(The Following write-up contains spoilers. Read at your own risk)
Episode 2 Of GOT Season 8 - A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is one of GOT's warmest with a pace that's slow and calm that it might seem quite incongruous to the momentum of an end that's merely 4 episodes away. In the wake of death's call, prior the final battle of life and the doom, a few smiles; fulfilment of a lifetime's ambition or even a desire of lust; the disclosure of a secret bound to the crypts become an essential warm up .
This second impression of the final season is quite a happy cry - " Let's live a little!" before the Night King comes.
The Wine Musings:
The hour-long builds up to the great war relies largely on the warmth of its wine musings than the heat of the dread. As the war night unfolds, the seekers of warmth and life assemble in the Halls of the Winterfell castle that houses the romances of the hour and commencement of a historical knighthood.
The folks present in the gathering have undergone a resurrection in some significant form through their lives like the realization that dawns on the old in their death beds. Winterfell, here, is their death beds and they have arrived there guided by their transformation. For instance, The Kingslayer returns almost like a new man - one of his promises. Podrick, the then squire is now a warrior. The witty Imp is the Hand of the Queen and the Onion Knight Ser Davos, the counsel for Jon Snow. Tormund, the dreadful one in the Free Folk is fighting South of the Wall and Brienne in this episode is bestowed an honour she dreamt of throughout besides being aware of its impossibility. This lifetime wish of hers has come true prior to the march of death.
The acknowledgement of the affiliation between Ser Jaime and the now Ser Brienne places itself on sturdy and smooth grounds as its soul grants a powerful peace.
Jaime grants her knighthood enabling her to be the first female Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. He who earlier protects her from being raped defends her against the patriarchal tradition.
Will Jon be capable of the same enabling Danerys to be the First Targaryen Queen is a question to which the answer remains uncertain.
The GiantsBane scores with 'Fuck Tradition!' while the teary-eyed and widely smiling Brienne's face is a satisfying sight to remember and cherish. Tormund's childlike enthusiasm and applause hint at how truly he is a baby by heart with no traces of inevitable jealousy towards the King Killer.
It must be admitted that I definitely did miss Lord Varys in the gathering, particularly when Tyrion points out to the perils of self-betterment.
The encounters between Podrick and Tyrion offer a streak of fun and a very brief grace amidst the cold winds of Winterfell that extends to the kind of bond Arya and The Hound have come to share. The Hound's atheism is still intact as the easy and effective humour in his rudeness.
Well, let's arrive at the best part of the wine musings post a while.
No one's ever tried:
There are theories stating Brandon Stark to be the Night King. Let's not address their validity for now but we will never know. Half the series, who knew Jon wasn't a bastard after all but the rightful heir to the Iron Throne and so will we not know, for now, if dragon fire will ever stop the Night King who has Viseryon to his rescue against Dracarys and Rhaegar.
Bran, the Three-Eyed Raven who has been trolled since a while for seeming stoned is now going to be the prime point of the war and there we go, at what is reduced to the Night King vs Bran Stark.
The clear strategies drafted by Jon will strangle them all in the event of copious complications filling the path of execution. The reveals on the identity of the Night King via Bran's vision is anticipated.
Jon fighting the dead, riding his dragon is just going to be a terrific point if at all he does so and establishes his astounding Targaryen stand to the surprise and shock of the North. The truth revealed in sound actions is louder than that spoken.
Jon just knows the truth, he hasn't realised it to any effect. High hopes stay rested on Rhaegar, the dragon and the war to reveal it to him. Hold on, Jon is a Targaryen, but is he a dragon? Let's just brace ourselves to the show's dealing with shocking reveals, assuming that they have saved the best for the last.
Will HBO consistently try what no one's ever tried is to be witnessed in a short while. But yeah! Ghost is back! His presence though not prominent (at all )is a sigh of relief that he is not forgotten at least.
Jenny of OldStones:
The best part of the wine musings hinted at previously is the pleasant surprise towards its end when Podrick sings post-Tyrion's request for a song prior to their possible deaths. He sings Jenny of OldStones - a melancholy of romance marking the tragic love affair of Prince Duncan Targaryen and Jenny, a poor peasant girl from OldStones.Quick revisions from the book reveal that Duncan was promised to a Baratheon Girl but married Jenny against the will of his parents. A fire at Summer Hall killed the couple and a few others. The tragedy coincides with the birth of Rhaegar Targaryen ( Jon's father) on the same day.
Infant Rhaegar and his mother were the only survivors of the SummerHall fire and this provides necessary cues on their dragon blood.
Rhaegar's love story with Lyanna is parallel to that chronicled by Jenny's song. Lyanna, betrothed to a Baratheon falls in love with Rhaegar opposing the wishes of her family.
Following the Trident Tragedy, she and her newborn son - Aegon emerge as survivors of Robert's rebellion. She eventually bleeds to death leaving Jon to be the rightful male heir of the fervent Targaryen family.
The song vaguely triggers the memories of The Red Wedding - a misery following a broken betrothal between The Starks and The Freys.
As the song flows, we get to Arya and Gendry; Missandei of Naath and GreyWorm; Sansa and Theon and finally to Daenerys and Aegon.
In all these cases of love, the former remains relatively significant than the other.
Arya is the Stark girl while Gendry is a Baratheon bastard. The slow development of their bond over the previous seasons has finally paid off and Twitter is attacked with EpicForgeSex hashtags. Robert's wish that Ned Stark's daughter is married to one of his sons has been finally fulfilled. May he rest in peace!
Missandei discovers a pristine romance with Grey Worm, the Unsullied who is pumped not by his hormones but all his heart.
Sansa reveals a touch of hearty affection in her gratitude towards Theon.
Danerys claims to have come half the world to fight for Jon, motivated (manipulated) by love. She pauses her fight for the Throne to support Jon in the war against the dead but she seems heavily concerned on Jon's claim to the throne when told the truth, clouding the substance and soul of their romance. The intended balance between Love and the Iron Throne hence appears ineffectual.
Contemplations fill in on whether the fate of Duncan and Jenny will befall these young couples, making their stories another tragedy to sing songs on.
So, were all these humbly recorded reunions only to break and tear them apart? An intriguing question though heart-breaking. This draws us to the Great War of Westeros.
The Great War:
This warm-up has made us excessively concerned about what fate will guide the fighters in the war besides the ultimate result. With lives lost, their stories of love and passion will be vanquished. If they are to rise to post the fall and fight for the lifeless, the tears and thrills are bound to be outrageous.
Accounts of news claim this war to be fueled with the greatest action in the history of television. With the initial two episodes, devoid of all terror and action, the coming are to compensate and shun the criticism. The preview trailer promises the same and let's hope it acts as the OathKeeper.
The upcoming episodes will be more than an hour each, offering us more meat for the final devouring.
As Varys remarks regarding the unpleasant truth in the first episode of the final season, Nothing lasts! GOT will not but the effect it intends to leave will not be lost. Probably, they are wise enough to preserve and promote the excitement that has remained the trademark of the series.
Six more hours! Four more weeks! But if you think it will have a happy ending, you weren't paying attention.