Game of Thrones S8 E2: 5 epic moments of female empowerment
22 April 2019, 17:08 | Updated: 3 May 2019, 09:55
The latest episode of Game of Thrones was ALL about the women - and we are so here for it.
Fantasy HBO series Game of Thrones has come a long way since the first season - which, if you've forgotten, opened with raunchy sex scenes in brothels, women being used as bargaining chips, rape, incest and an abundance of abuse in every form.
It's taken its sweet time, but the narrative - and the characters - have progressed an awful lot, turning gender stereotypes and the outdated patriarchal system where men fight and women are whores and homemakers on its head.
Now, in the series' eighth and final season, we're starting to see what these women are made of, and witnessing both young and old come into their own - and it's beautiful!
Here are the 5 best moments of female empowerment in season 8, episode 2.
**Look away now if you haven't seen the latest episode**
1) Sansa and Daenerys bonding
From the early days when Sansa was pining over Joffrey and craving to become a princess, and Dany's creepy AF brother stripping her naked and selling her off to the Dothraki - it's safe to say these GoT protagonists are a far cry from their former selves.
Instead of falling into line with what the men in their lives expect of them, both Sansa and Dany have shaken off the subdued, submissive vibe they had going on at the start, and are now incredibly powerful women who have learnt to play the game - and are among the favourites to come out on top!
In the second episode of season 8, we're granted a moment between Sansa and Dany, as they discuss what just went down with Jaime Lannister in the Great Hall.
As we saw, Jaime stood before Daenerys and explained why he deserves to live and fight alongside the army at Winterfell. Dany is understandably reluctant to trust Jaime, as he was the one who killed her father, the Mad King, earning himself the nickname, the Kingslayer. Sansa is also dubious, as the last time she saw him, Ser Jaime was not the kind-hearted soul we all root for now, but, rather, Cersei's pawn and keenest defender.
Ultimately, it is Brienne of Tarth who steps in and stands up for Jaime. She tells them both that Jaime defended her against her potential rapists, and that he lost his hand because of it. Brienne also states that if it weren't for Jaime arming her with Oathbreaker, she would not have been able to protect Sansa and keep the promise she made to Caitlyn Stark. This seems enough for Sansa, who pardons Jaime and allows him to stay. Reluctantly, Dany agrees.
In their talk afterwards, Dany praises Sansa for being a strong-headed woman who has led her people in the North well, noting how difficult it can be to earn respect as a woman in charge. She also questions why Sansa has been standoffish toward her, pleading her to get on side.
While we want to see women stand up for each other and not be pitted against one another, we also get why Sansa claps back and says she wishes for the North to remain its own kingdom (or queendom). Sansa may be about ready to accept Dany dating her brother, but does that mean she shouldn't have her own views and also give up what she's fought for? We think not.
Part of Dany's appeal as queen in the first place was that she has freed those who had been enslaved, then gave them the option to follow her of their own volition. Sansa literally has a seat at the table, and her voice should be heard.
2) Lady Lyanna telling Jorah Mormont to do one
Jorah is known for being...well, a little bit cautious (vanilla). He's also used to strong women telling him to STFU when he insists they're anything but badasses (like, how many times did he tell Dany not to do something and she ignored him?).
But this take down by little Lyanna was definitely one of the best - and most savage - we've seen yet. Granted, he's not seen his cousin for many years and hasn't witnessed what a hell-raiser she is, but Lyanna is having none of Ser Mormont underestimating her.
When Jorah urges her to protect herself when the White Walkers come to Winterfell as the head of their house, Lyanna replies: "I have fought before, I can fight again."
Then, as a bashful Samwell Tarly interrupts, Lyanna says: "It's alright," turning to Jorah again before adding, "we're done here." BOOM!
3) The Shireen look-a-like telling Ser Davos she's not sitting on the sidelines
As you'll recall from many seasons ago, Ser Davos was partial to a certain Shireen Baratheon. Stannis and his wife offered up their young daughter as a sacrifice to the Lord of Light, upon the Red Woman's request. Having spent many years bonding with the young child, who was afflicted with greyscale as a baby, and learning to read from her, Ser Davos was heartbroken by the whole affair.
Naturally then, when he sees a young girl at Winterfell with a marking on her face similar to that of Shireen's, he feels protective and asks her to stay in the Crypts of Winterfell when the White Walkers come.
However, the young girl, as Lyanna Mormont did before her, dismisses his concerns and tells Ser Davos she will fight among the men to claim victory for humankind. Yes, sis!
4) Arya taking full control while having sex with Gendry
Possibly one of the most controversial and talked-about sex scenes of the whole show, the exchange between Arya and Gendry marked a turning point in the Stark girl's story.
For years we've watched as Arya has trained to become a deadly assassin with the Faceless Men, ticking off names from her hit list. But we've rarely got to see her in human situations - let alone romantic ones.
While there is some debate around the tastefulness of having actress Maisie Williams strip in front of co-workers she's known since she was a child, fans have been rooting for Arya's character to get some lovin' from the Baratheon blacksmith for a while now.
And some lovin' she indeed got. But, in true Arya style, she is far from an innocent virgin-type as she disrobes in front of Gendry. No, she's completely in control of the situation.
On what could potentially be their last night as living, breathing humans, Gendry tracks down Arya. She then demands he tell her a) what happened between him and the Red Woman and b) how many women he's slept with.
After he reveals he's been with three women in total, she kisses him on the mouth, before pushing him back passionately. She then strips off, revealing the scars on her torso, saying: "I'm not the Red Woman, take your own bloody pants off!"
5) Brienne of Tarth getting the knighthood she f'ing well deserves
As far as pre-drinks go, this Game of Thrones sesh was of epic proportion: we had Ser Jaime and Tormund getting their tail feathers in a twist over who loves Brienne more, Tyrion getting absolutely twatted, Ser Davos being - well, Ser Davos, and Podrick belting out an absolute tuuuuune.
But that wasn't even the best part. Amidst the merriment and nostalgia, Brienne of Tarth gets the knighthood she so obviously deserves.
Despite being the fiercest woman we know and standing up to many men on the battlefield over the years, she's technically never been allowed to become a knight. Tormund, being a Wildling, doesn't understand why that is so (neither can we, pal), and when she explains that it's "not tradition", the ginger-bearded rogue spouts: "Fuck tradition!"
It seems on this matter, Jaime agrees with Tormund. And so he gets up to knight Brienne - conveniently remembering now that he has the ability to do so as a knight himself.
The moment - which is glorious - sees Brienne kneeling before Ser Jaime as he recites: "In the name of the warrior, I charge you to be brave. In the name of the father, I charge you to be just. In the name of the mother, I charge you to defend the innocent."
As tears are visibly forming in Brienne's eyes, and the violins are swelling on the soundtrack, Jaime says: "Arise, Brienne of Tarth, a knight of the Seven Kingdoms."
Tormund then, being her no.1 fan, claps loudly, as Tyrion raises his glass to "Ser Brienne of Tarth."