In this week’s episode of Game of Fanfiction, Season 8, Episode 2, everything you’ve ever wanted to happen on Game of Thrones happens.
**SPOILER WARNING: This story contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 2.**
Jaime Lannister has arrived at Winterfell. The Kingslayer, brother and lover to the sitting queen of Westeros, tells Daenerys about the Golden Company of Essos that Cersei has hired. And he confirms what Daenerys already feared: that Cersei has no intention of coming to their aid when the Night King arrives.
So, yes, Jaime Lannister had the very unfortunate role of being the messenger this week. But thank the Seven for him, he’s got friends in high places. As Daenerys and Sansa sat side by side to denounce Jaime, people stepped in to defend him. Tyrion, Brienne, and Bran all came to Jaime’s aid. And with Brienne’s trust for him in mind, Sansa changed hers. Jaime will fight with Winterfell.
Additionally, Bran Stark is here to maybe beat Olenna Tyrell out for most savage line of all time: “The things we do for love.”
And, with the Jaime thing set aside for now, we get into the plot of the episode, which, honestly, was more of the same from Episode 1, “Winterfell.” Once again, we get a host of pairings and groupings of characters we’ve wanted to see interact more, and maybe some who we didn’t expect. It’s all more setup, but important setup. Gendry and Arya discuss what it’s like to kill a White Walker. Gendry describes them simply as “death.” Arya being Arya, she says, “I know death. He’s got many faces. I look forward to seeing this one.” And with each sentence, she sends a knife careening into a post — securing her spot in the narrative (and Gendry’s heart) as the show’s ultimate badass.
And finally — finally — we get to Bran and Jaime. Jaime apologizes, and Bran doesn’t necessarily forgive him so much as he does tell him that it doesn’t matter anymore. Jaime pushing him out of that window sort of began this whole thing in the first place. (So ... maybe Bran should thank him?)
Jaime and Tyrion ponder over their family and their current predicament. Jaime confirms that Cersei is pregnant (as far as he knows) and that he wants to be better.
Jaime then approaches Brienne as she watches Podrick spar with the other gathered soldiers (he’s killin’ it, y’all). The two discuss strategy up until Brienne demands to know what Jaime is doing, both here and talking to her. Jaime solemnly tells Brienne that he wants to serve under her command — he’s not the fighter he used to be, but he’d be honored.
Jorah Mormont urges Daenerys to keep Tyrion on as Hand despite all this Lannister nonsense, because unlike so many people in Westeros (and in 2019), he learns from his mistakes. How often can you say that about someone in this dang show? His other piece of advice? Make nice with Sansa Stark.
And she does. Or at least she tries. Daenerys points out that both she and Sansa are badass female rulers. Most importantly to the plot, though, Daenerys tells Sansa that she came to Winterfell because she loves Jon. But just as the two start to find a common ground, Sansa demands to know what happens when Dany does take the throne. What will happen to the North?
Dany pulls away, and before she gives an answer, she’s pulled away to greet Theon Greyjoy, who’s arrived to help fight for Winterfell. Perhaps significantly, he asks permission from Sansa to stay, and she embraces him.
Davos and Gilly share a soft, slightly frightened moment when Tormund, Beric, and the remaining Night's Watch return to reveal that the battle will begin before dawn.
The Night King is coming. Bran tells everyone that he will be coming for him because if he falls, the Night King will have possession over all of Bran’s powers and be able to harness an endless night. It’s decided that Tyrion will stay in the crypts with the others who cannot fight — in part because of Daenerys’ anger toward him and in part because she doesn’t want to lose him.
Tormund and Brienne get a moment of Tormund being awkwardly earnest and Brienne giving him a tasteless look. And then, as part of this odd get-together of powerful people gathered around a war table, Tyrion and Bran have a conversation. Who knows what smart-person things passed in that time? Maybe we’ll find out eventually.
Oh, and there’s that whole thing from last week about Sam revealing Jon’s true heritage to him. Jon still hasn’t told Daenerys, and Sam warns that waiting for the right time probably isn’t the best way to go about it. Just get it over with.
As the remaining Night’s Watch stands at Winterfell’s wall to wait, Jaime and Tyrion reminisce on the passage of time in front of a roaring fire. In a way, things were simpler in the past, all the way back in Season 1. Brienne and Podrick barge in (Jaime scrambles to his feet to greet Brienne), and they’re soon joined by Davos and Tormund. Tormund soon regales the group with why they call him “Giantsbane” (among other things, it turns out he drinks giant's milk … to stay strong?).
Arya, after leaving the Hound and Beric on the wall, goes to practice her archery. Gendry delivers Arya’s brand-new White Walker-killing weapon and then drops some big news: that he’s Robert Baratheon’s bastard. Arya then asks him how many women he’s been with (where are you going with this, Arya?), and he tells her he’s slept with three women. She then propositions him, saying she wants to know what sex is like before she dies. Then they undress each other all frantic-like and do it right there on the flour sacks.
Back to the large group in front of the fire. Tyrion says he’s hopeful they might live. Tormund asks why Brienne isn’t a knight, saying “f*** tradition” like the true hero he is. Brienne says a king would never knight her, and Jaime says, “You don’t need a king.” Then he knights her. Right there in front of everyone. Brienne of Tarth, Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, gang!
Lady Mormont reveals to Jorah and all of us that she will be fighting (which means they’re definitely going to win now), and Sam gives Jorah Mormont Heartsbane, his family’s Valyrian steel sword.
Back at the fire, Podrick sings a sweet, sorrowful song. We pan among all the different pairings and groups (Is there something between Sansa and Theon now?), and the soldiers begin getting into formation.
And finally, Daenerys finds a brooding Jon in the crypts. He’s staring at Lyanna Stark’s monument. And then he tells Daenerys the truth and his real name. Her first reaction is that “it’s impossible.” Then she’s angry.
“You’d have a claim to the Iron Throne,” she says.
Then the White Walkers arrive. Next week: The living face down the dead.