Tales from Westeros: The Final Logs of Grand Master Zed Season 8 Episode 2: “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”
Hello and welcome back again my would be sitters of the Throne, my army of the #Dead, its your favorite chronicler of the tales of dragons and wolves, of gods and men, of fire an ice, Grand Master Zed. My collegiate duties have stalled me once more, but here we are for perhaps the last episode of Game of Thrones where the threat of the army of the dead isn’t just a story to scare your children to the people of Westeros. We had some interesting twists and some perhaps unexpected character moments this episode. So lets dive right in to “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”!
As we open up, Jaime is getting the tongue lashing from Dany that he’s deserved for many years for killing her dad. Even if he did it for the good of the realm, its clear that Dany and her family have a much different view on Jaime, as they apparently used to fall asleep to stories of how they were going to torture him. Jaime finds it difficult to find a pair of eyes to land on and you can kinda feel this palpable shame radiating off of him. The death of the Mad King is one of the worst and best things Jaime has ever done, because it may have saved King’s Landing from burning to death, but its earned him his hated nickname “Kingslayer”, and has pretty much haunted him his whole life, making him a man with “shit for honor” and earning him the ire of his fellow Kingsguard and most of Westeros. Dany notices the distinct lack of an army following Jaime, and Jaime lays it down that he was deceived by Cersei too, and that she’s packing a swole army and fleet and mercenaries that could easily prove to be a problem for the survivors. Tyrion tries to vouch for Jaime by Dany isn’t exactly pleased or impressed. Sansa agrees with Dany, and brings up the time Jaime attacked Ned outside Littlefinger’s brothel after her mom, Catelyn, took his little brother Tyrion hostage back in Season 1.
Speaking of things Jaime regrets, Bran pipes in and stops Jaime’s “I’d do all the horrible things I’ve done again speech” by saying “The things we do for love.” Now if you watched the lead up to the episode, you see Bran getting pushed out the window of the Cracked Tower after he saw Jaime and Cersei doing the doggystyle mambo back in the first episode of the show, Jaime only did so so that Cersei and he wouldn’t be discovered. Before trying to kill the young Stark, he said “The things I do for love.” This now has a dual meaning. Bran is reminding Jaime of trying (and failing) to cripple a young boy, as well as….well….look at Jaime now. One hand, in front of his greatest enemies, betrayed by his sister, the person he did all this for. Sometimes, the things we do for love do not always end up with our being loved. Jaime says that he’s here to fight for mankind’s survival to an unimpressed audience. But Jaime fortunately has a savior: Brienne of Fucking Tarth.
Brienne stands up and vouches for Jaime to Sansa, and Sansa believes her as she trusts Brienne totally. Brienne is very obviously either in love with Jaime, or at least has a super honor boner for him. The most important part of Brienne’s speech to remember is that Jaime swore an oath to Catelyn Stark to protect her daughters, and Jaime sent Brienne to do so, giving her armor and a Valyrian steel sword, justly named “Oathkeeper.” Dany isn’t pleased with letting Jaime stay, and goes to her boo thang Jon, who agrees with Sansa. Not exactly gonna score him many points with Aunty, but that’s perhaps why Jon peels out of the meeting so fast. He now knows the truth of his birth and is avoiding Dany because of it. Grey Worm gives Jaime back his sword and he casts final looks at both Brienne and Bran. Dany takes out her rage on Tyrion, who admits he was an idiot for trusting Cersei, but Dany is here to remind him of his past failings as well. She puts him on notice and says that she would revoke his being Hand of the Queen if he screws up again.
We find Gendry back in the forge, and Arya comes in to cast some bedroom eyes in his direction before asking if her special order is ready yet. Geez Arya! Ever hear of a line? Gendry reveals that he’s fought the dead before which really gets Arya’s engine running. She wants to know more about the enemy and isn’t afraid. Gendry says he’ll get right to work on her….ballistic spear or whatever it is ASAP. I think he was just mostly turned on by her knife throwing display and honestly I understand. Gents, if she isn’t an emotionless assassin she’s just not the one. Arya worships a many faced God of Death, so these petty little ice zombies are just another face of the pervasive whole that is death, and what waits for all of us. Valar Morghulis.
At the Godswood, Jaime opens up with possibly the worst opening line ever when he tries to apologize for what he did to Bran Flakes. Bran notes why Jaime did what he did, and how it set off the chain of events that brought them here. Bran also lets it slide that he purposefully withheld telling Jon and Sansa about the fall because he knew Jaime would come and help them. Jaime queries if Bran will turn him in when this is all over, and Bran jokes that there might not be such a time, as OH GOD EVERYONE IS GONNA DIE.
Tyrion walks the Winterfell courtyard and watches the battle preparations, and runs into Jaime. Tyrion convinces Jaime that Dany is the right choice, and Tyrion admits he wasn’t as smart as he thought he was when battle planning for the dragon queen. Jaime tries to get his little bro to lighten up on himself, telling him that Cersei had fooled him too. Tyrion lays down a hard truth, that Jaime was in love with Cersei and did everything she asked him to do, even if he knew it was wrong. (See: Seasons 1 – 7) Tyrion rejoices not being killed by Cersei even if he’ll maybe come back as a wight and kill her. The very idea gives me joy, and possibly could even fulfill the Valonquar prophecy. Jaime spots Brienne and goes down to the field where we see Podrick now a competent swordsman. Jaime is grateful that Brienne stood in the way of his execution, and offers to fight under her command. She doesn’t give him an answer.
Poor Dany isn’t looking too pleased in her chambers when she gets a visit from Jorah Mormont. Jorah reminds her that he wasn’t always the best dude to her, and that if she forgave him for informing on the guy who wanted to kill her, she can forgive Tyrion for a few military and political blunders. Dany seems shocked that Jorah would defend the guy who obviously stole what would be a very important role for the Dany obsessed Jorah: Hand of the Queen, but J Bear is just an honorable guy. Jorah also suggests Dany talk to Sansa, which she does, coming in on a meeting between her and “Bronze” Yohn Royce about shutting the gates to fortify Winterfell. Sansa says to keep them open as long as they can and dismisses Royce so they can have some powerful women leader talk.
Dany wonders why she balked on Jaime, and Sansa reaffirms her trust in Brienne. When Dany takes this as an opportunity to razz Tyrion, Sansa defends her ex-husband. They talk about their families and how difficult it is to be a female ruler, things that Comic Sans and Dany have in common. Sansa is concerned about Jon and his love for Dany, as love makes us stupid and vulnerable to be manipulated. Dany says that when she met Jon her whole mission and life direction has changed, and that Sansa has nothing to worry about. This proves untrue when Dany won’t really say if she’ll give up the North to Jon’s rule when or if she takes the Throne. They get interrupted by Maester Wolkan in a saved by the bell kinda moment, and arrive to the Great Hall to see that Theon has arrived! This is the first time Sansa has seen Theon since he helped her escape from the very walls she finds herself in, and she’s visibly shook. Dany gets the lowdown, learns that Yara is retreating to the Iron Islands in case Dany needs a fallback point (the dead can’t swim after all…) and that Theon is here to fight for the North. Sansa embraces Theon as a silent emotional thank you and welcome back. Sweet moment.
Davos doles out food to the soon to be soldiers, Gilly herds the women and children into the crypts to be safe, and Davos sees a little girl, face possibly marked by Greyscale, who wants to fight. Obviously this little girl reminds Davos of Shireen Baratheon, and he can’t exactly say anything right away. Gilly comes up to her and asks her to be a brave sentry to guard the crypt and the women and children, which the little girl accepts. No name, guarding the crypt? I don’t want to seem insensitive because this is clearly awesome that every single living person is going to make the effort to fight the dead, but I don’t exactly hold out much hope for Soup Girl’s survival. A horn sounds, and Jon arrives back in Winterfell. He reunites with Edd, or tries to before getting bear hugged by the bear fucker himself, Tormund. “Little Crow” Jon is pleased to see that Edd, Tormund, and Berric alive. The gang informs Jon that the dead are past Last Hearth, and that the dead will be there by the sunrise. Tormund asks if Brienne is still there, possibly sure that he’s going to die, so he wants to see his love again.
Jon does a cool pre-battle speech around the war table, where pretty much every important character is. The strategy is to kill the Night King, in hopes that doing so that all the Wights are just gonna kinda Attack of the Clones and shut off or stop fighting. Jaime thinks the NK won’t be dumb enough to show himself, but Bran says otherwise, saying that he’s gonna come after him. Being the Three Eyed Raven, Bran has access to all the memories of the world, and in order to truly bring the Long Night and the end of the world, the NK has to kill Bran. Sam remarks, “That’s what death is, isn’t it? Forgetting. Being forgotten.”
Bran asks to be put in the Godswood as bait, and Theon offers to help guard him against the Night King with the Ironborn. DEAD. Not much hope. Tyrion tries to get in on the action, but Dany says that he’s not allowed because his death would not be good for her campaign. Tyrion wants to fight alongside everyone risking their lives, but Dany has none of it. Arya asks if Dragonfire will kill the NK, but Bran shocks the world by saying “I don’t know”. OH! Is that right Bran?! I thought your smug lil Professor X robot voice ass knew everything!
It doesn’t look good, and Jon dismisses them before curving Dany yet again. Bran and Tyrion are the only ones left. Tyrion asks about how Bran found himself the way he is, and Bran says that it would be a long tale. Tyrion remarks that they really don’t have anywhere to go, so we can assume Tyrion gets caught up on the details.
Grey Worm assesses his troops while Missandei unsuccessfully tries to schmooze with the locals. These two are strangers in a strange land who only have each other and are experiencing alienation. Grey Worm says that when Dany wins, he doesn’t really want to stay, and asks Missandei if there’s anything else she wants to see. She says she wants to go back to her home island of Naath, and Grey Worm says he’ll take her and protect the island with the Unsullied. YEP! That’s a death call, ladies and gents. Don’t hold out much hope for Grey Worm. I’m not happy about it by any means, but sometimes with dialogue you can just tell.
Jon, Sam and GHOST! (Guys its Ghost, he’s alive! LOOK AT THOSE LIL CGI EARS OH WHAT GOOD BO-ahem. Sorry.) watch on the wall as Sam asks if he’s told Dany about their whole….*shudders* familial relation. Edd comes up to join them and recites part of the oath they all swore at one time. Sam rejects Jon’s proposal to stay in the crypt and recites all his Sam the Slayer goodness, before Edd tries to joke with him. But Sam throws it right back, full of renewed confidence. Sam reminisces about their dead friends, and Edd says that whoever survives should burn the other two so that they don’t turn into wights.
Tyrion and Jaime chat over an open fire, and Tyrion says he wishes Tywin was here to see what had become of them. Tywin was pretty shitty to both Tyrion and Jaime in his own ways, and to see both his sons die in the hall of the Starks would likely drive another crossbow bolt into his heart. The two reminisce about coming to Winterfell back in season 1 and how far they’ve both come since. Tyrion turns down Jaime’s idea that he could find a new bedmate, but Tyrion perhaps for the first time in his life refuses. It seems that they’re both trying to concentrate on being better people in what may be their last hours left alive. Brienne and Pod enter, and Tyrion says that hey we’re gonna die so come drink with us. After a generous pour for Pod, Jaime convinces Brienne to stay and drink. Davos comes in for some warmth and is quickly followed by Tormund who tries to put the moves on Brienne. Tormund tells the story of his alleged killing of a giant and suckled at the teat of his giant wife for three months, the source of his freakish strength. He then engages in the chug of the century, prompting Davos to drink.
Arya meets up with the Hound atop the walls, drinking. He wordlessly gives her some wine. She asks him why he’s doing the selfless things he’s been doing, as it confuses her that Sandor would be interested in anyone but himself. Berric comes up to join them to neither of their enjoyment. Arya doesn’t really like Berric and planned on killing him for a little while for handing Gendry over to Melisandre. Arya leaves as she’s not planning on spending what could be the rest of her life with these two old men.
She practices some archery, which, as you’ll remember she was really good at but not befitting a lady. She shot the bullseye that Bran wanted all the way back in the first episode of season 1. Good times. Gendry comes in with her new weapon, which appears to be a double sided dragon glass spear. COOOOOOOOL. Gendry reveals that he’s Robby Baratheon’s bastard son and that’s why Mel needed his king’s blood. Arya thinks Gendry did a little more than some leeching with Mel, but Gendry denies. He gives up that he’s been with other girls before, and Arya doesn’t seem happy about that. Arya offers up some “we’re about to die” sex, which Gendry appears to enthusiastically consent to. These two characters have a pretty non-problematic romance, so whatever. I imagined this episode would have been full of people boning because its the end of the world. All in all, pretty tasteful by Game of Thrones standards but I think we can all agree that the bar isn’t high in that regard. In this house we love Arya/Gendry.
Back around the fireplace, Tyrion remarks how strange it is that all these enemies of the Starks: himself, Jaime, Davos, and Tormund are now here to defend it, and they all go over their respective military defeats and victories. Tormund is outraged when he hears that Brienne isn’t a knight because women are prohibited, exclaiming “Fuck tradition. I’m no king, but if I were, I would knight you ten times over.” Brienne! The man of your dreams is right there! Wake up! Jaime offers to knight Brienne because apparently other knights can do that in this world, but you know what it makes for a cute moment where Brienne is knighted, something she says she never wanted but secretly did. Tyrion raises a toast to her and everyone claps, especially Tormund who seems to be attempting to thunder out the rest of them with massive claps. Brienne rises, as the title suggests, a knight of the Seven Kingdoms, a tear in her eye and a smile on. Now, my sister, Grand Mistress C we’ll call her, seems to believe that this is indication that Breinne is going to die but I have hope for Brienne the Beauty to survive the rest of her days as the first female Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. And end up with Tormund when Jaime dies. Don’t judge me.
Sam rolls up on Jorah trying to get the young Lady Lyanna Mormont to stay behind and not fight, but the little bear is not having any of it, despite Jorah’s protestations that she is the future of their house. Lyanna bids her cousin good fortune, perhaps noting that if Jorah might survive this (he won’t) he may be let back into the good grace of House Mormont. Sam talks with Jorah, tells him how shit he is at fighting, and asks him to wield his house’s ancestral Valyrian steel greatsword, Heartsbane, in battle against the Walkers. Sam is way more mature than anyone on this show when he admits his own weakness and asks Jorah to wield it in the name of someone they both admire, Jeor Mormont, Jorah’s dad and former Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Sam says that this is only right. Jorah agrees to wield Heartsbane in his memory, “to guard the realms of men” like in the Night’s Watch oath. The line takes on new meaning with the task ahead. Yeah, I don’t hold out much hope for Jorah, but if someone deserves to die a death defending his beloved queen and all mankind, its Jorah.
Back in the party room, Tyrion asks if anyone knows a song, and Podrick launches into a lovely ballad known as “Jenny of Oldstones” which seems to depict a woman dancing with spirits of those she had lost. During this montage, we see Sansa and Theon sharing what seems like a tender moment, Sam, Gilly and Little Sam having their Titanic bed moment, and Gendry fast asleep with Arya awake at his side. Grey Worm takes his command and kisses Missandei goodbye. Jorah takes his position outside the walls, staring at the treeline which is soon to be teeming with dead.
Dany confronts Jon back in the crypt, but this time, he isn’t in front of Ned’s statue. He’s in front of Lyanna’s. What happens next isn’t surprising but what follows it kinda was for me. When Jon mentions her name, Dany launches into what she’s been told her whole life, that Rheagar Targaryen abducted and raped Lyanna. Given the widespread propaganda, this isn’t surprising. Then Jon drops the truth bomb on her about Lyanna and Rheagar, which doesn’t exactly elicit the dry heaving I expected from Dany. However, she does seem uncomfortable about Jon, well….Aegon’s sources of information: Bran and Sam. “A secret no one in the world knew except your brother and best friend.” Is Dany making sense? Well, enjoy that because that script is about to be flipped. Dany is very upset to learn that Aegon has a more legitimate claim to the throne than she does, which isn’t saying much. #RightofConquest #Gendry2020
Jon seems pretty upset that Dany is more interested in his holding the throne than anything else, but that is swiftly interrupted by the blaring of horns and the encroaching army of the dead. Dany and Jon exchange a look, and Tyrion looks ahead to see the White Walkers all on horseback, presumably with an army at their back. YIKES. We get a little more “Jenny of Oldstones” over the credits, which gives us an air of foreboding.
For perhaps the first time as my tenure as Grand Master, I truly don’t know what to say. I don’t know what we can expect for next episode because I truly do not know. I don’t know if there will be any inter-character plot, I don’t know who’s gonna make it to the end credits, I don’t know if they’ll even waste any time cutting back to show us what Cersei is up to, I well….and truly….don’t know. I suppose you and I will just have to find out during our extended episode this Sunday. As always I’ve been Grand Master Zed. To all, Valar Morghulis. Here’s hoping we survive to see the dawn…
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