The calm before the storm. That’s where we arrive in episode two of Season 8 of Game of Thrones. The Night King is coming, and the defenses are being manned before the battle between the living and the dead begins.
Following on from last week’s shock ending, we pick up with the trial of Ser Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), as he is brought before Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and is required to answer for his crimes. This part was extremely interesting for me as again we see the lines shift in this the central plot of Game of Thrones with Daenerys willpower and judgement be tested by those around her.
While it’s clear that the Dragon Queen desires the Kingslayer’s death, we see a shift in Jon Snow (Kit Harington) whose pre-occupation with the practicalities of what is coming for them affecting his decision as to what to do with Jaime, along with Sansa Stark’s (Sophie Turner) own distaste for Daenerys coming out into the open as well. All of this points to a conflicted alliance, and even Tyrion Lannister’s (Peter Dinklage) supposed cleverness can’t save his brother. The only one who can is the noble Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), and it’s here where this episode’s true VIP comes into her own.
While there is serious drama building in episode two, especially as a result of this mix match of individuals being forced together in their growing darkest hour, episode two really examines the emotions that are at play here before the greatest battle of our characters’ lives. All of them face it in a different way, and there is a multitude of feelings that rise to the surface, but one thing is clear the dead are coming.
Gwendoline Christie really is the star of the show this episode and all the validation, of which she has been seeking her whole life is finally awarded to her here when she is knighted by Jaime. It seems even in this, Westeros darkest hour, that some good and noble thing can be done.
But the dead are coming and the battle will rage with the fate of all Westeros ready to be left in the balance.
Game of Thrones airs Monday 1pm on SoHo and later in the evening on NEON.
Image: HBO/Helen Sloan.