Game of Thrones Season 8 - Episode 2 Recap "Death has many faces"
Warning – Series Spoilers Ahead
As the wife and I watched the latest episode of Game of Thrones, one thing was abundantly clear – this is the end; everyone is going to die.
Now, what would the series be without the unsettling uncertainty of who will make it to the next episode? Episode after episode we’re bombarded with the untimely end of some of our favorite characters. And just when you think someone has cheated death and is safe – the rug gets pulled out from under you and a character you’ve spent countless hours following is suddenly out in about 5 seconds of screen time; cast aside never to be seen again.
This episode felt like a happy reunion, with estranged family members reuniting, old enemies banding together, and some interesting relationships forming.
Behind it all though, you know it won’t last. As the camera panned around the fireplace of warriors preparing for their last night, you accepted (much like the characters) that this may be the last time we see them.
Biggest moments of the night
Death Comes Knocking
You always think there’s more time – the reunions and feel good moments were never going to last. Tormund Giantsbane (who we learned a lot about where the Giant parts came from) informed the leaders of Winterfell that White Walkers would be there by morning.
During this, Bran Stark made the revelation that the Night King was coming for him. That he is holder of memories, and that death seeks to remove those stories from existence.
They devise a trap; with Bran at the center of Winterfell and Theon (who last took the castle from Bran) protecting him instead.
It looks like the epic battle we’ve been waiting for is happening now – what does this mean for the remaining 4 episodes?
Game of Thrones
Our Queen, (not Cersei as she was noticeably absent) Daenerys is determined to take back the throne. However, she’s sensing that it won’t be handed over to her as easily as she once hoped. Daenerys and Sansa shared an almost sisterly moment where Sansa worried that her brother Jon was being manipulated by her through his love to fight her war and it turned out that Daenerys was actually the one following Jon for the same reason.
This tender moment was cut short though when Sansa asked about the future if they survived the war. She spoke for the North by saying that they have no intentions of bending the knee to an outsider and Daenerys quickly pulled away. This was going to be more challenging than she thought – and that thin mutual trust was instantly severed.
Later, as Jon and Daenerys were surveying the defensives, Jon finally let her know that he is Aegon Targaryen, the only male Targaryen left who has a claim to the thrown ahead of her. After her questioning his sources (after all, it’s Jon’s brother Bran and his best friend Sam feeding him this knowledge) she is obviously skeptical. This didn’t sit well with her, and just as you could tell she had more to say, the first indication that the battle was beginning came and they quickly focused on surviving the morning. Like a scrimmage of street hockey being interrupted by a passing car, it will be game on for the throne the second the battle is ended.
While the rest of the castle was resting before the looming battle, we find Tyrion, Jaime, Brienne, Davos, Tormund, and Podrick sitting by the fire waiting for the inevitable. This unlikely alliance swapped stories, drank (and knew things), and witnessed an important moment for Brienne of Tarth when she became the first women knighted in the seven kingdoms by Sir Jaime Lannister.
These warriors have fought time and time again, battle after battle, and are all that’s left. As Tyrion and Jamie mentioned, who would have thought that they’d all be preparing to die to save Winterfell?
Wrapping Things Up
What does Bran know?
Jaime goes before Daenerys, Jon, Sansa, and Bran in the keep fighting for the living. Everyone there had a pretty good reason for wanting him dead (let’s face it, you kill someone’s family member or severely injure them, you’re not going to be invited to join them for a peaceful supper). Brienne steps up and vouches for Jaime – even saying she’d fight against them for him and because of her he is allowed to live.
There’s a moment where it all could have been unraveled though. There was the business of the unresolved matter between Bran and Jaime.
If you recall, the last episode ended with the two of them encountering one another that left us wondering how this was going to be resolved. If I were pushed out a window and rendered unable to use my legs, I’d certainly be out to make things balanced.
Jaime later asks Bran why he didn’t speak up to let the others around him know what he did to him and asked what would happen after the battle. Bran ominously replied, “How do you know there is an afterwards?”
Does this mean the White Walkers win? Is that a forgone conclusion? Is Jaime not going to survive? Bran knows more than he’s letting on.
Arya Stark makes her move on Gendry. If you’re going to do it, it’s now or never. Looks like she chose the no tomorrow path.
If they survive this, given that Gendry and Arya both have royal blood, this is going to be an interesting duo. How will this end (or begin) in the final season?
The crypt is quickly filling up with women and children to be protected during the battle ahead. Jorah Mormont asks his niece Lady Lyanna Mormont to stay down there. She’s having none of this and is prepared to go out fighting with her soldiers around her. This great moment really cemented her as a no nonsense, never mind her age leader. If there’s a spinoff series, I sure hope we get to see more of her.
Grey Worm and Missandei have had it pretty rough – never being allowed to do their own thing or forge their own path. For all the freedom they have, they are still slaves to Daenerys.
At the end, Grey Worm plans on leaving his Queen and running off with Missandei (something I never considered as I always pictured them at Daenery’s side). Will Missandei follow him? What will Daenerys do when she learns that two of her most trusted people are not planning on following her to the throne?
No one died this episode – which is great for a hospital soap opera, and unusual for this series. I can’t remember the last time everyone lived to the end credits.
Something is telling me that the battle next week is going to make the Red Wedding look like a pleasant affair.
What are your thoughts?
How do you think this will end? Who’s going to take the Throne? What does all of this mean?!
Let your speculations run wild and let’s see who had it right when Episode 3 airs next Sunday on HBO.
Watch Game of Thrones® on HBO®. HBO® subscription required.