Game of Thrones season 8 premiere slays show's own viewer record

Joffrey and Margaery during a scene from'Game Of Thrones Purple Wedding

The premiere of the final season of "Game of Thrones" drew 8.1 percent more viewers than last season's debut, an encouraging sign as HBO winds down its most popular show and prepares for the next chapter of the streaming era. In the scene, Jon Snow is swinging around on the back of Rhaegal (Daenerys's dragon), as he and Dany fly above the North, as they do. And let's just say everything he's gone through has made him super not fun at parties!

That figure is 8% higher than the season 7 premiere two years ago.

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"Game of Thrones" star Kit Harington admitted it was "really odd" to kiss his "best friend" Emilia Clarke onscreen in the season 8 premiere that aired Sunday, in part because Clarke is so close to his wife, former "GoT" actress Rose Leslie. Will Bronn actually kill Tyrion and Jaime? It's cute except for the fact that Jon is Daenerys' nephew, although both are blissfully unaware of their relation. Jon was raised as Ned Stark's bastard son, a half-sibling to the five Stark children, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

While Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) was elated to finally meet Jon, she reminded him of his commitment to the Stark family. Who do you think will sit atop the Iron Throne once all is said and done?

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Before Sam drops the lineage bomb, Daenerys informs Sam that she may have accidentally burned his father and brother alive as punishment for their refusal to bend the knee. Each of these subtle subversions ostensibly sets the stage for another season-long subplot: Euron Greyjoy's (Pilou Asbæk) knowledge of Cersei and Jaime's affair has already begun to lead to blackmail; Jon's new knowledge of his ancestry means that a Targaryen-Stark battle for the throne is nearly inevitable; even a subtle weather change at the beginning of the title sequence suggests a dramatic reckoning as the North begins to freeze over due to the White Walkers' imminent arrival.

The end of the episode, when Jaime Lannister shows up to Winterfell and sees Bran Stark in the courtyard, is a very pointed callback to the end of the Season 1 pilot, when Jaime pushed Bran out the window after he caught Jaime and Cersei having sex. A quick glimpse of Tormund arriving in Winterfell can also be seen. He added to Esquire magazine: "But the weirdest bit was when we came off set and they started taking the costume off and it felt like being skinned". As the show has spent seven seasons trying to prove, no one is safe.

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