Sports The Thrones: Best sports moments from ‘Game of Thrones’ season eight premiere

Typically, when your job is to write about sports, you think about things that you’d like to write about and their impact on the sports world. Sometimes, it’s quite obvious. Other times, not so much.

Sometimes you’re even forced to wonder: “Is this even sports at all?” If the answer is yes…congratulations, there’s a good chance you can start writing about that thing. But if the answer is no…well then that’s more of a problem.

Some sportswriters may just concede that they won’t get to write about things that fall outside of the spectrum of sports. They’ll move on and find more sports-ier pastures.

However, others — like me — are more persistent and stubborn. If it’s not sports, then they find a way to make it sports. 

That brings us here: After a long, painstaking campaign, I have successfully convinced the powers that be here at CBS Sports that ‘Game of Thrones’ is sports, or at that I can at least make it sports enough. As such, we’ll be checking in every Monday during the final season of Thrones to rank the most impressive athletic achievements showcased during the previous night’s episode. 

With the much-anticipated season eight premiere airing on HBO this past weekend, it’s time to sports the thrones.

**SPOILERS AHEAD**

5. A romp with Cersei


HBO

One of the biggest developments of Sunday’s premiere was that Euron and Cersei are now getting physical, which is a commendable achievement — especially for someone not of Lannister blood — considering Cersei is the queen and rather selective about who is worth her time. But it is also a sign that Euron is probably as good as dead. (Doesn’t matter, had sex.) 

The jury is still out on how much athleticism was actually needed for this deed, but it’s probably a good bet that Euron isn’t lazy in that department. He seemed very concerned with outperforming “the fat king” (in other news, Euron is officially canceled for fat-shaming)  and he just seems like the kind of guy who’d be into some weird, physically demanding stuff. His idea of a first date probably involves hanging upside down from the bedroom ceiling while flexing in the nude. 

4. The Iron Archers

We finally got some good ol’ fashioned death and violence about halfway through the episode when Theon infiltrates Euron’s ship to free Yara. Cloaked by darkness, Theon and a few pals unleash hell on some of the soldiers standing guard, and they do so with some of the finest precision archery these eyes have ever seen. I’m talking headshots all over the place.

Distance kills may not require as much athleticism as hand-to-hand combat, but the shooting percentage shown here is no joke. Just an incredibly efficient outing from Theon, who picks up a clutch early-season save. 

Also, hello and goodbye to Mac from “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” who may have had the most short-lived (literally) cameo in show history.


HBO

3. Jon’s mental gymnastics


HBO

It finally happened! Sam went ahead and broke the news to Jon that he’s A) got a rightful claim to the Iron Throne, and B) been having sex with his aunt. Whoops. 

But somehow, Jon’s immediate reaction is to bypass both of these major developments and head straight to defending his late father, who wasn’t really his father, for being a pretty honorable guy. I mean, I’d imagine the news would be pretty tough to comprehend from any angle, but it sort of feels like he might be running laps around the important details here — namely, the whole having sex with your aunt thing.  

In any case, while it wasn’t a particularly grueling episode for Jon physically, his brain was thrown into a gauntlet and he showcased a wild display of mental gymnastics in this moment.

2. The wheelchair pusher


HBO

It felt like approximately two-thirds of the premiere revolved around Bran popping up in different locations around Winterfell so that he could creepily stare at folks and make them uneasy. Sounds about right, honestly, and he sure nailed the task. I don’t think this weirdo blinked once during the entire episode so shoutout to his eye strength. 

But it’s also worth revisiting the fact that Bran is confined to a wheelchair and usually gets around with the assistance of someone pushing him, which presumably means that some mystery person spent the entire first episode pushing Bran around from location-to-location and then quickly dipping out of scene before anyone could notice. That’s a task that requires a tremendous amount of strength and quickness, so this mystery Winterfell Wheelchair Uber driver deserves a ton of credit for being a capable team player. Also, shoutout to Winterfell for being hella handicap accessible. 

1. The Dragon Ride

Things are dire in the Seven Kingdoms right now. The undead have broken through the wall and everyone is rushing to get their affairs in order so that they can maximize their chances of surviving the Great War. A real hectic time to be alive. 

However, there was still plenty of time for Dany and Jon to take a field trip in which our guy Jon got to ride a dragon and make out with his aunt in front of a waterfall. Sounds like a good time but people are literally dying out there, guys. 

In any case, I suppose we should be impressed with Jon’s ability to mount a dragon and not get thrown to his death, which may serve as proof that he truly is a Targaryen. Then again, it really doesn’t look that hard. I bet I could do it. 

I’ve never ridden a dragon, but I’ve also never had sex with my aunt. So I guess we’ll call this one a wash.


Seven-Day injured list: Which characters had their fates take a big hit heading into next week’s episode?

  • Jaime Lannister: For a few reasons. The season eight premiere ends similarly to the way that the series’ very first episode concluded: With Bran catching Jaime off-guard and putting him in a pinch. The look ahead to next week’s episode suggests that Jaime may face some sort of trial before Sansa, Jon and Dany in Winterfell. But Jaime’s outlook also took a hit when Cersei offered Bronn a contract to take out both her brothers if they were to survive the war. Tough episode for the Kingslayer, but at least his beard is looking pretty good. 
  • Tyrion Lannister: That whole “please kill both my brothers” thing.

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