Review: Game Of Thrones S8E2, A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms
We can all probably agree that Game Of Thrones S8E2 was eye-opening
Let’s get into it. Naturally, this one’s going to be full of spoilers and heavy—there’s a lot to discuss.
If last week was a setup, this week is the sweep. You can feel all sorts of tension in the air from the pre-battle situation, from the sexual type to the we’re-not-done-talking type and more. All of this stems from the one base thought: This may be the last time we see everyone (alive). Is this last look a good thing? As a fan: hell yeah.
I’m in no rush to see characters die but Game Of Thrones has set up character deaths so well that we’ve come to expect them regularly and yet no amount of expectation prepares us for who does die. It’s the same sucker punch that hit you during Ned Stark’s Death, The Red Wedding, Orberyn’s defeat and many more (damn you, Rickon, why didn’t you zigzag??).
The show has finally kicked into gear and is done setting the stage for the biggest battle we’ve probably seen since Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. There is no case of too much dialogue here because while there is an abundance of it, we get the genuine feeling that after more than eight years, this could actually be the last goodbye for a lot of our heroes. This is it, the deep breath before the plunge.
Sansa, you snarky Stark (I love you)
Sansa Stark, a character that arguably has been through the most throughout the entire series, has been a banner of defiance for the North since the first episode. We see it again here by her accepting Jaime Lannister into the North against the words of the queen. No small issue considering Jaime did kill Dany’s father. Cunning as she is, Dany attempts to broker peace between her and Sansa, perhaps realizing that a divided North simply will not work. It looked like Daenerys was close to patching things up and gaining an ally—but the irony bit back hard.
“Men do stupid things for women,” said Sansa. “They’re easily manipulated.” And she would not be manipulated into giving up the North, at least not that easily. Take that, Daenerys.
By this time, I had stopped blinking, attention fixed, waiting to see fireworks.
Sansa: what about the north
— Ashley Gervais (@itisashley) April 22, 2019
Ser Brienne (I’m not crying, you are)
In what may be a familiar setting to some of us, we see a Davos, Jaime, Tormund (I love this character; hilariously honest), Tyrion, Pod and Brienne gathered around a flame with drinks, talking of great feats and things shared in common across the group. As they prepare to defend Winterfell, in what seems to be a few hours, Tyrion points out that at one point or another, each of the group has actually fought the Starks. Score another point for irony here.
The most hard-hitting part of the little drinking session is when Tormund asks Brienne about her knighthood. Brienne responds by saying that women can’t be knights because it’s tradition. In his brutal honesty, Tormund says to “Fuck tradition.” Well played, calling out old ways that don’t make sense. But the show goes a step further when Jaime actually knights Brienne. Take this as a jab not only at discarding outdated, biased beliefs but actually taking the steps to remedy them.
At this point, I was mentally slow-clapping Brienne’s knighthood along with the group thinking nothing else but, “Brienne deserved this a long time ago.”
Yes, we’re going to talk about that sex scene
So it turns out Arya wanted to experience some lovin’ before doom came. In any other scenario…meh, normal, sure. It’s one of those, let’s make the most of our last moments sort of thing, but why is it that this particular sex scene towers above the many (and I mean many) in the Game Of Thrones series?
Tell me that photo doesn’t remind you of a younger sister.
I don’t feel as bothered as a lot of other fans but it did strike me as seeing a visual of your younger sister getting her freak on (sorry to my actual sister who may read this). Add to the fact that any build up towards this side of Arya has been way too underplayed and subtle. As a fan, I had no time to prepare. Sure, she’s a cold-blooded assassin, but damn it, I wasn’t ready to see her character go from killing to lusting in a snap. Prep work please! Also, some will argue that this humanizes Arya further but I will argue that I felt it to be unnecessary.
Sorry, Arya x Gendry fans! Here’s something for you:
The truth…It’s going to get complicated
Towards the end of the episode, Jon musters the courage to tell Daenerys the truth about his real parents. Dany is shocked, of course, and challenges Jon’s truth with unexpected logic. This actually caught me off guard for one second because Daenerys, more and more, has applied logic less and less. Whatever lightbulbs flashed in my mind were quickly broken when Dany outlined what Jon’s lineage meant—that she would no longer be the rightful ruler of Westeros. Of course, they set aside their differences for the time being because, well…the dead have come marching. But it does make you think: From day one, Daenerys has known no other objective than the Iron Throne. I smell a possible betrayal coming (that would mean Dany killing Jon, Bran and Sam!), but I would hate to see Jon die again!
The Crypt is the safest place! But wait, where’s the Night King?
Guys, let’s get this out of the way: The crypt is full of dead people. When you have a zombie horde, which includes villains that can raise the dead coming towards you, why would you place your civilians in a hall full of dead people??? I was floored.
Super fans will argue about the iron swords protecting the crypts rule, which basically is meant to keep vengeful spirits in their crypts. The problem here is that we don’t know if this rule will apply to the show as well. Again, let me go back to the point of irony, the crypt was overemphasized as safe. I must’ve heard it at least thrice—wouldn’t it be something if the place they felt safest in turned out to be a trap?
In the last scene of the episode, we hear the call to arms. Winterfell is as battle ready as it can be and so is the army of the dead but they only showed us four White Walkers. We didn’t see the Night King—why is that? Shouldn’t he be leading the ultimate charge into the heart of his opponents? There are some things to consider here, if we go back to season seven when the Night King captured Viserion, we can pick up a few things, specifically:
- He and his generals were prepared with spears (presumably for dragons);
Image via Inverse
Three spears for three dragons, maybe?
- He could’ve killed Jon with the spears but didn’t
- His army had huge chains. For what? To pull a dragon carcass from the water
The Night King was a step ahead (could it be because of his connection to Bran?) and in this case, he could be ahead again. An ongoing theory suggests that he and a larger army have gone past Winterfell, presumably towards King’s Landing in order to defeat Cersei and grow his army further—and with that army, crush Winterfell. I’m not saying this is a prediction but yes, it is definitely possible!
We have enough chitchat and this episode closed that out perfectly. The open loops that remain set the stage for a story beyond the battle but for now, they are ready and so I am. Episode two gave me a feeling of decisiveness; my (geek) heart is ready to see ice and fire collide. I don’t know who is going to survive the next episode, but I’m prepared now more than before. Let’s get that next (82 minute!) episode going! To war!
Game of Thrones S8E2: A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms was immense. The question now (as always) is: What happens next?
Words Yosu de Erquiaga
Art Alexandra Lara