This post is for those of you who weren’t among the 6,000 people who filed into Radio City Music Hall Wednesday for the red carpet premiere of the first episode of Game of Thrones’ eighth and final season.
It was a star-studded, celebrity- and reporter-packed affair that toasted the beginning of the end for one of the biggest entertainment franchises ever — and which, of course, produced tons of potentially spoiler-y, supremely juicy tidbits about some of what we’re in store for once episode one finally airs on April 14.
Stop reading now if you want to go into it completely fresh, of course. Below, we’ll attempt to collect some of the details that managed to trickle out from this week’s premiere — which was a tightly guarded event that began, according to Winteriscoming.net, by attendees being subjected to a warning from the projected voices of Sansa and Arya Stark.
No photos, no videos, no spoilers posted to social media, warned “Sansa.” She continued: “If your phone should happen to ring during the show, your face would look lovely on my sister’s wall.”
Jane Mulkerrins of the UK newspaper The Telegraph wrote in her recap of the screening that a giant Iron Throne sat outside in the spot where the Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree is set up. Among the other highlights of her recap from the episode one screening, she writes that Daenerys learns that her dragon Viserion has been “reborn” by the Night King and was used to help his army breach the Wall. Also, it will become known pretty quick who Jon’s parents are.
“Unlike some season openers in years gone by, this eighth premiere contains no epic battles or large-scale set pieces, but what violence there is is dark, brutal and unsettling,” she writes. “That’s balanced out, however, by a noticeably lighter, more humorous tone, with plenty of witty one-liners.”
Kit Harington was in attendance at the premiere but actually had to leave early to rehearse nearby for his appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend. Meanwhile, according to another journalist on hand (GQ’s Jonathan Thompson), we learn that the eighth season has an all-new intro.
In his opinion, season 8’s is also the best GoT season opener ever. “This is a genuinely humorous episode,” he writes, “with a number of unexpected, laugh-out-loud moments. They begin with the very first line and continue through a series of running jokes ranging from elephants and dragons to onions and testicles.” Thompson also doesn’t fully explain himself with this next supposition, but based on what he’s seem Jonathan goes on his piece to wonder out loud whether, based on a lack of screen time, if “Varys has to be high on the death list now, closely followed by Missandei, Grey Worm, Podrick and — whisper it — Tyrion?”
It’s hard to believe the episode one air date is less than two weeks away now. “Welcome to the beginning of the end,” was the greeting that attendees Wednesday were met with from “Sansa.” What a ride it’s been.