Happy Easter, team! Appropriately, Game of Thrones season 8 episode 2 named a Knight of the Seven Kingdoms was resurrected this week just like our risen Lord. With it came more reunions, more surprises and of course, more drama.
Let’s get to it. We left off last week with the golden hand [Jaime Lannister] himself arriving in Winterfell. The only issue is, certain ghosts [Bran] from his past A.K.A season one are waiting to haunt him in the courtyard just as he pulls up.
Next, we open to some sort of make-shift trial, the prosecution? Dany and the Starks flanking her left and right. Wasted no time cementing your seat at the high table there, huh Khaleesi? Anyway, the defendant: one Jaime Lannister. Daenerys goes for the kill and begins to recap the slights she’s suffered as a direct consequence of Jaime’s most [in]famous action, slaying the king. Said king being her father. Fair enough to be angry at something like that right? I mean seeing Samwell break down the way he did last week pretty much confirms losing family sucks.
Jaime comes to his own defense saying that all of them have made mistakes and he’s paid for his in one way or another; and at this point given the temperature of the room, I’m so ready for Bran to Rain Man it all over the place and blow Jaime up on the spot. However, he’s more subdued, opting for a timely and well-placed quip,
“The things we do for love.”
Iconic. With all the emotional capacity of a teaspoon, he hasn’t lost his sense of humor. There’s more tension between Daenerys and the other Lannisters closer in her circle, Tyrion to be exact. Whom he blames for the sudden but predictable bait and switch Cersei pulled. They’re not getting those reinforcements after all, and now they’re all aware. Just doesn’t seem like Tyrion can get much right in the eyes of the Queens of Westeros these days. The tension is cut thankfully by the ever faithful Brienne who vouches for him, reminding Sansa that he is the reason she is Lady of Winterfell at all. If it hadn’t been for Jaime with the assist for Catelyn in S3, Brienne would’ve never been commissioned to seek out Sansa at all.
Daenerys isn’t pleased with being undermined and made a fool of, so after a glare at Sansa (who will probably be the subject of many more of these I foresee), she storms off. Sidebar, there’s also some awkward tension between her and Jon. The latter avoiding her eye contact willfully even when she addresses him directly. Yeah, must be awkward having to look your aunt in the face after realizing you unknowingly bumped uglies. Fast forward to the forges and she-who-has-no-name is coming to collect. She wants her weapon, and who better than the hammer-wielding son of her daddy’s best friend to help out? Problem is he’s not quite finished, with her weapon or underestimating her talents. She reminds him, playing darts with some dragonglass as he gives her the low down on what to expect fighting white walkers.
Jaime and Bran have a long overdue chat where they rehash old wounds and ultimately let bygones be bygones. But of course, you can always count on Bran to bring an eerie sobering to any conversation. He says mysteriously: “How do you know there is an afterwards?” when Jaime speaks of what could happen after the war. Subtle. Real subtle.
Of course, funeral chit-chat is a hot topic on the castle grounds because next, we enter the Lannisters again, morbidly talking about death as if they’re discussing getting promoted over brunch. “Maybe after I’m dead I’ll march down to kings landing and rip her apart.” he says with a satisfied smile while Jaime walks away to stare in awe of his blonde bestie.
I’ve never seen such blatant #FORESHADOWING! I repeat. #FORESHADOWING in my entire life. Basically, this confirms that Tyrion may not be long for this world, and the possibility that his fate may be in the night king’s hands isn’t out of the question either.
Enter Braime, the clever portmanteau for Mr. King Slayer and the sapphire of Tarth. The chemistry is palpable and clearly, nothing’s really changed in the dynamic between them save for Jaime being less of a smart ass and a bit more grey than before. Speaking of dynamics, one SERIOUS transition is Jaime conceding that it would be his pleasure to fight under her command; if she’ll have him.
Cue the tears, cue the feels, cue the fireworks. And try to name a more iconic duo.
Jorah, also known as Dany’s conscience does Tyrion a solid and talks some sense into the mad queen. Yes, you heard me right. And thank goodness because life is unpredictable and Cersei, even more so. It would’ve been impossible for Tyrion to calculate every move his evil sister planned on making. Next, we enter Sansa in the libraries where Dany attempts to extend a sort of olive branch. Sansa is polite, less curt than before but it’s obvious she hasn’t let her guard down. After a little brown-nosing which does go a long way in politics, (pretty sure Sansa can read right through it though after spending copious amounts of time with Little Finger) she asks Sansa straight out why they’re at odds with one another. After scrutinizing Sansa’s mask, Dany correctly identifies the reason: Jon and Jon’s feelings for her. Sansa concedes that “men do stupid things for women, that they’re easily manipulated.”
Bumper sticker, bro.
Dany, well in ‘love’ decides this is her moment to check Sansa’s incorrect sentiments. She says she had a plan, she had a goal— until she met Jon. Now, she’s fighting his war so “who manipulated whom?” she asks.
I don’t know if the rest of you caught this but something akin to understanding, like comprehension dawning on Sansa’s face takes place and instantly she becomes more cordial. Laughs begin to start between the both of them. Alright, y’all spoiler. I think what happened here is Dany giving us a dead give away. Jon lowkey manipulated her and she’s too dickmatized to realize it. I wouldn’t go on this train of thought if it wasn’t for the first thing Sansa told him before he left in S7 x1. She tells her brother “You have to be smarter than father, you have to be smarter than Robb. They both made stupid mistakes and lost their heads for it.”
Maybe Jon’s “do you have any faith in me at all?” question last week was him trying to reassure her he’s got in under control and all is not what it seems?
We’ll see. Anyway, the conversation starts to go swimmingly until Sansa starts asking the hard questions, like after the battle what happens to Winterfell. Sansa’s been holding it down while Jon’s been away playing capture the white walker. They just got their home back and she isn’t about to give it away to someone who feels entitled to it just because their crazy father was King. This is where the cordiality ends. Dany’s authority is once again being questioned and she does NOT like that. She removes her hand from Sansa’s, breaking the faux-sisterly vibes but before the audience gets an answer, someone comes in and interrupts. Now let me put this out there and say when you see camera work like that, an interruption at a critical moment of reveal, it’s so that a character can be kept in the dark. When the opposite happens, like the scene cutting out– it’s so that the audience can be kept in the dark.
Just keep that in mind.
Anyway, the interruption was for good reason because the one and only Reek, I mean Theon has returned! Probably smelling a bit better, thank the gods. He’s seeking redemption and addresses both women with respect, but it’s Sansa he asks to receive him and his services. “If she’ll have him”. The reunion is sweet, very reminiscent of when Jon and Sansa reunited at the beginning of season 6. Two people who’ve suffered massive amounts of trauma reuniting finally.
Ser Onion Knight [OG Davos], while feeding the camp comes across a girl who reminds him of the dearly departed Shireen. She even has a bit of a blemish that looks uncannily like the greyscale the former suffered from. The scene is brief but it’s obvious how much he still misses her.
Now the good stuff comes, more reunions! The Eastwatch gang returns alive and well (but for how long?) Beric, Edd, and Tormund who assaults Jon with a gargantuan bear hug. The former asking “if the big woman is still here”. Nice to see some consistency from someone at least, lol. Unfortunately, the good times last for about a second before the ominous news hits, they only have until the sun comes up the next day before the dead arrive. Better get to work. A war council convenes and the begin to go over battle plans. Gathered around a table are the more important members of the camp. Jon at the head, Sansa at his side and Arya to the other with Bran at the back. Old boy is flanked by the Starks. Dany seems to have taken Ser Jorah of House Friendzone’s advice and is being a bit nicer to her hand, Tyrion. When speaking about the Night King, Bran drops a bomb and says that the icy monarch will come for him since he’s basically the world’s hard drive. He wants them to use him as bait. Theon speaks up and says that he’ll serve as bodyguard (yeah, I don’t see this ending well) but ultimately everyone agrees and Jon once again with a brief ‘your grace’ splits before giving his auntie any eye contact. Ouch.
At the top of the battlements, the old heads of Castle Black are together. Edd, Sam, and Jon. Jon doesn’t want to talk about the situation with Daenerys and I mean, I get it. Super Awkward. Good thing is, I was wearing my glasses and peeped Ghost at the back! AYYEEEE! A little bit like playing where’s Waldo but I guess the showrunners decided to sacrifice a little bit of the CGI budget.
Some of the best, funniest and most heartwarming moments come after. The gang i.e Jaime, Tyrion heavily tipsy on wine (my kind of guy, if the apocalypse were coming, I’d find all the legal mind-numbing agents to help me on the way out.) Brienne, Podric, Davos and Tormund all sit around a fire. This is when we find out just why Tormund is as grizzly as he is. Poor guy will not give up his flex to impress Brienne. Turns out he was suckled by a giantess for three months. Giving a new meaning to muscle milk, for real. He reenacts the scene by guzzling down his own fermented concoction from a goats horn. We cut to one of the other more significant scenes in the series, a very coming of age moment if you will. Arya and Gendry get it on. Arya decides that if she’s set to die tomorrow, she wants to know what it’s like. What it’s like to get it in. She resolves that Gendry’s hammer will suffice (pun totally intended.) Love is still in the air by the fires with the rest of the crew when talk of knights and titles and accomplishments come up. Brienne’s title comes into question and Jaime decided this is the perfect time to make the whole 11 million of us here in the US shed several tears. He KNIGHTS BRIENNE right then and there with the cosign of Tormund. Girls, get you a man who supports you as Tormund does. He starts off the standing ovation the minute she rises. Not intimidated by her new status, just proud AF his boo thang is happy. Last but not least, the big reveal. We’re down in the crypts where we enter Jon. After doing his very best the entire episode to avoid Khaleesi, it’s her who has to seek him out. He’s standing in front of the statue of his mother, Lyanna Stark. Dany muses about her brother, Rhaegar, and how she can’t reconcile the good man from the stories with someone who could be capable of rape.
“He didn’t,” Jon says, and then the word vomit comes. He tells her how Rhaegar and Lyanna were wed in secret, and how after Robert’s rebellion was successful and Rhaegar dead, Lyanna made her brother Ned swear to raise their kid as his own bastard in order to protect him from Robert’s wrath.
“My name is Aegon Targaryen.”
Of course, denial is a stage of grief I suppose. Dany doesn’t believe him. She finds the story a little too fantastic and even more, too convenient. After all, it’s his brother and best friend who came to him with this revelation. And the worst part? Aside from the fact that she’s been f**king her nephew? This new status would give him an even stronger claim to the throne than her.
Sigh, now let’s break this down. I am absolutely in no way shape or form surprised she didn’t take the news well. Her only claim to the throne is by blood. She was raised a Targaryen, but she was raised in Essos. She’s a foreigner to Westeros, and her only interest in the Seven Kingdoms is to rule them after staring at them from afar her whole life. Now, Jon’s claim is stronger than hers. She should be happy for him, happy to have a family. Happy to know she’s not the only Targaryen in the world. She should, for lack of a better saying, bend the f***ing knee.
But Dany, as we’ve seen for a while, doesn’t always do what’s agreeable. Especially if it’s in conflict to her own agenda. All her worst instincts have been displayed over and over–even more so in the last two episodes. They are only momentarily quelled by her advisers who are also in fear that she’ll succumb to them. She’s been ready to fire Tyrion for his one screw-up (which she backed) and now her first instinct with Jon is to disbelieve him and then get defensive over his superior claim to the Iron Throne. The most blatant way to put it? She’s power-hungry. Power makes her feel special. Her pride which is bordering on Luciferian is only fueling said hunger in the worst of ways. Jaime questions Tyrion on the matter, wondering aloud if she’s really so different from other Targaryens. Tyrion seems to think so.
With the way the showrunners are playing things out, I’m not so sure.
Aegon [Jon] and Dany don’t have time to get into a big thing about it, or for Jon to tell her he has absolutely no interest in running the continent. Why? because the horns blow. Warning horns.
Death is here.
Overall, this was just another episode giving us build up before the real war begins. Sh*t’s gonna hit the fam, team. Take a peek below at what next weeks 82-minute long episode has in store for us. And have a box of kleenex handy too because, well, Valar Moghulis.
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