the Lord of Light (i.e. Jon Snow and Bendric Dondarrion) are Firewights (I have no idea if I’m spelling that right, it’s pronounced Fire-White). They’re basically the opposite of the wights created by the White Walkers and they’re impervious to fire (HELLO Jon Snow with the Dragon blood in his veins!). I’m not sure how that will all play out yet, but I’m interested. I’m kind of hoping that Jon will be in a battle situation and he’ll be surrounded by the wights and Dany will drop in on Drogon, not wanting to flame because she doesn’t want to kill Jon, but Drogon does it anyway and she freaks but JON DOESN’T DIE because of the whole Targaryen and/or Firewight thing and THAT’S how Dany finds out they’re related.
    Also…I have this weird feeling that this series isn’t going to end with someone on the Iron Throne, but that maybe the Iron Throne will be destroyed. Like….maybe the question “who will rule the 7 Kingdoms?” is actually the wrong question altogether.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      hahahaha yes I did see it and I would absolutely ship that! (plus they’re not related- RESULT!)
      Oh I was team Dany till last season- what she did to the Tarlys was the final straw- so I’m really glad Sam called her on it. You just don’t get to kill your prisoners for being loyal to their own cause. And yeah I get your point about Jon.
      Oh yeah I have heard that. Yeah I’m curious to see where it’s going. Wow- that’d be such a cool way to do it!!! I want that to happen now!!!

      Yeah that’s what I figure at this point (I just don’t tell many people, cos I heard the theory and then thought it fit so perfectly that it feels more like a spoiler than a theory). And I agree- in fact, that’s why I think that they’re misleading us with the “for the throne” marketing strategy- a bit like how last year they were using the “lone wolf” line, when what they were really going for was “the pack survives”. So yeah, definitely agree with you there!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You voiced all my opinions! I slightly felt like the whole writing/screenplay of the story was a little off, and indeed fanfiction-y… But I loved all the reunions too! Excited to see everything wrap up in the next episodes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Definitely agree that it was very fanfic-y! But I love the dragons so I can’t complain. The dialogue was sooo awkward at parts, it was pretty disappointing. But I loved being back in Game of Thrones world, and by the end of the episode I was back in the hook. Sam was definitely the best part of the episode.
    I don’t know what you guys think but my prediction for the show is that Jon is (possibly) going to end up killing Dany 😱I love the detail that goes into the costumes on the show and there’s more red coming through in Dany’s clothing- the madness starting to come through?
    I didn’t make it past book 3 so I don’t know if that fits. Bring on the next episodes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I feel the exact same way- it’s fanficy, but I like it anyway, so I can’t complain! Oh yeah, realllly agree about the dialogue. Me too! Sam was definitely the best!
      Yeah that’s a good prediction- I actually think that’s highly possible too (and would fit with a lot of backstories and prophecies). Me too!!
      It actually really fits with the books- at least in terms of legends and prophecy- but I don’t know if the show is following that much anymore!

      Like

      1. Yes I think the show’s sort of going its own way- I was sooo surprised at the ending of episode 3. Definitely thought dany and Jon would be more involved there

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I thought the episode was pretty good! Not the best season premiere of the seasons, but it did all right! And yes! I felt Sam’s pain. He’s gone through so much, and to have such shocking news delivered to him and then to be the one delivering shocking news to Jon is something huge. I agree that Arya and Jon’s reunion was sweet though I think I prefer Sansa and Jon’s reunion more. All of Sansa’s reunions mean so much since her relationships with others are often rocky to begin with. Cersei is always a scene stealer, though Euron is not. I’m really bored with his character, tbh. And glad to see I’m not the only one who’s leaning more toward #TeamSansa. She’s the only one with any sense right now LOL. And I know for sure that once Dany finds out who Jon truly is, she will fight for the crown rather than give it up willingly. Or who knows? She might surprise us. Even so, I think she will definitely be kicking the bucket this season haha. And yikes, that scare with the Umber boy was spot on LOL. I was actually really creeped out. Can’t wait to see the Bran and Jaime reunion play out haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! I definitely think it did alright! Yeah that was really nicely done and I love how you put that. And yeah me too and I think that’s such a good way to put it!! It just shows how much she’s grown as a character and how much they’ve all been through! And I agree about Cersei. Euron makes no impression and I think he’s really boring too. Yay another person who is #TeamSansa. I agree! Yeah it definitely looks that way. I’d like her to surprise us too. haha that’s what I think as well. Ahh it was so scary!!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Nice review! I love this show so much, I wonder how many people were sat of their sofas waiting for this season on Monday! Throughout the seasons, there have been many episodes that appear to have not much going on, then the last scene makes you go OH MY GOD!

    It will be interesting to see where this season goes because they cannot possibly leave any cliffhangers! I think Cersei will die, or ALL of them will! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I went into this episode having to constantly ask my husband questions to keep.up because I only really watched the first season and then episodes here and there after….lol. Most of all I was like ‘why did they leave Bran just sitting in the courtyard forever? Is it cuz he’s creepy now?’

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Euron is probably the most terrifying character in the books. It’s a shame the show couldn’t write his character well. And is it just me who thinks Euron and Cersei have some seriously sparkling chemistry?

    Which is why I wanted to shake Jon when he fell for Dany’s “is your pride more important than your people?” line. Dany, aren’t the people more important than YOUR pride?

    I think the squabbling is consistent with Northern culture. They are people who openly question each other, they have a public forum where they can be honest with each other. In that way, that makes them much more relatable to real families and communities. More discussions than squabbling. It’s a striking contrast to when Dany shut down Tyrion for making long-term plans.

    I think Jon and Arya will survive the series though I’m only 65-35 on that, the rest I completely agree. Man, I will miss Cersei.

    Liked by 1 person

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