This post contains plot details from “A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms,” the second episode of the eighth and final season of HBO’s Game Of Thrones. If you haven’t watched yet, proceed at your own risk.
Last week, Lady Of Winterfell Sansa Stark reigned supreme in Westeros—at least, as far as eating (and drinking) is concerned. All that without so much as a nibble. This week, there still wasn’t in the way of a dinnertime spread, unless you’ve got an appetite for contemplating your own demise. “A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms” is one of GoT’s more contemplative outings, allowing characters, many of them long separated, to reunite, tell some truths, offer some absolution or respect, and drink as they wait for the battle to come.
They did a lot of drinking, but hey, I’d drink, too. And one of them did a lot more drinking than any other.
Here are the winners and losers of this week’s Game Of Scones And Meats And Stews And Wines.
Winners: Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy, eating an actual meal
As with last week, we stan a practical queen. In an episode where people mostly just drank a lot of wine—save the odd bowl of soup and hunk of bread, delivered to unnamed characters who are definitely going to die soon—Lady Sansa actually sat herself down and ate a meal. Like, a real meal. Sure, it was probably just soup and bread, but soup and bread are good, and she didn’t just pick up a bowl and run off in search of a dragonglass dagger and a quiet place to sit and think about death a whole lot. She had dinner! Seated! At a reasonable pace!
This is extremely rare in Game Of Thrones of late!
Even better: It’s a meal she shared with Theon Greyjoy, the onetime betrayer of Winterfell and the person with whom she finally escaped the Once And Former King Of Being Very Evil And Bonkers, Ramsay Bolton. It was a nice reunion, later continued in a nice meal. We’ll just ignore the fact that, given that Theon and the Ironborn will be guarding Bran in the Godswood, it’ll probably be at least Theon’s last.
+25 each for actually eating a meal, +5 to Theon for managing to keep it down even though he’s probably going to die far from the sea, +5 to Sansa for being one of the only members of the leadership team who’ll go through the battle without any sort of a hangover
Losers: Everyone at this meeting
Once again, there are no snacks at the meeting. What’s the deal? I understand Sansa rationed but it’s like no one in Westeros has figured out what Snickers commercials have been telling us for years: You’re not yourself when you’re hungry. If Dany is concerned that Tyrion has been off his game, perhaps she shouldn’t constantly have him in meetings where there’s no food. The guy has probably been hung over non-stop for years, no wonder Cersei fooled him.
You may look at that still and think, “Wait, there’s something on those tables.” You’re right. They appear to be the burned-down nubs and dried wax puddles of candles. Because nothing says productivity like a late-night meeting without so much a bag of Doritos.
-10 to Dany for yet another questionable leadership choice, -5 to everyone at the meeting for hanger, +5 to Jaime for making it out alive
Winners: Everyone in Tyrion’s drinking circle
If you are of the mindset that a wine headache is exactly what you need to help you fight an army of snow zombies, then Tyrion Lannister is your dude. There are several reasons everyone at this little impromptu shindig is a winner. They get to hear Podrick Payne sing! They get some grim funny banter! And they get to play witness to one of the most touching scenes in Game Of Thrones history, when Jaime Lannister takes it upon himself to knight Brienne, officially making her Ser Brienne Of Tarth, despite the fact that, as she explains to Tormund, “Women can’t be knights.” Everyone claps! She cries! It is wonderful!
But that’s not the main reason everyone at this little party is a winner. Look at this. This is the face Tyrion Lannister, Hand Of The Queen, makes when he pours you a “half-cup” of wine.
And this is what he gives you.
That is a strong pour.
+20 to Tyrion for being a great host, +10 to everyone else for choosing to be there, +20 to Ser Brienne Of Tarth because she goddamn deserves it
Loser: The Hound
The man just wanted to drink whatever was in his wineskin, but no, first Arya had to show up, and then Beric Dondarrion had to show up, sermonizing about the Lord of Light. Can’t a man get wasted before a battle in peace?
-5 for inability to find a spot to drink alone
I have no idea: Tormund Giantsbane
Big week for ol’ Tormund. First, he showed up at Winterfell, alive and looking for “the big woman.” Second, he turned up at Tyrion’s rager with his own cup and beverage (pictured above). And then he dominated the food portion of the Game Of Thrones proceedings with one personal anecdote.
Eager to show up Jaime Lannister, who is sitting a little too close to his crush, he tells the assembly why he’s called Giantsbane. “I killed a giant when I was 10,” he begins, then explaining that post-giant-slaying, he crawled into bed with the giant’s wife. And then:
He goes on to say it’s how he got so strong before noisily gulping something out of the giant drinking horn he brought from home. It is something.
-20 for bad manners (brought booze he didn’t share, wet gulping, +500 for whatever the hell the rest of that was.
The Hound: -5
Everyone at the hangry meeting: -5
Everyone at the Tyrion rager: +10
Tormund Giantsbane: +990