The Game of Thrones season-eight premiere is full of meaningful, exciting reunions. Characters are greeting each other after having been apart for … like … well, okay, I’m pretty sure the last time Bran saw Jon was … wait. Did they actually meet that one time at that old dude’s house, or … ?
The point is, this show has been on a long time! You can be forgiven for not remembering exactly when all these people last saw each other, and there’s no need to dive deep into the GoT wiki. We are here to help out.
Arya and Jon
These two haven’t seen each other since the second dang episode of this whole dang show. Arya was bitsy and didn’t even know how to fight with a sword yet; Jon was being sent away to the Night’s Watch. As a farewell present, Jon gives Arya a sword that she names Needle, thus kicking off her whole Girl Assassin arc, and because Jon was one of the few people who ever understood Arya, their separation has been one of the most painful in all of Game of Thrones.
And now finally they’re back together! They examine one anothers’ swords in an echo of when they last saw each other, and the hug is a direct mirror of that previous embrace. Awww.
Jon and Bran
Jon didn’t have much opportunity to say good-bye to Bran back in season one, because Bran had been pushed off the Winterfell tower by Jaime and was unconscious. Even worse, Catelyn Stark resented Jon’s presence, and made it hard for him to leave the way he might’ve wanted to.
Although they had a near miss at Craster’s Keep in season four, where Jon’s arrival unknowingly allowed Bran to escape the White Walkers, Jon and Bran have not seen each other since season one. Their greeting in season eight is not as warm as Jon and Arya’s, in part because they just weren’t as close when they last knew one another. But let’s be honest: It’s also because Bran is really weird now.
Sansa and Tyrion
On a scale of sweetness to awkwardness, if Jon and Arya’s reunion ranks as most sweet, Sansa and Tyrion’s reunion lands on the far other end of the spectrum. The last time they saw one another, they were forcibly married! (They’re probably still married!) Even worse, the last time they saw one another was at Joffrey’s wedding celebration, a.k.a. the scene of Joffrey’s gruesome death, where Sansa desperately tried to get away and then eventually fled with Ser Dontas as a part of Littlefinger’s scheme.
Sansa’s departure made things even more difficult for Tyrion, and neither of them has had an easy go of it in the interim. Fittingly, their reunion felt weird.
Arya and the Hound
There are many reasons for intensely awkward reunions in this episode. Sansa fleeing just as Joffrey was brutally murdered is one thing, but having to meet up with someone you robbed and left for dead is a whole other level.
The nice thing about Arya and the Hound’s reunion is that even though they left under dire circumstances, neither of them seems to hold it against the another.
Sam and Jon
When last Sam and Jon saw each other, they were at Castle Black and things did not look great. It was the end of season five, the Night’s Watch had turned against Jon, and Sam knew he needed to take Gilly and her baby and get out. After some initial protest, Jon saw Sam’s point and they had a nice moment to say good-bye and promise they’d see one another again.
Their reunion in season eight is quite touching, but sadly for both of them, Sam has to go and ruin a perfectly nice reunion by dropping some extremely sensitive information about Jon’s parentage. Also, he has to tell Jon that Dany killed his father, Randyll, and his brother, Dickon, which doesn’t go over quite as he’d hoped.
Theon and Yara
These two saw each other last season, but the circumstances were not great. In the midst of battle with their evil uncle Euron, Yara was captured and stared into Theon’s eyes, begging him to rise up against Euron and take a stand. He chose otherwise, and Yara was devastated.
Happily in this first episode of season eight, Theon redeems himself by returning to rescue Yara. She does take a moment to express how unhappy she was that it took him so long, though.
Jon and Sansa
This pair also saw one another just last season, when Jon rode off from Winterfell to convince Cersei to join forces in battling against the Night King, leaving Sansa in charge.
This is certainly not the most uncomfortable reunion in this episode — there’s lots of competition for that title — but instead of returning with an ally, Jon has ceded his throne and put a usurping dragon queen in charge of the whole dang place. Unsurprisingly, Sansa isn’t super-pumped about that.
Bran and Jaime
Jaime and Bran have not seen one another since episode one, when Bran scaled the Winterfell tower and spied on Jaime and Cersei having sex. That encounter did not end well for Bran.
Thanks to his magical prophet vision, Bran’s able to put himself exactly in Jaime’s path, meaning he’s the first person Jaime meets after arriving in Winterfell. Their reunion is the episode’s final twist, and although this was not one of the most anticipated meetings for the final season, it’s quite satisfying to watch Bran finally confront Jaime after all these years.