Die-hard Game of Thrones fans have waited two years for the premiere of the final season. I have only been waiting for a couple months because I was late to the Game, recruited by my dear husband. I came out of the episode a bit underwhelmed, part and parcel that I came into it thinking about sex.
The Season 8 premiere wasn't true to the Game of Thrones nature of graphic sex scenes, because we're at war! Metro UK even included "unnecessary sex scene" as a trigger in their drinking game. It's safe to say that no one who played went home drunk because of sex in this one.
Now, soldiers in Game of Thrones are known to blow off steam at brothels after battles, it's almost a part of the job - but this is war! We've seen family reunions, alliances made, armies united, truth revealed - but the quota for sex was not met. We also didn't see any night walkers. What are those guys up to?
There's an awkward and calculating post-coital conversation Cersei Lannister has with Euron Greyjoy that will make anyone's skin crawl. Euron asks about her past lovers, of Robert she said "Robert didn't know his way around a woman's body", I guess Jaime does. That's the same Jaime who raped her right by her dead son's body. Let's not forget, Cersei is pregnant with her fourth child for her brother Jaime. In the scene, Euron seems to rub her abdomen, does he know she's with child? Is she showing already? Or will she try to claim her child as a Greyjoy?
Bronn was about to have what could have been a thrilling foursome if his partners laid off the gossip long enough, but we'll never found out. Robbed, by Cersei. She sends her new 'hand' in to order Bronn to ride to Winterfell to kill her brothers Tyrion and Jaime.
Jon had an intimate moment at a wintry waterfall with his aunt Danerys, but no sex. Sansa Stark is not a fan of Danerys, from moment one. Of their relationship and Jon's priorities, Sansa asks, "Did you bend the knee to save the north or because you love her"? The answer to that won't matter for long since Sam tells Jon he's the one true king, leaving him with this wonderful question (& a foreshadowing of the division to come): "You gave up your crown to save your people. Would she?"
In the place of the usual skin-baring, we got a lot of relationship chit chat and some gender targeted quips.
The very first conversation at the top of the episode had Tyrion Lannister throwing eunuch jokes at the soft spoken Ser Varys saying, at least he doesn't have to "freeze his balls off". Varys of course, takes the jab with some grace and quick thinking. His sexuality has been questioned a few times in past seasons. I think he may be asexual, and I'm cool with that.
Another character who doesn't need to be sexualized is Arya Stark (my fave). She wears androgyny really well. Although she isn't hiding her identity (name) anymore, I don't think anyone expects her to "dress like the lady she is", that was never her thing. She's living her truth! And, who'd want to cross Arya and end up on her list? Her reunion with Jon was as warm as expected. He's never forced femininity on her.
The ladies, queens, unsullied are really coming into their own and I'd love to see them in full power, especially Sansa. So I'll leave you with two truths. One, prevalent in a period piece like this. Quoted from my sister during Season 8 Episode 1, "They're so rude to anyone who doesn't have balls, it's crazy".
The second, from the affable Ser Varys:
Winter is coming, the end is near. You'll hear from me again after the finale.
This recap was written by Rachel Osbourne for PeepShow Toys.