Game of Thrones 8: the complete analysis of the first episode “Winterfell”

16 April 2019

Here is the complete analysis of Winterfell, the first episode of the eighth season of Game of Thrones, from the opening credits to the final scene!

We watched the first episode of the final and eighth season of Game of Thrones, Winterfell, at 3 a.m. on April 15, but we know that not everyone is as daring as we are and so we waited a while to draw some conclusions and go into a more in-depth analysis of the episode, but now the time has come. Here is what we have noticed, the references and the coincidences that cannot be ignored.

Opening credits

In addition to a whole new graphic, you have to pay attention to the real protagonist of the initials, the astrolabe. For seven seasons on the astronomical instrument have always been engraved scenes of stories known as those of the rebellion of Robert Baratheon. Now we are shown three new events.

The first is the demolition of the Wall by the King of the Night, with the entire army formed by the White Walkers and the crows of Bran in the upper left.

sigla Game of thrones 8 | 3

The second is the red wedding, we see a dead wolf (Catelyn Stark) hanging from the Twin Towers, or the castle of House Frey, to the right a flayed man, symbol of Casa Bolton, holding a wolf’s head, that of Robb Stark and to the left a lion (Lannister) holding a fish, symbol of House Tully, between the teeth.

sigla Game of thrones 8 | 3

The last event is the birth of the three dragons reported by the red comet.

sigla Game of thrones 8 | 3

If, after 7 seasons, you still think that the astrolabe does not have a relevant role in the story is because you have not been careful with the details, especially during the last episode of the sixth season, when Sam arrives in the library of the Citadel and looking up you can see an astrolabe equal to that of the initials. Coincidences?!

Winterfell arrival

From the first second of the episode we immediately realize that winter has finally arrived, the streets, the trees, the houses are all covered by a cold layer of snow.

It starts with what seems to be a flashback, but which in reality is not. The first episode of the first season opened with Robert and his army arriving at Winterfell by his friend Eddard, now it’s Daenerys, accompanied by Jon Snow, with the entire army of Unsullied and Dothraki arriving at Stark’s Castle.

Another common element is the child who climbs the tree to see better, as in the pilot episode Bran did climbing on the walls.


Right after we find another reference to the pilot episode of the series. Arya, unlike all the others, is not waiting for the arrival of Jon and Daenerys in the courtyard of Winterfell but is hidden in the crowd when, in addition to his half-brother, sees The Hound and Gendry.

Jon and Bran

Once he enters Winterfell, Jon immediately sees his little half-brother Bran and runs to meet him kissing him on the forehead, just like when he said goodbye to him before leaving for the Wall.

Welcome to Winterfell

After so many coincidences, here is finally the proof that something (or rather a lot) has changed. While the entire Stark family was in the pilot episode to welcome the royal family, here waiting for Daenerys we find what we can call the survivors: Sansa, Bran, Brienne of Tarth, Podrick, Master Wolkan, Lyanna Mormont and Lord Yohn Royce, not exactly with the same euphoria of seven seasons ago.

Jon and Arya

Here is one of the most anticipated scenes, that of the reunion of Jon and Arya. The first episode was enough to make us understand the relationship between the two brothers and, perhaps, their greeting was the most touching. Their meeting takes place under the branches of the great heart tree of Winterfell and after the embrace that certainly has melted a little all your hearts, the dialogue ends on the swords. Jon notes that Arya still has Needle with her, the small and sharp sword he gave her and then he shows her his sword, with the handle in the shape of a wolf’s head. 

The crossbow

Although in this first episode it was not much space at Cersei, we have some evidence of her perfidy and her poetic sense of justice.
When Qyburn enters Bronn’s room asking the Queen to kill Tyrion and Jaime, he gives him the weapon with which he will have to do so, a crossbow that you will be very familiar with, being the same weapon with which Tyrion killed his father, Tywin, before fleeing.

Jon and Dany

After a series of scenes in which the tension was palpable, finally a moment of breathing that make us think about the third season and Ygritte. Daenerys invites Jon to ride her dragon in what seems like a romantic date, but always in the style of Game of Thrones. At the foot of a waterfall, far from everyone and immersed in silence, Dany’s words resonate like those of our favorite brute.

game of thrones 8 | 6
game of thrones 8 | 6


In this first episode, we find all the characters that we left almost two years ago, except one, perhaps the most important, the King of the Night. Yes, it seems that we will have to wait a little longer to see the entire Death Army, but we have some elements that testify to their passage. When Tormund and Beric enter the now destroyed castle of the Umber House, they find young Lord Umber hanging on the wall in the middle of what seems to be a spiral made of pieces of human bodies. This is not the first time that we have seen this symbol, typical of White Walkers. We noticed it when Jon and the Night’s Watchmen ventured beyond the Wall, but also engraved on the walls of the Dragon Stone caves and, above all, in Bran’s vision of how the White Walkers were born.

game of thrones 8 | 9e
game of thrones 8 | 9e
game of thrones 8 | 9e
game of thrones 8 | 9e

The crypt

Let’s stop for a moment to analyze an element of the plot from a technical point of view. The scene in the crypt, where Sam (finally) reveals to Jon who his real parents are and with this he is the true heir to the Throne, is the culmination of the longest climax in the history of television.
It was, in fact, in the pilot episode that, in the same place, Eddard and Robert began to talk about Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen. At that time we didn’t know the whole truth, but on these simple clues was then built the whole story, if not the whole character of Jon Snow.

Now we just have to see what happens when Daenerys finds out.

Jaime and Bran

Another reunion, this time unhappy, is that between Bran and The Kingslayer. The last time the two had seen each other was when the little boy from Casa Stark, climbing the tower of Grande Inverno, discovered Jaime and his sister Cersei together. Obviously Bran already knows about Jaime’s arrival, in fact when Sam sees the boy Stark in the yard and asks him what he’s doing, the answer he receives is “I’m waiting for an old friend”.

game of thrones 8 | 9d

The first episode ends like this, leaving us with a thousand doubts and above all without having let us see the Army of the Dead, which from what we have been able to understand from the trailers, sooner or later will arrive at the gates of Winterfell. We leave you to the trailer of the second episode.


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