The reunions and negotiating of the first episode is done. Episode two is about the camaraderie of those who are waiting to die.

Nearly everyone gathered at Winterfell has been battling, belittling and backstabbing each other since the first season, but now they’re teaming up — genuinely, enthusiastically teaming up — because there’s something more important has come up.

In a way, it sort of diminishes the relevance of the first seven seasons, because it was always going to come to this. No matter who sat the Iron Throne, no matter who was assassinated at a wedding, the Night King was going to bring his white walkers and there needed to be an army to face them.

Of course, everyone has different ways of dealing with the whole impending doom thing.

Arya figured it was about time she seduced Gendry — after of course, grilling him about his past sexual experiences.

Bran kept being creepy.

Tyrion, Jaime, Ser Davos, Lady Brienne, Podrick Payne and Tormund Giantsbane gathered by the fire for what was probably the first truly excellent scene this show has had in two years.

They talked, they joked, they reminisced; Tormund, whom we love, told a truly out-of-pocket tale about how he, as a 10-year-old, killed a giant and was nursed by its wife. And Brienne was knighted.

Even if Winterfell were to fall in the next episode, and the remainder of the season was just the Night King cackling as he freezes everything good in the world, nobody could really be mad. Because when Jaime said those words, “Rise, Brienne of Tarth, Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” we saw the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, a dream that everyone thought was impossible.

We love her, Jaime loves her, Tormund loves her, and she finally seems to love herself.

But speaking of everyone dying, it’s time for some guesses on who’s biting it next week.

Obviously some people are going to make it, but it’s not a giant battle on “Game of Thrones” without some major characters getting their face chopped. And unfortunately for our new favorite knight, she’s probably one of them.

Her entire story arc was based on two things: protecting the Starks, and proving herself. She’s done both.

She will fall to a crowd of zombies, fighting and flailing valiantly. Jaime, watching from afar, will scream noiselessly and storm to her side. The years fall from his face and he fights beautifully, almost as if he once again had two hands, but it’s no use. The sheer numbers of white walkers is too much and the weight of the masses brings them both down. They die together, probably in each other’s arms.

Then Tormund is going to go blackout battle mode and kill everyone. He might die too. We’ll see.

The other trio of completed arcs are Theon, Sandor Clegane and Grey Worm, and unfortunately at least two of them will probably die too.

Theon essentially came back to Winterfell to die an honorable death, so everyone kind of saw that coming. He’s going to sacrifice himself to save Bran. It may or (fingers crossed) may not work.

Sandor has just kind of been bopping around recently, but his apparent newfound charitable spirit doesn’t seem great for his health.

And Grey Worm starts to look to the future, planning his eventual retirement with Missandei. You can’t plan ahead on this show. His death is going to be absolutely heartbreaking.

Sandor’s got the best chance out of all of them.

The Night King is going to get burned but it won’t be fatal.

And finally, Jon Snow will die. Again.

Because in a fit of true genius, he decides he should tell Daenerys about their little family connection. She doesn’t believe him, then the Night King shows up before they can resolve it.

Except she does believe him. “I’m here because I love your brother,” she told Sansa earlier that evening. “I trust him, and I know he’s true to his word.”

She knows he’s not lying. And she does not want to give up her crown. And even in the midst of all the Night King happenings, she is the only one who’s still playing the Game of Thrones.

So she’ll make sure Jon Snow has a little accident in the chaos of battle, completing the rise of Dark Daenerys, Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.

Noah Ripley is a page designer at The News-Review. Reach him at 541-957-4205 or

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