Game of Thrones (Season 8), Episode 2: 'A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms' Review

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan
Jamie presents himself to Dany, Sansa and Jon
Jamie presents himself to Dany, Sansa and Jon
Before I make any revelations about the second episode of the last season of Game of Thrones titled 'A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms' I must flash the mandatory SPOILER ALERT!

The second episode is all about spending your last moments together before the great war begins. The episode begins with Jamie presenting himself in front of Dany, Sansa, and Jon. Dany reminds the Kingslayer about how she and Viserys used to talk about avenging their father's death. Dany also questions him about Cersei's Army. When Tyrion tries to intervene Dany cuts him short, reminding him about his repeated failures. Sansa also questions Jamie about his conduct. How he had attacked her father on the streets of King's Landing. Jamie defends himself by reminding them that all he was doing was to protect the honor of his family and that if it comes to that he would do it again. "Things we do for love," Bran intervenes. But Bran doesn't tell anyone about what Jamie had done to him. Finally, Brienne barges in between and vouches for Jamie's honor. Sansa believes her. Dany asks for Jon's advice and he simply reminds her, "We need every man that we can get." On receiving Dany's consent, Greyworm, looking as intense as ever, hands Jamie back his sword to Tyrion's great relief. Dany senses that Jon is trying to ignore her. 

Next Dany reprimands Tyrion, yet again reminding him about his failures. She also threatens to remove him from his position. A disappointed looking Tyrion tells Varys and Jorah that one of them might be in his place soon. Arya checks up on Gendry if her weapon is ready but Gendry asks her to come back later. But before leaving she tries to inquire Gendry about how the Dead look like. Not a man of words, Gendy simply tells her, "Really bad." Arya is not impressed and tries to extract more details out of him and Gendry reminds her that it's the death itself that they are talking about. 

One of the most anticipated moments of the episode comes when Jamie meets Bran. "I am sorry for what I did to you," he tells Bran. "You weren't sorry then. You were protecting your family," Bran reminds him. Jamie solemnly asserts, "I am not that person anymore." Bran retorts, "You would still be if you hadn't pushed me out of that window. And I would still be Brandon Stark." He then tells Jamie that he is something else now and that he is not angry at anyone now.  

Jamie and Tyrion meet again
Jamie and Tyrion meet again
Next we see a very interesting reunion between Tyrion and Jamie. Among other things, the two talk about the two Queens in their lives. Tyrion inquires him about Cersei's pregnancy and Jamie confirms it. Tyrion reprimands him, "She never fooled you. You exactly knew what she was. You loved her anyway." Now, we know that Jamie is a changed man and that he is here to keep him promise. That he intends to fight for the living. But could it be possible that when it's all over and the Dead are somehow defeated he would still be loyal to Cersei? I mean who would he choose? Dany or Cersei? Let's wait and watch! Coming back to Episode 2, Jamie next meets Brienne. Seeing Podrick's progress as a warrior under Brienne's tutelage he praises him. Now, we all know that Brienne and Jamie have had something interesting cooking up between the two of them. Maybe it's just mutual respect but somewhere it appears to be more than that. As the two talk to each other, Brienne is surprised to see a new Jamie who hasn't insulted her even once like he used when he was her prisoner long back. "I came to Winterfell because I am not the fighter I used to be. And I would be honored to serve under your command if you will have me," Jamie tells her while looking into her eyes. And Brienne is obliged to have him.  

Meanwhile Ser Jorah reminds Dany about her magnanimity. He then pleads her to forgive Tyrion and make amends with Sansa. So finally Sansa and Dany have a straightforward conversation. Dany tells her that she loves Jon and trusts him with her life. That she left the Iron Throne and came all the way to fight the Army of the Dead merely out of her love. Sansa also acknowledges her coldness towards her thus far and just when it appears that the two of them would be able to forge a friendship Sansa raises the question of North's independent spirit. That they will never again bow to anyone else. We all know that the only thing Dany hates is people who refuse to bend their knee. But the difficult moment is punctuated by Theon's arrival who tells Dany that Yara has taken over the Iron Islands in Dany's name with a few ships that she had. He tells Sansa, "I want to fight for Winterfell." The two hug each other as Dany looks on.

Tormund has his eyes set on Brienne
Tormund has his eyes set on Brienne
Next Tormund and Beric arrive at Winterfell to inform Jon about the Night King's exploits from the last episode. How the Army of the Dead has wiped out the Umbers. "They are fighting for the Night King now," Beric reminds Jon. "Whoever is not here now is with him," Tormund adds. He also tells Jon that they don't have much time now. We then come to the scene from the trailer where Jon mentions his allies that the Army of the Dead is relentless and never tires. They talk about eliminating the Night King and Bran suggests that he be used as a bait. He tells him that he being the Three Eyed Raved will naturally draw the Night King towards himself. Theon offers to guard Bran as he waits in Godswood for his nemesis. "I took this castle from you. Let me defend you," Theon pleads to Bran who agrees. Tyrion then offers to assist Ser Davos in the war but Dany restricts him from taking an active part in the war. "There are thousands of them and only one of you. You can't fight as well as they can but you can think better than any of them. You are here because of your mind. And if we survive I will need it," Dany declares. After everyone else leaves, Tyrion entreats Bran to tell him his story to him.

Next Missandei and Grey Worm meet each other and discuss the possibilities if they survive after the war. Hope their relationship can see the light of the day. Also three Brothers of the Night's Watch viz. Jon, Edd and Sam unite and reminisce their old days together. Such as how Sam became the first man to kill a White Walker. Jamie and Tyrion meet once again and discuss their past. This time they are drinking together and are soon joined by Brienne and Podrick. Soon Ser Davos and Tormund also walk in. With his fixed eyes on Brienne, Tormund tells her, "It could be out last night in this world, you know." She plainly replies, "Yes and I am glad you are here... fighting with us. I am glad you have survived East Watch." Tyrion interrupts, "Would you like to drink?" "Brought my own," he replies back. Drawing his attention to Jamie, he tell him, "They call you King killer... they call me Giantsbane." He then narrates the story of how he got that name. Now, I don't want to spoil this one for you. So you better check out yourself. All I can tell you is that I absolutely adored the way Tormund narrates it. But, as great as it sounds, I am not sure if it manages to impress Brienne. 

Arya meets Gendry again
Arya and Gendry
In the next scene Arya walks to the Hound. She asks him about his decision to fight for the living, given he only likes to fight for himself. "I fought for you. Didn't I?" the Hound reminds her. Beric joins them and starts talking about the Lord of the Light and it pisses off the Hound. Arya too leaves them, not intending to spend her final hours with the two of them. She then visits Gendry one more time who finally delivers her the weapon she had wanted him to make for her. But then something really unexpected happens as Arya seduces him. "I am not the Red Woman. Take your bloody pants off," she instructs him as the two make love. Given Gendry is the bastard son of Robert and Arya is Ned Stark's daughter there is obviously a lot of history between their families. So this opens up a lot of new possibilities. Some people have raised questions about Arya's age but hopefully this article will help quell all that.  

Tyrion, Jamie, Davos, Brienne, and Tormund are still in the room together as Tyrion reminds that each of them has at one point or the other fought the Starks and now they are there defending their castle. It is here that something very remarkable happens when Tormund learns that Brienne is not a 'Ser'. "Women can't be Knighted," she tells Tormund who in turn tells her that had he been the king he would have knighted her ten times over. Jamie intervenes, "You don't need a king. Any knight can make another knight". And he immediately asks Brienne to kneel and makes her the very first woman knight of the Seven Kingdoms, thereby correcting the mistake of all those before him. It makes for a truly emotional moment and easily the best of the season so far.

In the very next scene we see Ser Jorah trying to unsuccessfully convince Lyanna Mormont not to take part in the impending war. After she leaves, Sam presents Jorah with Heartsbane, the ancestral Valyrian steel sword of House Tarly. We all know what Jorah's father meant to Sam and then Sam kind of repaid the debt by curing Jorah. But now by giving his sword to Jorah, Sam has made a great gesture. Hopefully, it would be put to good use by Jorah. Another beautiful moment of the episode is when Podrick sings Jenny’s Song, a poignant song which is filled with Targaryen history and perhaps even hints at what awaits Dany and Jon.  

Dany and Jon deal with their truth
Dany and Jon deal with their truth
Speaking of Dany and Jon, the former finally gets some time to meet his lover in private. In the scene, Jon is standing next to the statue of Lyanna Stark. On learning from Jon that it's Lyanna, Dany starts musing about the pitiful reality about how Rhaegar had raped her despite having the reputation of a very decent man. It is here that Jon finally tells her about the big revelation that Sam made in the last episode. At first Dany questions it given Sam is Jon's best friend and Bran his brother but she soon gets very insecure thinking of the Iron Throne. If Jon is indeed the last surviving male heir to the Iron Throne then where does that leave Dany. All her life she has been told that the Iron Throne is hers and suddenly it all seems to be falling out of her grasp. Clearly the expression on her face is no more of love. So have the seeds of distrust been sown? Will Dany be able to love and trust Jon anymore? How will Jon and Dany now be able to fight the Army of the Dead together? How will Sansa and others react to this big revelation? Will the Night King directly come for Bran? Will any of our favorite characters be turned into wights? There are so many questions now to be asked. The episode ends with the Army of the Dead, led by the White Walker commanders, at the gates as the living prepare for what could be their final battle. Now, it remains to be seen how many episodes will the Battle of Winterfell last and who all will be standing by the end of it?

If you are in India you can watch the latest episodes of Game of Thrones on Hotstar.

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