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Small Game of Thrones details you missed in the final season

Game of Thrones fans have long since learned that they need to be constantly on high alert while watching — breaking down and dissecting every episode, looking for Easter eggs, callbacks, or clues as to how the show might end, whether the heroes will defeat the incoming threat of the White Walkers, and who, if anyone, might sit on the Iron Throne once all is said and done. The showrunners are equally aware of just how dense their series is, and are constantly laying tracks for fans to follow — and obsess over after finishing each episode.

Whether you're a diehard Thrones fan or a relatively casual viewer, it's still pretty fun to hunt for any clues you can find from episode to episode, and the eighth and final season will surely be no exception. Keep track of them all right here with this look at all the small Game of Thrones details you missed in the last batch of episodes.

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New opening credits

One of the most unexpected moments of the eighth season premiere actually came in the show's intro, which features an entirely new credits sequence — though the theme song is the same, the 3D map animation has changed from the previous seven seasons, and though there were small changes from season to season, this is basically a full overhaul which offers plenty of Easter eggs.

First of all, the credits remind us that the Wall has been breached as it soars directly through the hole that Viserion — Daenerys' dragon who was turned into an undead ice dragon by the Night King at the end of the last season — and small tiles on the ground seem to indicate the White Walkers' progress throughout Westeros. The introduction has also added Last Hearth, an abandoned Northern castle formerly home to the Umber family, which was loyal to the Starks and has since been ravaged by the Walkers. There's still more to be found in these credits – images displayed on swords include past events like the Boltons and Lannisters teaming up to overcome the Starks — representing the Red Wedding — as well as an image of three dragons looking at a comet, which represents the Red Comet, said to fall when dragons appear.

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The Northerners will be hard to crack

One of the first lines spoken in the episode is from Jon (Kit Harington) to Daenerys when, as they pass by several clearly disapproving Northerners, he tells her that they don't readily trust Southerners — clearly evident when it comes to Sansa (Sophie Turner), Jon's sister and the current Lady of Winterfell, who looks skeptical at best when faced with this new Dragon Queen. Daenerys doesn't exactly ingratiate herself with the Northerners throughout the episode, as they struggle to accept and remain hesitant to trust her, despite Jon's assurances.

There's plenty of foreshadowing here about how Daenerys and Jon will fare in the North once people learn more about their chosen king — not only was Jon Snow actually born in Dorne, but he's a highborn (and Southern) heir to the Iron Throne, making him a total outsider even though he seems like a Northerner through and through. Daenerys was always going to face opposition, but if Jon's people learn the truth about his parentage, they might ultimately turn on the King in the North instead (and, well, it wouldn't be the first time).

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Cersei's back on the juice

Last season, it seemed as if Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) had something to live for again — after losing all three of her children to everything from poison to suicide, she finally pregnant again, even if it was with her twin brother Jaime's (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) baby. With both Tyrion and Jaime in the know, it seemed like Cersei cared about someone other than herself once again — which, incest aside, was oddly comforting for many Thrones fans who were worried Cersei would go full sociopath.

However, in the season eight premiere, after refusing a glass of her favorite vice back in season 7, Cersei is comfortably sipping wine once again after her first night with Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk), and she looks visibly discomfited when Euron tells her he'll put a "prince in her belly," seeming almost tearful as he walks away. If Cersei was telling the truth about her pregnancy in the first place, it's possible something tragic has happened to the baby since audiences last saw her, but knowing Cersei, the more likely option is that she made the pregnancy up to try and convince her brothers to side with her. Either way, Cersei's glass of wine seems awfully significant, considering how heavily she usually hits the bottle.

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That crossbow sure looks familiar

When Qyburn (Anton Lesser) interrupts Bronn (Jerome Flynn) at the brothel on behalf of the queen, viewers know it can only be for something pretty evil; naturally, Cersei's own personal Dr. Frankenstein doesn't disappoint. Ever since Cersei's brothers Jaime and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) turned on her, she's sought revenge, and she and Qyburn think Bronn might be the man for the job — but audiences might want to take a second look at the weapon Qyburn gives Bronn after passing Cersei's wishes along.

The crossbow looks incredibly familiar, and that's because it is; among other uses, this is the weapon that Tyrion used to kill his father Tywin (Charles Dance) at the end of the show's fourth season. Qyburn even tells Bron that "[Cersei] has a keen sense of poetic justice," which seems like quite the understatement. It remains to be seen whether Bronn, who is always looking out for himself, will turn on not one, but two of his former allies and close friends for his own benefit.

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Inching toward the truth about Jon Snow

The truth about Jon Snow's parentage — that he isn't a Stark bastard at all, but the child of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, whose secret but legal marriage makes him the true heir to the Iron Throne — is revealed to Jon at the end of the season's first episode, but there are plenty of clues leading up to it that only the most diehard fans might have noticed.

There are plenty of seemingly offhand comments about who Jon really "is" or has "become," including an accusation from young Lyanna Mormont (a formidable Lady of a Northern house, and named for Jon's real mother) that Jon left Winterfell as a King and that she isn't sure what he "is now," but the biggest precursor to Jon's big reveal is his ride atop a dragon. Only Targaryens can ride dragons, and Jon rides an especially significant one — while Daenerys takes her place atop Drogon, Jon is left to mount Rhaegal, named for his father. Finally, when Sam tells Jon about his real heritage, the two are right in front of Ned Stark's (Sean Bean) statue in Winterfell's crypts; the last time Jon saw Ned, the latter promised to tell Jon the truth about his mother, so it's particularly fitting that he finds out with Ned by his side.

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Spiral patterns from the Walkers

When audiences finally get to check in on Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) and Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer), they're tracking the destruction that the White Walkers have left in their wake as the Walkers and their wights have traveled beyond the Wall, and they find a pretty disturbing message left by the Night King — the young Ned Umber, turned into a wight and pinned to a wall amidst severed limbs, who provides the first episode's best jump scare when he reawakens and has to be set aflame. One of the most distressing images in the series' recent memory, Umber's dead body is the center of a spiral pattern made up of body parts — and it isn't the first time audiences have seen this pattern.

The White Walkers have long been associated with spirals and circles, from arranging the body parts of their victims to their sacred place in the North where they turn babies into White Walkers and the cave drawings that Jon showed Daenerys in the seventh season. Perhaps most crucially, the spirals can be seen in the scene that showed the Children of the Forest creating the first Walker, suggesting that these shapes have more to do with the lore of the Walkers than viewers fully understand.