Talk about setup episodes! We’ve now had two of them, back-to-back during the first half of Game of Thrones’ eighth season, and while I appreciated the the up-close-and-personal moments we got in Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, I still wish we got a bit more in terms of shock and awe level content.
The main reason I’m digging, but sort of regretting, these setup episodes, is because I know we only have four episodes left, and it feels like we’re spending way too much time up at Winterfell. I trust the creators, so I’m not all up in arms over this season’s slow boil pace so far, but I was hoping we would have had a few more major gut punches, or revelatory moments by this time in the season.
Anyway, let’s get on with the recap and top moments list for Game of Thrones: Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.
The episode opens with the trial of Jaime Lannister, and Queen Dany is clearly pissed. At first, Sansa, the Queen’s hater, agreed with Dany’s assessment of Jaime, but after Brienne of Tarth stepped up and voiced her support for the reformed Knight, Sansa came around on the Kingslayer. The trial disbands with high levels of tension being felt by the power players.
Dany continues to lay into Tyrion after the trial, because once again his advice has caused her to look foolish. She’s having serious doubts about him as her hand, but thanks to Jorah, his fate as her Hand is probably secure for now.
The episode then checks in on Arya, who is checking in on Gendry and his weapon forging. She grills him intently to find intel on the White Walkers and army of the undead. You could feel her inner killer trying to get a scouting report on the foes of the living, and the conversation let Gendry in on who she has become just a bit more. She reaffirms her deadly skills by throwing three dragon glass daggers at a wood beam with deadly precision, which clearly lets Gendry know that she’s not fucking around about her weapon, and that she can hold her own.
Jaime and Bran then have their long awaited, very awkward reunion. Jaime apologizes for paralyzing him, but as expected, Bran could care less, because he’s no longer the Bran Jaime pushed out a window, he’s the Three Eyed Raven. Bran tells Jaime there was no point in ratting him out, because the living need as many people as possible to take out the Night King, so he maintains his creepiness in forgiving Jaime for his past sin.
Jaime moves on to his second reunion, and this time he has a chat with his brother Tyrion. The two just shoot the shit casually, but Jaime does confirm to Tyrion that Cersei’s baby is real, so that offered some clarity into that Lannister mystery.
Jaime’s Winterfell reunion tour wasn’t over yet though, because he then moves on to having a talk with Brienne, who clearly loves the Knight with one hand. Jaime praises Brienne’s training of Pod, but more importantly, he asks to be under her command during the Battle of Winterfell. Brienne still expects Jaime to make fun of her, but the insults never come, so Jaime’s pledge to server under her catches her off guard, so she leaves without saying a thing. Her love for him shows in her uncomfortableness during this exchange, which is further highlighted in an important scene to come.
From here the episode returns to Dany, who is getting advice from Jorah. She implies to him that he would have been her Hand, but his illness prevented that, so she went with Tyrion. Jorah can sense that she’s lost faith in the dwarf, so he talks him up, and tells the Queen to keep him around. Who knows if this will bite them all in the ass, but you can tell that the Queen is starting to get fed up with more than one man in her life.
During their talk, Jorah asked Dany to also try and clear the air with Sansa, so the two meet and have a chat. They talk some girl power, and Dany explains how she’s the love struck fool that chased her lover North, and not Jon being the fool in love, which softened Sansa a bit. Unfortunately, the talk led to what happens when Dany takes the Iron Throne, and Sansa demanded to know what would happen to the North, and if they’d have to bend the knee. This soured their talk, and the two left with the same amount of tension remaining between them that existed before their “clear the air” talk.
After Sansa’s talk with the Queen, she returns to the hall to greet Theon, who has shown up at Winterfell. You could tell that his arrival pleased her greatly, and the two shared some tender moments during this scene, as well as in later ones. In fact, fans are now shipping them after this episode, and they may not be far off, because it was clear that Sansa has deep feelings for Theon, but it remains to be seen if they’re more than just the brotherly/sisterly kind of love.
Out in the yard Davos and Ghilly are seen helping peasants, but more importantly, Tormund, Edd, and Berric Dondarion arrive from the Wall. After Tormund nearly tackles Jon and asks if the Big Woman is still around, he and the others give Jon and company the bad news that the Night King is less than a day away.
Thanks to this news, we get Jon and the other heroes of the living, planning out the battle to come. Jon’s plan is to take out the Night King by getting him away from his army. Bran tells everyone that he will be the bait to get the King in a vulnerable setting, because ultimately, the Night King just wants to kill Bran, the Three Eyed Raven, because once he does so, the world will plunge forever into darkness. Theon pledges to protect Bran in the Godswood for his past transgressions, and Bran agrees, curiously. Dany also chastises Tyrion for wanting to fight, so she castrates him like his mother in front of everyone, and tells him to hide in the crypts.
Once the room clears though, Tyrion settles up next to Bran, and asks him to tell him his story. This could be a throw away segment, but I feel like Tyrion may learn something important from Bran during this talk, if they did indeed have it in full.
The episode moves back outdoors to feature some scenes of the heroes brooding over the coming war. Missendei and Grey Worm talk about leaving Westeros after the war is won and Dany gets the Throne. But more importantly, we get a reunion between brothers of the Night’s Watch. Edd, Sam, Jon, and even Ghost, yes that Ghost, reminisce about their time at the Wall, and how they’re the only ones to make it this far. Sam also makes sure to remind Jon to have his talk with Dany, which he hadn’t at this point.
Meanwhile, back in the castle, a group of heroes including Jaime, Brienne, Pod, Tyrion, and Tormund celebrate their last night together with some drinks and tales. Tormund tells the best tale on how he got his Giantsbane name, which shocks everyone when he talks about how he suckled from the teet of a female giant. He clearly was telling it to impress Brienne, but her heart is definitely meant for another, which we saw hints of throughout this episode.
Arya also got her check-ins with the characters she spent time with over the years. She talks with the Hound and Berric, but those old men aren’t who she really wanted to spend her possible last night alive with, so she hits up Gendry for a booty call. Yes sir, Arya knew exactly what she wanted, and she went for it like a boss. Yes, it was normal to feel odd while watching this scene play out, and yes it was pretty steamy too, so don’t feel bad if you got more excited than you thought you should while watching Arya get laid for the first time.
After this sultry scene, we get the standout moment of the episode, which is the knighting of Brienne by Jaime. Jaime knights Brienne in a makeshift ceremony amongst friends, and it was quite the emotional affair for viewers, and Brienne herself. She was clearly moved by Jaime’s act, and her love for him is starting to spill out of her even though she has no way to express it, because being in love is clearly a foreign emotion to her.
As the characters are all getting close and sharing tender moments together, Sam presents his Valyrian steel sword to Jorah, because I guess he’ll do more damage with it? Pod also starts singing “Jenny of Oldstones”, which is followed by a montage of shots of characters spending time together, some intimately, as they await the arrival of the Night King.
Finally, the episode ends with the reveal I was waiting for, and that was Jon telling Dany his new truth. Quite frankly, I loved how it went down, and thought Jon’s retelling of the Lyanna Stark/Rhaegar Targaryan myth to do so. I found Dany’s selfish-reaction to be spot on for how I thought she’d handle it, and I’m pissed that damn horn blew when it did, because I think the conversation between these two was just heating up. It’s pretty clear that she isn’t a fan of this news and could care less of the whole incest aspect of it, because her main concern is Jon’s stronger claim to the Iron Throne. I do think she may let her madness take over now, so things could get very dicey between these two if they survive the Night King’s attack.
Phew, bring on the Battle of Winterfell!
- During the trial of Jaime, I loved how Bran threw out the “The things we do for love” quote to Jaime, which is the same quote he used when he paralyzed Bran. What made this even better is that Bran kept their secret between them, because he knows they need Jaime for the fight, and he’s just weird now and not Bran remember?
- Absolutely loved Brienne standing up for Jaime during his trial, and she’s definitely the reason he was saved from the wrath of Dany and Sansa.
- I loved how Arya threw the daggers for Gendry to let him know plain and simple that she’s a badass, and she needs her god damn weapon from him STAT!
- Jaime telling Tyrion that Cersei’s baby is real either confirms that it is, which some fans think that it’s not, or that she’s tricked Jaime too.
- The talk between Sansa and Dany seemed like it was going in the right direction, the two even held hands and seemed to be on the same page, but then Sansa dug in on the North, which quickly soured their progress.
- Not only did Tormund make his Winterfell arrival stand out by nearly tackling Jon over, but his comment asking if the “Big Woman” was still here was priceless.
- How could I not mention the Night’s Watch reunion between Jon, Sam, and Edd, the last members of the Watch. Oh, and Ghost was there too, but he got robbed of the spotlight.
- Tormund was on fire in this episode, so yes, his story about how he got his name was also a top moment.
- Arya and Gendry, enough said, the girl knows what she wants.
- Jaime making Brienne a Knight is the stand out moment of this season so far.
- Obviously Jon telling Dany and her reaction also stood out as top moments.
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