That was a little bit more subdued than I thought it would be.
That's not to say it was a lousy installment. Game of Thrones Season 8 is trying to live up to the tremendous hype. In doing so, it's honoring the past as the series reaches its conclusion.
We're heading into the battle of Winterfell on a somewhat somber note. The people are well aware that they are going to be greatly outnumbered by the Night King's minions.
All they can do is hope for the best, and have as many people wielding weapons when the battle gets underway.
When I was a child, my brother used to tell me a bedtime story, about the man who murdered our father. Who stabbed him in the back and cut his throat, who sat down on the Iron Throne and watched as his blood poured on to the floor. He told me other stories as well, about all the things we would do to that man once we took back the seven kingdoms, and had him in our grasp.Daenerys
Starting the episode with Jaime answering for the things he's done in the past was quite the surprise. Daenerys was counting down the days until she came face-to-face with the man who killed her father.
To put it bluntly, Daenerys wanted to be the one to kill Jaime if the opportunity ever arose. In her mind, Jaime was a villain. In his, he was doing what he did for his family.
Jaime knows the dead stand high odds of winning the war, but he's choosing to fight on the side of the living, and that's something to be respected.
He's done some terrible things over the years, but turning up at Winterfell all the while knowing he would need to face up to his actions proved that he would prefer to fight for the living than defend the Lannister name.
Daenerys: Your sister pledged to send her army North.
Jaime: She did.
Daenerys: I don't see an army. I see one man ... with one hand. It appears your sister lied to me.
Jaime: She lied to me as well. She never had any intention of sending her army North. She has Euron Greyjoy's fleet and 20,000 fresh troops. The Golden Company from Essos, bought and paid for. Even if we defeat the dead, she'll have more than enough to destroy the survivors.
Jaime: I promised to fight for the living and I aim to keep that promise.
Tyrion: Your grace, I know my brother.
Daenerys: Like you knew your sister?
Tyrion: He came here alone, knowing full well how he would be received. Why do that if he weren't telling the truth?
Daenerys: Perhaps he'd trust his little brother to defend him, right up to the moment he slits my throat.
It was perfect for Sansa to take Brienne's word to keep Jaime alive for the fight. Daenerys looked like she wanted to yell "Dracarys" and be done with the entire situation.
There's a rivalry between Daenerys and Sansa, and it's been one of the most exciting storylines thus far on Game of Thrones Season 8.
The growth for both of these women has been astronomical. Daenerys turning to Sansa post-trial was a good move. They are both going to need to make some difficult decisions together, so why not nip their rivalry in the bud?
Sansa's comments were very reminiscent of her chats with Cersei in earlier seasons. Sansa said that men do crazy things for the women they love. It sounded like it came right from Cersei's mouth.
In any case, Daenerys wanted to reiterate to Sansa in that scene that she did not manipulate Jon. Instead, she felt it was the opposite.
It was in character of Sansa to worry about what would become of the North if there were any survivors. Daenerys is all about making everyone bend the knee for her, and Sansa is not ready to agree to anything until she knows what it means for her people.
Say what you will about Sansa, but she's blossomed into a solid leader who takes what others say on board with the aim of making informed decisions.
Sansa's reunion with Theon was the only thing that allowed Sansa to show emotion. She was overcome at the thought of Theon returning to continue to right his wrongs.
That being said, he's essentially on a suicide mission if he's going to be defending Bran to lure the Night King out of hiding. It's a risky plan, but is there really any safe place in this fight?
Bran is not the Bran who was pushed out the window on Game of Thrones Season 1 Episode 1. He's a fountain of knowledge for everything that's going on, and that could be why the Night King has marked him to take him out.
The Night King is a formidable foe, and it's hard to imagine him going down without a hell of a fight. We've witnessed him reanimate the dead, including a dragon.
There's no telling what wild things he will do to these heroes.
Why am I getting the feeling that either Jon or Daenerys are not making it out of this fight? Their relationship has been blossoming since Game of Thrones Season 7.
They were blissfully unaware that they were related when they were getting closer. Daenerys thinking she had a clear path to the Iron Throne was too premature.
It wasn't surprising that Daenerys was in denial about that Jon bombshell, but it's not like they got much time to react to the twist.
Gendry: Don't you have something better to do?
Arya: You made my weapon yet?
Gendry: Just as soon as I'm done making a few thousand of these.
Arya: You should make mine first and make sure it's stronger than this.
Gendry: It's strong enough.
Daenerys is smart, and she could tell something was wrong at the top of the hour when Jon brooded around Winterfell without looking her in the eye.
It presents quite the scenario, but it's possible that one of them will not make it out of the fight and that will resolve it. They could have at least had a pre-war makeout session to show their love for each other.
But Daenerys is not going to take this lightly. Jon went from being her love interest to a mere obstacle in her path to taking up residence on that Iron Throne.
While Jon and Daenerys had the wrong kind of tension, Arya and Gendry got closer than ever before. The fans demanded it, and the writers offered up a reunion on a silver platter.
The chemistry between Arya and Gendry was off the charts when they were reunited on "Winterfell." Gendry was fascinated with Arya when she showed up, demanding her weapon.
Gendry: It's going to be safer down in the crypt you know.
Arya: Are you going to be down in the crypt?
Gendry: No, but ...
Arya: But you're a fighter.
Gendry: I've done my share.
Arya: You've fought them?
Gendry: I did, some of them.
Arya: How many?
Gendry: A few. That was enough.
Arya: What are they like?
Gendry: Bad. Really bad.
Arya: Really bad? Even a smiths apprentice can do better than really bad. What do they look like? What do they smell like? How do they move? How hard are they to kill?
Gendry: Look, I know you want to fight, and I know you're not scared of rapers or murderers or ... this is different. This is death. You want to know what they're like? Dead. That's what they are like.
People have a knack for underestimating Arya because of her small build, but she loves to prove the naysayers wrong.
Let's circle back to Daenerys. It seemed like she was finally going to cut Tyrion off. Her right-hand led her to make some of the worst decisions, costing her a lot of soldiers.
His attempt to defend Jaime seemed like the last straw for Daenerys, and I would not have been surprised if she had him killed by the close of the episode.
However, she changed her tune and was talking about her future with Tyrion. That came out of nowhere, but it likely came from her not knowing who her allies were going to be after the battle.
Tyrion was his usual witty self throughout. Even when his back is against the wall, he still manages to make viewers crack a smile.
Tyrion: It's strange, isn't it? Almost everyone here has fought the Starks at one time or another, and here we are in their castle. Ready to defend it. Together.
Brienne: At least we'll die with honor.
Tyrion: I think we might live.
Tyrion: I do. How many battles have we survived between us?
Podrick, Tormund, Brienne, Tyrion, Jaime, and Ser Davos uniting for some alcohol made for some of the show's most comical scenes to date.
Tormund's origin story, in particular, was the most random thing, but it made sense. Viewers have long wondered why he was bigger than your regular person in Westeros.
Tormund: They call you King Killer.
Jaime: I'm sure someone does.
Tormund: They call me Giant's Bane. Want to know why? I killed a giant when I was ten. Then I climbed right into bed with his wife. When she woke up, you know what she did? Suckled me at her teet for three months, thought I was a baby. That's how I got so strong. Giant's milk.
I wish he would give up the pursuit of Brienne's heart. Brienne does not seem interested in slightest and looks repulsed whenever he opens his mouth.
They do say opposites attract, but there's nothing about these two that makes me think they could ever get together.
There was a time I thought Jaime and Brienne would pair up, and there's a possibility that could happen if they both make it out alive.
Jaime giving Brienne what she wanted the most was a heartwarming scene, but it's probably going to piss Tormund off more than anything. It's difficult to speculate how this will all pan out when there's such uncertainty surrounding all of the characters.
Other odds and ends:
- Samwell made some great points when he said that he was around for a lot of the pivotal moments. He's underestimated a lot of the time, and now it's time for people to listen.
- Gilly is rarely given anything to do of late, but the way she managed to talk the young girl into entering the crypt was amazing.
- Can Greyworm and Missandei not, like, leave before the fight and start their life together? They've done so much for the people they follow. They need a happy ending!
Okay, Game of Thrones Fanatics. It's over to you!
What was your favorite reunion? Who will win the war?
Hit the comments below.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.