This week viewers are treated once again to the calm before the storm in Game of Thrones, Season 8, Episode 2, ‘A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms’. With the greatest battle in the history of television looming next week, or so the creators are claiming, every able-bodied character that has survived these last eight seasons is hunkered down in Winterfell awaiting the Night King and his undead army to arrive.
The episode begins with Jaime standing before Daenerys, Sansa, Jon and Bran, pleading his case to stay and help fight. Far from his arrogant, shiny self, he is humbled now. He’s cut to the core when Bran utters that famous phrase “The things we do for love”, allowing Jaime to know that Bran knows what he did all those years ago. Later at the godswood they have a more in-depth conversation where Bran confesses to not hold any ill will against Jaime since he is no longer Bran and has sunk deeply and completely into the creepiness of the three-eyed raven.
Jaime and Brienne also share some delicious screen time together, first when she stands up and vouches for him with a sceptical Sansa and Daenerys deciding his fate, and later when he approaches her and confesses that he would very much like to fight under her. And finally, with Podrick singing in the background, Jaime with the urging of Tormund to “fuck tradition”, knights a teary-eyed, golden-haired Lady for the first time… ever! Arise Ser Brienne of Tarth, a knight of the seven kingdoms!
Sansa and Daenerys keep trying hard to find a middle ground since they both are fighting on the same side. However, Sansa is not mincing her words when she wonders to Dani what will happen if they do end up surviving and the North has decided to bow to no one. So, it looks like they are just agreeing to disagree at this point. If the North does not bow down and Dani begins to turn her dragons to more Starks that won’t bend the knee, she might prove that she truly is not that far off from the crazed actions of her father.
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Arya visits Gendry in the smith shop to check on the status of the weapon she commissioned, yet the way she looks at him it appears she is looking for something else. And while most viewers have been hoping for this pairing, there were no proclamations of love and fidelity, instead it kept true to Arya’s character whose only goal in life has been far from just being someone else’s Lady. She was just looking for someone to help her cross ‘lose virginity’ off her to-do list, and Gendry was more than willing to oblige her. It is adorable how completely smitten he is with all her un-lady-like behaviours, and delivers her a dragonglass spear along with the end to her childhood – so to speak.
Plenty of awkward moments between Jon and Dani this episode since he now knows his true lineage but is obviously a little bit hesitant about how to bring up that he now holds a much bigger claim to the iron throne than his new girlfriend. He mostly avoids her all episode, which causes her to have some very puzzled and hurt looks until they meet up at the crypt at the very end. He finally confesses his lineage and Dani gets that crazy Targaryen eye going but it is all interrupted because the horn sounds and it is time to die anyway so what does it matter that Jon is Aegon Targaryen?
Accordingly, next week we will see if Bran’s plan to lure the Night King to him will actually work. With Theon and the Ironborne guarding him, the quick end will be shoving a nice piece of dragonglass through the leader of the undead and then cue the shattering of his 100+ thousand dead army in an instant. Unfortunately, with next week’s episode bragging that it will contain a battle longer than any ever seen on the screen before, it appears it will not be as simple as that.
And for all the fans complaining that the last two episodes have been uneventful, pandering filler, after next week’s battle and the death that is coming those viewers will be clutching to these two episodes like a child clinging to a stuffed animal reminiscing all their favourite characters, now dead.