Last night’s Game Of Thrones, titled “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”, served as one long farewell tour of all of our fan favorites. The episode started at a pretty rapid pace with the trial of Jaime Lannister, a reckoning we’ve been moving toward since he pushed Bran out of that window. No one knows that he’s the one who pushed Bran, but his many atrocious other deeds are well known. Daenerys opens the episode in a pretty killer monologue about her dreams of revenge against Jaime for killing her father in cold blood. Because everyone in the room knows full well that her dad was insane, however, it doesn’t pack the same emotional punch as Sansa calling him out for attacking her father in the streets and nearly ending her entire family line.
Lady Brienne comes to the rescue and vouches for his honor, regaling us all with tales of his valor and good deeds. The scene plays out like many a GOT online chatroom: is Jaime Lannister good or bad? Can he make up for his many past sins? The verdict is swiftly handed down in his favor, resolving 8 seasons of back and forth in the span of 8 minutes. This is where the episode slows down considerably, taking us one last time through each of the characters and the relationships that we’ve come to love.
Daenerys doubts her decision to make Tyrion her hand after he foolishly trusts Cersei, the latest in a string of poor decisions he’s made. Jorah ends up vouching for Tyrion in a surprising turn of events, although not quite as surprising given that the entire episode is dedicated to enemies becoming friends and mending broken relationships.
Brienne and Jaime get a sweet moment together where we see his growth in his lack of disrespect for her, and the look she gives him when he asks to serve under her command is a credit to Gwendoline Christie’s superb acting in this scene. Jaime also gets a moment in the Godswood to apologize to Bran for pushing him out the window, something Bran doesn’t really seem to care about. So, I guess we’re good then?
I loved the scene between Daenerys and Sansa where Dany tries to play the woman card to ingratiate herself with Sansa, like, “Why are we fighting? Women should be helping each other up, not bringing each other down. Oh, right, I’m sleeping with your brother. Whoops!”
Sansa’s acceptance of the olive branch followed by her demand for the North turns the scene on its head in such a fun way. Maybe I’m finally starting to see why Sansa’s the smartest person Arya knows.
The council scene serves to set up the lay of the land and what the battle is going to be in the next episode. We finally learn what the Night King wants: an endless night (we should have gotten that, it was in his name the whole time!). We also learn what Bran is, which is the memory of the world. That was actually pretty cool, although Sam’s monologue about the importance of remembering came off a little “after school special” in an otherwise tactful scene. It’s decided, Bran will be bait and the Ironborn will defend him. This gives Theon a chance to make up for the sacking of Winterfell and his many other poor choices, although Sansa seemed to forgive him pretty quickly for that when he saved her from Ramsay Bolton.
The whole episode was like one big setup for next week’s gut punch. The little girl who wanted to fight gets convinced by Gilly to go to the safety of the crypts, which was a sweet moment all around. That little girl is totally going to die. Grey Worm and Missandei making post-battle plans for a visit to her home of Naath is so clearly not going to happen. I can already see his death on the battlefield, and her grieving the loss of… (Wait, what are they exactly? They’ve very clearly stated in the show that he doesn’t have a penis. Well, I guess he’ll probably die and we’ll never find out.)
The scene around the fire brought together an eclectic mix of our favorite characters, including the love triangle that is Jaime Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, and Tormund Giantsbane. I can’t decide if I want Brienne and Jaime to become a couple, or if I’d rather Brienne made off with Tormund. His needless monologue on the history of his name was pretty funny comic relief, but probably served to make us hurt even more when he dies next week. I did love his disgust at the sexism of the lack of female knights, though.
The most heart wrenching moment of the episode comes when Jaime gives Brienne the thing she’s always wanted: a knighthood. The way she plays it off at the beginning contrasted by the genuine smile of pride on her face afterwards is enough to make her potential death something I don’t even want to consider. Why can’t Brienne end up on the Iron Throne? #I’mwithBrienne.
The one scene in the entire episode that I did not care for was Arya and Gendry’s sex scene. I’m not against the idea of Arya and Gendry getting together; they’ve been building towards it for a while now. But her reasoning of “I don’t wanna die a virgin” brought her character down from ‘badass female assassin’ to ‘first person to die in a horror movie’. You’re better than that, Arya. Plus you’re like fourteen; you should be focusing on murder, not sex.
The episode ends with Jon revealing his true lineage to Daenerys, which I think it’s fair to say does not go over well. She casts some serious doubt onto his claim, and we’re saved from seeing his response by the arrival of the dead. I guess we’ll just have to wait a little bit longer to see the resolution of this lover’s quarrel.