Warning: There are SPOILERS ahead for the second episode of season 8 of Game Of Thrones. So please only read ahead once you have watched A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms.
Coming off the back of last week’s relatively slow season opener it is easy to see why some people might have once again been left frustrated by A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms, the second episode of Game Of Thrones’ final season.
The death, blood and battles we expected from the very first moments of its farewell are still yet to appear. But by the end of A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms not only have all of the characters finally caught up with what the audience has long known about them but we also got to spend one glorious final night with the most beloved people in the show.
It was a chance to remember their journeys over its eight seasons and say farewell. Especially because with the Night King so close there’s a very good chance that most of them won’t make it to the end of the next episode.
A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms opened with Jaime Lannister being questioned by Danerys and Sansa, and only being saved after Brienne vouched for his honor. With Jaime now a fully-fledged soldier in the battle against the dead, Tormund then arrived to reveal that the Night King’s army will arrive to fight in the morning.
So how did the characters spend what’s likely to be the final night of their lives? Tyrion, Jaime, Davos, and Tormund did what comes most natural to them and got drunk, alongside Brienne and Podrick, which culminated with Jaime formally knighting an emotional and overjoyed Brienne.
Meanwhile, Arya seduced Gendry and they had sex, Jon, Samwell and Edd reflected on their time in the Night’s Watch, The Hound reunited with Beric, Sam gave Jorah the Valyrian steel sword known as Hearstbane, while the always brilliant Lyanna insisted she will be fighting in the battle.
But there were three particularly huge moments in the episode that are likely to have huge repercussions in the final four. First of all, Daenerys tried to patch things up with Sansa, only for the eldest Stark daughter to insist that the North will never again bend the knee.
That paled in significance to Jon telling Daenerys about his heritage, though. She was clearly shaken to her core as she realised that, as Aegon Targaryen, he is now the real heir to the Iron Throne, not her.
At that moment, though, the pair had to turn their attention to the Army of the Dead, which means that if they both survive the battle there’s going to be some heated discussions about who should really take over Westeros.
We also got a look at how the living plan on defeating the Night King, too. At Bran’s own behest, he is going to be used as bait to lure the Night King into seclusion in the Godswood, because he wants to obliterate the Three-Eyed Raven, who possesses all the memories of Westeros.
We will find out whether or not that plan works next week, because the final shot of the Night King and his army outside Winterfell means that the end is now quite literally on the horizon.
With all four of the final episodes at least 20 minutes longer than usual, the shock and gore Game Of Thrones is famous for will almost certainly commence from next week. And if it is anywhere near as traumatic as audiences expect, then, come the end of the series, this final hangout with the characters will only grow extra resonant and meaningful.