“The #GameofThrones season 8 premiere was like a dysfunctional family reunion that never ends”.
Game of Thrones kicked off its final season with a frustratingly anticlimactic episode that amplified the past few seasons' worst mistakes.
It’s only fitting that Game of Thrones would open its eighth and final season—one that follows an excruciating 20-month hiatus—with an episode full of long-awaited reunions. Titled simply “Winterfell,” in both an acknowledgment of its focus on the North and an ostensible callback to series premiere “Winter Is Coming,” it found all of the surviving Stark siblings (including one unwitting Targaryen) under the same familiar snow-covered roof for the first time since season one.
It was a moment fans had been waiting for since the first Obama administration—and it was frustratingly anticlimactic. Maybe that was because Arya and Sansa’s reconciliation at the end of last season, over the deliciously dead body of Littlefinger, set such a high bar for homecomings. But even under different circumstances, it’s hard to imagine being satisfied with a premiere that broke almost every reunion (plus a few crucial introductions) into either a quick, quippy tease or several minutes of mostly unnecessary exposition. Add to that the cringey awkwardness of just about every scene between lovers, and Game of Thrones has kicked off its final season by amplifying many of the past few seasons’ worst mistakes.