What did you think of the fourth episode of Season 08, “The Last of the Starks” Leave your feedback here and let us know! We’ll share your thoughts and discuss your reactions in our next episode!
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Rushed... just rushed
The first half of the episode was great, the second half though… rushed.
I think that, just like season 7, season 8 needed to be a full season with 10 episodes.
They don’t have enough time to develop the characters and the landscape, so what is already a doubtful plot, gets even worse.
The result: that awful scene with Rhaegal. What should’ve been an emotional time and a huge loss was literally just a “WTF” moment. One of the most important moments where Daenerys realizes that she is no invincible was just a shock value to us.
Again, if they had 10 episodes to flush out all these events, it wouldn’t be as bad as it is. We could’ve had a proper plot to end the war with the dead, a proper build up to the end of Rhaegal and a proper reason for Missandei magically appearing in the hands of Cersei.
I get the idea of all these events and where the show has been heading, I know the quality has fallen quite a bit, but still, these ideas and directions could’ve been somewhat plausible and “OK” if they had given the proper time for it to unfold.
Great for the most part
Overall: I give this an 88 out of 100.
Great character development, dialog and a lot of consistency with arc trajectories for Arya, Gendry, The Hound and Brienne. Wildcards for me are: Jaime, Tyrion, Varys, Dany, Sansa, Jon and Cersei. Some of interactions are a bit merky considering how close we are to the end of the whole show I think they could have been clearer, although that was probably done to keep people guessing.
I think Missendei’s arc reached the end I thought it would reach; tragic.
I can definitely feel Dany unraveling because effectively she has no confidentes anymore.
Her people from Essos may love her, but it doesn’t appear like anyone in Westeros does. She was literally begging Jon to keep his lineage a
secret and now she’s down to one Dragon; limited troops to mobilize coming off a huge battle with the Undead; in love with a man who has
more legitimacy to the throne she does and she doesn’t trust anyone now. Tyrion is incompetent, Missendei is gone. She appears desperate and may employ drastic violent measures to keep her in power.
She told Tyrion and Varys that the reason for her existence and destiny is to free world of tyrants, but I think she has gradually become a tyrant herself in some ways.
I don’t think she is mad like her father though. She has employed some thoughtful strategy when dealing with Cersei (including bouncing this off of Tyrion and Varys).
She knows Cersei will use the sacrificing of commoners in the Red Keep inner walls to try and sway the realm against her and doesn’t lose focus
of going after Cersei. I think Tyrion begging for Cersei to surrender shows a lot of thoughtfulness for Dany’s side to justify the impending carnage.
Then again any warmth a commonor acquires after that from Dany will be quickly replaced soon enough with Dragon fire. Sansa and Dany squaring off about setting off with their troops not fully recuperated was telling. Jon kept the piece however it’s clear Dany and Sansa don’t get along.
Best Line: ‘Here’s to Climbing Mountains’.
As far as the title goes for the episode, it’s not looking good for the Starks from a line of succession point of view:
*Jon could never truly be the Lord of Winterfell since he’s really a Targaryen;
*Arya will never be a Lady and probably not have children;
*Bran isn’t really Bran, but the Title of Lord would technically go to him. He will never marry so the Stark House line effectively ends.
*Sansa is Lady of Winterfell and as soon as she marries, she technically would turn that over to whomever becomes Lord of Winterfell
and her House line ends.
The breakups for Jaime and Arya are interesting:
In both cases, Arya and Jaime referenced who they think they truly are while saying their goodbyes.
Arya: Never intended to be with Gendry other than wanting to experience sex at least once in her life. I think part of her cares about Gendry, however she is no one. She would be throwing away the faceless aspect of her training and development if she went
in the Ladyship direction.
Jaime: Doesn’t think he is good enough for Brienne because of what he’s done and how that’s shaped him and made him who he is.
I think Cersei won this week’s Game of Thrones.
*Brienne and Jaime get it on! I was actually very surprised pleasantly by this. Almost all of Brienne’s dreams have come true!
*Broken hearts are everywhere: Tormund, Brienne, Jaime (breaking his own heart) and Gendry are the casualties in that department. I believe all that is permanent tragically.
I felt Tormund and Brienne’s heart break more than anyone else. The tragedy of affections lost on each of them was well done.
My heart was ripped apart in that scene with Jaime and Brienne; something so right between two people so evenly matched and meant for each other
it appears wasn’t meant to be. Jaime your an idiot!!
*Before Arya even opened her mouth I knew she was going to turn Gendry down. She’s a fighter and always has been one.
A ladyship would tie her down too much and she’s had an agenda for a while and we know Cersei’s on top of her list.
I am glad that went the way I expected. It follows the story arc that has been set up for her from jump 8 years ago.
*Great (Little Finger-Like) maneuvering by Sansa with Jon and Tyrion. She read into Tyrion being afraid of Dany. I think she knew that fear
and telling Tyrion about Jon’s true Lineage would get to Varys and ultimately the commoners to help legitimize Jon’s claim.
*I liked that Varys and Tyrion batted around throne ascendancy and ruling options based on Jon’s secret lineage; especially the mention about co-ruling.
Tyrion’s thoughts on putting an embargo on King’s Landing are the most sound suggestion I have heard because it takes the feelings of the realm
*LOL! Podrick not only went to bed with the woman who smiled at him but also the woman the Hound turned down!
*Tyrion’s speech to Cersei was touching, however the outcome was predictable.
* Gendry’s Lordship announcement I saw back from the beginning as happening. Why else would they keep him alive all this time? It definitely
does make Dany more progressive in her plans to break the wheel.
*I loved seeing the Hound back on the round with Arya!!! I could listen those two for season and would even watch a spin off show about them.
That being said, the Hound definitely is going to King’s Landing to take down his brother and I personally don’t think he will survive.
*Chunks of Dany’s ships were being knocked out by the cross bow bolts from Huron’s ships. That’s a bit much from my perspective; I know that’s a bit of nitpick.
*Jaime changes his mind and goes back to Cersei? Huh? (Also this was kind of tropic.) Jaime already said he was done with Cersei, so why desert Brienne? I suppose he still loves Cersei and his heart was broken by her and he can never love again, even though
it would be with someone who truly loves him and in a lot of ways is his equal in valor, fighting skills and honor (Brienne.)
Unknown and Predictions:
*Tormund is leaving with the other Wildlings and heading back North. Why? This leaves Dany with less troops. Will he help with the big battle to come?
*Is Samwell’s arc truly done at this point? I don’t think Jon will survive, so for me it appears this is it.
*How was Huron able to capture Missendei?
*Did Jaime sleep with Brienne because he loves Brienne or because he wanted her to not have to deal with being a virgin anymore?
*Did Jaime break his own heart when he deserted Brienne for Cersei?
*Is Jaime on a suicide mission to kill Cersei and his unborn child by himself or to fight for Cersei?
*Will Brienne show up on the battlefield with Dany? Possibly
*Is Dany jealous of Jon’s popularity with the commoners and Lords of Westorosi houses? I think it runs deeper than that. I think she is starting
to feel like he is in her way.
Predictions: It’s time!!
What is everyone’s thoughts on the final two episodes? What do you think will happen?
A couple things that I beared in mind:
* The Woods Witch told Cersei in time she would be cast down by another, younger and more beautiful queen, who would take all she held dear.
* What the realm thinks; matters…So lineage is important to the people; even after a White Walker ultimate battle.
This basically says to me it’s either Sansa or Dany who ends up on the Throne.
So here’s two versions that I think could happen over the final two episodes: (Cersei dies in both scenarios by Arya; Cleghane Bowl in both)
#1: Dany wins. Pointers: A Song of Ice and Fire. If Varys got the word out about Jon’s Lineage, then Jon would have to die for this to happen by the lineage rules of the realm.
This could be either by Dany herself or someone from Cersei’s army.
#2: Sansa wins. Jaime kills Dany, Jon kills Jaime but dies also in the process. The realm wants Sansa as Queen and Tyrion as King.
Abe and Roberto what are your picks?
I look forward to the podcast and hearing and seeing everyone’s comments.
Cersei 1 Danerys 0
Another excellent episode. I give it 85 out of 100.
Danerys has continually failed to understand that her despot of a father casts a long shadow and his shadow has to undermine Danerys’ relationship with the North. The poor relationship isn’t surprising give the number of Stark men killed by the occupants of the iron throne and their Hands.
In all her battles Danerys hasn’t faced a powerful female adversary. It seems she has made the mistake of assuming a Westerosi Queen’s tactics would similar to those of an Essos slaver. Danerys let her grief, youth, impatience and jealousy get the best of her and rushed into a fight against an opponent she grossly underestimated and cost herself more than she wanted to pay.
I hope someone starts listening to Sansa sometime soon. Speaking of Sansa, I was glad to see the conversation between Sansa and Sandor Clegane. It was interesting to see such a frank but friendly conversation about survival which counterbalanced the frank conversation between Varys and Tyrion.
When it finishes, I shall miss Game of Thrones and its approach to being one continuous story and not individual seasons like other television series. And its telling the tale of battles from the view of individuals, as GRRM likes to do, and not as yet another an overblown, overstuffed epic explosion-fest.
I want Cersei Dead!!!
Really good episode, especially the beginning. I loved how they were paired with the dead. I do wish there were more episodes so the show runners could take a little more time. I am mixed about what they are doing with Dany. She is isolated and has lost so much (Jorah, Missendei, two dragons, her armies). She came to the north with everything she had. Her obsession with the iron throne is clouding the part we love, the part Jon & Jorah love., the part that made some of us root for her. She could work with Jon and not pin them against one another, instead, she is making a false choice. And with Ceresi’s calculated manipulation, beheading Missendei (RIP), Dany is gonna go full rage. I am expecting Dany to die, so I would rather her go down more heroic than a mad woman! I do give chops (no pun intended) to Missendei for her last word!! Lady Oleanna told Dany to be a dragon and to be leery of her advisors. Almost every time she has listened to them, she has been screwed!
Why did they get so close to King’s landing before Jon, Davos and rest of troops arrived? Why not wait for Yara and get Dario and more help first?
Sansa is in the game. I wonder if Jon’s parentage will help him or lead to his death. If there is still a throne, I can see Sansa & Tyrion on there.
Jon’s words in the beginning solidify how he is a good leader with honest intentions & integrity. Just like end of season 7, he needed to be truthful to his Stark family.
I loved the different conversations at the feast. Happy to see Sansa talk to the Hound. Tormund is great comic relief, but did you notice that he explained that Jon was killed and brought back to life?
My heart broke for Brienne. Jamie isn’t good enough for her. We knew he had to go back to KL to face his sister. I felt bad for Gendry but we all know (he should as well) that Arya isn’t a “Lady!”
I think it’s so fitting that Arya is riding down to KL with the hound. Perfect!
Will Varys have a Dany killed? He will die but will he do before that? Will the red priest from season 7 come back?
I do hope that Cersei suffers. Joffrey, Ramsey and Cersei were/are the most evil (more than NK) characters. I do hope it’s Jamie or Arya who kills her. Interested in how Jamie will react to Euron and Cersei.
I could say more. Sad to see the show ending. We aren’t ready!!
Hello again gents,
A little strange this week. Some arsehole tweeted the Missandei scene into my timeline, so it was an uncomfortable watch. The episode was, as usual, good and I think it raised more questions than answers.
Jaime/Brienne: I think he was staying until Sansa mentioned ‘Cersei’ and ‘execute’ in the same sentence. I think he’s headed south to give his sister a quick death, something she wouldn’t get from Danaerys. If he succeeds, I think he’ll head back.
Good to see Arya and The Hound on a new road trip. No way will Arya get to Cersei: they won’t give the two big kills of one series to the same person.
Sansa seems to be going from strength to strength. Can’t wait to see how her story ends. Positively I hope.
Jon and/or Danaerys is going to end up in a world of shit next week. I can feel it in my bones.
And poor Missandei. Clever play by Cersei though. She knows she has to take her enemies on. If she wins, and it looks like she has the firepower, great. But she’s goading Danaerys into the nuclear option, so if Cersei loses she’ll die in the knowledge that the realm will look at their new Queen as a despot immediately.
Still no sign of Howland Reed and his wife Lyanna Stark. I can only assume the roads out of Greywater Watch have been hit by some heavy snow.
One more thing. If Euron isn’t questioning how Tyrion knows about a pregnancy that’s just been announced then he’s an idiot
I was wondering the same thing. He isn’t very bright!! Also, I believe I was mistaken in my first comment- looks like Dany & fleet were ambushed at Dragonstone. Nonetheless, that should have been predicted by Davis, Tyrion or Jon. .
Hey guys! Sorry if this is long.
So, I feel like I have been defending daenerys to everyone who thinks she is going to be the mad queen. She is just a young woman emotional and responding the thee mad queen, cersei. She can change, but she has had terrible advice, treated poorly after saving the north. It’s like the show Is forcing this on us because there are (3) episodes left. -which, side bar, this season should be 10-12 episodes, what a rip off-
Tyrion has been a horrible hand. i believe it was Mereen, bad advice, the plan to take Casterly rock, had her army stuck and her allies either killed or imprisoned. Fail. Having Cersei help fight with the north, FAIL. Tyrion told her to not save Jon & his squad when they went to get the wight, Fail, she did it anyway.
The Tarlys. Whatever. They betrayed Olenna and it made sense. Bye.
And Varys all of sudden (without almost no lines the first 3 episodes) thinks she will be a mad queen?? Pick a side dude. You are an advisor, advise. How would you feel if you were ambushed going home and then saw your best friend beheaded, yeah, i would burn everyone. I mean, she could be the mad queen, but to me it’s Cersei, Daenerys is just an emotional young woman who was taught to rule by old books and Drogo.
Episode was good. Jaime is going to either kill his sister or try to get her to safety. Varys is going to say something about Jon and and probably get snuffed or have to run away. I still don’t understand the coldness with sansa and Daenerys. She saved you!
Why is Arya not coming back to winterfell? Podrick is a pimp and I think could kill Bronn.
And of course, Ghost. What the heck, couldn’t he have gotten a pat on the head or something. shame.
Agree! Whatever Dany brings on, it is justified, unless it’s killing a Stark or Jon. She has had so much loss in so little time. “Be a Dragon!”
Jon's Sad Arc and The Last of the Starks
Jon’s heart-breaking scenes stood out most, and may foreshadow an unhappy ending for him.
What’s the cost of bringing a hero back to life? GRRM has said that A Song of Ice and Fire is in part a response to Tolkien. GRRM said that he was troubled that Gandalf’s apparent resurrection in Lord of the Rings didn’t diminish him; in fact, he returned stronger than before as Gandalf the White. Martin has been setting up the idea that resurrections deplete the person, and this is much more explicit in the books with Beric Dondarrion, in which he keeps losing his memories and identity over the course of many revivals. GRRM even called Beric a “fire wight,” and said it is foreshadowing for Jon. So, what will the cost be for Jon? Up until now, we haven’t really seen it. This is finally starting to pay off in The Last of the Starks…
Tormund: “He’s strong enough to befriend an enemy and get murdered for it. Most people get bloody murdered, they stay that way. Not this one…”
Jon: “Yeah, I didn’t have much say in that.”
Tormund: “Ah! He comes back and keeps fighting. Here, North of the Wall, back here again, he keeps fighting, he keeps fighting.”
Tormund punches Jon in the chest, Jon grimaces revealing his *inner pain*, and in that moment we can see him as a tragic figure whose entire teenage and adult life has been defined by protective violence on behalf of innocents, with little room to be anything other than everyone else’s hero. Now that his war is over, will he be able to rest? Can he get therapy for the PTSD? No. The wounds inside him have no chance to heal. He must be a man of his word and serve his queen, even if her path dances on the edge of folly.
We see the cost of both his life and his death even more powerfully in Ghost, who is not just Jon’s companion but a representation of who he is. Covered in blood and with an ear torn to shreds, Ghost symbolizes the emotional and traumatic scars Jon carries from years of endless battle and his return from death. Sending Ghost away was like Jon banishing himself, his Stark self. And what does Jon have to look forward to in the south? A war on behalf of a woman he doesn’t truly know, with whom he has a surface relationship, so that she might take a throne he doesn’t care about?
No wonder Jon said to Tormund he wished he was going north! Wouldn’t he like to retire to a nice wildling village?
Finally, we see that Jon hasn’t the slightest clue how to play the game of thrones. Politics got him killed the first time (especially in the book version), and seem likely to do for him again. He was able to remain alive as a child only because Ned closely guarded the secret of his parentage, and Jon either isn’t wise enough to see the danger he puts himself in by disclosing the truth to Sansa and Arya, or he is past caring for his own well-being. The toll of so many years being the “Bastard of Winterfell” is an unresolved hurt from his childhood he would have done best to avoid attempting to resolve now. But even worse is Sansa’s betrayal of her brother, turning him into a piece in her Littlefinger-ian game. Sansa’s disclosure to Tyrion may set in motion a chain of events that could lead Daenerys to execute Jon in the final episode. It is disappointing to see that The Last of the Starks have forgotten the words of their father. Winter is not over, and by working at cross purposes, the pack may not survive. Hopefully I am wrong about this prediction.
As for Daenerys’ path in this episode, it was painful to watch her being so isolated at the dinner feast. Those scenes both did and didn’t work for me. They’ve been setting up the idea for quite some time that a vengeful Daenerys would rain fire and blood down on King’s Landing and in the process kill thousands of innocents, and it seemed that they were writing scenes to just move her farther along that path whether or not it worked organically. I found Tormund’s lines in this scene (which come shortly after his prior remarks about Jon’s resurrection), to be implausibly stupid, it which he praises Jon for riding a dragon but ignores Daenerys’ crucial role. Tormund isn’t that much of a jackass –– he was on the back of Drogon, for fuck’s sake, when Dany rescued all of them in Season 7, and he knows these are Dany’s dragons, not Jon’s. The writers made Tormund a sexist asshole in this moment for plot purposes. Similarly, Jon so explicitly ignoring her at the feast, and also refusing to reciprocate her love later in private, was difficult to process because it made him into more of a jerk than I’d imagine he would be based on his character up until now. I think the “incest” issue is a nothingburger within the context of this world because Jon would by now know that this is common amongst Targaryens, and if he’s ready to accept his true name, he should also not care about the aunt-nephew dynamic. The rise and fall of Jon and Dany’s relationship has been rushed and poorly constructed, in contrast with Jon and Ygritte’s relationship which was believable at every major story beat. And it reflects the biggest problem we’ve seen throughout the later seasons, which is writing toward a goal as opposed to crafting character interactions that are coherent with who the characters are, or at the least, providing the time and space for the interactions to unfold in such a way that the beats have sufficient connective tissue.
Also, when Daenerys departed Meereen in Season 6 and dumped Daario, she said she needed to keep her options open to marry and form an alliance. I’m quite surprised that Daenerys herself hasn’t suggested to Jon that they wed as a way to unify the north with the rest of the seven kingdoms, and rule together. She is quite politically savvy, or at least has been in the past, and demonstrated this again by making Gendry the Lord of Storm’s End. If Tyrion has thought of it, surely she has thought of it too, or he has suggested it to her. Why did she not raise it to Jon instead of asking him to perpetually keep a secret that would weigh on him the rest of his life?
Turning to Tyrion, at what point will he do *anything* intelligent? I thought Jorah’s speech on his behalf in episode 2 foreshadowed that he would get his groove back, but no, Tyrion has been reduced to a lovable and compassionate figure who is blindly possessed of admiration for Daenerys, stripped entirely of the cunning that was on evidence from the moment Lysa Arryn put him on trial for a crime he didn’t commit. I enjoyed listening to Tyrion and Varys worriedly discussing the future of the monarchy, but this Tyrion has lost something crucial. Did he even think ahead as to what Varys’ reaction would be when he dropped the Aegon bomb? Why would he imagine Cersei would surrender?
I have to agree with you Matthew about how Tormund boasting about Jon and nothing about Dany. Jon could have lifted her up & pointed out how badass she was out there! Nope, he merely looked over his shoulder and turned away from her. I also commented during the show that Dany was professing her love to Jon and he didn’t have much to say in return. They both have their first loves but their union could’ve been something special. I think if the show had a couple more episodes, there could’ve been more time to construct their relationship more.
Different note: are we going to see supporters from Meereen and Dorne? We know we will see Yara!
Rhaegal's death, further foreshadowing for Jon
Followup to Jon’s Sad Arc –
Rhaegal’s death further foreshadows Jon’s fate. Without Ghost and his Stark identity, he travels south, presumably to embrace his Targaryen self? But no, Jon is not a man of politics, and the destruction of Rhaegal represents that there is no safe or secure place for him to land as a Targaryen in King’s Landing. If he doesn’t die at the at the hands of Daenerys, I expect his best-case ending to go North and live out his days amongst the Wildlings, and maybe then be reunited with Ghost. Perhaps Tormund will name him King Beyond the Wall.
Oh dear, I did not like this episode. It’s fun on the surface with some good scenes and decent production but when you start looking at the details even a little bit, everything falls apart.
I was enjoying the episode early on. The funeral scene was emotional and I enjoyed the celebrations that went on afterwards. I think the best thing the episode accomplished was showing us Dany’s isolation and loneliness. Even if her sudden transformation seems to be pretty rushed, her scenes carried proper emotional weight and Emilia Clarke did some of her best work in the whole series.
Then the episode falls apart. The battle strategies were really poor. Honestly, why would Dany send a fleet to Dragonstone anyways? Her armies have been drastically reduced, yet she is splitting them up even more. Then Euron just happened to teleport his fleet to Dragonstone because he somehow knew Dany would be coming there. Plus Dany made his job that much easier by completely forgetting the Iron Fleet even exists. How can everyone in Dany’s camp not bring up the possibility of her men getting killed by Euron? Hell, the same thing happened to her already in the last season!
The death of Rhaegal was a bad scene which sacrificed logic for the sake of surprise, a practice which D&D have apparently become professionals in. How did Dany fail to notice the Iron Fleet when she was flying on a dragon? All she had to do was look down. And don’t bring up that convenient rock the fleet were hiding behind as an excuse. If Euron had the vision to shoot Rhaegal from behind that rock, Dany could most certainly see him. Furthermore, does Dany not believe in scouting, a common practice that fleets used in medieval times? Any other leader would be competent enough to send out scouts to find this trap before the whole fleet gets there. Just ask Davos the sailing expert who knows the waters of King’s Landing better than anyone else. Wait, what’s that? You left Davos, your most accomplished sailor with Jon’s men? What are you doing!?
Euron is a big problem this season. I enjoyed him last season as a fun supporting character. But do I see him as one of the main villains of the series? Absolutely not. He is just too 1-dimensional to have such a heavy role in the series. What is most annoying about this is that GRRM had the perfect character for Euron in the books. In the books, he is mysterious, charismatic, scary, intimidating and connected to a lot of the more interesting magical elements of the show. But D&D inexplicably chose to dumb this character down significantly, and that decision is really hurting the show.
Jon is a heartless idiot in this episode. I have no clue what compelled him to tell Arya and Sansa about his heritage. The conversation that the 3 of them were having beforehand did not provoke trust in any way. If I were Jon, I would be much mroe wary of these 2 who seem like likely candidates to plot behind your own back. So Jon’s natural response is to trust them with a secret that could completely ruin Dany, and he expects them to do nothing with that information. Nice. And to echo what everyone else has been saying, Jon please pet Ghost!
The climax scene is bad too. Earlier this season, Jorah said that Tyrion is so valuable because he learns from his mistakes. Yet here comes Tyrion, once more insisting that Cersei will surrender for her baby’s life, making the exact same mistake he did before. In fact, Tyrion believes this so much that he actually risks his life to talk to Cersei himself (let’s be honest, the Cersei we know would have killed Tyrion right there). Speaking of the Cersei we know, wouldn’t she be willing to do anything to win? If Dany comes to her gate with something like 12 men, why would Cersei not rain arrows on them and kill them all right there? Furthermore, I can see Drogon sitting around in the background, well within the established range of the scorpions. If Cersei wanted, she could kill Drogon right there.
This is getting a bit long so I’ll just briefly mention my remaining qualms. The Bronn scene is built on plot convenience and makes his storyline in this season completely meaningless. The scorpions are so inconsistent throughout the episode, and the way they are used isn’t historically accurate at all. Jaime choosing to stay in Winterfell only to leave later was odd, and the overly dramatic scene where he left Brienne was filled with drama tropes. Lastly, I’ll add one final point that I think really shows how little the writers cared when writing this script. When Gendry is legitimized, Dany announces his name as “Gendry Rivers”. Rivers is the bastard surname of the Riverlands, not the Crownlands. Had the writers done even a little bit of research, they would have known that Gendry’s last name should be “Waters”.