Season 8, Episode 2 of Game of Thrones aired last night and a full 58 minutes of preparing for the doom of “The Battle of Winterfell” next week. It was a very uncharacteristic episode, not just because of the content, but because this season wasn’t written episodic. Game of Thrones Season 8 starts more like a miniseries with chapters we are given each week as opposed to episodes that exist with individual identities from start to finish. We have one story, with several chapters.
As beautiful as everything ended in last nights episode I can’t deny the feeling they are all doomed. As usual, this write-up is full of spoilers AND my predictions for who’s going to make it and who’s going to bite it at “The Battle of Winterfell”.
This episode was entirely Winterfell. It almost felt like an epilogue rather than the brew before a great battle. Each character that is left was either connected or given some form of closure in their story. Seven hells, there were even multiple happy endings. If that doesn’t tell you death is foreshadowed I don’t know what does. By the time Sansa and Dany had their pow wow, the rest of the show continued to give our characters “endings”. There were no big effects, just a quiet episode full of dialogue. While we were given closure, we were also given some important answers.
What The Night King Is After
Bran casually (as he gives all important information these days) announces the Night King is after him. That his true goal is to create an eternal night of the dead and to do so he must kill Bran like all of the other 3ER’s. For everyone who thought The Night King was Bran, this pretty much crushes that theory into nothingness. Also, for those who were curious about the spiral symbol one of the shows directors confirmed it was a religious symbol to the children and the Night King uses it now as a term of blasphemy. He can ride Viserion because he controls the dead, not because he’s a Targaryan. This theory was also fledging as we know he was one of the first men, probably a Stark.
We had more dark foreshadowing about the crypt, which reminds me of the women and children hiding in the dungeon in Helms Deep in Lord of the Rings. I think most of us are expecting the dead to rise, but are unsure whether they will aid the Starks or be mindless like the rest of the risen wights. Winterfell has all of it’s own magic that has been eluded to, and as we’ve been told it’s been “forgotten”. There will probably be more to the story of Winterfell, the Night King, and Bran’s connection here and I think we’re in for some terrifying revelations.
The high points of this episode were the conversations. Starting with the one between Sansa and Dany, even though it was left unsettled it was most of the BS was nipped in the bud. We were entertained by Tormund with some much needed laughs. I have grown to love the friendship between Beric and the Hound, and Arya’s moment with them was perfect. It was another great Arya episode and I think a lot of us were cheering for her and Gendry, and let’s calm down about her age. No one was complaining when she was off murdering hundreds of people, but now that she was to get some nookie it’s: “Is she old enough?” Hmph.
The room with the fire was my favorite part. The dialogue, the lighting, the ambiance, and the interactions among them all, but mostly Jaime knighting Brienne. I felt the tears well. Jaime and Brienne were easily the high point from start to finish in this episode. We talk about Theon’s story of redemption, but Jaime’s is if nothing else even more remarkable. We also got to see shades of our old witty Tyrion this episode. I loved that he and Jaime both acknowledged that they were no longer the same people they were at the beginning of the story.
As peaceful and beautiful as the episode was there was still some awkward dialogue and moments. There were moments that felt forced because we had to see EVERYONE on the eve of battle. Small discrepancies. I did enjoy this episode far more than the first. Even though every happy moment only made the rocks in my stomach turn ever more. Also, where was Varys? In an episode full of talking this would have been an opportune time for him to….ahhh…talk.
Some things have changed for me slightly, but most is still on track with what I anticipated. Right now the big question is who will die on Game of Thrones this Sunday?
- For Sure: Tormund, Beric, Ser Brienne, Ser Jorah, Greyworm, Gilly, Little Sam, Jon, Missandei, Theon, Ghost, and Poddrick
- Possibly: Dany, Bran, Gendry, Lyanna, Ser Davos, Varys, The Hound (holding onto the possibility of Cleganebowl), Rhaegal
- Survives: Jaime, Tyrion, Arya, Sam, Drogon and Sansa
Surprises? I think the theory that the Red Priestesses may show up is solid. Ghost, and perhaps even Nymeria and her pack may make appearances. Though IF the army survives and heads south to fight Cersei and co. I think they’ll reserve Nymeria’s Lannister killers for that engagement, especially since there are no elephants.
Hold on everyone. The next six days are going to be rough, but Sunday night is going to bring us what Melisandre has been promising since season 2.
“The night is dark and full of terrors.”
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