This article is dark and full of spoilers.
This entire episode took place in Winterfell. At the end of the previous episode, Jaime has newly arrived in Winterfell. Jaime is brought to the Great Hall, and he is cross-examined by the Starks and Daenerys before Brienne vouches for him.
The audience then follows Jaime for a while as he meets with Tyrion. He later goes to Bran in the Godswood, where he immediately and humbly apologizes for paralyzing him. Jaime asks why he didn’t just reveal his crime, and Bran hints at Jaime’s role in the war to come.
Arya meets up with Gendry at the Foundry where he is hard at work shaping obsidian into weapons. Arya grills Gendry about the White Walkers, wanting to know every detail. Gendry calls them death. Arya calmly explains that she knows death. It’s revealed that Gendry was definitely impacted by the events that took place north of the Wall.
Tyrion is walking on eggshells around the raging Dany. Dany blames Tyrion for Cersei’s deceptions. She simply can’t see past her own endgame, and expects for her every whim to be obeyed without question. Jorah finds his Khaleesi and advises her to trust and to lighten up on Tyrion.
Next, in a very tense scene, Daenerys attempts to connect with Sansa, but Sansa isn’t having any of it. Theon returns and declares that he has come back to fight for his childhood home.
The remainder of the Night’s Watch arrive at Winterfell. The crows are accompanied by Tormund and Ser Beric. The men report that the army of the dead is almost at the door. In a meeting that was far too short, Bran reveals in Bran fashion two crucial things. One of which being what the Night King wants, which is to bring on the Endless Night. We also are reminded that Bran was branded by the Night King and can track him. He is coming for the Three-Eyed Raven first. Bran will be placed in the Godswood as bait and will be accompanied by Theon and the Ironborn.
As the battle for Winterfell approaches. Our characters seek out comfort where they can. Sam gifts Jorah with his family’s blade, Heartsbane. Arya and Gendry make love. Tormund tries to impress Brienne with his legendary storytelling and drinking. Tyrion pours a round for his comrades. Jaime gives Brienne the title of Ser. Beric waxes poetic about the Lord of Light over wine. Dany finds Jon brooding in the crypts. It is here that Jon reveals that his heritage. He speaks not unkindly, but without a hint of doubt or shame.
Then the horns sound announcing the arrival of the dead.
This episode was masterfully written and executed. It was absolutely impeccable storytelling. It brought back the humanity of the show. It showed what the characters are all fighting for. Most of them are fighting for love. Seeing these beloved characters interacting together after so long was really rewarding.
The title of the episode was “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” in homage to perhaps the most moving scene in the episode, which was when Jaime formally knighted Brienne of Tarth. In a show where the ideas of knighthood, chivalry, honor and loyalty are all debated, Brienne has been the truest knight.
All of the connections and moments were something the audience may have been hoping for, or didn’t even know that they wanted. Moments between Jaime and Tyrion, Arya and Sandor, Arya and Gendry, Missandei and Grey Worm, Jorah and Sam.
The stage is being set for an incredible remainder of the season.