Previously on GoT: Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen returned to Winterfell hand in hand, lovey-dovey, and ready to rule as a pair—until Samwell Tarly broke the news to Jon about his crazy-ass family tree and ruined everything. Dany met some new resistance in the form of Sansa Stark, who is not taking any of her shit. And Jaime Lannister arrived in Winterfell and promptly bumped into good ol’ buddy Bran Stark.
We open on a lovely welcome dinner party for Jaime, thrown for him by all his dear friends in Winterfell.
First and foremost, Daenerys wants to know where the fuck Cersei Lannister‘s army is. Jaime quickly reveals that’s not a thing that is happening. Tyrion was wrong and Cersei lied, obvs.
Things aren’t going too well for Jaime, especially after Robo-Bran makes a vague reference to being pushed out of that tower in Season 1 and makes Jaime soil his underpants.
But then Lady Brienne of Tarth rises in Jaime’s defense, speaking about his sense of honor and revealing that he once put her on a mission to go rescue and protect the Stark girls. Sansa trusts Brienne, so she announces Jaime should be allowed to stay.
Dany, in an attempt to hold on to her authority, asks the WARDEN OF THE NORTH (read: Jon, not Sansa) for his opinion. But as always, Lord Snow doesn’t give two shits about politics. One more warrior is one more warrior. Also, he hasn’t been in the mood to entertain Dany since he found out they were related.
So Jaime Lannister is free to join their ranks, and Dany is left feeling very alone between Sansa’s public show of disrespect and Jon giving her the cold shoulder.
Down in the forge, Arya Stark is watching Gendry make weapons with all those muscles of his and she is definitely enjoying the show.
Arya insists Gendry should be making the weapon she requested urgently. She wants to be ready when the army of the dead gets here. Gendry hasn’t really hung out with Arya since they were kids running from King’s Landing, so he doesn’t really know her anymore. She gives him a preview of the badass she’s become with a little knife show.
In the Godswood, Jaime visits Bran, who as always is being very chill about everything. Bran isn’t really Bran anymore, as we all know, so he doesn’t care much about the whole “being tossed off a tower and becoming a paraplegic” thing.
Bran tells Jaime he didn’t fully mention the tower thing in front of the other Starks (they still don’t know!) because Jaime is needed in the coming fight against the Night King. Jaime asks whether this truce will end after the fight, and Bran asks him why he even presumes there is an “after.”
Jaime and Tyrion finally reunite and talk about queens and sisters and incest babies. Jaime confirms Cersei’s pregnancy is real.
Jaime ditches his brother to go hang with Brienne. She stood up for him during his trial, but she doesn’t know how to act around him given their weird history. Jaime opens up to her and asks if she’ll command him in battle. There’s a tiny bit of subtext there that throws her off a little bit.
Ser Jorah Mormont pays Daenerys a little visit. He’s a bit concerned about her recent treatment of Tyrion. Jorah isn’t Tyrion’s biggest fan, but he strongly advises Dany to forgive him and let him remain her Hand. He also suggests that she make more of an effort to reach out to Sansa and work on a partnership.
Daenerys’s previous approach of complimenting Sansa’s looks didn’t work, so she goes for her smarts instead. She reassures Sansa that she’s here for Jon because she loves and believes in him. They even take a quick sec to gossip about boys. Everything sounds like it’s going in the right direction until Sansa asks Dany the same “after” question Jaime asked Bran. Sansa does not intend to abdicate the North (or let Jon do it) for anyone on the Iron Throne, not even Daenerys. Welp.
The girls are interrupted by Theon Greyjoy‘s return. He announces Yara is off to take back the Iron Islands, but when Dany is confused about his presence here, he reveals he’s here for Winterfell—and for Sansa.
Ser Davos Seaworth is helping feed the people of Winterfell and telling them they’ll have to help defend the city when a little girl with a Greyscale-like affliction tells Davos she wants to fight too.
Obviously reminded of poor little Shireen Baratheon, Davos is a little too shooketh to give her an answer. But Gilly comes to the rescue by asking the little girl to protect her and her son down in the crypts, where she and the other defenseless villagers will be hiding.
It’s a good thing Sansa ordered Lord Yohn Royce to keep the city gates open until the last minute, because Eddison Tollett, Tormund Giantsbane, and Beric Dondarrion show up fashionably late after their little Last Hearth escapade. Jon happily greets them until they reveal that all the Umbers are toast and the dead peeps will be here before sunrise.
Half the show’s cast assembles in a single room (!) to make battle plans. Most of the warriors will be outside the gates while the people who can’t fight will hide inside the crypts.
Bran, however, needs to be out in the open, in the Godswood, as bait for the Night King, who’ll be looking to kill him. Theon Greyjoy volunteers to protect him, as repayment for once seizing Winterfell from him.
Tyrion wants to help fight, but Daenerys, taking Jorah’s advice, orders him to go hide in the crypts. She needs his mind, not his fighting ability.
With the meeting over (and Jon once again shunning Dany’s company), Tyrion is left alone with Bran. He approaches the Robo-Stark, pulling up a chair and asking to hear his story. Finally, someone wants to really talk to him.
Daenerys’s trusted advisor and bestie, Missandei, has been having a hard time in the North. Mostly because racism. The very very white Northerners look at her like some weird freak. Grey Worm approaches her and, for possibly the first time, talks about leaving Daenerys. He suggests that they go elope somewhere after the war is over—back to her old home.
Up on the battlements, the remaining men of the Night’s Watch (and Ghost!! He’s back!) gather to reminisce about old times. And make jokes about Eddison Tollett being a virgin.
Tyrion and Jaime are hanging out by the fire, remembering the past, when Brienne and Podrick Payne join them to share the warmth. Davos and Tormund round out the party. Tormund, trying to impress Brienne and intimidate Jaime, tells the story of how he once killed a giant and was breastfed by its wife for three months. Then he spills his fermented goat milk drink (?!) all over himself.
Arya joins The Hound for a brief chat. She’s still being pretty snarky to him, asking why he would come up here to fight for Winterfell. In a rare moment of truthfulness, Clegane reminds her he fought for her before this.
Beric Dondarrion joins them to talk about the Lord of Light, but Arya ain’t having none of that. She’d rather be by herself than hang with these two. But of course, she isn’t by herself very long. Gendry finds her to hand her the dragonglass spear she requested. He reveals he’s Robert Baratheon‘s bastard, they talk about Melisandre, one thing leads to another, and they end up doing it. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen: Arya Stark is having sex.
It’s super weird and a tad icky, but good for her I guess. At least someone’s having a good time.
Tyrion and company are discussing their history with battles when Brienne’s knighthood—or lack thereof—comes up. Brienne tries to pretend she’s not bothered that she was never made a knight, but she’s not fooling anyone. Tormund says he’d totally knight her if he could, but Jaime one-ups him: as a knight himself, he actually can knight her. So why not?
A casual hangout around the fire suddenly turns into a knighting ceremony—and just like that, Brienne of Tarth gets what she’s wanted her entire life.
Outside, Ser Jorah Mormont is trying to convince his cousin, Lady Lyanna Mormont, to go hide in the TOTALLY SAFE crypts with the other youngsters. But boss-ass bitch Lyanna ain’t hiding like some punk. She’s going to represent for the Mormonts.
Samwell Tarly interrupts to gift his father’s Valyrian steel sword, Heartsbane, to Jorah. He wants Ser Mormont to have it in honor of the late commander of the Night’s Watch, Jorah’s old man, Jeor Mormont.
The fun gang is out of wine, so Tyrion asks if anyone can carry a tune to entertain them instead. Everyone declines, because they’re totally boring, until young Podrick Payne with the magic dick pulls out another party trick: the singing voice of an angel.
While everyone enjoys what might be their last night in this world—Sam and his family, Sansa and Theon, Arya and Gendry, Grey Worm and Missandei—Pod sings of a girl who danced with ghosts inside an old crypt and never wanted to leave said crypt again.
Daenerys finds Jon by Lyanna Stark‘s statue in the crypts. She initiates the conversation about it by recounting what she’d heard of the Rhaegar-Lyanna story. But Jon fills in the blanks, revealing the truth and blowing her fucking mind.
Dany and Jon quickly realize they’re now going to have to have a VERY serious conversation about the Iron Throne. But before that can happen, a horn in the distance blasts three times. Three horn blasts means White Walkers. The dead have arrived.
Winterfell is totes screwed.
R.I.P.: Arya’s virginity. Pour one out for the gal.
MVPs: Sansa Stark, for standing up to Dany. Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister, for that beautiful moment. And Podrick Payne, for being plain old irresistible.
Notably absent: Cersei Lannister, Qyburn, The Mountain, and Bronn. Captain Strickland, Euron, and Yara Greyjoy. Melisandre. Meera Reed. And the Night King (still!).
See y’all next week for the bloodbath of the century!