‘Game of Thrones’: The Most Surprising Moments of the Season 8 Premiere

You can’t spell “Game of Thrones” without the letters O-M-G.

HBO’s beloved series, which returned Sunday night for its eighth and final season (in case you hadn’t heard), has delivered some of television’s most shocking TV moments over the past decade, from the infamous Red Wedding to Cersei blowing up the Sept Of Baelor to Jon Snow’s death to.. you get the point.

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t watched the season 8 premiere and don’t want it ruined for you, stop reading now. 

While it didn’t feature any major deaths or true shockers, the first of seven episodes in season 8, titled “Winterfell,” had plenty of twists and turns to keep viewers savoring until next Sunday.

Here were the night’s biggest surprises:

Jon Snow learns his true identity: In the seventh season finale, it was revealed to Jon Snow by his most loyal friend, Sam Taryly, that he is not the “bastard” son of Ned Stark but actually Aegon Targaryen, the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, which makes him the ultimate ruler and king of the Iron Throne, and oh yes, the nephew of Queen Daenerys, his new lover.

The many, many reunions: For seven seasons, fans of the drama series had been waiting for the reunion of Jon Snow and Arya Stark and on Sunday night, they got it. Also reunited were Jon Snow and Sam Taryly (we’ll get back to that in a minute), Sansa Stark and husband Tyrion Lannister, who hadn’t seen each other since Joffrey’s demise. Theon Greyjoy bailed out his prisoner-of-war sister Yara out of Euron’s evil grasp while Arya Stark and The Hound came face-to-face in their own sweet/”I’m gonna kill you” way. Last but not least…

Jamie Lannister comes face-to-face with Bran Stark: The harrowing final scene of the season 8 premiere saw Jamie Lannister stopping dead in his tracks upon arriving at Winterfell, and face to face, with Bran Stark, whom he had pushed out of a window and ultimately paralyzed after Ned’s son witnessed Jamie and his sister, Cersei, making forbidden love, the catalyst for the whole “Game of Thrones” series.

The boy on the wall: The most terrifying moment of the sixty eight-minute episode came when Tormund Giantsbane and men of the Night’s Watch stumbled upon the corpse of young Lord Umber, who had been nailed to the wall surrounded by a spiral of severed limbs. And that wasn’t even the most blood-curdling moment. As Tormund and Beric Dondarrion turned to leave, the zombie of Umber screamed from the wall, forcing Beric to use his flaming White Walker sword on the poor lad.

Sam learns of his family’s demise: After asking Daenerys to pardon him for stealing the book from the Citadel with Snow’s true parentage (she doesn’t know this bit of info), Sam Taryly gets a bombshell of his own from the Mother of Dragons: that she ordered the death of his father and brothers killed for refusing to leave their land. While Taryly hated his father, the death of his brothers leaves him speechless and, for the first time of the series, looking vindictive as he left the room. The Sam-Daenerys scene may have also played a major role in his willingness to tell Jon Snow about his own true father immediately after, while he prayed to Ned Stark, in what should inevitably lead to further political tension in the episodes ahead.


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