Game of Thrones Half-Remembered Recap – 08.01, “Winterfell”

This is what happened in last night’s Game of Thrones, as far as I can loosely remember…

After so long without Game of Thrones on screens, the series returns with a depressingly meta moment: an audience of a bunch of dip-shits with nothing better to do than watch the white-haired lady and the grimace-faced man in the world’s most boring military parade. Hey, we’ve been looking forward to that boring event, too!

Sansa, who’s only allowed to look dismissively stern now, is of course looking like that as her kinda-brother and his aunt-with-benefits arrive in the Toronto of Westeros, Winterfell. Jean Grey and Terminator: Genisys scowl at each other across Jonsnow enough that it would be awkward even for the audience they’ve gathered for AGAIN discussing how Ice Darth Maul and his zombie pals are coming. Still! And Jonsnow still needs armies, still never wanted to be king, etc. The guy’s a real broken record of huffy nobility.

Outside, Bran has been left to freeze in his chair.

Anyway, Arya has also been lurking around, waiting for her numerous reunion moments. She meets The Hound, the dog trapped in a large, scarred man’s body. After Arya left him to die, he’s surprisingly kind of respectful about the whole thing, because he’s a good doggy. Then she reunites with Gendry, son of Robert Baratheon but so overlooked that his lineage is pretty much a shrug. The two flirt, because the series is aware we’d rather see them fuck than see this dude become relevant at this point. She also meets up with Jonsnow at the tree he competes with for the saddest face. They hug and compare swords, as families do.

Sansa gets another reunion too: she meets up with Peter Dinklage and the hair department that decreasingly even cares about bleaching this guy’s head. He says how Cersei is sending troops to help with the zombies who treat ice as if it’s not literally just frozen water. She’s like, “Dude, you’re gonna get ghosted. And I thought you were cool.”

Bran is sitting around outside still, and he doesn’t even seem to mind.

It’s somewhere around here that this episode, imaginatively titled “Winterfell,” devolves into an absolutely terrible family adventure comedy. Daenerys and Jonsnow are hanging out with her now incessantly present dragons—”dragon momma” is definitely in her Twitter profile—and decide to ride them. Jonsnow is like, “Where do I grab it!?” And she’s like, “Wherever you can,” because, after telling Sansa her dragons eat “Whatever they want,” she too is a broken record of smug, unbearably pithy bullshit.

They ride the dragons, and Jonsnow is acting like he’s in The NeverEnding Story, whooping and screaming in a mix of terror and joy. It’s somehow about five minutes of that, the series seemingly blowing the entire dragon CG budget for this exhausting tryst. It ends in Jonsnow and Aunt Danny smooching until, Jesus Christ, he glances up and sees one of her dragons eyeballing him about stealing its dragon momma. GULP!

Meanwhile, in the waters around King’s Landing, we’re reminded that the Liev Schreiber as Sabretooth guy also has a story going for some reason. He’s got She-on Greyjoy captive and he’s DESPERATELY horny to fuck Cersei, which I guess was the primitive trade deal he made for the boats he’s bringing? Who can remember.

He shows up with those boats and, while Cersei repeatedly, angrily acknowledges what a piece of shit Sabretooth is, and knows she’s better than him in more ways than one, she fucks him anyway. Outside her chamber, the unspeaking Mountain thinks, “Nice, quiet white knights like me never get the girl…”

Speaking of those: remember how Jonsnow’s friend Sam saved that pathetic old guy who keeps thinking Daenerys will let him kiss her? Well, Daenerys finally meets him, and thanks him for curing the sad sack’s eczema. Somehow, Sam’s family comes up, and Daenerys is like, “Ooooooooo, that’s a rough one. Because I definitely had my dragon incinerate your father and brother.” Sam weeps.

Bran, still parked outside, sees Sam emerging from that conversation, and the two have a cathartic chat. For us, not them.

All-seeing, Bran is like, “Look, it’s incredibly frustrating for both myself and the audience how long we’ve been dancing around this shit about telling Jonsnow that he’s the rightful Lord of the Seven Kingdoms. So before we continue on with this final season, could we just fucking get that over with?”

So: Sam meets up with Jonsnow in the classic pal hangout of the Stark Family Crypt. He drops that knowledge bomb on him. And, predictably, Jonsnow looks woeful about it.

But we’ll have to wait until next week (at the very least) until we see how he actually deals with it. Instead of closing on that thread, the episode goes one small step further in its reunion celebration: Jaime Lannister, scarcely recognizable, arriving at Winterfell himself. He looks over and fuck if it isn’t Bran, still just left there in the snow.

“Aw, man, it’s that kid whose spine I wrecked by pushing him out a window for watching me do it with my sister. He’s probably going to be pissed about that,” Jaime visibly thinks.

“And damn did he get lanky.”

ALSO THIS: At some point, Theon freed She-on from Sabretooth’s boat, and now ol’ Reek is apparently set up for his own reunion episode with the classic Stark gang. Who even knows how he’s peeing.

ALSO, I just remembered how Ginger Freefolk, Fire-Sword One-eye, and their crew ran into a terrifying discovery: the Night King is doing outsider art. Like, he set up a whole scene, a boy with dismembered limbs splayed around him like a sun’s rays. Did Night King do that himself? Did he communicate his vision to his undead horde and have to keep art directing it through their brain-dead idiocy? It’s so stupid.

Please help these sad nobodies and: