Game of Thrones: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms review S8 E2

Hold on now GOT. It’s way too early in this season to get me all weirdly emotional. I don’t care if there’s only four episodes left. Still, that’s exactly why A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms was so meaningful. This was clearly going to be the last night on Westeros for a number of characters we’ve come to invest in through this series.

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It was also telling that this episode focused squarely on the good guys…and the redeemed villains. No tricky complicated morals with Cersei and Euron. This was all about the good guys having one final curtain call before some(?), most (?) of them get killed off next week by The Night King’s forces.

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms played out differently than perhaps any other episode in the series. It was full of feel-good, endearing and funny moments. At various points I found myself waiting for some shocking betrayal or death just to remind me it’s Game of Thrones and I can never truly let my guard down. Clearly, The Red Wedding has scarred me for life with this show.

Arya decided she was ready to become a woman after catching the thirst watching Gendry whip up some weapons. She was checking on the progress of her weapon — apparently a Dragon glass tip spear. I told a friend last week I can’t imagine Arya getting killed off, but this episode made a strong case this battle at Winterfell could be her last. That was the main theme of this episode — see if you could correctly identify who’s dying next week. Maybe I should make a pool?

game of thrones - a knight of the seven kingdoms review - bran

Jon is pretty much my one lock on the ‘will survive’ list. He’s got far too much story left to fall at the Night King’s blade. I loved his reunion with Ed and Tormund, who greeted him with a warm embrace before asking about the big woman. That is a man with an amazing sense of focus. The Night’s Watch is gone, but Jon, Sam and Ed are holding it down.

I keep feeling like Jaime is one of the few characters who storyline wise has to survive the encounter with the walkers, but man was he checking off every cliche in the dead man walking handbook this episode.

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Bran retained his Prince Petty championship by casually dropping Jaime’s final words before tossing him out of a window during the interrogation of his loyalties. This stung Jaime, who more than any other character, has tried to distance himself from the smug, charming bastard of Season 1. In meeting with Bran later, Jaime received the forgiveness he sought albeit in a very unusual manner. Bran ruminated that if Jaime never threw him from the window neither would be the men they are today. Or at least man and Three Eyed Raven.

Next, Jaime shared a few laughs and fond memories with Tyrion before squaring things with Brienne and knighting her. Between fending off Tormund’s advances and Jaime suddenly treating her nicely, Brienne was uneasy most of the episode right up until she was knighted and she went to Cheese City. It was nice seeing her smiling and happy as she’s been one of the sterner characters of the series. I think Tywin smiled more than Brienne has at this point. But yeah, this happy ending sure felt like a fitting way to wrap her arc, right?

game of thrones - a knight of the seven kingdoms review -jaime knighting brienne

I loved the fireside chat scene with Tormund desperately pulling out all his tricks and stories to impress Brienne, who became increasingly more repulsed with each story. This accelerated pacing of this season has left the less action-oriented characters like Lord Varys in the background. This episode would have benefited from him hanging at the ’round table’ with Jaime, Brienne, Tyrion, Davos, Pod and Tormund.

Sansa seemed to make some headway with Danerys after Jorah suggested Dany needed to be more diplomatic. Sansa’s been leery of the new queen after seeing her brother come back like a schoolboy in love. Dudes in love are easily manipulated Sansa the Wise says, but Dany reminds her she was focused on claiming the Iron Throne and now is here at Winterfell to fight Jon’s war.

It’s a nice moment that Sansa ends abruptly by asking Dany’s intentions for the North. Man, that whole catchphrase of the North remembers really is more than a snazzy marketing campaign, isn’t it?

And was it me or did Sansa seem especially excited to see Theon back? Also, does Sansa know about Theon’s non-elective surgery? I’m pretty sure Grey Worm is the only eunuch fully capable of satisfying a woman in this series.

game of thrones - a knight of the seven kingdoms review -sansa and daenerys

Dany took an L for this episode as her dismissive attitude toward Tyrion is drawing some negative attention and she’s completely failing to win Sansa to her side. Danerys has never learned the fine art of diplomacy and has regularly resorted to pulling her ‘I’ve got DRAGONS’ card out when faced with someone not willing to buy in to her whole queen of destiny spiel.

That got thrown even more in jeopardy when Jon dropped the ‘sooooo, lemme tell you about my folks’ bombshell. In fairness and this is probably the one time I’ll defend her, Dany was right to question Jon’s claim to the throne based on the word of his baby brother and best friend. We’ve got to put a pin on that convo though as the walkers have an awful sense of timing and are in the neighborhood recruiting more members to their cause. Don’t mind me, I need to get the popcorn popping.

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms kept the action to a minimum with the exception of Arya and Gendry, but provided some great character moments for some destined not to survive the night.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Photo Credit: HBO

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