*Warning: Spoilers ahead*
Game of Thrones season eight, episode two brought many surprises. Sparks flew for Arya (Maisie Williams) and Gendry (Joe Dempsie), Jon (Kit Harington) told Dany (Emilia Clarke) who he really is and Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) was finally knighted. Amidst all this end of days preparation and nostalgia, there was one significant detail that you could have blinked and missed. Hint: Did you take a look at Jaime Lannister’s (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) sword?
In the opening scene, Jaime breaks the news that Cersei (Lena Headey) isn’t sending troops to aid Winterfell against the dead. But that’s not the only surprise: He’d like to join the North on the front. At first, Daenerys and Sansa (Sophie Turner) are vehemently against receiving his help in the Battle of Winterfell. He did, after all, murder Dany’s father, the Mad King, and play a part in Sansa’s dad, Ned Stark’s (Sean Bean), death. In the end, the ever-faithful Brienne of Tarth vouches for him and sways Sansa. Jon Snow adds that they need all the help they can get. So, Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) reluctantly returns Jaime’s sword to him.
Now, this isn’t just any sword. It’s actually Widow’s Wail, one of two Valyrian steel blades that were forged from House Stark’s ancestral sword, Ice. Its hilt features the House Baratheon stag and Lannister gold, because it was made for Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) as a gift after Ned Stark’s execution. Joffrey named it Widow’s Wail for obvious reasons. But when he and Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) died, Jaime took to wielding it once he returned from the Riverlands. He had it with him when he killed Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) and at the Battle of Goldroad when he fought the Dothraki.
As you imagine, him carrying the sword into Winterfell is a painful reminder of the House Stark’s history and Ned’s death. But at least Jaime will use it to fight with the North instead of against it.
Another significant detail about the Widow’s Wail is that its sister sword is Oathkeeper. Jaime initially received the sword as a gift from his dad, Lord Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance). He gifted it to Brienne in season six, episode four, because he thought his dad was mocking him. And given the sword’s history, he figured it’d be great poetic justice if Brienne used Oathkeeper to find and protect Sansa. Now, in the show’s final season, he not only asks to join Brienne’s army against the dead, but he knights her with Widow’s Wail.
As if that moment weren’t emotional enough, the reunion of the sister swords at Winterfell brought things full circle. What it all means still remains to be seen…