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Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4 Review: ‘The Last of the Starks’

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4
Courtesy of HBO

How in the world “Arya” (are ya – get it?) gonna top last week’s episode? The answer is — the series was never going to. So, we all expected a “cool down episode” this week. However, ‘The Last of the Starks’  was anything but a cool down. Sure, we got some calmer moments, but things got very real, very fast.

The dead were honored. Truths were revealed. The time for celebrating came and went. The battle may have been won, but the war is still far from over. As Tyrion so eloquently put it, “We may have defeated them. But we still have us to contend with.”

Much of ‘The Last of the Starks’ focused on Daenerys’ roller coaster of emotions and possible descent into (possible) darkness. The Mother of Dragons, who has already been through so much, has to contend with everyone’s favorite war hero, Jon Snow. She knows that her nephew is a rightful heir to the Iron Throne, and she knows in her heart that the people will respond to and follow him. We’ve already seen some of Daenys’ vindictive ways, jealousy, and thirst for power. Yet, I was very surprised to see her go from literally begging Jon Snow not to tell anyone about his lineage to essentially pulling rank on him.

If things couldn’t get any worse for the Queen, she is now constantly at odds with her advisers, not to mention a certain Lady of Winterfell. At this point, if there was any light left inside The Breaker of Chains, surely it was extinguished after the loss of another dragon, and her bestie, Missandei.

Missandei’s death was another hard one to watch as we slowly figured out that Cersei was absolutely going to have her executed. As we learned during the first season of Game of Thrones, no one is safe. The pain in the eyes of Daenerys, (not to mention Grey Worm’s) at the conclusion of the episode tells us everything we need to know going into the final two episodes.

Elsewhere, the voice of reason in this episode goes to the Night-King slayer herself, Arya. After Gendry’s proposes she responds with, “I’m not a lady and I never have been. That’s not me.” Essentially Arya is sticking with her motto, “Not Today.” If anyone has the right state of mind in this show, it’s her. The girl handles business. Even when the Stark family meeting takes place where Jon reveals his secret, (which gets out fast) Arya reminds him that he is her brother. They are a family no matter what.

Can we all just give this girl the iron throne already? Actually, she probably wouldn’t accept that either.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up Jamie Lannister’s story arc. We never really truly know what his intentions are. (Much like my fave Bronn, who made a very surprising appearance this episode) All we know is that he’s not staying for breakfast with Brienne of Tarth. The Kingslayer is headed back to Cersei after explaining all of the terrible things he has done for her. My wife is calling this a huge misdirect as he is trying to get close to Cersei to take her out — and I don’t mean to dinner.

With only two episodes remaining here are a few other things to keep in mind moving forward:

  • Varys has clearly made up his mind about Daenyrs while Tyrion is on the fence.
  • Sansa can’t keep a secret. Neither can Tyrion. And he’ll tell two friends, and they’ll two friends, and so on … and so on.
  • Everything surrounding Bran’s three-eyed raven power is very mysterious. I am expecting something very strange to unfold from this, but I can’t imagine what it will be.
  • The next battle is going to feature a power hungry, vengeful Queen vs. a power hungry, vengeful Queen.
  • The way Tormund and Sam “said their goodbyes” makes me think that this is definitely not the last time we’ve seen them.

If the preview for next week’s episode tells us anything, it’s that we are gearing up for another episode much like “The Battle of Winterfell.” As a matter of fact, the preview
didn’t really show us anything at all outside of some familiar faces gearing up for battle. Expect episode five to be just as intense as last week’s episode. And be prepared to say
goodbye to some more of your favorite characters once the smoke clears.

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4 is now streaming on HBO GO and HBO Now.

Rob Crowther IV
Rob Crowther IVhttp://bobculture.podbean.com
Rob "Bobman" Crowther IV is host of The Bob Culture Podcast and drummer for local Jersey rockers, Vextion. This drummer with a mic can often be found on the site reviewing wrestling, superhero shows, and movies. Rob loves to put the spotlight on up and coming local bands and indy wrestling talents. @bobculturepod

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