Actors Maisie Williams and Kit Harington in a scene from...

Actors Maisie Williams and Kit Harington in a scene from the premiere of the final season of "Game of Thrones." Credit: HBO via AP / Helen Sloan

Bran forgives Jaime. Jaime knights Brienne. Arya loses her virginity. Missandei and Grey Worm pledge their troth. Jon tells Dany about -you-know-what.

Dany acts as expected.

Missing anything from Sunday's "Game of Thrones" titled "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" — other than that army of the dead which approaches the ramparts of Winterfell? Probably, or certainly this: Bran confirms that the Night King really is after him. Why poor Bran? Because he's the Three-Eyed Raven (that's why).

Otherwise, Sunday's episode was the episode before the episode — April 28's set-piece that promises the biggest filmed battle in entertainment history. As long as there have been battles, there have been epic poems, novels, plays, movies and TV series about those battles. Within those have been chapters, scenes and episodes about the night before the battle. They're known as “temporizing” ones which stoke anticipation and eat up time in the process.

Sunday was a temporizer of the first order.

A lot happened and a lot was said, but little of much consequence in the overall scheme of this TV epic, much of which will depend on the outcome of next week.It consumed time like Giantsbane consumed mother's milk. There was a chivalric glow to the whole affair, too — a let-bygones-be-bygones sentimentality that belied the George R.R. Martin source material. In fact, if anyone needed evidence that "Game of Thrones" has run out of both novel and story, Sunday seemed to offer it.

"A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" still managed to be satisfying in the same way last week's opener was satisfying. The storytelling may seem plodding at points, and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) may have lost his wits and moxy at the worst possible moment, and Jon (Kit Harington) and Dany really seem to have as much chemistry as would be expected of an aunt and her nephew.

Nevertheless, they are our characters and this is our epic. We'll take anything at this point, and forgive it its excesses. Closure is near and answers are arriving. That's about all we can hope for at this moment. Who takes the Iron Throne? Who cares.

Of course, the key reveal came from Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) who said the Night King has "come for me many times." What does he want? "He wants an endless night (and) wants to erase this world and I am its memory."

Fair enough. We all suspected as much anyway. Bran was always the key to this story anyway. But the Night King seems to have gone to a lot of trouble for one person — raising an army of the dead, summoning other white walkers, just for one person. Surely there must be something else? Instead, everyone buys the theory and agrees to set poor Bran up as bait. Their strategy now: Kill the Night King, end the war.

The more crucial scene was between Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Sansa (Sophie Turner), a Mexican standoff in the making that seems to portend mutually assured destruction. Dany didn't come this far to yield the Iron Throne to a Stark; her dismissal of Jon's reveal (that he is in fact Aegon Targaryen) suggests as much. What happens after the battle, Sansa wonders? Dany almost can't believe how silly the question is: "I take the Iron Throne."

"What about the North," per Sansa. "It was taken from us and we said we'd never bow to anyone else again."

Meanwhile, I'm liking more and more the possibility that only Arya (Maisie Williams) and Gendry (Joe Dempsie) emerge as the last ones standing. The last Stark (Arya) and the last Baratheon (Gendry) then take the Iron Throne, which Gendry melts down for plowshares. Their progeny live happily ever after. Martin may not like this outcome, but he gave up his baby years ago. TV likes happy endings, or at least bittersweet ones. So?

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the title of Sunday's episode.

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