Game of Thrones: Season 8 Episode 4 – The Last of the Starks (Recap & Review)

Please note: there are FULL spoilers for the entire fourth episode of season 8, as well as all preceding episodes.  I won’t list the cast of the main characters, only the bit players or interesting additions.

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The survivors of the Battle of Winterfell burn the bodies of their dead, including Edd, Theon Greyjoy, Lyanna Mormont and Ser Jorah. As the living then celebrate the fallen in a feast in the main hall, Gendry attempts to sneak off to find Arya, much to the Hounds chagrin. As Gendry seeks to leave, Daenerys instead calls him up in front of the hall, and asks him if he is indeed the son of Robert Baratheon.

As Gendry nods his head, assuming the worst, Daenerys lists off Robert’s crimes, including her own attempted murder. Gendry rightfully states he didn’t even know who his father was until Robert was already dead, before Daenerys shockingly offers him the title of Lord of Storm’s End. When Gendry replies that he is a bastard, and therefore cannot be a Lord, Daenerys legitimises him as Gendry Baratheon. Daenerys implies to Tyrion that this was just to remove him as an obstacle to the throne.

Tyrion mingles, first with Ser Davos, as the two reminisce about Melisandre, and Davos laments he was not able to kill her himself. Tyrion then comes across Bran, and compliments Bran on his chair. Bran tells Tyrion it is the same that Daeron Targaryen built, generations ago. Tormund, already very drunk, leads a toast to Jon, but Jon is not interested in drinking until he vomits. Tormund, instead, toasts the Dragon Queen, who in turn celebrates Arya Stark, the one who slayed the Night King.

Jamie, Tyrion, Brienne and Podrick are playing a drinking game which ends suddenly as Tyrion implies Brienne is a virgin, as Tormund further makes a fool of himself in front of Jon and Dany. Tormund seeks to console Brienne, but soon leave with two northerner girls, as the Hound shows no interest in anythnig other than drinking himself stupid. Sansa goes to the Hound and finally thanks him for his help, so many years ago.

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Gendry finally finds Arya, and he relays the news of his legitimacy, and his being the Lord of Storm’s End. He asks Arya to join him, as the Lady of Storm’s End, but she rejects his advances. In Brienne’s room, Jamie comes to apologise, before the two spend the night together. Jon and Dany begin to get hot and heavy, but though Dany doesn’t seem to mind the loop they are starting in the family tree, Jon is not as keen.

The follow morning, the war council asses their losses, calculated to be about half, though the remaining army will receive a boost from the Iron Islands, recaptured by Yara Greyjoy, and the new Prince of Dorne. Daenerys intends to storm King’s Landing as soon as possible, but Sansa instead suggests giving the surviving army time to rest and recover from the unprecedented war against the dead. Jon meets with Sansa, Arya and Bran in the Godswood, where he reveals his true parentage to Sansa and Arya. Meanwhile, as Tyrion and Jamie are drinking in a bar, Bronn arrives, on Cersei’s order to assassinate them, but he expresses doubts that Cersei will win the impending war for the throne, and wishes to stay on the winning side.

The Hound is met by Arya outside Winterfell, and he tells her that he is heading back to King’s Landing for some unfinished business. As Daenerys sends Rhaegal and Drogon, her remaining dragons off to feed, Tyrion meets with Sansa atop the castle walls, where Sansa expresses her doubts that Daenerys is the best candidate to take the Iron Throne. Tormund, along with Sam and a pregnant Gilly, tell Jon they intend to travel back north, beyond the Wall, now that the White Walkers are no longer a threat. Jon sends Ghost to go with them.

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A touching, serene moment between two reasonably fleshed out, long running charcaters. Nothing bad will happen from here.

On the seas, en route to Dragonstone, Grey Worm and Missandei are reunited, holding hands aboard the flagship of Daenery’s new fleet. Tyrion and Varys discuss the past twenty years, all of which has come about because, according to Tyrion, Robert Baratheon loved someone who didn’t love him back. Varys, in particular, is unsure of Daenery’s state of mind, and if she is fit to be queen. In the skies above, Daenerys flies on the back of Drogon, when Rhaegal is suddenly struck in the neck, wing and head by ballista bolts. From around a rock formation, Euron and his fleet emerges, and Dany is forced to retreat. Euron destroys Daenerys’ flagship, and captures Missandei.

At King’s Landing, Euron returns, and Cersei and Qyburn reveal to Euron that Cersei is pregnant. Cersei orders King’s Landing main gate be held open, so that if Daenerys is ot bring her army to King’s Landing, she will have to kill thousands before she gets to Cersei, a risk Cersei assumes Daenerys will not take. At Dragonstone, Daenerys, in council with Varys, Tyrion and Grey Worm, decides to go to King’s Landing, where Tyrion will act as emissary towards his sister, Cersei. Tyrion and Varys continue their conversation, with Varys outright stating that there is certainly someone better to sit on the Iron Throne.

At Winterfell, Jamie learns from Sansa and Brienne what happened at Dragonstone, and despite Brienne’s objections, Jamie decides to leave for King’s Landing, breaking Brienne’s heart in the process

Outside the walls of King’s Landing, Daenerys, Tyrion, Grey Worm and a small number of soldiers, as well as the surviving Drogon, prepare for negotiations, with Cersei and Missandei atop the battlements. Tyrion and Qyburn both demand unconditional surrender from the other’s Queen, before Tyrion addresses Cersei directly. Unmoved, Cersei order Missandei to be executed, and the undead Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) decapitates Missandei in a single stroke. As Grey Worm visibly mourns, Daenerys withdraws, no longer able or willing to hide her anger.

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I guess she should have quite while she was… ahead. [distant booing]
+ Jorah’s eye was twitching as his pyre was lit. I thought it was funny
+ did anybody else’s butthole clench up when Dany asked Gendry if he was indeed the son of Robert Baratheon? The look Davos had was basically me. I expected her to have him execued then and there (because, as I’ve been saying for seasons now, since his return, Gendry is technically the rightful heir to the Throne, and has a stronger claim than Jon)
+ The Hound says he has unfinished business in King’s Landing in the same episode The Mountain finally does something to make us hate him? It’s confirmed. Get hype
+ those scenes between Tyrion/Varys were just the best. This new season reminds me of the Hobbit films; all the pomp and circumstance with fancy CGI and “epic” battle scenes is no match for two great actors talking shit to each other

– Yara captured the Iron Islands off screen? I’d bet we won’t even see her again. Who is the new Prince of Dorne? Why even bring these things up if they are not acted upon (and I have no faith them will be in the future)
– Jon not even patting Ghost is the real tragedy of this season. Ghost had certainly seen better days, and seemed to be missing an ear, and a respectful nod frmo Aegon “the Animal Abuser” Targaryen is not enough for me. I understood the eymbolism, of him leaving his “Stark” life behind to be the Dragon King, but still
– everything about Euron taking down Rhaegal was dumb as hell. HOw did he attack them from behind that rock formation? How did Dany not see them before the dramatic reveal? How did Euron hit three bolts into Rhaegal, but then completely miss Drogon when Drogon was on the offense?
– Missandei probably should have just grabbed Cersei and jumped off the walls, eh? She had to have known she was going to die anyway
– speaking of executing prisoners of war: Dany, hey, that’s what it’s like when you burned Randall and Dickon Tarly. Don’t get all pissy just because you knew this victim, compared to the hundreds you didn’t know that you still had burned alive
– the episode title, The Last of the Starks, was dropped by Tyrion towards Bran, of all people. But, Jon Snow is both a bastard and a Targaryen. Bran is the Three-Eyed Raven. Arya is nobody. So really, Sansa is the last of the Starks, male or female.

> “All of it because Robert Baratheon loved someone who didn’t love him back.” Did Tyrion mean Lyanna Stark, or Cersei?

Final thoughts: This episode was incredibly boring. It’s telling that the biggest thing to come out of these nearly 80 minutes is that someone left a coffee cup in the shot, because that just shows how uninteresting whatever was going on must have been.

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