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Game of Thrones season 8 episode 2 review: Another slow affair but packed with pleasing character moments

PUBLISHED: 11:23 23 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:20 23 April 2019

The Hound and Arya shared a moment together in Game ofThrones, series eight, episode two (Picture: HBO)

The Hound and Arya shared a moment together in Game ofThrones, series eight, episode two (Picture: HBO)

Archant

The second episode of the final season of HBO's Game of Thrones picked up where its predecessor left off with an uneventful but mostly enjoyable outing.

The Night King has set his sights on Bran Stark (Picture: HBO)The Night King has set his sights on Bran Stark (Picture: HBO)

After last week's season opener amounted to little more than pottering around Winterfell being reacquainted with familiar faces, this week's episode of Game of Thrones switched gears and was instead solely dedicated to building up for what will surely be a thrilling episode to come.

The opening arc of each season has always been focused on laying down plot points but with this final season being only half the length of a traditional season its current pacing is a tad disappointing.

The closing credits of 'A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms' marks exactly one third of the season now in the rear-view mirror, and precious little has actually happened. However, this second episode, while hardly the most enthralling hour of television set in Westeros, was very much the calm before the storm

After Jamie's return to Winterfell was swiftly dealt with the rest of the action focused on the night before the battle with the rapidly approaching white walker army.

The Night King is headed for Winterfell, where those in the North have been preparing for the battle of their lives (Picture: HBO)The Night King is headed for Winterfell, where those in the North have been preparing for the battle of their lives (Picture: HBO)

This resulted in a slew of enjoyable character moments from Theon returning to Winterfell to pledge himself to the cause, Brienne of Tarth finally being knighted (tradition be damned!) after saving Jamie Lannister from Daenerys' deadly clutch and Jon getting his remaining brothers of the Night's Watch together for a spot of reminiscing. And let's not forget Arya and Gendry's steamy sex scene.

The final scene of the episode makes it clear that from here events are going to unfold at breakneck speed, with big moments and cruel character deaths surely to follow, so the slower pace, though initially frustrating, does work when you consider the episodes place in the wider context of the complete season.

What was extremely frustrating, no matter how you look at it, was that Jon's decision to tell Daenerys about his true lineage was reserved for the penultimate scene, so again we must wait at least another week for the fallout.

'A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms' did little to pick up what has so far been a very slow paced final season but it was enjoyable enough as each beloved character was given a small moment to shine, and that will surely make the many deaths we're about to witness in the coming weeks all the more difficult to take.

It wasn't a Game of Thrones classic but it certainly did its job of making the wait for next week's episode feel almost unbearable.

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