Disclaimer: As always, this post contains spoilers for the latest episode of Game of Thrones – The Last of the Starks. So, if you haven’t seen it yet, you have been warned.
Whilst it did not have the same level of excitement and suspense as last week’s episode, The Long Night; episode four, The Last of the Starks, only allowed us a brief respite before it began to amp up the tension again. Here’s a few talking points from this week’s episode.
Night’s Watch Eulogy
The episode starts with a mass mourning for all the people lost during the Battle for the Dawn, from the nameless Northmen and Dothraki, to some of our most beloved characters, all are given a Night’s Watch send off delivered by Jon.
“They were the shields that guarded the realms of men, and we shall never see their like again.”Jon Snow, The Last of the Starks
What was particularly special about this mass mourning was that almost all of the principal cast lost someone that was close to them, or that they owed their lives to, which amplified the feeling of loss.
Ever since season 2, I have been convinced that Arya and Gendry will eventually end up together, and it seems as though Gendry had the same idea. Having been legitimised by Dany, and given his ancestral home, Storm’s End, Lord Gendry Baratheon now felt that he was worthy enough too marry a Lady. Unfortunately for him, Arya is not, and never has been, a Lady and his rather rash proposal fell flat. I still hold out a little hope though, maybe once Arya has fulfilled her mission she will reconsider his offer, and they’ll live happily ever after.
Speaking of Arya’s mission, she still has three names on her kill list; Cersei, The Mountain and Ilyn Payne, and is heading down to King’s Landing to shut their eyes forever. In another little throwback to earlier seasons, she is travelling the King’s Road with her old companion, The Hound, although this time it’s voluntary.
How many of her list, she will actually get to kill though, is a whole other question. I think it’s pretty safe to say that she will avenge her father by taking out Ilyn Payne but The Hound is clearly after his brother, The Mountain, perfectly setting up the long awaited ‘Clegane-bowl’, and I think, all things considered, she needs to give him that one.
Having been given the honour of killing the Night King, I don’t think the show runners will also have her kill Cersei, plus there are too many people after her blood, especially after her actions in this episode.
When you think of the Hound and the Starks, you naturally think of Arya but this week’s episode offered up a gentle reminder that he had originally had a relationship with Sansa, even offering to rescue her from the tyranny of Joffrey and return her home. Whilst I remember shouting at her to leave with him, she is right, she would never have been the strong and wise woman she is today had she not stayed, and that may have a massive impact on who sits where once the dust settles.
More Gore, Please.
Not satisfied with ambushing Dany’s fleet as she sails back to Dragonstone; Cersei’s team, fronted by Euron Greyjoy, succeed in killing Rhaegal, leaving the Mother of Dragons with only one dragon left, and capturing and beheading Missandei, one of the few people left who supports Dany 100%.
Now I’m not sure if Game of Thrones has brought out a somewhat sadistic side in me but I was a little disappointed in Missandei’s death. Yes, it echoed Ned Stark’s beheading from season one, but if you have The Mountain, you should use The Mountain. I wanted something more impactful and shocking, more along the lines of Oberyn’s head mush.
Jaime & Brienne = Disappointment
Jaime and Brienne finally hook up, much to the disappointment of Tormund, and myself actually. While Tormund appeared to get over it pretty quickly, I think it will take me a little longer, and not just because I was totally rooting for him. No, what really annoyed me about the whole thing was that, following on from Tyrion’s astute observation that Brienne is a virgin, it very much had the air of a pity f**k.
While I have a feeling that Jaime may be heading back to King’s Landing to kill Cersei, not be with her, that doesn’t make him leaving in the middle of the night any less of a douchebag move. Kudos to the costuming department though, as the only time (that I can remember) that we see Brienne willingly wear clothes that are a little more feminine, is the time we see her at her most vulnerable.
Hero to Zero
Jon Snow has always been a fan favourite; Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Champion of the Free Folk and King in the North, however this week he threw that all away with the lack of a simple gesture. Tormund tells him he wants to go back home to the ‘real’ North and Jon asks him to take Ghost with him, as he will be happier there. So far, so good. But following a series of heartfelt goodbyes and hugs with Tormund, Sam and the pregnant (!!) Gilly, he just walks away with no affection shown to the Direwolf that has been with him since episode one. No matter what he may have done in the past, that is not okay.
Daenerys: The Mad Queen
For me, there has been an underlying element of cruelty and madness to Dany’s character since very early on in her development. Her saving grace was that she listened to and heeded the advice of her advisors, and therefore usually made the smarter choices. However, thanks to the events of last week and Cersei’s actions this week, almost all of Dany’s truly trusted advisors have now gone, and those who remain are questioning both her leadership skills and her sanity.
Dany is definitely pissed and will likely not listen to reason, I think it is pretty safe to say that she will use her last dragon in any way she can to beat Cersei and win the throne, regardless of the cost and with little to no thought of the people she wants to rule. Cersei has already proven that she is willing to sacrifice the people of King’s Landing and blow up sections of the capital, in her bid to keep her crown at any cost.
Seen it? Let me know your thoughts.