Are you psyched? Because I’m psyched.
And slightly apprehensive.
Okay, fine. I’m downright anxious. I have Game of Thrones-related anxiety – if by anxiety you mean an escalating sense of dread related to how many of my favourite characters are about to be savagely, gruesomely killed off in the coming weeks. Because it’s the final season of Game of Thrones…and the death toll will adjust accordingly.
But – before the inevitable bloodbath and punch-in-the-chest grief – we’ll have juicy character reunions (or introductions) that have been years in the making. Here are a few I’m looking forward to:
Jaime & Bran
Jaime pushing Bran from Winterfell’s broken tower was the event that started it all. There’s been lots of speculation about how a reunion between these two could play out – and how Jaime will react when confronted by the repercussions of his actions. Then again, Bran’s conversation skills have reached all-new awkward-teenage-boy levels…so this conversation might be a short one.
Jon & Arya
Stick ‘em with the pointy end. Jon’s big-brother advice for Arya is an iconic moment from the first season, and they haven’t seen each other since that fateful exodus from Winterfell. Both have undergone radical changes since then; Arya knows where to stick the pointy end these days (not to mention her gourmet pie-making skills), and Jon has gone from Bastard of Winterfell, to Lord Commander, to King in the North, to Targaryen Groupie with Benefits. But they’ve never forgotten each other; who could forget Arya’s face back in Braavos when she couldn’t bring herself to throw Needle away? This reunion is set to be the lump-in-the-throat, there’s-something-in-my-eye moment of episode one.
Sansa & Tyrion
If I was going to put money on who will take the throne, it would be Sansa – and in my opinion, she kinda deserves it. She survived the sadistic whims of Joffrey and Ramsay, she’s smarter than Jon, more diplomatic than Arya, and she’s soaked up lessons from the show’s most cunning strategists; Cersei and Littlefinger. Yes, she drank Littlefinger’s Kool Aid for quite a while, but she proved herself the badass of season seven by ending his slimy existence. However, before she takes the throne (I can dream, right?) she’ll come face to face with ex-husband Tyrion (ex-husband? Husband? Is that whole thing defunct now?). In his words, it was a ‘sham marriage’ – but Tyrion’s the only Lannister Sansa trusts, so it will be interesting to see what they talk about. Daenerys and her sketchy interest in barbecuing people alive, maybe?
Brienne & Jaime
Screw the Great War; I could watch these two together for the entirety of season 8. Brienne is the knight that Jaime ultimately should be; honourable, virtuous, and unswayed by desire or self-interest. She’s also everything that Cersei is not, which makes her and Jaime’s friendship both ironic and compelling. If Jaime is finally going to find redemption, Brienne will be at the heart of it. I’m predicting some cracker D&Ms, and hopefully a good spat or two – for old times’ sake.
The Red Woman and Arya
Arya’s kill list is a lot shorter these days, but assuming she survives the White Walker attack (and I’m sitting at a spoiler-free 83% sure she will) she might start ticking names off again. The Red Woman made the list back in season two and predicted that she and Arya would cross paths in future: ‘I see a darkness in you. And in the darkness eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes, eyes you’ll shut forever. We will meet again.’ I can’t vouch for the cryptic eye thing because I’ve lost track of all the people she’s killed (much less the colour of their eyes), but Arya might still kill Melisandre. Alternatively, she might forgo the other names on her list and channel all her energy into taking out the big one – Cersei. I’m not even sure I want Cersei to die anymore; ethics aside, she plays the game of thrones and kicks arse at it.
The Hound & the Mountain
The actual conversation here will probably be minimal, though the Hound might still find time to drop a C-bomb. Cleganebowl has been brewing for seven seasons now; I thought they’d get it out of the way last season, but the Hound opted for some low-grade sledging in the dragonpit instead. This year: less chat, more bloodbath.
Arya & the Hound
How I’ve missed these two together. I see their reunion playing out something like this:
Hound: You’re alive.
Arya: So are you.
Hound: You wanna go get some chicken?
Hound: Two chickens.
Sansa & Cersei
It may not happen, but it’s up there on my wish list. It was also foreshadowed last season; Sansa admitted to Jon that she learned a great deal from Cersei, and Cersei announced she intends to ‘recover’ some things that ‘belong’ to her. That could simply mean Cersei wants the North back – or it might be that she’s gunning for Sansa, who she always treated as a possession. But Sansa’s not a scared ‘little dove’ anymore; she won back Winterfell, fed Ramsay Bolton to his own dogs, and executed Petyr Baelish. Cersei might get more than she bargained for if this conversation eventuates, and I’m praying to the Old Gods and the New that it does.
Daenerys & Arya
The teaser proved introductions between Sansa and Daenerys will be interesting. But what about Daenerys and Arya? Will Arya warm to Daenerys automatically because she’s fiercely loyal to Jon? Or will she be suspicious given that a) she’s an assassin trained to ascertain people’s true motives and b) the Starks have already lost so much thanks to outsiders?
Sam and Jon
Last on the list, because just thinking about it makes me squirm. I don’t know when this conversation will happen, but the forecast is bombshells with severe awkwardness. Not only is Jon the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne (sorry, Daenerys), he’s also the son of Rhaegar Targaryen (sorry…Aunt Daenerys). Bran has all the tact of a cooked potato, so Sam will probably be the one to break this news to Jon. The only thing more awkward than that conversation will be the fallout that follows. Silver lining; Jon will get the keys to his own dragon. In the face of doomed love and inevitable heartbreak, that’s something…right?