The week brought one of the most uplifting and positive episodes of Game of Thrones with “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.” Of course, there are a few secrets revealed and a little drama. Otherwise, our characters got quite the break. Even the Lannisters got a bit of a break themselves!
The episode begins with Daenerys speaking of her father’s killer and everything they would do to him once they gained control of the Seven Kingdoms, with Jaime Lannister standing before her. She confronted him on Cersei’s lies of sending an army. Jaime admitted she lied to him, as well, and that not only was she not sending an army, but that she has Euron Greyjoy’s fleet and a large amount of troops at hand. With that, Jaime stakes his alliance with the living and promises to fight with them.
Daenerys, of course, is reluctant with the Lannisters’ reputation and lies. And while Tyrion stands up for him, Daenerys’ stance does not budge, especially when Sansa speaks up and says that Daenerys is right and that they should not trust him. Jaime does not apologize or regret what he had done to this family, because he did in loyalty to his family during a time of war. Cue Bran’s perceptive “The things we do for love” line.
Loyalty, however, is not the main purpose anymore… not just for Jaime, but for many of the characters. As Jaime says, it is about survival. It is Brienne of Tarth standing up and speaking of Jaime’s honor that finally changes the tide of the conversation. It changes Sansa’s viewpoint. She trusts Brienne, who in turn trusts Jaime. Jon Snow declares they need all the men they can get and therefore agrees for Jaime to stay in Winterfell. With two yeses, Daenerys agreed. It does not appear though that it will be the warmest of welcomes, but it is a start.
Daenerys is none too pleased with Tyrion afterwards in regards to Cersei. She wants the throne and threatens that if Tyrion can not help her get it back, she will find another Hand who can. Tyrion himself does not think he will still be the Hand by the time it is all said and done.
Meanwhile, Arya checks in with Gendry to see if he has made her custom weapon yet. He has not, and he tells her it will be safer down in the Crypt anyway, though he will not be going there either. Arya asks if he has fought them (the White Walkers) and what they are like. “Really bad,” however, is not a good enough answer for Arya. She wants all the details on them. All Gendry can answer is that they are death — that is what they are like. Much to Arya’s character, she answers that death wears many faces and she looks forward to seeing this one as she throws a few knives.
Elsewhere, Jaime meets Bran by the Weirwood Tree to apologize for what he did to him. Not much gets by Bran, and he can always see the truth of things. He knows Jaime was not sorry back then, because what he did, he did for his family. Bran is not angry, and he even admits he would not be who is today if that had not happened. And it would not do any good to tell the others of what happened either, as Bran too recognizes they will need Jaime for the upcoming fight. And then he ominously asks Jaime how he even knows there will be an “afterwards.”
With Jaime back amongst the hard-working folks of Winterfell, he has a chat with Tyrion as they walk. They talk about Daenerys and if she is anything like her family (Tyrion assures him she is not) and about Cersei’s lies. Tyrion tells him that Jaime is the one person she has never fooled, but that Jaime loved her nonetheless. Tyrion also sees a bleak outlook that they will die there at Winterfell, and that is not how he pictured it. He pictured it with him old and a lot happier.
Jaime gets distracted, however, and makes further rounds within Winterfell. He goes down to join Brienne, who is looking over the men training to fight. They talk about strategy, but Brienne sees right through him… sort of. She is aware they have never had a conversation that long without him insulting her. But Jaime is truly trying to prove he is different and wishes to fight under her command. (Honestly, making peace with everyone feels a lot like a goodbye tour and a bad omen for Jaime Lannister’s future.)
Jorah meets up with Daenerys to talk about forgiveness and choices. Jorah admits it broke his heart to find out she chose Tyrion as her Hand but also admits she made the right choice, even though she questions the choice with the mistakes Tyrion has made. Jorah, however, tells her that Tyrion does admit those mistakes and learns from them, which does speak to his character. Jorah forgives Tyrion and also leaves the scene with a bit of a cliffhanger, offering a suggestion to Daenerys.
Afterwards, Daenerys goes to talk to Sansa. She confronts her about their earlier disagreement about Jaime, and as Sansa had proved earlier, she trusts Brienne. Daenerys admits she wishes she had that kind of faith in her advisors (clearly, still very bitter over Tyrion). Sansa stands up for Tyrion, as well, calling him a decent man. Daenerys wanted intelligent and ruthless, too, but trusting Cersei’s lies about sending an army proved otherwise. Sansa counteracts with the sassy truth: Daenerys should not have trusted Cersei either.
Daenerys does get to the bottom of why they are at odds with each other: Jon. Sansa believes men do stupid things for women and can be manipulated. But Daenerys assures Sansa that Jon was the one who changed her mind about her path to the throne. They even joined in laughter when Sansa asked about her first love and got the answer, “someone taller.”
But those laughs quickly die when Sansa asks about The North when Daenerys takes the throne. The throne was taking from them, too, and they vowed to never bow down to anyone else. Daenerys retreats her hand, but does not get the chance to answer what will happen to them as Theon Greyjoy arrives.
Theon tells Daenerys that Yara has gone to reclaim their ships in Daenerys’ name, but she questions why Theon is not with her. Theon says it is because he wants to fight for Winterfell and is greeted with a hug from Sansa.
Davros and Gilly come across a young child as food is handed out. While most kids would be in the Crypts to be protected, she wants to fight. Gilly tells her that is good, and that maybe she could protect her and her son down in the Crypts. They both sneakily get the young child to agree to go down there so that she is safe.
Another arrival in Winterfell brings Eddison Tollett, Beric Dondarrion, Tormund Giantsbane, and a reunion with Jon Snow, who gets a huge hug from the latter. Tormund explains that whoever is not there is in the Night King’s ever expanding army. Moreover, that army will arrive by the next day’s morning light.
The news of the impending arrival leads to everyone getting ready for the fight as Jon Snow goes over battle strategy. Their strategy: get to the Night King. And Bran has a plan to be bait because the Night King has gone after him many times. And they will be able to do so with Bran having the Night King’s mark. And Theon offers to protect and defend Bran. It is also possible that Jorah’s suggestion is starting to come to light, with Daenerys banishing Tyrion to the Crypts during the fight. Her reasoning? He is not the best fighter, but his mind is intelligent. And they will need that if they survive. With a plan of action, they all leave the room except for Bran and Tyrion, who wants to hear of Bran’s journey.
Meanwhile, Grey Worm tells Missandei that once Daenerys takes her throne, there will be no place for them there. And once Daenerys has no more enemies, he asks if Missandei wants to grow old there or travel. She wants to see the beaches again, and he promises to take her there.
As night falls, Samwell asks if Jon has told Daenerys yet about his truth path, the one Samwell told him in the previous episode. But that conversation does not go much further as Tollett joins them and their watch begins. Jon offers that Samwell can opt out and go to the Crypts to protect his wife and son, yet he counters that they need him there. He is, after all, the first person to kill a White Walker.
After Tyrion no doubt learned a lot about Bran’s journey, he is found talking to Jaime in front of a fireplace and surprisingly admits he wishes their father was there, just so he could see his face when he finds out his sons are fighting for Winterfell. They reminisce about earlier times before Brienne enters the room and joins them for a bit. Davros and Tormund briefly join as well. Tormund tells the story of how he got the name “Giantsbane” to a speechless audience…except for Davros, who rescinds saying no to that drink offer.
Arya sits and has a drink with “The Hound,” who can tell Arya is very different. No longer the chatty one, she sits silently. But she does ask what he is doing in Winterfell. She wonders why he is fighting for someone, anyone, other than himself. But he did fight for Arya once. Beric joins them, too, and it is surprisingly as friendly a conversation as it could be between three people who do not seem to like each other very much — until Arya leaves because she refuses to spend her final hours with them.
Arya practices with a bow and arrow, when Gendry brings her the weapon she wanted. It is a spear-like weapon that no doubt will be utterly deadly in her hands. Gendry admits he is the son of Robert Baratheon, and that is why Melisandre wanted him for his blood. Arya changes the subject, questioning his virginity or lack thereof. He admits he is not, and Arya admits she does not want to die a virgin. With that, Arya and Gendry get closer than they ever have before.
Back in front of the fireplace, Tyrion notices that everyone currently in the room has fought the Starks at one point, and are now defending them. Then he makes everyone laugh when he changes his previously bleak outlook, that he believes they will actually live. Tyrion slips and calls Brienne “Ser Brienne,” leaving Tormund shocked that she is not a knight. She claims ladies can not be knights, which just further confuses Tormund. He asks, “Why not?” (I knew I liked him for a reason.)
The conversation leads Jaime to say you do not need a king to make a knight, but rather just another knight. He then asks Brienne to kneel before him so he can knight her. This is a moment so much deserved for her character, as Brienne has truly earned her knighthood.
Samwell speaks to Jorah about his family’s sword, but he can not hold it up right. Jorah’s father taught Samwell much about what it means to be a man. So, in a way of honoring him for that, Samwell gives Jorah his family’s sword.
A song, at Tyrion’s request, is the soundtrack as we get glimpses of Winterfell as everyone prepares for the impending fight and spends their last few hours together. We see Samwell with his family, Sansa enjoying a meal and a smile with Theon, and Arya lying next to a sleeping Gendry. Grey Worm and Missandei share a passionate kiss before heading their separate ways, one to fight and one to stay safe.
The song ends with Daenerys finding Jon in front of the statue of Lyanna Stark. It leads Daenerys to talk about her brother, Rhaegar. It brings Jon to confess that her brother and Lyanna secretly wed, and that they had a baby. He tells her his full name, his real name, is Aegon Targaryen. Daenerys gasps at the truth, but has a little trouble believing because no one but a few people knew that secret. Of course, the real problem is that he would have the real claim to the iron throne.
Daenerys and Jon do not have any more time to discuss the throne as the horn sounds. The Night King and his army of White Walkers arrive on the horizon of Winterfell. And with that, a surprisingly positive episode ends on a note of what can only mean a completely opposite and utter destructive episode next week.
Who will be left standing next week when the White Walkers make their attack on Winterfell? Find out next week when Game of Thrones airs on Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO! You can also watch on HBO Go and HBO Now!