Game of Thrones S8E2 Recap (Spoilers): Calm Before the Storm
We’ve waited for what felt like an eternity, but folks – it is here. It’s time. The FINAL season of HBO’s hit Game of Thrones is underway. Join me every week as I hit the highlights of the latest episode and discuss little news and notes you might’ve missed along the way. LFG – Winter is here.
What an episode – folks, I know you’re antsy for some action, especially since we know there are only six episodes to conclude this epic. But, this episode was as heart-wrenching as they come. We’re about to lose some folks…I imagine a lot of folks. So, to get those nice little intimate moments between some of our most beloved characters on the eve of the literal battle of their lives? What a gut punch.
Jaime played a central role in this episode (and hopefully that doesn’t mean he’s going to die in the oncoming battle). The show opened with him standing in front of the queen and her council, answering for his actions. Dany ain’t havin’ it, though. Essentially saying she’s fantasized about the day she gets to punish the Kingslayer. Eventually, Brienne stands up and vouches for Jaime, and Sansa trusts her. Jon says, “we need every man we can get,” so sorry, Dany. You’ve been outvoted.
Later on in the episode, Jaime some one on one time with Bran, and is surprised to hear Bran isn’t angry at him for pushing him out a window all that time ago. But, Bran has excellent point – Jaime never would’ve become good without that moment, and Bran never would’ve become the Three Eyed Raven. Boom. Got that resolved.
After that ordeal to start the episode, Dany is clearly frustrated. She’s growing tired of Tyrion making mistakes. Tyrion even says he wouldn’t be surprised if someone else ended up as the Hand of the Queen before long. Jorah visits, advises her to calm down and trust Tyrion…big words coming from a guy who should definitely have Tyrion’s spot. Then, he presumably advises her to try and get on the same page with Sansa. But, that doesn’t go quite as intended when Sansa basically says the North ain’t jivin’ with that kneeling bullshit. The two are interrupted by Theon’s arrival in Winterfell, when he says he wants to fight for the Starks. Full circle.
Lots of steamy action between Gendry and Arya in this episode. Yes, I mean that they literally have sex.
Tormund, Edd, Beric, and company arrive in Winterfell, and warn Jon that the Night King and his army will be there before the sun comes up the next day. FINALLY, we get the plan, and boy is it underwhelming. Basically, they have no idea how they’re actually going to win this battle. Jon’s right to bring up that the Night King is essentially the grid – you take down the grid, the power goes out all over town.
So, they’re going to attempt to lure the Night King into the Godswood ’cause he wants Bran. Theon’s going to protect him. Guys, this has fuckin’ disaster written all over it.
The group disbands to try and get some rest. Tyrion and Jaime set up in the hall with a bright hot fire burning. Davos, Brienne, Podrick, and Tormund join in. They shares stories, and in easily the most emotional scene of the episode, Jaime knights Brienne.
Jon is in the crypts again, this time at the statue of Lyanna Stark. Dany approaches and says it’s a shame that she always knew her brother to be such a good man, but then he raped Lyanna. Jon says NOPE – he loved her. And, here we go – that’s his way of setting up the confession to Dany. Now she knows Jon’s true heritage. Her response is pretty amazing – conveying the full spectrum of emotion in a brief moment. Shock, disbelief, anger – it’s all there.
Of course, she questions the legitimacy of the claim, but Jon says he knows. She cuts to the chase and says that Jon has a legitimate claim to the Iron Throne. They both look conflicted about this revelation, but there’s no time to hash things out. The horn blows.
The episode ends with the stunning visual of the army of the undead arriving in Winterfell. All those babies sacrificed at Craster’s Keep have become full grown White Walkers and there’s a whole hell of a lot of ’em. This doesn’t look good.
Now Dany knows!
Everyone is freaking out about the White Walkers arriving in Winterfell, but I think lost in all the anticipation is how well this episode subtly furthered the idea that Dany is spiraling out of control.
She’s losing her grip – first of all, the people of the North don’t really care for her to begin with. She has an uphill battle to win them over. Now, there’s a bit of disarray between her advisers. Jorah approached her to essentially say, “don’t do anything crazy. Tyrion is still sharp, and always learns from his mistakes.” But, then Sansa questions her, too – practically saying, “we’ve got some shit to sort out after this blows over, ’cause we won’t kneel.”
And, now this?!? Now, she knows that everything she’s worked for her entire life doesn’t even matter. I don’t know – I could just see this situation deteriorating quickly.
The Night King’s whereabouts
The Reddit-verse is alive with activity about this particular catch. If you didn’t notice, the Night King was nowhere to be found at the end of this episode when the White Walkers were lining up outside of Winterfell.
Now, it’s surely possible that the Night King is just going to ride in on undead Viserion and rain down fire and fury over Winterfell.
But, there’s a fun little theory out there that I thought was worth sharing. The idea is that the Night King is actually heading south to King’s Landing and the army he has has been divided. Winterfell is just a diversion while he flies south to kill everybody and add them to his army.
Bran says the Night King is after him, but we don’t truly know his motives for sure. If there’s one way to guarantee a certain victory, it’d be turning everyone else in the world into a wight and then going after Bran. *shrugs*
Food for thought. Explore as you wish.
A world of death is coming
I think we’re going to see a lot of people die next week. So, get your tissues ready.
Namely, Brienne, Grey Worm, Jorah, and Gendry. I think they’re all goners. Sorry. Brienne’s character arc is pretty well wrapped up nice and neat. After all she’s been through, she’s become a knight thanks to Jaime. Grey Worm is a frontline fighter who was given the big dramatic exit. Jorah was given Sam’s family’s sword. Just seems like a lot of resolution was given to several key characters last night.
Gendry’s the tricky one. But, with Jon’s heritage coming to light, you can forget about Gendry laying claim to the Iron Throne. He had his moment with Arya, and he served a greater purpose by smithing the Dragonglass into weapons and all that.
*There’s not really a whole lot to analyze this season. Seems they’re moving along, content to tie up loose ends. Not a whole of lot of mystery here so far, just building to the action.
*GHOST IS BACK! I know there was a lot to keep an eye on in this episode, but nothing caused a reaction from me quite like seeing Ghost back in Winterfell. No, it wasn’t a dramatic reemergence to save Jon or anything like that. But, just knowing he’s going to be apart of this battle is fun. I mean, sure – he’s probably going to die. But, I am still absolutely here for seeing him rip up some White Walkers.
*There’s something going on the way they’re showing the crypts in Winterfell this season. One theory posits that the Night King is going to resurrect all the dead Starks kept there and slaughter all of the people that will be hiding there. Another posits that we’re going to get a Lord of the Rings: Return of the King style rebellion where the dead Starks rise against the White Walkers. Or, it could mean nothing at all – again, the theories are out there if you want to pursue ’em. Food for thought.
*The Hound HAS to live, right?!?! As long as we HAVEN’T seen CleganeBowl, I’m saying The Hound’s gonna make it.
Try to function this week – we’ll do this again next Monday.
Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD and #BeBetter. “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Alabama Crimson Tide football, the WWE, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley