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Episode 04: The Last Of The Starks

So while Jon is in slow-motion Seppuku of his romantic life (and also his desire to live peacefully in the North), Sansa and Arya are undergoing their own struggles. Sansa, for her part, is looking less and less wise in her hatred of Dany. While by the end of the episode, the eldest Stark daughter might be proven right, at this given moment she looks mostly pernicious in hating the one force that gave the North enough of a fighting chance that Arya could kill the Night King.

Episode 04: The Last of the Starks

Jaime will be the one to stop it again, which is fine, but to have him not even articulate some hint of this is simply the showrunners attempting to mask the surprise by having Jaime be needlessly cruel to Brienne. He claims Cersei is the love he deserves and wants. The former is probably true but the latter needlessly reduces Brienne to be the clichéd woman who weeps because her man has seemingly left her for another woman. It is pointlessly reductive to Brienne and feels unnaturally shoehorned into the same episode their romance was consummated.

The endgame is here and next week, the worst case scenario Tyrion attempted to avoid will come true. If I was asked to predict right now (never mind my original predictions) what comes next, it is that by this time next week, Cersei, Dany, Jaime, and maybe even Jon too, plus a a lot of innocent people along the way, will be dead. The thirst for the Iron Throne will destroy them all, and with any luck the blasted seat will burn too.

But mourning only lasts for so long as the characters enjoy a whirlwind evening full of celebration, plot twists and fan-favorite couples. After Daenerys makes Gendry (Joe Dempsie) a lord, he proposes to Arya (Maisie Williams), who turns him down. The tension between Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) comes to a head, with the two finally hooking up.

"The Last of the Starks" is the fourth episode of the eighth season of Game of Thrones. It is the seventy-first episode of the series overall. It premiered on May 5, 2019 on HBO. It was written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and directed by David Nutter.

However, despite any lingering resentment, the mood is lightened and the hall becomes more celebratory, as everyone starts drinking heavily and boasting about their deeds in the battle. Tyrion talks to Davos, who tells him about Melisandre's death: he was going to kill her, but then she died, "Or her god did it to her." Davos wonders what this all means: he hated Melisandre, but she had a real connection to some sort of higher power - which she called the "Lord of Light", but whatever it was, their last connection to it ended with her. Why, he wonders, would this divine power directly intervene in their affairs - only to then leave them after the great danger passed? With the White Walkers defeated, what are they supposed to do now? Tyrion says he doesn't think pondering this subject will make him any happier. Davos says he's not trying to be happy and Tyrion remarks that's good, "We have defeated them but we still have us to deal with." Tyrion then speaks to Bran Stark, pointing out that as Ned Stark's last trueborn son he should be the lawful heir to Winterfell and the North - but Bran says he won't ever be a lord now (as he is the magical Three-Eyed Raven and removed from human affairs). Tyrion says he envies Bran for his powers, but Bran says he wouldn't - he mostly just lives in memories of the past now.

Tormund drunkenly propositions Brienne, whom he is smitten with (unlike southern knights, he respects a warrior woman) but is rebuffed by her and the intervention of Jaime. Comically heartbroken, Tormund commiserates with Sandor Clegane, but soon Northern serving girls start hitting on Tormund, an impressive hero of the battle, and they leave. Sandor, however, stays drinking alone - shooing away another serving girl who seemed surprisingly interested in him. Seeing him, Sansa Stark comes to his table to sit with him: the last time they spoke was the Battle of the Blackwater, he offered to try to sneak her out of the city as he abandoned his post, but she felt it was too risky and declined. He says he heard that she was taken by Littlefinger. After that, Sandor comments that she was "broken in rough" - marrying Ramsay Bolton, who raped and imprisoned her. Sansa says that without Littlefinger and the rest, she'd have just stayed a "little bird" her whole life, but the abuse she suffered from Ramsay made her strong. He asks how she had Ramsay executed, and when she says she killed him with "hounds" he laughs (as he is commonly nicknamed "The Hound").

Sansa counters that they are not in a strong position to immediately mount a new full-scale offensive, "The men we have left are exhausted. Many of them are wounded. They'll fight better if they have time to rest and recuperate." When Daenerys asks how much time, Sansa says she needs to talk to the officers first. Daenerys tells her, "I came north to fight alongside you at great cost to my armies and myself. Now that the time has come to reciprocate, you want to postpone," but Sansa pointedly reminds Daenerys that this is the same for both the "Northern" armies and for Daenerys's Unsullied. Daenerys tells Sansa that the longer she waits, the more time Cersei has to gather new strength and new allies, just as she recruited Euron and the Golden Company. Jon interjects that the North will honor its allegiance to Queen Daenerys, whom he has bent the knee to, and they will just have to leave the badly wounded back home and march south with a smaller army. At this, Sansa and Arya exchange a look. It is decided that Jon and Davos will lead all of the surviving Northmen/Vale forces and the bulk of the surviving Dothraki/Unsullied forces south down the Kingsroad, while a smaller force of Unsullied return via ship from White Harbor to Dragonstone, island along with Daenerys and her two remaining dragons. From Dragonstone, just across Blackwater Bay from King's Landing, Daenerys can blockade Cersei by sea and ultimately stage a final attack. Brienne of Tarth wishes to stay at Winterfell to defend the Stark sisters, and Jaime Lannister will stay with her as well. Daenerys declares to the war council that this will be the last war they have to fight in the Seven Kingdoms - adding "all of them". Daenerys and Sansa exchange a tense look. Daenerys and her advisors leave, but Arya asks Jon for a word in private.

In the godswood, the four surviving Stark children gather in private. Jon is irritated with his sisters, "You understand we'd all be dead if not for her. We'd be corpses marching down to King's Landing." Sansa replies that Arya is the one who killed the Night King but Jon reminds Sansa that Daenerys's men gave their lives to fight the undead. Sansa says she won't forget that but this doesn't mean she wants to bend the knee to Daenerys. Jon says he pledged allegiance to her. Arya says that she respects Jon's decision, he did the right thing, but she doesn't trust Daenerys. Jon tells Arya she doesn't know Daenerys yet but Arya insists she'll never know Daenerys, "She's not one of us." Jon replies, "If you only trust the people you grew up with, you won't make many allies," but Arya says she doesn't need allies, they're family. She stresses that they are the last of the Starks, the last of Ned Stark's children, and they must remain loyal to each other. Weighed down by the truth, Jon grimly says that he has never been a Stark. Sansa urges Jon that he is as much Ned Stark's child as they are while Arya lovingly insists that she is her brother - not a "bastard brother" or a "half brother" to her, she loves him completely. Unable to bear the lie, Jon looks at Bran, who only quietly says that it's Jon's choice to tell them. Jon urgently makes both girls swear, truly swear (before the weirwood heart tree) they will never tell anyone else this secret. Sansa and Arya swear and then, at a loss for words, Jon gives Bran permission to tell them.

A small contingent of Unsullied escort Daenerys Targaryen and her advisors to approach one of the gates of King's Landing (on the landward side, opposite the docks). They see that the defenses have been drastically improved: each of the city wall towers now has one of the improved anti-dragon ballista weapons that Qyburn developed. Drogon, Daenerys's last remaining dragon, hangs back behind them on the ground, stalking back and forth in anger. Cersei Lannister stands atop the gatehouse, with Euron Greyjoy, Gregor Clegane, and the chained Missandei.

Despite Cersei's earlier betrayal in the Dragonpit Summit, Tyrion nonetheless walks closer to plead with his sister again. Cersei's archers get ready to shoot him, but after a long pause of consideration Cersei motions for them to stand down. Desperate, Tyrion begs that she is not the monster she thinks she is, and that her one redeeming feature has always been her love for her children, Cersei might prefer to go down in flames dragging Daenerys with her, but it would be condemning her unborn baby to death as well. Cersei pauses, thinks on it, and then quietly tells Missandei that if she has any last words, now is the time.

4) I am looking forward to Arya and the Hound in the capital, as they have surely already arrived given the time jumps that occurred in this episode. I am fully expecting some great action sequences with the two, and hopefully we will finally be getting CleganeBowl as well as a chance for Arya to take down the last name on her list (Cersei).

In the fourth episode of season 8, titled "The Last of the Starks," as characters gathered for a feast at Winterfell following their costly battle, cameras caught (at the 17:40 mark) what appeared to many to be a Starbucks cup just an arm's length away from Daenerys Targaryen.

Game of Thrones returns this week for another killer episode. This one was full of devastating funerals, raunchy times, funny moments, splintered relationships, the odd Starbucks coffee cup (whoops!), and of course plenty of DEATH. 041b061a72


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