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Alright, let’s speak plainly. This was an awesome episode and I don’t think that’s the usual Game of Thrones post-orgasmic chill speaking. After a-year-and-a-half’s worth of waiting, this episode nearly made up for the fact that they made me wait.
Who am I kidding? Nothing could ever make up for that. But it was pretty great, in that “Oh, they’re starting to wrap everything up” kind of way I got from the last season of Breaking Bad or my last day of Jorts Camp.
Either way, here is my official roundup of the best three scenes in this episode, “Winterfell”. If you haven’t seen this episode yet, consider this your official spoiler warning so that we don’t clash swords over this.
Spoilers ahead. Seriously, I will not be talking like someone who just watched this episode, the last first episode of the season for the greatest TV spectacle of our generation.
After a Winterfell scene with the young ruler of Last Hearth, we spend the episode doing other, more important things. Riding dragons, plotting with crossbows, breaking Samwell Tarly’s heart into a million pieces, and watching Jaime walk into a freaking hornet’s nest all take up most of our time, and rightfully so. The Umber boy’s just taking some carts to his castle to pick up some men. What’s the worst that could happen?
Well we find out just what the worst is that can worst at the worst possible time when Tormund, Beric, and Ed stumble into Last Hearth on their way down from The Wall, towards the end of the episode. The men of Castle Black and Eastwatch on the Sea discover the young ruler nailed to the middle of a series of spiral shapes. Oh, I’m sorry – I meant the young ruler nailed to the middle of a series of spiral shapes made from amputated limbs!
As if this wasn’t a great enough nod to the super scary first episode that quickly dropped its horror themes for fantasy adventure incest, Tormund turns his back on the kid and the slumbering Umber wakes up and attacks him!
The gang does the right thing and sets the kid on fire while stabbing him, but that didn’t stop the audience collectively filling their pants with hot pies. Amazing stuff.
This entry will be short because this scene was deliciously short. After a brief scene at the beginning of the episode depicting Euron torturing his niece, we’re treated to a superfast rescue rangers scene of Theon busting her out.
And yes, I said Theon. I know he reclaimed his manhood in that fight on the beach at the end of Season 7, and most of you aren’t going to contest that fact. But to anybody still wondering: this scene handed our boy back his balls. Let’s take a look:
- We kick off the magic with three Kraken shipmates biting the dust with crossbow bolts in their heads
- A fourth eats it by an ax, literally hoisted by the world’s ballsiest eunich
- Upon her release, Yara rings Theon’s head like a bell with a headbutt so fierce, I felt it
- Then she lifts him up, and makes plans to return home
- And Theon refuses! Because he’s so in love with redemption he basically wants to marry it.
This was such a relief to see happen.
Our final point has been eight years in the making. It’s also a simple thing to describe: in the first episode, Jaime and Cersei are busy doing the horizontal incest mambo when Bran walks in on them. Jaime pulls a real George R R Martin and pushes the young boy out of a high window. Bran becomes a cripple. Jamie becomes a handsome cripple. They live separate lives thousands of miles apart.
Until the last minute of this freaking episode! The sight of Ban staring down Prince Charming as he gets off of his horse in Winterfell was singularly satisfying, and I don’t know what showdown could ever compete with it.
You know, aside from….
*air horn sounds in the distance*
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