This post contains spoilers for Game Of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1.
Proceed at your own peril!
For so much of Game of Thrones' run, the characters have moved further and further apart. Those with meaningful relationships went whole seasons without seeing each other.
But in the last two seasons, we finally started seeing some reunions, and it's been GLORIOUS.
Especially when the Starks finally started coming back together!
A lot of people were anticipating some big reunions in Season 8, considering a) it's the last season and b) all the characters are going to be in only one or two locations for most of it. But even with that expectation, the Season 8 premiere laid the reunions on thick and fast...and I for one got VERY emotional.
First up, we had Arya standing in the crowd witnessing the arrival of Jon, Dany and their entourage, and while she doesn't reunite with any of them in this moment, her reactions are still EVERYTHING. Like look how happy and emotional she is to see Jon:
Arya is much less happy to see the Hound.
Even though she couldn't bring herself to kill him, and took him off her list, she did leave him to die. Her feelings about him are complicated.
When she sees Gendry, on the other hand, she's all smiles again.
And yes, I literally screamed at my TV in this moment.
Moving on to the actual reunions, and as Jon enters Winterfell, he spots Bran and is so excited he rushes over to him.
And Bran ALMOST smiles, which is frankly a huge display of emotion from his these days.
Remember, Bran and Jon were always quite close.
We see Jon in protective big brother mode around Bran a lot during the first episode of Season 1. Jon is devastated by Bran's fall, and especially the fact that he has to leave for the Wall while Bran is still unconscious.
Throughout the series, Jon and Bran have had several instances of nearly reuniting, only to be separated at the last minute. So it's especially moving to finally see them back together, and in a way that so closely parallels their farewell scene in Season 1.
The emotions can't even be dampened (too much) by Bran's weirdness.
Then we have Tyrion reuniting with Sansa. They seem relatively happy to see each other, albeit with some awkwardness.
Remember, they were married (maybe still are married??? Although the marriage was never consummated).
The last time they saw each other, as they mentioned in their reunion scene, was at Joffrey's wedding.
You know, when Joffrey was murdered, Sansa escaped, and Tyrion was arrested.
Sansa apologises for leaving him there, but despite the past, both acknowledge it's good to see the other survived. In a wonderful moment, Tyrion talks about how everyone always underestimated Sansa – and now most of them are dead.
Sansa, meanwhile, low-key drags Tyrion for trusting Cersei, which made me cheer because how has no one else called him out on this before now???
Then we move on to something many fans have been yearning for since Season 1 – the reunion of Jon Snow and Arya. After a brief joke about Jon's actual death (!!!), the two happily run to each other.
Jon and Arya were closest to each other out of all their siblings.
Like Jon's reunion with Bran, this scene with Arya parallels the last time they were together, when Jon held her in his arms.
THIS IS THE MOST EMOTIONAL I HAVE EVER SEEN JON AND YOU BET I CRIED!!!
Jon and Arya talk about Needle, which Jon gave to her just before they both left Winterfell.
They almost have a little disagreement when Jon expects Arya to side with him against Sansa, like she would have in the past, and is surprised that Arya (finally!) respects Sansa.
But the scene ends with another emotional hug, and it is everything I've ever wanted.
Well not everything – I also wanted some other big reunions for Arya, which luckily for me happen in this episode too! That's right, she meets up with the Hound AND Gendry again! In the same scene!!!
The last time all three of them were together, Gendry was holding back Arya from her murderous rage against the Hound after he won his trial by combat against Ser Beric Dondarrion in Season 3.
As I already mentioned, the last time Arya and the Hound saw each other, it was at the end of Season 4 – when the Hound fought Brienne, and Arya stole his money and left him to die.
He calls her out on it, and she characteristically gives no fucks. The Hound calls her a "cold little bitch" and says "guess that's why you're still alive". There are no embraces here and no real warmth, but you definitely get the impression that underneath the surface, these two really do care about each other. The Hound, at least, is glad to see Arya has survived.
And then!!! Gendry and Arya have their moment!!! And I screamed again because THIS. THIS IS WHAT I WAS REALLY WAITING FOR.
It's ADORABLY awkward.
Reminder that the last time Gendry and Arya were together, Arya was screaming because Melisandre was carting Gendry off as a sacrifice.
Neither of them knew if the other was alive for a long time, so it's extra lovely to see them reuniting on screen.
There's some nice banter...
Which is both a cute nod to The Princess Bride and a direct callback to two Game of Thrones moments: when Gendry first found out who Arya is (and that she's not lowborn), and she told him not to call her "my lady"...
And then when they were saying goodbye after Gendry decided to join the Brotherhood, and he used the term to point out the fact that their class differences meant they wouldn't be "family" at Winterfell, despite Arya's promises.
And yet! Here they both are! At Winterfell! Being all flirty! A fact which Arya seems quite pleased about.
Same, Arya, same.
Anyway, Arya asks Gendry to make her a new dragonglass weapon, which you just know he will put his heart and soul into.
From the look of the trailers, Arya is wielding this weapon in the Battle of Winterfell in Episode 3.
The two have another flirty exchange before Arya walks away smiling, and honestly, I just about died.
We need to see MORE OF THIS before they all die, okay?
But the reunions aren't done yet! Next up we have Jon and Sam, who last saw each other when Jon sent Sam off to the Citadel to learn to be a maester, back in Season 5.
Jon gives Sam one of those tight, eyes-shut hugs he's so good at when it comes to his family. He's surprised to find Sam at Winterfell, and then even more surprised to learn the news that Dany actually killed Sam's father and brother in Season 7.
And then he's EVEN MORE SURPRISED when Sam drops the truth bomb about his parentage on him and urges him to take up his rightful place as King of the Seven Kingdoms.
So yeah, the whole reunion aspect gets a little bit sidetracked here. WHAT A SCENE THOUGH.
By the way, earlier in the episode, Theon and Yara also reunite, although it wasn't that long ago they saw each other. Of course, it was when Theon was fleeing as Euron captured Yara, so the fact that he rescues her in this episode is a good bit of redemption for him.
The two quickly part ways, though, as Yara heads back to the Iron Islands to retake them while Euron is in King's Landing, and Theon requests permission to head back to Winterfell to fight for the Starks. He's really embracing Jon's words about being both a Greyjoy and a Stark, and it's wonderful. Less wonderful: the knowledge that this is probably the last time Theon and Yara see each other! SOB.
Finally – last but certainly not least – is the reunion between Jaime Lannister, newly arrived in Winterfell, and Bran.
You no doubt remember the last time they saw each other – you know, at the end of Season 1, Episode 1, when Jaime PUSHED BRAN OUT OF A TOWER WINDOW.
Jaime was doing it to protect Cersei and their children after Bran witnessed the twins having sex. After Bran woke up, having permanently lost the use of his legs, he couldn't remember what caused his fall. Now he's the Three Eyed Raven, of course, he's no doubt had a peek at the truth – and by the look on his face, he's ready to confront Jaime about it.
Whatever happens next will be super interesting. Jaime's whole arc has been about his path back to honour and redemption – and a reconciliation with Bran will be crucial for that. BRING ON NEXT WEEK.
In short, we were fed well this week!
There are still a couple of reunions we need to see: JON AND GHOST most importantly, but also Brienne and Jaime, Sansa and the Hound, and Sansa and Theon. I can't wait.