This episode of
had more happen in it than perhaps any episode of the Game of Thrones entire series, and it featured not a single death (only the fifth episode of the entire series to have no deaths). Featuring a tight concentration of every living character that we like (save for Yara Greyjoy) the episode soaks the viewer in redemption arcs, heroism, and characters giving what could be their final goodbyes. Here are our five best takeaway moments of the episode.
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Brienne Of Tarth Knighted
Never before has a character received the honor they were so deserving of, and so yearned for, as Sir Brienne of Tarth. We watch her shoot down the idea of her possibly ever being knighted, and even coyly acting like it isn't something she even wanted. The look of joy on her face is also enhanced by her being knighted by Jamie Lannister, who she's clearly fallen for, and has no idea what to even do with such feelings.
Brienne is probably the most knightly character featured on the show, and this tearful moment proves how touching this show can be when great people are rewarded for their good deeds amidst all the show's tragedy.
A Baratheon And A Stark Finally Get Together
Despite the fact that neither Ned Stark or Robert Baratheon survived past the first season, one of their plans finally came to fruition in this episode. They planned to unite their houses with Joffrey and Sansa (which didn't work out for a multitude of reasons), but with Arya Stark losing her virginity to Gendry Snow on what could be her last night alive, one of King Robert's hopes for their houses.
Although Gendry is a bastard, he is the only living descendant of Robert Baratheon. Perhaps with a decree from the Warden of the North, he could end up carrying on the Baratheon family name and starting a life with Arya, but then again nothing ends the way we want to on
Game of Thrones.
Theon Finally Makes It Right
Sansa is the only character to open their arms lovingly with joy when greeting Theon in the entire series. Theon Greyjoy has been a complicated character throughout the show's eight-season run. The look of yearned satisfaction he gets from Sansa is one of the final chapters in his redemption arc.
Many are speculating about a potential love between the two. While possible, this idea undercuts what his actual journey to redemption means. Sansa is the least trusting character on the show, and to see her trust him even more than her own brother shows just how far Theon has come from the bottom.
Not only is Tormund one of the fiercest fighters in the show, he has become the comic relief in a time the show is so in need of it. Tormund isn't walking around cracking jokes and trying to be funny, but he's a fish out of water, surrounded by civilized people after being raised to be wild. The way he flirts with Brienne, to the way he drinks, to the way he tells stories, everything lands with this character. If you are watching with friends, he likely made the room bust up on multiple occasions.
In this episode, he talks about how he killed a giant at 10 years old, and then was breastfed by the giant's wife for three months after. He then proceeds to chug a horn full of what appeared to be milk in front of a room full of knights and highborn, while they look on puzzled and disgusted. This is how he attempts to woo Brienne. His time to shine may be coming to an end at next week's battle of Winterfell.
Podrick's Music Montage
Game of Thrones chose the perfect way to show how each character is dealing with what they expect to be their last night alive. While Podrick sings a beautiful jingle, called "Jenny's Song" (written by George R.R. Martin), most of the characters we know at Winterfell are shown in a montage while we examine why each chose to spend their last night facing their own mortality. Theon found solace with Sansa, Arya slept with Gendry, The Hound sat quietly in guilt from his past. Tyrion gets drunk, Brienne gets knighted, and Jon Snow contemplates the news of his actual parentage, and what it means for him and Daenerys.
While we don't know who will live, and who will die, we got to have one final episode of the show, where the characters all finally came to terms with who they are, and what they've done. Seeing them all do it together was the real driving force of the episode. We might not end up appreciating this until it's all finally over.