The calendar may say April, but Winter has arrived. Game of Thrones fans have been waiting over a year for the final season of the epic HBO series, and the wait is finally over. But with all the fervor and excitement, some viewers have expressed some disgruntlement over the slower pacing and lack of action in the first two episodes. However, I believe the tenuous relationships and character development (and re-development, see Jamie Lanister) are what makes this show so great.
Was Battle of the Bastards one of the most insane television battles ever to pixelate our flat screens? Sure it was. Was it worth the wait to finally see Dany’s beautifully rendered dragons soar through the air and roast some ill-fated Lanisters? Absolutely. However, what is just as compelling and perhaps even more important were those small moments Game of Thrones sometimes gives us, and “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” was packed with those scenes.
Lady Sansa and Queen Daenerys drew their lines in the snow. Tyrion once again gave us a top-10 line while riffing with his brother Jamie, acknowledging that he could never go back to being the whore-chasing drunk of his early years, toasting to the “perils of self-betterment.” Bran took the air out of Winterfell when he dropped “the things we do for love” on Jamie’s now-scruffy head during his trial. I won’t highlight every great character moment in the episode, but no Season 8, Ep. 2 list would be complete without mentioning the fireplace scene. It was kind of like watching the Avengers’ B-Squad of Westeros hanging out, drinking and warming their arses.
In shows both big and small, story is often sacrificed for spectacle. This is never more true than in the sci-fi and fantasy genres. However, Game of Thrones has walked the tightrope between serving us juicy character moments with bloody swordy deaths almost perfectly. We know the great war with the White Walkers is coming, and probably a Dany vs. Cerci showdown as well. But I’m incredibly pleased and impressed that David Benioff and DB Weiss had the restraint to give us two episodes of intellectual and emotional Game-of-Throning before we got to the stabby and cutty Game-of-Throning.
With all that said, I am ready for the Battle of Winterfell. We’ve been building to this war for over eight freaking years. What kind of doom does the Night King intend to unleash on the North? I don’t know, but I intend to find out this Sunday. I mean everyone knows when you play the Game of Thrones, you win, or you die.
Episode 3 starts at 9:00PM EST, April 28, 2019 on HBO. Check out the teaser trailer here!