Game of Thrones season 8 episode 4 recap: The Last of the Starks sets up a high-stakes finale, with Cersei and Dany ready to face off
At Winterfell, the survivors pay their last respects to those who fell in the battle against the Night King. Daenerys bids Ser Jorah Mormont goodbye; Sansa weeps by Theon, and pins a direwolf brooch to his breast. Jon asks that all who died fighting be remembered as the shields that guarded the realms of men. Then, the pyres are lit: Lyanna Mormont's, Edd's, Ser Beric Dondarrion, the thousands of Dothraki.
The sombre mood lifts that night, at a feast. Gendry is legitimised by Daenerys and made Lord of Storm's End; Tyrion notes that this move has earned her an ally. Sansa hears the exchange and seems disturbed. Toasts are drunk to Arya, who is nowhere to be found.
Conversations flow all around the Great Hall of Winterfell. Ser Davos tells Tyrion of Melisandre's death, and how the Lord of Light got them to "do his bidding" and traipsed off himself. (Well not in those exact words.) Brienne plays the drinking game with Pod, Jaime and Tyrion, and Tyrion correctly guesses that she's a virgin. Flustered, Brienne walks away and is followed out by Jaime. Tormund, observing this, is put out and drowns his "sorrows" in drink.
Tormund and a group of Northerners/Wildlings also cluster round Jon, and there is much bonhomie and backslapping. Tormund lists all of Jon's heroics — the fact that he's kept fighting after god knows how many adversities, that he climbed onto a dragon and rode into battle. "Who does that?" he roars. "Only a madman or a king." (Side note: And also a queen.)
Jon looks at Daenerys and while she smiles, she's quite perturbed. It's a moment reminiscent of Viserys looking on at the love the Dothraki have for Daenerys, when she eats the stallion's heart before the Dosh Khaleen. She walks out of the hall, followed by Varys.
Sansa has a brief moment with the Hound where he tells her she should have left King's Landing with him the night of the Battle of Blackwater Bay, as he had asked. He calls her "Little Bird" as a throwback to how he addressed her in the past. Sansa says that had Littlefinger and Ramsay not happened to her, she still would have been the "Little Bird".
After the feast, the couples seek each other out.
Gendry finds Arya practising her archery and proposes to her, asking her to be the Lady of Storm's End. Arya kisses him, but says she'll "never be a Lady. That's not me" -- just what she told her father so many years ago when he outlined a future like that for her.
Jaime comes to Brienne's chambers and they make love.
Daenerys visits Jon; he consoles her for Ser Jorah's loss, she tells Jon she loves him. They embrace passionately, but Jon draws away. Daenerys pleads with him not to tell anyone about his parentage, even though Jon reassures her that he would never claim the Iron Throne for himself, that she will always be his Queen. He wants to share the truth with Sansa and Arya. Jon and Daenerys part on a disquieting note.
The next morning, it is time to reassess their military campaign for the South. More than half all their forces have been wiped out. Sansa asks for time for the Northmen to recover from their wounds but Daenerys insists that they press on and reminds them of how she brought her armies to the North to fight against the Night King. Jon asserts that the Northmen will serve Daenerys and fight for her.
It is decided that Daenerys will take Rhaegal (who has an injured wing) and Drogon to White Harbour from where the Unsullied will sail towards King's Landing/Dragonstone. Meanwhile, Jon, the Northmen and the few remaining Dothraki will ride South.
Jaime decides to stay back at Winterfell, with Brienne, whose place is by Sansa.
As the war council concludes, Arya accosts Jon and says they must speak. Sansa, Arya, Bran and Jon head to the godswood. Sansa points out that it wasn't even Daenerys or the dragons or her armies that killed the Night King — Arya did it. But Jon says the Targaryen forces gave their lives for the fight, and bought them time. Arya tells him she understands why he bent the knee, that it was the only way to save the North, but the reason Jon pledged his allegiance to Daenerys no longer exists.
Arya says they are all Starks and they must stick together. Jon is conflicted and asks Bran to tell Sansa and Arya about his identity.
As Jaime and Tyrion sit together, Bronn appears. He tells them of Cersei's offer of Riverrun in exchange for killing the two Lannister brothers. Tyrion follows through on his earlier promise, offering Bronn double of what Cersei did: Highgarden, when the war is won. Jaime is flabbergasted. Tyrion tries to persuade Bronn to go South with them, fight in the Targaryen army, but Bronn says he's had enough of fighting.
Outside the castle walls, the Hound is taking a solitary ride and is joined by Arya. He tells Arya he'll go South, she tells him she has unfinished business there as well. "I don't plan on coming back," he tells her. "Neither do I," she replies.
Tyrion takes his leave of Bran, and then of Sansa. He observes that she is extremely perturbed. He asks her not to antagonise Daenerys, that she (Sansa) will be the true power in the North even after the Iron Throne is won because Jon will be away in the capital.
Sansa remarks that he seems afraid of Daenerys and Tyrion says: "Every good ruler needs to inspire a little fear." Sansa counters: "What if there's someone better?"
There are many sad leave-takings for Jon as well: Tormund tells him the Wildlings will go back home. Jon asks Tormund to take Ghost with him, to his real home. Sam and Gilly tell Jon they are expecting a child, and will name the baby Jon, if a boy. Sam and Jon have an emotional parting.
On the ship from White Harbour, Tyrion tells Varys about Jon being Aegon Targaryen. Varys asks how many people now know; when Tyrion replies "eight", Varys says it's "no longer a secret but information". They discuss the possibility of Daenerys and Jon marrying and ruling together, but Varys points out that Jon is too much of a Northerner to marry his own aunt, never mind the Targaryen practices. He also remarks that their Queen does not like sharing power.
Their Queen is flying over the ships at the moment, with Drogon and Rhaegal. Suddenly, a bolt shoots through the sky and strikes Rhaegal in the chest. The dragon is quickly struck by other bolts and tumbles into the sea. Daenerys sees Euron Greyjoy leading a fleet of ships, with one of Qyburn's scorpions mounted on the deck. She charges at him, but pulls away when he begins to shoot more bolts at her.
Euron then attacks her ships, breaking most of them apart. A few survivors wash up on the shores of Dragonstone -- Tyrion, Varys and Grey Worm among them. Of Missandei there is no sign.
At King's Landing, all the people of the city have been brought into the Red Keep's walls "for their safety" but really of course serving as a human shield for Cersei. Euron has told her the latest developments and she is pleased. She promises that the Kraken will rule the sea, the Lion the land, and that their child will rule the world. Euron looks at Qyburn to see if what Cersei has hinted at is right, and Qyburn nods to indicate that yes, the Queen is carrying Euron's child. Cersei mocks Daenerys for wanting to be "the breaker of chains" — next to her stands Missandei in shackles.
On Dragonstone, Varys, Tyrion, Daenerys discuss her plans of destroying King's Landing. Varys tells Daenerys she is making a mistake, that too many innocent lives will be lost now that the people of the city have been brought into the Red Keep. Tyrion suggests that they sue Cersei for a surrender so no further lives are lost. Daenerys acquiesces reluctantly. She also tells her advisors: "I'm here to free the world of tyrants. That is my destiny."
Varys' sense of alarm grows. He speaks with Tyrion about having served tyrants all his life, how they all felt they were destined to do certain things. Tyrion points out that Daenerys' belief in destiny is hardly unfounded — she walked into a fire with three pieces of stone and came out with dragons. Varys, however, is convinced that Jon would make for a more measured, temperate ruler. When Tyrion says that Jon doesn't even want power, Varys points out that it may be the best quality of a ruler.
At Winterfell, Brienne and Sansa receive news of the ambush on Daenerys. Jaime is informed as well. As Brienne sleeps that night, Jaime saddles his horse and prepares to ride away. Brienne awakens and comes to him, she pleads with him to stay. She tells him "You're a good man." Unlike Theon, Jaime does not accept this absolution. He lists all the terrible things he's done for Cersei, ending with: "She's hateful. And so am I." Then he rides off.
Outside King's Landing, Daenerys, Tyrion, Varys, Grey Worm and the pitiful remnants of the Unsullied take up positions. Missandei, Cersei, Euron, the Mountain stand atop the city walls, with scorpions mounted all around to prevent Drogon from flying in.
Qyburn emerges from within the city gates, and Tyrion steps forward to negotiate with him. He asks for Cersei's surrender, Qyburn asks for Daenerys' — or else Missandei shall be killed. Tyrion walks towards the walls and addresses Cersei directly, reminding her that she is not a monster, that she deeply loved her children, and not to make the people of King's Landing collateral damage in this war. Cersei seems moved by his words, until Tyrion continues that she must save her baby.
Cersei's demeanour hardens and she asks Missandei for her last words. Missandei says: "Dracarys". The Mountain beheads her.
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Updated Date: May 06, 2019 19:04:56 IST
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