‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Episode 2 Recap: “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 2
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in ‘Game of Thrones’ season 8 episode 2 (Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

Welcome back! Last Sunday night (April 14, 2019) was the eighth and final season premiere of Game of Thrones. We finally got some answers to questions like “Will Jon Snow ever ride a dragon?” “Will he find out the truth about his parentage?” Yes, and yes. But there are so many more questions to which we still demand answers.

1. What will Jon (Kit Harington) do now that he knows he’s Aegon? Will he keep it to himself and swear Sam (John Bradley) to secrecy? It won’t do any good since Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) also knows. (And I’d put money on Melisandre finding out.) Will he tell Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and how will she react? (He should hide the crockery if they have any.) Not only does Jon/Aegon’s true identity throw a monkey-wrench into her grand plans, but she’s been having sex with her nephew. (But seriously, Jon’s interaction with the dragons should have tipped her off.)

2. Will Bran rat out Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) for attempted murder which left him a cripple? Although if he hadn’t, would Bran have become the Three-eyed Raven? All things considered, it is possible that Bran forgives Jaime for what he’s done. Forgiveness might be the wrong word since that would ascribe to Bran more human feeling than I believe he still possesses at this stage.

We know from the episode two trailer that this situation will be dealt with tout de suite. There are Reddit threads devoted to the possibility that Arya (Maisie Williams) kills him a la Littlefinger and takes his face, then rides south to try to kill Cersei (Lena Headey). The prophecy that she’s been haunted by her entire life says that her “little brother” will kill her. All along she’s believed it was Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). Jaime is also younger than she is, even if only by a few seconds. Personally, I like this theory.

3. Will Dany become pregnant with Jon/Aegon’s baby? In season seven, which many believe felt rushed and crammed too full of stuff intended to get us to the end game, screen-time and dialogue was given in two separate scenes to Daenerys’ belief that she could not have children. I, and a whole dragon pit-load of other fans, believe this means that a child will be conceived even if it is never born.

4. What are Tyrion’s true feelings toward Daenerys? Have they changed? Is he worried that she’ll burn down the world or is he, too, in love with her? Will he decide to tell her once she knows the truth about Jon?

5. How about those two remaining dragons who are “barely eating” and “don’t like the North?” Will they be strong enough when they’re needed? None of them are female. Aren’t they destined to go the way of their ancestors anyway?

6. Too many questions revolve around Cersei. Here’s one: How does creepy Qyburn (Anton Lesser) play into all of this? He’s famously reanimated the dead already (The Mountain.) Will his skills somehow be useful in the war to come?

There are so very many more questions! Who is the Night King (Vladimir Furdik) and what is his plan? If he kills everyone, won’t his “people” eventually die out? Speaking of dying, who, among our favorites, will live and who will die? Who will eventually sit on the Iron Throne? Perhaps no one. Perhaps the world will be destroyed and it will be up to the Children of the Forest to start over.

I could go on and on (and undoubtedly will in the coming weeks), but I can only hope we’ll have answers as the final credits roll on the final episode. We only have five more to wait. Roll on season eight episode two, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”!

Again, that newly redesigned opening is just spectacular. One thing I didn’t notice last week, but did the Iron Throne at the end of it have fewer swords than it used to? There was no Valyrian steel in it, was there? Why would anyone need to remove some of them? More questions!

We open with Jaime Lannister apparently standing trial, listening to Daenerys’ litany of his crimes, up to and including Cersei’s latest betrayal. Jaime insists she betrayed him as well and he tells everyone about the army of The Golden Company protecting King’s Landing.

Tyrion rushes to his brother’s defense but no one wants to hear it. No one trusts the Lannisters. Then Bran uses Jaime’s words against him: “The things we do for love.”

It takes Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) to vouch for Jaime to Sansa before anyone will listen. And Brienne is far more than Jaime deserves. Sansa tells B, “I trust you with my life…if you trust him with yours, we should let him stay.” Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) gives him a dirty look but gives him back his sword.

Daenerys is angry with Tyrion. He either lied about Cersei sending her army north or he didn’t know. Either way, she’s pissed and losing faith in her “Hand.”

Down in the forge, Gendry (Joe Dempsie) is looking all hot and sweaty and there’s Arya, giving him the once over. She pretends to be there asking for her weapon and then quizzes him about White Walkers. But we know she just wants to A) show off and 2) spend time with Gendry.

At the Weirwood tree, Jaime seeks out Bran to apologize for trying to kill him. He tells him he’s not the same person that pushed him out the window. Bran, as I predicted (woot!) tells Jaime that he would still be the old Jaime and Bran would not have become the Three-Eyed Raven but would still be Brandon Stark if Jaime hadn’t pushed him. He reveals that he never told anyone because if he had, Jaime would not be able to help “in this fight if I let them murder you.”

Tyrion finds his brother in the courtyard (under the watchful eye of the Winterfell guards). He tries to convince him that Dany is different from other Targaryens. After discussing Cersei and her baby, they discuss their deaths. Tyrion repeats his wish (from season one) to die in his own bed yadda yadda. Jaime says it with him then wanders off as Tyrion muses about marching to King’s Landing to “rip {Cersei} apart.”

What’s got Jaime’s attention? Brienne, below, watching Pod (Daniel Portman), who is starting to look like an actual soldier, and other men drill. He goes to her and they chit chat before Brienne stops him and they start to sound like teenagers who don’t want to admit that they like each other. Jaime admits to her that he’s not the “fighter I used to be” but would be “honored to serve under your command.” Brienne has no words other than “I better get back.”

Dany is in her chambers when Jorah (Iain Glen) enters. He begins by defending Tyrion, referencing their journey together, how it took him a while to warm to him and how much he trusts him, asking Dany to forgive his mistakes. “We all make mistakes. He owns his.” She asks if he is asking her to forgive the man who “stole your position?” He says he is – with one other request.

Daenerys goes to see Sansa (Sophie Turner) who is still being treated as the Lady of Winterfell and being large and in charge. Dany asks to speak with her alone. She’s seeking to find common ground with Sansa and sees an opening re: Sansa’s opinion of Jaime Lannister, until Brienne stepped in to sway her. Sansa not only reiterates her trust in Brienne, but says she knows Tyrion is not like the other Lannisters and she trusts him too. Daenerys lists the reasons she’s losing faith.

They decide they’ve got things in common, particularly what it’s like to lead people “who aren’t inclined to accept a woman’s rule.” Dany compliments Sansa but wants to know why they’re still at odds. Dany lays out her heart about loving Jon, trusting him to be true to his word. Sansa says she should have thanked her when she first arrived.

Sansa also wants to know what happens after the war with the dead. Dany says, “I take the Iron Throne” (as in ‘duh’.) Sansa wants to know what about the North?! Daenerys looks about to tell Sansa that the North will have to bend the knee and be subject to her crown when they are interrupted.

Theon (Alfie Allen) has arrived in Winterfell. Dany doesn’t seem pleased that Yara is not with him, but really wants to know what he’s doing there without her. When he proclaims that he wants “to fight for Winterfell, if you’ll have me.” It’s clear Sansa will. They embrace warmly. Despite everything else he’s done, it’s clear that Sansa now sees him as a true friend and ally.

Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) is helping to feed the refugees and helping to instill confidence in the men who’ve suddenly found themselves drafted into the army to fight the dead. A child with a disfigured face wants to know what her place should be. She wants to be a soldier. Gilly (Hannah Murray) tells her that while she’s in the crypt with her son, she’d appreciate a brave warrior like her to protect them. It is clear that Ser Davos sees the late Princess Shireen in the face of this little girl.

Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) and Edd (Ben Crompton) reunite with Jon! Huzzah! Plus Beric (Richard Dormer), of course. They tell Jon about what they found at Last Hearth and that they had to travel around the Army of the Undead. “Whoever’s not here now, is with them.”

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 2
Kit Harington and Maisie Williams in ‘Game of Thrones’ season 8 episode 2 (Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

Jon wants to know how long before they get to Winterfell. The answer? “Before the sun comes up tomorrow.” What the what?! Holy schnikey! Less than 24 hours! Jon looks worried AF; Sam looks like he may throw up. So of course, what’s Tormund’s next question? “The big woman still here?” I stan this pairing. Hard.

Jon is giving a pep talk, listing their weapons etc. But he says their enemy is too many, they don’t tire, they don’t fall etc. He tells them that taking out the Night King, who made all the rest, is their only hope.

Bran says, “He’ll come for me. He’s tried many times with other Three-Eyed Ravens.”
Sam asks the big question: “What does he want?” Bran tells him that he wants to “erase this world.” Sam gets deep. “That’s what death is. Forgetting and being forgotten. If we forget where we’ve been and what we’ve done, we’re not men anymore. Just animals. Your memories don’t come from books…If I wanted to erase the world of men, I’d start with you.”

Bran tells everyone the Night King always knows where he is, because his mark is on him. He needs to lure him into the open before he “destroys us all.” No one wants to let Bran use himself as bait. Theon, of all people, volunteers to wait with Bran.

Battle plans are being made and Tyrion volunteers to man the wall with Ser Davos to wait for a signal. Dany tells him to wait in the crypt, essentially with the women and children. It may seem like she’s come to her senses when she tells him that he’s there “because of your mind. If I win this war, I’ll need it.” It comes across as a dressing down and it seems like Jorah thinks so, too.

Jon is convinced the dragons will protect Bran. When Arya asks if dragon fire will stop the Night King, Bran says he doesn’t know since no one has ever tried. (I think so, but is that too easy? Maybe they have to cross the streams – live dragon fire with undead blue dragon fire?)

Tormund is still trying to get a leg over Brienne. Don’t quit, big man!

So, everyone thinks they’re going to die tomorrow. Jon says, “Let’s get some rest,” and runs out on a plainly surprised Dany. Tyrion asks Bran to tell him his long story. Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) finds Grey Worm who tells her that when the war is over and Dany has won, he wants to take her and go to the beach.

Jon and Sam are on a wall (a different wall but it feels familiar.) Sam wants to know if he’s told Dany yet. When Jon demurs, he presses. “But you will. You’re just biding your time, right?”

Edd interrupts with, “And now our watch begins.” Here’s where we get the lines from the first trailer. It’s Sam who says, “Think back to where we started” and talks about the brothers they lost. Jon adds, “Now it’s just us three.” Dolorous Edd ends with, “Last man left, burn the rest of us.”

Tyrion and Jaime muse about how they would have liked to have seen their father’s face knowing his sons are {probably} going to die defending Winterfell. Tyrion says his whoremongering days are over. Is he hinting at his love for Daenerys? Pod and Brienne and then Ser Davos and Tormund join them, in search of warmth. Soon everyone’s sitting around the fire having a drink. Tormund is taunting Jaime who he perhaps sees as a rival for Brienne’s affections. As foreplay, it leaves much to be desired.

Arya finds The Hound (Rory McCann) on the wall and they have a much better chat than last week’s. When she demands to know why he’s in Winterfell, especially since he’s never fought for anyone other than himself, he answers, “I fought for you.” Beric Dondarrion, who Arya is not fond of, joins them and Arya leaves.

Inside, Arya is practicing her archery. Gendry finds her to give her the new weapon he’s forged. They discuss the Red Woman and he reveals he’s Robert Baratheon’s bastard.

Arya’s more interested in whether or not he’s a virgin. Little Arya wants to have sex before she dies. Gendry and Arya! I knew it! (Well, more like I hoped. There had to a reason he was kept alive, after all.) The heat of the forge was enough to melt that “cold little bitch” (as The Hound observed) for a little while. Holy Schnikey! At least someone’s doing something other than staring at the fire and musing on their deaths.

Actually, Tyrion is feeling optimistic. He thinks they’ve all survived so much already, that there’s always a chance. Jaime and Tormund are still one-upping each other for Brienne’s affections. Though Brienne has always insisted that she never wanted to be a knight, Jaime remembers that a knight can make anyone a knight. He does so for Brienne and she is (and I am) quite moved. They share a lingering look and the assembled company all stand and applaud Ser Brienne of Tarth, Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. Very cool.

Lady Lyanna Mormont is having a moment with her cousin Jorah and then Jorah has one with Sam who finally convinces Jorah to take back the Mormont family Valyrian steel sword. Yay! We want Jorah to have whatever edge he can get.

Back around the fire, Tyrion, who clearly doesn’t want the night to end, asks for a song. Everyone declines until Pod begins to sing a song about a woman who “never wanted to leave” her loved ones. As he does, we’re taken around to see what everyone else is doing. Sansa and Theon are giving each other longing looks (I’m sorry, what?), Sam is in bed with Gilly and baby Sam (shouldn’t that kid be about six by now? It’s the reverse of “the kid trick” where they usually age-up kids), Arya and Gendry are in bed, though not looking especially couple-y. Missandei and Grey Worm are sharing a passionate kiss before she sends her lover off to battle. The army of the dead are nearly at the Winterfell gates as Ser Jorah rides off to meet them.

Dany finds Jon in the crypt staring at the statue of Lyanna Stark. He tells Dany the truth about his identity. She takes it about as well as we all thought she would. She’s skeptical of a “secret no one in the world knew except your brother and your best friend.” She practically bites out the words, “That would make you the last male heir of House Targaryen and you’d have a claim to the Iron Throne.” Before Jon can respond, the horns sound. They rush out to the battlements. The war has begun.

We end with the arrival of the Night King and his army.

Okay, that was a lot! They’re packed tightly with no wasted space and I’m already wrung out! Gah! Tune in next week as we go to war with the Army of the Undead. After reading about the six months of night shoots to film this battle, I have no doubt it’s going to be epic!

Memorable lines from Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 2:

Jaime: “What about afterwards?”
Bran/Raven: “How do you know there is an afterwards.”

Jaime: “She fooled me, too.”
Tyrion: “She never fooled you. You always knew exactly what she was. You loved her anyway.”

Sansa: “Men do stupid things for women. They’re easily manipulated.”

Theon: “I took this castle from you. Let me defend you now.”

Not something a character in tonight’s episode said, but I read someone, somewhere this week refer to Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek) as “Goth Pacey” (as in Joshua Jackson on Dawson’s Creek) and now I can’t see him any other way.

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Sheri Young
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