'Game of Thrones' Podcast: The Long Road Toward the Final Season Starts Here

Game of Thrones S01 Still - H 2016
Helen Sloan/HBO

Game of Thrones S01 Still - H 2016

Welcome to "Winter Was Here," a weekly Game of Thrones podcast series from The Hollywood Reporter and Post Show Recaps. Every week, hosts Rob Cesternino (of Survivor and Rob Has a Podcast fame) and THR's resident Westeros guru Josh Wigler (that's me!) will dive deep into the world of Thrones, one episode at a time. 

At the start of each podcast, Rob and Josh will start their discussion of the week's episode from a spoiler-free perspective, for anyone who is just now getting into the Game of Thrones grind. The vast majority of the podcasts, however, will focus on each episode from a spoiler-filled perspective, bringing context from seven seasons of Thrones to bear upon the show's past. 

With only six episodes remaining before the series' conclusion, what can Game of Thrones' past tell us about the show's future? That's what we're here to find out. Come along for the ride, and we'll find out together. 

Click the player below to listen to the first episode of "Winter Was Here," which provides an overview of Game of Thrones, and takes a spoiler-heavy view of the series premiere, "Winter is Coming."

Read on for some additional words of wind from Wigler — and warning, spoilers are very much ahead:

When it comes to Game of Thrones, first impressions can make a lasting impact.

A given character's first scene (or at least their first meaningful scene) often provides the road map for how that person's journey will end, at least within the context of the season. Case in point: Ned Stark (Sean Bean), removing a man's head in one of his very first scenes, foreshadowing his own exit from the stage via decapitation. See also: Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), first seen on Thrones in a scene that ends with her naked, shrouded in impossible heat. When we last see Dany in the first season, she's naked once again, and covered in heat once again, having just given life to three ancient dragons after spending the night in a massive fire. Most recently, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) killing the members of House Frey in the season seven premiere paved the way for a similar act of vengeance in the season seven finale.

As we start our look back on the entirety of Game of Thrones, then, it's worth taking this moment to stop down and account for all of the first impressions of the characters who are still very much in the game. What do their first scenes tell us about where they're going to wind up in their final scenes? Potentially, nothing at all. Potentially? Everything. 

Some examples:

• Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) is trying desperately to hit a target with an arrow. These days, as the Three-Eyed Raven, one assumes he'll play a major role in the great war against the Night King — and one assumes his aim will be truer than it was when he was a boy.

• Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is providing sound advice to Bran, trying to help him hit the right mark, all while weathering judgment from an onlooking Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley). The scene could suggest that Jon and Bran will end the war with each other's direct help, and that Jon's efforts could go unappreciated by those they benefit most.

• The Stark sisters Arya and Sansa (Sophie Turner) are first seen sewing together in Winterfell, with the elder sister receiving praise for her wonderful work. If there's any justice in the world, Sansa will end the series receiving even wider praise for her wonderful work as an authority figure in Winterfell. Arya, meanwhile, could end the series participating in a different kind of Needle work — hopefully with the blade still firmly in her hand.

• Returning to Daenerys, when we first meet her, she's getting ready to meet her new fiance. Could her story end with another marriage proposal — potentially even to Jon?

• Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) is first seen serving dutifully beside House Stark. In the season seven finale, he resolved that he is both Stark and Greyjoy. Theon's first scene could indicate that someday he will be similarly resolute in service to a greater cause, whether it's either of those houses or another organization entirely. (The Night's Watch, perhaps?)

• In their first scene of the series, Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his sweet sister Cersei (Lena Headey) are privately wondering if the secret about their incestuous relationship has reached King Robert (Mark Addy). Jaime dismisses the idea, saying they would both be dead if that was the case. Their first scene involves them discussing the possibility that their relationship could lead to their deaths — so it's worth wondering if their relationship really will end in that result, as prophecies seem to indicate.

• Somehow, it's hard to see how the first Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) scene, in which he gets drunk and has sex with a prostitute (The North remembers Ros), might be foreshadowing his final scene in the series. Hopefully, it just means the last time we see Tyrion, he's at his absolute happiest.

Keep checking THR.com/GameOfThrones to follow along with all of our podcasts, interviews, deep dives and more between now and the show's final season.