Heartfelt homecomings, tender reconciliations, and wiping out the White Walkers.
We’re less than a month out from Game of Thrones’ epic eighth season, premiering April 14 on HBO. And while we’ve kept ourselves busy tracking down every clue we can find, digging into possible theories of what’s to come, let’s not forget that these final six episodes are also going to stab us right in the soul. Yes, the epic battles will also come with epic feels – some in the form of long-awaited reunions.
Here’s a brief rundown of all the characters we want to meet up, hook up, and sync up during Game of Thrones’ final bow. Sure, a lot of the list features Jon Snow finally seeing a bunch of folks he hasn’t set eyes on since the freakin’ first few episodes, before his adventures took him far away from the Starks and Lannisters, but it’s not all Jon.
The past few seasons have done a lot of work when it comes to bringing this massive ensemble together given that, once, most everyone was scattered to the far corners of Westeros and/or Essos. Now everyone’s more or less in the same area, preparing to do battle with a frozen army of the undead. That said, there are still a handful of reunions we want – nay! – need to see. Scroll through the slideshow or skip to the list below.
JON SNOW and ARYA STARK
As the two Winterfellians who’ve traversed the most ground, and seen the most violence, we’re going to melt into oblivion when Jon finally sees Arya for the first time since he gifted her with Needle and left to join the Night’s Watch. Think about how emotional we were when Jon and Sansa reunited back in Season 6 – and they never even really had a scene together previous to that! We were just so damn happy to see anyone who was still alive from Winterfell embrace and cry about, you know, their lives.
JON SNOW and JAIME LANNISTER
When Jon Snow briefly chatted with Jaime Lannister back in the pilot, Jaime was his usual Season 1 prick-ish self. He wasn’t an outright jackass, but he was rather condescending about Jon’s choice to join the Night’s Watch and his inexperience in battle. Now that Jon’s crusade has been proven ultra-worthy, as he intends to lead the North in a war against the Night King and an encroaching avalanche of ice zombies, Jaime’s going to have to eat his words a little bit. Jaime’s one of the men riding North to fight alongside Jon, after all.
JON SNOW and SAMWELL TARLY
Sure, it’s only been a few seasons since these two parted ways, but now that Sam has ditched Oldtown, and those arrogant old Maesters, he and Gilly have landed at Winterfell, awaiting Jon, whenever it is that he gets back. Jon’s going to reunite with a few faces he hasn’t seen in a long while, but let’s not discount this dynamic duo. Plus there’s the fact that Sam can’t wait to reveal all about how Jon is Daenerys Targaryen’s nephew. There’s so much hot goss to catch up on!
ARYA STARK and GENDRY
For a while, we couldn’t quite figure how these two would ever meet up again. But, lo and behold, Arya’s first thirst trap is back in the mix, and ready to (shirtless-ly) blacksmith a bunch of weapons for Jon’s army. Could this reunion spark a romance arc for Arya or has her accumulated trauma crafted a cold heart that can’t be cracked? Also, there’s the issue of Gendry being a bastard Baratheon. You know, if that family still even matters anymore.
BRIENNE and TORMUND
Speaking of romance…Tormund made it out of Eastwatch-by-the-Sea alive, right as that chunk of The Wall fell. Will he accept his new lease on life and see it as a sign to make his intentions toward Brienne known? Not that…er…he was ever that subtle about it. Moreover, will Brienne finally see something in Tormund that she likes? Will anyone ever like anyone?!
JON SNOW and BRAN STARK
It’s not like any reunion involving Bran Stark can be much of a tear-jerker, given Bran’s all-seeing monotone state, but Jon’ll still be happy to see him. Hell, Jon doesn’t even think Bran’s dead either. The last he heard, from Sam, Bran was heading north of the Wall. So this is one of the lesser reunions, for sure. Just don’t throw Bran in there to crowd up a separate reunion. Don’t have Jon see Arya and Bran at the same time. Keep Bran sitting in the Godswood. Someone’ll come get him eventually.
BRAN STARK and THEON GREYJOY
Again, any reunion involving Bran will be a chilly one. He won’t look you in the eye and he’ll spout off cryptic things about your past (and future, perhaps). But in all the atoning Theon’s done, he hasn’t reconciled with Bran for the wreck and ruin he caused Winterfell when he betrayed Robb back in Season 2. Even if Bran isn’t fully capable of accepting Theon’s apology, one’s still overdue. With Theon off trying to rescue Yara though, who knows if these two will even cross each other’s paths.
BRAN STARK and JAIME LANNISTER
Since we’re currently on a Brandon Stark Apology Tour, maybe Jaime should fling a few repentant words at the young man. You know, for trying-to-kill-him-but-instead-paralyzing-him-for-life. It’ll all land on emotionless Greenseeing ears, sure, but being kind costs nothing. Not only has Jaime learned the error of his ways, but, like Bran, he’s also suffered a huge physical injury that’s limited his mobility (and, to an extent, robbed him of the one thing he was good at).
SANSA STARK and CERSEI LANNISTER
This seems like a tricky ask, given that Cersei hasn’t left King’s Landing in seven seasons, making everyone have to come to her if they want a word. But there should be a final moment between the two Queens, given how long Sansa was held in Westeros’ capital, as an esteemed (and abused) “guest,” following her father’s execution. Sansa’s risen from the ashes to become the QUEEN INNA NORTH! and we’d absolutely die if these badasses got the chance to scowl at each other once again.
JORAH and LYANNA MORMONT
No, these two have never met on the show. You can thank Jorah being exiled to Essos for that. But given how Jorah was expelled from his home as a disgraced knight, and has now returned to the fold as one of Daenerys’ closest advisors, ready to protect the North from grave evils, it’d be awesome if he could meet his fiery first cousin, Lyanna, who’s now in charge of his old home, Bear Island. She might even be able to give him a bit of a family pardon now that his dad, former Night’s Watch Commander Jeor Mormont, is dead. Or she could just tell him to piss off. She can be pretty harsh.
JON SNOW and THE NIGHT KING
These two have glared at each other from across a battlefield a few times now, and as recently as last season’s “Beyond the Wall,” but if we’re talking Game of Thrones’ endgame here, these two need to finally clash and clang some swords. Especially since the prevailing theory is that killing the Night King will, in turn, deactivate all the White Walkers and wights scampering about. Kind of like wiping out the head vampire.
What reunions are you looking forward to the most? Or maybe there are even some characters who’ve never met before who you want to see interact for the first time? Let us know below…
Matt Fowler is a writer for IGN and a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow him on Twitter at @TheMattFowler and Facebook at Facebook.com/MattBFowler.