In a new interview with EW, Arya Stark herself, Maisie Williams, says “so much” of Game of Thrones final season references the show’s first. “There are so many scenes that will look similar,” she said. What exactly could those be though? Here are eight ways we either know, think, or hope the first and last seasons will parallel one another or bring things full circle.
Opening With the White Walkers
The show’s first ever scene was a White Walker attack on three members of the Night’s Watch, when we got a shadowy glimpse of the blue-eyed ice demons. What we saw clearly in that terrifying opening was their ability to raise the dead, and their blood thirst.
A behind-the-scenes look at the show’s final season revealed the first scene of season eight will also start with the White Walkers. We wouldn’t be surprised to see them attack a home near the Wall, where the Night King will once again add to his growing army in a chilling moment of what’s to come.
A King and Queen Arrive at Winterfell (And So Do Jaime and Tyrion Lannister)
The pilot featured the arrival of King Robert Baratheon and Queen Cersei to Winterfell. It was a big event, which the final season will parallel when Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen arrive with her Dothraki and Unsullied forces in the first episode. If Robert’s coming to the North was a huge event (and it was), this retinue will put it to shame.
A king and queen weren’t the only important people to make their way to Winterfell that day. Both Tyrion and Jaime also made their way North in the premiere. Tyrion, the Hand of the Queen, was once thought a drunken craven (which wasn’t wrong), but this time he will return in a position of power for a far more important reason.
Jaime though will be returning to the place where he pushed Bran out of a window, crippling him. We expect a very awkward reunion between the two (since Bran’s visions will have revealed to him how he “fell”). But maybe a far different Jaime, who is going to Winterfell to fight alongside the living this time, will save Bran. It would be a fitting way to capture Jaime’s story arc from start to finish.
Bonus: It would also be incredible if Jon and Daenerys decide to hide their relationship, only for Bran to warg into a raven and catch them in an intimate moment. Fortunately if you push a raven out a window it can fly. Also, The Hound will also be returning to Winterfell, which he also visited in the show’s pilot. Though he had no direct interaction with Arya there, they certainly did cross paths in season one when he killed her friend Mycah, the Butcher’s Boy. We can’t wait to see those two meet again.
The Truth About a King’s Real Parents
One of the main plots of season one revolved around Ned Stark unearthing the truth about Joffrey’s real father. That discovery (and Ned’s honorable naivete) nearly led to the destruction of the Starks and the removal of Ned’s head. The final season will also have to deal with a major, game-changing, possibly dangerous revelation about a king’s true parents. Bran and Sam know Jon is really Aegon Targaryen, the lawful son of Rhaegar and Lyanna.
What will happen when everyone, including Jon’s queen/lover/aunt Daenerys, learns the truth? Jon is the rightful heir to the throne she has long dreamed of.
A Visit to the Winterfell Crypt
Immediately upon arriving at Winterfell, Robert Baratheon paid his respects to his late betrothed, Lyanna, buried in the crypt of Winterfell. That final resting place of important Starks, where he placed a feather on her statue, was the focus of a season eight promo, and it also featured prominently in the show’s official trailer.
When Jon learns the truth about his mother, we expect her tomb to be the first place he visits, though that might not be the only time we visit the Winterfell crypt in the final season. It’s primed to be an important place in the show’s last year.
“Stick them with the pointy end.”
Jon and Arya’s farewell in the show’s second episode was the last time the two saw each other. That bittersweet moment was when Jon gifted Arya her trusted sword she named Needle. Jon also gave her a piece of advice on how to use it, “Stick them with the pointy end,” one of the best lines in show history.
Not only will we finally (finally) see this pair have their reunion in the final season, they will both be ready to stand as brave warriors in the fight with the dead. It would be amazing to hear one of them repeat this famous line back to the other.
A Lion and a Wolf Have a Memorable Showdown
One of the most intense, memorable moments from season one was when Jaime Lannister attacked Ned Stark and his men in the streets of King Landing. While the Northeners were slaughtered, Ned had the upper hand on his fight with Jaime until a Lannister soldier stabbed Ned in the calf.
There are still plenty of important members of both Houses still around, and even if the Starks forgive Jaime and learn to completely trust Tyrion, they will all have their eyes on the Lannister who still resides in King’s Landing, Cersei. A final showdown between the families could play out in the capital again.
“The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.”
Ned executed a wildling deserter in the premiere, which he made Bran watch for the first time. When Ned asked his young son why he had to be the one to do the actual killing, Bran correctly answered that Northern tradition says the man who passes the sentence must be the one to fulfill it. The show has referenced this moment numerous times, from Joffrey not killing Ned, to Theon struggling to behead Ser Rodrik, to both Robb and Jon sentencing men to die and then executing themselves.
Could someone at Winterfell do something terrible that leads to a personally difficult execution for the man or woman who sentences them to die? Could the Starks argue over who gets to sentence Cersei to death so they can then be the one to kill her? There are lots of possibilities, some good, some bad, for how this important season one moment could be referenced in the final year.
A Valuable Gift Leads to Something Far More Valuable
Maybe the single most important development of the first year began in the premiere and ended in the final scene of the season. Ilyrio Mopatis gave Daenerys three stone dragon eggs from Asshai, which she hatched in the last moment of season one.
We’ve already speculated how the secrets of Asshai could still play a huge role on the show, but even if nothing else comes from that strange place there could be another gift that could prove important to saving the world. What if Jon is right and Daenerys can get pregnant. Like stone dragon eggs no one believed could be hatched, a child of Jon and Daenerys would be a miracle birth that could be the savior of the world.
Of course, there could be even more ways the last season will reference the first. There were so many other memorable, meaningful, and important meetings and moments that season, any of which could end up mattering now.