By: Emily Lockatell 5/1/2019
Game of Thrones Fans Feeling Mixed Emotions as the Show Comes to a Close
HBO’s Game of Thrones television series returned on a high note April 14 with its season eight premiere of “Winterfell,” and fiercely loyal fans were mildly satisfied with this episode as a kind of recap of season seven’s events through tying all the characters’ storylines together. “Winterfell” will be the first of six episodes that will conclude the show making it subject to intense criticism.
In the span of 54 minutes fans jumped for joy, held their breath and stomped in frustration as characters they have watched evolve over the last ten years approached the end of their story.
Kit Harrington and Emilia Clarke are among some of the fans’ favorite actors playing Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen respectively. Jon and Daenerys in particular have captured the hearts of the audience throughout the series because they began as underdogs and now are prominent contenders in pursuit of the throne.
Overall the episode satisfied many hopes and expectations fans had for the highly anticipated final premiere. Long-awaited reunions among beloved characters like Arya Stark, Brandon Stark and Jon Snow touched audiences. But the episode skillfully contrasted the optimism and happiness from these reunions with the feeling of imminent doom as the end of humanity approached.
The episode opened with the end of the long journey of Queen Daenerys, Jon and Daenerys’ formidable army to Winterfell; the home of the Starks and where Jon was raised. This was especially poetic because the opening of the show’s first ever episode also took place on the road to Winterfell, but with a different ruler and in a completely different time.
Over the course of the episode the audience was given a significant amount of set-up plot as the characters prepared for the wrath of the Night King and his army of the dead. Many would complain that the episode was boring due to the little action, but this episode did very well at bringing an element of closure to story.
The episode followed a constant flow of jumping between characters as it has throughout the series providing the audience with each and every character’s thoughts and emotions. Even though the episode felt slow-paced the tense interactions among characters like Brandon Stark and Jaime Lannister, or Daenerys and Sansa Stark left the audience glued to their television screens.
Although many fans supported the reign of Daenerys, the way that her character has changed from being a strong and unifying leader into an immature woman in love leaves some viewers doubting her claim to the throne. The romantic relationship that Daenerys engaged in gets in the way of her initial vision and aspirations, but she was too blind to see it.
After watching the premiere viewers across the globe felt a mixture of emotions: sad, hopeful, devastated and enraged. To summarize, the episode had high points which satisfied optimistic watchers, but it also had its low points where the directors satisfied too much; making it feel as though it was too good to be true. It was a great segue episode into the next part of the story.