The final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones has arrived along with an avalanche of recaps, reviews, and other coverage on the internet, so Vulture’s comedy section decided we’d join in too. We are proud to announce that comedian and former professional reviewer Andy Daly has agreed to cover all six episodes of Game of Thrones’ season eight for us for a column titled “Throning It In With Andy Daly.” Check back here every Monday to see Daly’s thoughts on the latest GOT episode.
Whoa! Another new episode of Game of Thrones was on last night! How in the hell did it take them a whole year and a half to make last week’s episode and only one week to make this new one? I don’t get it, but I don’t need to. I can just be thankful for this opportunity to see so many exciting preparations for war! Man, oh man was this episode prepare-y! Fans of preparation simply could not be disappointed with what Game of Thrones dished out tonight!
But before we get to all that, I need to address a hot, HOT controversy that’s been brewing since last week’s “Throning It In” recap, in which I stated with great authority that Jon Snow and Daenerys are brother and sister. Well, sir, a GREAT MANY people came forward to tell me that they are not brother and sister but are, in fact, aunt and nephew. And so, regrettably, I must begin this week’s recap by saying to all of those people … that you are wrong. Jon and Daenerys are brother and sister. Period. End of discussion. I am deeply sorry that all of you are so wrong about something this obvious and fundamentally important to our understanding of Game of Thrones. What a shame.
Oh, the other thing a lot of people felt compelled to tweet me about was the Iron Islands’ navy crew of mutes. Apparently, they really are mutes and the reason is that Euron Greyjoy has a policy of cutting out the tongues of everyone who serves on his ships. To which I say, Whaaaaaa? That’s nuts and I now have a ton of questions about the salary and benefits package for these troops because the tongue thing is a major disincentive to signing up with that navy. So, people of Twitter, what’s so great about being in Euron’s navy that you’d give up your tongue to do it? Is this a Little Mermaid situation? Did they all give up their voices for legs? Probably not.
Okay, that concludes old business. On to the new business of this episode of Game of Thrones, in which a whole lot of stuff comes within moments of happening!
Things pick up right where they left off last week with the fallout from Jaime Lannister’s arrival at Winterfell. He is welcomed with a kind of kangaroo court where Daenerys objects, not unreasonably, to her father being murdered, and then I think Sansa says that Jaime was also a dick to Ned Stark? I kind of zoned out. Look, it was Easter and my kids had way too much sugar, and so did I quite frankly, so I went into this episode tired and jangly and maybe a little distracted. But cut me some slack! For Jeeeesus!
The point is that it’s looking like a pretty strong case against Jaime when Brienne of Tarth steps up and Atticus Finches all over the place. I don’t know where she was last week or when she got there, but I was glad to see Brienne because I like it when she hurts people with her sword! Luckily for Jaime, Bran doesn’t testify for the prosecution about that whole window-pushing/sister-fucking incident, instead limiting his input to one brief interjection that manages to be both snarky and cryptic. Oh, also in this scene, Cersei’s plan becomes a little clearer. It looks like she’s actually hoping the Northerners defeat the dead but take enough casualties that she can then march up there, sans elephants (frowny face), and kill whoever’s left. I take back what I said last week about Cersei having half a plan. She has a complete plan, and it’s actually really great and I respect it so much that I am now rooting for her.
Then Daenerys yells at Tyrion for failing to predict what his sister would do, which seems pretty nitpicky to me. I mean, how would it have changed their plans if they had known a long time ago that Cersei’s army wasn’t coming? And, oh yeah — THEY DON’T HAVE TIME FOR DUMB ARGUMENTS BECAUSE MONSTERS ARE COMING!
Arya rolls up on that apprentice blacksmith who’s all sweaty and beefy in the firelight. They get down to what passes for flirting among the disgusting people of this world, insulting each other, describing zombies, throwing knives, y’know. And then he promises to make her the weapon she wants because he finally gets that she can literally kill whomever she wants whenever she wants and should probably have a weapon that can kill monsters for crying out loud.
Then we see Bran and Jaime by that weird sleeping tree. Jaime asks Bran why he didn’t tell everyone about the window thing, and Bran smartly suggests that there’s not much point settling old scores when THERE ARE MONSTERS COMING AND THEY’RE ALMOST HERE! Also, Bran sounds a pessimistic note about the coming battle, which I appreciate because, honestly, there is no chance for humanity to survive this attack. None. Actually this whole episode seems to ping-pong between characters wisely pointing out that they’re all about to die and other characters quibbling about life after the great battle with the Night King. Those scenes are a little like a couple sliding down the deck of the sinking Titanic arguing about where they’re going to go to dinner when they get to New York. Not a good use of time or energy!
Then Jaime and Tyrion talk about the fact that Cersei is pregnant, which seems like something I’m supposed to remember from last season. Well, I don’t. Is Jaime the father? It puts a different spin on last week’s scene where Euron says he’s going to put a prince in Cersei’s belly. I mean, good luck, but it’s gonna be pretty crowded in there.
Then Jaime asks to serve under Brienne, and then Jorah pops in on Daenerys to stick up for Tyrion in a scene that I guarantee you someone involved with this show suggested cutting at some point, and maybe next time they’ll listen to that guy. We don’t need to hear that Jorah thinks Tyrion is a pretty smart guy. Not when there are monsters coming. Tyrion’s smart, we get it!
Then Sansa and Daenerys have a big sit-down. At some point, Daenerys says that Jon Snow is only the second man in her life who has been true to his word and Sansa asks, “Who was the first?” and Daenerys says, “Someone taller.” Now that might just be a fun crack about Jon Snow’s height, but I think there was a little more to it and we will get to that in a moment. Hold that thought. This scene ends with Sansa breaking up the female bonding to insist that the North be an independent state when Daenerys takes the Iron Throne. Look, once this battle is over, the issue of Northern independence is definitely going to be the Night King’s problem, so there’s no point in these two discussing it, but Sansa’s request, as far as it goes, is eminently reasonable, and I’m pretty sure Daenerys was about to say “Sure, no problem” when they are interrupted by the arrival of Reek.
Boy is Sansa happy to see Reek! Didn’t he kill two of her brothers? Or didn’t he try to kill two of her brothers and instead ended up killing two other random kids? Or something like that? I mean, I guess he paid for it (with his penis), but I would have gone with a handshake instead of a big teary hug is all I’m saying. Then it’s slop time at Winterfell. Ser Davos must have mouthed off to Colonel Potter because he’s pulling KP duty. He gives a quick pep talk to a trembling coward, and then a little girl with greyscale steps up and says she wants to fight, but then she gets tricked into hiding in the crypt instead. This little girl must have reminded Ser Davos of Stannis’s daughter who was burned alive for no reason in one of the four Game of Thrones scenes that will haunt my nightmares till the end of my days. Can you guess the other three?
After that it’s time for a reunion with the flaming-sword/eye-patch guy and the Wildling guy with the beard that I’m pretty sure is red but I can’t say for sure because I have a little red-green color blindness. I falsely accuse people of having red beards all the time and it’s a real problem. These guys bring the shitty news that the Night King will arrive at Winterfell before dawn and then things kick into super preparation mode!
There’s a strategy session where everyone seems to agree that they have plenty of time for Sam to give a speech about the importance of memories. Bran offers himself up as bait for the Night King, Reek says he’ll protect him, and no one points out that Reek has a history of wussing out in important moments. Again — again! — we get to hear how smart Tyrion is and then he, like that little girl with greyscale, gets talked into the crypt where he can use all his smarts to keep children entertained while zombies slaughter everybody up above.
Then Grey Worm and Missandei make plans for their nonexistent future, and then Sam encourages Jon to hurry up and tell Daenerys that he’s her brother and therefore the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Sam’s working under the premise that since there’s no good time for Jon to tell her that, he might as well do it now. But I would argue that because all of these characters are about to die, there’s no real reason to tell her anything about anything, and certainly not something that they’re going to fight about. And even on the off chance that they defeat the zombies, can’t the news wait till then? Why is Sam trying to stir up trouble on the night before the most important battle ever?! Who is he working for?!
At that point, another guy who arrived with the guy whose beard is probably red shows up and corrects Sam on a very minor point about his history, insisting that Sam has only killed one Thenn, not multiple Thenns. Who is he, my Twitter followers? He can’t let anything go, can he? Jeez.
Then we have some killing time by the fire with a whole bunch of characters who somehow can’t think of anything better to do at this crucial hour than hang out and chat. Ol’ Red Beard informs us that his name is actually Giantsbane, and he tells us that he got his name by killing a giant and getting into bed with the giant’s wife who nursed him from her breasts. So! Remember the “taller” man Daenerys mentioned in her scene with Sansa? Well, I’m pretty sure that’s going to turn out to be the giant that Giantsbane killed, and when Daenerys finds out about that, right in the middle of the big battle, she’s going to order her dragons to turn their fire on Giantsbane at a crucial moment and the dead will take advantage of the confusion and take Winterfell. Yep, that’s my new prediction. But I will say I’m not as sure about this prediction as I usually am because … did you notice that the dragons were not in this episode at all? I’m afraid they might have seen which way the wind was blowing and decided to get the fuck out of there. I guess we’ll see next week, but I think those dudes are halfway to Dorne by now.
Then there’s another scene between Arya and the Hound that only exists to set up the moment when Arya kills him while wearing the Mountain’s face (see my prediction from last week). Then Arya and the blacksmith throw down in the hay after getting in the mood with some sexy talk about leeches. Then it’s back to the fire, where it turns out Giantsbane is surprisingly woke. He argues that Brienne should be allowed to be a knight and Jaime knights her, and then we discover that the ultimate reward for being a kick-ass female warrior in this world is that from now on, people will call you “ser.” Sigh. But Brienne seems pretty happy about it, so good for her!
Then the ballsy little girl who’s always sticking it to Jon Snow insists that she would prefer to be slaughtered by zombies on the battlefield rather than wait until they pry the crypt open. Sam gives his stupidly big sword to Jorah, and then it’s down to the basement for Jon and Daenerys’s big talk about the fact that they are for sure, no doubt about it, brother and sister. No surprise, she is bummed to hear it, but there’s no time to dwell on that because the horn
sounds and it’s time for scary music and skeleton horse hooves in the snow. I could be wrong, but by all appearances, next week things will happen on this TV show.
Okay, that’s a recap wrap! As I mentioned in the last installment of “Throning It In,” each week I will reveal the guest role that I should have been hired to play. Last week, it was the sleeping tree, and this week: cowardly slop customer. Don’t get me wrong, the guy they hired was good, but I probably would have played him a little hungrier. Okay, now I’m off to watch HBO’s other big show that didn’t have dragons in it this week — Veep! It’s so, so good this season!
See you next time!