Game Of Thrones Season 8 Episode 2: That Brienne Moment Was Historic
Here there be spoilers.
Episode 2 of Game of Thrones Season 8 continued setting up for the final four episodes of the season, preparing everyone for the final battle and completing some relationship and character arcs. Among the big character moments were reunions between Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy, and Arya Stark finally hooking up with her pal Gendry. The most emotionally resonant scene, though, was the one between Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth, but it was a big deal for another reason, too.
While drinking and waiting for the army of the dead, Jaime knighted Brienne. That was huge for Brienne personally--it was something she'd wanted her whole life. But the scene was also a big deal for another reason: it makes Brienne the first woman to be made a knight in Westerosi history.
There are other women warriors in Westeros as well, of course--the show is full of them. Oberyn Martel's daughters, the Sand Snakes, were formidable and deadly fighters. The women of Bear Island are expected to learn to fight to defend their home, thanks to the fact the place suffers from relatively frequent raids from Wildlings and Ironborn--and the former lady of Bear Island, Maege Mormont, served as a commander in Robb Stark's army before she was killed in the War of the Five Kings. Yara Greyjoy is accomplished with a sword, as well as a highly respected Ironborn fleet commander. And Meera Reed's martial skills allowed her to keep Bran Stark alive north of the Wall.
And there are a bunch of famous warrior women throughout the history of Westeros. Some of the most notable are the women of the Targaryen dynasty. Aegon Targaryen gets credit for conquering Westeros and establishing the Targaryen dynasty, but he had help from his sisters, Visenya and Rhaenys, both of whom also rode dragons into battle. Visenya in particular was noted for wielding a sword in battle, but both women were noted warriors.
Even with all those precedents throughout Westerosi history and throughout the show, though, women who fight are fairly uncommon in most of Westeros, as any scene with Brienne has made clear throughout the run of the show. And even among the famous women warriors, none have ever actually been anointed as knights before.
But there's no actual reason that women can't be honored as knights, except patriarchy. While there's no precedent for Jaime to knight Brienne, no rule or law says it can't happen. It's an added bonus that it's Jaime Lannister, a man who finally seems to be attempting to really live up to knighthood's chivalric code thanks to Brienne's influence on him, who does the honors. After all the pair have been through together, Jaime giving Brienne the honor she deserves is a perfect fulfillment of the arc of their relationship.
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