Winter is here: Game of Thrones final season, episode two recap and thoughts

Illustration by Jake Barnard

Illustration by Jake Barnard

Warning: spoilers ahead

Picking up where we left off last week, the second episode of the final season of Game of Thrones was another slow build episode filled with “great conversations in elegant rooms,” to quote Tyrion in season six. Fans were left chomping at the bit for what’s to come next week.

The episode began with the questioning of Jaime Lannister, who arrived at Winterfell with no Lannister army in tow, raising a lot of eyebrows. It’s a good thing Sansa places so much trust in Brienne of Tarth, otherwise I’m sure Jaime would have ended up as a snack for the dragons.

Then, of course, we have Bran’s savage jab at Jaime, quoting his line from the very beginning of the show, which he said as he pushed the young lord out of the tower window: “the things we do for love.”

The highlight of the episode was no doubt the knighting of Brienne, as emphasized by the title of the episode. I won’t lie—I shed a few tears at this scene. It was an incredibly heartwarming moment, and we have to savor those, as the writers use them extremely sparingly.

The knighting was a great way for Jaime to use his Lannister charm on someone other than his sister for once. And can we just take a moment to appreciate Tormund, beaming and clapping after it was over? He’s so’s a shame that he’ll probably die in the coming episodes. After all, if the writers intend on continuing with the possibility of a Jaime/Brienne romance, they need to get rid of the middle man there.

Also, Tormund’s little story about the giant’s milk...a great example of how to fill any silence.

* * *

Following the template of my commentary from episode one, I’d like to bring to light a theory for this week.

This theory offers an explanation as to how the characters might need to go about killing the Night King.

One of the symbols that the White Walkers are known for leaving behind is a circle with a line through it. There is speculation that this symbol refers to the God’s Eye, which is a lake in the South of Westeros. On an island in the middle of the lake is a large grove of Weirwood trees, with the Grand Weirwood being among them, thought to be the source of all power for the Weirwood trees. This is all mentioned in the books, as far back as the first chapter of the first novel.

Essentially, the source of all magic in the Seven Kingdoms comes from the Weirwood trees. When the Children of the Forest created the Night King, they transferred their power to him, and they derive their power from the Weirwoods, so by extension, so do the White Walkers.

Another symbol used by the Walkers is the spiral that we saw surrounding the Umber boy in the last episode. When Beric Dondarrion stabbed the wight, it burst into flames—possibly insinuating that burning down the source of the power (the Grand Weirwood tree) may defeat the Walkers.

This is a little bit of a stretch—and when you think about how many things derive power from the Weirwood trees, it gets dodgier. Would Bran, the Three-Eyed Raven, survive the destruction of the Grand Weirwood?

It is speculated that the Lord of Light’s power also comes from the trees, therefore if the Grand Weirwood was burned down, Jon and Beric might also die, as they were resurrected by his power.

I suggest reading more into this theory, as it’s very well thought out and convincing.

* * *

Now, onto villains. Last week we talked about Cersei, Euron, and the Night King. This week, I want to present someone a little more controversial: Daenerys.

Throughout the course of the series, we have seen Dany exhibit extremely volatile and controlling tendencies—and she honestly hasn’t even done that much. Yes, she freed all of the slaves in Slavers’ Bay but that was pretty much it. We know she sucks at diplomacy, and she’s not an incredibly forgiving person, with the exception of Jorah Mormont, but even that was after he nearly got himself killed multiple times in order to win back her favor.

At the end of the episode, Jon revealed the truth about his birth to Dany, who took it about as well as I thought—not at all.

Now, what’s confusing to me is that earlier in the episode, while talking with Sansa, she claimed to love Jon, but her reaction at the end shows that she truly doesn’t know him at all. If she thinks that what he wants is to pull the rug out from under her and stake his claim on the throne that she’s been pursuing for the entire show, she has another thing coming.

Judging by her reactions when things don’t go her way, I would venture to say that she shows tendencies of her father, the Mad King. It’s possible that if Dany were to obtain the throne, she wouldn’t be satisfied. She might turn power hungry, and set her sights on something bigger—A terrifying prospect.

Daenerys may not be a villain yet, but she sure is showing signs of unpredictability—and unpredictability makes for the greatest villains.

* * *

Now, for relationships.

Arya and Gendry is glaringly obvious. Honestly, power to her. She’s eighteen, she took control and made the best of a bad situation, and she didn’t force Gendry into doing anything he didn’t want to do. Consent, people. She listened when Gendry said he was uncomfortable with the Red Woman stripping him down, and told him to take his own pants off, giving him a choice. So she didn’t want to die a virgin, what’s wrong with that?

I don’t think this one will last, only because the two of them aren’t likely to make it out of the Great War alive.

I’ll say it again: Missandei and Grey Worm deserve to be happy. Happy on a beach, out of MAGA country with racist eyes everywhere. It’s unlikely that the writers will allow us this one bit of peace, but we can dream anyway.

Jon and Dany finally found out about their familial relationship, so I’m not sure where this one is headed. I think Jon is uncomfortable with it, but Dany either hasn’t processed it yet or doesn’t care. She seemed a lot more set on the fact that he had a legitimate claim to the throne than the fact that he’s her nephew.

Finally, Brienne, Tormund and Jaime. Honestly, I was rooting for Tormund, but it looks like Jaime will be taking the cake on this one. It’s always the golden boys, isn’t it?

Get your game faces ready, because I think we can all assume that we’ll be losing at least half of our favorite characters in the next episode.

Check back again next week for another commentary following episode three.

VoicesClare Cade