Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 2: Analysis and Review
Beware! Spoilers are coming...
Although there are not exactly any spoilers for this episode. Unless you consider some meaningful conversations as spoilers. This is the last of the calm before the storm episodes that the final season is going to have. And its more than fitting, for once the army of the dead approaches, its full-time battle. In fact, the final season features the longest ever battle sequence in the history of television. And that battle is in the coming episode.
Jaime Lannister is given a cold welcome in the North. And that's not just because winter is here. Immediately he is taken to be judged by the Dany, Jon and Sansa panel. Jaime looks quite unsure of where the ultimate authority lies. While Dany laments how many atrocities Jaime has committed, for instance, the murder of her father, it is ultimately Sansa who declared the final verdict. And Dany didn't like it one bit.
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms
This episode is more aptly named than most TV fans realize. It is is named for the phrase Jaime uses for Brienne of Tarth after knighting her. She has been fighting for years and upholding all the traditions of being a knight, but still being labelled as a sworn sword. She even managed to train an excellent apprentice as a knight would a squire.
However, her gender was the only obstruction in being a knight. Moreover, the Seven Kingdoms part mean that she is not a knight just for some particular house but of all the seven kingdoms. But there's more and that's where the books come in.
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is also the title of G.R.R. Martin’s prequel, Dunk and Egg stories. The prequel takes place 90 years before the events of Game of Thrones. The series follows Aegon V Targaryen, Egg and Duncan the Tall, Dunk. Dunk is also the ancestor of Brienne. Hence Brienne follows a path as set by her forefather and as much a knight.
Going to the crypts may not be the best idea
While the crypts may be the most inner most place of the castle, it may be a terrible idea for the non fighters to go there. For starters, it is a dead(pun intended) end full of dead Starks. Coupled with a dead army advancing towards Winterfell, you can see what a glaring strategic flaw this is.
We don't know exactly what are the mechanics for raising the dead. Can they raise the buried? Do they have to be dead for a specific time period. From how far can a White Walker raise the dead? The battle would be a quick end if coupled with the assault on land, the White Walkers raise dead Starks from the crypts of Winterfell and attack from both ends. The dead Starks will make short work of the women and children and move on to attack the unsuspecting defenders.
Moreover, there is also this scene in the trailer which shows Arya running from something possibly inside Winterfell, who or what could that be?
This is getting too macabre so moving on.
Jon, nope Aegon V Targaryen
Jon finally grew a pair and spoke up with Dany about why he's been avoiding her all this time. And that too when Dany herself seeks him out. Dany is rightfully skeptical at first but is on the verge of believing him. It is clear that Jon himself believes this to be absolutely true.
We don't get to see much as as soon as Dany states the obvious, that Jon is the rightful king of all Westeros, the dead come ringing the doorbell of Winterfell. Although, we are quite sure that Dany believes this to be right, just as Jon does himself.
Unlikely and likely couples
Love was in the air as the White Walkers assembled an army outside Winterfell. Although some last minute couples felt quite forced. Greyworm and Missendei discuss future plans, a cliche in many romantic flicks. This cliche usually extends to one of the lovebirds to die before ever fulfilling that discussed future.
It was rather uncomfortable seeing Arya approach a man so freely. We have seen Arya grow from a little girl to an assassin and we would have felt better if the show kept it at that. It also felt a little forced, sure GOT has been setting up the two for a long while, but it didn't have to reach its apex just now. Perhaps one of the two might not make it through the Battle for Winterfell.
Tormund's tall tales
Right when Tyrion convenes a fireside gathering with a quite random selection of characters, Tormund starts off his origin story. That no one really asked for. But still it was interesting to see it make its way into the TV show. Although it is a bit modified from its book version, we have trouble deciding which one was better. One thing is clear though, the timing of the story is much better in the show.
In the books, Tormund tells this to Jon in A Storm of Swords. The only difference is in the start and goes like, he says he was
...half a boy and stupid the way boys are. Caught in the middle of a winter storm, he sought warmth from a sleeping giant and cut open her belly and crawled up right inside her.
What's interesting here is that a sort of love triangle is shown. Tormund is interested in Brienne and viewers have also come to realize that Jaime may have some feelings for the new Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. Pretty sure though that this will not develop further as one of the three will probably not make it through the next episode.