Let’s review Jaime Lannister’s journey in Game of Thrones Season 8’s second episode.
He wriggled out of what surely would have been execution-by-dragonfire with a little help from his friends, Sansa and Brienne (and Tyrion I guess). He spilled the beans about sister Cersei’s painfully obvious betrayal. He squared his grim history with Bran. He ate crow and pledged to serve at Brienne’s side.
And finally: he raised a middle finger to tradition and corrected a gross injustice as he formally knighted Ser Brienne of Tarth.
Let’s be real with ourselves here. Jaime’s probably doomed. The battle of Winterfell is set to kick off in the third episode, and this potent mix of redeeming moments and righting past wrongs primes Jaime for what will surely be a final heroic sacrifice.
One of many, no doubt. This is a show that’s never been afraid to shed the blood of our faves. Jaime’s going to step in front of a sword that was meant for Brienne, or fall at the end of a valiant, successful assault on a White Walker heavy, or even take a crossbow bolt in the back (looking at you, Bronn).
Whatever Jaime’s end ultimately looks like, it’s not going to be those final seconds that define him. It’ll be his actions leading up to that. And as much as Season 8’s second episode was about the f*cking before the storm in a big war, it was also the capper on Jaime’s redemption arc.
He’s come a long way since the days of bedding his sister and tossing a little kid out the window to protect that secret (sorry Bran). There have been good choices and bad choices. Ups and downs. Jaime’s not perfect and he never has been.
But “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” redeems him. Hell, the episode title is an explicit reference to what he told Brienne after knighting her. The second hour of Game of Thrones final season belonged entirely to Jaime.
Get ready to say goodbye.