WHO’S READY FOR A HOPELESS BATTLE AGAINST AN INVINCIBLE ARMY OF THE DEAD?
Welcome to Winterfell, home of some truly downcast prognosticators. This episode—which is destined to be followed by one of the longest, costliest, and most soul-crushing battle sequences in entertainment history next week—felt like one long farewell scene with a dozen different actors. At this point, I don’t know who is going to die, so I’ll just be safe and say everyone. Literally everyone will die next week. But first, on to the highlights of “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”, which, to anyone who watched it, is enough to make you start ugly crying right now.
- Seeing the push again in the recap. Oy. Jaime Lannister. You really did shove Bran out that window. I would have been way less cool about things, but Bran seems to believe he’s the most important player in the coming battle between the living and the dead (???), so I guess he has to let a few things go. He could have EASILY sunk Jaime during his trial by Sansa and Daenerys, but he let Brienne save the Kingslayer through a top-notch vouching. I think one of those three is done-zo in the fight to come, but I hope not. (But if it’s any one them, let it be Coachella Bran. Dude needs to rejoin a tree already.)
- Brienne remains the best. Ser Brienne, I should say. First she saves the Kingslayer through Sansa’s total belief in her strength of character, then she’s given control over the left flank in the coming battle due to her military prowess, and then she gets knighted by her former enemy because she such an inspiring, decent, incredible super-human. Please don’t let this have been a long goodbye to one the most fully developed characters in Westeros. I’m not having it.
- They’re going to hide in the crypt. To fight an ice warlock who can raise the dead through pure swag. Um, what? Watch your back, Tyrion. (Maybe we’ll get to see Sean Bean again? Or at least his torso? When Tyrion said glumly to Jaime, “So we’re all going to die. At Winterfell.” I was nodding unhappily.)
- Arya gets the hookup we all cringed to watch. I mean, I have no problem with this crypt hookup, story-wise—she and Gendry were a thing made to be, and Arya’s now an adult fully capable of making her own choices. But that’s my child assassin from way back. I’m happy for her, but I went to get more chips just then. Also, she better not die.
- Jorah Mormont. Still don’t like him, and he needs to step back from Lyanna, his niece-liege, and keep that tragic “this is probably it for me” stink away from her. Because I’d transport into my television right now to place a shield in front of the toughest warrior in the North. She’s the boss. I’d stand in front of any charge to protect Lyanna. House Reichs is here to serve House Mormont!
- Sansa and Daenerys. Almost! But …. nope.
- The circle of please don’t die. Finally, let’s talk about the bro-down in the hall. Jaime. Tyrion. Pod (all grown up!). Brienne. Davos. Tormund Giantsbane. That is a dinner party of Westeros dreams. Don’t tell me you didn’t tear up when Jaime knighted the GOAT, or when Pod sang the contractually-required-in-these-fantasy-moments death ballad. You’re lying or a monster. Please, to all, don’t die. But I fear. I fear it much greatly.
- Ghost! You were there the whole time! Right? (RIP Shaggydog, Grey Wind, Summer, and Lady. I wonder where Nymeria is these days? Ruling the Riverlands, probably.)
- JON TOLD DANY. Why are you like this, Aegon Targaryen? Why do you wield your (foster) father’s impeccable ability to deliver crippling news at the worst possible moment? Dany was … not pleased by the implications. Not. At. All.
But now the White Walkers are at the gates. Good luck to all. Stay safe so you don’t miss next week. Where everyone, almost certainly, is going to die. “AND NOW OUR WATCH BEGINS.”