Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 2 Review: A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms
Season 8 of Game of Thrones rolls on with a low-key but excellent episode.
As we continue the last hurrah for the epic fantasy series, viewers can catch up with season 8 and all the previous episodes via NOW TV Entertainment. Spoilers ahead for episode 2.
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With the previous episode of Game of Thrones season 8, ‘Winterfell’, many viewers assumed that it would be the big reunion before we got stuck into the epic battles previously teased for episode 2. Those viewers couldn’t have been more wrong, as with just 5 episodes left of the whole show, ‘A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms’ instead has our characters spend a full hour sitting around talking in rooms, drinking. And it was brilliant.
‘A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms’ sees Jamie Lannister finally confronted with his past crimes, and whilst he’s a far cry from the blonde Prince Not-so-Charming he was in season 1, it still takes a lot for the Starks to not execute him on the spot. Luckily for him, Bran decides to not tell his family that Jamie pushed him out of a window, instead taunting him with a wry callback to what he said.
It’s one of the many ways that season 8 has called back to season 1 so far, with the series appearing to come full circle. Reunions are once again abound here, with the Lannister brothers openly wondering how their sister will finish them off, Theon and Sansa meeting for the first time since he saved her from Ramsay’s death castle and Eddison Tollett (whose name I had to look up) finally getting back together with Jon Snow and the lads.
This episode essentially acted as a character study before we get stuck into the zombie carnage for the rest of the season, and it culminated in what is genuinely one of the show’s stand-out moments. Whilst some will be frustrated with the lack of sheer plot here, others will relish the chance to just see the characters hang out. It reminds you of the ‘Fly’ episode of Breaking Bad, which was controversial for not really going anywhere, but was a perfect way to see how the character of Walter White had developed.
Despite an episode that’s essentially about a bunch of people waiting to die, 'A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms’ still manages to offer levity in the form of Tormund telling the story about how he got his title in hilarious and disgusting fashion. It underlines a very touching scene that sees Brienne of Tarth finally getting what she deserves as she’s knighted by Jamie.
The moment is really well played by Gwendoline Christie, who gets to do more than scowl and look tough. It’s a satisfying payoff for a character who has one of the more intriguing arcs of the show, though it almost certainly means she’s set for a mauling in an upcoming episode.
Elsewhere, Arya and Gendry reunite in a way that also handily covers the ubiquitous HBO nudity quota. The scene felt odd at first - these are characters we’ve seen grow up together - but ultimately feels rather natural and earned, once again harking back to character beats from earlier seasons.
Whilst there may have been less plot than expected here, the final minutes saw Jon admitting to Daenerys that they’re, in fact, auntie and nephew. Once again, this gets brushed under the carpet in favour of Jon now being a threat to her claim to the throne, further adding to the idea that Dany might have more of her father in her than we might have thought.
Next week sees the White Walkers finally march on Winterfell, in a showdown that's set to be the biggest spectacle the show has offered yet.
Catch episode 3 on Monday April 30th, 9pm, exclusively on Sky Atlantic via the Sky Entertainment Package.
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