Burning Questions of Game of Thrones S8E1

Welcome to Burning Questions of Game of Thrones, where analysis, speculation and theories rule.


Some spoilers for seasons 1-7, and of course, the current episode of season 8. I will not refer to leaks or spoilers of this season at all.
There was so much packed into this hour — the mark f a well-written episode. Ready? Let’s go.
First of all,

Ahem. Moving on…
What do the changes to the opening sequence mean?Opening
Everything in thrones world happens for a reason, so I’m wondering what exactly will happen in the new interior scenes of the map animation.
We’re used to the traditional 3-dimensional aerial map view of places that will appear in the episode, but this year the astrolabe is different, and we’re getting interior views of the crypts of Winterfell and the throne room and basement of Red Keep.
There were scenes in all of the interior rooms except for the basement, where Balerion the Black Dread’s skull is kept along with other dragon skeletons that decorated the throne room in the time of the Targaryen Kings. What will happen there this season? Another weapon against the dragons?
What else will happen in the crypts?Crypts opening
I get the feeling that Jon will discover something new related to his parentage in the crypts. He may even find something belonging to his father, Rhaegar. I think we’ve been teased about it for ages.
What will happen in Cersei’s basement?
Some dragon-ending weapon could be developed, or a Qyburn experiment involving the dead.
Isn’t the sight of Daenerys’s troops reassuring?Dany's Army
The shot of the massive number of troops marching into Winterfell makes it seem like the North will have things handled and be able to fight the dead. But it won’t matter. As I discuss in my analysis of the Aftermath trailer, the battle of Winterfell — and perhaps all of the north, will be lost to the Night King.
The North has no love for the Dragon Queen or her “foreign hoards,” do they?
The stank face they gave Daenerys was hilarious, but not as fantastic as Lyanna Mormont’s stank face when Daenerys entered Winterfell. Epic.
Speaking of Lyanna, she wastes no time, does she?Lyanna's Shade
No one can throw shade like Lyanna Mormont. That face she gave Daenerys was priceless.
I LOVED how she stayed true to her fearless character and was the first to stand up and not only reprimand Jon Snow, but hold him accountable for betraying (as she sees it) the Northerners’ trust and confidence in him. She got in his face immediately, Dragon Queen be damned. I love that little girl.
Damn, Sansa is the Queen isn’t she?Sansa's Freeze
We all knew Sansa would be aggrieved, not to say royally pissed, at Jon’s bending the knee to Daenerys, but wow. The way Sansa just let Dany’s greeting lie there like a turd was priceless. You could have driven a train through that pause. This is how a queen tells you that you’re a peon.
Tyrion doesn’t know he’s doomed, does he?
After all his bad decisions last season, Tyrion’s speech in support of Jon did little to redeem him after he told Daenerys to let him die beyond the wall last season.
Remember that? “Do nothing.” His public support of Jon helped mollify the Northerners but that’s the last good decision he’ll make this season. Really. His belief that Cersei would send her army to help them was stupid, and when that gets out in the next episode, it’ll be a miracle if he isn’t hung by his toes. He’s going to try to fix things somehow, but he’ll only make everything worse. I speculate on this further in my analysis of the Aftermath trailer.
How long before Daenerys goes full Mad Targaryen?Dany proud dragon mom while northerners scream in terror
Two huge signs that her personality is curdling into madness: her bitching to Jon about Sansa respecting her as the Queen for one — total lack of empathy and much grandiosity. Also, when she told Samwell about his father and brother, she had no empathy or sympathy or remorse whatsoever. Her face was blank. By contrast look at Ser Jorah’s face in this scene. That’s what a human with feelings should look like when you’ve barbecued his family. Daenerys? This is not normal, to quote a phrase.
Davos, Tyrion and Varys plotting together is kind of reassuring, isn’t it?Tirion-i-savetnici-1024x576
So many years of experience with those three. The best minds in the North. Well except for Tyrion, who’s made such major blunders. Do they have something up their collective sleeve?
Will Gendry and Arya…
Oh ffs, see my response to this here.
Does Cersei want Euron?Cersei and Euron
She wants him dead. I don’t know how she’ll do it but I do know she wants to keep control of his fleet, so she may just marry him before she kills him. It’s assumed that she slept with him so that she can name him as the father of her child, and that’s possible, but I don’t think the paternity question concerns her much. What Euron’s child would inherit does concern her. So that’s another way she could get her hands on Euron’s fleet, assuming that this kid is ever born.
How about Harry Strickland, Captain of the Golden Company?
Cersei has a plan for him too, but it will go haywire.
Will Qyburn re-evaluate his career choices?

Nah. We have more horrors due from him, mostly related to the recreation of wights in his lab. Face it, he has the skills, as in The Mountain.
WTF, Bronn?Bronn

It’s been a while since we’ve had a brothel scene hasn’t it? I think Cersei has some crazy shit planned. Besides murdering her brothers, I mean. The 2 percent chance of survival that her brothers have of surviving this war us 2 percent too much for her. And the crossbow? Savage.
Is this her way of killing Bronn without getting her hands dirty? Gold wins wars and Cersei is paying him hugely, so…there’s something behind this, but I can’t see what it is.
Two things: Cersei asked Jaime last season if he would kill Bronn for setting up the meeting with Tyrion.”He betrayed you,” she said. She hasn’t forgotten that. Also, Tyrion told Bronn waaaaay back when, that if anyone ever paid for his death, Tyrion would pay double to stay alive. I doubt Tyrion still has the assets he had back in King’s Landing, though.

Bronn is a sellsword, he’ll do what he’s paid to do. In this case though, his mission will be interrupted by the dead marching on Winterfell. Imagine that crossbow shooting dragonglass spears.
Does Cersei know something we don’t?
That insufferable smirk when Qyburn tells her the wall has been breached was evil even for her. Does she know and not care that the future of humankind is threatened? Or, has she made a deal with the Night King? Does she know that the dead won’t travel south past a certain point? Does she believe that the Golden Company can stave them off? Does she have a secret weapon? I would say more wildfire, but Qyburn is clearly horrified by what has happened. Whatever her smirk is about, Cersei hasn’t shared it with anyone.
Dragons Snuggle?Rhaegal snugs

Awww, did you see Rhaegal go up to Jon like a puppy that wanted to be petted? This was one of the major plot points we’ve been waiting and wanting to see sooo badly and it was just fantastic. Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen finally rode a dragon! They wrote it in a light and funny manner which made it so much more endearing. Jon almost falling off the beast, and then Rhaegal flying around like he couldn’t wait to show off for Jon. Like he was trying to impress his rider. It was a thrilling sequence and I hope we get more. Much more. We need Jon unleashing Dracarys on the dead. Please.
Does Daenerys Know?
The Dragon Queen wouldn’t let just anyone ride her babies. She’s seen Jon with both Drogon and Rhaegal, and she knows that they like him (they won’t eat him, anyway). But from that to encourage him to ride the dragon is a major step. Is it a sign of how much she loves him, or does she sense or know that Jon is family in some way? Was this a girlfriend thing or a Targaryen thing?
What’s with Drogon’s stare?

drogon watches jon

So funny. Just a kid giving Mom’s boyfriend the death stare.
What’s the message that the Night King is sending? game-of-thrones-s08e01-spiral-whitewalker-night-king-symbol-sigil

This art of the dead thing was scary as fuck. Then it started screaming. I think there will be much worse horrors ahead. Yay?
And by the way, did you notice this?

Speaking of dragon riders, is the Night King a Targaryen?
Isn’t he presumed to be a Stark? Could he be both?
Sam is still studying. Will he discover something to help fight the Night King?
I hope he does, but it won’t be in time to save Winterfell.
How will Jon/Aegon handle the news?
Jon looked completely stunned by the news of his true parentage, then slightly nauseated. Normal reaction, considering his entire existence is not what he thought it was. “It’s treason,” he said of the fact that he’s the True King. In reality, Daenerys is the one committing treason by declaring herself Queen. Or rather she will be committing treason if she refuses to recognize Jon as the true king. I don’t think he will change anything, because he will honor his promise to Daenerys. The truth won’t make a difference to him, but it will to everyone else.
How will Sansa, Arya, and Daenerys react?
If Jon allows anyone to know it will be these three. Daenerys won’t have long to live once the Stark women get wind of this. They’ll team up to end her or undermine her. That maneuvering is going to start very soon, but it will be interrupted by the war against the dead.
Will Jaime divide the Starks?
Oh that ending shot was genius. We know that Jaime fights at the Battle o Winterfell, so whatever happens, they won’t kill him immediately. By why not kill him? They’re not hurting for fighting men at the moment so…I think Arya and Sansa will want to kill him, but Jon will want to spare him. Perhaps Tyrion will intervene on his brother’s behalf. If Jon and his sisters wind up on the opposite sides of the Jaime question it will further divide their interests, and the sisters will think that Jon is not loyal to the Starks.
Are Drogon and Rhaegal Safe?

No. The two most dangerous killers in Westeros want to end them. The Night Kiing and Cersei. I think we’ll see another dead or injured dragon during the battle of Winterfell. Checkout my analysis of the Aftermath trailer for more on this.
See you after Episode 2.
Valar Morghulis.

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