The Last of the Starks – Reaction, Breakdown, Review – Spoilers

Warning!  This RBR contains spoilers!  If you have not seen episode 4, please proceed with caution.

Season 8 Episode 4 – The Last of the Starks

Rating – Another 10 for me!  I’m loving this season!  My general mood for this episode was anxiety.  Suspense on a large scale as set up by its end for what you know will be major consequences in Episode 5.

Now it Begins!

Opening Sequence – Damage to the Great Hall in Winterfell was the only difference I noticed in the opening sequence, let me know if you saw others.

We open to a mass funeral in Winterfell.  A weepy Dany kisses Ser Jorah goodbye, as does Sansa to Theon, giving him a Stark pin.  There are many pyres but seemingly not enough. All the survivors are tattered, including Ghost who is still covered in blood and missing an ear.  Jon delivers a heart wrenching eulogy for the fallen.  As he said they were the shields that guard the realms of men, my eyes filled with tears.  Arya lights Beric’s pyre, Dany Jorah’s, Sam Edd’s and fittingly Jon lights Lyanna Mormont’s pyre as she was named for his mother and she named him King in the North.

The feast starts off quiet with Gendry pining over Arya.  He’s asking the hound where she is and as the Hound reminds him the dead are dead and he should live his life basically, Gendry gets up to leave to find Arya as she is missing from the feast.  Dany stops Gendry as he is leaving and questions him about Robert Baratheon and I immediately got nervous for Gendry’s sake but quickly was able to discern where it was going.  Davos was the first to stand.  Lord Gendry Baratheon of Storms End, Cheers!  One of my wishes for this season and the wrap up.  Of course, now I wonder will he make it.  Sheesh.  Tyrion points out that it was rather cunning of Dany legitimizing Gendry and granting him lands and titles.  I’m sure some may she is not queen yet and can’t legitimize him; however, promises are how alliances are made.  Join me and when we win fill in the blanks.  Sansa and Tyrion share glances.

Davos reflects over Melisandre’s death and the lack of clarity for the reason for it all.  What does the Gods want?  Over the last week, there were many that thought the Night King’s story ended too quickly and we never found out what he wanted.  I find it rather realistic that we don’t know and it’s no longer a concern.  Art is reflecting life as this is a question that will not likely be answered in the real world or The Game of Thrones.

Tyrion compliments Bran on his wheelchair comparing it to the saddled he had designed for him in season 1.  Bran responds it’s the same as one Daeron Targaryen designed for his crippled nephew 120 years ago.  Tyrion remarks that Bran knows history better than anyone and it will be useful as Lord of Winterfell but quickly realizes that Bran won’t be Lord of Winterfell.  Bran says that he doesn’t want anymore, and Tyrion says that he envy’s Bran.  Bran quickly warns against it saying that he mostly lives in the past.

Jon, Tormund, Sansa and others are celebrating over drinking challenges, laughs and one Tormund quip after the next.  While Dany looks on, lonely and worried, from behind.  Tormund toasts Dany, Dany toasts Arya, The Hero of Winterfell, and Sansa notices the weird looks between Jon and Dany.  At the Lannister table, Brienne, Pod, Tyrion and Jaime are playing the Westerosi version of I Never.  Tormund continues to sing Jon’s praises and Dany’s anxiety grows as she realizes that she doesn’t know where loyalties stand.  Tormund and the Northerners are praising Jon to her right and across the room her hand is getting drunk with his brother and a knight sworn to Sansa.  The music reflects Dany’s rising anxiety of hearing Tormund refer to Jon as a King.

Aside – to address the elephant in the room, Emilia Clarke has a Starbucks cup in front of her in this scene. No one saw this cup during editing?  Oh well.  Back to our regularly scheduled review.

Back at the Lannister table, Tyrion makes the game awkward by pointing out Brienne’s virginity and she excuses herself.  Tormund attempts to follow but is cut off by Jaime, who follows Brienne out of the room.  A drunk Tormund complains to Sandor with tears in his eyes about losing Brienne but is quickly distracted by a woman who is not afraid of wild things.  The hound turns her friend down and continues to drink in his own misery.  He is clearly thinking about The Mountain in this moment and Sansa joins him.  This is the first time we see the pair together and it is not an exhilarating reunion, but it shows that The Hound really does care about Sansa and Arya.  He tells Sansa, you’ve changed little bird and remarks if she had left with him none of it would have happened.  Sansa responds without Ramsey and Littlefinger she would have stayed a little bird all her life.  He appears proud when he learns that they have grown up to be women who have gone through tough experiences and came out the other end stronger for it.

Gendry has finally searched the entire castle and found Arya out back shooting arrows.  He quickly tells her that he has been made Lord of Storms End and Arya looks genuinely happy for him.  Gendry immediately takes a knee and proposes, and I laughed so loudly on my couch.  Bless his heart. Gendry Gendry Gendry.  Way to come on too strong.  I have to say, as much as I love Arya and Gendry together, if she would have agreed in that moment it would have been unbelievable.  If this were another show or movie and the girl were a free spirit like Arya, it would’ve gone the same way.  In real life it would go the same way.  Geez Gendry read the room!  However, my hopes for a power couple with reverse gender roles have been dashed because Gendry was sprung, and the audience is reminded that’s not Arya.  How sweet was Arya’s turning him down?  I wonder if that means anything for Gendry’s character in coming episodes.

Jaime has caught up to Brienne and makes some odd references about drinking and it’s clear where this is going but it was cool to see Jaime come of as a bit nervous in this scene.  Brienne helps him with his clothes and removes her own.  As they got naked the scene cuts to Dany and Jon.  Jon is stumbling drunk and Dany professes her love.  As the two begin to get hot and heavy, Jon quickly remembers that she is his aunt.  I’m glad they don’t discuss that she was his aunt in this scene.  I think they should be more concerned about the crown rather than their relation to each other.  Dany is terrified and tries to convince Jon to let his true name and right to the throne to be their little secret.  Jon says he must tell Sansa and Arya.  Dany says Sansa will not support her for the throne.    As much as I like Dany, in this moment you can see all her Viserys showing.  She is desperate and either doesn’t realize that she is asking a man who has been living a lie his whole life to continue living in that lie or she doesn’t care.  I think it may be a little of both, either way she is coming off as manic and selfish in this moment and I don’t like it.  As this scene was going, I was yelling at the TV “TELL JON, TELL”.  Jon reminds her that she is his Queen and they are his Family.  Dany seems to lay down an ultimatum and leaves the room.

Before we go to the war room, we get a quick glimpse of Jaime and Brienne in bed.  Brienne is asleep, and Jaime lays awake and takes a deep sigh.  I’m sure he is really trying to process what just happened as he has never been with anyone other than Cersei.  Hopefully he is not regretting his actions in that moment.

Surprisingly only half of Dany’s forces were decimated according to the board.  They discuss the people revolting against Cersei and possible propaganda campaign Cersei is running to paint Dany as a usurper.  Tyrion nervously reminds Dany that the goal is to remove Cersei from the throne and not to burn Kings Landing to the ground.  Jon proposes that they surround the city and not allow food in, which also seems a bit mad as they would starve the people into hating Cersei.  As Dany agrees, Sansa says the army needs rest.  Dany objects at the thought of waiting for fear of her enemies growing stronger.  To Sansa’s dismay, Jon steps in and says the North will obey her command.  For whatever reason, that seems odd, Jaime decides to stay in Winterfell.  Most likely because he doesn’t want to fight Cersei rather than staying to be with Brienne.   Dany has a wild look in her eyes as she says that they’ll win the last war.  As the counsel disassembles, Arya tells Jon that they need to have a Stark meeting.

In the God’s Wood, Jon says that Dany and her army came North at his wishes.  The army suffered great losses because of it and as King in the North, he bent the knee not only offering himself but the entirety of the North to Dany.  As such they are her subjects.  Arya says that she respects Jon’s point of view and Sansa is taken aback.  Arya is serving as a buffer between Jon and Sansa as tempers are raised.  Sansa points out that it was Arya who killed the Night King and rightfully, so Arya agrees that the north needed Dany’s army and dragons.  Sansa is missing the bigger picture, while Arya delivered the fatal blow to the Night King, there was a collective effort and had Dany’s army and dragons not been in Winterfell, Arya would not have survived long enough to be able to kill the Night King.  Arya tells Jon that he did the right thing and they are doing the right thing by letting him know they don’t trust Dany.  Arya’s approach to the situation is much better than Sansa’s in this moment as she is looking at it from both sides.  She goes on to remind Jon they are the last of the Starks and Jon says he’s never been a Stark.  As his ‘sisters’ try to convince him that he is always been their brother, not half brother nor bastard brother, Jon looks at Bran who says, it’s your choice.  Jon says he must tell them something as asks them to swear to never repeat it.  Arya agrees and after some hesitation Sansa agrees as well.  In this moment I was extremely excited for the reveal, but Jon tells Bran to tell them and the scene cuts.  I would have loved to see their reaction when they found out.  I also want to know why Bran had to be the one to tell them?

Tyrion and Jaime are having a drink over Jaime and Brienne hooking up.  Tyrion is happy that Jaime has moved away from Cersei and that he can tell tall person jokes.  He asks for the details and Jaime shuts him down.  In walks Bronn with Joffrey’s crossbow.  I closed my eyes at this moment.  No way is Bronn going to do Cersei’s bidding.  I had high hopes for you Bronn.  Bronn’s attitude is supported by the crossbow and the power it signifies.  Bronn admits that Dany has better chances with the dragons; however, threatens if one of them should die the tides could turn.  He bargains with them while punching Tyrion in the face and shooting an arrow near Jaime’s head.  Tyrion offers Highgarden and Jaime disagrees saying Highgarden will never belong to a cutthroat.  Bronn puts him in his place remarking that all successful lords were cutthroats who swindled or killed to gain land and titles so that their idiot grandsons could boast about it.  The comment seems a remark at Tywin and how he obtained Casterly Rock only to have an idiot like Joffrey be a successor in his line.  Bronn says that he will come find them when the war is done as his fighting days are over.

The Hound is on the king’s road leaving Winterfell and is joined by Arya.  These two are now on a solo mission to Kings Landing.  Neither plan on returning North.  This scene is ominous.  I suspect that the Hound is off to kill his brother and Arya to kill Cersei.  It is likely that one or neither will succeed in this mission and will die in the attempt.  I suspect that Arya will assist the Hound in Cleganebowl, the hound will die from wounds of that battle and Arya will put him out of his misery unlike the last time she left him injured.  While I would love for Arya to kill Cersei, I don’t know that she will be able to deliver that final blow.  I have my tissues ready for when that time comes.

Dany admires Rhaegal as he is recuperating well and takes off for a flight.  Sansa looks on from the battlements and is joined by Tyrion.   Sansa is distraught over Dany being Queen.  Tyrion tries to convince her that she would be in control in the North as Jon goes south.  Sansa points out that Tyrion is afraid of Dany and that she is afraid for Jon to go south as Stark men don’t do well in Kings Landing.  Tyrion says that Jon himself told him he is not a Stark and tries to convince Sansa of Dany’s altruism.  Tyrion starts to leave, Sansa says, ‘what if there were someone else, someone better’.  Again, the scene cuts.  Jon just asked them to swear not to tell anyone and Sansa defies him.  I want Jon to rule; however, this doesn’t take away from the fact that Sansa immediately tells the first person that could serve her purpose after finding out this news.  Over the years there have been conversations about why Ned didn’t tell Catelyn about Jon’s parentage, this is why my friends.  This scene reminds me of when Catelyn tells Robb and others about the cats-paw and Lannister involvement in Bran’s attack in season 1.  There were tremendous ramifications from that moment and I expect the same here.

Jon says goodbye to Tormund.  I’m surprised the free folk are not going to be involved in the wars to come.  Although I suspect they can return to join the fray when things look dire.  Speaking of dire, Jon tells Tormund to take Ghost north as well.  The Direwolves just haven’t had a real place in the show so I suppose this is Ghost’s final exist, an underwhelming one.  Well well well, looks like Gilly is pregnant on the show. I’m glad they wrote that in to the season as there has been much speculation about weight gain in this season.  As Davos and Jon ride through the gates of Winterfell you have to wonder will he ever return?

Greyworm and Missandei are on deck admiring Dragonstone as their ships are arriving.  Tyrion and Varys are below deck conspiring.  Tyrion says think of the past 20 years, wars and misery that have been all because Robert Baratheon loved someone who didn’t love him back.  Varys comments that since 8 people know it has ceased being a secret and is now information.  Tyrion says that Sansa will ensure she loses the Vale.  Tyrion says he doesn’t want the throne and Varys retorts it doesn’t matter what he wants.  He is war hero.  Tyrion suggests dual rule and Varys says Daenerys won’t have it and Northerners are not known for incest.

Dany and the dragons take a lap around Dragonstone as they pull closer to shore.  As Rhaegal glides next to Dany on Drogon a scorpion bolt pierces his chest.  Before you could tell where it came from another slices his wing and then a third through the neck ejecting massive amounts of blood through his mouth.  Rhaegal goes down and into the sea and we see The Silence come into view.  An infuriated Dany flies towards the Greyjoy fleet.  Euron immediately starts shooting more bolts at Dany and Drogon, all missing as Dany veers off and lowers her head in defeat.  Euron attacks the few ships Dany has, and Tyrion and others must jump over board to avoid the attack.

As they wash up on Dragonstone shore, Greyworm is frantically looking for Missandei.  If you’ve read any of my other reviews,  I have been on the fence about if Missandei or Greyworm would die (click here to see it).  At this moment, I fear Missandei will either wash up on shore or will be on the bow of The Silence with some sort of impending Euron torture ahead.  This was the first time I did a time check to see how much time was left.

In King’s Landing, Cersei is hoarding the people into the red keep, most likely to a future death.  Euron updates her on shooting down the dragon and Cersei tells him the Lion shall rule on Land and The Kraken shall rule at sea and one day their baby will rule both.  I’m absolutely over this baby plot but at this moment I hope Euron finds out that this baby is not his and chokes her to death.  Every day I have a new hope of death for Cersei.  Euron says that Dany is coming for Cersie, who replies of course she is and tells them to leave the gates open.  Dany will have to murder thousands of innocents first.  As Cersei walks away from the window overlooking all the unsuspecting citizens, she says ‘so much for the breaker of chains’ and we see Missandei in chains.  Excuse me while I fangirl:

This is why we love Game of Thrones!  Cersei evokes such rage and anxiety when she is at her most evil.  Euron seems to have stepped his villainy up a tad bit this episode as well.  The thought of Missandei being in chains in the red keep relieved me of all sanity and hopes for diplomacy.  BURN THEM ALL!  Cersie has to go!

Back at Dragonstone, Varys warns Dany against making a mistake and having thousands die in Kings Landing as casualties.  Dany says she is here to free the world of tyrants regardless the costs.  My emotions are all over the place.  Cersei has to go but do we want Dany to go full mad queen?  I’m still leaning towards burning Kings Landing, Harrenhall style at this point.  Tyrion says that it will be a while before Jon arrives in Kings Landing and, in the meantime, Dany should offer Cersei her life in exchange for the throne.  Tyrion, I have had your back for a few seasons now but what?  What makes him think that Cersei is backing down.  You guys have 1 dragon at this point and barely any ships.  The lords in Dorne supports you but, where are they? Do they have ships?  This scenario requires some type of overt mission.  I just don’t think Dany has the man power for this.  Dany is right, speaking to Cersei will not avoid a slaughter; however, the people are fickle and at this point I don’t think they need to be considering who the people will support.  They will support who ever has the better propaganda.

Tyrion and Varys are conspiring again.  Tyrion is nervous that they are discussing treason and Varys is pushing to support Jon.  He says that Jon is Tempered and measured.  The use of the word tempered in this discussion appears to be a book nod.  I believe he is referring to Jon as being Light Bringer and Dany as Nissa Nissa.  Varys says as a man, Jon has the rightful claim and while it is sexist, the lords will support him over Dany.  Varys shoots down dual rule saying that Dany would bend Jon to her will.  He is a Stark and Targaryen.  Tyrion says that he believes in Dany, but he doesn’t seem to believe his own words.  Varys says that he supports the Realm and will act in their interest no matter the costs.  Tyrion says what happens to Dany, and Varys doesn’t respond but Tyrion says please don’t suggesting that Varys would have Dany killed.

Jaime is in the Winterfell courtyard and sees Sansa and Brienne as Sansa receives a message. He follows them and asks what happened.   Brienne gives him the update.  Sansa says she always wanted to be there when they execute Cersei but perhaps she won’t get the chance, suggesting that it will happen quickly.  Jaime looks distraught and can’t sleep later that night.  He leaves Brienne in bed and readies his horse.  Brienne hears him leave the room and follows him outside.  She begs him to see that he is better than his sister and doesn’t need to die with her.  She further begs him to stay with her.  Jaime responds with all the bad things he’s done for Cersei.  The hold that Cersei has on Jaime is not broken and will not be broken until her death and or his.  Lady Olenna warned him that Cersei would be the death of him.  Jaime leaves a crying Brienne in the Winterfell courtyard.

Dany, Greyworm, Varys and Tyrion stand in front of the unsullied with Drogon off in the distance as they face the King’s Landing gates.  I have to say that this scene reminds me of Troy.  Cersei, Euron, The Mountain and Qyburn stand on top of the Kings Landing walls that are decked with scorpions all the way around.  If you’ve been wondering what Cersei has been doing while they fought the Night King, this is it folks.  Dany and her team are standing in a very vulnerable spot for this meeting.

The gates open and Qyburn walks out.  Tyrion walks out to meet Qyburn, they both demand the other’s immediate surrender.  Tyrion quickly realizes that Qyburn has no real power and the conversation is pointless.  He walks in closer to speak directly to Cersei up on the battlements.  All soldiers ready their arrows and point them at Tyrion.  Cersei raises as hand and I held my breath, but she has them lower their arrows to let Tyrion speak.  Again, Tyrion is making the same plea to Cersei about her loving her children and not being a monster.  At this moment I wanted Euron to say how does he know you’re pregnant, realize that the baby is not his and push Cersei from the highest tower.  Alas, I can dream.  Instead, Cersei says to Missandei, if you have any last words now is the time.  Trembling, Missandei says Dracarys and it sent shock waves through my body.  I was hoping that Drogon followed her command and lit the battlements up.  The scene was a definite call back to infamous Dracarys scene when Missandei stood beside Master Kraznys translating as Daenarys obtained her Unsullied.  Then in my head, I could hear Joffrey’s voice yelling Ser Illyn bring me his head, as The Mountain beheaded Missandei.  Greyworm’s reaction in that moment is epic.  Tyrion knows that it is over at that moment.  There will be no diplomacy.  There will be Fire and Blood.  Lady Olenna: You’re a Dragon! Be a Dragon!

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