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After eight years of dreading the arrival of the Night King and his army of White Walkers, it’s hard to believe that by the end of this episode, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen’s romance woes have us all wishing the undead would hurry up.
But before we get to the start of the Battle of Helm’s Deep — sorry, the Battle for Winterfell, Jaime Lannister turns up in the North to face the music.
And it looks like he’s about to get Littlefinger’d (don’t Google that).
JAIME ON TRIAL
This episode, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”, all takes place in Winterfell, where the baddies are set to sweep in at any minute.
Despite that, everyone’s busy splitting hairs over who did what to whom in past episodes, but honestly, let he who hasn’t betrayed and murdered someone’s dad cast the first stone.
“When I was a child, my brother would tell us a bedtime story, about the man who murdered our father. Who stabbed him in the back and cut his throat. Who sat down on the Iron Throne and watched as his blood poured onto the floor,” Daenerys grimly tells Jaime in front of everyone in the Great Hall.
“He told me other stories as well — about all the things we would do to that man once we took back the Seven Kingdoms and had him in our grasp.”
It’s a little uncomfortable for Jaime, being “that man” and all.
To recap: most people in this room have a bone to pick with Jaime.
Bran Stark for the fact that he tried to kill him when he was a little boy. The other Starks for his role in their dad Ned’s execution. And, of course, Dany for the murder of her dad — the mad King Aerys — the incident which earned Jaime his nickname, “Kingslayer”.
Anyway, despite the fact that Jaime bailed on his sister-lover, Queen Cersei, to join the fight to save mankind — he hasn’t exactly been greeted with high-fives and a cold beer.
Rather, he’s on trial.
The fact that he’s also the bearer of particularly bad news — that Cersei wasn’t ever planning on sending her troops to help them, and is instead planning to kill any possible survivors — really doesn’t help his case.
Or his brother Tyrion’s, seeing as he’s the one who boasted to Queen Dany that he’d brokered an alliance with Cersei.
As Dany toys with the idea of killing Jaime off then and there, Brienne of Tarth comes to the rescue.
“You don’t know me well, your grace, but I know Ser Jaime and he is a man of honour,” Brienne tells Dany, explaining how Jaime protected her from Roose Bolton and his cronies.
“Ser Jaime defended me and lost his hand because of it.”
Once Brienne’s in Jaime’s corner, Sansa Stark hops on the bandwagon.
“I trust you (Brienne) with my life. If you trust him with yours, we should let him stay.”
Dany looks to her boyfriend Jon for support, but he sides with Sansa, which goes down about as well as a case of greyscale.
Meanwhile, Jon is super cold to Dany and she can’t figure out why.
He brushes past her after the meeting, mumbling something about “seeing a man about a horse”, and leaves her texts on “Read” for the rest of the day.
Of course, that’s because he’s recently discovered something she doesn’t know: he is her nephew.
Jaime finally apologises to Bran for trying to push him out that window in season one, but Bran’s surprisingly gone all #NoRegrets about it.
“I’m not that person any more,” Jaime says to Bran.
“You still would be, if you hadn’t pushed me out that window. And I’d still be Brandon Stark,” Bran replies.
Jaime’s confused, because he’s not really across Bran’s “new year, new me” transformation, but Bran doesn’t really elaborate, just telling him: “I’m not angry with anyone.”
Despite his redemption arc, Jaime starts to wonder if this weird kid’s death really would have been the worst thing, and trots off to catch up with his brother Tyrion instead.
Tyrion’s embarrassed because he really f**ked up that whole Cersei thing, and Jaime’s trying to suss out if Daenarys is another Mad Queen.
Tyrion asks his brother the question we’ve all had on our minds — is Cersei really pregnant with another incest sproglet — and Jaime confirms the news.
But Jaime’s longtime lust for the mother of his children has waned, and he’s developed a taste for someone who hasn’t taken a swim in his gene pool: Brienne.
Here’s an excerpt of their flirty banter:
“What are you doing?” Brienne asks Jaime.
“What?” Jaime replies.
“I think you know.”
“I truly don’t.”
“We have never had a conversation last this long without you insulting me.”
“You want me to insult you?”
Ah, young love.
DANY V. SANSA
Dany’s feeling a little desperate after being suddenly friendzoned by her boyfriend, so she tries to get back in via his sister, Sansa.
These two haven’t exactly been chatting about boys over margaritas before now, so it’s a tall order.
Sansa suggests that Dany has manipulated Jon into giving up his title for her, but Dany flips it back around and points out that she ditched her Iron Throne plans to come fight zombies alongside him in the North.
“Who’s manipulating who?” she asks Sansa, who’s suddenly a bit embarrassed at her lack of hospitality, and responds: “I should have thanked you, the moment you arrived. That was a mistake.”
Dany then seals their bond by roasting Jon over his height, and just as we’re about to move on from all the drama, Sansa checks to make sure Dany’s going to let the North remain free if she takes the throne.
It … does not look promising:
Luckily, Theon Greyjoy shows up right then and Sansa’s so happy to see him that her beef with Dany is momentarily forgotten.
TORMUND ARRIVES AT WINTERFELL
Tormund Giantsbane and co have also made it to Winterfell, just in time to warn Jon that the Dead Army will be there before dawn the next day — and that the Umbers are now “fighting for the Night King”.
More importantly, Tormund’s still got the hots for Brienne, and politely inquires as to her whereabouts.
“That big woman still here?” he asks the boys.
The gang have all assembled to discuss battle strategies, and Jon explains that their only hope of winning is to take out the Night King.
It’s at this point that Bran drops the bombshell that he is the Harry Potter to the Night King’s Voldemort.
“He’ll come for me, he’s tried before,” he tells the others, clutching the lightning-shaped scar on his forehead.
“His mark is on me. He always knows where I am.”
Jon thinks it’s best if they tuck Bran away in the crypt during battle — to protect him but also everyone else from his weird stories — but Bran’s keen on acting as bait to lure the Night King into a vulnerable position.
Theon offers to be Bran’s wingman to make up for that time he tried to steal Winterfell from the Starks, so I guess they’ll be square now.
THE LAST NIGHT
Jaime and Tyrion share fond memories of the good old days as they skol beers on what is looking likely to be their last night on earth.
“I remember the first time we were here (at Winterfell), first time I saw this hall,” Tyrion tells his brother.
“You were a golden lion. I was a drunken whoremonger. It was all so simple.”
“It wasn’t so simple. I was sleeping with my sister and you had one friend in the world … who was sleeping with his sister,” Jaime replies.
Their cosy reminiscing is interrupted by Brienne, Pod, Davos and Tormund, who, incredibly, manages to out-gross the Lannister sibling sex story.
“They call me Giantsbane,” the wildling tells the others, in a bid to impress his crush, Brienne.
“Want to know why? I killed a giant when I was 10. Then I climbed right into bed with his wife. When she woke up, you know what she did? Suckled me at the teet for three months. Thought I was a baby. That’s how I got so strong. Giant’s milk.”
Weird flex, but OK.
Tormund then does this …
… and suddenly everyone’s wondering what the hold-up is with the Night King and their imminent death.
We all knew this was coming: Arya and Gendry, acting on their lust.
Guys, be careful what you wish for. The hook-up we thought we wanted is super confronting in reality, because — although she’s all grown up now — we still think of Arya as our little sister, and unless you’re a Lannister, that’s revolting.
But let’s rewind.
Gendry spots Arya practicing her archery, and it turns him on.
He announces that he’s finished her custom dragonglass weapon, and it turns her on.
Also, he’s suddenly become aggressively hot:
During their chat, Gendry reveals that he’s actually Robert Baratheon’s bastard son and that’s why the Red Woman seduced him.
Arya’s less interested in the fact he’s the son of a king, and instead wants to know how many other women have experienced his royal “weapon”.
She then adds herself to that list. Arya likes lists.
ARISE, SER BRIENNE OF TARTH
Speaking of sexy time, Jaime seduces Brienne by giving what every woman wants: a knighthood.
“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,” he tells the visibly emotional Brienne, as she kneels in front of him.
Despite how that might sound, it’s a very G-rated romance at this stage.
Meanwhile, Pod decides to sing a song to entertain the group while they wait out at the night, and honestly, this seems like a more logical place to have chucked in an Ed Sheeran cameo, but whatever.
DANY FINDS OUT
After ghosting her all episode, Jon finally realises has to tell Aunt Dany the truth.
The two are hanging out in the crypt, in front of Lyanna Stark’s tomb — aka the grave of Jon’s real mum — when Dany begins pondering the rumours about her late brother, Rhaegar.
“Everyone told me he was decent and kind. He liked to sing, gave money to poor children … And he raped (Lyanna),” she says.
Jon suddenly wishes he was gazing upon his own tomb as he realises it’s time to reveal the truth.
“He didn’t. He loved her. They were married in secret, she had a son,” Jon tells his lover.
“(King) Robert would have murdered the baby if he ever found out and Lyanna knew it, so the last thing she did as she bled to death on her birthing bed was give the boy to her brother, Ned Stark, to raise as his bastard.”
He then drops the bombshell: “My name, my real name, is Aegon Targaryen.”
Dany’s less concerned about the fact they’re blood relatives and have seen each other naked, and is — predictably — more cut up about the fact it kind of makes Jon the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne.
Right as everyone’s all like, “Is it hot in here? It feels hot in here. Can we pop a window?” three horns blast, indicating the Night King and his army have arrived … and I swear Jon actually looks relieved.
The third episode of Game of Thrones will air next Monday on Foxtel at 11am and 8:30pm. Keep an eye out for news.com.au’s recap and podcast analysing the episode.
In the meantime you can subscribe to our podcast, Winter is Here, on iTunes.