Spoiler Warning! This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1.
Game of Thrones season 8 premiered its first episode and we’ve been gasping for air at all the long-awaited reunions we witnessed.
While the episode gave us some overwhelming moments (Arya and Jon though — I’m not crying, you’re crying), the most noted one was the coming together of two of the most complex characters in the series — Bran Stark and Jaime Lannister.
Even though they belong to completely different worlds, their paths had once unwittingly crossed in the most irreversible way possible.
And the two ill-fated characters have now become what they are thanks to their one meeting years ago.
The last chapter of the episode had these two meet and exchange what could’ve been the coldest possible stares in the seven kingdoms. The episode which ended on the cliffhanger of these two sharing screen-time was a fitted callback to the cliffhanger in season 1, episode 1.
In GoT’s first ever episode, a young and able-bodied Bran catches Jaime and Cersei indulging in some, now familiar, twincest at the top of a tower in Winterfell. Jaime, who was more grey than sympathetic back then, attempts to murder him by pushing him off the tower.
This act by Jaime not only crippled Bran, but also fractured the social core of the GoT universe and set the ball rolling for the events that follow.
It cemented Jaime as one of the most dishonourable men in Westeros and Bran as somewhat of a liability. Eight years on, however, times have changed and how!
Both crippled to some degree, they’re now permanently altered by the treacherous paths they’ve both respectively been on.
Bran is now the omnipresent Three-Eyed Raven, and Jaime is an honourable soldier who has chosen to align with the living in the War for the Dawn. And after years, these two men with the steepest character arcs have finally reunited.
Got S1E1 ended with Jamie crushing bran— Zubayer (@ShovonAlam17) April 15, 2019
And S8E1 ended with Brann crushing Jamie
While we were all anticipating this meeting, what was peculiar about this moment was that Bran knew what was coming all along. When Sam asks him why he’s outside, he nonchalantly says, “waiting for an old friend.” And in comes Jaime just before the curtain drops and we’re left with way too many questions.
Just like their first joint cliffhanger in season 1, which had a much larger significance in the GoT universe, this too could deeply impact the events that follow.
Bran has evidently been waiting for Jaime’s arrival. And since he’s all about the urgency now, being the only one who’s actually ‘seen’ the threat, it is telling that he would set time aside to specially meet Jaime.
In the season 8 trailer, we hear Bran’s voice saying,
Everything you did brought you to where you are now. Where you belong: home.
Could Jaime possibly be at the receiving end of what looks like the beginning of a monologue? And if it is, could Bran be throwing light on his path of redemption, absolving him of his past crimes? Could he also be telling him how Jaime may be of vital importance in the Great War?
Whatever it is, it is obviously of great importance to the series’ conclusion and we can’t wait to find out what the end of their connected path looks like. Only time and the next episodes can tell. Let’s speculate what it could possibly mean until then.