Last Stand of the North | GOT Season 8 Episode 2 Roundup

The last episode brought together “old friends” when Jaime Lannister stepped foot in Winterfell after a long journey and came face to face with Bran Stark after years. Jon also learnt his true name from Samwell in the most matter-of-fact way possible. We also saw him becoming a bone of contention between Sansa and Danny as each felt threatened as if their territory was getting encroached upon.

With that prelude, here’s a quick recap of all the important events that happen in episode 2:

Jaime’s allegiance: As Jaime is presented in the Winterfell court, Danny makes her hatred clear for the man who had slain her father, regardless of the fact that her father had this quaint little hobby of burning people alive. Not to mention the fact that Cersei had not sent one scrap of her army to aide the North as she had promised. Seeing the situation turning against the one-handed lion cub, Brienne of Tarth steps up to defend him recounting how he had saved her from being raped, losing his fighting hand in the process. All sweet memories for Jaime, surely. Sansa, who trusts Brienne, agrees to let the man in while Danny looks to Jon for comment. Jon also sides with Sansa on this one and Jaime is pardoned. This sets up the road to an inevitable result that we have been rooting for. Jaime slaying Cersei, as he is destined to, in our opinion. It would just be poetic justice for the Kingslayer to stand up once again and remove a mad-queen from the throne. Being the only one truly closest to her, this would make for a bittersweet moment by the show-writers.

Brienne’s Knighthood: After seeing the cruel death-montage of the Umber kid, Berric Dondarrion, Tormund Giantsbane and Dolores Edd had left to warn Winterfell of the coming peril. In Winterfell, they let Jon know that the White Walker army would reach there by morning. While the general populace braces itself for the onslaught, a few of them – Tyrion, Jaime, Brienne, Podrick, Tormund, and Davos – sit around a fireplace drinking and regaling their adventures. Someone mentions if Brienne had been knighted to which she answers that women aren’t allowed to be knighted. Tormund, who has been ogling Brienne this whole time, agrees that he would have knighted her 10 times if he were a king. Jaime adds that even a knight had the power to anoint another Knight. In one of the most poignant moments in the entire series, Jaime asks Brienne to kneel before him, as he places the tip his sword on her shoulders. As the “ceremony” is complete, everyone cheers for Ser Brienne.

Sansa wants a free North: In an unexpected gesture of warmth, Danny walks into Sansa’s chambers extending a friendly hand. Danny reminds her that their stories were not all that different, and both had been able to rule men against all odds. She also tells her that she loves Jon and was never going to take him away from his family, as Sansa tersely points out that men were often manipulated by women in love. Just when we thought they were becoming fast friends, Sansa pops the million dollar question. What happens after the war ? What happens after Danny has become queen ? What she means is that she has promised the people of the North that they would bow to no one. Provided that they survived the battle, bowing down to a foreign Queen and a Targaryen would mean that the North would be alienated from the Starks. For all intents and purposes, there is a clear breakdown of diplomacy.

Danny finally knows: After the earth-shattering revelation in the last episode, Jon found himself in a tricky situation, and not just because of the realisation that he had been in bed with his aunt (*belches*). Revealing this to Danny would mean the cold, hard truth that he was the true heir to the Iron throne and not Danny. As expected, Danny did not take it well, accusing him of being gullible since it was his brother and his friend who had told him the secret. Good point there. If only, Jon were a power-hungry warmonger. But he isn’t. And Danny knows that. It would be interesting now to see how Danny reacts to this situation. This would be a moment of truth for her. If she steps down gracefully, declaring Jon as the true King, we would know her to be righteous, as we want her to be. But if she chooses to ignore this and still stake her claim to the throne, we would know that she has been blinded by power. Don’t trust her baby-face, people.

There are lot of different directions from hereon. One, Danny may dismiss Jon’s secret and continue with her conquest as if nothing has happened. Two, she may step down and declare Jon as the true heir to the throne. This would not only fulfill the prophecy of Azor Ahai, but it would also unite the North with the rest of Westeros. Or, three, which is more likely to happen. Jon, who has never envisioned himself as a ruler (especially after his terrible experience as the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch), would step away and let Danny do her thing. This is a little different from the first option as this would be Jon’s decision and not Danny. In any case, Jon would want to hide his truth from the rest of his family. Unless, of course, Bran steps in. He sees the future and would know exactly what to do in order to have a path where they win and not the Night King. Kinda like what Doctor Strange does in Infinity War.

In the final scene, we watch the White-walkers eyeing Winterfell in the distance, reminiscent of the seige of Minas Tirith. Bran offers himself as bait as the Night King would come looking for him. And that is, perhaps, their only chance to defeat them as killing him would kill all the wights. It would be interesting to see the interaction between the Night King and Bran. We may get to know more about this mysterious antagonist who never speaks.

Having said that, Winterfell is inevitably going to fall, and everyone would be driven out only to head towards King’s Landing. But before that, we might see a lot of our favorite characters getting killed off in the next episode. Dondarrion’s death was teased by the Hound in which he reminds him that Thoros of Myr wasn’t there to save him. This is an indication that Dondarrion may very well die for the last time. Now that Brienne has reached the peak of her career and is happy in a long time, she might also die as her character has no higher purpose from here.

The dark night is going to get darker. Let’s hope we are wrong.

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