Every Important Detail You Might Have Missed In The ‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 8 Episode 2
Ooft, we're getting so close to the Battle of Winterfell, and this episode lays a lot of clues about how that will play out.
The final season’s debut gave audiences what they wanted, but in the lead-up to the battle of Winterfell, Game Of Thrones season 8 started giving audiences what they needed.
*Proceed with caution, here be spoilers.*
It had some HUGE moments — hearts were broken, virginities were lost, knights were made — but episode two largely set up for what we know is coming.
The entirety of episode three is being dedicated to the battle of Winterfell, so this was the last chance we had to actually spend time with characters before a bunch of them a) die b) become White Walkers c) flee for the Iron Islands or d) fight ruthlessly for survival.
Game Of Thrones is one of the few shows where you feel peril from the opening to the closing credits but still chuckle at one-liners.
Yet episode two, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, really felt like one of the last that would have genuine LOLs, love and levity before the battle for Westeros begins in earnest.
Homecoming: A Film By George R.R. Martin
Turns out Beyonce’s concert doco wasn’t the only Homecoming this week, with not only the first episode of Games Of Thrones, but the second largely dedicated to the theme of homecoming.
They started the final season with reunions galore and the sophomore episode still had more to do, which is understandable because this show has a massive cast of characters and everyone needs to get a moment (at least one).
Get-togethers of note: Brienne and Jamie (taking out the Sexual Tension Award), Jamie and Tyrion (bros being bros), Brienne and Tormund (more on that later), the OG boys of The Night Watch Jon, Samwell and Eddison (“last man left, burn the rest of us”), Jon and Ghost (briefly), Samwell and Gillyweed (our hearts), Sansa and Theon (redheads unite), Jamie and Bran (lol), The Hound and Eyepatch McGee (okay so his real name is Beric but whatever), Brienne and Podrick (not so much of a reunion, but the first opportunity we’ve had to really see them together this season).
— Kallel (@Kallel_) April 22, 2019
A Three Eyed Raven Flex
Last week we talked about Bran being Westeros Worst Hang, but maybe he’s actually Westeros’ Petty Prince.
Not only did he spend a huge chunk of episode one waiting outside in the snow so he could eyeball the man who pushed him out of a window post-twincest —
— Tav (@gohometav) April 15, 2019
— but this week he just chilled out in his wheelchair, waiting for the perfect moment to toss Jamie’s words back in his face: “The things we do for love.”
BRAN COME THRRRRRRUUU. Keep in mind the setting — a literal trial for Jamie’s life — and the fact NO ONE in the ENTIRE HALL understands that reference except Bran and Jamie.
— The Ringer (@ringer) April 22, 2019
That, right there, is a true Petty Prince.
King Of The North’s Nostalgia
It’s a smart thing to play into Game Of Thrones fans nostalgia, since the show has been running most of this decade.
Jamie and Tyrion’s reunion bought was a verbal call back, the younger brother sighing with defeat “So, we’re going to die … at Winterfell.”
The pair then discussed how they thought they’d die, Tyrion repeating a variation of a line from season one, episode eight: “In my own bed, at the age of 80, with a belly full of wine and — “ only for Jamie to finish it off for him” — a girl’s mouth around your cock”.
— Maria Lewis (@moviemazz) April 22, 2019
As for visual call backs, Arya Stark practising her archery skills was a bit emotional for several reasons.
Rewind to episode one, season one, and Bran is attempting to hit a target — and failing — under Rob (RIP) and Jon’s instruction, while Catelyn (RIP) and Ned (RIP) watch on.
Meanwhile Arya — wanting more than anything to train with the boys and dispel of pretty dresses — takes a shot from behind him and hits the target perfectly. That’s Arya Stark for ya, eye on the prize, always taking shots and hitting targets: whether that’s as a girl or as a young woman.
Dany Pulls The Feminism Card
Daenerys did a few unexpected things in episode two.
Firstly, she listened to someone else: Jorah, of all people. Secondly, she kept her ego in check and attempted to offer an olive branch to Sansa.
She did so in a very smart, calculated way and that was by focusing on the common ground they share.
“We have other things in common. We both know what it means to lead people who aren’t inclined to accept a woman’s rule. And we’ve both done a damn good job of it, from what I can tell.”
Sansa also brought something to the table, the pair having a genuinely open conversation about why they seem so “at odds with one another”.
The Lady Of Winterfell apologised for not thanking Dany the moment she arrived in the North with her armies — “that was a mistake” — and she admitted that it’s Jon’s clear love for Dany that has her on guard.
“Men do stupid things for women. They’re easily manipulated.” Word.
It almost looked like the two had buried the hatchet … right up until the subject of what happens after the war — if they survive — and who will rule the North.
That seems to be the major sticking point and although showrunners want us to see how well these two strong women could work together, they’re also foreshadowing the conflict to come.
Blood And The Crypts
Something is down there: we know the walls of Winterfell are heated, we were told all about that mechanism in the books and the first season of the show.
Yet the crypts are never warm, they’re always cold … and something is down there. Most likely, something not good.
We’re even more certain of that now because that’s where everyone is stashing the women, children, and Tyrion.
“Down in the crypts,” Jon says, at one point. “Where it’s safe.” Davos and Gilly both keep going on about how that’s where everyone will be protected and cosy and Jorah was trying to convince his superior cousin Lyanna Mormont (our queen) to go down there and hide.
I dunno, just seems like there’s a big effort being made to convince audiences that the crypts of Winterfell are safe af.
And if there’s one thing we’ve learned during eight seasons of this show, it’s when we expect things to be safe that they usually aren’t.
Additional evidence: the long, extended trailer shot in the lead up to season eight where Arya is pictured sprinting through the crypt, away from something, terrified.
How many things terrify Arya Stark?
Joan Of Arc XXS
“I will not hide underground. I pledged to fight for the North and I will fight.” That’s it, that’s all we have to say about our teenage queen who looked fucking sick in her Joan Of Arc XXS cosplay.
if lyanna mormont dies I burn the world down
— ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) April 13, 2019
Lyanna Mormont is the baddest bitch on GoT. Chick’s like 8 years old and ready to beat some white walker ass. When I was 8, I was too scared to ride a bike without training wheels
— Sophie K (@sophiaajoanna) April 14, 2019
Bran As Bait
One of the notorious B.I.G theories heading into season eight was that Bran was the Night King and even though you have to plough six subreddits deep before it even starts to make some morsel of sense, that theory has persisted like Cersei’s terrible wig.
This episode gave us one of the first, clear indicators that this isn’t the case as Bran volunteered himself as bait to attract the Night King in the battle of Winterfell, by lurking near the bleeding eye tree.
When questioned why this would work, we were given a straight up answer about why the Night King is so interested in Bran and why they’ve had this enduring connection. What does he want?
In Bran’s words: “An endless night. He wants to erase this world and its memory.”
Samwell Tarley, our smart, soft boy, connects the motivating dots. “That’s what death is, isn’t it? Forgetting. Being forgotten. If we forget where we’ve been and what we’ve done, we’re not men anymore: just animals. Your memories don’t come from books, your stories aren’t just stories. If I wanted to erase the world of men, I’d start with you.”
Important thing to note: Tyrion sat down with Bran, asking to hear his story. That is not a wasted moment. We didn’t hear what they spoke about, but note this for later as odds are the conversation between two of Westeros’ most interesting minds is going to come into play.
Giant’s Milk Brings All The Brienne’s To The Yard
Everything is better with Tormund.
Facts. We saw it last week, with the episode’s best line (“He’s got blue eyes!” “I’ve always had blue eyes!”) and we saw it this week, with almost too ~ much ~ Tormund ~ too ~ handle.
First, he sweeps in and gives Jon Snow a crushing hug, before calling him “little crow” (*insert heart eyes emoji here*).
More importantly, he turned directly to camera and have us the ship we wanted: “Is the big woman here?”
Cue that fucking grin directly into camera. He was giving FACE and HAIR and LURKING and GRINNING and LINES the whole episode: it’s no wonder Twitter was nearly collapsing under the weight of the memes.
— LadyVirtueMoir 👑 (@ladyvirtuemoir) April 22, 2019
He also told the greatest story in the history of stories: how he earned the name Giantsbane.
In an overt move to flex on the clear object of Brienne’s affections, Jamie Lannister, Tormund was like ‘cool cool cool, I know how to impress with this story about how I killed a giant when I was ten and then drunk his wife’s breast milk for three months, anyway Jamie, your turn.’
And then. He chugged down. So. Much. Fucking. Milk. The Kelis Westeros deserves.
The Battle Of Winterfell Approaches
Dragon glass everywheeere.
They got dragon glass daggers, they got dragon glass spikes wedged into the battlements, they got dragon glass axes, they got dragon glass wind chimes (probably).
Our first look at the army of ice zombies concluded the episode and the battle of Winterfell is well and truly here, but that’s not to say the allies aren’t prepared. Or that they don’t have some tricks up their dragon glass sleeves.
We saw Grey Worm rigging traps and an entire room of notable players strategising around the Westeros Monopoly board.
They’ve been ferrying dragon glass to Winterfell as quickly as they can mine it and presumably the remaining two fire dragons were carb loading on goats off-screen.
The odds may be bad, but preparation was loaded into every frame of this episode.
Ultimately, we’ll see.
Arya’s Flex Then Arya’s Sex
HUGE MOMENT. HUGE. POTENTIALLY THE HUGEST. NIGHT KING, WHO? ARYA JUST GOT LAID, MATES!
Ahem. Lets begin: Arya’s ongoing sexual tension with Gendry started early in the episode with her urging him to make the weapon she asked for *insert Daft Punk voice* taller, better, faster, stronger than everyone else’s.
Initially dismissing her, Gendry had to check his outdated gender stereotypes as Arya dispensed with three dragon glass daggers pretty perfectly into a nearby post as they discussed the White Walkers, adding:
“I’ve seen death: it has many faces. I look forward to seeing this one.”
— Jeff (@jeffjakson634) April 22, 2019
“My weapon?” she quizzed. “I’ll get right on it,” he stammered, eventually delivering the weapon she asked for … and not just the one in his pants.
She seemed happy with his craftsmanship of the Spear Thingy (technical term), then she decided to examine an entirely different Spear Thingy (technical term).
Basically, she didn’t want to die as a virgin who can’t drive, so the pair boned and it was HOT.
We saw his famed abs (peen count sadly remains at zero), a flash of Stark nip, and even better than allll of that was Arya took to her virginity loss with the same amount of agency she does everything else.
“I’m not the Red Woman, take you own bloody pants off.”
HOOOOOT. Even Game Of Thrones’ biggest fan T-Pain was into it.
— Andykin Landwalker (@_DARTH_BETA) April 22, 2019
Mother Of Dragons, Queen Of Denial
“My name, my real name is Aegon Targaryen,” Jon Snow said, finally telling his love Daenerys.
“That’s impossible!” she adds, only for Jon to admit that he wished it were. We knew that Dany didn’t know, obvi, but the news was so shocking to her we can’t help wondering if she was internally kicking herself.
Your boyfriend rode a dragon with his testicles — we’ve heard over and over again how only Targaryens can do that — and you weren’t like, huh? That’s new?
When your dragons were jerking off watching you and Jon make out, that should have been another massive signal.
He broke the news in front of Lyanna Stark’s crypt, which was fitting, but the wedge between Jon and Dany now seems properly cemented.
We’ll only get a chance to see exactly what this means if both of them survive the battle of Winterfell in episode three (likely) because the sirens were blasted as the army of the undead approached, putting a cork in their tête-à-tête.
— #TheWatch (@thewatchpod) April 22, 2019
Podrick Has More Than Just A Big Dick
Boy has pipes! And he showed Ed Sheeran who the best musical cameo of the series really is.
But it was more than just a tune Florence Welch sung over the closing credits, with Jenny’s Song plucked straight from A Song Of Ice and Fire.
High in the halls of the kings who are gone
Jenny would dance with her ghosts.
The ones she had lost and the ones she had found.
And the ones who had loved her the most.
The ones who’d been gone for so very long
She couldn’t remember their names
They spun her around on the damp, cold stone
Spun away her sorrow and pain
And she never wanted to leave
In summary, this poor bird Jenny Of Oldstones was left to dance with the ghosts of those who loved her the most.
Hella apt at this particular point of the story, but even more so when you consider the song is supposed to be about Jenny Of Oldstones and Duncan Targaryen.
Duncan gives up the Iron Throne for Jenny, but dies anyway … perhaps one doomed love winks to another, with Jon and Dany’s present situation? The messaging seems to be that one of them — Dany or Jon — not both, will make it to the end of the season alive.
Yet not without a massive sacrifice.
Arise Brienne Of Tarth, A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms
In the words of our ginger prince Tormund, FUCK TRADITION!
In the other words of our ginger prince Tormund, “I’m no King, but if I were I’d knight you ten times over.”
Showrunners gave the Jamie/Brienne shippers plenty of fuel as the Lannister brother’s quest to turn over a new leaf continued in earnest, as he stepped the fuck up and KNIGHTED Brienne!
I mean, we all knew she was worthy.
Brienne knew she was worthy. The showrunners knew, having named this episode after her. But the patriarchy reaches far and wide … until it doesn’t.
Arise Brienne of Tarth, a knight of the Seven Kingdoms, but a knight in our hearts for much longer.
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Maria Lewis is a journalist, screenwriter and author of The Witch Who Courted Death, It Came From The Deep and the Who’s Afraid? novel series, available worldwide.