Game of Thrones has taken over. With the HBO juggernaut set to conclude one of the most blockbuster, united viewing experiences the TV medium has ever seen in a mere six weeks, every online publication, magazine, blog, medium and the like is publishing takes, predictions, reflections, etc. like a content fire sale. It's a lot to sift through, a lot of it is redundant, some of it is barely more reputable than Reddit fanfic theorizing. Producing material that has a chance of standing out amidst the fray is the real challenge. Complex threw its hat in the ring in the walk-up to the season premiere with this incredibly nerdy but fun-to-look-at glossary. But we're in the great game now. We have six episodes to go and an audience that wants to be engaged in the six days between them, and a jillion other sites publishing the same episode recap.
So instead of me, a day one fan of the series over-prosing my musings on the premiere and uselessly projecting where the series might go, I said yes when former Complex employee Zach "P Chopz" Frydenlund jokingly-but-also-seriously volunteered to review the episodes for us. The catch: he, despite being an HBO subscriber who purports to watch good TV, has never, ever seen this series before. He didn't binge any episodes or recap videos in the lead-up. He went into last night's episode colder than the Night King. These are Chopz's unfiltered, first-impression thoughts during a live viewing of the season eight premiere, "Winterfell." Fans who've been riding with this series for years were invested but how does it play on its own merit to a Cleveland boy who once asked me what a scanner does and regarded True Detective Season 3 as a bigger event? Let's see.
So, here we are. The new season of Game of Thrones, which is a show I have never seen, yet can’t escape. It’s fucking everywhere. I don’t know why I never watched, but it just never happened. I did recently watch four seasons of Las Vegas [Ed Note: Yes, he binged the NBC series about...Las Vegas...starring James Caan and Fergie's ex instead of the most popular show on TV] to give you some context on my viewing habits. Bring that back, btw. I’m not sure what’s crazier: the fact that I’ve never seen it or the fact that I’ve been able to consistently know absolutely nothing about it. Whatever the case, the latter has made this journey possible. Rather than a boring review, I decided to do a running diary. Now let’s see some dragons and such. [Just want to re-iterate Chopz was reminiscing on Las Vegas instead of paying attention during the recap to try and gain some context]
- This theme song is cool. Best HBO theme since Entourage? Whoever is on that violin deserves a Grammy. Get Uzi on the remix, maybe.
[Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen arrive at Winterfell]
- Is it always winter? This reminds me of growing up in Cleveland. (The Browns got Odell, if you forgot.)
- This Jon Snow guy everyone tweets about seems like a badass. Probably going to ride with him. His horse looked the sturdiest of the bunch. Another win for Lil Nas X and Billy Ray.
- People seem really excited about the dragons and there appears to be some sort of reunion going on. This also could be a planted Bud Light commercial in the first few minutes to drive ad dollars. Premium branded Dilly Dilly content.
- Kid with the bowl cut seems like a real bummer. Cheer up, pal. Also, get a new haircut
- How did they not get a “Old Town Road” sync in when the kid said “We need more horses and wagons?” Missed early opportunity.
- King of the North? Did Jay Cutler die?
- The crowd doesn’t seem like a fan of my guy Peter Dinklage. As if they already forgot he made Thor a fucking sick hammer a year ago.
- Ok, so this Sansa character seems very wack. Will report back on her.
- My guy Jon Snow took a knife to the chest and lived? Looks like I was correct in my pick to win the game of thrones.
[Euron returns to King's Landing and appeals to Cersei]
- These must be the bad guys. Prime yacht real estate on the coast looking like Rick Ross Port of Miami 2 promo.
- Dude on the boat with lofty goals in life. Aim high, friend. Looked like he had a full glass of Henn poured up.
- How much does an elephant cost?
- Oh he’s going going for it. Shooting that shot. Euron should probably dress better than a C-card WWE wrestler if he wants a chance at the throne.
- Queen ain’t having it but this could be the next season of the Bachelorette.
- Oh wow, y’all ain’t tell me [the nudity] was like THIS. Hell of a time for an interruption.
- Euron and Cersei? Power couple alert. Move over Cardi and Offset.
[Theon resuces Yara]
- Finally some action! That’s some Legolas level accuracy with the arrows. [You watched Lord of the Rings but lamed on Thrones? Ok]
- My man Tyrion be scheming 24/7 like he’s selling Tummy Tea on IG. I respect the hustle.
[Daenerys gives Jon's stepdad chops a field test]
- Questioning my Snow pick after that hesitance to ride the dragon.
- Fast & Furious writers going to have Vin and the Rock racing dragons by 2025. Please give me 10%, Universal Pictures.
- Jon jumped off the dragon like it was a ‘Rari on Melrose. Get it, King.
- That dragon gave Jon a look like he know he about to do something stupid. He out here moving like JR Smith circa “You tryna to get da pipe?” era.
- Arya’s eyebrows on point. Might to have realign my allegiance. She’s also a super badass. She trying to WEAPON up. I respect it.
- All this talk about the North. Did nobody see Kyle Lowry’s game 1 performance?
[Samwell Tarly meets Daenerys]
- Ol' buddy Sam trying to get his parking tickets pardoned by the Queen. I fuck with the vision.
- Bowl Cut Boy bringing down all the vibes. He’s also conveniently everywhere.
- Oh shit, this all seems very important and I have no clue what they’re talking about. Jon the true King. I should have put money on this. What an emotional rollercoaster.
- Oh, they’re related?????? Y’all be INTO this???? What is happening? Why wasn’t his reaction stronger to finding out he was clapping his aunt’s cheeks!!!! Y’all NASTY.
[Beric Dondarion and Tormund investigate the Umber's castle]
- True Detective Season 4 looks very lit. [This body-staging is Carcosa-level, I'll give you that]
- I don’t want to lie to y’all—I jumped like crazy when ol' girl [that was a boy] on the wall screamed.
- Breh, this Bran motherfucker is EVERYWHERE. What the fuck?
- That’s it? Ok.... [Even non-invested viewers thought this episode was too short!]
Final Thoughts: Shit probably about to get real. Cautiously riding with Jon Snow but be very aware that I might Stan the Night King based on that epic fire wall-art thing he pulled off at the end there.
Hopefully I’m allowed back for episode two. If not, let it be known that I’d like to see bowl-cut Bran eaten by a dragon, if possible.