Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4 Recap The Violence Continues Anyway

first_img ‘Game of Thrones’ Director Explains Why Arya Ambushed the Night King’Game of Thrones’ Star Sophie Turner Predicts Sansa Stark’s Future Stay on target Hooray, the Night King has been defeated. Way earlier than anyone expected, the big scary threat that’s been creeping toward our heroes all season is dead. And he died in the absolute coolest possible way. Bonus, only a couple of the characters we cared about died too. Yeah, we know all that meant was that the real hardships are yet to come. Because that’s what this show does. It gives you a little bit of happiness and punches you in the throat for daring to smile. Because that’s the kind of story this show is telling. It doesn’t matter that humans beat the monsters. It’s the fact that humans are unrepentant dicks to each other that’s going to kill us all.During a somber scene where we really see the scale of lives lost in the Battle of Winterfell, Jon is looking more like a king than ever. Now, it’s possible that the Lord of Winterfell would give the funeral speech at a time like this anyway, but it’s super noticeable that Daenerys isn’t saying anything. She’s overcome with emotion at having to cremate Ser Jorah, sure, but she’s not inspiring anyone to fight for her here. Yes, since the wights are dead, it’s right back to politics. Even during a celebration for having survived the battle. Dany tries a few power plays here, but none are as effective as Jon’s mere presence. Sure, Dany’s dragons were useful. But Jon came back from the dead to save them from an army of fantasy zombies. Forget being king, whole religions have started for less.Jacob Anderson, Conleth Hill, Nathalie Emmanuel, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage (Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO)Daenerys tries to get people on her side by giving Gendry a lordship and recognizing him as a true-born son. It’s both a nice thing to do and a shrewd political move. Sansa definitely sees the latter more than the former. Dany appeases a potential competitor to the throne and gains a lord that will be loyal to her. When everything you do is ultimately for your own personal gain, people tend to trust you less. Sansa still doesn’t want to be ruled by a queen in King’s Landing. Oh, and Gendry proposes to Arya, asking her to be Lady of Storm’s End. Everyone knew being a Lady was never in the cards for her. She lets him down easy though, which is nice.Man, the show royally botched Sansa’s story here, though. You’d think after more than seven years of the entire internet telling them not to do exactly this, they’d learn. But no. Sansa has the most infuriating conversation with the Hound. It’s starts out OK. He’s impressed that she fed her abuser to his own dogs. That’s a nice memory. Then he says if she’d escaped King’s Landing with him, she wouldn’t have had to go through all that. She says if she hadn’t she wouldn’t be who she is today. No. Stop. Wrong. Implying that rape is necessary character development is super gross, and this show really should know better by now. What? Watching your father die and being forced to live under Cersei wasn’t enough? Also, this conversation was entirely pointless in the grander story. You had 70 minutes of runtime, Game of Thrones. You could have filled it with literally anything else.Nathalie Emmanuel, Emilia Clarke, Conleth Hill (Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO)Let’s cleanse our palate with another mistake that’s just funny. And what better to do that with than a nice refreshing cup of Starbucks? Yes, there is a very noticeable Starbucks coffee cup in front of Dany during the scene where everyone’s praising Jon. I knew their expansion strategy was aggressive, but damn! There are so many people on the internet claiming this as a sign that the showrunners don’t care anymore. That take is exhausting. Look, mistakes happen. In a production this size, even with this budget, things like this get overlooked. Everyone’s tired, they’ve been shooting all night every night for months at this point. If anything, that coffee cup is there because they care enough to do anything to stay alert enough to film this scene. Besides, if you think about it, it makes sense that a Starbucks cup shows up in Winterfell after Daenerys moves in. She is the ultimate gentrifier.But even the vaguely burnt taste of Pike Place Roast doesn’t calm Daenerys down. The way everyone in Winterfell looks at Jon makes her nervous. It won’t matter that he doesn’t want to be king. If all these people look to Jon instead of her, her rule will be threatened. She makes Jon swear never to tell anyone, especially not his sisters, about his true heritage. And of course, he does it the very next day. While they’re planning the coming battle, Sansa and Arya grow nervous about how little Jon pushes back against Daenerys’ plans. Even when it could lead to more North Men deaths. They try to convince him that they’re family and they need to stick together. That’s when he has Bran tell them the truth. He swears them to secrecy, though. Because we know how well he himself kept that secret.Rory McCann, Liam Cunningham, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Isaac Hemsptead Wright (Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO)Just as we thought she might, Sansa tells Tyrion the secret at her first opportunity. As Varys points out, the amount of people who know means it’s no longer a secret, just information. They have a very deep, interesting discussion about who would make the better ruler. The fact that Jon doesn’t want it probably makes him the best possible king. Tyrion remains loyal to Dany, because he truly believes in her capacity to change the world for the better. God, why do I feel like this will be his downfall? Varys is more practical. His loyalties are to the people of the realm. If he sees a better ruler for them, he might try to make it happen. Their conversation is fascinating. I don’t know about you, but I could watch a full hour of Tyrion and Varys talking politics.Daenerys takes her army south, and we get some gorgeous shots of her dragons flying through the air. Which are suddenly interrupted by a dragon-piercing arrow. Euron Greyjoy has been hiding his fleet behind a rock outcropping. (Not entirely believable, but it doesn’t totally break suspension of disbelief.) The death of Daenerys’ second dragon is shocking. It feels like the huge blow that it is. The scene is horrific, but technically very well done. This battle doesn’t go as well as last week’s. Euron begins firing arrows at Daenerys’ fleet, sinking their boats and forcing them to swim to shore. What’s really infuriating though is that Dany has so many opportunities to set Euron’s ship ablaze, and she doesn’t because… reasons. The plot needs him to stay alive I guess? Even though he adds nothing of value. Yeah, he should be a hunk of charcoal right now, and I’m kinda pissed he isn’t.(Photo Credit: HBO)The show did pull off a fabulous bit of misdirection in this scene that gets us mad for the right reasons. It focuses on Tyrion, and makes it look like he’s about to die in the ship attack. You could feel the collective sigh of relief when the camera showed him crawling up the beach alive. Then immediately, we realizes that someone’s missing. Greyworm calls out for Missandei, and she’s nowhere to be found. She’s been captured, held prisoner by Cersei. Like this entire episode, it’s a moment of relief and happiness followed by a surprise gut-punch.By the end of this episode, I’m seriously not OK. I’m angry, and so was everyone in the room when the end went down. Tyrion convinces Daenerys to offer Cersei a chance to end things without bloodshed. She clearly doesn’t want to because it’s becoming increasingly clear she won’t be the benevolent ruler she envisions herself as. They offer a deal. Cersei surrenders the throne and releases Missandei, and nobody has to die. Not the people of King’s Landing, and not Cersei’s baby. (Which I’m still not totally convinced exists.) We’ve been watching this show long enough to know that’s not going to happen. Cersei orders the Mountain to behead Missandei. She gets one last word out before her death: Dracarys. Like a good wrestling promo, it fills us all with righteous fury. Greyworm and Daenerys are pissed. King’s Landing is about to go up in flames. The question is, who will be inside when it does?Emilia Clarke (Credit: Courtesy of HBO)Probably Jaime. He gets such a nice arc this time, admitting that he’s in love with Brienne, and the two of them drunkenly consummate their affections in Winterfell. Tyrion’s even happy for his brother and even happier to make tall person jokes. It all reminds me of Brienne’s knighting scene from two episodes ago. This time, we’re seeing Jaime get something that truly makes him happy. In a way that feels like a satisfying, happy end to his long character arc. But unlike Brienne, Jaime is ultimately a tragic figure. He has a fatal flaw: He can’t escape Cersei. Even when he finds love with someone else, he can’t separate himself from his sister. Because of what he’s done for her, he sees himself as a monster. So in his mind, he must return to her. Whether that’s to save her or kill her, we’ll find out soon enough. Either way, I don’t think he’s making it back alive. Brienne, standing in the cold, crying, in only a housecoat, knows it too.This episode had some problems, and they were all the more glaring after last week’s tense and satisfying battle. Even with those, it did most of its job well. We were all expecting another set-up episode, but this did more than that. It got its chess pieces where the story needed them, albeit a bit awkwardly, but it also made meaningful story developments. Political machinations have always been the most fun part of this show, and that remains true here. And with both Arya and The Hound headed for King’s Landing on their own, there’s so much potential for how these final two episodes play out. We’re almost assured a Clegane-bowl now, and I want nothing more than to see Arya kill Cersei. She is the one big name on her list. This episode though, was a reminder that Game of Thrones isn’t going to have a pure happy ending. As soon as we feel a little bit of hope, it and more are ripped away from us. Prepare for a lot more of that as we go into the final two episodes of the series.Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.Previously on Game of Thrones:Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 RecapGame of Thrones Season 8 Episode 2 RecapGame of Thrones Season 8 Episode 1 Recaplast_img read more