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15 easter eggs, callbacks and things you might have missed

Daenerys arrives at Winterfell

In short

  • ‘Winterfell’ kicked off season eight with a bang
  • Included many callbacks to first ever episode

It’s taken seven seasons and one episode, however Jon Snow lastly is aware of one thing.

The most important second of Recreation of Thrones‘ long-awaited return on Sunday night time noticed Jon lastly study the reality about his mother and father. Sam Tarly, his most trusted pal, revealed he was by no means Ned Stark’s bastard, however in truth the trueborn son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned’s sister, Lyanna Stark – making him the rightful inheritor to the Iron Throne.

It was the standout scene in an episode affected by impactful reunions and wonderful one-liners, however as all the time with Recreation of Thrones there are many little nuggets you could have missed.

Right here’s every part we’ve noticed…

1. Winter marches on in a model new credit sequence

In the event you’re like me, you let loose some sort of gasp/yelp inside a matter of seconds after the well-known HBO emblem pale to black. Recreation of Thrones has revamped its opening credit, and the result’s beautiful!

They concentrate on only a smattering of key places, somewhat than the entire sprawling world of Westeros and Essos we’ve develop into used to, and are full of a bunch of nice little particulars.

The well-known astrolabe has new murals, depicting occasions from the present (The Wall falling, the Pink Wedding ceremony, the delivery of Daenerys’ dragons) moderately than ones which predate it.

We additionally see the large gap in The Wall which the Night time King‘s wight dragon created final season, and squares of ice progressing south, displaying the Military of the Lifeless’s progress in the direction of Winterfell.

The credit additionally take us inside buildings for the primary time, giving us a take a look at the crypts of Winterfell and the throne room, adorned with Cersei’s Lannister lion.

2. Daenerys’ arrival mirroring Robert’s in episode 1

Daenerys arrives at WinterfellDaenerys arrives at Winterfell (Photograph: HBO)

There have been an entire load of callbacks to the very first episode, particularly initially, when Sansa and the remainder of the North are welcoming Jon and their new queen Daenerys into Winterfell.

The episode opens with a younger boy dashing to climb a tree to get a greater view of Daenerys and her celebration, simply as Bran climbed the ramparts to catch a glimpse of King Robert all these years in the past.

Dany and Jon arrive to the very same music that performed when Robert and Cersei rode into the citadel, earlier than Sansa tells Dany: “Winterfell is yours, your grace” – simply as Ned stated to his good friend in episode 1.

“The place’s Arya?” Jon asks Sansa when he notices she’s not a part of the welcome celebration. This instantly mirrors Catelyn, who requested Ned the identical query upon Robert’s arrival.

three. A nod to Jon’s old flame, Ygritte

The cave where Jon and Daenerys presumably run offThe cave the place Jon and Daenerys presumably run off (Photograph: HBO)

Uh, it’s about time we point out that Jon rides a goddamn dragon on this episode. And never simply any dragon, he rides Rhaegal, the one named after his actual father.

Jon and Dany go on one hell of a date, flying their dragons collectively over the North, earlier than touchdown by a cave surrounded by waterfalls, and presumably heading inside to carry out some candy, candy incest (oops).

In the event you keep in mind, Jon misplaced his virginity (breaking his Night time’s Watch vows within the course of) to Ygritte in a really similar-looking cave approach again in season three. This was a pleasant nod to his old flame.

four. Ned’s final promise to Jon (type of) coming true

Ned's promise to Jon Ned’s promise to Jon (Photograph: HBO)

Again to Jon discovering the reality about his parentage, and the very fact it occurred within the crypt is extremely poignant. Firstly, it’s one other callback to episode 1, when Robert requested Ned to be his hand within the crypt – it appears to be the place for receiving life-changing information from a greatest pal.

However even higher, as Jon learns about his mom for the primary time, Ned’s statue is consistently wanting down on him. When you keep in mind all the best way again to episode 1 (sure, once more), when Ned says goodbye to Jon earlier than he departs for Fort Black, he guarantees his son nephew that subsequent tine they see one another, he’ll inform him about his mom.

Ned's statue watching over Jon as he discovers the truthNed’s statue watching over Jon as he discovers the reality (Photograph: HBO)

Jon has been down within the crypt since, notably in a tense scene with Littlefinger in season 7, however it nonetheless feels proper that Ned is true there with him when he discovers the reality. Lyanna’s statue is watching within the background, too.

5. The destiny of Ed Sheeran’s hated character

Ed Sheeran's character looks like he's suffered a grisly fateEd Sheeran’s character appears like he’s suffered a grisly destiny (Photograph: HBO)

Recreation of Thrones doesn’t get an excessive amount of fallacious, however most followers will agree that Ed Sheeran’s cameo as a Lannister soldier in season 7 was an enormous mis-step. Seeing one of many world’s most well-known pop stars spring up in Westeros was greater than somewhat jarring, and made you keep in mind you have been watching a TV present.

Within the season eight premiere, showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss appear to have acknowledged their mistake. Once we first see Bronn he’s getting scorching and heavy with three intercourse staff, one among whom is gossiping a few ginger lad named Eddie, who got here again from the conflict with Daenerys’ military “together with his face burned off”. Brutal, however satisfying.

6. And the real-life cause behind Bronn’s mission

Bronn and Cersei used to date in real lifeBronn and Cersei used thus far in actual life (Photograph: HBO)

Sticking with Bronn, that first sight of him with the three intercourse staff is a pleasant callback to how we first meet Tyrion in a really comparable state of affairs in a brothel at Winterfell. Tyrion is interrupted as Cersei sends somebody to summon him, and the very same factor occurs to Bronn right here.

Cersei has Qyburn ask Bronn to go north and kill each of her brothers, one thing we guess (and hope) he gained’t truly do. Nevertheless, individuals who know the historical past behind Cersei and Bronn’s actors, Lena Headey and Jerome Flynn, may have been questioning how the writers deliberate to get Bronn out of King’s Touchdown.

The pair used so far a very long time in the past, and there are rumours that the connection reportedly ended very badly. So badly, in truth, that they don’t share scenes, and allegedly have this written into their contracts.

7. Whereas we’re at it, we’ve seen that crossbow earlier than…

Bronn is given Joffrey's crossbow, which Tyrion used to kill TywinBronn is given Joffrey’s crossbow, which Tyrion used to kill Tywin (Photograph: HBO)

Qyburn palms Bronn a crossbow to take Jaime and Tyrion out with. The exact same crossbow Joffrey as soon as used to slaughter harmless animals and intercourse staff with, and Tyrion used to kill Tywin on the bathroom.

As Qyburn says, Cersei all the time has been a fan of “poetic justice”.

eight. Euron’s bemoans his crew of ‘mutes’

Euron messes with YaraEuron messes with Yara (Photograph: HBO)

They Greyjoys really feel just a little bit like they’re turning into this season’s Sand Snakes, in that they’re one thing of an afterthought to the primary plot.

Pretty early on, we uncover Euron has stored Yara alive, tied up on his ship. When Yara asks him why, he responds that if he hadn’t he wouldn’t have anybody to speak to, since “mutes” aren’t all that chatty.

This refers to how, within the books, Euron mans his fleet with prisoners he captures after which cuts the tongues from. We’ve seen flashes of him doing it within the present too, however it’s by no means talked about explicitly. That is additionally why his ship is known as “Silence”.

9. Our first sight of the Final Fireside

Beric and Tormund wander through the Last Hearth Beric and Tormund wander via the Final Fireside (Photograph: HBO)

The episode’s freakiest second was 1,000 per cent when Tormund, Beric Dondarrion and Edd uncover the physique of Lord Ned Umber pinned to a fort wall, earlier than he slowly wakes up with vibrant blue eyes and lets out a blood curdling (and I imply really blood curdling) scream.

Extra on that in a second, however it’s value noting that that is the primary time we’ve seen the Final Fireside, the fort which the Umbers name house, within the present.

It seems within the opening credit too, surrounded by the identical mysterious sample which encircles Ned’s physique (constructed from human physique elements, candy!) – this can be a method of hinting that the White Walkers have already taken over the fort.

10. The origins of the Night time King’s ‘paintings’

The White Walkers' patterns The White Walkers’ patterns (Photograph: HBO)

OK, so a bit extra on this. Chances are you’ll keep in mind that the spiraly circle sample (that’s the scientific identify for it) has cropped up a number of occasions earlier than in relation to the White Walkers.

Most significantly, you possibly can see it above surrounding the weirwood. It’s not simply any weirwood, it’s the one to which the First Man was strapped by the Youngsters of the Forest when he was was the Night time King.

The White Walkers make the identical form with physique elements within the opening scenes of the very first episode, and it additionally seems on the cave wall which Jon exhibits Daenerys at Dragonstone.

We don’t but know if there’s any deeper significance to the sample, however these messages at the very least suggest that the Night time King is clever, and holds extra purpose for his destruction than is instantly clear.

11. What’s Arya’s unusual new weapon?

Arya's hand-drawn weapon plan, which she gives to GendryArya’s hand-drawn weapon plan, which she provides to Gendry (Photograph: HBO)

How good was that Arya-Gendry reunion?! The youngest Stark woman (can we name her a woman anymore?) finds the Baratheon bastard overseeing the forging of dragonglass weapons within the armoury, and has a particular request for him.

It’s onerous to inform precisely what it’s, however it seems to be like some type of double-ended spear, with a dragonglass tip which detaches, and can be utilized as a shorter, close-range dagger. We caught a few glimpses of Arya utilizing a weapon that matches this description within the trailer, so it’s in all probability the identical one.

On Vainness Truthful‘s Nonetheless Watching podcast, the present’s weapons grasp (yep, it has a weapons grasp) Tommy Dunne teased: “There’s one creation in season eight that’s completely phenomenal. It’ll be a showstopper. That was nice to complete. It was nice to make, nice to design it that it was about to be reverse-engineered and made into two totally different gadgets.” It seems like that have to be this spear, however I wouldn’t be stunned if it had a couple of extra tips up its sleeve.

12. And her attainable union with Gendry fulfilling Robert’s plan

King Robert's planKing Robert’s plan (Photograph: HBO)

There was some particular sexual rigidity happening between Arya and Gendry wasn’t there? It feels kinda bizarre, but in addition, I ship it.

In the event that they do find yourself getting collectively it might by accident fulfil a plan Robert proposed to Ned again in season 1. “We’ll be a part of our homes,” Robert tells his good friend. “I’ve a son, you’ve got a daughter.”

He’s referring to Joffrey and Sansa, however wouldn’t it’s a pleasant twist if his bastard Gendry and Arya have been those to truly marry? It’s exhausting to think about Arya marrying anybody, although…

13. The meta joke behind Cersei’s elephant-sized disappointment

Harry Strickland stands with Euron in the throne roomHarry Strickland stands with Euron within the throne room (Photograph: HBO)

This episode gave us a model new character – Harry Strickland, the chief of the mercenary military The Golden Firm which Euron has introduced again to Westeros from Essos for Cersei.

Cersei grills Strickland over what he’s introduced with him. Numerous males and horses, primarily. When she asks what number of elephants he has, she’s dissatisfied to find the reply is none, since they don’t journey nicely on ships (comprehensible).

Her disappointment is a meta joke directed on the viewers, as followers have speculated we may be handled to the sight of battling elephants this season, since The Golden Firm have them within the books.

Nevertheless, Recreation of Thrones‘ monumental CGI price range already has to think about dragons, an enormous military of wights and the sometimes direwolf look (no signal of Ghost this week although). Elephants would have been a further step too far.

14. And hints at a potential miscarriage?

Cersei looks emotional after Euron tells her he's going to 'put a prince in her belly' Cersei seems emotional after Euron tells her he’s going to ‘put a prince in her stomach’ (Photograph: HBO)

Euron has an actual flip of phrase, doesn’t he? After getting him want and bedding Queen Cersei (mere minutes after she’s advised him he’d need to “earn” her), he tells her he’s going to “put a prince in her stomach”.

As Euron walks off, we see Cersei wanting emotional, even slightly teary-eyed. On the finish of final season Cersei hinted to Tyrion that she was pregnant, although followers have been not sure whether or not the infant existed or was simply one in every of her crafty ploys.

Her actions right here recommend the infant might properly have been actual, and that one thing may need occurred to it. Maggy the Frog’s prophecy all the time said that Cersei would have simply three youngsters, so it feels most unlikely this fourth child will ever come to be.

15. An ending which mirrors the very first episode

Jaime's realisationJaime’s realisation (Photograph: HBO)

Lastly, the episode ended on a stupendous observe, with Jaime laying eyes on Bran for the primary time since, y’know, pushing him out of a window after he catches him bumping uglies together with his twin sister.

It was that notorious push which closed the primary ever episode, and in an hour full of callbacks to the premiere, it’s extraordinarily becoming that this one ended with Jaime staring shocked into Bran’s eyes.

“I’m ready for an previous good friend,” Bran had informed Sam earlier within the episode. It wasn’t till after the episode that I realised who he meant.