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Review of 'Game of Thrones' 8.1

All Together Now

A very fitting beginning of the end for Game of Thrones tonight—8.1, first episode of the final season—in which nearly every crucial, living human player in the grand narrative is on hand. Not altogether in terms of being truly united against the menace from the north, but at least in evidence in one or another scene or conversation or plot or intense worry.

Cersei, of course, is in it for herself. Bran is no longer a Stark, but at least is still loyal to them and humanity. Tyrion's as witty as ever. Jamie—the Kingslayer—shows up at Winterfell, where Daenerys is by and large ruling as Queen, even though the King slain by Jamie was her father. Everyone except Cersei is willing to risk almost everything to fight the coming onslaught of the Night King, accompanied by one of Daenerys's dragons, now worse than ice cold. (By the way, who was the Night King when he was living? He seems to have a lot of smarts.)

Daenerys gets Jon Snow to ride a dragon, but what he learns near the end of this episode about his real lineage means that riding a dragon should indeed come naturally to him. It's a nice twist. We thought he was Ned's son and Catelyn accepted him and raised him and loved him, but Jon was really Lyanna Stark's son and a Targaryen was his father. This is not only a good twist but stunning news since, as Sam tells him, this makes Jon a true king of all the kingdoms. It also means he's a blood relative to Daenerys. That's no big deal as far as their romance—incest, as we know from Cersei and Jamie, has run far wilder in Game of Thrones—but it does mean that, at some point, Jon may request Daenerys to bend a knee to him. (Nah, I can't really see that—Jon's more likely to cap the knee bendings than require them.)

So we have an excellent, simmering kettle of fish for the start of this final season, and I'm looking forward to more.

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Review of 'Game of Thrones' 8.1
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