**Spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8 premiere**
Despite the fact winter is here, it feels so right to back in the warm embraces of a new season of GAME OF THRONES. The final season kicked off, and after a year and a half since the last season, this first episode was all about bits of housekeeping – mainly getting most everyone under the Winterfell roof. The episode, titled “Winterfell”, brought characters together who never had been across seven previous seasons – like INFINITY WAR with more dragging and shadiness. Perhaps the biggest moment of the show finally capitalized on a bit of information about Jon Snow’s real birth parents, and now star Kit Harington has opened up about the approaching the scene, and what that means now that Jon knows exactly who he is.
In one of the final moments of the season premiere, Snow was in the crypts of Winterfell paying respects to his “father”, Eddard Stark (Sean Bean), when is best friend Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) comes running (and tripping) in to tell Jon some news he’s been meaning to for ages. This info is of course what we learned in the season seven finale, which is that he’s not the son of Eddard and some random woman, but of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, and given their secret marriage makes Jon not a bastard, but Aegon Targaryen VI, Sixth of his Name and rightful King of the Andals and the First Men.
Harington spoke with EW about this big bit of info, and considering this brings Jon’s entire world crashing down on him, he’s a bit taken aback and even angry at the news. This is the way Harington wanted to approach the reveal, which was tricky to decide given this is info everyone knew for well over a year.
“The key to it is the audience already knows. So it’s not a shock to them. With Jon, it’s about what he says, ‘You’re telling me my father lied to me? My father, the most honorable man I’ve known my entire life, you’re saying that?’ For that moment, Samwell is nothing to him. Jon would disown this friend and beat him up if he was trying to lie to him about this. He’s quite threatening: You’re telling me this, you better be f—king right, and if you’re trying to play me — that was the way to play that scene I think. I hope it was.”
When audiences first learned this key plot point the first thought focused on was how this would impact his political and romantic relationship with Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), who has spent the whole series attempting to win the Iron Throne that Jon (er, Aegon?) actually has the better claim to. But Harington, who says Jon is “not hard to predict,” doesn’t think it will be that big of an issue for his character, as being king – even of the North – is something Jon has never wanted.
“That’s the thing I love about Jon, his purity. He doesn’t f—king want it. He doesn’t want that f—king information. He doesn’t want to know. He has no ambition for the throne. He’s never wanted that. The end of the world might be coming soon but at least he’s in love with somebody and knows who he is, and then comes this sledgehammer.”
Indeed, he doesn’t take the news well, but as Bradley astutely puts it, “He didn’t take it well, but coming from anybody other than Sam, he would have taken it worse.”
Paul Shirey named this the best scene in the premiere in his review, and in a premiere that has scene ranging from sweet, mysterious and even odd, that’s certainly saying something. This was a big reveal we’ve been waiting for Jon to hear for some time, even back in season six when we learned he was Lyanna’s son (the info was expanded on in season seven), and luckily they didn’t wait until episode three of the final season to let him know. Harington did a fine job bringing out the emotion of the scene, focusing on the fact that all Jon knew was a lie, even from the most honorable man he ever knew. This sets the stage for some big stuff some the next five episodes of the season, so strap on now because this dragon is taking flight.