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Game of Thrones Review: Season 8, Episode 2 - A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

24 April 19 words: Adam Ridgley

Episode one might have been a bit of a set-up, but things are starting to get moving in episode two... 

To many fans' frustration, last week’s premier seemed to march along at an all too steady pace. Expect more of the same this week, albeit with much better execution in some delightfully written interactions that are given more breathing room as the episode is based entirely in Winterfell.

The episode begins with Jamie being grilled in unison by Daenerys and Sansa, before Brienne kindly vouches on his behalf. There is a tense awkwardness to the scene that truly shows how much Jamie Lannister has grown over the series. Many hoping for a big pay off to last weeks cliff hanger will be disappointed as the Lord of Deadpan Bran Stark takes a “new phone who dis?” approach to Jamie’s apology.

Sansa and Daenerys interactions largely improve on last week as both find common ground and conflict with both actresses laying the ground well for an inevitable confrontation. More reunions come our way with Theon returning to Winterfell, which was unexpectedly made tender by an authentic feeling reaction by Sophie Turner. The brooding boys of the nights watch get the band back together, with an impromptu hug by Tormund to go with it. Tormund again gets banter moment of the week with his attempts at an alpha display over Jamie to woo Brienne being excited brilliantly by all three involved, with Nikolaj’s facial reactions providing quality Gif material for this night and all nights to come.

The battlefield is laid well for next week in the war council scene, where we also get some insight to the mentions of the Night King which have yet to be fully explored. Gendry and Arya share a scene of pure fan-fiction fulfilment, whilst the bulk of the cast sit by the fire in solace. The fireplace scene is masterfully executed with a sense of sombre acceptence, harmoniously vocalised by Daniel Portman. The stand out moment from the this scene however is the titular knighting of Brienne, in what truly feels like a completion to her heroes arc, which only makes you fear for her character in the weeks to come.

Jon finally reveals the truth to Daenerys in the final scenes, but this game-changing moment is not allowed to be fully realised on its game-changing level as the horns sound to signify the dead have come. Everyone in this episode is preparing to face almost certain death in their own ways. Some seek love, others comradery. It’s these wonderfully executed human moments that raise the stakes for the coming storm. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms may go down as a surprise standout of the series as you expect this to be as good-bye too many, if not all of the characters we have grown to love over the years.