It speaks volumes about the writing on display when a really dialogue-heavy episode of a show manages to hold the viewers in a spell until it ends. The second episode of the final season of Game of Thrones was basically an extension of the first episode.
The focus was once again on character interactions and the upcoming war. This episode was about the human moments, and we might miss this in the upcoming episodes when it is all about the dead and the undead.
The cliffhanger from the last episode — Jaime Lannister ending up face-to-face with Bran Stark — was resolved almost immediately. As expected Bran bore no ill-will towards Jaime. Daenerys Targaryen was not as kind, though Tyrion Lannister and Brienne of Tarth’s interventions and later Sansa Stark’s conviction saved Jaime.
Bran, who rarely speaks, took the effort to mouth the now-iconic words, “The things I do for love.”
It is worth thinking about why Daenerys would still be furious at Jaime after all she was told how cruel and crazy her father was.
Daenerys Targaryen also accused Tyrion Lannister of foolishness for trusting Cersei Lannister before Sansa Stark reminded her she did the same. Sansa remains by far the smartest person in the castle. Daenerys’ attempt at burying the hatchet with Sansa fails when she is bluntly told the North would never submit to a foreign ruler. Sansa is not someone to be trifled with.
Theon Greyjoy arrives and swears to fight for Winterfell and the Starks. Sansa hugs him.
Ser Davos Seaworth has the responsibility of feeding soldiers. He spots a little girl with a half-scarred face wanting to fight in the battle, reminding him of Shireen. Gilly comes and tells her she would feel much safer if she was there to protect her and other women and children.
The brothers of Night’s Watch along with Tormund and Beric Dondarrion arrive and warn Jon Snow that the Army of the Dead is coming and will be at Winterfell before sunrise.
Tormund still has the hots for Brienne of Tarth, by the way, and is shocked when told she is not a knight. “F*** tradition,” he says.
Jaime Lannister tries to apologise to Bran Stark in Godswood before the Three-Eyed-Raven says he is not Bran. He also suggests that it was necessary for Jaime to push him from the window otherwise the Kingslayer would not have become a better person and Bran would not be the Three-Eyed-Raven.
Arya Stark is getting a weapon forged by her old friend Gendry. Arya also asks him about the white walkers and their wights since he fought them in the Beyond the Wall episode.
Jaime Lannister talks with Brienne of Tarth and says he would be happy while fighting under her command. Brienne tells him she is surprised that he has not insulted her yet. Has she forgotten their conversation at King’s Landing before she departed to find the Stark girls?
When all the major protagonists are gathered in the “war room”, Bran reveals that the Night King wants him and his goal is to erase all humanity. Since Bran, a Three-Eyed-Raven is its (the world’s) memory, he is the Night King’s prime target. He says they should use him as bait since if the Night King is killed, his army will be leaderless and without any purpose. Taking on the dead is not an option since they are too many.
Missandei and Grey Worm talk about escaping Westeros after the war is over.
Arya Stark and Gendry hook up. We all saw this coming. Jaime Lannister anoints Brienne of Tarth as a knight.
Lyanna Mormont argues with Jorah about her taking part in the battle. Sam arrives and gifts his ancestral sword, the Valyrian steel blade Heartsbane, to Jorah as gratitude to his father, the former Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch Jeor Mormont.
Jon Snow tells Daenerys Targaryen about his Targaryen lineage. Daenerys is unsurprisingly flustered, but the sound of a horn announces the arrival of the Army of the Dead. This conflict will have to wait.
This was a strong episode, full of lovely moments and sharp dialogue.
Game of Thrones season 8 airs on Star World and streams on Hotstar.