I understand that a huge part of Games of Thrones’ appeal is the characters, not the dragons. Over the course of eights seasons, some of the show’s most impactful scenes have been as simple as two characters having a conversation: Cersei and Robert ruminating on the failure of their marriage, the epic tête-à-tête that made it clear both Varys and Littlefinger were playing the long game, every scene between Tywin and Arya in season two.
Before the action-packed final battle, the show’s writers clearly want to squeeze out every last drop of complicated emotional drama possible before we’re too distracted by the zombie horde to care who is hooking up and who has beef. But while Sunday’s episode had great moments of fan service, it mostly felt like stalling. Like the inhabitants of Winterfell, we’re forced to bide our time, waiting for the action to begin.
That being said...this episode was for bad bitches only. Two bad bitches in particular: Arya and Brienne.
After convincing Sansa (and thus Daenerys) to spare Jamie’s life, Brienne drills the men fighting under her command. The Kingslayer offers to serve her as well, and we all know what that means — he wants Brienne to peg him and he wants it before the White Walkers arrive. The pair unwittingly find themselves spending what could be their last night on Earth drinking with some unlikely comrades, including Tormund who is still smitten with our favorite butch baddie and doesn’t get why she can’t be a knight. Jamie, now woke, agrees and knights her on the spot. I teared up.
But the true MVP of this episode was Arya, who did what she had to do and got her fancy new dragonglass spear and her man. After subtly flirting by showing off her dagger-throwing prowess (relatable), Arya grilled Gendry on his sexual experience told him she didn’t want to die a virgin. There’s a slight uncanny valley effect of watching this character we knew as a child proving that yes, she is a top, but clearly she saw Lady Bird and said, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
Other stuff happened. Grey Worm wants to take Missandei and her amazing eyebrows on a permanent vacation when the war is won, so he’s probably gonna die. Bran is eager to be bait to draw the Night King to Winterfell, so he’s probably going to die. Theon shows up to fight for Sansa and they seem sweet on each other, so he’s probably going to die. Davos was literally serving soup, so he should die — seriously, how is this guy still alive?
And just before the White Walkers arrive to behind their siege, Jon tells Daenerys about his real parents, and she immediately sees that he has a better claim to the throne than her. So...one of them is definitely going to die. My money is on Dany.
Tormund tells the story of how he got the name Giantsbane, including the fact that he once nursed from the teat of a giant. Can you believe we watch this?
What’s going on with Jamie’s bangs?
Theon offering to guard Bran is a nice little full circle moment. Alfie Allen, please leak your nudes.
I’m still uncomfortable with this tension between Sansa and Daenerys, but their scene at least justifies it.
Seriously, how many actors from Skins are on this show?
Florence + the Machine have long been GoT canon, and the rendition of “Jenny of Oldstones” over the end credits was *chef’s kiss*