Winter is Coming. It’s a phrase, it’s the words of House Stark, it’s a fact, but most importantly, it’s the title of the pilot episode of what would become, arguably, the best show to ever grace our television sets, Game of Thrones. And it’s the launching point of this great journey you, Tia, and myself will be going on together. But mainly, it’s the first episode of Game of Thrones.
The episode itself is fantastic. It gives you a hint of what is to come: romance, hatred, character arcs, violence, and insane levels of tension for us viewers. What I love the most about this first episode is that it leaves the viewer on such a huge cliffhanger, while introducing us to the main three houses in the story: Stark, Targaryen, and Lannister. As I was thinking the other day about this, I realized that almost all of the other houses are expendable, but those 3 houses make Game of Thrones what it is. If you take out any of those houses, the story is completely different. We’re shown immediately the kind of hard working family the Starks are. How each individual member of that house is their own character. Robb is clearly the heir to Ned. Jon is the moody outcast that Catelyn hates and isn’t afraid to hide it. Sansa is the young princess wanting to leave Winterfell and go to King’s Landing to be a part of the royalties there. Bran is the youngster who’s growing up, but still has his childish tendencies like climbing, even after his mother has told him not to. Arya is the girl who wants to fight, shooting her arrow, wearing the knight’s helmet, clashing with the girly girl Sansa. Rickon is…well he’s young so he’s just kinda there. We’re shown how close, literally and metaphorically, the Lannisters are. Jaime, being the Kingslayer, not afraid of anyone finding out his and Cersei’s secret, holding his nose above everyone else, acting like he’s better than everyone else. Cersei, already showing her disdain for the North, and the Starks, while showing her love for one of her brothers. And Tyrion…WITH BLONDE HAIR, drinking and sleeping his way through the visit to WInterfell, and having a nice chat with Jon. And we’re shown how depleted the Targaryens are. Viserys clinging to anyone who will listen to his claim to the throne. Daenerys being her brother’s pawn, but not shying away from the heat and fascinated by the dragon eggs gifted to her.
Episode 1 features some immense, immense foreshadowing. Having watched the entire series, it’s a lot easier to catch some nods to things that will happen in the future. The first thing we see in this series is the Wall, the last thing we saw at the end of season was…the Wall. Robb Stark tells Jon and Theon he’s heard Joffrey is a prick. One could agree, but it’s pretty great foreshadowing since Robb will take up arms and fight a war against Joffrey. Catelyn also has some foreshadowing when she tells Sansa that Joffrey is just a stupid prince. Of course, Sansa doesn’t listen and ends up being tormented by Joffrey for the majority of the next 2 seasons. Another bit of foreshadowing is Arya and her sneaking around the commonfolk in Winterfell, trying to get a look at the King; looks familiar? She will be sneaking around the commonfolk in the Sept of Baelor in a few episodes to get a look at her father being brought before the crowd. Some more foreshadowing comes with Daenerys while she’s getting ready for Khal Drogo. She gets in that burning hot tub and is completely immune to the heat; she actually prefers it and we will see why in the season finale: because she’s the Mother of Dragons.
Below are just some points that I felt needed to be addressed, but didn’t really require much explanation:
- That white walker opening is pretty terrifying.
- Theon already seems like a jerk.
- Robb seems like he could be the focus of the series (boy was I wrong).
- I love Arya…and I love Daenerys more.
- Jaime seems like a jerk.
- Joffrey looks like he needs to get beat up.
- Jon is very moody, and susceptible to temper tantrums.
- Tyrion seems like he’ll be a funny character.
- Khal Drogo is somebody I’m going to like, mainly because I love Jason Momoa.
- That Jon and Ghost connection was utterly adorable.
- That was a giant cliffhanger and a very emotional ending to the episode, thankfully Bran lives.
Winter is coming. That is true. Of all the House words, only one is a fact: no matter what, winter always comes. This first episode gave us, the viewers, just a peak into the story of Fire and Ice; it laid the foundation for what is to come in this amazing series. I felt obligated to choose the pilot episode because none of the other episodes happen without it. The Battle of the Bastards, Hardhome, The Winds of Winter, The Rains of Castermere, Baelor, The Spoils of Water, none of them happen without a solid foundation, a great launching, an impactful first episode like Winter is Coming.
So what are your favorite things about Winter is Coming? What are some things you don’t like? Let us know in the comments below! Also, be sure to be on the lookout for Tia’s pick for her favorite episode of Season 1 of Game of Thrones!
A few of my favorite things include my pet dragon (Drogon), Game of Thrones, Disney movies and theme parks, the MCU, DC movies, Star Wars, sports, and my rather large Funko Pop collection. Daenerys Targaryen is my queen, Robert Downey Jr is my man crush, and Simba is my spirit animal.