The second episode of the final season of everyone’s favourite fantasy series, Game Of Thrones, aired on Sunday night, and it was truly a work of art. This entire episode was filled with so much emotion, moments of melancholy and joy, relief and despair. But arguably the most powerful moment comes 10 minutes before the episode ends, and it is all about Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister. So, it should be no surprise that the episode title is in reference to both of them.
Season 8, Episode 2 is titled A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms. This is, of course, in direct reference to not only one of the most emotional scenes in the episode, but in the entire series. Brienne sits with Jaime, Tyrion, Tormund, Davos, and Podrick. They’re all gathered around the fire, many of them drinking, all of them trying to avoid thinking of the battle that could begin at any moment. And as they’re talking about everything other than their impending doom, the subject of knighthood comes up when Tyrion accidentally calls Brienne ‘Ser’. Tormund is confused when they explain that women can’t become knights, especially because of something as ridiculous as tradition.
“Fuck tradition…I’m no King, but if I were, I’d knight you ten times over.”-Tormund Giantsbane
Jaime points out that you don’t need a King, that any knight can anoint another knight. And it’s at this moment that he realizes what he could have done a long time ago. Jaime, a knight himself, unsheathes his Valyrian steel sword and tells Brienne to kneel. Silence falls. No one really knows if it’s a joke or not, and Bryan Cogman, the producer/writer who penned this episode, says that’s what makes it so powerful.
“We wanted to take the audience by surprise. It’s not a ceremonial scene on a cliff at sunset with billowing capes. It comes out of a throwaway moment that even some people in the room think is a joke and then they quickly realize it’s not. It’s a monumental thing. It’s a moment of grace and beauty in the middle of a nightmare and the main reason I wanted to write this episode.”-Bryan Cogman
When everyone realizes Jaime isn’t joking, when Brienne kneels and realizes that she is getting everything she ever dreamed of, everyone, both audience and characters, forget what is coming. As everyone claps, as she arises a knight with tears in her eyes and the most joyful smile, everything feels okay. Everything feels more than okay, it feels beautiful. So the fact that this episode was named after her, and in a way, after Jaime, would melt even the Night King’s heart.
The Final Season Of Game Of Thrones Airs Sundays At 9 On HBO.