Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 2 recap: Sacrifice

Courtesy of HBO
Courtesy of HBO /

Game of Thrones moves from outright terror into sacrifice, as those in the North make sacrifices before the impending battle with the dead.

The final season of Game of Thrones began with a bang. Bran was creeping around everywhere, randomly starting staring contests. Tyrion had jokes about impending death. Dany and Sansa had major beef upon the Winterfell Stark family reunion and barbecue (without matching t-shirts).

The White Walkers are coming, however, and all the fun and games are about to end.

Sacrifice for Jaime Lannister

The odds of Jaime’s death at the start of the episode are great. Then he gets support.

Daenerys is ripping him from head to toe with verbal Valyrian daggers. The stories her brother told her as a kid were about the King Slayer, and what they’d do to him for killing their father. Also, she’s furious Jaime doesn’t have the Lannister army with him. Jaime says Cersei never intended to support the fight. Now she has Euron Greyjoy’s fleet, and 20,000 fresh troops from the Golden Company in Essos. She’ll wait it out and kill the remaining Northerners.

Bran: “The things we do for love.”

Still furious, Daenerys is ready to have Grey Worm split Jaime in half for real. Luckily, however, Tyrion sticks up for his brother. Dany cuts that BS off immediately, noting Tyrion thought he knew his sister as well, and is just showing love for his brother. Bran: “The things we do for love.”

Nonetheless, Jaime says it’s about survival now. A second person sacrifices reputation for Jaime: Brienne. Jaime lost his hand defending Brienne’s honor, and since Brienne is alive it’s the only reason Sansa is alive. Ergo, Brienne vouches for Jaime, Sansa vouches for Brienne, and Dany stares ice daggers through Sansa. Jon Snow rubber stamps it, and leaves the room like he recently ate Taco Bell. It’s clear he avoided Dany, and she doesn’t know why. Naturally, she takes out her frustration on someone else: Tyrion. She threatens to get another Hand if his advice doesn’t get better.

Game of Thrones
Gendry and Arya Stark in Game of Thrones S8E2. Image: Courtesy of HBO /

Gendry sacrifices for Arya, then she reciprocates.

Arya checks in on Gendry who is pounding out Dragonglass, and she stares like a wolf near a hen house. Gendry warns her about the White Walkers, but she presses for information beyond “really bad.” When Gendry says they’re like death, Arya mentions her familiarity with death. It has many faces. She then proceeds to arouse Gendry with three perfectly thrown daggers like Crocodile Dundee.

Some time later, Arya goes to see the Hound, who is sitting alone atop one of the walls. They chat and bicker for a moment, mostly about why he’s in Winterfell. He points out that he’s not completely selfish, and fought for her more than once.

Then, Beric Dondarrion shows up, and the Hound wonders if The Lord Of Light will question why Beric was saved so many times if he gets chucked over the wall. Arya wants none of this depressing garbage, and leaves what she calls two “miserable old sh**s.”

Gendry sees Arya as she’s showing deadly accuracy with a bow and arrow. He delivers a Dragonglass spear, then gets the third degree from her about the Red Woman and his past sexual experience. The reason why becomes immediately obvious when she tells him she wants to know what sex feels like before she dies.

Game of Thrones
(L to R) Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister and Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth – Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO /

Jaime’s sacrifices

Jaime makes a huge leap this episode. He tracks down Bran to apologize for their first encounter. Three Eyed Bran (3EB). Jaime basically says, “My bad for pushing you out of the window,” and Bran more or less replies, “No worries. It made us who we are, and you wouldn’t be alive to fight if I let everyone know what happened.”

Later, Jaime catches up with his brother in the courtyard. They reminisce about how neither one of them had a good read on their sister.  Jaime confirms Cersei’s pregnancy, which makes his betrayal worse.

In the background, the army prepares. Swords, spears, trebuchets. Everything is covered in Dragonglass. Grey Worm is overseeing a drawbridge booby trap. Podrick is teaching scrubs. Jaime goes to Brienne, and graciously offers his services: “I’d be honored to serve under your command, if you’ll have me.” Brienne doesn’t accept him as a one-armed knight, kinda like Cersei.

Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones Season 8 — photo: Helen Sloan/HBO — Acquired via HBO Media Relations /

Dany’s Sacrifices

Despondent in her room, Daenerys welcomes Jorah, who comes to vouch for Tyrion. While Tyrion has made some mistakes – she mentions them – Jorah doesn’t think they’re that severe. The positives outweigh the negatives, and he also thinks his Queen should make peace with Sansa.

More from Game of Thrones

Subsequently, Dany swallows her pride to find common ground with Sansa. They talk briefly about their advisors, and there is a divide. Dany doesn’t trust her people, but Sansa defends Tyrion.

Dany: Why aren’t we on the same side? We should be friends. BFFs even. We are both women in charge. It’s basically Step Brothers. Sansa, however, is not really feeling it. She wants to know what happens to the North, where an Iron Throne ruler isn’t wanted, when the battle is over. To further cement the concept, and confuse Daenerys, Theon shows up without Yara or the fleet, because he wants to pledge his fealty and fight for Winterfell.

Expedited battle plans

Horn blasts in the distance signal the return of Tormund and the others from Last Hearth. The Umber household’s demise is relayed, and so is the timeline to war: one night. Much like Arya, Tormund has one thing on his mind: “Is the big woman still here?”

During the prep for battle, Lady Mormont lays down the law with Jorah. She’s fighting, not hiding. Also, Sam gifts Heartsbane to Jorah, to use in the upcoming battle. Jorah promises to protect the realm and avenge his father Jeor Mormont, who mentored Sam.

The war council convenes and Jon mentions the best chance to win is to kill The Night King (TNK) when exposed. Jaime doesn’t think such a poor enemy strategy is possible, but Bran blurts out that it’s not only possible, but probable because TNK wants to eliminate the history within 3EB. So the plan is to use 3EB as bait, get TNK close and maybe burn him with dragon fire (even though Bran confirms it has never been tried), and have Theon act as a single line of bait defense in front of the Weirwood Tree.

Game of Thrones Season 8 — photo: Helen Sloan/HBO — Acquired via HBO Media Relations
Game of Thrones Season 8 — photo: Helen Sloan/HBO — Acquired via HBO Media Relations /

The fireplace hangout

Tyrion and Jaime are drinking wine, BSing about how funny it would be to see Tywin Lannister right now, watching his two sons die defending Winterfell. Brienne and Pod walk in for warmth, and Tyrion offers wine he calls piss. Brienne forbids it, begrudgingly permits half a cup for Pod, then Tyrion fills it to the brim. Tormund and Davos show up, and the whole scene is starting to feel like John Hughes does medieval.

Tormund immediately makes things awkward for Brienne, by asking if she knows why he’s called Giantsbane. A dramatic pause to insinuate phallic prowess follows before he relays he killed a giant when he was ten, and then climbed in bed with the giant’s wife. The wife suckled him for three months like a baby. Awkward AF. Then he drinks from his horn, and spills half of it on himself. Extra awkward. Brienne is unimpressed.

Later, Tyrion is optimistic. Davos survived the Blackwater and Battle of Bastards, Jaime survived the Siege of Pike, and Brienne defeated the Hound. Tormund learns during this exchange that she is not a knight, but only due to tradition. Tormund says, “F**k tradition. If I were king I’d knight you ten times over.”

Jaime then relates a knight can make a knight. “Kneel lady Brienne.” Moments later, she’s Ser Brienne of Tarth, Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, and it’s very clear she’s incredibly proud.

Pod starts singing a sad ballad about departing loved ones. Missandei kisses Grey Worm after he promises to protect her. Sam and Gilly stare at each other like the old people in titanic. Troops gather outside the wall.

The truth is finally revealed.

The moment we’ve all been waiting for is finally here.

  • Sam: Have you told her?
  • Jon: Nope! You should hide when the fighting starts.
  • Sam: Hey! I’m the first to kill a White Walker! Don’t change the subject.
  • Jon: Fine, I’ll do it.
Game of Thrones Season 8 — photo: Helen Sloan/HBO — Acquired via HBO Media Relations
Game of Thrones Season 8 — photo: Helen Sloan/HBO — Acquired via HBO Media Relations /

Later in the crypts beneath Winterfell, Dany tracks Jon down in front of Lyanna Stark’s grave. The discussion turns to Rhaegar Targaryen, and Dany says her brother raped Lyanna Stark. Jon lays it all out there. No rape. Marriage. The big Romeo and Juliet-level secret. The baby: Aegon Targaryen.

At this point, Daenerys starts to realize she possibly had sex with her nephew, so she questions the convenience of Jon’s best friend and brother being the source of information. Jon continues, confirms it all, adds some Ned Stark details, and suddenly Dany realizes something worse: Jon Snow is the last male heir to the Iron Throne.

Just then, horn blasts save them from the triviality of it all. The desiccated, skeletal, shredded horses of the White Walkers come into view. They line up, with Winterfell in the distance, ready to attack.

. Game of Thrones. S8E2. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. A+++

Next. GOT S8E1 Recap. dark

Game of Thrones airs next Sunday on HBO.