Spoiler alert: This post contains plot details of the April 21 episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.” If you don’t want me to be the one to tell you how Tormund came to be called Giantsbane, stop now.
Be careful what you wish for.
Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, like last week’s premiere, gave us plenty of the moments we may have thought we wanted, as we spent seven long(er) seasons watching most of our main characters scatter, only to have those who survived reeled back and brought together for these final six episodes.
But the night before the war to come — yes, I think we’re finally almost there — moved so fast through all those emotional meetings that I’m not sure which ones I’m supposed to care about most.
Arya (Maisie Williams) losing her virginity to Gendry (Joe Dempsie)?
Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) finally winning the right to call herself Ser?
Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) apologizing to Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) for pushing him off the tower that one time? (Bran’s callback to “the things we do for love,” during Jaime’s grilling was actually more fun. I like my Three-Eyed Ravens to have a sense of humor, don’t you?)
Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Theon (Alfie Allen) having an almost joyous reunion?
Anyone who’s ever seen a war movie knew that someone was going to get lucky on the night before this battle, but Arya and Gendry? Maybe I’m the only one who didn’t see that coming.
For a moment I actually thought the lucky winner might be Tormund (Kristofer Hivju), whose explanation of how he came to be called Giantsbane — he slew a giant, then was suckled for three months by the giant’s wife — had to be the most original pickup line in the history of Westeros, even if Brienne seemed less than intrigued.
Of course, we’re talking about Westeros, where a woman finding out that she’s been sleeping with her nephew skips right over that part to focus instead on what that’s going to mean to her inheritance.
OK, not any woman. Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) has her eyes on the prize, and as of that night, it’s possible that Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen (Kit Harington) is no longer part of the jackpot. And this on the same day where she’d talked to Sansa about how she felt about Jon, and how he was only the second man for whom she’d had such feelings.
“Who was the first?” asked Sansa, setting up the joke.
“Someone taller,” Dany replied.
Speaking of tall, I did take feminist satisfaction in seeing Brienne break the dragonglass ceiling as Jaime knighted her. But for me, the bigger Jaime-Brienne moment came earlier, when he told her: "I’m not the fighter I used to be. But I’d be honored to serve under your command if you’ll have me.”
I’ve always considered one of the best moments in Mad Men to be when Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) suggests Don Draper (Jon Hamm) will never speak to her again if she doesn’t join the new firm, and he replies, that, no, “I will spend the rest of my life trying to rehire you.”
This is the best kind of workplace romance. And in both cases, everyone kept their clothes on.
A few other thoughts on “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”: