Last night, HBO’s Game Of Thrones returned, kicking off the eight and final season in a massive way. In the hours prior to the premiere, anticipation reached feverish heights across social media, with fans, celebrities, and actors from the series drumming up significant hype.
Now, reports have been surfacing that an approximated one billion viewers chimed in, though it’s unclear whether those numbers have been compiled via the traditional Neilsen rating system. In any case, Thrones has solidified itself as a global phenomenon, and fans are already clamoring for next week’s installment.
With much to unpack in the meantime, the officially titled “Winterfell” set the tone for some of the conflict yet to come. Tension is sowed between the affable Sam and Daenerys Targaryen, whose forays into moral ambiguity were put on display throughout. Jon Snow once again found himself facing constant doubt from his followers, a warning he previously received from former Lord Commander slash nemesis Ser Alliser Throne. Jaime found himself on the receiving end of a Three-Eyed Raven staredown, Cersei got some strange, and Tyrion struggled with his tenuous position in an ever-shifting power dynamic. And of course, the revelation of Jon Snow’s parentage, which will likely put the fan favorite into a heap of inner turmoil.
The good news is, you won’t have to wait much longer for some resolution. Next week looks to be another jam-packed affair, with Jaime Lannister stepping into the spotlight; once again, things have come full circle.