This is a Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 2 review. This post has spoilers for Season 8 Episode 2.
Last week, we were left with Bronn heading off to Winterfell with orders from Cersei to kill Jaime and Tyrion. Jaime arrived in Winterfell to warn the others about Cersei’s betrayal, and the first person he sees is Bran. And Tormund and Beric (who somehow survived the wall’s demolition by Viserion) arrived at the Last Hearth to find little Ned Umber nailed to a wall surrounded by the Night King’s spiral symbol. Things are looking pretty bleak, except for that beautiful moment where we saw Jon Snow riding a dragon.
Read on for more details about Episode 2 and a recap of what happened.
The episode began not with Jaime meeting Bran, like I had expected, but with Jaime standing before Dany, Sansa, and Jon Snow in the Great Hall, while Dany talked about the revenge she had planned to take on the man who killed her father. Jaime tells them about Cersei’s planned betrayal, the Golden Company, and Euron’s fleet.
“I promised to fight for the living. I intend to keep that promise,” Jaime says.
Tyrion backs up Jaime and says he knows his brother. But Dany just doesn’t trust them. Sansa doesn’t either – she remembers when Jaime attacked her father in the streets. Jaime says they were at war and he’d do it again.
Oh, then Bran says: “The things we do for love.”
Jaime says this goes beyond loyalty and is about survival. Brienne stands up for Jaime (the man she loves.) “He is a man of honor,” she says, recounting when she was Jaime’s captor and he defended her, losing his hand in the process.
“Without him, you would not be alive,” she tells Brienne. Jaime swore an oath to Sansa’s mother and kept it.
The moment when Brienne vouched for Jaime gave me chills. She’s so strong and resolute. Her words can move mountains. They certainly moved Sansa, who then stood up for Brienne and said she trusted Brienne’s instincts.
Dany asks Jon what the “warden of the north” thinks. OUCH. Jon says they need every man they can get.
Grey Worm returns Jaime’s sword to him. (Remember, this is NOT the Valyrian steel sword he once had. He gave that sword to Brienne. But this IS Widow’s Wail, another Valyrian sword that once belonged to Joffrey. Read more about his sword in Heavy’s story here.)
Dany is very unhappy with Tyrion. He’s made foolish decisions over and over, and now he can’t even help her take the throne back from Cersei. I get her frustration, but these are trying times.
Next we move to the foundry, where Gendry is working on dragonglass weapons to prepare for the coming battle. I love the attention to detail we’re seeing in this show. Arya comes for a visit, staring at Gendry for a while before asking about her weapon. I love the interactions between these two.
Arya wants to know what it’s like fighting the White Walkers. Gendry just says it’s “really bad” but she wants more details. “You want to know what they’re like; death. That’s what they’re like.” Arya tells him that death has many faces. “I look forward to seeing this one.”
Yep, she’s impressing Gendry. They are definitely endgame. :) Unless one of them gets killed. :(
In the next scene, Jaime visits Bran at the beautiful Weirwood tree. Jaime apologizes for what happened, but Bran tells him that moment changed Jaime and changed Bran. “I’m something else now… I’m not angry at anyone.”
Jaime wants to know what Bran will do to him after the war. Bran says mysteriously, “How do you know there is an afterwards?” So that was creepy. I’d be worried if I were Jaime. And Jaime apparently is, judging by the Pokemon Open Mouth look on his face.
Finally Jaime and Tyrion reunite. The bluer tones they’re using for Winterfell this season are perfect for the coming war with the Night King.
Jaime insists that Cersei is truly pregnant, but he also tells Tyrion that she’s fooled him more than anyone. Tyrion puts him in his place over that. “You always knew exactly what she was and you loved her anyway.” Truth.
Best quote yet goes to Tyrion: “So, I’m going to die at Winterfell.” The way he says it is so full of sarcasm and inevitability, it’s perfect.
Ohhh, Jaime is staring at Brienne. Bramie is born! I love those two together. Sure, I like Tormund too, but Brienne is destined for Jaime. (And yes, that was Podrick we saw. His fighting skills have improved.)
Brienne wants to know why Jaime isn’t insulting her. I love this comedic moment. But then it gets serious fast. Jaime says he’d be honored to serve under Brienne’s command. WOW. Brienne is practically speechless. Love this scene.
Jorah aka Ser Friendzone pays Dany a visit. His heart was broken when she named Tyrion her hand.
But he admires Tyrion’s intellect. “He owns his mistakes, learns from them.” He advises her to forgive Tyrion and has one more piece of advice.
Next we see Dany asking Sansa for a moment alone. Sansa says she trusts Brienne more than anyone, and she feels that Tyrion is a good man. Dany is concerned that he’s no longer intelligent or ruthless when it comes to Cersei. I personally believe Tyrion is trying his best, but maybe conflicted about defeating his sister.
Dany wants to know why there’s tension between them. Sansa says that Jon loves Dany and men do stupid things for women. Dany said her single purpose is to take back the Iron Throne and avenge her family’s destruction. But that was until she met Jon and now she’s fighting his war. “Tell me who manipulated who.”
That’s a really good point Dany.
“I’m only here because I love your brother and I trust him,” Dany says. He’s the second man in her life she can say that about. The first is someone taller, she says with a laugh.
Sansa and Dany are really connecting. Sansa wants to know Dany’s plan for the North when she takes back the throne, because the North doesn’t bow. Dany doesn’t have an answer for her.
And Theon has returned!
“I want to fight for Winterfell Lady Sansa, if you’ll have me.” Sansa runs to him and hugs him, crying. I had no idea she’d feel so much emotion, but she and Theon did escape Ramsay together. It looks like they’re in love.
The Onion Knight (Davos) sees a girl who reminds him of Shireen, and she even seems to have a disease similar to Shireen’s. You can tell how much he still misses her.
The Night’s Watch people return with Beric and Tormund. I love when Tormund grabbed Jon in a big hug, almost like a bear attack. “Whoever’s not here now is with them,” Tormund says about the Umbers. They only have until the sun comes up tomorrow
“The big woman still here?” Tormund asks about Brienne.
Jon admits in a meeting later that they can’t beat the White Walkers in a straight fight. They’re best bet is to defeat the Night King. Bran says the Night King will come for him. He’s tried many times with many Three Eyed Ravens.
Bran says the Night King wants to erase this world and have an endless night. He’ll find Bran because the Night King’s mark is on him, so Bran offers to be used as bait. Theon wants to make amends by staying with Bran while he’s serving as bait.
Dany insists that Tyrion stay in the crypts, because she needs him to survive. I have a feeling there will be an epic scene in the crypts next week. I wonder if Bronn will find Tyrion there?
Bran says he doesn’t know if dragon fire will stop the Night King. “No one’s ever tried.” So I guess the Valerians and Targaryens never fought the enemy to the north.
Grey Worm and Missandei have a touching moment. Missandei says she’d like to see the beaches again when this is all over. Grey Worm says he will go there with her, and his people will protect hers.
Annnnd in the most subtle way possible, Ghost is back just standing around while Sam and Jon are talking. He’s not even next to Jon, but behind Sam. At least he’s there finally.
Tyrion ironically tells Jaime that he wishes their dad was there, watching them about to die defending Winterfell. That’s when the Onion Knight, Tormund, Podrick, and Jaime join them. Tormund says not at all subtly: “It could be our last night.” Brienne awkwardly brushes off that invitation.
Tormund tells Jaime a disturbing story about giants’ milk and Jaime is very disturbed. It’s quite a moment. I love all the scenes with Tormund.
We get another scene with The Hound and Arya. They’re a great pair, especially considering how The Hound picks up on how much she’s changed. Arya wants to know why The Hound is helping Winterfell. He reminds her that he fought for her, didn’t he?
Beric joins them and apologizes to Arya for parting like they did. Arya says Beric was on her list, but just for a little while. Beric and The Hound’s exchange is so great.
Arya goes to visit Gendry, and he’s finished her weapon. Gendry tells Arya that he’s Robert’s bastard and that’s why Melisandre wanted him. Annnnd there’s an Arya and Gendry sex scene. Fans who have been wanting these two to get together are rejoicing everywhere.
Tormund says he’d knight Brienne 10 times over. But Jaime says that any knight can make another knight – you don’t need a king. Jaime offers to knight Brienne. YES! Brienne kneels as the group watches, and Jaime declares her to now be a knight. It’s an iconic scene. “Arise Brienne of Tarth, a Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.” Brienne has tears in her eyes. This scene is giving me chills. It’s an amazing moment.
Overall, this has been a slower episode so far. There’s been a lot of character development and relationship exploring. It may be slower but I think the episode is absolutely perfect for right before a huge battle where some of our favorite characters may die. We need these moments and the calm before the storm. The only thing I might change is adding a bit more lore about the Three Eyed Raven and the Night King.
We see Jorah and Lyanna arguing. Jorah doesn’t want Lyanna fighting, but Lyanna will not hide in the crypts.
After this, Sam gives Heartsbane (his family sword) to Jorah. He can’t hold it upright, and so he gives the sword to Jorah because Jorah’s dad taught him to do what’s right. This looks like one of the best of the Valerian swords. That’s a big gift to give Jorah and a major gesture from Sam. Wow.
In the next scene, Podrick sings to the group. “The ones who’ve been gone for so very long, she couldn’t remember their names. … Spun away all her sorrow and pain.” Podrick has an amazing singing voice. Wow.
Dany and Jon meet in the crypts. They’re standing in front of Lyanna’s statue, and Dany says she never understood how her brother, Rhaegar, whom she was told was so kind, raped her. That’s when Jon tells her the truth about Rhaegar and his parents.
“My name, my real name, is Aegon Targaryen.”
Dany doesn’t believe it at first. She thinks it’s strange that only Jon’s brother and best friend knew. “If it were true, it would make you the last male heir of house Targaryen. You’d have claim to the Iron Throne.”
Does this really matter in light of what they’re facing? It seems to matter to Dany right now.
They’re interrupted by the sound of a battle approaching.
The Night King has arrived on his horse with all the White Walkers by his side.
Winter is here.