Previously on Game of Thrones: Sam told Jon he’s actually the real no-fooling Targaryen king and Jon was all like aw shit boi leave me out plz. Also there was a dead kid on a wall who came to life and screamed but he’s dead again now.
Now on Game of Thrones: Jaime is at Winterfell and it’s awkward as hell because he killed Dany’s father and threw Bran out the window. But in Jaime’s defence, Dany’s father was a massive dick and Bran was totally about to cock-block him. Extenuating circumstances.
Jaime tells Dany that Cersei has rat-fucked her. Dany doesn’t trust Jaime. Sansa doesn’t trust Jaime either. Both Dany and Sansa have bees in their bonnets about guys who murder and/or attempt to murder their immediate families. Jaime says he did it for his family so where’s the harm? “The things we do for love,” says Bran, demonstrating the power of the three-eyed raven by quoting song lyrics from the late 20th century.
Brienne of Tarth stands up, but has to stoop because the ceiling is only eighteen feet high. She says Jaime is an OK guy because he lost his hand protecting her. Sansa reckons Brienne is an OK guy, so Jaime must be an OK guy too. Dany’s not so sure. She asks Jon. Jon says they need every man they can get, even if they’re a one-handed man who isn’t actually much good for anything. Grey Worm gives Jaime a sword and a dirty look that is frankly uncalled for. The meeting is adjourned. Jaime feels a bit lonely and Bran keeps staring at him in that creepy way Bran has.
Dany is angry at Tyrion for not knowing what Cersei was up to. Tyrion admits to being a fool. Dany is not refreshed by his honesty.
Down in the forge, Gendry and his wacky band of misfits are making more dragonglass stuff. Arya shows up to stare longingly at Gendry’s muscles. She raises an eyebrow at him. Gendry is impressed because that’s hard. Gendry whacks an axe in a block of wood and Arya just about collapses in a puddle. He tells her what it’s like fighting white walkers: apparently it’s “bad”. Arya demands more details. Gendry elaborates. “Death, that’s what they’re like,” he says. “I know Death,” says Arya. “He’s got many faces. I look forward to seeing this one.” Now it’s Gendry’s turn to full-on tentpole, because when Arya starts talking about death and throwing sharp stuff around she is sexy as hell.
Out in the snow Bran is staring at nothing. Jaime approaches to apologise for crippling him. “You weren’t sorry then,” says Bran, which seems to be missing the point. I mean, he’s sorry NOW. Be a bit more gracious, Bran.
But Bran isn’t angry – it was being chucked out the window that made him and Jaime what they are today. “I’m not angry at anyone,” he says, keeping up his creepy act. Jaime wishes he’d never brought it up. He wanders off to chat with Tyrion, who is his brother, remember?
Jaime asks Tyrion if Daenerys is a cool chick. Tyrion says she’s the coolest. He also notes that Cersei is totally not the coolest. Jaime agrees that Cersei is a straight-up hoochie. Tyrion looks sternly on his brother. “She never fooled you – you always knew exactly what she was,” he says. Truth bomb. It’s a tense moment but it passes because Tyrion moves on to his fantasy of dying while getting a blow job. He keeps talking about what fun it’ll be to be a zombie and murder Cersei, but Jaime has wandered off again. He’s staring at Brienne, the woman he loves but can’t admit it because his father always told him it was shameful to hook up with anyone you needed a footstool to kiss.
Jaime moves on to talk with Brienne – this episode is really living up to its title, “The Day Jaime Had Some Nice Chats With Everyone”. Brienne is suss on Jaime because he hasn’t called her a great smelly beefer yet. Jaime admits that he is there because he wants to fight under Brienne. RIGHT under Brienne, if you get my drift. Brienne is confused and disturbed by this and leaves.
Meanwhile, inside, Jorah shows up to look mournful at Dany. He tells her that Tyrion is an irritating little shit but he’s still quite clever and she shouldn’t sack him yet. Dany points out that Tyrion made mistakes. Jorah points out that everyone makes mistakes FFS, cut the dude some frigging slack. Jorah has another idea but the editor unhelpfully cuts the scene short at this point.
Dany goes to Sansa, opening the tantalising possibility that we’re about to find out what Jorah’s idea is. Sansa tells Dany that Brienne is awesome and Tyrion is awesome too. Dany tells Sansa that Tyrion shouldn’t have trusted Cersei. “You shouldn’t have either,” says Sansa.
BOOM! Daenerys, you just got STARKED!
Dany wants to know why Sansa and her can’t get along. What happened to the sisterhood, you know? Sansa thinks Dany is twirling Jon around her little finger. Dany reckons Jon’s twirled her around his little finger. The two women share a little giggle and agree to have a sleepover party soon. Then Sansa ruins the whole mood by asking, “What about the North?” She’s kind of worried that if Dany becomes queen, she’ll…be queen.
Suddenly Daenerys is called away to greet Theon Greyjoy, who has shown up to declare his intention to fight for Winterfell. Sansa gives him a hug even though he looks pretty damp and gross, and all is well because when Theon thought he’d murdered Sansa’s little brothers, he’d actually murdered a couple of randos, so it’s all good.
Out in the courtyard, Ser Davos Seaworth serves some casserole to an extra from seminal 1970s ABC series Rush, and tells him where to get a sword. The extra doesn’t much want a sword, but Davos tells him he’ll get a sword and like it. A little girl comes and asks Davos if she can have a sword too. Davos doesn’t know what to say: he knows little girls shouldn’t have swords, but he hates to say no to them, especially because this one has a messed-up face a little bit like his friend whose father set her on fire. Luckily Gilly shows up – remember Gilly? She’s here! Who knew? She tells the little girl to come down to the crypt to protect her. The little girl falls for this transparent ruse because little girls are idiots.
Tormund and the remnants of the Night’s Watch are here! Tormund tells Jon that the Dead will arrive before sunrise, and asks where Brienne is, seeking some freaky giant sex. It’s comic relief but it doesn’t last long because zombies are coming.
All the highest-paid members of the cast gather to discuss how to defeat an army of indefatigable living corpses that vastly outnumbers their own. Bran suggests using him as bait to lure the Night King. Theon volunteers to stay by Bran’s side to protect him, reasoning that he doesn’t have a dick so nothing really matters anymore. Arya asks Bran if dragon fire will stop the Night King. “I don’t know,” says Bran, as helpful as always, the inscrutable little bastard.
“We’re all going to die,” says Tormund,” but at least we die together.” On that incredibly depressing note, it’s off to bed. Except Tyrion and Bran. Tyrion asks Bran to tell him the story of, you know, what Bran’s whole deal is.
Outside, Missandei tries to make friends with some Northern children, but they are racist and shun her. Grey Worm walks up and asks Missandei if she will come with him, once the war is over, to go lie on the beach and do intimate eunuch stuff together. The scene ends quickly, having not been very important to begin with.
Jon and Sam have a discussion about the whole Jon-being-the-king-and-also-his-girlfriend’s-nephew thing. Jon tells Sam he can go hide in the crypt with the women and the children and Tyrion if he wants. Sam gets indignant, pointing out that he’s killed a White Walker, and also another guy, and he stole a bunch of stuff, and anyway Edd is a virgin so who needs to hide in the bloody crypt now huh?
Apparently Bran’s story, which he claimed was a long one, was actually really short, because Tyrion is now drinking with Jaime. They reminisce about their horrible father and how Jaime used to bang their sister. Brienne interrupts to judge them over their drinking problem. Podrick, Davos and Tormund also show up. Davos warms himself by the fire while Tormund asks Brienne if she’d like a ginger beard ride, and then tells everyone how when he was ten he killed a giant and then breastfed from the giant’s wife, which is what made him so strong and also mad as a meth-addled meerkat.
On the ramparts, Arya and the Hound share a moment of silent gloom. Arya demands to know why the Hound is there. The Hound doesn’t want to talk about it. The one-eyed magic man arrives to apologise for being such a dick to Arya previously, and talk a bunch of religious crap. The Hound doesn’t hold with Jehovah’s Witnesses and tells him to shut his neck.
Arya scuttles off to practise her archery. Gendry brings her the spear he made for her. He tells Arya about how the red woman put leeches on him. Arya thinks this means sex, but he means literal leeches. Arya wants to know how many women Gendry’s had sex with, like they’re on Friends or something. Gendry says he’s been with three. Arya asks if she can be the fourth, because she wants to do it before a zombie kills her.
Then Arya and Gendry totally do it. Little Arya. All grown up. It’s sweet.
Back in the circle of drunks, Tyrion tries to break the awkward silence that has been hanging in the air since Tormund told his giant-suckling story by noting how they all used to fight the Starks but now…like…they’re not. Funny old world. He adds that he thinks they might survive the coming zombie apocalypse, because they’re all pretty much badasses.
Gender issues rear their head when Tormund asks why Brienne’s not a knight. Brienne says women can’t be knights because of tradition. “Fuck tradition,” says Tormund, and he has a point. “If I were a king,” Tormund says, “I’d knight you ten times over.” He would knight her brains out.
Jaime gets up and declares that he will knight Brienne. But he means actually knight her, not knight her the way Tormund meant it. Brienne said like five seconds ago that she didn’t want to be a knight, but she was a big fat liar because now she kneels and lets Jaime knight her. But it might not count because they’re all incredibly drunk.
So I guess she’s Ser Brienne now. Everyone applauds. I mean the characters in the scene applaud: not people watching at home. You’d feel a bit stupid, wouldn’t you? Still it’s nice.
Out in the yard, Jorah is arguing with his kinswoman, Lady Mormont, the little girl who is all out of bubble gum. Jorah notes that Lady Mormont is just a kid. Lady Mormont notes that Jorah can cram it with hazelnuts, because she’s here to fight and she’s going to fucking fight, fam. Gilly isn’t around to sell her soft-soap bullshit, so Jorah has to let the little girl fight.
Sam pops up to give Jorah his sword. It’s a good sword, but Sam is too weak and nerdy to handle it, so Jorah should have it. Also, the sword used to belong to Sam’s father, and since Sam knows how ashamed he was of him, he thinks it would be a nice touch if someone else had it.
Back in the wine club, Tyrion suggests a singalong. Nobody wants to sing. Except…
Pod! Podrick Payne! He starts singing and would you believe it, he has the voice of an angel. Good at sex, good at singing: this dude is chock-full of surprises. In fact his only purpose seems to be to lurk in the background for 99% of the time and occasionally stick his head up to reveal a surprising character trait.
It’s a very sad song and it accompanies a montage of people preparing for death: Missandei and Grey Worm kissing, Arya looking sad as she lies next to Gendry and wonders if sex is supposed to be that brief and unsatisfying, etc.
When Pod has finished singing, Daenerys meets Jon in the crypts, where is gazing at the statue of Lyanna Stark. Dany muses on how strange it was that her brother Rhaegar was supposed to be decent, but then turned out to be a rapist. Jon takes a deep breath and tells her that actually, he wasn’t a rapist at all. And then oh brother, it all comes out…
He tells Dany everything. That Rhaegar and Lyanna were married. That he’s their son. That everything is extremely awkward.
Dany doesn’t like what she’s hearing and quite reasonably points out that it’s pretty bloody convenient that Jon’s only sources are his little brother and his best friend. But Jon says, “It’s true”, and Dany has to admit that’s compelling evidence. She starts to ruminate on the implications, but just as some extremely frank conversation is about to happen, there’s a blast on a horn and they must run to the ramparts…
Because out there, on the frozen ground outside Winterfell, bony hooves strike the ground, and their pale riders gaze at the lights of the castle blazing in the icy night. The White Walkers are here, and the Army of the Dead marches behind them.
Shit is about to get very, very real.
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