Game Of Thrones Season 8, Episode 4 Recap: Is Daenerys Losing Her Grip?

Spoilers ahead for trò chơi of Thrones season 8, episode 4, “The Last of the Starks.”

Eight years ago, Game of Thrones began as a story about a mediocre man sitting on the Iron Throne. It’s set to lớn end as a ferocious battle between two of the most badass women in television history: Cersei Lannister & Daenerys Targaryen. That is, of course, if the writers don’t mess it up. Two weeks ago, that wasn’t a concern. After last night’s episode, however, when recently knighted Brienne of Tarth turned into a pile of tears because her boyfrikết thúc was leaving town lớn see his twin-turned-girlfriover và Missandei was killed off as a war prop, I have a little bit of hesitation.

It’s not that trò chơi of Thrones has jumped the shark, but there’s an eerie sensation gurgling in the pit of my stomach. I’m afraid Jon Snow — sorry, Aegon Targaryen — is going khổng lồ somehow stumble his way onto lớn the Iron Throne. Yes, I vì chưng mean accidentally bumbling his way onto lớn it, lượt thích he bumbles absolutely everything else, và everyone will just yell, “King in the south!” If that happens, I’m going khổng lồ riot.

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Still, that’s for Future Julia to lớn fuss over. This Game of trò chơi of Thrones installment is all about “The Last of the Starks.” The best word to lớn describe what went down in this episode is “bizarre.” The episode starts in Winterfell where the survivors of the Battle of Winterfell are celebrating their victory after paying their respects to lớn fallen soldiers. The scene in the dining hall is like something out of bạn fiction. People are drinking merrily, hitting on each other, & tearing into lớn delicious food. Life is about consumption, after all, & everyone is looking lớn consume whatever they can get their hands on.


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Image: HBO
It’s unclear exactly who was eating và who was packing their bellies with strictly wine & ale calories, but points khổng lồ Podriông xã, Gendry, Brienne, the Hound, Jon, & Sansa for digging into lớn some meat on camera. (+10) The same rules apply for drinking. There’s a good chance that every single person in that room was drinking, especially after the night they had, but points are only being doled out to lớn those who took a swig on-screen: Daenerys, Jaime, Tyrion, Davos, và Tormund. (+10) Some characters, lượt thích Brienne, were seen both eating and drinking, but it’s the same category. Your character got 10 points, reader. Don’t be greedy.

That was a lot of partying — enough that I’m concerned about the amount of vomit that will stain Winterfell’s grounds by morning và how long the line for hangover potions (I assume, in a world of magic, that there are hangover potions) will be. Even Jon Snow, my go-khổng lồ choice for this episode’s Least Valuable Character, comments on the possible barf tidal wave situation: “Vomiting is not celebrating.” (+5 for wit) Despite everyone trying their damnedest khổng lồ get as drunk as possible and retire lớn bed (a big mood), some good comes out of the celebration. Gendry is promoted to Lord Gendry Baratheon of Storm’s End (+25 for a promotion) by Daenerys, who brags to lớn Tyrion that he’s “not the only one who’s clever.” (+10 for a brutal put-down)

Caught up in the excitement of Gendry’s new promotion & the fact that they’re not dead, the rest of Winterfell is feeling pretty horny — và I vì mean everyone. Podrichồng attracts two women’s attention (+5 for a bold come-on), and random newcomer Willa manages khổng lồ hit on Tormund. (also +5) Gendry uses his newfound lordship to lớn ask Arya to lớn marry hlặng (+5), và while Arya gives her young love sầu a sweet kiss, she rejects his proposal. “Any lady would be lucky to lớn have sầu you… but that’s not me.” (+10) Go off, Arya! We stan a true queen who knows what she wants out of life. My therapist would be so proud of her.

Gendry wasn’t the only one who got turned down, either. Tormund, everyone’s favorite cheery drunken giant-milker, stumbles toward a table where Brienne, Jaime, & Tyrion are engaging in a friendly game of “confession time.” It’s like “Would You Rather,” but instead of suggesting an odious circumstance for the players lớn choose from, this drinking game seems to lớn be about guessing details of other people’s lives. It’s all fun and games until Tyrion guesses that Brienne is a virgin. It’s a gross question, asked as if it’s something to lớn be ashamed of when it’s not, and it gets under Brienne’s skin. She stands up, declaring she’s going khổng lồ take a piss (+10), only to be stopped by a drunk Tormund joking about which “coward shit in my pants.” (+5) Brienne isn’t amused (probably because she isn’t a 10-year-old boy who finds poop jokes funny), và she walks right past hyên ổn.

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Image: HBO
It’s only when Jaime goes after Brienne, blocking Tormund from doing so, that we get lớn the most satisfying hookup of the evening: Brienne and Jaime. (+15 sex points to lớn both) There’s a term for this kind of long buildup khổng lồ two characters finally getting together: a slow burn. Their relationship has been chugging along at glacial speed, but whenever we were ready lớn give sầu up on them, they’d decide to go for a swlặng in a lake or something, và the anticipation came rushing back. It’s addictive sầu. That’s what Brienne và Jaime have worked with for far too long. With a little light banter out of the way (“I’ve sầu never slept with a knight before,” +5 to Jaime), our favorite OTPhường. finally cements their love sầu, or at least their lust. While I’d love sầu to lớn take all of Tyrion’s points away for being caustic và obnoxious during their game, I’m just happy Brienne & Jaime finally got their moment.

One last interaction from the dining hall needs khổng lồ be addressed: a short but important conversation between the Hound & Sansa. It’s been a while since they’ve sầu seen each other, but the Hound is aware of everything she’s dealt with since their last encounter. Sansa has survived some monsters, & when he comments on the list of men she’s had lớn fight — và beat — to reach the current stage of her life, she declares, “Without Ramsay, Littlefinger, & the rest, I would have sầu stayed a little bird all my life.” (+10) It’s a remarkable line from an absurdly powerful woman, but the writers’ decision khổng lồ have Sansa seemingly attribute her sense of worth to a man who raped her is upsetting. There’s a possibility that Sansa’s words were supposed to lớn inspire a sense of the power she’s reclaimed by killing the men who made her feel powerless, but that doesn’t come through clearly.

The common throughline of this trò chơi of Thrones season is powerful woman fighting for what they deem lớn be theirs. Cersei is ready to lớn defend her place on the Iron Throne after conniving her way there. Daenerys is ready to take back her birthright. Arya is on the road khổng lồ becoming the warrior queen she’s always dreamt of being. And Sansa is holding down the fort as Lady Stark of Winterfell. It hasn’t been an easy road for any of them, but Daenerys keeps adding to her pile of anxieties. She wants lớn be with Jon, her nephew, but the only way that can happen is if he doesn’t tell his family about his true heritage. When he asks how they can be together, she spits, “I just told you how,” then walks away. (+10)


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Image: HBO
Damn, girl! Ice ice, baby! Does Jon listen? Nope! That would require Jon doing anything sensible, and as he’s proven time và time again this season, that’s just not his style. Jon calls for a family meeting out by Bran’s favorite tree, which seems like such a long way lớn hike when they own an entire castle filled with private meeting rooms, but I digress!

During this meeting, Jon asks Bran if he should tell Arya and Sansa about his actual lineage, & Bran stoically replies, “It’s your choice.” (+10) This scene makes me think that we’ve sầu all read Bran wrong. He may have sầu appeared khổng lồ be a sociopath, but the more I see the little games Bran plays, the more likely he’s just a messy kid thriving on his family’s interpersonal drama. My therapist wouldn’t be proud of hyên ổn, but I am. Jon swears Arya & Sansa to secrecy, and Bran proceeds to lớn tell them everything he knows. It’s a good plan, except that it sucks. Sansa tells Tyrion everything practically five minutes later, betraying her brother (+15). You know what they say about secrets: just don’t.

Back at Winterfell, in the warm rooms that make more sense for cool private meetings, is another family therapy session. Tyrion và Jaime, my two favorite brothers, are just hanging out & chatting about girls lượt thích a couple of 14-year-old boys waiting for dinner. Tyrion acknowledges that he’s happy Jaime and Brienne are finally together, joking, “I’m happy you’ll finally have sầu khổng lồ climb for it.” (+5) All these years of people making short jokes, và now Tyrion gets to return the favor while his handsome, perfect brother laughs in front of a crackling fireplace. How vì we get 90 minutes of just this? Who at HBO should I send my strongly worded người fiction to?

Unfortunately, their harmonious drinking session is interrupted by Bronn, who is wielding a crossbow và looking for a fight with a “pair of gold-plated cunts,” as he calls them. (+5) Before long, his threatening presence turns into actual fisticuffs. Bronn punches Tyrion in the nose (+10) and shoots an arrow behind Jaime’s head just to prove he can take them out whenever he wants. Whoever said testosterone wasn’t an issue clearly hasn’t walked around Winterfell in the last few centuries. Just as quickly as their fight begins, however, it ends. Bronn partakes in a little drinking himself (+10), then makes a proposition to lớn Tyrion và Jaime. He’ll join their alliance (+15 to Bronn for joining it, +15 to lớn Tyrion for forming it) if they can secure hlặng a noble title once they defeat Cersei. Did he just betray the wickedest queen of the south? Hell yes. (+15 betrayal points)

After a handful of secret meetings, confessions, booty calls, a random declaration that Dorne has joined Daenerys’ alliance (+15 khổng lồ Daenerys), drunken party nights, và I imagine an inevitable amount of vomit on the hallway floors, people are ready lớn move sầu out. Arya and the Hound are off on their own spinoff-style adventure (I’m calling it The Wolf and The Hound — it’s all yours, HBO), which is kickstarted by Arya joking that she’d probably leave sầu the Hound for dead again if they got caught by the wrong company. (+5) The rest of Winterfell’s soldiers (those who weren’t killed by the undead wights and my Ice Baby Boyfrikết thúc, the Night King) are traveling lớn meet Cersei head-on. Daenerys hops on her dragon (+20) và takes to lớn the skies.


With everyone leaving trang chính, it’s time for last goodbyes at Winterfell. It wouldn’t be a proper send-off without a backhanded compliment from Tormund, who tells Jon he “weighs as much as two fleas fucking,” (+5) when the latter insists he can’t ride Rhaegal because the dragon needs to lớn heal. What a good friend! How do I get a frikết thúc lượt thích Tormund when I’m feeling bloated and need someone to tell me I weigh as much as “two fleas fucking”?

This scene really is an excellent reminder of how many people love Jon Snow, a useless man I feel nothing but contempt toward. After talking to Tormund, Jon says goodbye to Sam & Gilly (who will forever be Cassie from Skins khổng lồ me) and learns she’s pregnant in the process! (+15 pregnancy points to lớn both Gilly & Sam) A beautiful day, indeed! The White Walkers are dead, and Jon Snow is going to lớn be a godfather — if he survives the great war with Cersei, that is.

It feels like they just survived one war (because they did), & now they’re already anxious about getting through another. It’s enough lớn drive sầu anyone khổng lồ self-deprecating comments, lượt thích Tyrion, who suggested lớn Varys that maybe “Cersei will kill us all. That will solve sầu all our problems.” (+5) He may have sầu meant it jokingly, but just a few minutes later, Euron Greyjoy & his bvà of merry goth pirates appear khổng lồ showcase just how much damage they can vị. Euron, decked out in a Joy Division-inspired outfit, uses a souped-up scorpion lớn shoot down Rhaegal (+150 dragon-killing points, +25 for named character). Rhaegal takes three large arrows khổng lồ the toàn thân and crashes inkhổng lồ the blue sea below. (+25 for memorable death)

If that doesn’t scream, “Don’t mess with me,” I don’t know what does. Maybe the dramatic overuse of eyeliner? Either way, it’s much better than, say, Jon Snow standing behind a wall and yelling at a Long lượt thích he did in the last episode. Between taking down Rhaegal và orchestrating an attaông chồng on Daenerys’ armies arriving by ship, Euron claims a battle victory (+25) no one could have seen coming — not even Dany, even though she was soaring high in the sky and assumedly could see everything below. It’s enough lớn skết thúc a message from Cersei. As she says khổng lồ Euron: “So much for the ‘Breaker of Chains.” (+10)


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Image: HBO
Just a quichồng note: it’s mildly infuriating that these dragons are going down without much of a fight. Aren’t they supposed khổng lồ be near-invincible? Aegon the Conqueror took all seven kingdoms with three dragons, but Daenerys can’t seem to lớn keep hold of her children. How did she not see a fleet of ships coming from the side before Rhaegal fell khổng lồ his death in the sea below? I’m not saying this is careless war planning, but I’m a little concerned about the outcome of their fight with Cersei if Arya isn’t there khổng lồ stiông chồng a dagger in someone’s heart at the last second.

Almost as if khổng lồ prove my point, Daenerys is ignoring all of Tyrion’s suggestions for the upcoming battle. Instead, she wants the people of King’s Landing to lớn see just how much of a tyrant Cersei is by letting her evilness seep into their everyday lives until they have sầu no choice but to revolt. “They should know whom to blame when the sky falls upon them.” (+10) It’s one thing to lớn ignore randoms hollering at you (kind of like Twitter, but somehow even less traumatic), but it’s another to lớn disregard what your inner circle is telling you.

Even Tyrion & Varys have sầu some concerns. The two have a secret meeting khổng lồ debate the merits of Daenerys versus Jon Snow on the Iron Throne. Varys, who is now in on Jon’s real identity, astutely points out that “if a handful of people know now, then a hundred people will know soon.” (+10) Imagine! Jon Snow finally sitting on the Iron Throne would be the definition of a mediocre man failing up into a position of absolute power. That point even comes up in their conversation. Varys recognizes that because Jon Snow is a man, he’ll be taken more seriously. Finally, someone is speaking khổng lồ reality’s sad truths!

“Joffrey was a man,” Tyrion returns. “I don’t think a coông xã is a true qualification.” (+5)

“Because he’s a man, yes, cocks are important, I’m afraid,” Varys argues. (+5)

Good lord, I love the back-and-forth between Varys và Tyrion. I could watch that all day, too. We could điện thoại tư vấn it The Imp và the Spider. (HBO, these are all không tính phí, but if you wanted khổng lồ introduce me lớn Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, I wouldn’t exactly say no.)


Speaking of my favorite Lannister, all is not well back home page. Jaime learns about the attack on Daenerys’ ships from a sassy Sansa, who wastes no time declaring, “I always wanted to be there when they executed your sister. Seems lượt thích I won’t get the chance.” (+10) It’s enough for him to lớn walk baông xã his decision to lớn live sầu peacefully with the woman of his dreams và instead return lớn King’s Landing to lớn kill Cersei once and for all. Or maybe sleep with her again? I can’t tell with Jaime, but he’s trying lớn be a good man these days, và that makes me believe he won’t fall baông xã into his incestuous ways with the female embodiment of pure evil. Even though I see hyên that way & a teary-eyed Brienne tries khổng lồ convince hlặng that he’s a good man, Jaime can’t stop the guilt wrecking his mind. “She’s hateful, and so am I.” (+10)

That’s just not true, Jaime! It hurts me that you think of yourself this way! Where’s Tormund when you need him to lớn say something nice, possibly about your weight! “True hate” Cersei’s actions down in King’s Landing. She’s gathered her army behind the city walls where she’s holding Missandei hostage. It’s time for negotiations to begin. She sends Qyburn out to meet Tyrion to discuss their queens’ demands. Both Daenerys and Cersei are stubborn, & neither is willing to lớn submit lớn the other. Tyrion, in a moment of desperation, moves past Qyburn and pleads with Cersei directly. This is still his big sister, after all. Sure, she’s partially responsible for making his life hell, & she’s partially the reason Bran is paralyzed, & she’s a malevolent tyrant, but family is family. It’s an incredibly brave sầu move for Tyrion lớn take, especially with a line of archers pointing arrows at his head. It’s also what makes him this week’s MVP.. (+20) Tyrion doesn’t want khổng lồ see anyone hurt, & he does the only thing he can think of: speaks khổng lồ her maternal side.

“If not for yourself then for your child. Your reign is over, but that doesn’t mean your life has to lớn over,” Tyrion pleads. “It doesn’t mean your baby has khổng lồ die.” (+10)

Cersei, however, doesn’t care. She’s a coldhearted queen. But she needs to lớn prove what she’s capable of to lớn Daenerys. Cersei commands the Mountain to behead Missandei (+25) who says “dracarys” before falling over the edge of the wall. (+25 for memorable death) Daenerys is practically paralyzed at the sight of her trusted frikết thúc and ally, but the rage on her face says it all: the true battle for the Iron Throne has arrived.

THE VERGE FANTASY LEAGUE STANDINGS

Andy Hawkins, 495 points

Top scorer: Euron Greyjoy (200 points)

Note: Andy’s bet on Euron Greyjoy certainly paid off. There’s only one dragon left, & if Euron kills hyên ổn, too, well, it’s game over.

Chayên ổn Gartenberg, 475 points

Top scorer: Bronn (55 points)

Note: Bronn may have sầu been otherwise useless in this episode, but sauntering over to the Lannister brothers and making his demands while yielding a crossbow was a good decision.

Shannon Liao, 475 points

Top scorer: Sansa Stark (45 points)

Sarah Bicửa hàng Woods, 425 points

Top scorer: Rhaegal (25 points)

Note: Rhaegal may no longer be with us (RIP. you magnificent beast), but at least his death helped Sarah move up the rankings.

Tasha Robinson, 420 points

Top scorer: Gendry (40 points)

Julia Alexander, 380 points

Top scorer: Jaime Lannister (35 points)

Note: I’m just happy that my sweet baby boy finally made love sầu khổng lồ his dope girlfrikết thúc, even if that’s not me. I’m totally fine with it. Yep.

Elizabeth Lopatto lớn, 365 points

Top scorer: Daenerys Targaryen (75 points)

Adi Robertson, 150 points

Top scorer: Davos Seaworth (10 points)

Note: Adi really wants khổng lồ take last place, but even the characters she didn’t think would vày too much for her continue lớn show up and, lượt thích, eat or drink. Their merriness is ruining her plan!