Review - Game of Thrones Episode 4
".. You could almost quite literally see the good in her burn out like a flame, it was was chilling .. "
** SPOILERS AHEAD **
We are officially past the half way mark and I don’t know about you but I’m feeling frustrated, but with that? I’m not entirely sure. Am I frustrated with the bizarre pacing of the season (granted I should be used to it by now) am I frustrated with the direction we’re heading in or am I just annoying that there’s only two episodes left to wrap all this up? Probably ALL of the above. Season 8 Episode 4 was partly a call-back to the Game of Thrones of old, with the best scenes in this episode featuring a couple or a group of people in a trivial, complex conversation debating or arguing. (GOD I MISS SEASON 3) Though having said that, the episode was also littered here and there with huge time-jumps which I refuse to get used to and a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte?.. All to be discussed.
With the majority of the surviving North dusting themselves off, licking their wounds and preparing for yet another war after last week’s battle of the millennium. Finally we’re reintroduced to the goings on at King’s landing and if audiences thought the series’ main villain was finally defeated in last week’s shocking conclusion, then I'm pretty sure I just heard Cersei Lannister smuggly whisper, "hold my goblet". My god what a fantastically wicked, conniving, malicious and rotten to the very core villain she is, I just cannot take my eyes off her, she rules the scene in almost every one she is in. Her scene with Tyrion at the end where you could almost quite literally see the good in her burn out like a flame was chilling. It really was the sort of scene we’ve lacked in the recent seasons, (notably since the series caught up to the books).
Anybody else surprised they didn’t make more of an issue with Euron in terms of Tyrion knowing about the baby? Like.. “how does he know you're pregnant, Cersei? Unless you’ve been pregnant this whole time and you’re lying to me?!”.. but this is Euron so who knows?
So let’s get into the good and the bad of the episode. Starting with the opening scene, which was certainly emotional. We said goodbye to some of our fallen friends, particularly emotional was Daenerys saying goodbye to her beloved Jorah **cries hysterically**. Sansa resting her Stark pin on Theon **again, cries hysterically** and of course lil Lyanna Mormont. UGH!! Jon’s speech was also a surprisingly strong one, I’ve often found Jon Snow’s speeches (particularly the one in the dragon pit in S7 about lying) to be a little cringe, but this one was powerful, you could argue one worthy of a king? I think the show-runners are doing a great job with shifting our allegiances with wanting us to want Jon to be king and then swipe left on poor Danny. Speaking of which..
She’s going to go full blown mad queen isn’t she? We’re on the brink of seeing our gal Danny turn into her father. I love the analogy that when every Targaryen is born that the gods flip a coin on whether they’ll grow up to be either a great leader or go completely mad, I wonder which way the breaker of chains will go. I’ve just seen the trailer to next week’s episode and there’s an interesting shot of Tyrion walking into the throne room on Dragonstone and I honestly won’t be surprised if he walks in to Danny rocking back and forth whispering “burn them all” to herself. (I'm kidding)
I think the next step is for her to seriously re-consider her strategy. She's struggling at the moment and her arsenal is depleted. Huge losses to her men on the ground, she's now 2/3 dragons down (ooooooooooooor is she?! .. we'll discuss soon).. her advisers are divided and most of the North aren't exactly her biggest fans. So is storming a city with millions of people there and burning through as many of them as possible to reclaim the iron throne really a good idea? It's a complex place to be for her and this is great viewing for us.
I think what might be pivital in her next steps is the last words of her right-hand woman. Poor Missandei, one of the very few purly good people of Westeros, though her death will prove pivotal I believe. When Cersei suggested she speak her last words, she used that moment to let her true queen know what to do, "Dracarus!" .. AKA dragonfire! Was this Missandei telling Daenerys to burn Kings Landing to the ground? We shall see.
A theory that's currently circulating on the twitterverse at the minute (because we have to have a stupid theory every week don't we?) I'm not exactly feeling it, but fans think we might be introduced to come new adition(s)? Is a discovery of lil baby drogons the next big shocker of the series. After episode 5's trailer was released minutes after episode 4 was aired, a lot of fans believe that a shot in the trailer proves that we may be seeing a few more dragon-esque editions to the skies. If you've seen the trailer then you may remember a shot of Euron looking up at the sky and hearing the roar of a dragon, well why would he be nervous? He has a bunch of deadly scorpions ready to take that MF down, well what if during Season 5, whilst the dragons were loose doing their thing, an egg or two was laid, dragons are able to reproduce alone after-all. I sincerely hope it does not come to fruition. It would simply be a lazy and easy away to win the final battle, though at this rate I wouldn't be surprised.
I think it's time to address the huge elephant in the room. The huge ice wall-sized elephant, not the golden company elephants but the elephant that vexes me in the days after an episode has been aired. I think it's loooooooooong time we accepted that these last few seasons are nowhere near the levels the previous seasons were at. It's also extremely easy to identify why. The train caught up. What I mean by that was that when HBO commissioned the series, George R R Martin had yet finished his entire book series though he was a firm believer in that the series had a zero chance of catching up to him. He once described it as laying down the train track, well.. that train soon arrived and unfortunately the train has derailed. I don't think the standard of the show has hugely declined.. ish, it's just not what it once was. There's also an element of what I like to call "Star Wars syndrome" or more specifically "The Last Jedi syndrome". Where the series has reached such a level of anticipation from fans that no matter the outcome, people will be disappointed. We've waited almost two years for the final season meaning two years of speculation and fan theories have circulated which I'm sure the writers and show-runners have seen and are aware of, even GRRM has talked about the temptation of changing narratives after reading online that some fan has successfully predicted the ending to his series, though he later clarified that changing anything because 1 or 2 fans had sussed out the end game would be ridiculous, let's hope the show-runners follow the same thought process. I'm taking this season with a pinch of salt and I'm looking forward to seeing how the books will conclude this epic story in comparison to how the TV show will end. I'm almost wanting the series to wrap now so I can start from the beginning and binge watch it all the way through to see what i've missed and how the series' end is foreshadowed in the earlier seasons.
FINALLY, let's talk about the snub of the year. The moment all our hearts broke when Jon Snow refused to give the goodest boi in the land even one fucking pet. I'm joking, there is a good reason behind this act of treason and it's one I massively respect. It's very unlike GoT these days to throw away an opportunity for fan service over a moment of pure storytelling. A real reunion between the King in the North and the goodest boi of them all was a moment fans have been waiting for and we all thought this would be it, a final scritch, the last pet, nothing. Even the look Jon gave was (pardon the pun).. cold, BUT, YA BOY KNOWS WHY. Jon's biggest struggle currently is accepting who he is and how that will change the dynamic between himself and the ones he loves. Looking over at Ghost was a reminder that his entire life so far has been a lie, he's also doing this whilst potentially leaving Winterfell for the last time, he's saying goodbye to being a stark and his dire wolf. As much as that scene hurt to watch, it was needed and it was fitting, certainly something the GoT of old did, and did very well.
That's it, not the best review I've written but it's been a mad week for me personally so I've just sort of thrown my words onto the screen and hopefully it'll make sense. I'm very excited for the next episode, I anticipate many of the series' deaths occurring in this one so fingers crossed it's a good one.. OH! finally, before I bid you farewell.. can we put some fucking armour on Drogon before he does him some zooms over to KL pls.
Verdict - ★★★★