With just four episodes left, here are four thoughts on this past episode of Game of Thrones. The following contains spoilers from Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 2.
This was set up like a goodbye for …
The most hyped television battle of all-time is coming next week. It still is cloudy why it’s taking place in the third episode, and now it makes even less sense (which is good). The first episode of this season was centered around reuniting the characters and getting them all caught up with what we already knew. This one, on the other hand, was set up like a farewell. Most of the characters have been made it known their expectation is that they are all going to die. I would be shocked if that many key individuals are slayed next week, but I sure expect a few of them to end their runs at the Battle of Winterfell. Scenes like the Arya and Gendry sexual encounter, the brotherly bonds between Tyrion and Jamie, and the – awesome – conversation with the Mormonts were the biggest hints of all. I say Gendry and Jorah are not surviving next week. Add in Brienne Tarth to that prediction after having her well overdue big moment. As for the less important characters, expect a bloodbath.
We finally know what the Night King wants. Or do we?
In yet another out of nowhere, say what moment, Bran finally revealed what exactly the Night King is after. It is him- or is it? Bran said the Night King tried to kill him many times “with many ravens before.” We don’t yet know what that means other than he wants nobody to remember. It is unclear if he wants Bran or anyone that becomes the Three-Eyed Raven.
Jon is the focus, it is his story. But, after 8 seasons, Bran is emerging as the most important figure in the show. There is still much to be explained here, including if there is more history to the Night King and the previous Three-Eyed Ravens; this isn’t to mention the question of why the Night King cares what the living remember if he kills them all. Does this mean Bran is 100% not the Night King?
Don’t expect Jon vs. Daenerys
Yes, they are trying to give hints Daenerys resembles her father and a power-hungry leader losing her grip. She also clearly was concerned about her right to the Iron Throne upon hearing who Jon truly is. Yet there were a few words spoken with far greater meaning than any of that. Daenerys responded (not joyfully), “You have a claim to the Iron Throne.” Keyword, “a.” Unlike Samwell and Bran, she didn’t jump to the conclusion that he was the rightful heir. The difference between “a” and “the” is huge here. In fact, it indicates she now feels they both have a claim to the only thing she has ever wanted,
I’m going to say we get some dialogue later in the season that makes everyone forgive her for how she has come across through these two episodes. The expectation here is they will not battle it out for the Iron Throne. Instead, it will be settled by Jon and Daenerys agreeing that the true heir to the Iron Thrones is the child they find out they are going to have.
Season 8 has been and will be great
An underrated, overarching subplot going into this season was the chance Game of Thrones had to move up in the ranks of the greatest shows ever made. Many were angered by the first episode, and many of the same may be again after this one. What this crowd overlooks is how well this has been presented so far. There is always going to be a disconnect between the crowd that wants storytelling and the one that wants the action. Both are going to be satisfied this season; just be patient.
Clearly, the action is on the way. There is going to be no shortage of deaths and scenes that keep us talking for weeks to come. What has occurs so far is exactly what was needed. We have gotten to see after so many years how these characters have evolved and who they are today. There have been two weeks of send-offs, smiles, and hugs as there will be no time for that moving forward. There actually may not be another smile until the final minutes of the series. The fireworks begin in episode 3, an epic showdown following yet another A- episode.