Review: Game of Thrones (Season 8, Episode 2)

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80%
80
Tense

Well-written to keep the viewer eager for the events to come, and to rip their heart to shreds. 'Knight of the Seven Kingdoms' gives the most depth to characters in a long time, all ready for the Battle of Winterfell.

Less of a sprint and more of a marathon, episode 2 of the latest (and last) season doesn’t rely on the cliche ‘kill everyone in the worst way possible’ ethos that more recent installments of Game of Thrones have had, choosing instead a subtle character-building approach to the show. We see lots of intense stares from various icy figures, some heart warming moments, plus the reprise of a written-out character (who’s a very good boy).

‘A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms’ is entirely based at Winterfell, on the eve of war, and brings together old friends. We see the tallest love triangle in Westeros come together, with Tormund’s (Kristofer Hivju) charm, Jaime Lannister’s (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) broken stares and, at the centre of it all, Lady Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie). We see Brienne’s character evolve further, as she helps outsider Jaime settle into Winterfell, after being met with some resistance from Dany (Emilia Clarke) and Sansa (Sophie Turner). We also see Jaime get his redemption with Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright), where apparently “the things we do for love” shaped Bran into the three eyed raven.

Another highlight from the episode revolves around two of the most influential women in the Seven Kingdoms. Sansa and Dany have a heart to heart about power and manipulation, ending in quite a frosty awkard silence between the two. Meanwhile, elsewhere in Winterfell, there are some more steamy interactions between two characters that haven’t properly spoken since season two; however, let’s just say there’s not much speaking involved 😉 .We also see some lovely brotherly interactions between Jaime and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) that helps explain Jaime’s turncloaked behaviour.

Looking at the bigger picture, the episode was truly the calm before the storm. With warming scenes of anticipation and peaceful chatter amongst friends, former enemies and allies, it truly sets the scene for some characters to fall, some to rise and for a war for Winterfell that would make the ‘Battle of the Bastards’ jealous. Also, Ghost comes back (yay!). One thing’s for sure – we are going to be treated to one of the best battles that has ever been on TV next episode.

Game of Thrones returns next Monday at 2am on Sky Atlantic.

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