'Game of Thrones' season 8 episode 4 review: Heartbreaks, farewell and a mad queen

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaWritten By: Zeba KhanUpdated: Jan 30, 2020, 02:09 PM IST


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If you have not seen the episode yet, avoid this piece as it has spoilers. 

Another Monday and we get one more episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ to break it down for you. Titled ‘The Last of the Starks’, episode 4 of season 8 of the show took the epic-mystical story of warring kingdoms forward after a curtain-raiser episode last week that saw some deaths including that of Night King and his Army of the Dead. 

If you have not seen the episode yet, avoid this piece as it has spoilers. 

‘GoT’ episode 4 opens with those who live bidding a final goodbye to those who fell, in their fight against the dead men. Jorah Mormont, Lady Mormont, Commander of the Night’s Watch Eddison Tollett, Theon Greyjoy, Beric Dondarrion were all shown as they were put on a pyre and burned at Winterfell. 

In the first half of the episode, the makers either establish the relationship between characters or take them forward-- Arya Stark and Gendry, Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. Most of these happen at a time right after the bodies were burned and we get to see a callback to season 1 in the form of a large celebration in the Winterfell hall as people eat, drink and share a laugh or play games like the drinking game that Jaime, Tyrion and Brienne play while Podrick watches. The last time we saw such a huge celebration in the halls of Winterfell was when Robert Baratheon, his party, wife and children came to the Northernmost kingdom to take Ned Stark to King’s Landing. 

In the same party, Dany is shown learning the ways of a ruler as she gets Gendry's loyalty by pronouncing him Lord Gendry Baratheon of Storm’s End. Gendry’s happiness is however short-lived as he faces rejection at the hands of Arya after she refuses his marriage proposal. Arya tells him, ‘I’m no lady’ hinting at a larger role that she will play in the coming episodes than just being someone’s wife. She is shown leaving Winterfell, not to fight Dany’s battle but for some unfinished business. The Hound, too leaves, for some unfinished business. We wonder what those are!

The episode is, however, majorly about Daenerys Targaryen and her growing insecurity. She loves the Iron Throne, she wants it for herself,  has the blood of the Mad King and we are not sure where all this will lead her. Her character arc develops as someone who is only concerned for the throne, more than her love for anything or anyone. This leads to an obvious disconnect between her and Jon (who tells her that he doesn’t want the throne and that she is his queen). Dany, who is visibly shaken with the love that Jon has from his people, begs him to keep his lineage a secret. Jon, however, tells it to Sansa and Arya after asking them to swear to not tell. While the girls swear to not tell it further, Sansa whispers it to Tyrion who then tells Varys. 

Now that almost 8 people know about this, Varys reflects that this is no longer a secret. The episode also hints at a possible break of loyalty -- those fielding Dany vs those who want Jon on the throne. It could be an interesting ending and a rather poetic ending to the great show, no? Also with nothing great going on between Sansa and Dany. 

The episode has a few more heartbreaks apart from Gendry's as Jaime leaves Brienne for Cersei after having sex with her and Tormund The Giantsbane leaves for North of the Wall after Brienne rejects him for Jaime. Samwell Tarly and Jon also hug it out before he leaves for King's Landing on foot while Dany takes the sea route.

What takes the cake in all of this still, is queen Cersei Lannister and her cunning ways at the end of the episode when Euron Greyjoy ambushes Dany’s fleet, captures Missandei of Naath and kills Rhaegal the dragon which means that Dany only has one dragon -- Drogon. She also loses all her ships and men with it, barring the council. The episode ended with Cersei showing her true self as she orders The Mountain to kill Missandei when Dany refuses to accept defeat. On how effortless she is as a queen and a tactician, Cersei brings the people at King's Landing inside the Red Keep so that Dany cannot attack the castle without having to kill the innocent people she claims to be the saviour of. 

Cersei also gets Euron closer to herself when she tells him that she is pregnant with his child but we do know that it's Jaime's -- as much before she slept with Euron, she had announced that she was expecting with Jaime's child. This was before he left her to fight against the Walkers. 

For those who are yet to start with 'Game of Thrones' season 8, read about episode 1 and episode 2 here.