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  • 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 walkersan ancient

  • threat thought to be long dead . We get a glimpse of a walker's faceand their

  • design changes a lot throughout the series.

  • But they still look very different to the walkers in the bookswho are more ghostly, andelegant."

  • 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 Watchmenthey 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 intelligentthey 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 threeholy shit momentsin 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 wearand if you zoom in some morewell

  • it's probably nothing.

  • In the next scene, we meet the Starks of Winterfellthe 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 comethe fall of Bran, death of Ned,

  • and burning of Winterfell, the Red Wedding, abuse of Sansa, indoctrination of Arya, death

  • of Jon, death of Rickonthis 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 causesto 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 outsideras 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

  • identitiesTheon 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 thatThe 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 deathbut 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 collapseshis children turn on each other, and all his grandkids die.

  • Tywin's brutal legacy fails, but Ned's survivesbecause he's a leader who people

  • truly believe in.

  • After the execution, the Starks find a dead direwolf and a dead stagforeshadowing

  • the deaths of Ned and Robert, whose sigils are a direwolf and stag.

  • But the dead direwolf has six pupsone for each Stark kid.

  • Direwolves are mystical creatures, symbolising special destinies for the Starksespecially

  • 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 generationlike

  • the passing of the seasons.

  • Down in King's Landing, we meet Cersei and Jaime Lannister.

  • Jaime is a careless , arrogant Prince Charmingso different to the responsible, humbled

  • Jaime of later seasons.

  • But early Cersei's not so differentshe has all the ambition and resentment that leads

  • to her tyranny later ongo 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 Joffreyso Ros becomes another victim of the Game of Thrones.

  • Back at Winterfell, we're introduced to another important characterJon 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 Rickonand all these characters die, while the Starks

  • he doesn't touch are still alive.

  • Robert asks Arya what her name isjust like the Faceless Men ask Arya what her name is

  • when she's trained to beno one.” Robert tells Bran he'llbe 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

  • paralysedand 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 toseethings.

  • And this episode, Bran sees a lothe sees Will get killed , sees Cersei and Jaime make babies .

  • Bran says he seesthe king” “coming” , just like he later sees the Night Kingcoming.”

  • So there's a lot of foreshadowing happening this episode.

  • Robert and Ned visit the Winterfell crypts, and talk about LyannaNed's sister who

  • Robert loved.

  • Robert still hates the Targaryens for taking Lyanna.

  • Ned saysThe Targaryens are gone”, but Robert saysNot 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 TargaryensDaenerys and Viserys.

  • Dany is meek and afraid, worn down by the abuse of her brother.

  • Showrunner David Benioff said Dany islittle more than a slavethis 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 thatIt'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 burnedthe thing with Drogo's pyre is a one-offmiracle” .

  • But either way, being the Unburnt connects Dany to the magic of fire and dragons, and perhaps to

  • her destiny as Azor Ahaithe 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 eggsand 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 consentualDrogo asks permission, and Dany saysYes” .

  • 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 Littlefingerwho 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 outsidebecauseit might insult the royal family

  • to seat a bastard in their midst” . Ironically, Jon isn't a bastardas a Targaryen,

  • he's royalty.

  • And Joffrey, in the feast, isn't actually royaltyhe'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 thatif [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 Sansashouldn't stay hiddenin the northforever.”

  • And it scares Cat to see the scheming Cersei taking her daughter away.

  • And rightly socause after this episode, Cat never sees Sansa again.

  • Jon meets Tyrion, who saysNever 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 Tyrionin 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.

  • Littlefinger caused conflict between the Starks and Lannisters for his own agenda,

  • bringing war, death and horror on the Starks.

  • It's only in Season 7 that Littlefinger's brought to justice for these crimes.

  • Bran sees Cersei and Jaime's twincest, so Jaime pushes him from a tower

  • Starting Bran's arc as a psychic tree boy, and Jaime's long road to redemption.

  • But what'll happen if Bran and Jaime meet again?

  • Will Jaime make amends for breaking an innocent boy?

  • Will Bran even care now that he's become the three-eyed raven?

  • Whatever happens, Bran's fall from this tower represents changethe passing of

  • the Starks and the return of the Targaryens, and the end of summerforWinter is coming.”

  • Season 1 Episode 1 introduces the Starks, Targaryens, Lannisters, and white walkers.

  • These are the same factions left by the final season.

  • The Baratheons, Tyrells, Martells, and Greyjoys are all cool, but they mostly just come then

  • gothey're not central to the story like these guys.

  • It looks like the final season of Game of Thrones will end the same way it beganwith

  • fire, and ice, and incestuous blonde people.

  • Season 8 is coming in April, so now's a good time to read the Game of Thrones books.

  • As well as the main series, there are the Dunk and Egg prequels, the world book, and

  • the new Fire and Blood history book.

  • Audible is offering 3 months of membership for $6.95 a month, at audible.com/asx.

  • Each month gets you a free audiobookso you could get the first three Thrones books,

  • or all of these spin-off books, for cheaper than they'd cost on paper.

  • You can listen in the car, or the gym, or in a really hot bath.

  • Sign up at audible.com/asx, or text asx to 500-500.

  • Thanks for watching.

  • Comment below if you want videos on other early episodes, please like and subscribe,

  • and thanks to Patrons Debbie Skou, Katherine Suarez, Elaine Woodling, Anthony Baudinette,

  • Tom Gebbie, Ash Stoker, and Fab R. Cheers.

The final season of Game of Thrones is coming, bringing eight seasons of conflict, politics, and mystery to an end.

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Game of Thrones S1E01 Explained (S1-S7 spoilers)

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    Jerry Liu posted on 2019/04/19
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