Warning! This article contains spoilers for Game Of Thrones season eight, episode four, The Last of the Starks.
After the Great War comes the Last War, but first, the North gets very drunk.
Actually, first, the North says goodbye to the dead. Farewell, Ser Jorah, Theon and all the brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers and friends who lost their lives in the Battle of Winterfell. “Everyone in this world owes them a debt that can never be repaid,” says Jon Snow, all leader-like (awkward), as the mass funeral pyre is lit.
So it’s goodbye to the dead, then the North gets very drunk. Well, after a night like that, you need booze to get you through.
In episode three of this final season of Game Of Thrones, there was no time for anything but the fight; it was brutal, chaotic and unrelenting, and the chills from Melisandre’s breathtaking fire-starting spells are only just ebbing away.
Episode four had its big moments, but The Last of the Starks turned its attention from White Walkers to slowly widening those cracks in Daenerys’s path to the Iron Throne.
Plus, a few hook-ups and broken hearts too. Here are the main talking points. As always: spoilers, spoilers, spoilers.
The big deaths – and the repercussions
Yes, there were more. Of course there were more.
The first came out of nowhere: one minute Daenerys was flying to King’s Landing with her dragons, the next, one of them, Rhaegal, was brought down by Euron Greyjoy, crashing into the sea before you’d even had time to process what the hell was going on.
Much like Arya’s slaying of the Night King, for such a significant death there was no drawing it out. Dany’s ships were under attack, everyone was in the water and her loyal best friend Missandei was captured.
And so, Missandei became the latest casualty of Game Of Thrones; brutally beheaded at Cersei Lannister’s command at the gates of King’s Landing. Any last words? Just one. “Dracarys,” came the defiant answer before she went down as Grey Worm and Dany looked on.
He was heartbroken; she furious. With her dragon and best pal gone, is Dany finally going to turn Mad Queen and fireball the lot of them? Varys is worried about her state of mind. “Maybe Cersei will win and kill us all,” says Tyrion. “That would solve our problems.”
Is out. Jon Snow doesn’t want the Iron Throne, doesn’t want to be king, he just wants to live happily ever after with Daenerys. He’s a simple man. However, sadly for Dany, he’s also a good, honest, naive man, and he thinks people deserve to know The Truth but that people won’t mind. (The Truth being that he has discovered he is rightful heir to the throne, and also, unfortunately, his girlfriend’s nephew.)
But people like Jon Snow. People want Jon Snow to be king; Daenerys can see this, even if Jon Snow can’t. After softening him with a declaration of love, she gets to the point. “I’ve never begged for anything,” she says, begging him not to tell.
Unfortunately for Dany, Jon Snow can’t keep it from the Stark sisters he grew up with. And then it’s only a matter of time before Sansa has told Tyrion. This clearly isn’t going to stay secret for much longer.
Brienne loves Jaime
After drinking games at the post-war feast, Brienne and Jaime finally got it on and Game Of Thrones fans around the world rejoiced.
Smooth Jaime used the old “it’s bloody hot in here” line and soon enough Brienne was removing his layers. Had Jaime finally rid himself of the shackles of his twin sister and former lover Cersei? Not quite. Later on, after hearing about the death of Rhaegal and Missandei’s capture, knowing Dany would be out for spectacular fiery revenge, Jaime set out for King’s Landing and broke Brienne’s heart.
“You’re not like your sister. You’re better than she is. You’re a good man and you can’t save her,” she implored. “You don’t need to die with her. Stay here, stay with me.” And then, her voice crumbling, and breaking our hearts. “Please… stay.”
But Jaime’s mind was made up, and he told her all the despicable things he has done for love, for Cersei. “She’s hateful, and so am I.” Is this it for our new favourite Westeros couple? Or can Jaime come good once again?
Guess who’s back?
Well, Cersei, obviously, although still relatively little screen time for the baddie everyone loves to hate. It was more quality not quantity, if you can call overseeing a gruesome head-chopping quality. (You’ve got to hand it to her, Cersei does evil very, very well.)
She also lied to Euron about having his baby, keeping him keen to fight her battle for her while she sits back with her trotters up. The baby, of course, is Jaime’s. More bad news for Brienne.
Bronn was also back, but not, fortunately, serving Tyrion and Jaime death by crossbow, despite his orders from Cersei. Instead, he spared the brothers in return for being named Lord of Highgarden. Cheers all round.
Save the hats for that Arya-Gendry wedding
At the start of the episode, Daenerys was kind enough to make Gendry a lord. Actually, clever enough to make Gendry a lord. “He will be forever loyal to you,” Tyrion remarked. “See? You’re not the only one who’s clever.”
More importantly, Gendry was hoping to make Arya, who had dodged the celebratory drinking games for a spot of celebratory target practice, his lady. He got down on one knee and everything.
Oh Gendry, this is Arya Stark, Knight King-slayer and saviour of Westeros. “You’ll be a wonderful lord, and any lady would be lucky to have you,” she said. “But I am not a lady. I never have been. That’s not me.” Poor Gendry.
Two episodes left then. Fancy a look at what’s in store for next week? Take a look here.
:: The final series of Game Of Thrones airs on Sky Atlantic at 2am and 9pm on Mondays
:: Want to recap on the story so far? All episodes of Game Of Thrones from series 1-7 are now available to watch on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV