Reviews Television

GAME OF THRONES: ‘A Knight of Seven Kingdoms’ – Truth, Dragonglass, & Wine

Keli recaps and reviews the second episode of Game of Thrones’ final season: A Knight of Seven Kingdoms.

The final season of Game of Thrones continued on Sunday with the second out of the six episodes that will close out the most dense and popular show on television.

While the bulk of Sunday night’s episode being devoted to showing Winterfell’s preparation for the war to come, a big moment arrived at the very end.

Season 8, Episode 2, ‘A Knight of Seven Kingdoms’

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

The episode begins with Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) standing across from Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Jon Snow (Kit Harrington), and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), seated at the table in The Great Hall. Put up on trial, Jaime is clearly worried about the Queen’s words and is ultimately struck when she states: “When I was a child, my brother would tell me a bedtime story about the man who murdered our father.” Based on his close encounters with Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, Dany and Sansa start to list the reasons why they shouldn’t trust Jaime – one of them being that he was once part of a rebellion that overthrew the Targaryens.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Faced with an abundance of charges, Jaime announces to Sansa and Dany that his sister has lied about sending an army to the north and that he’s pledged to fight on the side of living, despite his troublesome past. As well as defending himself, he says that he was acting in the name of his family. At that, Bran hits him with a one-liner: “The things we do for love.” (a phrase that Jaime uttered when he pushed Bran out of the Winterfell tower in season one), which immediately made the Lannisters’ face drop.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Following through, Jaime adds that he’s here because “This goes beyond loyalty“, and that “It’s about survival” to which Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) comes to his defense, telling everyone that he lost his hand while defending her, revealing that he had sworn an oath to her late mother, telling Sansa that she vouches for him and would fight beside him. Trusting her life with Brienne, Sansa declares that Jaime should stay; causing Daenerys to, yet again, give Sansa a displeasing look. Asking what Jon thinks, he replies that they need every man that they can get, so Dany agrees to let him stay, telling Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) to give the Lannister his sword back.

Capture
Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Furious about the outcome of the interrogation, Daenerys lets out her rage onto Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), her Hand of the Queen: “Either you knew Cersei was lying, and let me believe otherwise; or you didn’t know at all – which makes you either a traitor or a fool.” Replying that he was fool, Daenerys tells him that she’ll find a new Hand who can help take back the Iron Throne if he can’t. Leaving in a pit of rage, Tyrion tells Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) and Varys (Conleth Hill) that either of them might be wearing the new Hand pin before long.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Arya (Maisie Williams) goes to visit Gendry (Joe Dempsie), who is looking all hot and bothered, to get an update on her weapon – but he hasn’t started it yet. Picking up the previously made dragonglass axe, she makes a remark, “You should make mine first, and make sure it’s stronger than this.” Taking the weapon out of her grasp, Gendry slams it hard on a wooden stool and says with exasperated breath, “It’s strong enough.

Sharing a quick smile, Arya moves the conversation onward and asks her old friend what it was like to fight the White Walkers, to which he replies that it was like fighting death itself. Telling him how she knows death has many faces, Arya declares that she’ll look forward to seeing that one, and impresses him by throwing three knives into the same spot in a wall, just before demanding her weapon to be prepared soon – to which he promises that he’ll get on it right away.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Outside of Winterfell, next to the Weirwood Tree, Jaime Lannister apologizes to Bran for pushing him out of the tower, “I’m sorry for what I did to you,” to which Bran replies, “You weren’t sorry then.”Holding no ill will for what Jaime did to him, he transcends any personal vendetta he felt towards Jaime, to a gentle dragging. When Bran says “The things we do for love,” in the first scene of this episode, it’s his way of telling Jaime that he hasn’t forgotten what Jaime is capable of doing. However, as we later see on in this installment, Bran, because he’s now the Three-Eyed Raven, knows the importance of his encounter with Jaime (whether it was for the better or for the worse): and points out to Jaime that he would never even have become the Three-Eyed Raven if it weren’t for what Jaime had done. It also points out how he understands the importance that Jaime is to defeating the Night King, and how a dead Jaime Lannister isn’t going to do anyone good but the White Walker army. It’s a conversation that takes Jaime by surprise, but he starts to ponder on whether he’ll still forgive him once the fight is over, to which Bran cryptically adds, “How do you know there is an afterwards? – leaving Jaime to reform the same shocked expression from the previous episode.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Leaving his conversation at Weirwood Tree with an alarm, Jaime reunites again with Tyrion, as some Winterfell soldiers spit on them. Asking them how they feel about their new queen, Tyrion quickly interjects his brother saying that the North will soon come around when they realize how different she is.

Moving the question around to their depraved sister, Tyrion asks Jaime if Cersei having the baby was a lie, but he tells his brother that “No, that part is real.” When Jaime announces that Cersei has fooled him more than anyone, Tyrion adds that Jaime had always knew who she really was but he still  loved her anyway. Walking up to the top of the castle, he remarks to his brother how disappointed he is to die in Winterfell, though quickly lightens up when he realizes that Cersei won’t get to kill him. Expecting some type of comment, silence rings in the air instead. Turning around, Tyrion realizes that Jaime has trailed off to watch Brienne of Tarth from afar. 

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Jaime arrives beside Brienne, as she watches Prodrick (Daniel Portman) train another solider, showing much improvement over the past couple years; with even Jaime stating that, “He’s come along way,” to which Brienne adds that “He’s alright. Still got a lot to learn.” Showing a moderate interest in Brienne’s commandment of the left flag, she asks what’s really going on, since the pair have never shared a conversation that long without him insulting her. “You want me to insult you?” Jaime seems confused by the intention that Brienne is forwarding with this statement, but replies that she doesn’t, to which Jaime immediately adds, “Good.” It’s silent between them for a moment, until Jaime takes a deep breath and announces that he’s only come to Winterfell because he’s not the fighter he used to be – ” but I’d be honored to serve under your command, if you’ll have me.” Clearly moved, Brienne contemplates this as she tells him that she has to get back and move on; leaving Jaime to daze after her with hope.

The story of Brienne and Jaime started, as most Game of Thrones stories did, on the road in season two. With Jaime formatting an awful, arrogant, and cruel character, Brienne was presented as a proud, and prejudiced woman with armor and a sword. On a journey together, the pair grew to grudgingly respect each other, and as well as coming to each other’s defense more than once, Brienne’s fixed idea of honor slowly drew Jaime Lannister back to the hopeful and wise knight he was long ago. Since the bath at Harrenhal, Jaime – wounded and at rock bottom – confessed the truth of his most infamous act and Brienne, with choice, accepted him. She literally held him in her arms at his most vulnerable moment, so the anticipation of a reunion had been fizzing up among fans since the last episode of season seven when they saw each other in Kings Landing’s dragon pit.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Jorah Mormont visits his Khaleesi, telling her that it broke his heart that she named Tyrion the Hand of the Queen, rather than him, but he understands why. Daenerys, not under the impression that Jorah liked Tyrion at all, is startled when he advises her to forgive the man who took his position, with one other suggestion: to make peace with Lady Sansa.

When Daenerys comes to see Lady Sansa, while she’s in a meeting with Yohn Royce (Rupert Vanisittart), she states that she thought they were on the verge of agreement in regards to Jaime. Admitting that she never should of trusted Cersei, Sansa responds that she shouldn’t have either, but Daenerys manages to find a common ground since they are both strong female leaders who rule in spite of what men want.

Sansa then shifts the conversation to Jon saying, “He loves you, you know that,” and stating that she doesn’t think Jon is acting in his best interests, she adds, “Men do stupid things for women.” Bringing up a valid point, Dany mentions that her main goal for her entire life has been to take back the Iron Throne, from the men who took it away from her rightful family. Stating that she’s on the other side of the world fighting Jon’s war, she says Jon is only the second man she’s loved, leaving Sansa to ask who the first was, to which Dany jokes and says “Someone taller,” referring to Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa).

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

I’m here because I love your brother and I trust him and I know he’s true to his word,” Daenerys tells Sansa, but the built of connection that they returned towards each other is split when the Lady of the North asks one of the most important questions of the entire season: “And what happens afterwards? We defeat the dead, we destroy Cersei. What happens then…What about the North?

Not liking this question one bit, Dany removes her hand that was placed atop of Sansa’s, bearing an expression that Sansa shouldn’t have asked that question at all. Since the moment Targaryen met Jon Snow at Dragonstone, she has always believed that she is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne; and she will win it, one way or another. And if fighting the White Walkers is just a detour on her way to killing Cersei and completely obtain power over Westeros – then the North is included in that.

Sansa has always been fiercely protective over the North’s independence, so Dany refusing to let one of the Seven Kingdoms fall from her grasp, isn’t exactly settling well with her. Already chipping away at Targaryens authority, her thoughts about the Mother of Dragons are made abundantly clear when she talks about Winterfell – and even going forward with the case of granting clemency to Jaime Lannister after Brienne vouched for him, to which Dany went against. Making no moves to take more power for herself, Sansa is instead portrayed with loyalties that are crystal clear once again. She wants the Starks to rule over the North and no one else.

Theon and Sansa
Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Before the tension gets worse, Daenerys and Sansa get word of another arrival – Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen). Reunions have been a major feature throughout the final season of Game of Thrones, as the main characters gather together for an epic battle against the undead. But the reunion between Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy was exceptionally emotional. “I want to fight for Winterfell, Lady Sansa. If you’ll have me,” Theon says, which leaves Sansa visibly in tears as she rushes up and embraces him.

Over the past couple of seasons we’ve seen Sansa reunite with her long-lost siblings Arya, Jon, and Bran, not shedding a single tear, but her reunion with Theon gathered a more dramatic impact because of their shared past. Starting in season two when Theon first betrayed Sansa’s brother Robb, seizing Winterfell under his father’s influence. Spending parts of season four, five, and six under the name “Reek”, being tortured and brutalized by Ramsay Bolton, he was a broken man; meek and passive, and unwilling or unable to do anything when Ramsay raped Sansa right in front of him. Working hard to remind Theon of his original identity as Theon Greyjoy, Sansa recruited him to help her escape the Boltons for good.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

During a mass of dark times, Sansa was seen as resourceful and resilient; not giving up in situation that redeemed in being hopeless. Forgiving Theon for pretending to kill her two younger brothers in the past and for telling Ramsay of her plans to escape and unfold events of her own, her own willingness to forgive him came from a place of desperation. When Theon rewarded her kindness by finding the courage at the end of season five to flee from the Boltons with her, the pair became the closest that they had ever been.

Theon’s return to Winterfell in Sunday’s episode was the latest step in embellishing the courage of his judgments after Ramsay’s torture tore him down. The last time Sansa and Theon saw each other was during season six when Sansa attempted to convince him to head to Castle Black in order to find Jon and protect themselves from Ramsay. It was clear at this point in their conversation that she was grateful for the way that he’d saved her from Bolton, and even though Theon made horrible mistakes, including killing two farm boys and burning their corpses to resemble Sansa’s brothers Rickon and Bran Stark, – Sansa was willing to look past all of that.

theon
Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Reuniting with Sansa demonstrated his renewed loyalty to the Starks, but also showed how he’s trying to value himself as a person, which Sansa found the most touching after seeing him broken for so many years – and after enrolling on the same emotional journey back from the abuse herself. Instead of staying with his sister Yara to reclaim the Iron Islands, he chose to find Sansa and fight. Spending most of his childhood in Winterfell as a hostage, Theon’s return suggests he views House Stark’s keep as his true home, rather than his home across the sea. Sansa’s emotional response to seeing him again also recollected the fear and suspicion that he might’ve been captured by Ramsay again or killed by his own people.

Their reunion was so powerful because seeing Lady Stark’s face bear a sign of relief at seeing Theon alive, and the fact that he found his way back from their shared trauma, is beautiful. Given that the war against the undead is to take a troublesome fall at one point in the next episode, we are positive that Theon’s dedication and courage to Sansa and to fight won’t be taken down lightly.

Seaworth
Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

In the next scene, Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) is serving food to the Winterfell men, who tell him they’re not soliders, something Seaworth knows a lot about. Telling the men that they can get through the night, he adds that that they can get through anything. Lasting only a few minutes, the scene captures Davos’ gracious heart and his ongoing belief in battling the best through the worst.

After the men leave, a young girl approaches Davos’ station holding out a bowl and asks him which way she should go, stating that she wants to fight too because both of her brothers are soldiers, and she feels her place is on the battlefield as well. With her appearance last seen in season seven, Gilly (Hannah Murray) walks towards the young girl and tells her that she’d feel much better if the little girl would help defend the Crypt with her and her child – though its cut off short as the alarm sounds ring just when Davos and Gilly share a look with each other.

Tormund & others
Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Coming out to the sound of the alarm, Jon Snow finds Dolorous Edd (Ben Crompton), Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) and Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer), and the remaining Wildlings and Night’s Watchmen who survived the destruction of the Wall, at Winterfell’s entrance. They tell Jon that whoever is not in Winterfell, is with Dead, and state that the legion of the dead beat them to Last Hearth, wiping out House Umber in the process. Warning Jon that the White Walkers will arrive at the castle before the sun comes up the next day, Tormund, however,  beams with his main question: “Is the big woman still here?“, referring to Brienne.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Hopelessly outnumbered, Jon gathers a collective of leaders and tells them that the plan is simply not to battle the White Walkers until one side wins, but to target the Night King. As we learned last season, Wights are controlled by White Walkers, who in turn are controlled by their leader – the Night King. Take out a White Walker and all of the Wights under its command are killed as well, so in theory, destroying the Night King will erase every Wight and White Walker moving on Winterfell. “Our enemy doesn’t tire. Doesn’t stop. Doesn’t feel,” Jon says, indicating that this will not be a typical fight; and that their plan is the only element of winning the battle.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

When Jon mentions that their goal is to get to the Night King during battle, Jaime states that he doesn’t think the Night King will ever expose himself, to which Bran interjects saying, “Yes he will. He’ll come for me. He’s tried before many times with many Three-Eyed Ravens.” Explaining that the Night King wants an endless night and to erase the memories of the living, Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) points out that death is just a term of “forgetting, or being forgotten.” Mentioning to the group that if they forget where they’ve been or what they’ve done, then they’re not men anymore; just animals.

Turning to Bran he says, “You’re memories don’t come from books; you’re stories aren’t just stories. If I wanted to erase the world of man I’d start with you.” The air ringing with just the sound of flames cackling, Tyrion asks, “How will he find you?“, to which Bran reveals that the Night King always knows where he is because of the mark on his skin. After hearing this, Jon tells his brother that Bran will stay in the Crypt, where he’ll be safest, but Bran declares that he wants to lure the Night King out into the open and wait for him in the godswood. Theon then chimes in saying that he’ll stay with Bran and defend him, stating, “I took this castle from you. Let me defend you now“, to which the Three-Eyed Raven nods with approval.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Davos Seaworth adds that he’ll hold back the rest of the army when the time comes, to which Tyrion announces that when the time does arrive, Davos and himself will be on the walls to give them the signal to light the trench. Daenerys, confused why Tyrion has to be with Davos to wave a single torch, tells her Hand that he is to stay in the Crypt during the battle. Stating that he has fought before and wants to do it again, Daenerys tells Tyrion, “You’re here because of your mind. If we survive, I’ll need it.” Obeying his Queen’s orders, he nods his head with approval – but the look on his face tells us otherwise.

With the scene coming to an end, Tormund decides to ruin the mood by saying, “We’re all going to die. At least we’ll die together“, to which he smiles directly at Brienne, only to get a disgusted look back in return. When everyone eventually walks out, Bran and Tyrion are the only ones left. Telling Bran that he’s had a strange journey, Bran replies that it’s “stranger than most” – to which Tyrion pulls out a chair and says that he wants to hear about it. Adding that it’s a long story, Tyrion replies with a sarcastic comment: “If only we were stuck in a castle, in the middle of winter, with nowhere to go.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Outside of Winterfell, Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) tries to interact with some young Northern children, but they run away, just as Grey Worm comes and finds her. Worried that there will be no place for them once the Queen wins the war, Grey Worm asks Missandei if she wants to grow old in Winterfell, or if she wants to venture into destinations that she’d like to see. With a smile, she replies, “Naath. I’d like to see the beaches again.” Grinning back, Grey Worm tells Missandei that he will take her there, as well as bringing his unsullied warriors to protect them on their journey, once the war is over.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

At night, Samwell asks Jon if he’s told Daenerys about his true heritage yet, but he hasn’t. Moving the conversation onto the battle, Jon tells Sam that he can join Gilly and Little Sam in the Crypt, but this annoys Sam a great deal. Reminding Jon that he was the first man to ever kill a White Walker, Sam announces that he is fully capable of fighting – with Edd joking that if Samwell Tarly is a fighter and a lover, then its a sign that the world is about to end. With a quick laugh, Samwell starts recollecting memories of the past Night’s Watch: “Think back to when we started. Us, Grenn, Pypar“, to which Jon replies that “It’s just us three,” Edd finishing off stating, “Last man left, burn the rest of us.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Back in a fire-lit hall, Tyrion is drinking with Jaime and telling his brother that he wishes his father was here, knowing that his two sons were about to die defending Winterfell. Chuckling at the thought, Jaime replies that, “It would be something to see.” Looking around the room, Tyrion recounts the first time saw the hall – telling his brother, “You were a golden lion, I was a drunken whore-monger. It was all so simple.” Shaking his head, Jaime replies, “It wasn’t so simple. I was sleeping with my sister and you had one friend in the world – who was sleeping with his sister.” Adding that he was speaking in relative terms, Tyrion starts to drink his wine again until Jaime asks, “Did you miss it?“, to which Tyrion immediately answers, with frustration, “Of course I missed it.“Declaring that his Golden Lion days are done but his brother’s whore-mongering days can still continue, Tyrion announces that they are finished, hinting that he really has changed.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Interrupted by Brienne and Podrick, who are looking for a place to get warm, when they’re joined by Davos and Tormund, who continues to flirt with Brienne. When Tyrion offers Tormund a drink, he holds up an enormous elephant horn and says, “I’ve brought my own.” This immediately prompts Tormund to launch unsolicited into a story about the time he killed a giant when he was ten. “Then I climbed right into bed with his wife,” he said, “Suckled me at her teat for three months. Thought I was her baby. That’s how I got so strong – giant’s milk.” Tormund, expecting everyone to be aghast, proceeds to enthusiastically chug the content of his horn, spilling half of it over his beard. With confused looks around the room, Brienne is unimpressed, and Davos relents and grabs a drink for himself.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Wandering around Winterfell, Arya comes across The Hound (Rory McCann), who hands her a flask as she sits down next to him, silent, as The Hound mentions, “You never used to shut up, now you’re just sitting there like a mute.” With silence still in the air, Arya replies, “Guess I’ve changed.

Giving her the side-eye, Arya asks when the last time he fought for anyone but himself, to which he says he fought for her – just when Beric shows up, causing The Hound to remark with, “Oh for fuck’s sake. May as well be at a bloody wedding!” Warning Beric to dispense with the sermon about the Lord of Light, saying he’ll throw him over the wall, Arya gets up to leave, saying she’s not spending her final hours with, “you two miserable, old shits.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Arya goes to practice her archery skills when Gendry finds her with the special weapon she requested, to which she grins and says, “This will work.” Admiring her weapon around the room, Arya asks what the “red woman” wanted with him all those years ago, to which he explains the strange situation, how she wanted his blood for a spell because he’s the bastard son of Robert Baratheon.

Struck with shock, Arya carries on and asks if that was his first time with a woman, which makes Gendry uncomfortable, as she presses him on how many women he’s been with – to which he replies that he doesn’t keep count – but presses further until he tells her three. Knowing that her life could be ending very soon, Arya tells Gendry, “I want to know what it’s like before that happens,” before kissing him, and stripping each other down. Pushing Gendry onto a pile of sacks, he sees her scars from years of battle, leaving Arya to comment, “I’m not the Red Woman. Take your own bloody pants off,” before she loses her virginity to Gendry.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Gathered around the fire, Tyrion mentions, “It’s strange isn’t it. Almost everyone here’s fought the Starks, at one time or another. And here we are in their castle, ready to defend it. Together,” followed with Brienne saying “At least we’ll die with honor.” Tyrion carries on, saying that he thinks they might live, which causes a few to laugh, but Tyrion starts running down their stats, and the battles that they’ve all survived. Tormund is surprised that Brienne isn’t a knight, with Brienne telling him it’s tradition, and that women can’t become knights. Hearing this while pouring his wine, Jaime says that any knight can make another knight, and proves it, telling Lady Brienne to kneel, which she does, hesitantly at first, as the Kingslayer makes her a knight while the rest circle around her.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

In the name of the warrior, I charge you to be brave. In the name of the father, I charge you to be just. In the name of the mother, I charge you to defend the innocent,” Jaime says. “Arise, Brienne of Tarth. A knight of the Seven Kingdoms.” As the rest in the room applaud, Brienne stands up, shaken with happiness, and smiles as widely as she ever has in the show’s history.

Back in season five, Brienne has always told her squire Pod: “I don’t want anyone following me. I’m not a leader. All I ever wanted was to fight for a lord I believed in.” At that moment in time, he seemed to know that wasn’t exactly true and so when Jaime Lannister offered her knighthood just before the battle was commencing, he gave her a non-verbal permission to be honest with herself about what she wanted.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Bullied and mocked throughout her whole life, Brienne finally found a safe space and the self-worth to accept what she long deserved. And then it was Jaime, who finally gave it to her – with his one good hand. Being one of the most emotional connections in the season so far, it may be the closest these two get to being able to express their affection for each other and it’s truly one of the most rewarding and happiest payoffs of the series so far.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Back outside, Samwell finds Jorah Mormont trying to convince Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey) not to join the fight, but he’s not quite successful. “I will not hide underground. I pledged to fight for the North, and I will fight.” Before walking away, she turns to Jorah and says, “I wish you good fortune cousin,” to which he bows and thanks his lady.

Approaching Jorah, Samwell gives him the sword known as Heartsbane, telling him that Jorah’s father taught him to do what’s right, and that he’d be honored if he took it. Examining the blade, Jorah states, “I’ll wield it in his memory, to guard the realms of men,” as Samwell says he’ll see him when the battle is through, adding, “I hope we win.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Back in the fire-lit hall, Jaime thinks they should all get some rest, but Tyrion hopes to continue the party with a song, asking the group if anyone knows one – but they all oblige him, except Podrick. As the living spend one final night drinking, sharing, and reminiscing at Winterfell, the lovable Podrick Payne sends the group out with a song, entitled ‘Jenny’s Song.’ As he sings, we see scenes of Sansa reuniting with Theon, Arya lying in bed awake while Gendry sleeps, and Missandei pulling Grey Worm in for one last kiss as he leaves with his regiment of soldiers.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

In the Crypt, Jon Snow is staring at the statue of Lyanna Stark, when Daenerys comes to visit him. Walking up beside him, Daenerys grabs hold of Jon’s arm, and notes that she always heard her brother, Prince Rhaegar, was a kind and decent man, that he liked to sing and give money to poor children, but that he kidnapped and raped Lyanna – to which Jon replies, “He didn’t. He loved her.” Facing the truth, Jon pulls Dany to face him, and explains to her that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married in secret, and had a son, telling her that Robert Baratheon would’ve murdered the baby if he had found out. “As she bled to death on her birthing bed, she gave the child to her brother, Ned Stark, to raise as his bastard. My name, my real, is Aegon Targaryen,” Snow says.

Unhinged, Dany tells him, “That’s impossible,” asking who told him. He says that Bran told him, and Samwell confirmed it, but Dany finds it hard to believe – “A secret no one in the world knew, except your brother and your best friend. Doesn’t it seem strange to you?” Jon interjects telling her, “It’s true, Dany. I know it is,” which leaves her to angrily inform him that, “It would make you the last male heir of House Targaryen – you’d have a claim to the Iron Throne,” before an alarm goes off. Jon turns to look over his shoulder to where the noise is coming from, but Daenerys still has a planted look of bewilderment as she stares on at her nephew’s face.

They go outside and take a glance out from the ramparts before returning back inside, the realization of what she had just heard still pouring over the queen’s face. Everyone gets prepared for battle ahead, but the final moment of the episode features Tyrion staring out at the darkness. The Night King’s army is close. Then, we are in the distance where the rotting hoof of a dead horse enters frame, and we pan up to the White Walker on its back, an icy spear in its grip. More lieutenants fill the screen, but no Night King.

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Game of Thrones (2019) – source: HBO

Sunday night’s episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones is one of the greatest episodes of television we’re ever likely to see. Every single character we saw: Tormund, Tyrion, Podrick, Gendry, Missandrei, Jon, Sam, Gilly. Davos, Edd, Sansa, Jaime, Brienne, Grey Worm, Daenerys, Arya, Jorah, Theon, Sandor, were all better than they were – or more than they used to be. We also didn’t see a single scene with King’s Landing, though next Sunday’s episode could be a loss of devastating fashion. Some hope still remains.

Game of Thrones season 8 will air each Sunday on HBO until its final episode on May 19, 2019.

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