We're already one third of the way through the final season of Game of Thrones, and we've already gotten a ton of stuff out of the way: Jon now knows he belongs on the Iron Throne, all the Starks are together again (for now), and the Night King won't let a siege on the Westeros mainland get in the way of crafting some unique interior-design situations.
"A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms," the show's 69th episode, was an all-timer, and probably the last time we'll get to spend a good amount of evenly paced talk time with the characters we've gotten to know for the past eight years. Here are three things we learned, and three things we need to keep in mind for next week when the battle of Winterfell gets under way.
What We Learned
Daenerys Knows About Jon
In such a pleasant (as far as this show is willing to give us "pleasant") episode, the main dramatic turn came from Jon Snow choosing the absolute worst moment to tell his aunt whom he fucks that 1. She's his aunt, whom he fucks, and 2. That he's got a stronger claim to the Iron Throne than her. They'll have to wait until after the zombie war to figure this familial tiff out, but Jon, man, you had all day. You couldn't have found her a little earlier?
Bran Is Still Bran. Kind Of?
"I'm not Bran Stark anymore," Bran Stark told us last season, insisting he is now the Three-Eyed Raven, a title that still remains kind of unfocused and ill-defined within the show. He did, however, get in a dig at Jaime anyway, repeating back his "The things we do for love" quip from right back in the show's pilot when he pushed the young Stark from the tower's window. He might not be that little kid anymore, but he still hasn't forgotten who put him in that chair.
However Game of Thrones ends, it's going to end in a new age, be it under the dominion of the Night King, a firmer grip on proceedings by the current queen Cersei, or under the rule of one of all our good guys in the North. This episode's centerpiece sequence was Brienne becoming the first woman knighted in Westeros, with Jaime performing the ceremony on his once-enemy, completing his redemption arc and all but assuring his death next week. Brienne, the first woman knight of Westeros, will be living proof that things are about to change in this world for good.
What We Need to Know
The Night King Can Still Track Bran
It's never explained why, but the Night King leaving his handprint on Bran means he can track his location at any point like an angry parent firing up the Find My Friends app after curfew, but access even magically protected areas because of his Bran brand (sorry). The Three-Eyed Raven will be wheeled out to Winterfell's backyard next week in an attempt to lure out the big bad, and kill him once and for all.
The plan of action in Winterfell, so far as I can ascertain: Stick a bunch of dragonglass on the outside walls of the town, and stick the town's most vulnerable citizens in the underground crypt for protection. So, real quick, who are the aggressors in this siege on Winterfell? And what are crypts absolutely fucking full of again?
It's Probably Time to Say Goodbye to a Lot of Your Favorites
As much as I, like any hot-blooded human, love the likes of Jorah Mormont, Beric Dondarrion, and Gendry, it's just not going to be a Game of Thrones battle episode without a boatload of character deaths, and that counts even more so in its final season. Gendry has spent his entire life fleeing from danger and decided to have sex the night of a zombie invasion. I've seen enough horror movies to know how that one turns out. Still, at least The Hound will probably survive. He's got to see his brother one last time down in King's Landing, remember.