Review: GoT Season 8 Ep 2 Discusses What the Night King Wants
"It's strange isn't it?" says Tyrion, as he sits by the fireplace drinking with his gang, which includes Jamie Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, Ser Davos, Podrick and Tormund (and he's back to flirting with Brienne).
He continues, "Almost everyone here has fought the Starks at one time or another. And here we are in their castle, ready to defend it.”
Episode 2 of Game of Thrones season 8 does make you realise how far each of the characters have come from where they started. It's a second set-up episode before the Battle of Winterfell begins, and it could get you impatient. But the air at Winterfell is thick with emotions as many of our favourite characters that have gathered at Winterfell may be dying soon.
It is only fitting then that the loose ends of their character arcs are tied up and there's at least some closure to their relationships, before we dive into the battle next week.
The episode begins with Jamie's trial for murdering the ‘Mad King’. He obviously knew what he was doing when he coolly rode into Winterfell, didn’t he? To top it, he also reveals that Cersei’s ditched them and in fact, is busy building her own army with the help of the Golden Company.
At first Sansa and Danaerys finally seem to be on the same page after their jibes and cold vibes in the last episode. But then Brienne of Tarth vouches that Jamie was a man of honour. Sansa trusts Brienne with her life so she agrees to let him go, and Snow simply says that Jamie would be valuable in the war.
So Danaerys has no choice, but to free the man. And she’s still upset with the hand of the queen, Tyrion, for trusting his sister.
Danaerys and Sansa
Jorah Mormont asks Danaerys to take it easy on Tyrion for not seeing his sister Cersei's betrayal coming. Mormont also persuades her to make peace with Sansa.
In a moment of women empowerment, the two try to resolve their issues, even holding hands and joking about Jon Snow's height. But Sansa wants the North to be free and what happens to the North once the war is over? Danny does go a little cold when Sansa broaches the topic, but the awkwardness is interrupted by the arrival of Theon Greyjoy, who gets a befitting warm hug from Sansa for coming back to fight for the Starks.
Even then, it was a good step from Danaerys to try and resolve things with the Lady of Winterfell, Sansa.
Jamie and Brienne of Tarth
Its also time for Jamie Lannister to pay back Brienne of Tarth for standing by him and saving his life by christening her with the deserving ‘Knight’ title, which generally in the GoT world is reserved only for the men.
Jamie and Bran
Speaking of Jamie, he also confronts Bran who is chilling by his favourite weirwood tree. It was important for us to know why the ‘Three-eyed Raven’ did not rat Jamie out for throwing him (Bran) out of the window way back in season 1, and the makers give us the explanation.
He has more reasons than just becoming an evolved being after turning into the Three-eyed Raven.
“You won’t be able to help us in this fight if I let them murder you first,” Bran tells him. Obviously, Bran knows Jamie will be playing an important part in the war.
“What about afterwards,” asks Jamie. “How do you know there will be an afterwards,” Bran retorts. The dialogue could be foreshadowing either Jamie’s death or Bran’s.
Jon and Daenerys have the talk
After digesting the truth that was revealed to him about his true identity, Jon Snow tells Dany that he is Aegon Targaryen. And what better place to have this conversation than down in the crypts by his mother Lyanna Stark’s statue.
Taken aback and in disbelief initially, Dany says aloud something that we’ve known for a while: Jon Snow is the true male heir to the iron throne. But we don’t get time to explore how she actually took it, as the war-horns blow and the army of the dead arrives. Their equation should now steadily play out in the remaining episodes, but for now they are still fighting together.
Arya and Gendry make out
After witnessing all the vibes going on between Arya and Gendry in the last episode, we saw this coming, didn’t we? Was it necessary? Not sure.
Gendry’s got Arya’s customised sword ready, and even though she can’t wait to get on to the battlefield and slay some zombies, she is all for pre-apocalyptic sex with Gendry first. Oh, but not before Gendry reveals he’s Robert Baratheon’s bastard son.
What the Night King wants
One of the biggest questions on the minds of the show’s fans has been about the intentions of the Night King.
Finally, the mysterious Bran throws some light on what the Night King wants and its surely a big moment on the show. “An endless night,” Bran tells those in the room. “He’ll come for me,” he says.
Bran is the repository of human memory, and killing him would be a big start to erasing the human race. So Bran will act as bait to lure him to the Godswood where others can swoop down on him and destroy him. Once the Night King falls, his army of the dead will fall too.
This is a big moment on the show as we finally get some valuable information about what the Night King wants.
And as the group sits by the fireplace discussing their impending deaths, Podrick sings the foreboding song, Jenny of Oldstones, even as the Night King’s army arrives at Winterfell, promising an action-filled next episode.
It also means we are going to say goodbye to some good old friends soon. So cherish this episode as you won't see many of them alive by the time the war against the Night King is over.