'Game Of Thrones' Season 8, Episode 2: 'Think Back To Where We Started'

On the eve of the biggest battle yet, the series pauses for an episode that delivers old-school Game of Thrones thrills: characters talking in rooms — including a milestone Jaime/Brienne moment.
Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) in his cups (well, goblets, technically) on Game of Thrones. Source: HBO

We're recapping the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones; look for these recaps first thing on Monday mornings. Spoilers, of course, abound.

Here it is, folks, the Great Inward Breath.

Last week's season premiere was all about setting the table — reunions, recriminations, and churning out great big meaty chunks of plot to get everyone up to speed. Now that the table's set, the series decided to take a step back to admire its handiwork — how well they lit the candles and folded the napkins into the shapes of swans or what have you.

Did you notice? Not even a passing glimpse of a dragon. Just scene after scene of people in rooms having conversations — classic, O.G. Thrones, although these conversations came tinged with a wry ruefulness, and a kind of low-key thrum of amazement that any of them made it this far. It was a throwback episode, a bottle episode, a chance to watch these characters make ready for the coming battle.

After last week's onslaught of story points, this episode seemed measured, even contemplative, as it parceled out only a handful of new bits of information that seem likely to prove relevant:

  • The Night King wants Bran, so they'll used him as three-eyed bait.
  • Jon revealed to Daenerys why he's been

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