Game of Thrones S8 E2 Review: Emotions Overflow Right Before the Endgame Begins
The dead are almost here and it's time to let loose pent up emotions and forget past hatred to unite for the singular war that matters. There might be spoilers in the review.
Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 2: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms
Director: David Nutter
Creators: David Benioff & DB Weiss
Cast: Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Gwendoline Christie
Disclaimer: Review contains minor spoilers but doesn't explicitly reveal all events from the episode.
We're in the endgame now.
Things are getting extremely intense in Winterfell as Jaime Lannister finds himself under the watchful gaze of Bran Stark, the boy he pushed out of a tower window in the very first episode of the Game of Thrones Season 1 to cover up his incestuous affair with his sister Cersei Lannister.
Jaime's startled facial expressions at Bran's survival set the tone for bigger and more climatic confrontations in the episode, which begins with Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) giving an earful to Jaime - or rather the Kingslayer (who killed her father, the Mad King Aerys Targaryen)- in Winterfell's Great Hall.
"When I was a child, my brother would tell me a bedtime story about the man who murdered our father," Daenerys opens in the episode, before adding, "of all the things we would do to that man."
While it looked like Daenerys might snap and have Jaime executed on the spot, that doesn't happen because Ser Jaime clearly has a bigger role to play in the scheme of things. Though this confrontation was a longtime coming — and one of the few moments of epicaricacy the show offers.
Despite having become a crucial part of the show, Brienne of Tarth was noticeably missing from the action of the first episode of Season 8, but I'm sure fans will have no complaints from the makers after watching her going full throttle in the second episode, which sees her touching reunion with Jaime. First, they exchange some hard-hearted glances as Jaime continues to defend him in front of Daenerys.
While their previous meetup didn't go as planned, their latest reunion finally proves why Brienne and Jaime's relationship is the most satisfying one in the show, especially when she comes at Jaime's rescue by telling Daenerys and Sansa Stark how he defended her honour and stopped the Brave Companions from raping her.
On the other hand, Tormund's fascination with Brienne continues. As soon as he arrives in Winterfell, he wants to know if the "big woman is still here." The one-sided flirtation between Tormund and Brienne is one of the lighter moments in the episode.
Having said that, it's Jaime and Brienne's unspoken affection that leaves a lasting impact. There's so much respect and honour between the two that it's hard to not root for them.
The tearful reunions from the season's first episode continue with Sansa meeting Theon Greyjoy who has returned with the ironborns to fight for Winterfell. The irony in the scene where he vows to protect Bran, after having claimed to have killed the Stark boys once, is not lost.
Gilly makes an appearance, at last. Though she literally has one line in the whole episode. Samwell is feeling more concerned for his dear friend Jon Snow than usual as now the latter knows the truth about who his parents are.
Jon is grappling with the potential consequences of breaking the news of his true parentage to Daenerys, who, to be honest, has been so consumed with entitlement. She might believe she can conquer the Seven Kingdoms with her army and two full-grown dragons, but that just isn't enough to win and hold a kingdom. It's time she gets that.
The emotional build-up between Arya Stark and Gendry in last week's episode comes to a head too soon, like many other things, because the dead are almost at the doorstep of Winterfell. A lot of the happenings in this episode are commanded by the shortage of time before the war with the Night King begins.
However, strangely, some of the key characters find time to sit around a fire and bond over wine, and whatever it is that Tormund drinks. The wait sometimes gets excruciating in this 55-minute episode.
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