[TV REVIEW] Winter has arrived for “Game of Thrones” in season premiere


Fair Use Image: HBO

Game of Thrones has long been considered one of the top shows on television. Winning 239 awards and being nominated for over 700, this is the final season of the fantasy epic.

Winter is here. No, not the random April snowfall of Minnesota, Game of Thrones fans know the anticipation and cruelly long time that has led up to the final season of the most popular show on television. Eight seasons spanning almost nine years, Game of Thrones has one of the most dedicated fan followings of any television show, completely willing to wait exorbitant amounts of time just to see one more episode. Although, this eighth season is different: it came out two years after the final episode of the seventh season. That means fans have been waiting since 2017 just to see the result of the preceding season. But with an estimated 20 million viewers of the premiere, suffice to say GOT has lost zero clout. While GOT has dragons, frozen zombies, and everything in between; the reason it’s so successful is because of the quality of writing and storytelling. Both of these are ever present in the season eight premiere, here is what was done well and not so well in episode 1: “Winterfell.”

Starting with the characters, there was a whole lot going on here. The episode mostly revolves around Winterfell, the main castle of the protagonists. Within this small fortress live an uncountable number of plot lines, though. What GOT has done well in this episode, especially as a premiere, is touched on them just enough to make you want more but little enough where they could all be explained. Specifically, the relationship between Kit Harrington’s Jon Snow and Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys Targaryen is delved into, showing both the promise ahead and the faults that could lead to destruction. Both actors tapped into a keen sense of dedication and hesitation, boosting the overall tension of the entire episode. Along with those two, Maisie Williams’ Arya Stark and John Bradley’s Samuel Tarly both gave impressive performances that enhanced the anticipation of what’s to come.

Game of Thrones only has to add impact now, and in a strong way. This is one of if not the most anticipated seasons of television history.”

— Michael Forsgren

Apart from the actors, the decision to put everything on the table right away like Jon’s identity and the impending danger was a risk but one that deserves reward. It makes the viewer want to know how characters will react to big moments, and how the plot will therefore change because of it. While it wasn’t an action packed episode, it does a great job setting the structure of the remaining season while also locating the perfect spot of uncertainty.

In conclusion, “Winterfell” serves as a strong introduction into the final season of Game of Thrones. Many questions have been answered but there remains many things fans are still waiting to see. While two years is a long wait, Game of Thrones has answered with raw anticipation towards a great ending. Game of Thrones only has to add impact now, and in a strong way. This is one of if not the most anticipated seasons of television history. The stage has been set, each character knows their role, all the season needs is a bit of finesse instead of falling into casual tropes and it will be a success. That point is a far way away now, though, but “Winterfell” already has fans asking those questions.

Final Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The trailer for the eighth season of Game of Thrones can be seen below: