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‘Winterfell’ Recap: ‘Game of Thrones’ Returns

After what seems like forever but was actually just under two years, Game of Thrones returned to the airwaves last night with Winterfell. It’s an apt title for the episode because that’s where most of the episode takes place. In a parallel of the first episode, a royal procession is coming to Winterfell, but this time it’s Jon Snow and Queen Daenerys Targaryen instead of Robert Baratheon and the Lannisters coming to court. Jon is finally reunited with his siblings Bran, Sansa and Arya, and none of them are particularly impressed with his new girlfriend, even the ones who don’t know she’s his aunt yet.

There’s a moment between Jon and Arya where Arya says Sansa is the smartest person she knows, and this is quickly borne out as we see Sansa has become more insightful than Tyrion, at least as far as Cersei is concerned. She’s the only person who realises Cersei can’t be trusted, even in the face of anthropogenic global warming the White Walkers. You all picked up on that, right? The last season ended with the world in danger of destruction because a giant wall of ice fell apart, I don’t think the symbolism could be any stronger if George R. R. Martin hired Al Gore to stand and point at them.

We got a brief look television’s greatest villain, Cersei Lannister. When she was informed that the zombie hordes of the White Walkers were marching on Westeros, her reply was “Good.” And then she had sex with a subordinate and sent a different subordinate to hire someone to kill her brothers. She’s basically an amalgamation of every American president of the last 40 years. By the end of the season she’s going be giving a speech about how Dragon AIDS isn’t real.

As an aside, George R. R. Martin’s favorite book is The Lord of the Rings. Tonight’s episode felt more like The Silmarillion, because there was a lot of story but not a whole lot of action. It was essentially an hour of expository pipe laying, which isn’t necessarily bad, but this was not an episode that in any way stands on it own. Most of the story was characters finding out things from other characters that the audience has known for years.

Jon Snow rode a dragon with Daenerys, if you needed any final proof that he’s a Targaryen. No one seems to put this together at the time while they’re flying their dragons off to a romantic aunt/nephew boink spot. After Sam finds out Queen Daenerys executed his brother along with his father, he goes and breaks the news to Jon that he isn’t Ned Stark’s son and he isn’t a bastard, he’s the rightful king of Westeros.

That feels like what the episode ends on, but we actually find out that the White Walkers are coming to Winterfell much sooner than we thought. No waiting around until the next to last episode for the zombie apocalypse, that shit is happening next week. Oh, and Jamie arrives to deliver the news that Cersei isn’t sending help and hoping for the White Walkers to finish off her enemies like they’re a South American socialist democracy. But he comes face to face with Bran, who he last saw when he threw him out a window because he walked in on him fucking his sister. That’s where the episode ends.

It’s hard to assess an episode like this. It didn’t really give us a lot of clues about where the story is headed we didn’t already have, but it was necessary to set up the rest of the season. It’s sort like a plate of canapes, but instead of mini quiches it’s got dragons and incest.

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The Lord of the Rings is 3 books. And it is obvious George copied or stole his best stuff from The Silmarillion, and then added more tits and sex. Dude loves his Tolkien and his language. Valar yo!

PS, the wall didn’t fall due to warming. The cold was coming further south. Maybe you need to work on your analogies.

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