Plot - 8/10
Acting - 10/10
Overall - 7.7/10
User Review( votes)
The White Walkers are almost here and everyone is deciding how to spend their final moment.
Game of Thrones shows us the characters’ last night before the war
Hello wonderful readers, it’s been a while. I’ll be taking on the even number reviews in this final Game of Thrones season.
I enjoyed this episode a lot but it was a strange episode. A friend of mine made a comment that both this episode and the previous one were set up episodes.
Episode one which we reviewed here, is the set up for Starks while this was the set up for everyone else. It sort of makes sense, but also slightly terrifies me because it means the next ep will really be a punch in the gut.
For now, we’ll talk about what isn’t great and move on to what I love. And as always
THE NIGHT IS DARK AND FULL OF SPOILERS
There are some parts of this episode which are bizarre. No, I’m not talking about Tormund’s weird stories. The show has dangled Jon’s paternity in our faces for eight years and yet there’s no reaction.
We don’t get to see Jon process this life-changing news, we don’t get to see him seek comfort in his family. The only scenes the Starks share are when they’re surrounded by others. So where is the fall-out and the comfort? Things are dire, yes but if we can listen to Tormund telling stories and Tyrion talking out of his ass I think we can see the Starks together right?
The Stark family motif is “the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives”. And yet the show expects us to believe that Jon, Sansa, Arya, and Bran would not want to spend time together before the fight of their lives. They have just reunited after years apart and yet. This reeks of Winterhell 2.0.
Winterhell is the name given to the terrible subplot of Arya vs Sansa in season 7. In an attempt to keep the secret of them working together the writers made them act strangely. This is what happens when shock value is valued above character emotion. It’s slightly exhausting, especially since the Starks are our heroes.
If the Starks knew it was their last day on this earth they would spend it together.
I want to preface this by saying that I really hope I’m wrong about this.
It’s three couples I love, and six characters I care about. But my brain is telling me that half of those are going to die. Their scenes feel very goodbye tour.
In Theon’s case, we have a great scene with his sister in the previous episode that ends with a hug. Their conversation gives you the sense that they’re not going to see each other again. Then he gets to Winterfell and basically pledges himself to Sansa.
If there’s someone I have no doubts will survive, it’s Sansa.
Theon is most likely going to die protecting Bran. I love Theon a lot but I am almost certain he is marked for death. In the books one of Theon’s biggest regrets is not being there when Robb died, it’s betraying Robb. Theon made up for the things he had done by helping Sansa but still feels like he owes Bran a debt.
Alfie Allen is one of the best actors in the show and I hope this year it’s finally recognized.
Missandei and Greyworm talk about what they want to do after the war. I’ve had an inkling that one of them would die and now I’m almost certain it will be Greyworm. I wish they could go to Naath and just live happily ever after but I fear that will not be the case.
This brings back the question that Jon asked Missandei back in season 7. Would Daenerys let her go if she asks? I think we’ll most definitely get the answer this season. It might not be the one she expects.
Gendry and Arya had one of the few truly loving sex scenes in the show. Those technically mean one or both will die. Look at Ned/Catelyn, Robb/Talisa, Jon/Ygritte, Missandei/Greyworm and now Gendry and Arya. I hope I’m wrong but I doubt it.
The Lady of Winterfell
Sansa Stark is the smartest person on the show, this is without question. The woman grew up around the likes of Cersei Lannister, Tyrion Lannister, Petyr Baelish, Margaery Tyrell and Olenna Tyrell. Do you really think she’s going to be fooled by fake sisterhood? She knows this road.
Not only does Sansa get the drop on Daenerys once again this episode, by following the Margaery Tyrell rulebook no less. But it further serves to differentiate between the two.
Sansa is a wonderful leader who has the respect of multiple people, cares about the smallfolk, cares about her family, and is a just and fair ruler.
Daenerys leaves things very clear, she’s not here because she cares about the North or her supposed kingdom. She’s here because of Jon which isn’t a good sign. The fact that she’d dare defend the Mad King while sitting in the spot where his victims sat is just crazy to me.
She’s all happy to play the role of happy sisters until Sansa asks about their independence, their well-earned independence. From Daenerys’ face we know she’s not going to grant it. For someone with the title Breaker of Chains, she really likes subjugating people.
It’s very interesting to see how they both treat their advisors. Daenerys thinks she’s better than her advisors and has disrespected them in public many times. Meanwhile, Sansa has full faith in hers. She knows they work better as a team and hears their grievances before deciding.
Their many differences put them at odds, but I have no doubt Sansa will come out on top. After ruling through love is always better than ruling through fear.
Knight of the Seven Kingdoms
This has been one of my favorite scenes in all of Game of Thrones history, so I hope I do it justice.
Brienne of Tarth is one of the best characters on the show, and more than anyone represents the values of knighthood. This scene is increasingly meaningful for two ways, Brienne is knighted and to show the growth between Jaime and Brienne.
Jaime and Brienne started as antagonists, Jaime was a disillusioned knight and all Brienne wanted was to be a knight. Despite it all, they created a special bond over their experience, one that is obvious in every scene they share. Gwendoline Christie and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau haven of the best chemistry in the show after all.
This scene is poignant, romantic, and emotionally charged. Probably one of the most emotionally charged and romantic scenes in the show’s history. Christie takes out through a myriad of emotions in this scene. First, it’s disbelief until she realizes he’s being serious, then comes the shock. She kneels but her eyes are full of worry as if this is just a cruel joke, like all the rest she’s gone through.
This moment is made extra emotional once you realize that both of them have the two parts of Ice. Ice was House Stark’s ancestral sword that was broken into two swords, Widow’s Wail and Oathkeeper. This is all happening in Winterfell which gives it the extra touch.
The emotion is clear on Coster-Waldau’s face as well. And on everyone else’s. All you can hear is Ramin Djwadi’s beautiful score and Jaime’s words. Christie has tears in her eyes and we see a small smile that goes along beautifully with the pride in his eyes. The moment is broken by the clapping as Tyrion makes a toast for her.
We see the truest smile on Brienne’s face and we see that even in a show as dire as this one, there are still happy moments.
Theon Greyjoy: I took this castle from you, let me defend you now.
Sansa Stark: What about the North? It was taken from us, we took it back and we said we’d never vow to anyone else again. What about the North?
Jaime Lannister: In the name of the warrior, I charge you to be brave. In the name of the father, I charge you to be just. In the name of the mother, I charge you to defend the innocent. Arise Brienne of Tarth, a knight of the seven kingdoms.
Some More Highlights
- Ghost is back! Ghost is back! But he’s much smaller than he should be. Why oh why don’t they spend more of the budget on him. Ghost is more important than the dragons, he’s half of Jon’s soul. #JusticeForDirewolves.
- Samwell Tarly is truly the best man and I accept no arguments.
- Brienne defends Jaime by reminded Sansa that he made an oath to her mother.
- The reunion between Tormund/Jon/Edd/Sam was heartwarming.
- I am most definitely not a Targ fan and I’m still mad they made Jon’s Targ name Aegon but damn if I didn’t shout AEGON AND HIS SISTERS in that War Council Scene.
- The fact that everyone says the crypts will be safe means the crypts are most definitely not going to be safe.
- Jon is one of my favorites so I don’t like when people say he’s dumb. But he acts extremely dumb this episode. You don’t tell your crazy aunt that you have a better claim than her.
- The Dance of the Dragons 2.0 is coming.
- The inclusion of Jenny of the Oldstones is very interesting. It very well might have implications going forward.
Have you seen it yet? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!