[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from the “Game of Thrones” Season 8, Episode 2, “Knight of Seven Kingdoms.”]
The horns have sounded three times, and that means all of the seven hells will break loose on the upcoming episode of “Game of Thrones” on Sunday. For those less familiar with this method of communication, up North in Westeros, the first sound of the horn means that the Rangers are returning to the roost. A second blast indicates that wildlings are on the way. But three blasts — that’s reserved for the worst scourge of all: the White Walkers, aka Others.
It’s a bleak sound to hear especially after such a heartfelt episode that gave viewers more reasons to care about these already beloved characters. In Episode 2, Tormund proves that giants milk doesn’t just do a body good, but also makes them not buy into gender norms. His questioning why Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) – the noblest warrior of them all – isn’t considered a knight is what leads Jaime (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) to bestow the title upon her. The entire fireside sequence — including Tormund’s outrageous story and Podrick’s (Daniel Portman) haunting song –– is phenomenal. Witnessing Ser Brienne of Tarth’s unshed tears makes the scene one of the most beautiful moments on the show to date.
Of course, in an episode full of meaningful moments, the most significant of all occurs between the two legitimate heirs to the throne. Jon Snow (Kit Harington) proves that he does know some things after all when he reveals his true parentage to his lover/aunt/queen Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). Predictably, she receives the news with a healthy amount of disbelief. It’s a wild tale that’s only corroborated by Jon’s nearest and dearest (even though Bran really isn’t just his brother any more). Before they can come to any sort of conclusions, the White Walkers arrive at Winterfell. Saved by the horns.
Take a look below at six photos that offer a sneak peek of what’s to come in Sunday’s all-new episode written by series creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss and directed by Miguel Sapochnik, who’s known for helming some of the series’ biggest battle episodes, including “Hardhome” and “Battle of the Bastards.” Episode 3 will run 1 hour and 22 minutes, the first of four episodes this season that will run well over the hour mark. All the better to cause mass destruction.
Jon Snow is all of us seeing the scope of the White Walker army. Just how many giant wights are among them?
If the viewers were to drink every time someone said “crypt” on screen last episode, they’d be only half as drunk as Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). Dany had determined that her Hand of the Queen should stay down below to stay safe so that he can advise her if they survive. He’s joined by the Master of Whispers himself, Varys (Conleth Hill), who is plenty wise in his own right. Wonder if they’ll both come to any conclusions while they’re down there surrounded by all of those dead Starks. Hmm.
Now that it’s time for war, there’s no more time for soup for Sansa (Sophie Turner) or blacksmiths for Arya (Maisie Williams). Their partnership worked out well last season against Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), and their newfound respect for each other has been apparent this year. Let’s hope the Stark sisters have one more amazing scheme (or dragonglass-tipped weapon) up their leather sleeves.
The Lady of Winterfell, no schmuck and still alive.
Jaime had said it would be his honor to serve under Brienne, and this episode will put it to the test. Let’s hope that the newly minted knight was correct and that the rise on the left flank offers the humans some sort of advantage. We can’t lose these two yet, right?
This photo could bode well or ill for the events on Sunday’s episode. Jon and Dany appear far from the action and looking down on Winterfell, so they presumably flew out on their dragons (and oh yeah, Dany you should’ve paid attention that Rhaegal liked your boyfriend so much). This vantage point could mean that the Targaryen heirs are regrouping, looking for something or someone, or surveying the last moments of Winterfell before it goes down in flames. Viewers should be prepared for anything.
”Game of Thrones” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.