In all my years watching Game of Thrones, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” was one of the most emotionally draining episodes that I have ever come across. From the first minute until the last, I was caught between a feeling of overwhelming joy, suspense, horror and dread and I feared that my poor heart would not make it through til the end. I will try my best to refrain from spoilers but there may be some up ahead so make sure you watched the episode before you continue reading. You have been warned.
Synopsis: Jamie Lannister reaches Winterfell and receives a mixed reaction from its occupants. Dany wants him dead for killing her father, the Mad King Aerys. He escapes this fate only because Tyrion vouches for him and so does Brienne, who has proven her love and loyalty to Sansa. As she takes command of the north, Dany begins to feel both Sansa and Jon becoming cold and distant towards her. While the political tension fills the Great Hall, Edd, Tormund and Bedric arrive at Winterfell to bear the ominous news that the northerners have less than a day before the Night King’s Army reaches the Stark stronghold. Dany and Jon brace for impact as they fight for survival against the Endless Night that the White Walkers are aiming for.
After the season premiere, I was already preparing myself for a literal roller coaster of emotions that this final season of Game of Thrones has in store. It all happened with this one episode.
This episode was filled with so much feels that I felt goosebumps rise with every other scene. While “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” was basically an episode that set up for the “Battle of the Winterfell,” it did so, keeping the audience in mind. It was crafted not to advance the narrative but as a means to deliver fan service, confirming theories and ships that have been circulating on the net these past few years. It was intended to form a sense of camaraderie with fans of the show as if to say : “We’re all in this war together,” and we follow along bracing for imminent heartbreak.
I was particularly fond of the scenes that delivered a different face of war — the scene where Ser Davos was reminded of his dear Shireen when a brave young girl volunteers to fight alongside her soldier brothers. Lyanna Mormont, in particular showed that she was a northerner through and through as she stubbornly refused to sit out the war. The survivors of wars past — Tyrion, Jamie, Tormund, Brienne, Davos and even Podrick as they gathered around the fire, all brave but realistic of their slim chances for survival in the face of an enemy that does not tire, does not feel and does not compromise. These were some of my favorite scenes. I was genuinely moved by Jamie and Brienne’s reunion and his sincerity towards Brienne in this entire episode. It really emphasized how his character has evolved. And it was also high time for Brienne to have her moment. She deserved it and her knighthood was a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy tension that permeated the whole episode.
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, knight of the Seven kingdoms.
On the flipside, Sansa and Dany, the two powerhouse females to come out of the entire seven seasons finally have a serious talk about what happens after the battle is won, if it is won against the Night King’s Army. In the same vein, Dany is faced with a new challenge after she learns that Jon, and not she, is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Forgive me, but I for one, am glad that the revelation will finally put an end to the nonsense that is the Jonaerys romance. Thank the Gods.
It was firmly established in this episode how things were unraveling for Dany as she witnessed how each northerner pledged their lives and loyalty to the Starks — Sansa in particular (Knights of the Vale, Theon Greyjoy and the Ironborn) and how the soldiers were willing to lay their lives on the line for Jon.
Let me just say though that the build up of the moment that Jon reveals his real name was perfect to make the impact it did. I don’t really feel bad for Dany, who’s been behaving like an arrogant, entitled b*tch these past few episodes. To her credit, it really isn’t easy to have a bombshell dropped at her after she hinged your entire life on the idea that she was the one true queen. Plus the fact that no one really cares for her in the north and that she was betrayed by Cersei and that her claim to the throne is now almost zilch. I get the icy attitude, Dany. I get it.
Without giving everything away, there’s a major event that happens for Arya and Gendry’s characters, and I also teared up at the reunion between Theon and Sansa. Not a big fan of leaving Bran open to the Night King only to be defended by Theon but then again, Jon isn’t exactly the best battle strategist in Westeros. That’s a conversation for another day.
Seriously, all the goodbyes in this episode makes me just want to hide under a rock until all this is over, yet at the same time makes me want to pull the days closer until its Game of Thrones Day again. At the same time, it also makes me want to cheer for these brave characters making a final stand despite insurmountable odds. Even without a major battle, this episode was one of the best that GoT has to offer.
Check out the trailer for the next episode:
And if you want to feel even more nostalgic about past seasons and Jenny’s song, here’s the version by Florence + the Machine.