It’s no surprise that Game of Thrones Season 8 would lead to long-awaited character reunions. After all, almost every character was headed to Winterfell in the Season 7 finale.
We were gifted several of these reunions in the first episode alone. They ranged from somewhere between extremely emotional to extremely uncomfortable.
Here’s a breakdown of the many meetings that took place in Winterfell and elsewhere, ranked by just how awkward they are (lookin’ at you, Bran!).
10. Arya and Jon
Arya and Jon’s long-anticipated reunion was perfect. It was overwhelming, full of callbacks to their last scene in Season 1 (that darn hug! Needle!), and Jon was definitely the most emotional I’ve ever seen him. They shared a quip about Jon’s Valyrian steel sword and Arya admitted she’s used Needle “once or twice.”
Their conversation about Sansa was interesting and an understated acknowledgement of everything they’ve been through to get here. I totally did not shed a tear at their second hug. (Reader, I did!).
9. Theon and Yara
Certainly one of the least awkward reunions of the season premiere was when Theon and a small group of reavers boarded one of Euron’s ships and murdered a bunch of Euron’s men to save Yara. After cutting Yara’s bonds, Yara stood and headbutted Theon right in the face, then extended a hand to help him up.
It’s honestly what everyone expected, probably including Theon. Yara is a hard-ass woman and she lost a lot of people the last time she tried to rescue Theon from Ramsey Bolton. Plus, he didn’t stop her from getting captured by Euron last season (although he was overpowered and couldn’t really do anything). As a nice gesture after Yara was cleaned up, she told Theon to go to Winterfell, the place he considers home. How sweet.
8. Edd and Tormund
Who knew watching a crow and a wildling happily reunite would make such an impact? Edd and Tormund bro-out at Last Hearth after realizing Tormund always had blue eyes. It’s nice and all but immediately cut short because of The Night King’s spiral message.
7. Arya and Gendry
I expected their reunion to be sweet but I did not expect them to get their flirt on immediately. And you know what, it was fabulous.
Arya flexing her weaponry, Gendry’s throwback to calling her Lady Stark and milady, and that final twirl she gave him while leaving. Yeah, they were fully vibing even after all these years.
6. Arya and The Hound
“You’re a cold little bitch, aren’t you? I guess that’s why you’re still alive,” Sandor Clegane tells Arya when they reunite after she left him to die. Sorry, first she robbed him and then she left him to die.
The Hound doesn’t even know the half of it.
Of course, their reunion wasn’t supposed to end with a warm hug. It was icy yet there was a weird mutual respect. If there wasn’t, she probably would’ve found a way to kill him, but he isn’t on that list anymore.
5. Bran and Jon
Jon and Bran, the last two Stark boys. Kind of. Jon thought he was reuniting with his long-lost half-brother, but Bran knew that was wrong and they were actually cousins. Still, Jon was elated to see Bran and embraced him and kissed him on the forehead, and Bran seemed happy.
When Jon said “Look at you, you’re a man” with beaming eyes and Bran said “Almost…” Um, what the hell? Is Bran trying to say he’s going to have sex soon? Understandably, Jon looked at Bran like he was a weirdo, because he is a weirdo, and walked away pretty swiftly. Not a very smooth meeting, but not Bran’s worst.
4. Tyrion and Sansa
No one said meeting your ex husband wouldn’t be awkward, especially if your marital status is still unclear. Tyrion and Sansa’s conversation had its moments thanks to Sansa’s sassy comeuppance.
They talk about the last time they saw each other at Joffrey’s wedding and how they’ve both survived since. The true delight was to see how far Sansa’s come if she can sense Cersei’s betrayal from miles away while the Queen’s wronged brother got tricked.
He tells her she doesn’t have to be afraid of Cersei anymore, then she savagely rebukes him by noting, “I used to think you were the cleverest man alive.”
3. Bran and Jaime
Wow. Just wow. Have eyes ever said so much in Game of Thrones?
These two haven’t seen each other since the very first episode of the series when Jaime shoved Bran out of a tower window at Winterfall because the young Stark saw Jaime having sex with his sister Cersei. It was an attempted murder, but Bran survived and has continued to live his life paralyzed from the waist down.
Just before the two locked eyes, Jaime’s face verging on fear and Bran’s face bearing his goofy all-knowing-smirk, Bran told Sam is that he was waiting for a friend. Is this friend Jaime? Probably. They’re far from friends though, making this one of the most awkward meetings in the entire series.
2. Sam and Jon
Leave it to Sam to break the big news to Jon that he’s not actually Jon Snow, but the heir to the throne of Westeros, Aegon Targaryen. Oh and Sam opened up the conversation with the fact that Daenerys executed his father and brother, so this reunion did not start off on a great note.
As Jon was visiting Ned Stark’s resting place in the crypts of Winterfell, Sam revealed to him that Ned wasn’t actually his father and telling Jon that he, not Daenerys, is the rightful ruler of Westeros. Sam also implied that Jon is a better ruler than her and should take the throne, which mirrors the conundrum that Ned faced when he learned the Baratheon children were actually Lannisters born of incest. It might be seen as treason to say it, but it’s the truth. Not a very happy reunion between best friends at all.
1. Sam and Jorah
Sam did Jorah a huge favor when he cured him of greyscale, that disease that slowly turns you into a stone person and makes you go mad until you die. It should have been a nice reunion between the two, but Daenerys was standing right between them and informed Sam that she had executed his father and brother for not bending the knee to her.
Oof. Jorah, unfortunately, had to stand there and silently stand by his queen’s actions while Sam unraveled. Thanks, Daenerys for turning what should have been a really happy moment into something heartbreaking.
Don’t worry, there’s still plenty more fun meetings to expect over the next five episodes, including The Hound and Sansa, Theon and Bran, Jaime and Brienne, Arya and Melisandre. The end has only just begun.