The Second Watch is a weekly Game of Thrones recap column by Focus Editor Erin Yarnall.
There’s a tradition on “Game of Thrones” of pairing duos that fans love to watch — Arya and the Hound, Jaime and Brienne, Tyrion and Bronn — only to have them ripped apart, sometimes by random circumstances, but most of the time by a tragic death. It’s incredibly rare to ever see a beloved duo reunite, but this episode brought back beloved pairs most likely going to shake things up in Westeros.
Arya’s reunion with Jaqen H’ghar is exciting and a drastic change from the book series. He is the only person left in the world that she has any form of a bond left with, at least in her eyes. Arya knows her parents and brother Robb are dead, assumes her younger brothers are as well, believes Sansa is dead in King’s Landing, and in the books, she thinks her brother Jon won’t want her at the Wall. The incorrect assumption that all of her family members are dead has led to a more reckless Arya, as in this episode she is about to take on three men single-handed, until Jaqen H’ghar appears.
But most exciting reunion this episode was Dany and her favorite dragon, Drogon. Although it was brief, Drogon’s recognition of Dany was sweet, especially because the whole city of Meereen seems to have turned on her after she killed a former slave for murdering a man awaiting trial. Drogon’s reappearance could be a sign for better things to come for Dany.
One of the more interesting turns in this episode was when Stannis offers to legitmize Jon Snow as a Stark after he shows mercy to Mance Rayder in the first episode. In typical Jon Snow fashion, he turns Stannis down, but takes up a leadership position more suited to him: the 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Sam’s speech nominating Jon for the role was memorable, saying he was “the Commander we turned to when the night was darkest,” even inspiring Maester Aemon to pick favorites and vote for Jon. Although Jon might have doubted himself before, there could be no surer sign that he would make a good ruler than Maester Aemon’s confidence.
Sansa Stark is also starting to take a leadership position; while it’s not leading an army, or a kingdom, she’s finally beginning to take control of her own life after being held captive for four seasons. This is refreshing, and as much as I wanted her to get as far away from creepy Littlefinger as she could, it was inspiring to see her refuse Brienne. Even if she did go with Brienne, where would she go? She has no family left that she knows of.
Predictions: Arya’s death wish list is getting shorter and shorter, and not by her doing. It’s going to continue to shrink, but when it comes to the final one, Cersei, it will be Arya who kills her. This will give her vengeance for her father. It’s also difficult to imagine Arya letting others kill off everyone she wants dead, especially now that she’s training at the House of the Black and White, home of the Faceless Men, a group of assassins who worship the God of Death.
Screw: Jaime is probably going to lead Bronn to his death. His story is changing drastically from what George R.R. Martin wrote, and this trip to Dorne may lead to his demise as well. The fact that both of their stories are changing so drastically from the books, that George R.R. Martin and the showrunners have said there will be deaths in the show that were not in the books, and the intensity and hatred for the Lannister family that the Dornish women have can only lead to bad news for Jaime and Bronn.
Kill: The numerous soldiers Brienne killed, and the former slave of Mereen. I have a feeling Dany is going to regret this one.