Game of Thrones season 8: The meaning behind “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”


Game of Thrones has been keeping season 8’s episode titles super secret – so what can they tell us about what to expect? Let’s look at “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.”

HBO’s aggressive secrecy about Game of Thrones season 8 is pretty easy to understand. It’s the biggest show they’ve ever had – or are likely to ever have. These are the final six episodes. They don’t want anything getting out there that might spoil the ending for viewers.

Or, you know…even give us the tiniest hint apparently.

This secrecy even extends to season 8’s episode titles, as each installment’s name isn’t revealed until the East Coast broadcast is complete. Is that necessary? Especially when they’re still releasing trailers with actual footage from upcoming episodes?

Apparently, HBO thinks so. Why, isn’t entirely clear just yet. The season 8 premiere was simply titled “Winterfell,” an obvious and fairly basic name that gave almost nothing away about what its story would involve.

The title of the season’s second episode is similarly straightforward: “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.”

In hindsight, of course, knowing that the episode’s story will see Brienne of Tarth achieve her life’s dream of becoming that very thing – a knight of the seven kingdoms – the title has a particularly heartwarming and emotional feel. Having seen the episode, it’s hard to think of a more perfect name for it.

But….even if we’d known this prior to broadcast, it wouldn’t have made a lot of difference, would it? In fact, wouldn’t most of us have just assumed it referenced Jaime Lannister, given his prominence in the episode 2 trailer. (And the fact that he is, you know, actually a knight.) Theoretically, it could also have meant Jorah Mormont, another disgraced knight on a journey to redemption in his own way.

Few of us likely would have guessed Brienne, which is probably why the fact that it is about her is so moving.

Perhaps the title is simply meant to be a sort of a general shout-out to Brienne, to honor the character for her seven-season journey to date, and memorialize the groundbreaking moment in which she becomes the first woman to officially become a knight.

Yet, we all know that Game of Thrones isn’t really about things like heartwarming and nice. The focus on Brienne here must mean something in the larger story – either that she has a significant role to play in the battle to come, or that tragedy of some sort awaits her. Maybe it’s meant to remind us how much we all love Brienne right before she gets tragically killed leading the left flank during the Battle of Winterfell next week? You can’t put it past this show, is what I’m saying.

Whatever happens, however, it was nice to see Brienne honored in this way – both in the episode’s event and its title. She definitely deserves more recognition for being awesome. Now here’s hoping she can make it through the battle next week.

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Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.