All aboard the Hype Train! Check out our biggest takeaways from the Season 8, Episode 4 The Last of the Starks!
So uh… that disclaimer from the last takeaway article. We’ll need to repeat a version of that here: we had a great time watching this episode, except not for the same reasons we love other episodes. Like, we’re fully aware of the dumpster fire this episode was and we are kind of enjoying watching the showrunners disregard continuity and write themselves into holes. Game of Thrones went from being a great show, to a meh one, to a “Oh wow, they are doing this?” kind of ride. We’re having a good time with it, but it’s almost for the same reasons we enjoy watching Arrow: it’s a campy AF shit show.
This episode has been torn up quite a bit and we’re in full support of all that, but we’ll try not to repeat too much of it here.
Our MVP of the Episode: Varys
Conleth Hill, how we’ve missed you! After being severely absent or silent for the past two episodes, Varys finally gets to speak and it’s like that “Finally! Someone is saying what we’re thinking!” – he’s seen enough and doesn’t trust Dany with the Iron Throne; and he’s more than willing to help Jon get there. He’s not wrong that Jon would be the more palatable leader and he’s also not wrong that Dany is irrational. Varys still makes it clear that his loyalty is to the realm and he’ll stop at nothing to ensure its prosperity. Tyrion brings up a good point that Varys hasn’t been loyal to anyone- just one mistake and Varys flips sides. It’s some of that classic Game of Thrones-style banter (albeit, not as graceful in earlier seasons) that poses us with question and left no clear answer of how things might turn out.
Also, we got a confirmation in this episode that Varys can swim and is, therefore, a merman. It’s CONFIRMED.
Runner-up: That rock that hid the Euron’s fleet from both the approaching Unsullied ships and Dany, even though she had a bird’s eye view of the bay
What are the range on these scorpion things?
Speaking of which, we kind of like Euron “Argh! Foiled Again!” Greyjoy now
There’s been such a tonal shift since this guy showed up in Westeros. It’s almost as if the guy who played Euron Greyjoy wandered onto the wrong set and the writers just accepted it. Like in Pirates of the Caribbean and how Captain Jack Sparrow was supposed to be a serious character but Johnny Depp showed up as we now know him and then in later Pirates movies, they started writing specifically for Jack and that made it tiresome. Anyway, the reason we kind of like Euron is because he’s complete plot convenience to barge in whenever they need to thwart Danny’s confidence aka he’s poorly written. Bottom line, his increased presence on the show makes it impossible to deny that the show has gotten bad. It used to be, “Man, the Greyjoys suck, but we still have this other storyline,” but now he’s lurking in Cersei’s scenes, Tyrion’s scenes, etc. Hell, he might even work his way into Cleganebowl! Wouldn’t that subverting our expectations!?
Cersei’s still got it
The only reason why Cersei doesn’t get MVP is because she didn’t wipe out all six Unsullied and her biggest enemy with catapaults when she could have settled this fight once and for all (it’s a scene with many faults). Lena Headey has proven time and time again she’s one of the best actors on the show and the tiniest of eyebrow raises and sneers strikes fear into all of our hearts, and in the best of ways. We disagree with the show’s decision to remove all the greyness about this character, but Cersei is the one thing we can count on to give us a truly exciting ending, no matter the outcome.
… But Missandei deserved better
There was a lot of coding in this scene that was right. Dany freed Missandei from slavery, only to watch her die in chains at the hand of a tyrant because Cersei knew this would break Dany. However, the emphasis of the chains doesn’t quite have the effect that we wanted to see. The scene plays off as “Dany just lost her best friend!” and that the Mountain is a horrible person, but very little into Dany’s history with the slave cities. Then again, the show hasn’t done a very good job of making this one of Dany’s priorities in the first place… so… there’s that.
Also, how did everyone immediately know that Missandei had survived the attack on the ships and that Cersei had her? HOW.
Emilia Clarke is almost making up for previous seasons
After getting the short end of the stick and severely lacking in character development, Emilia Clarke has finally begun to sink her teeth in the character of Dany. Past seasons have called for Dany to be stoic and badass, but we’ve gotten lots of uncertainty and vulnerability in the past four episodes. It’s paying off to see how Dany fits into Westeros (meaning not at all) and there are so many things that now make sense for the character- she has motivation now that she has legit opposition, and its understandable how she is unraveling or feels the need to take certain action given the events unfolding before her. Dare we say- we’re excited to see how this turned out for her?
They have ruined Brienne and The Hound.
We’re putting these in the same category since they are two very clear character arcs that have somehow turned up in the mud. After a weird conversation about virginity that doesn’t quite match the culture this takes place in (yeah, people were virgins until marriage in Westeros), Jaime makes a fan fiction move on Brienne, even though their relationship climaxed, PUN INTENDED, two episodes before this one. Brienne and Jaime have always felt to us like friends that had a quiet understanding of each other based on morals, values, honorability, and the like. They’re two people who believed and knew that the other person was better than they already were. Then against all biases and regulations, Jaime makes Brienne a knight- noble in nature and in name. And THAT’s not what this character was supposed to want this whole time!? Not to mention that this storyline doesn’t serve Jaime’s arc. He’s always been about Cersei. We all knew that was never going to change. This scene feels forced.
We might have bought this if Brienne’s parting words to Jaime had been about his integrity, but it turns into Brienne crying for him to stay with her. We almost expected the rain to start and for Brienne to curl up in the mud.
On the other hand, the Hound that we saw from seasons two to four and upon his return- you can say goodbye to that guy. From Season 6, the Hound pursued violence in the name of good, going after Lem Lemoncloak when Brother Ray was murdered and fighting against the dead for the sake of mankind. In this episode, the Hound decides to head south because… well, we know why but his reasons are kind of unclear at this point. Here’s a character who is supposed to be coming to terms with his true nature and now he’s seeking out an enemy in the name of… what’s even his beef with the Mountain anymore? The Hound we know now has put that part of him aside. If you know, give us a holler.
We liked the Sansa and Hound reunion but what the serious fuck.
We really liked the part where the Hound and Sansa reunite, especially the bit where Sansa revealed that she killed Ramsay using hounds, but then we immediately took it back when Sansa basically said she needed Ramsay’s brutality to make her the Lady of Winterfell. Hint: she didn’t and none of her excellence leading Westeros has anything to do with Ramsay. We understand what they were trying to do, but the phrasing probably could have used a couple of edits and by a couple, we mean 50.
Is Bronn the only consistent character on this show?
We also missed Bronn a whole bunch and we got him back here! Bronn has always been a sellsword, so it’s not entirely out of place that he would bargain with Tyrion and Jaime for a bigger castle- but we do have questions. Does he really have that much pull or is he that much of a threat that Cersei absolutely needs him on her side? And can… can Tyrion just give away a seat of power like that? Something’s not right here. Anyway, we can’t help but notice that Bronn was colder but also chattier than usual and something tells us he’s just trying to convince himself to abstain from taking Tyrion’s side. We think he’ll be back in the next episode or two- otherwise, that’s probably another character that should have been killed off earlier in the series.
What’s Jon doing now that he didn’t kill the Night King?
Really though? What’s even the point of his character? Since he was denied the kill, his arc is basically gone as well. He even had some good scenes in this (and that speech in the beginning!), but we’re just not sure where any of this is going anymore. We’ll chalk this up to the showrunners not giving a crap anymore. And poor writing. Always poor writing.
LVPs of the Episode: DND
As the show gets worse, we’ve grown to like the unintentional comedy of the behind the scenes feature at the end of the episode. Given the many moments of nonsense, this one was laughable, as the showrunners try to justify their writing, forgot their own writing within the episode, and zone out several times. You’re done, we get it. At least hand it over to someone who cares so we can finish strong. Like Cogman!