After a year and a half of waiting Game of Thrones Season 8, the very last season of the HBO show, begins this Sunday. Specific plot details are still being kept mostly under wraps, but we can safely assume several things that are bound to happen in Episode 1.
Season 8 only has six episodes to wrap up the war against the Night King and the titular Game of Thrones, namely the conflict against Cersei Lannister. Several of the new episodes are longer than the average, but even then, the story will have to move along at a rapid pace to wrap up all the plotlines and bring us to a conclusion — satisfying or otherwise.
It all starts this Sunday, and the HBO series will have plenty of work to do in the season premiere if it wants to set up a satisfying ending. Here are eight things that will probably happen in Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1 on Sunday.
Potential spoilers follow for Game of Thrones Season 8.
1. Episode 1 Will Have More Humor Than Usual
Perhaps the greatest surprise we’re hearing about the Season 8 premiere is that despite the apocalyptic war about to fall upon Westeros, the episode itself is really funny. Writing for GQ, Jonathan Thompson called the episode “the best season opener in GoT history,” adding that it “could be the funniest episode in the history of Thrones.”
Has Tyrion lightened up to drop more clever jokes? Does the Hound make some kind of crass comment to somebody?
2. Last Hearth Could Be Completely Destroyed
The Season 8, Episode 1 opening title sequence was leaked following the premiere earlier in April, and it implies that the Night King’s hordes reach Last Hearth, the northernmost stronghold in the region and the first civilized place south of the Wall. This one’s kind of a no-brainer. The last thing we saw from Season 7 was the Night King destroying a huge chunk of the Wall with his new ice dragon, so we have to get a sense that his army is making meaningful progress south.
Tormund and Beric Dondarrion were at the Wall when it happened, so we might pick up with them again as they rush down to Winterfell to warn everyone about what’s happened.
3. Melisandre Could Return to Westeros
The Red Witch Lady Melisandre retreated back to Volantis early in Season 7, but she did predict that it was her fate to return and die in Westeros. Even if her death doesn’t happen in the first episode, we’ll have to at least get a check-in with the character to confirm what she’s been up to, right?
4. Jon and Daenerys Will Reach Winterfell
The very first footage of Season 8 released back in January showed Jon Snow introducing Daenerys Targaryen to Sansa Stark at Winterfell, and this scene is said to happen rather early in the premiere.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, actress Emilia Clarke likened Daenerys meeting Sansa and Arya Stark to something like Meet the Parents, confirming that the meeting does happen in Episode 1.
5. Arya Finally Sees a Dragon
If Daenerys reaches Winterfell, then you bet her dragons will be flying overhead. A few promos for Game of Thrones Season 8 have shown Arya watching the dragons’ arrival with excitement as regular people behind her cower in fear. This isn’t a huge moment by any means, but it’s still the lifelong fulfillment of a dream long held by everyone’s favorite Stark.
6. Jon and Arya Finally Reunite
Of all the charming relationships on Game of Thrones, the sibling camaraderie between Jon Snow and Arya Stark is most endearing. They parted ways very early in the second episode of the series, going on incredibly different journeys to both become fierce warriors in their own right. Just look at how closely Arya has clung to Needle, and you’ll see a glimpse of the bond these two share.
Of the many reunions the upcoming gathering at Winterfell will produce — Arya and the Hound, Arya and Gendry, Jon and Bran, Jorah and Lyanna Mormont, etc. — this is one that fans are desperately looking forward to.
7. Daenerys Probably Learns the Night King Resurrected Viserion
According to The Telegraph, Daenerys learns the Night King resurrected her dead dragon Viserion and then used its icy flames to destroy the Wall. It’s possible that a messenger fled south from the Wall and went right to Winterfell. It could be Tormund and/or Beric. An even more likely explanation would be that Bran Stark is keeping tabs on the Night King’s progress using his Three-Eyed Raven powers.
Of course, if Jon has any time to chat with Bran in Episode 1, there’s an equally as important topic they should be talking about as well…
8. Jon Snow Will Finally Learn the Truth of His Lineage
Bran Stark learned the secret of Jon Snow’s lineage in a flashback to the Tower of Joy during Season 6. Then, in one of the last scenes of Season 7, Sam Tarly told him that Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark were secretly wed in a private ceremony. So through the combined knowledge of Sam and Bran, we now know for sure that Jon Snow (born: Aegon Targaryen) actually has the strongest claim to the Iron Throne.
Sam and Bran are already at Winterfell, and while this isn’t the kind of news they can publicly proclaim in front of everyone, they’ll definitely tell Jon as soon as possible. Depending on how long it takes for everyone to arrive, maybe the episode ends on this note?
Will Jon keep this a secret or will he tell Daenerys? And how will the two lovers react when they learn they are aunt and nephew rather than lovers?
Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1 airs Sunday, April 14 at 9 p.m. Eastern.