WARNING: Spoilers Ahead!

Surprisingly there was quite a lot to unpack this episode despite the lack of action and the whole plot being dialogue driven. It’s all about the politics and drama of these characters which is kind of to be expected after the season opened with the long-awaited reveal of Jon’s true heritage.

Emotions were running high in Winterfell as we stayed there for the entire episode and saw all our favourite characters waiting for the Night King’s attack and using their last few hours beforehand to clear the air, share their feelings or stir some drama. It was clear that everyone has basically accepted defeat already which is probably wise given that George R.R. Martin is the writer of this tale and never shies away from killing off the favourites.

We open on Jaime’s (un)welcoming party to Winterfell and get a further look at the tension between Dany and Sansa with Jon just awkwardly avoiding all eye contact with Dany after finding out that she’s actually his Aunt – yeah that’s a tough one! Bran and Jaime bury the hatchet, agreeing that they’ve both become the people they needed to become thanks to Jaime pushing Bran out the window, which I guess was a feud I didn’t expect to be so quickly glossed over but good for them.

On a happier note, Brienne’s finally got the honourable knighthood that she deserved cause screw sexism and tradition. This made everyone feel a little emotional seeing her happy little smile as her life goal was reached. It was also a lovely Brienne and Jaime moment which no doubt further solidified fans’ investment in the two as an end goal couple.

Speaking of end goal couple, now that Gendry finally stopped rowing, he and Arya have found time for a good catch-up and sparks really did fly this episode as they got a little intimate. It was sweet to see our bad-ass assassin show a little more emotion and human connection so stop freaking out over it guys!

Then Jon and Dany’s little incestuous love nest got hit with a huge truth bomb and it did not look like Dany was best pleased. Finding out that Jon now rivals her claim to the throne really pissed her off and quite rightly. Let’s be frank here, first up she is the daughter of King Aerys II Targaryen, whereas Jon is his grandson so not only is her relationship closer to the throne, but she’s also spent her entire life working towards reclaiming it and avenging her family name. Yet Jon being a Targaryen puts her entire claim into question just cause he’s a dude. I thought we were screwing sexism and tradition people? Either way, there is going to be a big fall out from this, but it might have to wait until after the battle in the next episode.

But maybe most interestingly in this episode is that we have found out a little glimpse of what the Night King is after. For a while now, we’ve not entirely been sure why this guy is actually going around killing all living things and since the dude has remained entirely silent for 7 seasons I think we have all accepted that maybe we wouldn’t ever really know. But in this episode, Bran finally put his ‘three-eyed-raven’ powers to good use, and instead of speaking in one-word cryptic answers, he gave us actual full sentences describing what the Night King wants.

To lure the Night King away from his army, Bran will be positioned as bait in the Godswood, stating that the Night King has marked him and he wants to destroy the ‘Three-eyed-raven’ because his one true goal is to erase Westeros and the whole world, and also Bran, seeing as he is now the world’s memory.

As Sam explains a little clearer in a follow-up comment: Memories don’t come from books. And your stories aren’t just stories. If I wanted to erase the world, I’d start with you.

Overall, the second episode was a strong set-up for what is presumably going to be the biggest battle of the entire show next episode. The drama was good, the humour was better and the tension was everything you would expect when everyone is facing certain death!