The long wait is over. The HBO series “Games of Thrones” returned to television Sunday, 14 April 2019 with the much anticipated eighth season première “For the Throne.” The first glimpses of Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) two full grown dragons flying over Winterfell brought a certain degree of excitement to viewers.
The last time we saw a new episode of the David Benioff and D.B. Weiss co-created series televised, the Jeremy Podeswa-directed “The Dragon and the Wolf,” was Sunday, 27 August 2017. Between the seventh season finale and the eighth season première, more than a year and a half past. With the wait finally over, series fans can now enjoy watching how their favourite series comes to a close.
Well known for surprising viewers with unexpected plot twists, the “Game of Thrones” David Nutter -directed season première is not without intrigue and much humour. This first episode in the abbreviated six-episode season, considering winter is finally upon us, is astonishingly funny. With ample wit, despite “The Dragon and the Wolf” ending the way it did, the Dave Hill written teleplay features the quiet before the storm.
Like that seen with previous seasons, political conspiracy is very much a theme in this first episode. Northerners feel betrayed by their elected leader Jon Snow (Kit Harington) because he sore fealty to Daenerys. The Northerners are not trusting of outsiders. Daenerys certainly fits that category. The people are mindful she is a descendant of the realms craziest monarch. The queen apparently does not understand Westerosi ways. Further, if anyone refuses to bend the knee, Daenerys has her dragons reduce them to ashes.
Whenever one watches a film or television adaptation of a book series, it is usually prudent to not have expectations of the production remaining faithful to the source material. There are of course exceptions to that rule. “Game of Thrones,” while not a perfect direct to screen adaptation of the George R. R. Martin, holds true to the fictional world being a dangerous place. The stakes in Martin’s world are high. Villains die but so do heroes. There is no reason to expect any of the lead characters, both villains and heroes, to make it all the way to the closing scene in the final episode.