In the Great Hall of Winterfell, Jaime finds himself on trial before Daenerys, Jon, and Sansa in front of an unfriendly assembly. Daenerys is firm and angry, remarking how Viserys often told her about the man who'd killed their father and what they'd do when they took back the Seven Kingdoms and got their hands on him. Daenerys opines that there's no sign of a Lannister army with him, and Jaime is forced to admit Cersei lied to them all; she never had any intention of aiding them. With Euron Greyjoy's fleet and the 20,000 strong Golden Company backing her, even if the Northern-Targaryen alliance somehow win the Great War, Cersei has more than enough troops to annihilate any survivors. When Daenerys questions why he's here, Jaime responds, "I promised to fight for the living. I intend to keep that promise."
Tyrion tries to speak up in defense of his brother, but Daenerys angrily shuts him down, pointing out his judgment of Cersei was inaccurate too. Tyrion argues that Jaime had to know of the cold reception he'd receive; why would he come if he weren't being truthful? When Tyrion insists he knows his brother, Daenerys asks if Tyrion knows him like he knew Cersei, "Perhaps [Jaime] trusts his little brother to defend him, right up to the moment he slits my throat." Sansa, surprisingly, agrees with Daenerys, arguing that Jaime's past actions against the Starks proves he can't be trusted. Jaime retorts that he won't apologise for actions he committed in defense of his family in war, to which Bran quips, "The things we do for love", deeply freaking out Jaime. When Daenerys asks why he's abandoned his family in that case, Jaime replies, "Because this goes beyond loyalty. This is about survival." At this point, Brienne rises from her seat and defends Jaime, calling him a man of honour. She tells Daenerys that Jaime saved her from being raped by Locke and his Bolton cronies when they were taken prisoner at the cost of his hand. Brienne turns to Sansa and explains that without Jaime, Sansa would not be alive — he provided Brienne with the means to find Sansa and keep her safe because Jaime had sworn an oath to Sansa's mother. Realising that Brienne trusts Jaime with her life, Sansa agrees to defer to the woman's judgment and opts to let Jaime stay. When Dany asks Jon for his opinion, Jon agrees with Sansa and advocates sparing Jaime because they needed every man they can get. Unsatisfied, but willing to be pragmatic, Dany concedes and has Grey Worm return Jaime's sword to him. She turns to face Jon but he awkwardly peaces out — having learned about their Surprise Incest last episode — and skedaddles out of there. In private, once the session is over, a furious Daenerys rips into Tyrion, accusing him of being either in cahoots with Cersei or being too stupid to see she was stringing him along. Tyrion admits he made a mistake, to which Daenerys angrily replies that if it continues, she'll find herself a new Hand. Once she has gone, Tyrion drily quips to Jorah Mormont and Varys one of them could be getting his job soon.
In the castle forges, Gendry is overseeing the production of more dragonglass weapons. Arya drops by, asking for progress updates on what she commissioned him to make; Gendry points out he has got his hands full arming Winterfell's garrison. He tells her it would be safer for her in the crypts, where the non-combatants are to take shelter when the battle begins, but Arya intends on fighting. Arya questions Gendry about his past experience fighting the Army of the Dead and their masters with Jon, but is dissatisfied with his explanation that they're "really bad". Gendry bluntly replies that while he knows Arya's no coward, the creatures coming for them are worse than any rapist or murderer; they are death itself. Arya glibly replies, while demonstrating her accuracy with dragonglass throwing knives, she's seen many of the faces death wears in her time; she looks forward to seeing this one. Impressed by her accuracy, Gendry promises to get to work on her weapon as quick as possible.
In the Godswood, Jaime speaks alone with Bran. He apologises for what he did; Bran notes he wasn't sorry at the time for trying to protect his family. Jaime insists that he's not the man he was back then, to which Bran agrees; the moment Jaime pushed Bran out the window, he changed them both from who they were. Jaime asks if Bran is angry with him, to which Bran states he feels no anger at anyone now. When Jaime asks why Bran didn't tell the others the truth, Bran replies that Jaime can hardly help them win the coming fight if he's executed for his crimes. When Jaime asks what will happen afterwards, Bran sadly replies there's no guarantee there will be an afterwards.
A despondent Tyrion, walking through the castle courtyard, finds himself greeted by Jaime returning from the godswood. The two Lannister brothers share a joke at how "the masses rejoice" at their presence, as a Stark soldier spitting in disgust at them proves. When Jaime asks how the northerners are taking to their new queen, Tyrion admits that there's little love lost between the north and the Targaryens, but he's confident Daenerys will win them round. When Jaime replies she doesn't seem so sure of her Hand, Tyrion admits he can't fault Daenerys for her anger; he badly underestimated Cersei and she exploited that for her own advantage. Tyrion asks if Cersei was telling the truth about being pregnant, which Jaime confirms that (in this at least) she wasn't lying. Jaime tells Tyrion not to blame himself, as Cersei's always been good at exploiting people's emotions for her benefit; Tyrion argues that his brother always knew what Cersei really was, and he still loved her in spite of it. Up on the battlements, Tyrion rues the fact he's going to die at Winterfell, though he finds some comfort — and humour — in the knowledge being torn limb from limb by wights will at least deny Cersei the pleasure of having him killed. Jaime, however, is distracted by watching Brienne training the defenders for the battle ahead. Outside the castle walls, Jaime meets with Brienne, watching Podrick help the defenders train. Jaime thanks Brienne for speaking in his defense and asks for her permission to fight under her command when battle begins.
In Daenerys's private quarters, Jorah asks to speak with her. Jorah, surprisingly, has come to speak in defense of Tyrion; although he doesn't like the man, Jorah acknowledges Tyrion is a brilliant man who has Daenerys's best interests at heart. He agrees with Daenerys's seething remark Tyrion has made serious mistakes, but argues that Tyrion also takes his mistakes to heart and learns from them. Jorah advises Daenerys to forgive Tyrion, and he also has another suggestion for his queen.
In Winterfell's library, Sansa is speaking with Lord Royce about how soon they should close Winterfell's gates when Daenerys asks for a private meeting with Sansa. Once Royce has gone. Daenerys remarks on how she thought they were on the verge of agreeing in regards to Jaime; why did she change her mind? Sansa replies that she trusts Brienne completely. Daenerys responds that she wishes she could have faith like that in her own advisors. Sansa tells Dany that Tyrion is a good man; he was nothing but decent to her while she was captive in King's Landing. Dany replies she chose Tyrion for her Hand not just because he was good, but also because he was intelligent and ruthless when necessary. Dany adds, "He never should have trusted Cersei," to which Sansa replies, "You never should have either." Wanting to clear the air and find common ground between them, Daenerys acknowledges she and Sansa have similar experiences: they've got complicated families, they're both women who've been trusted with ruling in a world where few women can do that — and they've done it well. Sansa agrees. However, Dany notes that despite this, she can't help but feel they're still at odds with one another but then realizes, "Your brother." Sansa admits she is wary of Dany because Jon clearly loves Daenerys, remarking that men do foolish things for the women they love, and their emotions can be manipulated to exploit them. Daenerys replies she wouldn't have turned away from her lifelong goal of taking the Iron Throne, "Taking it back from the people who destroyed my family, and almost destroyed yours. My war was against them. Until I met Jon. Now I'm here, half a world away, fighting Jon's war alongside him." Sansa responds she should have thanked Daenerys when she arrived and Daenerys confides she is here because she loves Sansa's brother and trusts him completely, "He's only the second man in my life I can say that about." When Sansa asks about the first, Dany replies, "Someone taller," making both Sansa and Dany laugh. However, Sansa has one sticking point that drives a wedge through her and Dany's new rapport: assuming they succeed in defeating the Night King and Cersei and Daenerys takes the Iron Throne, what happens to the North? After taking it back from the Boltons, Sansa vowed they'd never bow to another ruler. Before Dany and Sansa can talk that out, Maester Wolkan interrupts. Theon has arrived.
Theon has come with a detachment of Ironborn. He informs Daenerys of Yara's plans to reclaim the Iron Islands from Euron in her name, but he's come back to fight to defend Winterfell if Lady Stark will have him. Sansa embraces him emotionally. Elsewhere, Missandei finds herself on the receiving end of a lot of racial prejudice from the hostile Northerners, prompting Grey Worm to ask if she would want to stay once Daenerys has the Iron Throne. He says he'll fight for his queen until the war is done but there is no place for them in Westeros, "Do you want to grow old in this place? Is there nothing else you want to do, nothing else you want to see?" When Missandei admits she'd like to see the beaches of Naath again, Grey Worm promises he'll take her back there, and his fellow Unsullied will come to help protect the natives from the pirates and slavers who've long preyed on the peaceful Naathi.
In the castle courtyard, the sound of a horn blowing draws Jon's attention, where he finds Edd and Beric. Jon is overjoyed to see them, and before he can reach them, Tormund glomps him in a tackle from the side. Jon is relieved to see them all alive and they all properly reunite. However, Edd, Beric, and Tormund bring bad news: Last Hearth has fallen, the Umbers are now a part of the Army of the Dead as is anyone who has not made it to Winterfell by now, and the undead will reach Winterfell before daybreak.
In Jon's chambers that night, all those present gather to discuss plans for the coming battle — including Jon, Sansa, Arya, Bran, Daenerys, Tyrion, Varys, Tormund, Lord Royce, Brienne, Jaime, Davos, Sam, Theon, Grey Worm, Lyanna Mormont and Alys Karstark. Jon flatly states they cannot win a straight battle; the army of the dead outnumbers them too heavily for that. When Jaime asks what they can do, Jon suggests they make the Night King their primary target; if they kill him, hopefully every creature he commands will die with him. Jaime states that knowing this, the Night King will never risk himself on the battlefield, but Bran cuts in to state the Night King will come for him; the Night King wants to erase all trace of the world of men, and the Three-Eyed Raven contains every memory of that world. The mark the Night King left on Bran lets the creature track him and they can use that to lure him out. Jon, Sansa, and Arya swear they'll keep Bran safe but Bran doesn't want that, he wants to lure the Night King into the godswood where they can try to kill him before his army overwhelms the living. Theon volunteers himself and his men to defend Bran, as atonement for his past capture of Winterfell. Tyrion volunteers himself to fight, but Daenerys refuses; his mind is too invaluable to her cause to lose. When Davos says they have an advantage with dragons on the battlefield, Jon says they can't commit Drogon and Rhaegal to the field because they need to be protecting Bran; the Night King will make his move and they need to be close enough to Bran to keep him safe, but not too close so the Night King won't suspect a trap — then they'll strike when he makes his move. Arya asks Bran if dragonfire will work but Bran openly admits he has no idea if dragonfire will even harm their adversary. As the war council adjourns, Tyrion hangs back to speak to Bran, asking him about the adventures that brought him to this point. When Bran replies it's a long story, Tyrion notes it's not like they've got anywhere to go.
Up on Winterfell's battlements, Arya and the Hound share a drink and a brief moment together, acknowledging how they've changed. Beric joins them, though Sandor abruptly shuts him up before he can make another sermon about how the Lord of Light brought them all to this point for the final battle between light and darkness, threatening he'll have a job explaining to the Lord why his final death was being thrown off a wall by Sandor. Arya promptly departs, insisting she is not spending her last hours with "you two miserable old shits." Practicing archery in the castle cellars, Gendry presents her with the weapon she requested — a quarterstaff with a dragonglass blade at either end. Arya questions why Melisandre took Gendry, and he informs her of his identity as Robert Baratheon's bastard. Intrigued, Arya goes on to ask Gendry how many girls he's had in his time; when a flustered Gendry demures, Arya states she wants to know what it's like to be with a man once before she dies. She passionately kisses him before the couple quickly disrobe and make love. On the walls, Jon, Edd and Sam, along with Ghost, have a moment to discuss how far they've come since their days in the Night's Watch, and remember those like Grenn and Pyp who've fallen along the way, "Now it's just us three."
In Winterfell's great hall, Jaime and Tyrion drink beside the fire, Tyrion jokingly wishing Tywin was alive so he could see the irony of his two sons about to fight and likely die defending the seat of House Stark. The room quickly fills up as Pod and Brienne, followed by Davos and Tormund join the Lannister brothers, all trying to find some way to distract themselves from the battle ahead. When Tormund propositions Brienne, "It could be our last night in this world," Brienne grits out, "Yes, well, I'm glad you're here— here fighting with us! Glad you survived Eastwatch." Tyrion offers Tormund a drink and Tormund pulls out a giant horn, saying he brought his own. He addresses Jaime, "They call you 'King Killer'," and asks if they all want to know why he's called Giantsbane. Tormund proceeds to tell the most awesomely ludicrous story about giant's milk making him so strong and finishes off with a milk chug-a-thon to drive it home. Jaime, Davos, and Brienne can only stare at Tormund with 'WTF did we just hear' faces.
Later, Tyrion jokingly speculates that they might make it out of this alive; between them, they've survived the Battle of the Whispering Wood, the Battle of the Blackwater and the Battle of the Bastards. When Tormund raises the question of why Tyrion refers to Brienne as 'Lady' rather than 'Ser', Brienne explains that Westerosi tradition prohibits women being knights. Tormund scoffs at such a tradition and proclaims he'd knight her if he were a king, ten times over. Jaime points out that it doesn't require a king to make a knight, only another knight, and draws his sword, biding Brienne kneel. Despite some initial protests, when she realises Jaime is serious, she does so. Placing his sword on her shoulders and charging her with the duties of a knight — to be just, brave and defend the innocent — Jaime names her "Ser Brienne, a Knight of the Seven Kingdoms." Brienne rises a new knight, her face alight with joy as the others present burst into rapturous applause.
Sam, carrying Heartsbane, finds Jorah in a debate with his young cousin, Lady Lyanna. Despite Jorah's protests that she is the future of their house, Lady Mormont will not hear of hiding in the crypts; she will be fighting side by side with her men, though she does bid her once exiled kinsman good fortune in the battle to come. Sam presents Jorah with the Valyrian steel greatsword of his House; he can't wield it properly, but it would honour him if Jorah would wield it, in honour of his father Jeor, who was the closest thing to a father Sam truly had. Touched by this, Jorah vows to wield the sword in defense of the realms of men.
Back in the Great Hall, Tyrion suggests a song to pass the time, since they're out of wine; Davos, Brienne, Tormund and Jaime all refuse, but then Pod begins to sing a haunting old ballad of Jenny of Oldstones, a girl dancing with the ghosts of all those who'd known and loved her in a ruined castle. As Pod sings, a montage of the defenders of Winterfell each bracing themselves to the fact it could be their last night of life in this world is shown; Sam in the crypts watching Gilly and Little Sam sleep, Sansa and Theon sharing a simple meal and some longing glances, Arya lying beside Gendry after their night of passion, Grey Worm sharing one last kiss with Missandei before joining his fellow Unsullied on the battlefield, Jorah on horseback accompanying Dothraki warriors, waiting for the foe to arrive. The others with Pod sit in silence, simply listening and contemplating their own mortality and the choices that have brought them to this point; all former enemies of the Starks, now ready to fight and likely die in defense of their ancestral seat.
In the castle crypts, Daenerys, wanting some comfort, finds Jon before one of the statues. When Jon sees her, he gives her a sad smile and Dany comes to him. As she cuddles his arm and Jon holds her hand, Dany asks the identity of the maiden carved from stone. Jon tells her it is Lyanna Stark. Daenerys wonders how her brother Rhaegar could simultaneously be a beloved musician and scholar who gave money to poor children and also a man who kidnapped and raped a young woman. This prompts Jon to reveal the true story; Rhaegar wasn't Lyanna's rapist, they were in love and he was her husband, "After Rhaegar fell on the Trident, she had a son. Robert would have murdered the baby if he ever found out, and Lyanna knew it. So the last thing she did as she bled to death on her birthing bed was give the boy to her brother Ned Stark to raise as his bastard." Jon reveals his true name is Aegon Targaryen. Daenerys breathes, "That's impossible," and Jon replies, "I wish it were." When Dany asks who told him this, Jon tells her the information came from Bran and Sam. Dany is understandably suspicious of this information coming from Jon's best friend and brother but Jon quietly says, "It's true, Dany." An astounded Daenerys realizes if that's so, Jon is the last male heir of House Targaryen and has the strongest claimant to the Iron Throne. Before they can sort out their emotions regarding this, three wailing horn blasts sound; the enemy of life itself has arrived.
As the castle's defenders move to their battle stations, Tyrion stares across the battlefield when Jon and Daenerys arrive. Jon and Daenerys look at each other, nod, and then depart to take their places for the conflict ahead. Out on the snow-covered fields beyond the castle walls, dozens of White Walkers, mounted on the backs of undead horses, armed and armoured for battle, form into lines, staring at the distant lights of Winterfell.
The battle between life and death itself, with the world of men at stake, is about to begin.
- Aborted Declaration of Love: When Brienne asks Jaime just why he came to Winterfell (and why he isn't insulting her), it sounds very much like he's about to confess that he came north for her before he breaks off and changes what he'd been about to say.Jaime: I came to Winterfell because — [beat] I'm not the fighter I used to be. But I'd be honoured to serve under your command, if you'll have me.
- Accidental Pun: Arya's first sex scene just so happens to be in the sixty-ninth episode.
- Ace Custom: Arya gets a custom made dragonglass spear, different than the spears the Unsullied are using. Jorah likewise is given Heartsbane to use. One step further at this point most of the cast who will be fighting in the upcoming battle have some type of custom or unique weapon either Valyrian Steel or Dragonglass, or in Beric's case a Flaming Sword.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Beric can't help but chuckle and grin when Sandor interrupts his sermonising about how the Lord of Light has brought them all together for the final battle between light and darkness by threatening him with having to explain to the Lord why his final death was being chucked off Winterfell's battlements by Sandor.Beric Dondarrion: The Lord of Light has brought us together all the same. This is his moment. When light—
Sandor Clegane: Thoros isn't here anymore, so I hope you're not about to give a sermon. Because if you are, the Lord of Light's gonna wonder why he brought you back 19 times just to watch you die when I chuck you over this fucking wall!
[Beric grins in amusement]
- Adaptational Badass: Tyrion mentions Jaime as a "hero of the Siege of Pyke". While Jaime indeed participated in the Siege of Pyke in the books, the heroes of the siege were Jorah Mormont (who was knighted due to his efforts) and Thoros of Myr, who was the first to charge in the fallen walls of Pyke with a wildfire-coated sword. Accomplishments mentioned in the show involve his peaceful lifting of the Siege of Riverrun and the Storming of Highgarden. As a matter of fact, Joffrey previously criticized him for his relative lack of accomplishments compared to the other Kingsguard in the White Book.From the books... Though Jaime and Jory did discuss fighting alongside each other during the battle, so maybe Jaime won some kudos there too.
- Adaptation Induced Plothole: Tyrion justifies the North's fear of Daenerys by invoking "the last time Targaryens brought dragons north." The problem is, every time Daenerys brought dragons north, it was 1) to save the Magnificent Seven, or 2) this season, to fight the White Walkers, failing to justify why the North dislike her outside of plain Fantastic Racism (which, to be sure, the northerners do exhibit). Going back to the books doesn't help either:
- The first time Targaryens brought dragons north, during Aegon's Conquest, they... Didn't. King Torrhen Stark marched his forces south of the Neck and arrived in the Riverlands, only to hear how King Mern of the Reach and King Loren Lannister had united against the Targaryens but gotten absolutely slaughtered despite outnumbering Aegon five to one — because Conservation of Ninjutsu is absolutely justified when the three ninjas are dragons. (The singers call it the Field of Fire.) King Torrhen surrendered to Aegon, and the North joined with him peacefully. Thanks to The King who Knelt, the North, as a territory, was completely untouched by the war.
- The only other time dragons are mentioned as coming north are when King Jaehaerys I, called "the Conciliator," and Good Queen Alysanne came to visit about 50 years later. Their royal progress was somewhat problematic to the northern lords — they abolished Droit du Seigneur, and took land from several houses to create the "New Gift" so that the Night's Watch could meet its agricultural needsnote — but there is no way Daenerys could possibly use a history of petty politics as a meaningful threat with The End of the World as We Know It knocking at the door.
- Affectionate Nickname: Tormund refers to Jon as [his] 'little crow'.
- And Then What?:
- Sansa's Armor-Piercing Question toward Daenerys. In a scenario that they win the war against the Night King and depose Cersei, what would happen afterward? After Dany replies that she will take the Iron Throne, Sansa then asks "What about the North?", to which Dany sighs and withdraws her hand — they're unable to hash that particular sticking point out because Maester Wolkan interrupts to tell them Theon has arrived.
- Jaime asks Bran if he'll tell his siblings that Jaime was the one who pushed him out of a window, after the battle. Bran grimly says that may not even be a problem, since there may be no "afterwards".
- And Then John Was a Zombie: Jokingly referenced by Tyrion, who notes if the White Walkers raise him as a wight, he might get the chance to kill Cersei when the Army of the Dead reaches King's Landing.
- Arch-Enemy: The Three-Eyed Raven and the Night King are said to be this; the Night King wishes to not just exterminate the race of Men but to eradicate all memory of their world, which the Three-Eyed Raven possesses.
- Armor-Piercing Question: When Daenerys describes how she intends to rule the Seven Kingdoms, Sansa explains how the North has fought and bled for its independence from others, and asks her, "What about the North?" Daenerys can't answer before they're interrupted.
- Armor-Piercing Response: When Jon tells Dany of his true parentage, Dany responds, "If it were true, it would make you the last male heir of House Targaryen. You'd have a claim to the Iron Throne." Jon is taken aback by the nature of her response.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Sam points out his list of accomplishments include killing a Thenn, killing a White Walker, and stealing several books from the Citadel.
- Authority in Name Only: Sansa implies to Daenerys that she is this, as Daenerys is considered to be imposing in the North, and that as so, no one in the North except Jon has actually submitted to her. Throughout the episode it becomes apparent to Daenerys that the forces of the North, and even the Ironborn, are not fighting for her, but for the Starks and with her, and that she's more of an accessory to the fight than she thinks. She's the outsider in spite of Jon's assurances, and she's gonna have to prove herself beyond her pretensions.
- The Bait: After finding out that the Dead are just on the horizon, Bran volunteers to be bait in order to draw the Night King out since he wants the Three-Eyed Raven dead more than anyone else.
- The Band Minus the Face: The White Walkers show up by the hundreds, but the Night King and his dracolich are conspicuously absent.
- Betrayal Insurance: While he's no longer angry, Bran reveals via Ironic Echo that he could reveal what Jaime did to him at any time, should Jaime be a Fake Defector or turn on them. Dany also makes it clear that she and Viserys talked often about what they would do to their father's murderer, and that the only reason she agreed to spare Jaime was because Jon and Sansa agreed. Should he give her a reason to act on that revenge, she will.
- The Big Board: When they receive word from the fleeing Night's Watch that the battle with the Night King's army is imminent, Team Westeros plans out their defense of Winterfell on a tactical board. Even their combined forces are utterly dwarfed by the undead army, who are so numerous that there's not even enough room on the board.
- Big Brother Instinct:
- Jon, Sansa, and Arya for Bran. When Bran reveals that he can draw out the Night King because the Night King is specifically targeting him, the first thing Jon, Sansa, and Arya want to do is keep Bran safe. Jaime also knows that if Bran had told them about the window incident, then he wouldn't have lived to make it to the battlefield.
- Inverted with Tyrion, who vouches for Jaime, his older brother. Dany accuses Tyrion of letting his family ties blind him to reality.
- Big Damn Kiss: When Arya kisses Gendry, something their shippers had been hoping for since Season Two.
- Big Sister Instinct: Inverted; Sansa admits she took a dislike to Dany because she was worried that Dany was manipulating Jon. Sansa still is, mind, but she is willing to talk about it at least.
- Both Sides Have a Point: During Jaime's trial, he reveals he came alone to the North to honor his promise to fight and reveal that Cersei lied. Dany and Sansa obviously don't trust him; they both recount that Jaime attacked their families, and he has a reputation of being a man without honor. All true, especially Jaime attacking Ned in the streets. Tyrion tries to say that Jaime's sincerity means something now, because he had the guts to come alone, tell the truth and fight alone, knowing it was a death sentence. Brienne and Jon end up saving Jaime's life with their legitimate points; Brienne defends Jaime's honor and recounts that he saved Brienne's life and armed her to save Sansa, and Jon says they need as many men as possible.
- Bottle Episode: Probably the only episode of the show that comes closest to this concept. Much like "Blackwater" and "The Watchers on the Wall" before it, the entirety of this episode takes place in a single location; in this case, Winterfell, which is justified since the battle with the Dead is just on the horizon and there aren't many plots left now aside from this battle and the clash with Cersei. However, unlike the two aforementioned episodes that were focused on large and expensive battle sequences (which goes against the concept of a "bottle episode"), this episode is focused only on the characters having long dialogues while waiting for the arrival of the White Walkers.
- Breast Plate: Sansa now wears leather armor.
- Breather Episode: This is a calm and relatively lighthearted episode, set on the eve of what promises to be the series' darkest battle yet. There's no action and no deaths, just the characters trying to find solace together and enjoy their last night among the living. The deep breath before the plunge, as a certain other fantasy character might say.
- The Bus Came Back: Ghost finally returns after missing out Season 7 — although remarkably still smaller than what Nymeria grew into as seen last season.
- Call-Back: As another episode of character reunions, there are quite a few.
- When speaking up for Jaime, Brienne recounts how he saved her from being raped, and lost his hand for it, all the way back in "Walk of Punishment".
- Daenerys's very cross remark to Tyrion, in light of his persistent "failures", that "[she'll] find [her]self a Hand who will" do as she prefers is very reminiscent of the fallout between Ned and Robert way back in Season 1 — which ironically was dealing with whether to assassinate her or not. Thankfully, much like then, circumstances (and people) bridge them again.
- Bran reveals that the claw marks the Night King left on him back in "The Door" are still on him, allowing the Night King to track him anywhere.
- Tyrion brings up his same description of how he wants to die from back in Season 1. Apparently, it's something he said a lot growing up, as Jaime finishes it with him.
- Brienne and Jaime's reunion has several: Brienne recalling how Jaime constantly used to insult her, Pod finally getting competent at swordsmanship (instructing a soldier the same way Brienne did to him), and in the background, women and other civilians drilling with spears like Jon ordered early in Season 7.
- Once again, Edd requests that whoever of their friend group survives burn the dead's bodies so he won't become a Wight.
- When Arya accuses Sandor of only fighting for himself, he points out "I fought for you, didn't I?"
- Though he never says it, Davos Seaworth is clearly reminded of Shireen when speaking to the little girl with a scarred face who wants to fight with the others.
- When the White Walkers finally arrive at Winterfell, a horn can be heard blowing three times in the background, which serves as a warning of their approach as we saw in the Season 2 finale.
- As Arya asks for Gendry to make her spear, he says she ought to hide in the crypt. She retorts he plans to fight and not hide, and asks how many White Walkers he's encountered. He replies he encountered three, when helping Jon, and three was enough. She's suitably impressed.
- Gendry also notes that he ended up smithing at Winterfell just like she asked him to.
- The song of Jenny of Oldstones is reminiscent of the poem of the Doom of Valyria that Tyrion and Jorah recite during their trek through the ruined civilization in Season 5, Episode 5. Much like Jenny's song, the poem deals with positivity and love in spite of the surrounding destruction:They held each other close
And turned their backs upon the end.
The hills that split asunder,
And the black that ate the skies;
The flames that shot so high and hot
That even dragons burned;
Would never be the final sights
That fell upon their eyes.
A fly upon a wall,
The waves the sea-wind whipped and churned—
The city of a thousand years,
And all that men had learned;
The doom consumed it all alike,
And neither of them turned.
- Can't Kill You, Still Need You: In addition to forgiving him, Bran says that he didn't tell the truth about Jaime because they would have executed him for it and Jaime is needed on the battlefield.
- Character Development:
- Sansa says that she trusts Brienne with her life, even enough to spare Jaime Lannister after all he's done to her family when Brienne vouches for him, as opposed to the cold and suspicious attitude she displayed towards Brienne when Sansa and Arya were at odds with each other.
- Played for laughs when Sandor notes that Arya's a lot quieter than she used to be. However Sandor's character development is also noted, which is what lead him North to Winterfell, instead of the self-serving killer that Arya knew him as.
- Child Soldiers: This is not a battle that many get to sit out. Winterfell's women and children are drilled in using dragonglass spears, and at least one little girl tells Davos that she wants to follow the male members of her family into battle. Lyanna Mormont in particular plans to lead her troops into battle, regardless of Jorah's objections.
- Cliffhanger: The episode ends on probably the largest one in the series, just before the armies of the living face off against the Night King and his Army of the Dead, to decide the fate of the world. And the foreshadowing in the episode strongly suggests that either way, a lot of characters will not make it out alive.
- Cruel Mercy: Bran implies that he is doing Jaime no favour by not having him executed because, instead, Jaime will be fighting in the coming battle.
- Darkest Hour: This episode is the darkest hour for our heroes. The coming Army of the Dead vastly outnumber the defenders and have a wight dragon in their ranks. The chances of any of them are slim at best, and that's assuming the Night King falls for their trap. If any of them survive, another battle against Cersei and her mercenaries awaits. Even with the heartwarming moments there is a sense of dread felt throughout the entire episode. And at the end, the Army of the Dead has finally arrived and the greatest battle in Westeros is about to begin.
- Death Glare: Jon gives one to Sam when Sam starts annoying him by making it sound like Jon is biding time to push his claim. This makes Sam instantly shut up. Dealing with the shocking knowledge of his true parentage, Jon does not want to hear about his claim being better than Danys.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Dany's main concern regarding Jon's true parentage isn't that she committed Surprise Incest with her own nephew, but that he has a stronger claim to the Iron Throne than she does. Given the Targaryen's incestuous traditions and the fact that she was also groomed by Viserys to be his sister-wife, this is no surprise.Bryan Cogman: What really upsets Jon is that he's a blood relative to the woman he's in love with. In the crypt, Jon is taken aback when essentially the first thing she says is acknowledging that he has a claim to the Iron Throne. [Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke] play it beautifully. It's a very difficult scene to pull off; so much has to go on behind the eyes. But then the horn blasts and the Army of the Dead are at the gates.
- Didn't Think This Through: Sansa is not receptive of Daenerys' niceties because she casually mentions her preference for ruthlessness as an "asset", which Sansa knows all too well through Cersei, Joffrey, Littlefinger and Ramsay, having been their victim and chew toy. Even when that was not Daenerys' intention, she came off as another tyrannical sweet-talker, which is the kind of people Sansa hates the most.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The conversations between Jaime and Brienne, his longing stares, and flirty banter culminating in her being knighted looks and feels exactly like a wedding, with Tyrion, Pod, Tormund, and Davos as witnesses.
- Double-Meaning Title:
- While it mainly refers to Brienne, the title could refer to practically everyone who is about to defend the realm from the Army of the Dead.
- It's also a homonym to "A Night of the Seven Kingdoms", referring to the episode taking place at the eve of the Battle of Dawn, and the fact that a coalition of warriors from the Seven Kingdoms have gathered to fight together.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Before speaking with Gendry, Arya takes the time to give the buff and sweaty blacksmith the once-over while he's hard at work.
- Enemy Mine:
- Ultimately, this is why Jon decides to accept Jaime's help to fight; they need as many men as they can get, and Jaime is offering rather than hiding like Cersei.
- During their fireside chat, Tyrion notes that everyone there has fought the Starks at one point, yet here they are defending their castle.
- Entertainingly Wrong: Gendry gets flustered when Arya asks him how many women he'd slept with before they reunited, thinking that she's mad at him; she's merely gauging whether he knows his way in a bed with a girl.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: More like Hazy Feel Turn cannot comprehend The Needs of the Many; Jaime is astounded when Bran reveals to him via Ironic Echo that he remembers who pushed him out of the window, and doesn't tell his siblings. Considering how the other Stark family members reacted to Bran's fall, his astonishment is justified; Catelyn captured Tyrion on suspecting he tried to kill her son and forcefully interrogated Jaime about his attempted murder, only not killing him because they needed him for a hostage exchange. Jaime comes to Bran in private and apologizes sincerely, while also asking why Bran spared him from his siblings' wrath. Bran's answer, that they need as many men possible for an upcoming battle, doesn't reassure him.
- Evolving Credits: The opening title starts the same, except the ice has already surrounded Last Hearth instead of heading toward it to reflect its current state, and the ice is now heading toward Winterfell, which is shown to be mounting defenses to prepare for it.
- Face, Nod, Action: When Jon and Dany hear the horn and go outside to see the Army of the Dead, Jon exchanges a Meaningful Look with Dany, nods at her, and they go off to perform some action yet to be revealed.
- Fanservice: The audience is gifted with a Toplessness from the Back and Side Boob shot of Maisie Williams, plus some of her asscrack as she pulls down her pants. Joe Dempsie is shirtless in the same scene.
- Fan Disservice: In-Universe in the above scene when Gendry sees the scars on Arya's body, though it doesn't stop them.
- For Want of a Nail:
- Brienne points out to Sansa that, if Jaime hadn't saved and armed her, she herself wouldn't have been able to save Sansa, with all that followed.
- Bran points out to Jaime that if he hadn't pushed him off the tower, then he wouldn't have become the new Three-Eyed Raven and Jaime wouldn't have been the better person he is right now.
- Forever War: The Three-Eyed Raven and the Night King have been at it for millennia, but as Bran states, they've never quite reached each other (and not for lack of trying), stating that he's not entirely sure if dragonfire or the weapons available to them would even kill the Night King.
- The Starks seem to have finally forgiven Theon for betraying Robb.
- Though they're pissed at him initially, the Starks also decide to pardon Jaime for his crimes against the Starks, partly thanks to Brienne speaking up for him, Jaime reminding them that it's thanks to him entrusting Oathkeeper to Brienne and sending her to find Sansa and Arya that they're in Winterfell now, and because they need every body they can get. Jaime is given back Widow's Wail to seal the deal, the same sword forged from their father's confiscated blade.
- Though she's frosty towards him, Lyanna Mormont wishes Jorah safety before she leaves with her men, signifying that House Mormont is ready to forgive Jorah for shaming them.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Averted. Jon, Sam, and Edd reminisce about Grenn and Pyp and how they're the last ones left before the oncoming battle.
- Four Lines, All Waiting: Despite taking place entirely within Winterfell, the episode focuses on a lot of different characters and groups preparing for the battle ahead, with many conversations devoted to Character Development or just enjoying company with friends and family before the inevitable deaths start piling up.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: As the characters are going over the battle plan, quick shots of the map indicate where the various groups will be stationed.note
- From Bad to Worse: Already knowing of the existence of White Walkers, the appearance of hundreds at Winterfell (whereas they usually showed up before in groups of 5-6) is a grim reminder that they've been existing in isolation for 8 millennia, multiplying almost completely unimpeded.
- Funny Background Event: As Arya is showing off her knife-throwing skills to Gendry, the poor guy behind the post she's using as a target takes off after the second one.
- Glomp: Tormund gives Jon one of these upon his return to Winterfell. Then Sansa gives one to Theon.
- Good Is Not Soft: As Daenerys says, she wants people who are good, intelligent, and ruthless.
- Green-Eyed Monster: There are heavy hints of jealousy on Daenerys's part this episode, particularly when she sees Theon's emotional response and loyalty to the Starks and — when Jon reveals his true parentage — Dany realizing Jon has a greater claim to the Targaryen dynasty and the Iron Throne.
- Heel Realization: Jaime is swallowing awkwardly as he approaches Bran in the godswood. While Bran is placidly sitting in a wheelchair, which he has to use because Jaime pushed him out of a window. It all sinks in for Jaime what he did, especially since Bran remembers but hasn't told anyone to keep Jaime alive for battle. Bran hammers the point home when he reminds Jaime that the knight tried to kill him to protect his "family," and Jaime protests that he's not that person anymore. Compare to last season when he sacked Highgarden for Cersei after she killed all the Tyrells, and Olenna warned him that serving Cersei would turn out terribly.
- Held Gaze: Jaime and Brienne lock eyes as she kneels for him to knight her... and they don't look away for approximately forever. Then they do it again after she stands; she turns to look at the rest of the people by the fire, but then her eyes are immediately drawn back to Jaime for another lingering look.
- Hidden Depths: Who knew that Pod has such a good singing voice?
- High Class Gloves: 'Rich girl' Arya casually removes her gloves while grilling commoner Gendry about his sex life.
- History Repeats: Sam gave Jorah an upgrade involving blades during nighttime in the second episode of the season.
- Hold the Line: As part of his bid to atone for his past sins against the Starks, Theon volunteers himself and his men to do this for Bran against the Night King, while Davos states the rest of Winterfell's defenders will do this to the army of the dead long enough for someone to kill their master.
- Hollywood Tactics: Played with. The plan is to hold the dragons in reserve until the Night King tries to go after Bran, at which point the dragons could ambush him away from his forces. Even though the dragons would be a major tactical advantage on the front lines, this is somewhat sensible as the Night King killed Viserion with a hand-thrown spear and then raised him as a wight, so the other dragons could be brought down just as easily. Dragons also happen to be the living's trump card, and an iffy one at that, as Bran states that he's not sure whether dragonfire will kill the Night King. Also, dragons can cover ground very quickly and that's over a large area, let alone a single castle, so they can cover multiple fronts at once being as agile as helicopters and as fast as fighter jets.
- Hope Spot: Daenerys and Sansa open up to each other in an attempt to defuse the tension between them, and both seem to actually be getting along for a moment. At least until Sansa asks, "What of the North?" after Daenerys takes the Iron Throne. Sansa asserts they should have their independence, something Daenerys is clearly not alright with as that would be renegotiating what was already settled between her and Jon, meaning she and Sansa end up back where they started.
- Hypocrite: Jaime states that he's unrepentant of his actions against the Starks because they were at war, but Bran's quip echoing Jaime's words before he threw him off the tower's window reminds Jaime that he was the one that started the hostilities in the first place. Still, Bran does not reveal this monumental sin of his to the hall's audience, as he later states to Jaime that he is needed on the battlefield and Jaime apologises personally to Bran later, asserting that he isn't the man he was.
- If We Survive This: Missandei and Grey Worm discuss where they'll go after their queen takes back the Iron Throne... right before a major battle. Defied by Bran, who pointedly asks Jaime what makes him think they will survive.
- I Gave My Word: Jaime's stated reason for coming to Winterfell minus the army Cersei promised.Jaime: I promised to fight for the living. I intend to keep that promise.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Arya tosses three dragonglass daggers into the same spot on a post in order to convince Gendry to get to work on her spear.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Jaime joins Tyrion for a drink before the battle, followed by Brienne and Pod, then Tormund (he brought his own), and finally Davos. While Pod is initially denied a drink by Brienne, she later relents to half a cup. Tyrion responds by filling Pod's goblet up to the brim. Davos also refuses at first, but gives in after Tormund's story.
- Internal Reveal:
- Cersei's duplicity is revealed to everyone — though Sansa, of course, isn't surprised.
- Jon tells Daenerys about his heritage. The Army of the Dead arriving keeps them from hashing out that mess any further.
- Gendry reveals to Arya that he is a bastard son of Robert Baratheon.
- The defenders of Winterfell hear about the annihilation of House Umber and the imminent arrival of the Army of the Dead from Edd.
- Ironic Echo: Bran, during Jaime's trial. Jaime adamantly stated that he would not apologize for every action he took against Houses Targaryen and Stark during times of conflict, and if he had to make the same choices, he would again, because he was protecting his family. Bran's response?
- As Tyrion notes to Jaime, they're defending the North now whereas they've been fighting them for most of their lives. He wishes Tywin were still alive, if only to see how he'd react. He later repeats this to everyone gathered in front of the fireplace, noting that every one of them had fought the Starks at least once, yet right now they're here to defend their castle with their lives.
- Jaime anoints Brienne as a knight with Widow's Wail, a sword made for Joffrey with the Valyrian Steel appropriated from Ice, the Stark ancestral greatsword. Brienne herself wields Oathkeeper, its sister sword which was made for Jaime himself. So, in summary, a Lannister is performing a ceremony in Winterfell with a sword stolen from the Starks, knighting the wielder of another sword stolen from the Starks.
- One of Sansa's concerns about Dany is that Jon loves her and "men do stupid things when they're in love". While she has plenty of examples to choose from (Robert, Robb, Jaime), Sansa's as of yet unaware that Jon's real father Rhaegar also annulled his marriage and ran off with Lyanna for the same reason, arguably the biggest example of Love Ruins the Realm in the show.
- Job Title: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.
- Just in Time: All the players(!) intending to fight for the living finally gather at the very eve of the Battle of Dawn, namely Theon and the Ironborn, Jaime Lannister, and Tormund, Beric, Edd and the Night's Watch. Only Jaime doesn't get a hug, though.
- Kill It with Fire: Invoked regarding Drogon and Rhaegal — Davos expresses hope the dragons will give them an advantage on the battlefield against the undead, but Jon replies the dragons can't be on the field because they need to be protecting Bran when the Night King makes his move (though they need to be close, they can't be too close so the Night King won't suspect a trap until it's too late). When Arya asks Bran if dragon fire will stop the Night King, Bran admits he doesn't know, as no one's tried it before.
- Knighting: Jaime knights Brienne when Tormund scoffs at tradition and says he'd knight her if he was a king, because it doesn't take a king to make a knight. This also implies that Tormund has understood "kneelers" and why they do what they do, in spite of countless generations of Wildlings scoffing at the notion.
- Knight in Shining Armor: The words of the Westerosi knighting ceremony explicitly charge the knight to be one of these:Jaime: In the name of the Warrior, I charge you to be brave. In the name of the Father, I charge you to be just. In the name of the Mother, I charge you to defend the innocent.
- Longing Look: Tyrion is in the middle of talking to his brother when Jaime, having caught sight of Brienne across the training yard, wanders away without a word to gaze longingly at her. He doesn't seem to stop for the rest of the episode.
- Loophole Abuse: Jaime points out that the rule is "any knight can make a knight", not "a king", even if it goes against the tradition that a knight has to be male.From The Books...
- Moral Myopia:
- Jaime has no regrets about attacking Ned Stark and waging war on the Starks and Tullys, as he did so for his family. However, at the time, he was Kingsguard to Robert, which meant he had no business abandoning his king and getting involved in a family squabble. Tyrion also puts him in his place when he describes his relationship with Cersei about him being in love with her and being appalled at what she has become:Tyrion: You always knew what she was. You loved her anyway.
- Jorah worries about the future of House Mormont because his little cousin Lyanna intends to fight on the front lines and tries to convince her to seek refuge in the catacombs. Lyanna tells him that he has no business telling her what to do; this is, considering that he's worrying now, and not when he left the household in shame and financial ruin when he fled for Essos in the past. Even when she doesn't listen to him, she appreciates his worries and wishes him good luck in the battle all the same.
- Daenerys angrily reams Jaime out for killing Aerys Targaryen, even though she is well aware her father was an insane tyrant and she herself admitted to Samwell in the previous episode that she executed his father and brother for refusing to bend the knee to her, which Sam managed to take with considerably more grace.
- Jaime has no regrets about attacking Ned Stark and waging war on the Starks and Tullys, as he did so for his family. However, at the time, he was Kingsguard to Robert, which meant he had no business abandoning his king and getting involved in a family squabble. Tyrion also puts him in his place when he describes his relationship with Cersei about him being in love with her and being appalled at what she has become:
- More Expendable Than You:
- When Tyrion volunteers to go on the battlefield, Dany orders him to hide in the crypts instead. While she's worried his advice has been less than sound, she still trusts him.
- Jorah tells Lyanna that she shouldn't fight because she's the leader of their house. Lyanna refuses because if her people are going to fight, then she must lead them on the battlefield.
- Must Not Die a Virgin: Arya sleeps with Gendry because she wants to know what it's like at least once before she goes to her potential death.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Jaime comes to apologize to Bran in the godswood. It would have been one thing if Bran had revealed that Jaime had paralyzed him, but it's quite another that Bran remembers what happened and didn't tell his siblings. Bran tells him they've both grown differently; Jaime at the time wasn't sorry for the things he did to protect his family, and Bran was still a boy who wanted to be a knight. Even so, Bran isn't happy or sad about the changes; he's matter-of-fact that there may not be an "after" for any of them following the battle.
- Mythology Gag:
- The title of the episode and Brienne's sobriquet is "Knight of the Seven Kingdoms", an allusion to the anthology of novellas that collect Tales of Dunk and Egg. While it's never been outright stated in the books, George R. R. Martin left some hints and eventually confirmed that Brienne is the descendant of Ser Duncan the Tall, the protagonist of those prequel novellas. The formula that Jaime uses to knight Brienne also comes from the first novella in the anthology, "The Hedge Knight"note .
- The song "Jenny of Oldstones" is featured in A Storm of Swords and features the opening couplet "high in the halls of the kings who have passed/Jenny will dance with her ghosts" but the rest of the lyrics are original (written by Dan B. Weiss) to the show owing to the fact that George R. R. Martin wasn't satisfied with any of his attempts to finish the song beyond the opening couplet. From the books...
- Tormund's story comes straight out of the books, with some minor changes. Firstly, the fact that he killed a giant at all in the show continuity is new, and in the books, he also cut open the female giant's belly and hid out there, which is why the giantess believes him to be her baby. Other than that, everything matches up. All that was missing was him pointing out that he coined "Giantsbane" specifically because it sounded better than "Giantsbabe."
- Samwell gives Heartsbane to Jorah Mormont, which going by the sigils of their noble houses, would be the equivalent of a hunter giving his weapon to a bear.
- Given the Homoerotic Subtext of the Ned Stark/Robert Baratheon relationship in the novels, it's interesting that Ned's daughter discovering that Gendry is Robert's bastard son is enough to convince her to jump into bed with him.
- The Night That Never Ends: According to Bran, this is what the world of the White Walkers will look like; a lightless, cold world inhabited solely by the living dead.Sam: What does [the Night King] want?Bran: An endless night.
- No Place for Me There: Grey Worm bitterly laments to Missandei that assuming they survive the coming battles, there won't be any place for people like them in Westeros, highlighting the hostile and xenophobic nature of the Northmen in particular. Missandei talks about going back to Naath and potentially bringing the Unsullied as protection and defense for the colony of the island to defend it from slavers.
- Nostalgia Filter: Tyrion and Jaime briefly wax nostalgic about the first time they came to Winterfell back in Season 1, with Tyrion briefly wondering if things were better then. Jaime tells him no, they were still the same messed up people back then, and the period near the end of Robert's reign wasn't all that great no matter how much better it seems than their present.
- Oh, Crap!:
- OOC Is Serious Business: As the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran is essentially the embodiment of world history, and knows everything that has ever happened. Nobody's ever fought the White Walkers with dragons, so he simply doesn't know if it'll work. When he admits that he doesn't know something during the planning meeting, everything screeches to a halt.
- Out-of-Character Alert: When Jaime first speaks with Brienne, she suspects something is up because he's too cordial; their conversations usually devolve into insults at a much quicker pace.
- Out of Focus: Varys hangs around with Tyrion and Jorah, but doesn't have any lines.
- Parental Substitute: How Samwell justifies handing off Heartsbane to Jorah, by invoking how Jeor Mormont was much more of a father than his actual one. Jorah accepts.
- The Place: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.
- Power Is Sexy: Played for laughs. While Arya already has the hots for Gendry, she switches gears when he tells her that he's King Robert's bastard, realizing that his station has never been as comparatively lower than hers than they both thought, fireworks in her head and all.
- Pre-Climax Climax:
- Arya and Gendry have sex right before the impending battle with the dead.
- Tormund seems to suggest this to Brienne, telling her "It could be our last night in this world, you know" and looking at her seductively. Brienne isn't very responsive.
- Reality Ensues:
- House Targaryen regularly practised incest, and Daenerys likely assumed she would have married her brother, right up until he sold her to Khal Drogo. Naturally, unlike Jon, she isn't going to be at all bothered that he's her nephew, but instead immediately focus on the fact that he apparently has a better claim to the Iron Throne than she. She also points out how suspicious it is that Jon got this information from his (adoptive) brother and his best friend, who understandably holds a grudge against her for killing his family, highlighting that were it to ever come up for real, proving his claim to the throne would be difficult if not impossible.
- Arya requesting a new weapon makes a lot of sense because, sentiment aside, Needle is a weapon made to kill the living, and would be nigh-useless against an animate corpse. It's also implied that, much like she received a weapon from Jon, she also wants a weapon from Gendry.
- When Arya gets impatient with Gendry not having her new weapon ready, Gendry points out that he and the other smiths are already trying to make thousands of dragonglass weapons in a short time period so it will take a while. Arya suspects he's putting it off because he doesn't want her to fight and convinces him to get on it by showing off her knife-throwing prowess.
- Despite Daenerys's attempts to mend fences Sansa by telling her she needs smart people on her side and a rapport beginning to develop between them, things are halted when Sansa asks Daenerys what happens to the North if Daenerys becomes Queen. Daenerys has no answer for her, showing that just because two people have been through similar things, it does not mean the issues that divides them in the first place will go away because of it.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: The three trying Jaime.
- Sansa accepts Brienne's judgement when she vouches for his character and concedes that if it weren't for Jaime giving Brienne Oathkeeper and sending her on her quest, Sansa would not be sitting in Winterfell.
- Jon doesn't bear a grudge about the last time he and Jaime spoke, where Jaime essentially mocked Jon about joining the Night's Watch, and pragmatically notes with the impending battle, they need every soldier they can get.
- Daenerys has some valid suspicions and grudges, but ultimately defers to Jon and Sansa's judgement.
- Relationship-Salvaging Disaster: The White Walkers have driven Tyrion and Jaime to reconcile their differences, something that Tyrion notes with irony. After all, his brother has to have guts to come willingly to the North, admit that Cersei lied, and submit his fate to the Starks.
- Relationship Upgrade: Arya and Gendry officially become an item.
- Reveal Shot: When we see the Army of the Dead arrive, the camera pans and we see a huge row of White Walkers, a lot of them on horseback. Before, we only ever saw at most ten Walkers in a scene together but here, it appears to be hundreds — enough to actually make them a cavalry force.
- Right Through His Pants: Averted; Arya tells Gendry to get his pants off before she mounts him, then the camera cuts to tightly cropped shots on the two as a Sexy Discretion Shot.
- Rock Bottom: In nobility's terms, Jaime arrives at Winterfell with only his name distinguishing him from a commoner, having been previousy dismissed from the Kingsguard, struck down from command of the Lannister armies, disowned by his family and labeled a traitor, and on top of all, he's maimed and much less than half the warrior he used to be, now dressed in dull brown worn-down leather, nowhere near the guilded lion he was. Still, Tyrion points out the merits of him coming to Winterfell to deliver the news of Cersei's betrayal and be subjected to judgement much at his life's peril in spite of all of that, which is one of the main reasons Sansa and Jon accept his presence.
- Secret Keeper: Bran decides to keep the fact that Jaime pushed him out of a window, thus kickstarting the plot of the show, a secret from his siblings. He reasons that they would definitely have killed him for that, and Jaime wouldn't be able to fight on their behalf as a corpse. When Jaime asks if he'll reveal it after the battle, Bran hints that one or both of them won't survive the battle, rendering it moot.
- Secondary Character Title: Referring to Brienne, who is officially knighted in the episode.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Jaime defends his actions against the Starks by saying they were at war, and he was protecting his family. Bran then offhandedly brings up that Jaime started the war in the first place by pushing him out of a window, out of that same attempt to "protect your family".
- Self-Serving Memory: Daenerys lists Tyrion's "ruthlessness" as one of his assets, which is egregious considering that Tyrion is anything but; in reality, the ruthless one is Daenerys herself, much against her advisors' counsel, especially Tyrion's.
- Ship Tease:
- During the montage with the song, Theon and Sansa stare at each other rather intently, with Sansa, in particular, watching Theon with a warm smile.
- Between Jaime's longing looks, his knighting of Brienne, and Brienne's defense of him as "a man of honour", the Jaime/Brienne ship tease in this episode has by now veered into full-on ship taunting.
- Shout-Out: Podrik's performance of "Jenny of Oldstones", intercut with the defenders of Winterfell comforting each other in what may be their last hours alive, is a deliberate analogue to the scene from The Return of the King where Pippin sings "The Edge of Night" to Denethor while the Orcs slaughter the defenders of Gondor.
- Silent Treatment: Played with. Jon spends most of the episode trying to avoid Daenerys, which she notices with apprehension and assuming that she incurred in some offense, but it's mainly due to the fact that Jon has some portentous bad news for her that threaten her station and doesn't know how to even begin to tell her.
- Skewed Priorities:
- According to Bran, the Night King can be lured into a trap because he wants to personally kill the Three-Eyed Raven; that way, once he's exterminated humanity, all memory of the world of the living will be gone. If that's the case, the Night King is placing the erasure of the world's legacy above winning the war against it on his list. Perhaps justified by the fact that, according to Bran, many Three-Eyed Ravens have managed to escape his grasp before; Bran himself did so when when the Night King killed his predecessor.
- Sansa Stark bringing up Northern independence and Daenerys Targaryen insisting on the Iron Throne when the Army of the Dead is right on their doorstep. While both are making an earnest attempt to find common ground, things get messy when the conversation turns into a rehash of the political issues dividing them in the previous episode. The North absolutely needs Daenerys's help if they're going to even have an "afterward" while, at the same time, Northern loyalty to Daenerys must be earned and would better support the unity needed to fight the literal death marching toward them. However, given the upcoming doom and their uncertain survival, there might not be another time to discuss it.
- A Storm Is Coming: The battle against the Army of the Dead will occur in the next episode. Bran even hinted at a major death.
- Straight for the Commander: Jon states that this is their best plan for the battle to come; since the Army of the Dead's numbers make winning a conventional battle practically impossible, if they can kill the Night King, every White Walker and wight under his command should die with him. Jaime remarks that knowing this, the Night King won't risk himself on the battlefield, but Bran says they can use him as bait to goad the Night King into exposing himself.
- Super-Persistent Predator: Invoked by Bran about the Night King, who states that the mark on his arm enables the Night King to track him wherever he is. Bran also adds that the Night King has tried to hunt down and kill many previous incarnations of the Three-Eyed Raven.
- Take Up My Sword: Since Samwell Tarly, despite his accomplishments, has no business swinging a sword on a battlefield, especially a two-handed greatsword which he can't wield, he gives Heartsbane, his House's ancestral Valryian steel greatsword, to Jorah Mormont, in a moment laden with historical subtext.note
- Tears of Joy: Brienne upon being knighted.
- Their First Time: Arya decides to lose her virginity to Gendry. Partly due to her belief that she Must Not Die a Virgin, and partly due to her obviously having the hots for him.
- Thicker Than Water:
- As noted by the showrunners, Jaime and Tyrion interact for the very first time completely outside of the yoke of their family, first enforced by Tywin and now by Cersei. What makes it poignant is the possibility that due to the oncoming Army of the Dead, this might well be their last time together.
- With a small gesture, Lyanna Mormont recognizes Jorah as part of her family due to his sincere worries about her safety.
- To Absent Friends: Daenerys fondly remembers Drogo during her conversation with Sansa. Likewise, Jon, Sam, and Edd reminisce about Grenn and Pyp during their Friendship Moment.
- Too Clever by Half: Tyrion describes his mistakes in the last season as making the mistake common to clever people: he underestimated his opponents.
- Took a Level in Badass: Podrick's training under Brienne has greatly improved his combat skills and he easily dominates a Stark soldier during sparring.
- Toplessness from the Back: Utilized while Arya and Gendry are about to make love, specifically to draw attention to the long scars on Arya's right side.
- Trailers Always Lie: The trebuchet firing and Arya shooting arrows implied that the battle would already start this episode. However, both are just target practice.
- Troll: During Dany's judgment of what to do with Jaime Lannister, Bran recounts the line "The things we do for love." Seeing as he purposefully kept quiet to everyone else about Jaime's role in his maiming, the only reason he would do this is to let Jaime know that yes, he does remember, and to watch Jaime squirm.
- Undying Loyalty: Sure, Lyanna Mormont disagreed with Jon going south for allies and weapons against the Army of the Dead and took a strip off of him when he came back without his crown, but nothing will sway her from fighting for the North alongside Jon, the North, and Dany's forces. Jorah as well shows this toward his family (possibly his last living relative) by wanting her to stay safe inside the crypts.Lyanna: I have trained my men, women, and children. I have fought before. I can fight again.
Jorah: Please, listen to me. You're the future of our house—
Lyanna: I don't need you to remind me of that.
Jorah: You'll be safer in the crypt, these things we're fighting...
Lyanna: I will not hide underground. I pledged to fight for the North and I will fight.
- Unperson: Bran reveals the Night King's goal as this on a civilization-wide scale; he doesnt just want to exterminate humanity, he wants to eliminate all memory of the world of the living. Hence the Night King wants to kill the Three-Eyed Raven, the living embodiment of that memory, most of all.Bran: [regarding the Night King] He wants to erase this world.
- Unsafe Haven: The way the family crypts are repeatedly referred to as the safest place in Winterfell, despite housing the dead remains of dozens of Starks and the Night King being a very powerful necromancer, make the shelters for the non-combatants seem this way.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: It sinks in for Jaime that he caused the conflict with the Starks the moment he pushed Bran out the window to protect Cersei and their children, which in turn led to him losing his hand and Bran becoming the Three-Eyed Raven, when Bran points out they've both changed since that fateful day. It amounted to All for Nothing; all three of the false Baratheon children died, and Jaime lost his hand and respect for his sister's words. For Jaime, it makes Bran's show of mercy to him more astounding, since any other Stark wouldn't have done the same in his place.
- Visual Pun: Probably not a coincidence that right when Arya takes a look at Gendry is the moment that he puts a piece of red hot metal in water. And literally puts steam between the two of them.
- Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: Daenerys refers to the upcoming Long Night as "Jon's war" as if it has little to do with her, but she omits the fact that her assistance in the battle does actually serve her self-interest as well - if Daenerys ignores the approaching threat of the White Walkers and headed for King's Landing to defeat Cersei, any victory she attained would be rendered moot once the Night King reached King's Landing, and he would do so with much greater numbers as if he took Winterfell, then nothing would stop him from simply turning everything north of the capital into Wights. And on the offchance the North did survive, they would not forget that Daenerys was too busy conquering the South to help them when they needed it.
- We Are Not Going Through That Again: After Dany's father killed Sansa's grandfather and uncle, and after the Lannisters and Starks went to war, Sansa has no desire to submit the North to the Iron Throne. Even with the threat of being wiped out, and the obvious need they have for her alliance, Sansa keeps insisting for Northern Independence.
- Wham Line: An implied one about the fate of Jaime and/or Bran.Jaime: What about afterwards?
Bran: How do you know there is an afterwards?
- What You Are in the Dark:
- Bran doesn't tell his siblings that Jaime was the one who pushed him out of the window, though he mentions what Jaime said before pushing him. Later, when he and Jaime talk in private, he says he's no longer angry.
- Jon finally tells Dany what he learned, that he is her nephew and a Targaryen, even though it jeopardizes their relationship and her claim to the Iron Throne. While Dany is suspicious that Sam told him, and Sam has his reasons for disliking her, they still quietly agree to fight the Night Walkers first and then deal with the problem.
- Jorah convinces Dany to forgive Tyrion, freely admitting that while he was upset with her choice to make Tyrion Hand of the Queen and that he hated Tyrion when they first met, it was and still is the right decision. This is a marked change from Jorah's behaviour towards Dany in earlier seasons where he wanted her to rely only on his advice and resented anyone else who she listened to.
- When She Smiles: Brienne finally smiles genuinely and completely openly when she's knighted, and it's adorable.
- Wound That Will Not Heal: The claw marks the Night King left on Bran's arm are still there, Bran explaining they allow the creature to track him anywhere in the world.
- You Have No Idea Who You're Dealing With: Jorah tries to convince Lyanna to seek refuge in the crypts instead of fighting with her men, because he's fought the enemy and knows how dangerous they are. Lyanna won't hear of it. Gendry tries the same with Arya, also to no avail.
- You Keep Telling Yourself That: When Brienne denies wanting to become a knight (which is something she has longed for all her life), Pod throws her a gaze saying (in not so many words) "Girl, please! Who do you think you're fooling with that!?".