Sarah McDuling, Booktopia’s resident Game of Thrones lover and spoiler enthusiast, recaps Episode 2 of the final season…
Read last week’s recap:
This week’s episode has inspired some pretty strong opinions.
It seems like either you’re going to love it, or you’ll find it cheesy and boring. I will admit that the episode had some schmultzy moments but overall I loved it. It gave us some precious time with all our favourite characters… before they all get torn apart by ice zombies next week.
So. Let’s get to recapping!
(Spoilers are about to happen. You have been warned.)
Reunions galore: the Kingslayer is joining the gang
We open with Jaime Lannister returning to Winterfell. Not everyone is welcoming him with open arms, of course – Daenerys makes a whole speech about how Jaime killed her father (which honestly doesn’t carry much weight). We all know that The Mad King was Cersei-level evil and definitely deserved to be stabbed in the back.
Luckily, Brienne steps forward and vouches for her crush. She tells everyone about Jaime’s good points and then everyone sort of just shrugs and agrees to let him join the Winterfell Club.
Quick shout out to Bran in this scene, who took a brief break from being the Worst Character Ever to deliver a very well timed one-liner. As Jaime tells the room he regrets none of the actions he took in defence of his family, Bran interjects with the famous line, “The things we do for love.” BURN! And suddenly I kind of like Bran again! I wonder how long this feeling will last?
Jaime delivers the sad (but totally predictable) news that Cersei is a lying traitor. This prompts Daenerys to have a tantrum and yell at Tyrion which honestly seems kind of mean. Daenerys has not been behaving in the most queenly manner as of late. The show seems to be presenting her more and more as a power hungry tyrant. I miss the old Daenerys – you know, the badass queen whose hobbies included walking majestically through fire and mothering baby dragons.
Meanwhile, Sansa continues to be the Queen we all want and need. Honestly, I’m beginning to think she is the only one capable of ruling the seven kingdoms. She has never gotten herself killed or committed accidental incest or anything! All hail the Queen in the North!!!
Gendry is making all of the weapons
Next we cross to the forge and find Gendry being all manly and strong and blacksmith-y. Arya is watching him making dragonglass weapons. He seems to be making weapons for literally the entire army, single handed as far as I can tell. The sparks fly between them as they exchange flirtatious insults. Arya demonstrates her mad assassin skills by throwing some knives. Gendry seems suitably impressed.
And then we switch to the Godswood where Starks like to go to stare intently at magic trees. Bran and Jaime are catching up on old times. Jaime apologies for throwing Bran out of a window and Bran pretty much tells him not to stress about it. No big deal. After his brief moment of glory in the first scene, Bran is back to being an emotionless weirdo. Sigh.
The Lannister brothers spend some quality time together
Next up, Tyrion and Jaime have a little chat about whether or not Daenerys will be a good queen. They also discuss their sister (and Jaime’s ex girlfriend) Cersei. Then the conversation turns a bit maudlin as Tyrion declares that everyone is soon going to die. He is a positive person, however, and finds a silver lining in the idea that once he becomes an ice zombie he can march to King’s Landing and rip Cersei apart. Way to look on the bright side, Tyrion!
Meanwhile, Podrick is training for battle and seems to be owning. Jaime approaches Brienne (Jaime and Brienne, back together again!) and they proceed to have a wonderful little conversation which quickly devolves into hilarious bickering, and then finally turns into a heartwarming moment in which Jaime says he would be honoured to serve under Brienne’s command. Awwwwwwwwwww!
Queen of Dragons v Queen in the North
Jorah calls Daenerys out for being mean to Tyrion. She is all “He’s made mistakes!” and then Jorah is all “Yeah but you should forgive him anyway because he’s super smart” and then Daenerys leaves to have a deep and meaningful conversation with Sansa. They seem to be warming to each other a little but Sansa soon cuts to the chase and asks Daenerys what will happen to the North after she takes the Iron Throne? Daenerys doesn’t have a good answer for her.
Seems like these two probably aren’t ever going to be BFFs?
Quick shout out to the joke Daenerys made about Jon Snow’s height. Is anyone else sick of hearing this “Jon Snow is so short, lol!” joke at least once per episode? It wasn’t that funny the first time but now it’s getting really tired.
Time for some more poignant character moments…
Theon arrives at Winterfell! Cue heartwarming reunion with Sansa.
(Seriously one of the best hugs ever. I shed actual tears.)
I’m sensing Theon is on his way out now that his redemption arc is basically complete. It’s nice to see him fully accepted back into the Stark family before his no doubt violent death scene next week.
Meanwhile, Davos is serving soup to the masses and has a very sweet moment with a little girl who has a scarred face that reminded me a lot of Princess Shireen’s greyscale scars. I think this little girl might possibly be back again? Perhaps Davos can adopt her if they both survive the war?
(Lol! Like anyone is surviving this war.)
The heavy handed foreshadowing about the crypts of Winterfell continues…
Everyone is getting ready to send the women and children (and Tyrion) to hide in the crypts below Winterfell, which has to be the dumbest plan ever. Is it just me or does anyone else find it mindbogglingly stupid that they are sending all the most defenceless people down into the crypts to hang with a bunch of dead bodies/potential zombies?
This plan seems doomed to failure unless… (see below for the “Stark Zombies Defend the North” theory).
Tormund is back – with bad news
Everyone’s favourite red headed viking god is back, bearing bad tidings. The Night King and his army of the dead will arrive at Winterfell before the sun rises. He also calls Jon “Little Crow,” which is adorable, and then promptly asks whether the “big woman” is still here. With all the attention Brienne is getting from Jaime and Tormund this episode, she is definitely the hottest property in Winterfell and the whole thing is giving me life!
We see Winterfell getting ready for the siege. Weapons are being sharpened, traps are being tested, and perimeters are being watched. A battle board has been set up in the Winterfell library. It is decided that Bran will hang out at the magical tree during the battle to act as bait for the Night King. Theon volunteers as tribute, declaring that he will guard Bran.
(So long Theon, it’s been nice knowing you!)
Time to farewell all your favourite characters…
Meanwhile, Grey Worm and Missandei are making holiday plans for after the war – deciding to visit the beaches of Narth together. So… I guess one or both of them will definitely be dying next week?
Tyrion, Jaime, Brienne, Podrick, Davos, and Tormund gather for drinks around the fire and one million memes were born when Tormund tells everyone about his childhood spent killing giants and drinking giant’s milk. It’s spectacularly weird and everyone is completely freaked out. Tormund is like that friend who can’t read social cues and doesn’t realise all his jokes are wildly inappropriate.
And then we come back to Arya and Gendry, and what proceeds to unfold is without doubt the least offensive sex scene in the history of Game of Thrones. Arya has consistently been master of her own fate on this show and it was amazing to see her take charge and enjoy what might be her last night on earth with the boy she has been crushing on since season 2!
And now for the best moment in the entire episode! Brienne is knighted!! Greatest and most wonderful thing ever! My heart was singing throughout this whole scene. Brienne’s smile at the end was a glorious, radiant miracle – it was so poignant I became filled with certainty that she is dying next week.
Emotional montage is very emotional…
After a quick scene in which Sam gives his Valyrian Steel sword to Jorah, we then have a sing-along with Podrick leading into a montage of everyone trying find solace on the eve of battle. We see the Tarly family huddled together in bed, Sansa and Theon bonding deeply over bowls of soup, Missandei and Grey Worm sharing a final kiss, a post coital Arya (wide awake and looking ready for battle) lying beside Gendry (fast asleep and looking totally peaceful)… All of this is accompanied by Podrick’s beautiful singing, which is highly emotional.
Jon Snow tells his aunt/girlfriend the horrible truth…
And honestly, it’s a bit of an anticlimax. Almost like an afterthought in the final moments of the episode, Jon tells Daenerys the truth about how he is a secret Targaryen. Of course, Daenerys skips right past the “nephew” dilemma and goes straight to “You better not take my Iron Throne away from me!”
And then the warning sounds and everyone rushes to the battlements because… the army of the dead has arrived!
And that’s a wrap on episode 2!
This was a character driven episode, for sure. Not a lot of action and the plot didn’t really move forward much. But oh my goodness, what an emotional roller coaster! Overall, this episode felt like we were being given one last night with all our favourite characters before at least half of them are brutally slaughtered by an army of ice zombies.
I am so scared for next week!!!
Best dressed: Has to be Sansa in her fierce black leather and chains. Long Live Queen Sansa!
Best moment: A lot of people will say Tormund stole the show this week (and he kind of did) but for me nothing beats the moment Brienne officially became a knight of the seven kingdoms.
Stark Zombie Theory: We all know that the crypts below Winterfell are full of dead Starks and that inevitably the Night King is going to raise them all to join his army. But what if they don’t join The Night King’s army? What if somehow, some way, all the ancestral protectors of the north rise up out of their graves in order to… protect the north! I don’t know how exactly this would happen, but wouldn’t it be super cool?
A Game of Thrones - The Story Continues
George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series has set the benchmark for contemporary epic fantasy. Labelled by Time magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world, Martin has conjured a world as complex and vibrant as that of J.R.R. Tolkien, populated by a huge cast of fascinating, complex characters, and boasting a history that stretches back twelve thousand years.
Three great storylines weave through the books, charting the civil war for control of the Seven Kingdoms; the defence of the towering Wall of ice in the uttermost north against the unearthly threat of the Others; and across the Narrow Sea the rise to power of Daenerys Targaryen and the last live dragons in the world...
About the Contributor
Sarah McDuling is Booktopia's Category Manager for Children's and Young Adult Books. She has been in the bookselling game for almost a decade and a dedicated booklover since birth (potentially longer). At her happiest when reading a book, Sarah also enjoys talking/writing/tweeting about books. In her spare time, she often likes to buy a lot of books and take photographs of books. You can follow her on Twitter and Instragram @sarahmcduling
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