Edit: Easily the best episode of the season.
It started with Jaime's court scene. Daenerys was more angry with Tyrion more than her hatred of Jaime. She became more angry with him for deceiving herself and showed Tyrion guilty. He was somehow pardoned by Brienne's defense of Jaime.
Bran and Jaime finally met. It was one of the scenes I was expecting.
Then we watched the scene of Daenerys and Sansa. Their speeches as if winning the battle were disturbing. They should have been more serious. I didn't like the reaction Daenerys showed when she found out that Jon was Targaryen.
We've seen battle tactics. We're going to see if the war will begin in the next episode. Events can be estimated right now. I'm waiting for astonishing events in the next episodes. Waiting for the next episode with impatience. We're going to watch a longer episode than 1 hour. 8/10
GoT in its first few seasons often had episodes where most (or all) of the screentime would literally just be various characters talking with very little action, and that's what made the show. Because then when the characters die so brutally, it actually hurts, and our characters were real, flawed and complex people, changed by their experiences and relationships. It's what makes every scene of this saga so compelling to watch. And now there will be little or no more of this in Game Of Thrones; we have four eps left, one of which is the Battle Of Winterfell and one of which is the finale. We can assume that we're going to be seeing a hell of a lot of action over the next four weeks, so this episode was the last chance for our characters, who have all travelled to the farthest reaches of Westeros and Essos and all the way back, to do what is the only natural thing for them to do on the last night of their lives: sit and drink and talk. And it was goddam beautiful. It's thanks to this episode's time spent with characters that next week's episode is going to hurt so much, when we see some of them fall at the hands of the Night King and his army.
So many beautiful moments came from this: Davos' heartbreak at seeing the strong little girl with grayscale and remembering his Princess; Theon finally coming home; the reunion of the Night's Watch brothers, all still with one mission in mind; Jorah showing his worth to Dany and receiving his own Valyrian steel sword for his service to Westeros; Pod's unwavering support to his mentors and good heart; Tyrion's self-doubt but honest loyalty (and love for wine); Arya and Gendry finally together on what could be their last night; Missandei and Grey Worm planning their life together; Arya, the Hound and Beric contemplating their fate; and finally pretty much any interaction Jaime had with another character, finally rounding off his redemptive arc in the most poetic of ways (Jaime and Brienne are golden in their scenes together) and paying off 8 years of character development, bad choices and a good heart. Everything here feels earned, natural and necessary. This may be the last episode we spend hearing many of the characters speak their hearts and minds, and to me it feels like the conclusion of many of GoT's greatest characters arcs and plots. It's not even fan service; it just feels right.
I also have to give huge praise to the scene in the crypts with Jon and Dany at the end. Mirroring last week's scene down there brilliantly, with the camera now focussed on Dany as she hears the news (credit to Emilia Clarke there). Interesting that this scene came shortly before the battle and in the same episode that Dany admits she really does love Jon - it'll be interesting to see if this has any repercussions next week. Also this episode is hardly without excitement. The comedy is very well placed and made me laugh unusually hard for GoT (again, just so it hurts more when next week takes some of these guys from us), and the tension in Winterfell as Jaime arrives is tremendous. Furthermore, the way this thing builds and builds until the dead arrive on the rise beyond Winterfell, you can literally feel time ticking away as the characters accept their fate. It's haunting to watch, and I honestly believe that it'll all pay off in the most explosive, epic and painful way next week and in the weeks to come.
This episode is not filler. It's not boring if you care about the characters. It's not simple. It's not even slow even though it never leaves Winterfell and all takes place in one day and night. It's perfect character drama and the calm before the storm. It's a beautiful conclusion to years of journies, ordeals, betrayals, heartbreak, wars, oaths and reunions. And if it weren't for this episode then next week would just be another Thrones battle - but this is the Battle Of Winterfell, and everything and everyone is at stake. This is probably Game Of Thrones' last great character piece and it's a joy to see such talent come together and pay off their years of hard work and incredible storytelling. We'll cry even more tears because of it.
First thing of note is that this episode was set entirely in Winterfell, no Iron Islands with Yara or King's Landing with Euron/Cersei. And to be honest, do we expect either setting to fit in next week either? If it's supposed to be an episode entirely on the battlefield, than there's no reason to show any other setting. It's safe to say they were not missed tonight.
As expected, the episode began with Jaime in front of all the Lords, Kings, and Queens left in Winterfell as he "atoned" for his past sins. It wasn't all that shocking or surprising, we knew the people who would stand up for him (Tyrion & Brienne), the people who would not (Sansa & Daenerys) and the one in between (Bran), but it was nonetheless thrilling to watch. There were two lines that specifically stood out to me. The first being Brienne saying Jaime is a "Man with honor", which is a touching callback to the episode in season 2 titled "A Man Without Honor" in which she refers to Jaime as such. The second being Bran ending the conversation with "The things we do for love", talk about callbacks. I truly can't get enough of this.
Jaime and Brienne had quite a week together (which really worries me for both of their fates in the coming weeks), with Jaime asking Brienne to serve under her in the battlefield, and then him knighting her later in the episode in what was one of the most touching scenes this show has ever given us. How nice was it to see Brienne smile a bit in that sequence? Of all the titles people receive in this show, making Brienne a knight is at the top of the list.
Another quick but touching scene was seeing Theon return to Winterfell and pledge his sword to Sansa once more. I nearly teared up, not going to lie. I truly believe Alfie Allen is one of the best actors on this show, always showing so much emotion with little dialogue over the years. It didn't take much for his and Sophie Turner's reaction to him arriving to move me significantly in this moment. Of course, this comes directly after the "make-up" scene between Sansa and Dany, which was surely welcomed. But it wouldn't be Game of Thrones without those finally few seconds of Sansa asking about what will happen to the North once it's all over. How many times are people going to bring up "afterwards" without realizing that this show never gives us good happy endings/happy "afterwards"!
I loved seeing everyone surround the table and plan for the battle, and I also loved that it wasn't just Jon providing insight. It's an Avengers style lineup in this scene, and it was nice seeing everyone from Jaime, Sansa, Tormund, and Bran step up here. Which brings up the next point that we got an answer of sorts as to what the Night King wants, which is Bran. Is Bran's purpose only so that people knew of Jon's true lineage? Does he meet his end at the hands of the Night King in the next episode, thus eliminating the "world's memory"? Is that why Jon told Dany in this episode (because he needed to do it while Bran was still alive)? So by wanting an "endless night" does he need to kill absolutely everyone? Or is he satisfied once he kills Bran? I'm sure that's not the case, but still, so many questions left to answer. Some other notes worth mentioning:
-GHOST -the baby is real?? -Tormund is the MVP -Shocked Jon told Dany already -Pod is a singer -Arya got her weapon....in more than one way tonight... -"And now our watch Begins" -Davos & the people -Theon will definitely die next week
It took us seven seasons and two episodes to know what the night king wants and people say the episode was a waste. What's wrong with the taste of audiences these days?
Title (Brazil): "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms"
If that is true- then this episode was a huge step up. If last episode was all the ''reuniting'' of many characters we were waiting for- then this episode was the reuniting with great dialogue that we were waiting for. Disclosure- those that expected the battle to happen in this episode are probably the ones still disappointed.
It still turned to be out to be one of the most satisfying, intense and emotional episodes in the entire series: We got tense interactions, humorous interactions all complete with great dialogue between the characters we've come to love. All woven together scene after scene perfectly, without fail.
Though, it's bittersweet because it feels like this may have been the last farewell to some of the characters before next episodes events, it has been quite the ride.
It even tied in a great vocal/song overlaying the last few scenes. I was reminded of Pippin's song in Lord Of The Rings. The perfect prelude to a great battle to come.
It wouldn't be wrong to say that it hearkened back to the some of the best interactions/ dialogue we saw in earlier seasons.
To conclude, GoT still delivers in it's last season and the best is likely still to come!