"How Do You Know There Is An Afterwards" Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 2 "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms"
I had low expectations for this one but was pleasantly surprised (for the most part). This was the last moving pieces episode we are likely to see for a while, so get ready for big action over the next four episodes.
“So, We’re Going to Die At Winterfell…”
Jaime is back at Winterfell, apparently as we find out later because he wanted to give up everything to serve under Brienne’s command in a last desperate fight against the White Walkers, Wights, and the Night King.
There is a parallelism in the two brothers here. At one point Tyrion admits that he can’t go back to whoremongering because working for Daenerys has changed him and given him new purpose, Jaime has changed so much that he is literally so haunted by Brienne’s goodness that he can no longer stand his beloved sister’s badness.
But first, Jaime has to get Daenerys to agree not to cut off his head. Let’s face it, Jaime has no shortage of enemies at Winterfell.
It turns out that Brienne saves Jaime’s buttocks here too. She tells Daenerys (and more importantly Sansa) all the reasons why she believes in Jaime, would fight with him, and would die with him at her side.
Oh, Jaime also explains that Cersei is not coming and that she is waiting with the Golden Company and the entire Iron Fleet to pick the bones if they survive.
Oddly enough, this wakes both Tyrion and Daenerys up to the fact that Tyrion has been a not good, terrible, very bad hand.
As he walks and talks with Jaime a bit later, Tyrion explains it like this:
“I made a mistake common to clever people, I underestimated the opponent.”
Giggle, I mean if that’s what helps Benioff and Weiss sleep at night. They made one of the most strategic thinkers on the face of the planet into a moron (and this was not even close to his first screw up by the way) and their only answer is that he underestimated Cersei?
Cersei Lannister, you know, the one he called the “most deadly woman in the world (or something like that)”..the one who tried to have him killed almost daily for most of his life Yeah, it totally makes sense he would assume she had good intentions and was going to bring all of her forces North to help save the world.
Here is the worst part, SHE HAD KIDS before, Tyrion would know that they never made her heroic towards the rest of the world before (although they certainly made her do heroic and terrible things to protect them). In fact, she often was AWFUL to the rest of the world or let them be awful to the rest of the world whenever and however they wanted to be.
Sorry but there is NO FUCKING WAY Tyrion would EVER have fallen for this stupid of a ruse (or come up with the dumb raid on House Lannister or have sided with Jon on the dumbest away mission since the original Star Trek)
Jorah shows up and decides to talk with Daenerys for a bit about why she should give Tyrion another chance. Sure, that makes almost zero sense (Tyrion literally has led her to near ruin, has her in a castle facing annihilation, and if they miraculously survive she has all the forces of Cersei waiting behind door number two.
Well, golly gee, I sure hope Tyrion redeems himself soon.
“He’ll Come For Me”
For the love of all that is holy, does anyone who works for Benioff and Weiss ever just tell them that what they are doing makes ZERO damn sense?
Jon is explaining to everyone how totally screwed they are and how their only hope is to attack and kill the Night King even though there is no way to get to the Night King without going through his forces.
But Bran-muffin (who is no longer Bran-muffin) has a plan, he knows that the Night King needs to destroy him because his goal is to create, “An endless night, he wants to erase this world, and I am its memory.”
This is batshit crazy and makes no sense...yes, I know it sounded good, but it makes no sense. Think about it for a few seconds. Yes, Bran has Treeflix (he can see everything that the trees have seen as long as the trees exist). But if Bran still exists, and the Night King wins, how does that make the rest of the world any brighter?
So anyway, we are supposed to believe that the Night King - who knows he is his army’s main vulnerability - will expose himself to put an end to Bran’s greenseeing...which would literally be meaningless to the rest of humanity if the Night King won even if Bran lived.
But okay, here is the actual plan
“I <Bran> need to draw him out into the open. I’ll wait for him in the Godswood”
And so, the rest of the forces of good will be fighting the undead until the Night King sneak into the Godwood to kill Bran so that the “memory of the world” will be erased.
But wait, there’s more.
Guess who Bran’s guards against the Night King and whoever he brings with him will be?
Theon and his merry band of Iron Islanders.
Oh, and the forces of good also can’t deploy their Dragons because they want to extinguish the Night King using a Dragon.
But one last catch, they don’t actually know if it will work.
As Bran puts it, “I don’t know, no one's ever tried”
Awesome, just awesome. Just another great plan from Benioff and Weiss.
And here is why I am really grumpy about this, Bran admits that the Night King always knows where he is at all times.
So, maybe, instead of risking his entire plan to turn the lights out on the world, couldn’t he just stay in the rear with the gear until the White Walkers win and then locate Bran and take him out?
I kind of feel like Tyrion was talking about Benioff and Weiss when he was talking about the fatal weakness of clever people.
Let’s me be 100% frank here, why would anyone fight the Army of the Dead in a head-on battle period? Why would the Night King go after Bran when he could just wait until the end of the battle and kill him then (since he knows exactly where he is at all times)?
“I’m Not The Red Woman”
Tyrion, Podrick, Brienne, Jaime, Davos, and Tormund were all drinking away their last night of life together by one of the big fires in Winterfell.
But, this was really about Brienne...well, the whole episode, in a sense is about people finding their better selves. Tyrion has realized that he is a better man. Jaime has realized that he is a better man. And Brienne has ALWAYS been the best among them.
I was a little bummed that Benioff and Weiss acted like Brienne getting Knighted by Jaime was mostly about her love for Jaime being fulfilled through his gesture because I think it was equally about her being recognized as a Knight (something she has ALWAYS wanted).
I won’t lie, this was a beautifully filmed scene and as much as I sometimes hate what Benioff and Weiss do with the characters, this was a great moment for fans of Brienne of Tarth and well deserved.
Meanwhile, in another room, Arya and Gendry get it on...what?
Well, before that happened, Arya met with the hound, gave Gendry some serious hell, and then...well, you get the picture.
Oh, also, the people sitting around the fire also decide to sing a song, not going to lie I kind of assumed when they started singing, these would be the lyrics:
We're knights of the round table
We dance whene'er we're able
We do routines and scenes
With footwork impeccable.
We dine well here in Camelot
We eat ham and jam and Spamalot.
I Hope We Win
Sansa and Daenerys start out the episode sniping but end up in a much better place once they realize that Daenerys truly loves Jon Snow, a man she truly trusts (only the second such man in her history sorry, Jorah but I think it was her first husband Aquaman that she is referring to here).
Seems a bit odd here to have Sansa call out men for falling for women for emotional reasons and then have Sansa and Daenerys bond largely because Daenerys admits she has fallen for Jon Snow. Also, did I hear Daenerys say that she is fighting this war against the army of the dead because she loves Jon and not because of the existential risk to the continuation of humanity? But this over-emotional claptrap is what got Sansa to back down on her skepticism regarding the Queen of Dragons?
One other problem with Daenerys declaring her trust in Jon. Jon decides to tell Daenerys, after repeated prodding from Sam, his news about being Aegon Targaryen right before they go into battle and right in front of the tomb of his Mom Lyanna Stark.
Nothing like telling your girlfriend the Queen, who trusts you, that you are actually the next in line for the throne right before you both have to go into a massive battle for the future of the human race.
Why was Sam insisting on Jon telling Daenerys now again? Why was this immediately important?
Some odds and ends:
Lyanna Mormont refuses to stand down when Jorah asks her to, she is going to fight walkers too
Tyrion agrees to stay out of the fight (to preserve his superior brain).
Gray Worm and Missandei are dreaming of life after the upcoming battle.
Davos meets a girl that looks a lot like Shireen.
Everyone else is pretty certain they are going to die.
Sam gives Jorah his family sword “Heartsbane” for the fight ahead.
Okay, that’s two weeks down, as much as I complained, I enjoyed this episode (if only to see Brianne knighted).