This is my continuing series of spoiler recaps/reviews.
And be warned, I fangirl hard this one.
Season 8 Episode 2
I feel like I’m stuck in this weird place where time both crawls and flies, as I wait for each new installment. But, at least we are now one third of the way through the season, and I am going to find it hard to not just gush over this episode. Because, my brain is stuck in this was so damn amazing!
Anyways, I shall do my best to focus and bring the charm!
So, back in the saddle, we watch the glorious new intro as the White Walkers carve their path towards Winterfell. Which, oh look, there were fortifications now around it! Man, I wish they’d done more stuff like this throughout the whole show, but I will take the extra bit for the final season.
The opening credits immediately cut to Ser Jaime, on trial, for the murder of King Aerys. Which despite my actual elation that they are addressing that here, it doesn’t make a ton of sense for them to consider killing Jaime when the dead are coming. Come on! Dany looks quit the stern Queen as she glowers at Jaime, and Sansa decides to pile it on when she reminds him of the fact that he started a street brawl that killed Jory and wounded Ned. And I get the grievances, I do. I’m not that much of a Jaime apologist that I don’t concede that he has done wrong.
But, there’s a time and place, and this ain’t it people. Which for half a moment, I suspect that Bran is about to pile on too! However, it seems that he just watched the previously on during his visions. Jaime tells everyone that he has no intention to apologize because by what right does the wolf judge the lion?! He’s not in Winterfell to beg their forgiveness; he’s there despite loyalty to fight for the living.
AND HIS BRAVE KNIGHT AND BELOVED BRIENNE SPEAKS UP FOR HIM!
As if there were any doubt! But, yes, Brienne strides forward to protect her fair damsel Jaime from the perils of the dragon’s maw. Her words move Sansa, and Sansa agrees to withdraw her complaint. Dany looks desperately to Jon, and he’s all like “We need the body. He lives.”
Dany is very disappointed, more so when he council of Northern Advisors dip without another word. It’s like her lover boy Jon has something more pressing on his mind than catering to her ghoulish desires to kill someone.
Anyways, we follow Dany into Winterfell where she strips down Tyrion, metaphorically, for being either a traitor or a fool. Look, Dany, you’re not making many friends in the North, maybe you should rethink how you’re handling your advisors. If looks could kill, Tyrion would be dead. So would Jaime. And at least Sansa. I guess Dany never learned the old adage that it takes respect to earn respect. Perhaps if she were more respectful to others, but no, she’s just crying about not having her throne. WHERE’S MY THRONE!?
Not missing a beat, we find ourselves in the Godswood, where Bran is probably trying to download the next episode to see if there’s anything he can share to the others. However, Jaime interrupts him and wants to know why he didn’t tell them that Jaime defenestrated Bran, but Bran’s all like… Nah… I need you alive to fight for this battle. Besides, I’m not Bran anymore. Jaime takes that as well as to be expected, but he looks to Weirdo Bran like maybe he should have prayed more for the kid to die from being thrown out a window.
Elsewhere in Winterfell, Arya is creeping on Gendry. It’s mostly cute, but thankfully, Gendry doesn’t seem to mind her eyeballing him from the shadows. He calls her out, and she’s all like… “Where’s my weapon?” Too bad he’s too much a gentleman to tell her where she can find it. He gets all chivalrous for a moment and tries to convince her to take refuge with the other women and children in the crypts, and she’s more interested in knowing what he knows about fighting the Walkers. When he gets serious and tells her it’s like death, she turns it into a weird little flirting game before flouncing off.
Gendry really doesn’t seem to mind though.
We find ourselves back with Tyrion, who is looking like a man on a mission. Fortunately for us, that mission is Jaime, and the brothers are fully reunited. They both lament over the follies of dealing with their sister, and Tyrion points out the ugly truth that Jaime always knew what their sister was like. Also, he makes an offhand comment about how the North remembers the last time the Targaryens brought dragons to the North… and like really? That was when Torrhen Stark knelt 300 years ago. I don’t think they really remember that. It’s more that they just distrust the woman who let her dragons terrorize the skies to intimidate them just the episode before. The brothers do continue to talk about their possible impending death until Jaime gets distracted by the wondrous beauty of his Brienne.
Which is right where Jaime runs off to! Yes, Jaime, yes. Run to your love. Embrace the truth of your feelings!
The beloved duo’s talk is very terse at first, as neither quite knows what to say, and then for half a moment, they begin to bicker like times of old, but without any of the true barbs. Then Jaime looks to Brienne and asks to fight beneath her. It feels almost like a double entendre about other places beneath her he’d like to be.
Alas, that’s not our next scene…
Instead we get Ser Friendzone with Dany, and I have to admit. I am really enjoying Ser Friendzone much more this season. He’s composed, he’s almost elegant and regal looking in every scene. He seems to be at peace, and that’s probably a bad sign for him. He gives her some great advice about how important Tyrion really as an advisor, and she needs his mind. Also, she should go make nice with someone else too.
Which cuts to us seeing Dany dropping in on Sansa. It all feels so sugary sweet and forced from Dany for the first part, like she doesn’t enjoy this particular piece of pigeon pie. Sansa seems to thaw a bit, appearing gracious and following Dany’s lead, which I think is really important. That she’s letting Dany set the tone, but Sansa is not being manipulated by her. It’s all about perception for Dany, and I think Sansa is just toying with Dany like Cersei would. Which becomes apparent when Sansa wants to know if Dany will free the North when all of this is done.
Dany don’t look so happy about that. I think she knows she just got played. But we don’t have time for that because someone else has arrived.
Theon is back, and he kneels to Dany and lets her know his sister’s plan. And when Dany questions him on why he came alone, he turns to Sansa. And oh, man, Dany is really and truly seeing how far out of her depth she is. Theon asks to pledge himself directly to Winterfell, and Sansa embraces him fiercely. Dany really doesn’t like seeing that she’s not beloved in this new land – like she sees for Sansa. Jealousy does not become the Queen.
Out in the courtyard, Davos is peddling soup with maybe some onions. He feels a bit out of place in the scene, but he’s at least directing people to where they need to go when this place really becomes Winterhell (Thank you, Hot Pie!). Davos does see a little girl that reminds him of his beloved Shireen, and Gilly helps him convince her to go down to the Crypts. Because it’s safe there.
And I want to believe that it’s just misdirection in the writing that the Crypts will actually be safe despite the great huge warning signs we now have. I guess we’ll see next week. (But let’s be real, no one is going to be shocked if the dead rise in the crypts and start slaughtering people.)
More people arrive to Winterfell, and we get our first sighting of Ed, Beric, and Tormund, after their flight from Last Hearth. They fortunately managed to evade the huge army of the dead to get to Winterfell first, somehow. And okay, that seems a bit much, but bromance abounds, so it’s all worth it. They do bring bad tidings that the army should be there before dawn.
Smartly, they bring this news to their very broad military survival panel with a pretty good map. It’s not Cersei’s floor map, but it serves its purpose well. It’s really great to listen to them actually discuss the plan of what they will try to do and actually try to work together. Bran bravely decides to be bait, or as brave as his emotionless self can be. Theon volunteers to protect Bran as he’s bait, and they put in place for the dragons to back them up.
There’s this odd talk about Bran being the memory of the world, and that if he were to die, it would be erased. And it makes me feel like it’s somehow more probable as it has always felt like Sam would write the history when all of this was over.
We get a brief look with Greyworm and Missandei after they are exposed to more xenophobic glares from the North. It seems like if and when they survive this, they’re going to head back to her homeland of butterflies and fevers, the Isle of Naath.
Clearly, it feels like filler, as does this next scene, which does bring some fun moments of levity. Sam and Jon are atop the battlements staring out into the nightness, just like it had been back on the Wall. Ghost is chilling with them, and Edd joins them. We get some amazing dialogue between them, where they pick mercilessly on Sam who actually tries to stand up for himself. And, I absolutely adored that moment between them. It was a moment that Jon probably needed more than anyone, but it was great to see his brothers-in-arms.
Inside Winterfell, Jaime and Tyrion are drinking in front of a fire. It feels like Jaime is a central theme to this whole episode, and I sure as hell am not complaining. They’re commiserating over how their father would feel about the two of them about to die at Winterfell, and that turns into how the both of them have changed. And as if to emphasize Jaime’s change, we get Brienne entering the room, and Jaime jumps to his feet and sees to his Knight in Shining Armor. Tyrion hands Pod an overflowing cup of wine, and he seems super proud to be contributing to Pod’s delinquency.
And then we shove more people into the room. Like, come on, can Jaime and Brienne not get two moments alone? Instead, we get Davos, who seems to have picked up a new tag-a-long named Tormund. Who makes a nuisance of himself, immediately. Like, no, don’t stand in her face and act like Brienne she be spending this time with you Tormund. This is about Brienne and her fair maiden Jaime. Tyrion does try to play a good host, and he offers all a cup of wine. But no worries, Tormund brought his own horn of ale. Tormund does bluntly demand to know if Jaime is the man known as King Killer, and Jaime, however awkwardly, he says that some may call him that.
And then we get the telling of how Tormund slayed a giant and was nursed at the breast of a female giant at the age of ten, which made him grow up big and strong. And then he sloppily drinks from his horn, and the disgust is apparent everywhere.
Why couldn’t Jaime and Brienne be alone here again?
Anyways, we happily cut away to the Hound and Arya. We get a wonderful moment of almost silence before the Hound gets bothered by her quiet nature. She then finally questions him on why he was there, since he doesn’t fight for anyone, and he very straightly tells her that he did fight for her. And she doesn’t have a retort. And THANK YOU SANDOR FOR SAYING THAT! NOW GO SWEAR FEALTY TO SANSA LIKE YOU KNOW YOU SHOULD! Beric breaks up what could be a much more compelling scene, and after the Hound addresses Beric in the way only Sandor could, Arya peaces out. She’s not going to spend her last night like this.
Instead, she’s going to shoot her bow by herself until the dead show up.
But actually Gendry took a page from Arya and is creeping in the background. He then approaches her, hands her the weapon of her heart’s desire (or has he?), and they start getting into some details that were missing from their last parting. Like what the Red Woman wanted with him. That he’s actually a Baratheon bastard, and that he apparently had a few relations with some other girls. Which is really want Arya was fishing for at this point, as she would like to see what other weapons Gendry brought with him. He’s happy to oblige, and we’ll just cut to black here.
So, we head back to where Jaime and Brienne are staring longingly at each other with a crowd all around. Tyrion has gotten quite drunk, and they’re now lamenting their claims to fame. Jaime is the fable loser of the Whispering Wood, and Ser Brienne… *record scratch* Oh wait, Lady Brienne beat the Hound in single combat. Tormund seems aghast that she’s not a knight, not that he knows what a knight really is about. Much like Hot Pie, it’s all about the armor. He then tries to woo Brienne in front of Jaime, by saying if he were a King that he’d knight her ten times over.
Jaime wasn’t having any of this though.
He interjects that the only thing that’s needed is another knight. And he proceeds to an empty part of the room and calls forth Brienne. And quite honestly I gasped, and squealed, and had to hold my breath to keep from sobbing as I teared up. Because JAIME KNIGHTS BRIENNE. DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT MEANS? HOW IMPORTANT THAT IT IS?
And really, I struggled with this review because I literally am still sitting on my couch staring in awe at my television as this moment unfolds before me. BECAUSE IT ONLY PROVES HOW MUCH THESE TWO WERE MEANT TO BE!!
The only thing that would have made that scene any more epic was if Jaime helped Brienne to her feet and then kissed her right then and there. And yes, there were other people cheering her on as she cried and smiled. But that moment was so intimate and personal for the two of them that it was just the two of them, and it was all that mattered.
And I hope and pray that I get more of these two, but I will love this scene if it is the last happy moment between the two.
Okay, I will try to calm down, and we will cut to Sam the Slayer bringing Ser Friendzone a gift, as Ser Friendzone is meeting up with his cousin the Little Lady Lyanna Mormont. It seems very appropriate that she refused to cow to his whims and desires regardless of the wisdom of his words. As she leaves, Sam presents Ser Friendzone with Heartsbane. And can I just say that I did love Jorah again? He vows to Sam to use the sword and wield it with honor for the family that Jorah’s queen killed. I wish this had been the Jorah we had gotten for more seasons.
Then we go back briefly to the gathering with our newly sworn Knight, and Pod breaks out into a song. AND WHAT THE HELL… THEY’RE SINGING JENNY’S SONG? I’M GETTING JENNY OF OLD STONES IN THIS EPISODE??!?!! AND I’M REMINDED OF THE GHOST OF HIGH HEART AND HOW SHE DROWNED ON HER GRIEF THE EPISODE BEFORE ONE OF THE LARGEST BATTLES IN THE SHOW?
I just can’t even any more.
And to make it worse, we get a montage of people that we all want to see be happy: Sam, Gilly and Little Sam, Sansa and Theon, Aryan and Gendry, Missandei and Grey Worm, Jorah, and then Jon and Dany. It doesn’t feel like things are going to go so well for these people, and that they may be dancing with their ghosts by the end.
The song ends as Jon stands in the crypts again, and Dany joins him. She’s trying to be nice since he seems to be bothered and has spent the whole episode avoiding her. He’s standing in front of Lyanna’s statue, clearly wrestling with something, and she starts asking for a family history lesson. Well, Jon is happy to oblige as he says, “Oh that’s Lyanna.”
It turns out that Dany knew that name though, and she’s all like, I heard all these good things about my brother, but I’m sorry that he raped your aunt. Jon’s like, yeah about that… it seems that they were in love. They got married, and they had a baby boy right after Rhaegar died. Oh, and that’s me. So, yeah, surprise!
Dany doesn’t take the surprise well though. She’s all indignant about her throne. It’s all about the throne. It’s hers, hers, hers. WHERE IS HER THRONE?!?
Thankfully, or maybe not so thankfully, the horns signalling the arrival of the dead sound before any resolution happens, and now we must wait until next week to find out what happens.
Oh god, I don’t know if I can wait.
Pray for my husband, he may not survive the wait.