True to form, HBO waited until shortly after Season 8 Episode 2 of Game of Thrones premiered before sharing the episode’s title. The title was “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.” If you’ve seen the episode, you’ll know exactly what scene the title references. But there’s more to that title than meets the eye. Read on to learn about the title’s meaning and the secret meaning behind the episode’s name. This post will have spoilers for Season 8 Episode 2.
The Title Directly References the Touching Scene Where Brienne Was Knighted
There were some much-needed comedic moments in the episode, such as when Tormund arrived and had eyes only for Brienne. But all the Tormund-Brienne fans may have to step aside, since Jaime-Brienne hit new strides in the episode.
Brienne said she wasn’t a knight because it’s just not tradition to knight a woman. Tormund, of course, thought that was ridiculous. That’s when Jaime realized that a king doesn’t have to do the knighting — any knight can declare anyone else a knight. So he invited Brienne to be knighted by him.
She hesitated. This was something she truly wanted even if she acted like she didn’t. And when she finally let Jaime knight her, I’d imagine there wasn’t a dry eye among viewers. Brienne herself could barely stop herself from crying. It was an amazing scene.
The Episode Title Is the Same Title for a Short Story About Brienne’s Ancestor, Ser Duncan the Tall
Believe it or not, the episode title also just happens to be the same title as a short story that George R.R. Martin wrote about Brienne’s ancestor. The story is also called “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” which contains the first three Dunk and Egg novellas.
The novellas are about a time when the Targaryens still held the Iron Throne, set nearly a century before Game of Thrones. The novellas are about Ser Duncan the Tall’s adventures with Aegon Targaryen. Aegon kept his true name hidden for awhile and just called himself Egg, serving as Dunk’s squire. Duncan the Tall, after the novellas, becomes a commander of the Kingsguard.
We can see the similarities between Brienne and Dunk easily.
In the book The Hedge Knight it says:
Dunk was hugely tall for his age, a shambling, shaggy, big-boned boy of sixteen or seventeen years (no one was quite certain which) who stood closer to seven feet than to six, and had only just begun to fill out his frame. The old man had often praised his strength.” (emphasis ours)
Brienne is also very tall and strong.
Dunk invented his own family crest and had it painted on his shield. Here’s the description from The Hedge Knight:
An elm tree,” said Egg. “A big elm tree, like the one by the pool, with a brown trunk and green branches.”
“Yes,” Dunk said. “That would serve. An elm tree . . . but with a shooting star above. Could you do that?”(emphasis ours)
Brienne happens to describe an old shield found in her family’s armory. It’s almost certainly the same shield. Here’s the description from A Feast for Crows, the Brienne II chapter:
She remembered how she’d run her fingertips across the cracked and fading paint, over the green leaves of the tree, and along the path of the falling star.” (emphasis ours)
Brienne’s Ancestor Dunk’s Companion, Egg, is Aegon V — the Father of the Mad King Aerys
Egg, Ser Duncan the Tall’s friend, ultimately reveals himself to be Aegon Targaryen. He is eventually crowned King Aegon V, and his son was the Mad King Aerys, Dany’s father.
It’s also interesting to note that his name is the same as Jon Snow’s real name: Aegon Targaryen.
Bloodraven also appears in the Dunk novellas, and there’s a fan theory that Bloodraven is actually the Three-Eyed Crow in the books. He was also rumored to be Coldhands in the books, but in the TV show that role was given to Benjen Stark.
Brienne’s Ancestor Was Involved in a Fire Directly Related to the Episode’s End Credits Song
An end credits song called Jenny’s Song was written especially for Game of Thrones. It’s about a descendant of the Children of the Forest who lives in a rundown castle that was once home to the First Men. Prince Duncan, a Targaryen, falls in love with her and abdicates his line to the throne so they can marry.
Heartbreakingly, Duncan (different from Duncan the Tall aka Dunk) later dies in a fire at Summerhall. It’s rumored that the fire was started when Aegon tried to hatch dragon eggs. Prince Duncan, Ser Duncan the Tall, Aegon V, Prince Duncan the Small (Aegon V’s son), and others in the royal court all died in the fire of Summerhall.
In summary, the episode’s title is related to plots and theories on multiple levels. It’s the same title as a novella about Brienne’s ancestor, who also sought to be a knight and who died when King Aegon V tried to hatch dragon eggs. Years later his granddaughter would succeed where he failed. The episode title also echoes the end credits song, which is about that very same fire and a woman who was left behind without her true love.