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Sunday, April 28, 2019

Game of Thrones 8x02: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms



Opening Credits Map

Last Hearth -> Winterfell -> King's Landing

Winterfell
Well, I hope you like Winterfell because we're going to be staying here for a while. I also hope you like dialogue because there's not going to be any action. And I hope you like character reunions because there's plenty of those. I also hope you like discussions on who characters were, how they've changed, and the long road it took for them to get where they are because if you do, this is the episode for you!

Let's get started. We first start with Jaime standing trial in front Daenerys, Sansa, and Jon Snow. Daenerys is pissed at him for killing her father (even though he was insane) and Sansa is pissed that he attacked Ned Stark. They're both pissed he didn't bring a Lannister army with him.

Bran is there too. However, he doesn't spill what he knows. Jaime says he regrets nothing and would do it all over again. Way to have introspection and improve yourself Jaime.

Brienne vouches for Jaime (thus reminding me that way back when they hung out together for a bit) and Tyrion does too, although, Tyrion's word isn't impressing many people these days. Brienne vouching for Jaime convinces Sansa that he's OK which, in turn, convinces Daenerys that Jaime's OK. Jon Snow just wants all the help he can get.

After the trial Daenerys cusses out Tyrion for being an idiot and trusting Cersei. Tyrion has very little defense. Tyrion knows he's on a short leash although I'm not sure what he can do to improve this situation. At this point the only strategy is to defeat the White Walkers and then defeat Cersei. Most of the cards are on the table. I'm not sure how much political maneuvering is left to do.

In the forge Gendry is hard at work. Arya shows up and wants her weapon. Gendry tells her that weapons are for boys, silly girl. Arya then shows off her sweet knife throwing skills. Gendry's like, "Wow, that's hot!" And Arya's all, "If you think that's hot, wait till you see what I got in store for later!" Which we'll get to but, for now, Gendry's convinced he has to make that weapon.

Bran's hanging out at the creepy tree where Jaime shows up to talk with him. You'd think they'd have had this conversation when he first entered Winterfell but whatever. Jaime tells Bran he's sorry and that he's a different person now. What happened to not regretting anything?

Anyway, Bran Bran's. He doesn't really care. He says people do crazy things for love and notes that if Jaime didn't do what he did Bran wouldn't be who he is now. So, I guess the moral of the story is people should fuck their siblings and attempt to murder kids more often?

Tyrion Charlie Brown mope walks around Winterfell and runs into Jaime. At first I thought it had been a long time since they've seen each other but I then realized  they just talked in King's Landing at the end of last season. First they talk Daenerys and Tyrion tells Jaime about how good she is and different than the previous Targaryens. Then they talk shit about Cersei. Next Tyrion talks about his dream of dying mid-blow job.

Jaime then sees Brienne training Podrick, the only man that can enter a three legged race by himself. Mr. Anaconda is getting better at fighting but not good enough, according to Brienne. Jaime talks strategy with Brienne but Brienne is weirded out by Jaime's lack of quips. Jaime is not in the mood for banter, though, and instead tells Brienne that the only reason he came to Winterfell was to serve under her command. She agrees. I don't think that's the ONLY reason he came to Winterfell but let's move on.

Jorah talks with Daenerys in private. His main motivation is to tell her that Tyrion can be an asshole but he's smart and when he makes mistakes he learns from them. I guess we'll see about that. He also suggests that Daenerys should talk with Sansa.

Daenerys does seek out Sansa. They decide to screw the Bechdel test and talk about Jon Snow. Sansa thinks he's being manipulated because he's in love. Daenerys says the same could be said of her. This conversation is going a bit better than past one until Sansa brings up the North's desire to be free when all is said and done. Daenerys doesn't look too pleased about this.

But, no time to talk about who's ruling what because Theon has returned! Daenerys wants to know where Yara is and Theon informs her that they only have a few ships so they sailed back to the Iron Isles to take them back in Daenerys' name. And, also, y'know, to not die.

Sansa is incredibly happy to see Theon. More than I expected. But I guess he did save her life.

Ser Davos is doling out soup to the peasants and giving marching orders. The able-bodies are going to fight and the rest are going to the safest place in Winterfell, the crypt. Yes, they think they're safe from the undead in a cave filled with the dead.

A young girl gets her soup and declares her desire to fight. Gilly overhears this and tell the girl she's glad she wants to fight. They need someone to protect them in the crypt. The little girl agrees to help defend the crypt. Gilly, showing off her parenting skills!

Tormund, Beric, and Edd arrive in Winterfell. Jon Snow sees Edd being greeted by Sam and goes to talk with them but Tormund bigfoots his way in. Jon Snow gets the lowdown that Last Hearth has fallen and all of Lord Umber's forces with it. Jon Snow also learns that the Night King will arrive before dawn.

Jon Snow holds a war council. Basically, he says they're fucked. But there is a plan. Kill the Night King and the rest will follow. Jaime thinks this means the Night King will never expose himself but that has yet to be the case in any of the encounters. Everyone agrees with Jaime, though.

So, to get the Night King out in the open they'll use Bran as bate, since he's the three-eyed raven and Night Kings HATE three-eyed ravens. Theon agrees to defend Bran who will be hanging out by the creepy tree. I mean, they could have, like, MORE than just Theon defending Bran but I'm not a part of this war council so what do I know?

The dragons will be poised to kill the Night King which means they won't be used on the battlefield. Not ideal. Also, Tyrion is relegated to the crypt. Daenerys tells him that he's not a good fighter and she'll need his brain when this is over. That has to be reassuring to Tyrion, at least.

In the courtyard Missandei and Grey Worm talk about all the places they want to go together once this is over. They want to go south, where it's warm and I can relate to that. They want to help their people after this but they might as well talk about how they're one day away from retiring as a beat cop because they've pretty much signed their death certificates. Well, at least one of them has anyway.

Jon Snow, Edd, and Sam, the last of the Night's Watch (or at least the last of Castle Black?) stand together and talk about their days at the Night's Watch. Jon Snow gives Sam the OK to go to the crypt but Sam refuses and has to give out his bona fides. Edd busts Sam's balls but Sam dishes it back. Even Ghost makes a cameo! Ahhh...the memories.

Tyrion and Jaime are sitting, drinking, and talking of the irony of two Lannister sons dying defending Winterfell. They talk about the first time they visited Winterfell, which I think is a callback to the first episode? But it would seem odd that's the first time they've been to Winterfell. Jaime knows he can no longer fight like he used to and Tyrion misses his drunken Lothario days but knows he can't be that person anymore. Stupid morals always getting in the way.

Soon they are joined by Brienne, Davos, Tormund and Thundercock. Tormund regales everyone with a story of being adopted by a female giant and drinking her milk to get big a strong. Everyone is suitably unnerved by this information.

Arya finds the Hound and wonders why he's fighting for somebody other than himself. Hound doesn't really answer why he's fighting but notes that has fought for other people before, like Arya. Then Beric shows up and starts annoying everyone with his preaching. The Hound threatens to throw Beric over the wall now that he can't be revived. Arya's heard enough and leaves.

Arya meets with Gendry and demands to know his sexual history. I'm not sure why Arya wants to know about that but not understanding women is nothing new for me. Gendry's shy about it at first but Arya gets the information she wants. Arya's good at getting what she wants. Now she wants to lose her virginity to Gendry. She achieves that goal as well.

Tyrion, Jaime, Brienne, Davos, Tormund and Tripod are still warming themselves in the hall. Tyrion says he thinks they're all survive. They're main characters so they've survived so many previous battles. Why would this one be different? Obviously Tyrion doesn't realize they're in the final season.

It comes up that Brienne is not a knight and Tormund is aghast. They tell him it's tradition that women can't be knights but that argument isn't holding much water for Tormund. Jaime notes that while there are no kings around a knight can make another knight. So, Jaime has Brienne kneel and he knights her. The room is happy for her, she has tears of joy, and the scene is genuinely touching.

Out in the courtyard Jorah is trying to talk Lady Mormont out of being on the battlefield but, obviously, Jorah hasn't had much experience talking with his cousin or he'd know his appeals would fall on deaf ears. Sam interrupts this family squabble to give Jorah Heartsbane. Apparently, despite all of Sam's bona fides, he can't swing a sword that big. Sam wants Jorah to wield it in honor of Jeor Mormont. Jorah accepts.

Back in the hall Tyrion is drunk and wants to hear a song. But nobody there can sing. Well, nobody except one. Apparently Podrick's voice is as beautiful as his one-eyed trouser snake. He sings while a montage of everyone preparing for battle is shown.

In the crypt, Daenerys finds Jon Snow in front of Lyanna Stark's statue. Daenerys muses about the stories of how kind her brother was and how hard it is to believe he raped Lyanna. Jon Snow informs Daenerys that she wasn't raped, she actually married Rhaegar. I mean, with the information Jon Snow has on hand, those two things aren't mutually exclusive.

Nevertheless, Jon Snow breaks the news of his parentage to Daenerys. She has difficult believing it especially since that'd make him the true heir to the throne. The look in her eyes made me start thinking that she was going to kill him on the spot but they're interrupted by Tyrion. The Night King and his army has arrived.

Shits about to get real!

Other Thoughts
I'm always a sucker for, near the end of a long saga, characters taking time to look back at how far they've come. So I did enjoy this episode although it didn't land with me as well as it could have since I had trouble remembering how far the characters have come. That's partly on me because of my terrible memory and unwillingness to do a re-watch but also on the show for having such long season breaks.

I was a little sad that they cut right to Jaime's trial. I was interested in seeing the reaction of the characters to his arrival.

This is true of lot stuff in the latter seasons, but earlier in the series Jaime undergoing trial and gaining the trust Sansa/Daenerys/Jon Snow feels like it would'v been a 3 episode arc.

Varys has done very little, lately. I suppose that might be because most of this season so far has been about the upcoming battle instead of palace intrigue.

Remember Dorne?

I'm starting to wonder if there's merit to the idea that the White Walkers will be dealt with earlier than you'd expect in this season and the rest of the season will deal with Cersei/Jon Snow/Daenerys and who sits on the Iron Throne.

Speaking of who sits on the Iron Throne, Daenerys is coming into conflict with Sansa and now, possibly, Jon Snow. I feel like the show hasn't done a great job of showing us why Daenerys wants to rule Westeros aside from the fact that she believes it's her birthright, which isn't a great motivation. She has talked about breaking the wheel but if that's the case she probably shouldn't be worried about Jon Snow being the rightful heir. I feel like I could break this down more (and even discuss how Gendry fits into all of this) but what it really comes down to is that monarchies are stupid and heirs are a stupid way to decide who a ruler should be. Hopeful, this show will hammer that point home by the end.

I know royal lineage is going to be the main crux of the conflict between Jon Snow and Daenerys but is the fact that they're aunt and nephew and the weirdness inherent in that be brought up at all? (I know it's more acceptable in Westeros but...still...)

So, yeah, it was a little weird seeing the Arya sex scene. There's nothing truly wrong with it but it's tough for me not to see her as the young little girl from season 1. But if Arya really wanted to experience the full glory of carnal delights we know Gendry isn't the man she should have been headed towards. There's a man in Winterfell right now who can be his own pogo stick.

I also question where Arya got her sex education from. I feel like she was too young when she was separated from her parents to have them teach her. I now realize the only real parental figure left would be the Hound. Did the Hound teach Arya about the birds and the bees?

It is interesting to that Gendry first met Arya when she was disguised as a boy.

Big battle coming next week, Who do I think is going to die? Grey Worm, obviously, although Missandei I think lives. Brienne is probably a goner. Edd...Beric...maybe Jorah? I guess it comes down to me thinking the Starks, Lannisters, and Targaryens are going to live at least to the next episode but I'm not sure who else will. (I'm also not sure if she counts as a main character but I think Lady Mormont will survive. Or maybe I just hope?)

Tormund: You're not a knight?
Brienne: Women can't be knights.
Tormund: Why not?
Brienne: Tradition.
Tormund: Fuck Tradition.

Sam: Everyone seems to forget that I was the first man to kill a White Walker. I've killed Thenns.
Edd: Thenn.
Sam: I've saved Gilly more than once. I stole a considerable number of books from the Citadel library, survived the Fist of the First Men. You need me out there.
Edd: Well, if that's what it's comes to we really are fucked.
Sam: Well, calling you fucked wouldn't be strictly accurate.

Season 8 Totals
Boob Count: 7
Full Frontal Count: 0
Butt Count: 4
Coitus Count: 2
Main Character Death Count: 0 (Probably going to change soon.)

2 comments:

  1. At this point the only strategy is to defeat the White Walkers and then defeat Cersei.

    Presumably, Tyrion could contribute to that latter goal; his ill-placed trust in Cersei aside, he knows King's Landing far better than he know Winterfell, and knowing now he truly can't trust Cersei no matter what, he should be better able to out-maneuver her.

    What happened to not regretting anything?

    I think his earlier "I'd do it all again!" defense was speaking specifically to the crimes cited: attacking Ned and killing the Mad King, two acts which, while not the best solutions to a problem were justified in the context of the society, in that he was acting in defense of his house/family/the realm (in the latter case), things everyone present would do as well (ie if a Lannister believed Bran had attacked one of them & kidnapped him, it's not unlikely to think that Robb would go and attack some other Lannisters to try and get his brother back).

    Whereas pushing Bran out the window was something Jamie did for selfish reasons, to protect his relationship with his sister, and was not the response your standard honorable Westerosi citizen would have, so he feels regret over that.

    Tyrion Charlie Brown mope walks around Winterfell

    Ha! Now I want someone to take the scenes of Tyrion in this episode and play the sad Charlie Brown music under them.

    Then they talk shit about Cersei.

    I really liked how Tyrion didn't let Jamie off the hook re: Cersei, pointing out that she never fooled Jamie but that he went along with her anyways.

    Sansa is incredibly happy to see Theon. More than I expected. But I guess he did save her life.

    I forget who it was, but someone online pointed out that, in addition to that specific act, they also share a bond because they both "survived the same monster", which I thought was a good way of putting it and helps illuminate their connection.

    The little girl agrees to help defend the crypt. Gilly, showing off her parenting skills!

    Also, that little girl was reminiscent of Shireen (similar facial scaring), and per the writer of the episode, the fact that Davos & Gilly both interacted with her was meant to be a hattip to the fact Shireen taught both of them to read, without coming right out and saying all that with clunky lines of dialogue.

    I mean, they could have, like, MORE than just Theon defending Bran but I'm not a part of this war council so what do I know?

    Technically, the rest of the iron born following Theon will be there, too, but it's not like Bran is going to be on a ship in the water so maybe get some people who's greatest strengths aren't amphibious assaults to help out?

    Jon Snow, Edd, and Sam, the last of the Night's Watch (or at least the last of Castle Black?)

    I think we're meant to assume that whatever is left of the Night's Watch is at Winterfell now. I have no idea if that just means literally those three (or if there's more random brothers hanging out), but I believe the idea is that when the wall fell, Edd took everyone left (which wasn't many) to check on Eastwatch, at which point they ran into Berric & Tormund at Last Hearth, after which everyone redirected to Winterfell.

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  2. They talk about the first time they visited Winterfell, which I think is a callback to the first episode? But it would seem odd that's the first time they've been to Winterfell.

    That was the first time they were at Winterfell, which isn't that strange when you remember that, prior to Season 7, travel around Westeros wasn't easy. That was also Robert's first trip north since becoming king (and if he wasn't going north, than Jamie, as one of the Kingsguard, wouldn't have, and I don't think Tyrion had much cause to go there on his own).

    Arya meets with Gendry and demands to know his sexual history. I'm not sure why Arya wants to know about that

    Look, if you were going to lose your virginity the night before your possible death, wouldn't you want to make sure it was with someone who knew what they were doing?

    She has talked about breaking the wheel but if that's the case she probably shouldn't be worried about Jon Snow being the rightful heir.

    Yeah, I really want this "breaking the wheel" thing to come back around again (pun intended); obviously, it can't be simple as "no more monarchy!" (as much as that is, clearly, the best solution), since that would undermine Dany's whole reason for being, but she talked specifically about breaking the cycle of Houses vying against one another and the crown for favor & power & position, and I'd like to see what her solution to that actually is (and am hoping it's more than "absolute monarchy that burns anyone who disagrees with dragonfire").

    I know royal lineage is going to be the main crux of the conflict between Jon Snow and Daenerys but is the fact that they're aunt and nephew and the weirdness inherent in that be brought up at all?

    It does speak to Dany's priorities when the first thing that comes to mind is "that means you have a better claim to the throne" and not "that means I'm your aunt!".

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