Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4 comes out of the gate strong after a long and fantastic battle from the previous episode. But like the feeling of this series over time, it fades to lazy writing and questionable reasons for why the writers of Game of Thrones are making certain choices in these last episodes. Spoilers ahead.
The episode starts with a funeral for the dead at Winterfell with a plain speech from Jon Snow. A series of main characters then walk out to a series of funeral pyres and burn the bodies.
The party afterwards is filled with the characters getting drunk and praising each other in battles. Tormund makes comments about Jon being brave and kingly by riding a dragon. This peeves off Danny quite a bit. These scenes remind me a lot of the party after the battle of Helms deep from Lord of the Rings and it’s clear that the show took many inspirations from that movie. Danny legitimizes Gendry as a Baratheon which does not make any sense since that would give him a direct claim to the throne. A cliche fantasy ending for you Gendry.
Jamie and Brienne play a drinking game with Tyrion and end up getting together after the party and getting busy in the bedroom. Jamie then pledges to stay with her in Winterfell but soon leaves after hearing about events later in the episode. Here lies the beginning of my gripes for the episode.
Tyrion and Jamie are met another day by Bron who came up from the south and threatens to kill them both but is willing to hear a better deal. Tyrion offers him the Reach. It looks like this is the biggest thing that Tyrion will be able to offer Bron so hopefully he won’t need anything else. I think it’s unlikely that we will see Bron kill Jamie and Tyrion, and honestly I don’t think that would be an enjoyable way for those two characters to go out.
Varys admits that he has lost faith in Danny and is now rooting to have Jon Snow on the throne as he already has the North behind him. Tyrion begs Varys to reconsider. It looks like his change of loyalties for yet another time might be the reason he gets killed.
Arya leaves Winterfell heading to Kings landing with the Hound. Their intentions are to kill Cerci and the Mountain together. They seem pretty excited in their own way to be travelling together again. Clegane even makes a joke to Arya about leaving him for dead again.
Jon and Danny leave with the unsullied and some Northmen but not before Jon tells Sansa and Arya the truth about his parentage. This is something Danny is trying to contain so she is again unhappy about this. Jon gives Tormund Ghost after Tormund says that he will be taking the windlings back north of the wall as the cultures didn’t mesh very well. It doesn’t make sense to me why Jon would give him Ghost but I guess the show just needed to write him out. Jon also says goodbye to Sam and Gilly and learns that Gilly is pregnant and they will name the child after him if it’s a boy.
While sailing to Dragonstone for an unknown amount of time, the second dragon Rhaegal gets shot down by arrows from the iron fleet as they sat there waiting for them. Danny is now down to just 1 dragon. The ships get beaten up and Missandei gets taken by Euron.
Cerci allows all the people of Kings Landing into the Red Keep to be used as human shields. Danny plans to take the throne no matter the cost of the people. This is something Tyrion is really trying to prevent.
Tyrion along with some unsullied, Greyworm and Danny approach the walls of Kings Landing where Cerci is waiting for them. She sends out Qyburn to negotiate with Tyion. Neither side is willing to budge. Cerci uses Missandei as a bargaining tool to no avail and Cerci orders the Mountian to behead Missandei. He does and her head falls from the walls of kings landing.
What my issue is with all this is that the death of the dragon was boring at best. The way they shot it feel less important. It seemed it was just to jump shock people, but it didn’t for me. Additionally when Tyion meets Qyburn outside of Kings Landing, it would have been epic if Cerci signed for all the archers to shoot down Tyrion and Qyburn together out there in a 300 like shot with the arrows raining down on them both. This would have done two things. First, shock the viewers since Cerci kills Qyburn just so she can also kill Tyrion which is something she has said she wants to do over and over again. Second, it would remind us that there is no plot armor for every character in these last 3 episodes. Third, it would give Tyrion an awesome send off and show the viewers that he could not talk his way out of everything. Fourth, it would make Cerci appear more insane than even Danny at this point. And finally this would have given Jamie a real reason to ride south and leave Brienne even though he said he would stay in Winterfell with her. The news of his brother being killed in that way by his sister would be enough for him to need to face her himself.
This episode was the weakest by far for this season and shows how far the show has really fallen. The stakes don’t feel high anymore. It shows that plot armor is a thing in these final episodes and that is just poor writing.
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