Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles The final season of Game of Thrones is coming, bringing eight seasons of conflict, politics, and mystery to an end. But how does Game of Thrones begin? What does the first episode reveal about the story? Episode 1 begins with men of the Night's Watch attacked by white walkers – an ancient threat thought to be long dead . We get a glimpse of a walker's face – and their design changes a lot throughout the series. But they still look very different to the walkers in the books – who are more ghostly, and “elegant." The walkers leave wildling corpses in a strange shape. And we see the same shape six seasons later, in carvings made by the children of the forest Because the children created the white walkers , in a ritual with this spiral shape, which the walkers also imitate. The walkers copy the symbols of their creators . But why? Maybe it's a warning. Cause the walkers don't kill all these Watchmen – they seem to let Will go, showing him a severed head, then letting him run south. Maybe they want him to warn people that the walkers are coming. The walkers are intelligent – they have a deal with Craster where he gives them babies, to be turned into white walkers . And there are hints of ancient cooperation between walkers and the Night's Watch. Was there some agreement between humans and the walkers? A connection between House Stark and the Night King? How might this relate to the Wall, the world's irregular seasons, and the legendary hero Azor Ahai? The show's creators said there are three “holy shit moments” in Game of Thrones – the sacrifice of Shireen, the origin of Hodor, and one more shock at the end. Maybe we'll learn the true nature and motivations of the white walkers. Also, if you wanna get tinfoil, this symbol of a line through a circle appears all through the series. It kind of looks like this badge the walkers wear – and if you zoom in some more – well it's probably nothing. In the next scene, we meet the Starks of Winterfell – the loving parents Catelyn and Ned, the adventurous Bran, bastard Jon and firstborn Robb, ladylike Sansa, tomboy Arya, and young Rickon. They're a happy family before all the tragedies that come – the fall of Bran, death of Ned, and burning of Winterfell, the Red Wedding, abuse of Sansa, indoctrination of Arya, death of Jon, death of Rickon – this family suffers so much. And while they can rebuild, they'll never get back what they'd once had. Even now, things aren't perfect. Catelyn resents Jon, because Jon is Ned's bastard – a living reminder of her husband's infidelity. Except now we know that Jon actually isn't Ned's bastard. Jon is the son of Ned's sister Lyanna with Rhaegar Targaryen . Ned says Jon is his to protect Jon from King Robert, who would kill Jon if he knew he was Targaryen. So for all these years, Ned lies to his beloved wife Cat, to keep his promise to Lyanna. You can see the pain this causes – to Ned and Cat and Jon. There's also tension with Arya, who doesn't fit the gender role she's expected to play. And Theon Greyjoy is an outsider – as a ward from the Iron Islands. He stands here with Rodrik, who Theon later kills when he attacks Winterfell. Theon, Jon and Arya all feel like they don't fit in , and that drives them to find new identities – Theon with the Greyjoys, Jon with the Night's Watch, and Arya with the Faceless Men. The Starks capture Will, the Watchman who survived the start of the episode. He says he saw white walkers , but no one believes him. Maybe if someone listened, and investigated, this whole story would go differently. But the penalty for leaving the Watch is death, so Will is executed. Ned kills Will himself, because he believes that “The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword” Robb and Jon later follow Ned's example . Even Theon does the same with Rodrik. Cause Ned represents honour and justice and personal responsibility. You can say that these values are what lead to Ned's death – but Ned's legacy lives on in House Stark. Compare Ned to Tywin Lannister. He's obsessed with family legacy , and his brutality and treachery make the Lannisters powerful. But after he dies, his house collapses – his children turn on each other, and all his grandkids die. Tywin's brutal legacy fails, but Ned's survives – because he's a leader who people truly believe in. After the execution, the Starks find a dead direwolf and a dead stag – foreshadowing the deaths of Ned and Robert, whose sigils are a direwolf and stag. But the dead direwolf has six pups – one for each Stark kid. Direwolves are mystical creatures, symbolising special destinies for the Starks – especially Bran, who learns to warg his wolf, and for Jon, with his albino wolf. So this is about the dying of an older generation, and the rise of a new generation – like the passing of the seasons. Down in King's Landing, we meet Cersei and Jaime Lannister. Jaime is a careless , arrogant Prince Charming – so different to the responsible, humbled Jaime of later seasons. But early Cersei's not so different – she has all the ambition and resentment that leads to her tyranny later on – go watch our videos on Cersei and Jaime for more. We're also introduced to Tyrion, the lecherous Imp . He's a more lighthearted character before all his suffering later on. There's also much more sex and nudity in the early seasons of Thrones Season 7 barely has any , maybe cause of criticism from the media. We meet the prostitute Ros, who has a long arc in the show. She moves to King's Landing, works for Littlefinger , and Varys , and gives us the perspective of a common person among the nobility . Ros moves up in the world, and climbs her way out of sex work . But Littlefinger finds out that she's spying on him, and gives her to Joffrey – so Ros becomes another victim of the Game of Thrones. Back at Winterfell, we're introduced to another important character – Jon Snow's abs. These abs go through some complex character development, too much to cover in this video. King Robert Baratheon arrives, and he greets each of the Starks differently. He touches Ned, Catelyn, Robb and Rickon – and all these characters die, while the Starks he doesn't touch are still alive. Robert asks Arya what her name is – just like the Faceless Men ask Arya what her name is when she's trained to be “no one.” Robert tells Bran he'll “be a soldier” Bran's injury ends his dream of being a knight , but you can say he's now a “soldier” in the war against the white walkers. We see Bran climbing, and it's tragic how happy he is running and jumping before he's paralysed – and before he loses his personality, as the emotionless three-eyed raven. While climbing, Bran sees the world from above, just like he later uses ravens to magically see the world from above. His whole power as the three-eyed raven is to “see” things. And this episode, Bran sees a lot – he sees Will get killed , sees Cersei and Jaime make babies . Bran says he sees “the king” “coming” , just like he later sees the Night King “coming.” So there's a lot of foreshadowing happening this episode. Robert and Ned visit the Winterfell crypts, and talk about Lyanna – Ned's sister who Robert loved. Robert still hates the Targaryens for taking Lyanna. Ned says “The Targaryens are gone”, but Robert says “Not all of them.” He's talking about Daenerys and Viserys Targaryen. But this can also refer to Jon, aka Aegon Targaryen. So again, Ned is keeping secrets from his friend Robert. Over in the east, we meet the Targaryens – Daenerys and Viserys. Dany is meek and afraid, worn down by the abuse of her brother. Showrunner David Benioff said Dany is “little more than a slave” this episode . Maybe this experience as a slave is what leads Dany to fight against slavery in later seasons. Daenerys takes a bath, and her maid warns that “It's too hot” but Dany isn't hurt. This foreshadows the later reveal that Dany can't be burned by fire . In the books, Dany can be burned – the thing with Drogo's pyre is a one-off “miracle” . But either way, being the Unburnt connects Dany to the magic of fire and dragons, and perhaps to her destiny as Azor Ahai – the hero prophesied to defeat the white walkers . The Targaryens are hosted by Illyrio Mopatis. He soon disappears from the show, but in the books he's a much bigger character. He and Varys have a complex conspiracy to put a different Targaryen on the Throne. But the plan now is to use a Dothraki army to invade Westeros so Daenerys is married to Khal Drogo. Illyrio gives Dany dragon eggs – and the new Targaryen history book reveals where these eggs may have come from. We'll cover this in a new video, so subscribe, and press the bell. Daenerys looks longingly at the sunset, like Luke Skywalker – a hero dreaming of something greater in life . But then Drogo rapes her. In the books, the sex is more consentual – Drogo asks permission, and Dany says “Yes” . She gets some agency and control of her life. But in the show, her growth from a slave to a queen is yet to begin. Back at Winterfell, there's an extra playing Jeyne Poole, who has one of the saddest stories in the books. Jeyne is Sansa's friend, and is excited to come to King's Landing. But her father is killed by Lannisters, and Jeyne's given to Littlefinger – who uses her in his brothel . Jeyne is then forced to pretend to be Arya and to marry Ramsay, who abuses her horrifically . She escapes, loses part of her face to frostbite , and heads for the Wall. Some speculate she'll continue to Braavos and commit suicide at the House of Black and White. Sansa's innocent young friend suffers as much as anyone in Game of Thrones. While the Starks host a feast, Jon stays outside – because “it might insult the royal family to seat a bastard in their midst” . Ironically, Jon isn't a bastard – as a Targaryen, he's royalty. And Joffrey, in the feast, isn't actually royalty – he's the bastard of Cersei and Jaime. Jon speaks with uncle Benjen, and Jon says he wants to join the Night's Watch. But Benjen warns him that'd mean not having a family, not fathering sons, and that Jon might care about that “if [he] knew what it meant.” Some fans speculate that Benjen knows that Jon is a Targaryen. Because Jon joining the Watch would mean giving up his claim to the Throne. Except Jon may've got out of his vows by dying then being reborn . We get a moment with Catelyn and Sansa, and see Sansa's naïve dreams of marrying Joffrey and being his queen. Sansa's arc is all about her losing those illusions. Catelyn is a woman defined by her love for her children. And this episode, she starts to lose them. Cersei says a beauty like Sansa “shouldn't stay hidden” in the north “forever.” And it scares Cat to see the scheming Cersei taking her daughter away. And rightly so – cause after this episode, Cat never sees Sansa again. Jon meets Tyrion, who says “Never forget what you are” – “Wear it like armor” so it can't “be used to hurt you” . This means to be yourself openly and proudly, to embrace your identity as a dwarf or a bastard, so no one can use it against you. Except, this doesn't really work for Tyrion – in Season 4, he's sentenced to death largely because people believe his reputation as a conniving lecherous Imp. Maybe wearing your identity like armour doesn't actually work. Cat gets a letter from her sister Lysa saying the Lannisters killed her husband, Jon Arryn. But in Season 4 we find out it was actually Lysa who killed Jon, under the orders of Littlefinger.