It’s been 597 days since the last new Game of Thrones episode and now, the first of the last six episodes has finally arrived. It’s “Winterfell,” the episode that sees armies massing at the home of House Stark, Jon Snow and Daenerys fall even further into love, the Night King and the army of the dead marching further South of the Wall, and Jon learning the big secret about himself. Yes, friends, this is an episode of reunions and meetups and that’s about it.

I can’t say that I’m disappointed because, as the first episode of the final six, I expected it to be mostly set up for later payoff and, you know… that’s fine. The set ups were good, I’m sure the payoffs will be good, but episodes like these are frustrating and it’s just the nature of the beast.

It has some great moments. The scene where Jon rides a dragon for the first time was a lot of fun and, of course, seeing these characters we’ve been watching for seven seasons finally cross paths is satisfying in its own right. I also have to hand it to an episode with mostly nothing but set up, it does do a good job of building anticipation for what is to come.

The major events seemed to be handled well. Jon learning of his true heritage has certainly raised a lot of uncertainties that will have to be ironed out and revealed, possibly even destroying his relationship with
Daenerys. Sam learning of the fates of his brother and father will most definitely have repercussions.

And, of course, the biggest question remains unanswered… where is Potpie?

It’s an odd thing… a ton of things happened in this episode if you were to look at a list of them, but at the end, it feels like almost nothing did. Given the breakneck speed of last season, this premiere felt like someone slammed on the brakes.

Keep in mind, I’m not complaining… much. I’ll be here for every episode this season.

After all, 597 days is too long to give up now!

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Written by Jason Gaston

Father, teacher, writer, photographer, artist, actor, male model, and inventor of the semicolon.

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