Warning! The following contains spoilers for Game of Thrones’ Season 8 premiere. Read at your own risk.
Game of Thrones Season 8 is finally here, and true to the HBO series’ nature, deathwas a factor. The bloodshed in the first of the final episodes was minimal, although it’s safe to say there will probably be much more where that came from here on out. Sure, no one major died, but there were a few casualties worth mentioning, so let’s run through the departures of the episode from greatest to least.
The young Lord Umber’s death might go down as one of the show’s more disturbing exits to date. The young boy was nailed to a wall surrounded by a bunch of severed arms, and was set aflame by Beric’s sword when Umber attempted to kill Tormund. It was gruesome, but ultimately okay because he was turned into a wight.
While it wasn’t the most important death in the grand scheme of the Game of Thrones saga, one has to wonder its meaning. Why did the Night King find it necessary to send that message to the group left behind at The Wall? What was the meaning behind that symbol? We’re not sure, but if the Night King did in fact leave that message, we can’t imagine that special attention from him is going to go well for that group.
Euron’s Ship Guards
The men guarding Euron didn’t get any speaking roles, but they did receive the high honor of being the first casualties of Season 8. Unfortunately, their deaths were somewhat soiled as it happened via the cowardly Theon Greyjoy, which is like dying of the flu in Game of Thrones. Seriously, who expected him to be the one to man up and rescue his sister?
So how will these deaths affect Cersei’s latest suitor Euron? We can only speculate, but now he won’t have a place to run should his romance with the Lannister queen go south. Yara is pretty adamant she gain regain control of the Iron Islands, which will help the North should Winterfell fall to the Night King. Was that foreshadowing by the show, or just a random line of dialogue we should disregard?
It sounds like a joke, but the livestock deaths in Game of Thrones‘ Season 8 premiere could honestly be the most impactful of the episode. As Sansa mentioned, she’s only prepared enough rations for the North to survive winter, and with the dragons eating a healthy litter of livestock in one meal, it’s safe to say that food is going to go pretty quick.
Which, in a word, is bad. The North already isn’t too keen on Dany, and they and Sansa are only going to be more unhappy once they realize they need to go hungry so that the Unsullied and dragons can stay well-fed ahead of the big battle. Hunger can be a big motivator in enacting change, so don’t be surprised if Jon has to keep the North from trying to usurp the Targaryen queen before the Night King ever arrives.
In truth, the Season 8 premiere wasn’t the most action-packed episode of Game of Thrones ever, but there was plenty of drama to chew on and lots of doubt cast on Jon and Daenerys’ collaboration. We’ve all seen how she reacts when folks doubt her leadership, and that’s surely going to create some interesting and perhaps unexpected deaths in the coming episodes. Will Jon stand aside for the good of the realm, or will he step up to the queen?
Basically, fans upset about the lack of meaningful bloodshed should not panic. Think of this as the episode to ease fans back into things, and lull them into the false security that all the people we saw in Game of Thrones‘ premiere may not be dead in a couple weeks. Hell, Jon might just die down in the crypts from the shock of learning he’s the true heir at the start of episode 2!