We’re a long way from grumkins and snarks.
Back in the earliest days of Game of Thrones, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) snarked about such things, writing off rumors of the supernatural north of the Wall as nothing more than that — rumors, drawn up as vividly imagined fairy tales to occupy the minds of the children of the North (not the Children of the Forest, mind you). But season seven of the series saw Tyrion whistling a very different tune, once Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) traveled from the front lines of the war against the Night King to recruit new allies in their cause — a cause Tyrion very much supported, thanks to his previous relationship with the present King in the North.
But Tyrion’s reconciliation with the reality of the White Walkers actually began much earlier than the scenes he shared with Jon and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) in season seven. Look no further than the second episode of season two, “The Night Lands,” in which Tyrion and the rest of the small council of King’s Landing read a warning sent their way by Jeor Mormont (James Cosmo). The Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch recounts his battle against a wight in season one, and makes it clear that cold winds and the dead alike are rising in the North, a situation that would require the full force of the realm.
Several seasons would pass between that moment and Tyrion finally accepting the White Walker threat as it is, but nonetheless, a trip through the early days of Game of Thrones once again proves beneficial in realizing just how much track has been laid for the show’s end-game — the dissolution of the civil war raging throughout Westeros, giving way to the only war that truly matters.
Tyrion’s first steps toward accepting the threat level of the White Walkers is but one of the many topics covered on this week’s episode of “Winter Was Here,” the Game of Thrones rewatch podcast from The Hollywood Reporter and Post Show Recaps hosts Rob Cesternino and Josh Wigler (that’s me!). This week’s discussion of “The Night Lands” also covers:
• Similarities between the show and the books’ depiction of Theon Greyjoy’s (Alfie Allen) first scenes at the Iron Islands, and how they lay track for his turbulent story arc;
• The baffling reasons why this episode is even named “The Night Lands,” when it features only one scene with Daenerys speaking about the Dothraki afterlife;
• How Jon Snow’s discovery near Craster’s Keep paved the way for one of the most shocking scenes in Game of Thrones history just two seasons down the line;
• The swift fall for Janos Slynt (Dominic Carter), whose wounded pride is at the center of one of the best scenes of the show through 12 episodes;
• How the final fate of Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) manages to add some retroactive layers of poetic justice to some otherwise unnecessarily sexually explicit scenes;
• And more!
Listen to the full episode of the podcast in the player below.