“Perhaps he’d trust his little brother to defend him, right up to the moment he slits my throat.” Daenerys Targaryen
Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) stands before Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington). Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) stands by the table, prepared to defend his brother. The entire court sits behind Jaime, waiting for Daenerys to drop the hammer on his arse. Daenerys: “When I was a child, my brother used to tell me a bedtime story, about the man who murdered our father. Who stabbed him in the back and cut his throat, who sat down on the Iron Throne and watched as his blood poured on to the floor. He told me other stories as well, about all the things we would do to that man once we took back the seven kingdoms, and had him in our grasp.” Things don’t look good for Jaimie. Daenerys: “Your sister pledged to send her army north.” Jaime: “She did.”Daenerys : “I don’t see an army. I see one man … with one hand. It appears your sister lied to me.” Jaime: “She lied to me as well. She never had any intention of sending her army north. She has Euron Greyjoy’s fleet and 20,000 fresh troops. The Golden Company from Essos, bought and paid for. Even if we defeat the dead, she’ll have more than enough to destroy the survivors.” Daenerys: “We?” Jaime: “I promised to fight for the living and I aim to keep that promise.”Tyrion: “Your grace, I know my brother.” Daenerys: “Like you knew your sister?”Tyrion: “He came here alone, knowing full well how he would be received. Why do that if he weren’t telling the truth?”Daenerys: “Perhaps he’d trust his little brother to defend him, right up to the moment he slits my throat.” For the first time, Sansa is 100% behind Dany, she mentions the things he had done against her family. Jaime: “Everything I did, I did for my house and my family.” Bran: “The things we do for love.” [Mic drop for Bran.] When things look hopeless for Jaime, Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) stands up to vouch for Jaime’s hidden good character. She tells them how Jaime defended her from being raped and lost his hand for it, and that he was the one who sent her to protect Sansa because he made a promise to Catelyn Stark. This convinces Sansa to let Jaime off. Daenerys asks for Jon’s opinion, Jon says they can use every able bodied man to fight. To Daenerys’ annoyance, she’s compelled to let Jaime go. Jon quickly leaves before Daenerys can speak to him. Bran stares at Jaime. As they walk down the hallway, Daenerys gets on Tyrion’s case for being wrong about Cersei again. She angrily threatens to fire him.
Gendry (Joe Dempsie) is working hard forging weapons. Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) stands at the door admiring his sweaty muscles. Gendry: “Don’t you have something better to do?” Arya: “You made my weapon yet?” Gendry: “Just as soon as I’m done making a few thousand of these.”Arya : “You should make mine first and make sure it’s stronger than this.” Gendry: “It’s strong enough.” He continues, “It’s going to be safer down in the crypt you know.” Arya: “Are you going to be down in the crypt?” Gendry: “No, but …” Arya: “But you’re a fighter.” Gendry: “I’ve done my share.” Arya: “You’ve fought them?” Gendry: “I did, some of them.” Arya: “How many?” Gendry: “A few. That was enough.” Arya : “What are they like?” Gendry: “Bad. Really bad.” Arya: “Really bad? Even a smiths apprentice can do better than really bad. What do they look like? What do they smell like? How do they move? How hard are they to kill?” Gendry: “Look, I know you want to fight, and I know you’re not scared of rapers or murderers or … this is different. This is death. You want to know what they’re like. Dead. That’s what they are like.”Arya shows off some of her skills by throwing knives into the wall. Gendry is impressed, he’ll finish her weapon for her.
Jaime goes to the Godswood to apologize to Bran. Jaime: “I’m not that person anymore.” Bran: “You still would be if you hadn’t pushed me out of that window.” Jaime asks what happens when this battle is over. Bran asks why he thinks there will be anything beyond this. Jaime finds his brother. Tyrion: “Well, here we are.” Jaime: “Yeah, here we are.” Jaime is skeptical about Daenerys but Tyrion assures him she’ll be a good queen. They discuss the other queen they know, their sister. Tyrion asks if Cersei is actually pregnant. Jaime says she is. [That is questionable.] Jaime admits how Cersei has fooled both of them in the past. Tyrion disagrees, Jaime always knew who Cersei was, but he loved her anyway. Tyrion jokes about dying in the battle and becoming a white walker and going down to Kings Landing to kill Cersei. He turns around and Jaime isn’t there, Jaime has walked across the tower to watch Brienne train her troops. He goes down to join her. Jaime tells her that Podrick (Daniel Portman) is looking good out there. Brienne thinks that Jaime has come down there to bust her chops. He hasn’t, Jaime admits he can’t fight as well as he used to, but he’d be honored to be under her command. Brienne doesn’t say anything, but she is obviously touched.
Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) joins Daenerys to ask her to forgive Tyrion. Daenerys is surprised he cares about Tyrion. Jorah admits there were times when he travelled with Tyrion that he wanted to throw him overboard, but he realized how brilliant he actually is. He tells her Tyrion has made mistakes, but he is willing to admit to his and learn. Jorah also suggests that Daenerys talk to Sansa. Sansa is talking to Maester Wolkan (Richard Rycroft) when Daenerys enters the room. She asks to speak to Sansa alone, Sansa dismisses Maester Wolkan. Daenerys tells Sansa she thought Sansa was with her on Jaime. Sansa tells her how much she trusts Brienne’s word. Daenerys wishes she could trust her advisors that much. Daenerys compliments Sansa on being a great leader and how they both have to navigate in a world of men. Another thing they have in common is Jon. Sansa tells Daenerys that Jon loves her and she worries he could be manipulated. Daenerys counters that she came up north to fight for Jon, so who is manipulating who. The two women appear to be growing closer. That changes when Sansa asks what happens to the north if they win the war. Daenerys says she’ll rule them. Sansa: “We said we’d never bow to anyone else again.” Daenerys quits holding her hands. They are interrupted when someone tells them someone has arrived. That someone is Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen). Daenerys asks him about Yara. He tells her that Yara went back to Iron Island to retake it in her name. He asks Sansa’s permission to fight for Winterfell, Sansa hugs him.
Ser Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) and Gilly (Hannah Murray) are feeding the common folks. He tells some men where they can pick up some weapons to fight. A little girl who reminds Davos of Shireen Baratheon tells him she wants to fight. Gilly says she’ll be in the crypt, and she hopes the little girl will help protect her. The little girl says she’ll help protect the crypt. Davos is touched by the little girl’s bravery. Eddison Tollett (Ben Compton), Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) and Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) arrive at Winterfell. Jon goes to greet them. The men warmly greet each other. They inform Jon that the white walkers overran the Umber castle and that they’ll be there before the sun rises.
The war counsel convenes and every major character [except Cersei] is in the room. Jon tells them that they can’t straight up win this battle, the only way they win is to kill the Night King. If he dies, his army dies with him. They have to draw him out into the open so that they can kill him. Bran speaks up, he says the Night King is coming to kill him. He is asked why. Bran explains that the Night King wants to kill him because he is the three eyed raven and if he kills him, it will create an endless night and erase humanities’ memories. Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) says if they lose their memories, they become nothing more than animals. John wants to send Bran to the crypt to protect him, but Bran instead volunteers to be the bait that draws out the Night King. He’ll wait for him in the Godswood. Theon volunteers to protect Bran with his Ironborn troops. Arya asks if dragon fire can kill the Night King, Bran doesn’t know. Daenerys orders Tyrion to go to the crypt, Tyrion objects, he wants to fight with them, but she tells him he can’t fight, they need him for his brains. Everyone is silent until Tormund says staring at Brienne, “We’re all going to die. At least we’ll die together.” Jon splits before Daenerys can speak to him again.
“Samwell Tarly. Slayer of White Walkers. Lover of ladies. As if we need any more signs the world was ending.” Edd Tollett
Tyrion is interested in hearing Bran’s story. Bran says they don’t have time, but Tyrion jokes if only they were in a castle during a long night. Outside two little MAGA girls give Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) the evil eye. Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) sees this and tells Missandei they don’t belong here, as soon as this war is over he wants to leave with Missandei. She admits she’d like to go home to their beaches, she says her people are peaceful and can’t defend themselves. Grey Worm says his people aren’t, and they’ll protect them. Sam asks Jon if he’s told Dany about his parentage. Edd joins them. He suggests Sam go to the crypt with Gilly, Sam objects and reminds him he has killed a white walker. Edd: “Samwell Tarly. Slayer of White Walkers. Lover of ladies. As if we need any more signs the world was ending.” He reminds Jon and Sam they are the last three from the Night Watch standing.
Jaime and Tyrion are inside by a fireplace talking about the good old days when Jaime was seen as the Golden Lion and Tyrion was a whoremonger. Jaime thinks his Golden Lion days are over, but Tyrion can go back to his whoremonger ways. Tyrion is afraid he can’t, self-improvement has taken its toll on him. He thinks maybe both of them weren’t quite who people thought they were. Brienne and Podrick show up to get warm, Tyrion offers them a drink. Davos enters to warm his ‘balls’ and Tormund walks in to join them. Tyrion: “Would you like a drink?” Tormund: “Brought my own.” Tormund: “They call you King Killer.” Jaime: “I’m sure someone does.” Tormund: “They call me Giant’s Bane. Want to know why? I killed a giant when I was ten. Then I climbed right into bed with his wife. When she woke up, you know what she did? Suckled me at her teet for three months, thought I was a baby. That’s how I got so strong. Giant’s milk.” He looks at Brienne thinking she’ll be impressed, she looks disgusted.
Arya runs into Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane (Rory McCann). She suspiciously asks him why is he at Winterfell, why is he fighting with them, he’s never fought for anyone before. He tells her he fought for her. Beric shows up and begins talking about the Lord of Light. Neither The Hound nor Arya want to hear it. Arya decides she doesn’t want to hang out on maybe her last night with these two old ‘shits’ so she bounces. She decides to practice some archery. Gendry arrives to bring her the weapon he built for her. Arya asks what happened with him and the Red Lady. He tells her that she stripped him to get his blood. Arya asks why, he informs her that he is Robert Baratheon’s bastard son, and the Red Lady wanted royal blood. Arya asks if that was his first time. Gendry tells her it’s the first time someone put leeches on him, she asks if his first time to have sex. He says it wasn’t like that, she asks how many girls has he been with. He reluctantly says three. Since this could be their last night, Arya wants to have sex before she dies. She begins undressing Gendry and then takes off her clothes. He hesitates for a moment and Arya commands, “I’m not the red woman. Take your own bloody pants off.” He does and Arya jumps him.
“At least we’ll die with honor.” Brienne of Tarth
Back at the fireplace where no one is having sex, Tyrion leads the conversation. Tyrion: “It’s strange, isn’t it? Almost everyone here has fought the Starks at one time or another, and here we are in their castle. Ready to defend it. Together.” Brienne: “At least we’ll die with honor.” Tyrion: “I think we might live.” [Everyone laughs]. Tyrion: “I do. How many battles have we survived between us?” He names the battles and fights that each of them have survived. When he calls Brienne Lady Brienne, Tormund is surprised she isn’t a knight. Brienne sheepishly says that women can’t be knights. Tormund boasts he would knight her ten times over. Jaime realizes that any knight can knight someone else. He tells Brienne to come to him, Brienne hesitates but Podrick encourages her to go to Jaime. He tells her to kneel and pulls out his sword. Jaime says these words to her as he touches her shoulders with his sword, “In the name of the warrior, I charge you to be brave. In the name of the father, I charge you to be just. In the name of the mother, I charge you to defend the innocent. Arise, Brienne of Tarth, a knight of the Seven Kingdoms.” Everyone begins to clap and Tyrion begins to shout, Ser Brienne. Brienne breaks out a huge smile.
Lady Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey) argues with Jorah about going in the crypt with the other women and children. She is going to stay and lead her troops. As she walks away, she turns and wishes her cousin good fortune. Once she is gone, Samwell joins Jorah. He tells Jorah how good a man his father was and that he taught him to be a man. He presents his family sword to Jorah to fight with tomorrow. Jorah is touched by the gesture.
Tyrion asks if anyone in the room can sing a song. Everyone looks in terror as they shake their heads no. Podrick begins to sing in a lovely voice. As he sings, we get a montage of the different characters, Sam and Gilly with their son; Sansa and Theon; Arya staring at the ceiling as Gendry sleeps; Grey Worm and Missandei kiss as he joins his troops, Jorah riding before his troops. Daenerys finally catches up with Jon in the crypt. He is standing next to Lyanna Stark’s statute. Dany remembers her brother being a good guy, but that he did the terrible thing of raping Lyanna. Jon tells her the true story, how they were in love and they had a child. As Lyanna was dying she asked her brother Ned to protect the child and call him his bastard son. Jon is actually Aegon Targaryen. Daenerys is taken aback, she doesn’t believe it, especially when he tells her Bran and Samwell told him. She reminds him it’s his brother and best friend telling him this. He tells her it is true, Sam has documentation. “If it were true,” Daenerys says through gritted teeth, “you’d have a claim to the Iron Throne.” Before they can speak further the horns blare. They leave the crypt to go to the top of the tower. The army of the dead has arrived and they are outside the walls.
Here is the song Podrick sang, “Jenny of Oldstones”.
When the episode begins, Jaime is on trial. Daenerys is ready to roast him for killing her father, Sansa wants him to pay for what the Lannisters did to the Starks, but Brienne stands up for Jaime and persuades them to let him live and fight for the north.Daenerys is mad that Cersei deceived Tyrion and she’s ready to fire him. Jorah calms her down about firing Tyrion and suggests she talk to Sansa. The two look like they are about to get along until Sansa brings up the north not bending the knee to any other outsiders. Daenerys doesn’t want to hear that. She plans on ruling all of the Seven Kingdoms. They get the news that the army of the dead will arrive by sunrise. The rest of the episode, everyone prepares to spend their last night amongst the living. Arya spends her by getting some. Others enjoy each other’s company. Brienne gets granted her greatest wish, she is knighted by Jaime. Daenerys gets her worst nightmare,Jon Snow has a legitimate claim to the Iron Throne. Oh yeah, and she’s banging her nephew. That doesn’t seem to bother her though. Those Targaryens!
It’s the quiet before the storm, but the episode wasn’t boring. What it lacks in action, it makes up for in character interactions. It was nice having this large ensemble bounce off each other. It was thrilling having virtually every major character in the cast in the same room together. In the early seasons, it was hard to imagine all of them being together. After the battle of Winterfell, some of them won’t be with us again. It gave the episode a melancholy feeling. Thanks to Tyrion and especially Tormund, the episode was funny. The most uplifting scene, was Jaime knighting Brienne. If anyone deserves to be a knight on this show, it is Brienne. She is the only one who has constantly lived up to the ethics of being a knight. This episode shows how much Jaime has changed, from being a despicable character when the show began, to becoming one of the show’s best. Now that he isn’t sleeping with his sister anymore, his character has greatly improved. It was nice seeing Jorah continue to gain redemption. Having Lady Lyanna wish him good fortune, and Sam giving him his family sword cemented it. Most of the people in that war counsel have become much better people than they were when we were first introduced to them. It makes their impending deaths that much sadder. If you love the characters on this show, you’ll love this episode.