Please note: there are FULL spoilers for the entire second episode of season 8, as well as all preceding episodes. I won’t list the cast of the main characters, only the bit players or interesting additions.
Jamie Lannister stands in the Winterfell court, interrogated as a prisoner by Daenerys, Sansa and Jon. Daenerys, having heard stories from her brother about the Kingslayer that killed her father, want to have Jamie executed. Unswayed by Tyrion, as Dany feels she cannot rely on Tyrion any more than she can Jamie, Brienne vouches for Jamie as a man who will keep his oath, and Jamie is spared to fight in the oncoming war. After, Daenerys is doubtful of Tyrion’s abilities as the Hand of the Queen.
Arya meets with Gendry, and they flirt while discussing the weapon Arya wants him to make. Gendry suggests Arya stay safe in the Crypts, rather than take part in the battle, but Arya proves Gendry wrong with her battle abilities. James goes to see Bran in the Weirdwood, and attempts to apologise to Bran for crippling him all those years ago. Bran tells Jamie that he is no longer Brandon Stark, and has become something else, and is no longer angry or upset at what Jamie has done.
Returning to the castle, Jamie reunites with Tyrion, tot he disdain of the Northerners. They discuss Daenerys, and how the Northern Houses will see that she is different than her Mad King father. Jame reveals that Cersei is indeed pregnant, with his baby no less, but that hardly matters if they both die at Winterfell, the home of their sworn rivals. Jamie then goes to speak with Brienne, to her disdain , where Jamie requests to fight alongside her against the Night King’s army.
Jorah and Daenerys discuss Tyrion, and his being made Hand of the Queen, where Jorah suggests Daenerys forgive Tyrion for his transgressions. Daenerys and Sansa then discuss Jamie, and if they made the correct decision in sparing him, as well as how Westerosi houses don’t much like female leaders. Sansa reassures Dany that Jon truly loves her, but they are interrupted by an unexpected guest: Theon Greyjoy, returning to his childhood home. Theon requests to fight for Sansa, and she accepts.
Davos is tending to the civilians, trying his best to instil some faith in the men who do not see themselves as soldiers. A young girl with a scarred face, bringing back memories of young Shireen, wants to stand and fight against the Night King’s horde, but Davos and Gilly convince her to stay safe in the Crypts.
In the courtyard, Edd, Tormund and Beric Dondarrion return, with the news that Last Hearth has been completely overrun, and the Umbers are now fighting for the Night King. The heroes discuss strategy, and how to deal with the undead legion, with Jon suggesting that they take out the Night King first. Jamie is hesitant that he would expose himself, before Bran reveals that the Night King is drawn to him, and Bran will use himself as bait. After the lords and warriors leave, Tyrion and Bran speak in private.
Missandei and Grey Worm are still not trusted by the Northerners, whilst atop the castle walls, Sam, Edd and Jon reflect on how far they have come since joining the Night’s Watch. Inside the keep, Tyrion and Jamie are discussing their father, families and imminent fates by a fire, when they are joined by Brienne and Pod. Davos soon joins, before Tormund interrupts with a story of his life in an attempt to further impress Brienne.
Arya, the Hound and Beric share a tense, but friendly brief moment, before Arya leaves to prepare for battle. Gendry soon brings her the requested dragonglass spear and dagger weapon, and the two spend a bed together. Back in the drinking room, Tormund wonders why Brienne has not been knighted, and Jamie then knights her as a knight of the Seven Kingdoms.
Jorah and Lyanna Mormont argue, and Lyanna declares she will fight for her house, and not hide in the Crypts. Sam gifts his sword, Heartsbane, to Jorah, in thanks for everything Jeor did for Sam at Castle Black. Across the castle, Sam and Gilly protect Gilly’s sleeping son, Theon and Sansa take a quiet moment, Arya and Gendry lay next to each other in bed, Missandei and Grey Worm share a potentially final kiss, and Jorah leads the cavalry outside of the castle.
Dany meets Jon in the crypts, as he looks upon a statue of Lyanna Stark. When Dany relays her version of events, of her brother’s viscous nature, Jon finally reveals his parentage to a stunned Daenerys. The battle horn blows, signalling the approaching horde, indicating that the dead have arrived at Winterfell.
+ I was right, in that the CG opening has changed from the first episode. The entire area around Last Hearth is now ice
+ if Tormund and Brienne never get together, this show will all be for nothing. Tormund is just the best
+ I finally got my Mormont scene I complained about last week. It was nothing special, and nor should it particularly have been, but it at least provided a little bit of closure. Lyanna Mormont is just the baddest bitch on the planet, isn’t she? She should kill the Night King and take the Iron Throne
– when the heck was the last time we saw Ghost? He was just chilling on the walls here
– JON, PUT YOUR BLOODY HAND IN THE GOD DAMN FIRE
– Dany seemed far more concerned that Jon had a stronger claim to the throne than the fact that they are relating and boinking. I guess those Targs don’t really care about that, do they?
> Can’t help but notice the Night King was not in that final panning shot. I have a feeling he will know a sneaky side entrance to the Godswood, where Bran said he would be waiting
Final thoughts: This episode has all but confirmed that Daenerys is the bad guy of the season. Her lack of any compassion to the man she loves, taking it as a threat that she might not get the throne, has all but sealed it for me. Aside from that, this was another build up episode, but if the final few seconds are anything to go by, the next episode will have enough action for all three so far.