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Every Important Detail You Might Have Missed In ‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 8 Episode 4

The Battle of Winterfell is over -- now begins the war.

Game of Thrones season 8 episode 4

 Game Of Thrones third ep last week was a surprise for a lot of reasons, namely that it resolved the Battle Of Winterfell and saw the defeat of the Night King in one episode.

Everyone watched it.

Game Of Thrones was trending for a week. Technical crew were hunted down by TMZ. Drake was even shouting out Arya Stark on stage at the Billboard Music Awards.

After so much happened in The Long Night, the big question heading into episode four was …. well, what’s left?

 In the words of Daenerys Targaryen: “We have won the great war. Now we will win the last war.”

As expected, after last week’s climax, it was about the build up again: Everyone Left Vs King’s Landing. And it came a lot harder and a lot faster than many of us expected. It was more of a talky talky episode than a smashy smashy episode, but it also meant a lot of forward progression towards the Big Things That Need To Happen Before The End Of The Show’s Final Season.

And yes, that includes some deaths. Because it has to.

Great News! We Could See Some Stuff!

After an audience of millions had a collective meltdown at not being able to see freakin anything during a movie length episode that cost millions and broke filming records, the good news is a bulk of episode four was set during daytime.

Which meant, obviously, that we could see some stuff. The budget wins, the cast and crew wins, the audience wins, everybody wins!

Pour One Out For The Homies

One of the big criticisms following The Long Night was not that there weren’t enough deaths — there were heaps as — but there weren’t enough major character deaths.

Folks we expected to get the axe are somehow still around, even after Ser Brienne’s knighting and Podrick’s Westeros Idol audition.

And yet, there were still a lot of characters to mourn. Cue the sombre funeral scene that opened the episode as the allies and audience said goodbye to Beric, Eddison, Theon, Ser Jorah, the Red Woman, Lady Lyanna Mormont, and, you know, the entire Dothraki (lolz).

 

“We’re here to say goodbye to our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers,” said Jon Snow, before they lit the pyres and sent the bodies of their loved ones back home. “Our fellow men and women, who set aside their differences so they could fight together, and die together, so that others might live.”

Set aside their differences, aye?

Here comes that pesky foreshadowing again, as we expect most of the action in the final three episodes of Game of Thrones to come from characters failing to set aside their differences now that the more overt foe — the Night King — is ice.

As Tyrion aptly said to Ser Davos later in the ep: “You’re in luck, we may have defeated them, but we still have us to contend with.” Preach.

 

“To Arya Stark, The Hero Of Winterfell!”

Daenerys Targaryen’s words, but also the words collectively of the world for the past week: “To Arya Stark, the hero of Winterfell!”

 

Drake agrees, which is indicative of … something.

Although Arya’s screentime in this episode was limited — smart on the part of the showrunners, by giving the audience what they need and not what they want — her presence and the results of her actions were felt everywhere.

She got a toast at the crappy Winterfell banquet, she got a marriage proposal (more on that later), and then she got the fuck outta town … with The Hound, naturally.

That odd couple pairing is really one for the ages.

The Hound: “You’re the big hero.”
Arya: “Don’t like heroes.”
The Hound: “Must have felt good sticking a knife in that horny fucker … “

The Hound was on his way to King’s Landing for “unfinished business”. Hint: to kill his brother, The Mountain, aka CleganeBowl. “Me too,” she replied. Hint: to kill a shitload of people still on her Kill Bill list, including green-eyed Cersei Lannister.

After all, the Red Woman already told us as much: “Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes, eyes you’ll shut forever.” We’ve seen her close brown eyes and blue, now onwards for the green.

Arya Stark Is Not A Mary Sue FFS

This conversation is fucking exhausting two years on from Rey and the Star Wars sexism.

Thanks to the douchebros, it seems we need to keep having it after they had a piss whine about Arya Stark killing the Night King at the end of episode four.

Arya Stark is not a Mary Sue.

We have literally watched her progression from a little girl aspiring to be a warrior in the Stark family, running for her life following her father’s death, learning combat with Brienne, training with The Faceless Men, to wiping out House Frey singlehandedly, to a bunch of other shit we missed in between. That’s called growth, motherfuckers.

That’s before we even get into all the foreshadowing throughout the series that eludes to Arya Stark being the one to finally turn that blue icicle into a permanent slushie or the fact there were no Gary Stu comments when Jon Snow could suddenly ride a dragon pretty perfectly.

Could gender be the deciding factor? Whooooo couldddd saaaay (but yes).

Warg War II

A lot of people, rightly so, had beef with Bran peacing out during the Battle Of Winterfell to warg off somewhere.

Where did he go? And why? What will that moment ultimately do now that we’re into the business end of the season?

If you were waiting for answers in episode four, jokes on you. No answers here.

But Bran was back to being weird af and that kind of consistency is a warm blanket in an episode that had a lot of heartbreak. “I don’t really want …. anymore,” he said, with that same disaffected tone that creeps everyone in a 200km radius the fuck out.

“You shouldn’t envy me, I mostly live in the past,” was another gem.

She Be Little, She Be Fierce

Dany is not in a great spot right now.

The Battle Of Winterfell is won, yet somehow she’s weaker than ever … and She Of Many Great Braids knows it. We could see it on her face at the Winterfell banquet, as she watched Tyrion with his brother, observed the Starks peer-pressuring Tormund into doing a beer bong, and attempted to make a strategic play with Gendry.

All of this was noted, mainly by Sansa, who Tyrion rightly pointed out “seems determined to dislike her”.

Without Ser Jorah, there’s a sense of desperation to Dany that we haven’t seen since the earlier seasons. Her and Jon nearly put aside their shared blood to quickly bang one out, before the politics got messy and she begged him not to tell anyone else who he really is — Aegon Targaryen — knowing that it would make her vulnerable.

“Sansa will want to see me gone and you on the Iron Throne,” she pleads. “She’s not the girl you grew up with. Not after what she’s seen. Not after what they’ve done to her.”

This fear of maintaining her power leads to another major loss for Dany, rushing what’s left of their soldiers and dragons into a fight against Cersei before they’re properly recuperated. Sansa warns her against it, Dany interprets that as a threat, shit goes horribly wrong.

Sansa’s Making Moves

Moves towards The Hound (yikes) and moves towards Dany, namely sharing the information about Jon’s true identity with Tyrion after Jon made her promise not to.

This is crucial because obviously he tells Varys, who correctly states that although only eight people know right now, “soon it will be hundreds”.

That’s the nature of secrets: the moment they’re shared, they stop being secrets.

This truth also leads to a rift between Dany’s remaining advisors, with Tyrion staying loyal to Dany, and Varys feeling like Jon is a better candidate for the throne.

They consider marrying them off, so they could rule together. “She’s his aunt,” Varys winces. Tyrion comes through with the gold: “That has never stopped a Targaryen before.”

Jon is forever the reluctant leader, which is exactly why he’s perfect for the crown and perfect for the Iron Throne.

The Penny Drops For Tormund’s Cock

Our favourite milk-guzzling redhead learned some hard lessons this episode, namely that his beloved “tall woman” is in love with someone else, Jamie Lannister.

And the King Slayer feels much the same way (squeeeeees below). It’s beautiful, really, because a drunk and broken-hearted Tormund runs to possibly the WORST SYMAPTHETIC EAR EVER — The Hound  — complete with tears in his eyes.

“And after all that, this fucker comes and takes her … takes her like that, my heart is broken,” he moans, resting a hand on The Hound only for a hasty rebuttal of “Don’t touch me.”

Thankfully not every woman was eaten in the Winterfell crypts, with one of the surviving babes interjecting with “You can touch me.”

His eyes light up, something else goes up, and suddenly Tormund’s heartbreak is forgotten as he goes off to get laid with a stranger. Huzzah!

It is time for him to say farewell to his other true love, however: Jon Snow.

“He’s little, but he’s strong,” he laments. “Strong enough to befriend an enemy and get murdered for it! What kind of person climbs on a fucking dragon? A mad man … or a king!” Tormund and his “little crow” are parting ways, with Dragon’s Bane taking the Free Folk back to where they belong, North of what was once the wall.

After the duo hug it out, Jon asks him to take Ghost with him, because it’s where he’d be happiest. That move could be for two reasons 1) the showrunners can no longer afford the CGI budget of a direwolf  with everything pending or 2) Jon knows he’s not coming back from King’s Landing. Dun dun duuuun.

Also, Ghost’s alive! Yay!

Lord Gendry Baratheon Of Storm’s End

He’s a war hero and our favourite blacksmith with a six-pack got a fitting reward from Dany.

“I think you should be a Lord of Storm’s End,” she declared. “I can’t be, I’m a bastard.” Never one for rules, she adds: “No, you are Lord Gendry Baratheon Of Storm’s End, because that is what I have made you.”

Everyone was stoked, especially Gendry, who was keen to share this news with Arya. A girl had avoided the banquet despite being the toast of it (and probably because of that) so in the words of Sophie Turner, he went searching to “hop hop hoppin into that pussaaaaaaAaaaay.”

She was casually shooting arrows into a target and taking that as a sign, Gendry decided to shoot his shot. “I love you and none of it will be worth anything if you’re not with me,” he said passionately, popping down on one knee and asking “marry me”.

He wanted her to be Lady Baratheon Of Storm’s End and rule by his side. Bless him.

“You’ll be a wonderful lord, any lady will be lucky to have you,” Ayra said carefully. “But I’m not a lady, I never was.” She gave him a kiss, he took it with a broken heart, then she went back to shooting arrows.

And that’s the tea.

We Can Kiss All Hopes Of Ice Spiders Goodbye

We didn’t wanna call it too early last week in case there were some hidden ice spiders brewing, but it seems definitive now that Old Nan’s tales of the eight-legged motherfuckers won’t be coming to fruition in this final season.

Which sucks.

The showrunners also spoke at length about how the initial plan was to make them part of the Battle Of Winterfell, but after too many difficulties rendering them and making the movements look realistic, the idea was scrapped.

So farewell, ice spiders. Would have been awesome to only kind of see you in this very dimly lit show.

Like A Virgin – Oh!

Ser Brienne was knighted two episodes ago and in ep four, she got mounted aiiiiiyyooo.

After establishing through a drinking game with Tyrion Lannister — always a mistake — that she was a virgin, she left all red-faced and embarrassed. Only for Jamie to follow after her and bring up Tormund as some kind of foreplay.

“How about Tormund Giant’s Bane, has he grown on you?” he quizzed.

“You sound quite jealous.”

“I do, don’t I?”

HE’S JEALOUS COS HE LURVES YOU, GIRL! Somehow these two awkward fucks made it through removing their clothing and got down to the crux of it. “I’ve never slept with a knight before,” he said, righty not bringing up the fact he’s mostly used to boinking his sister in what would have been an epic mood killer.

“I’ve never slept with anyone before,” Brienne replied.

They kissed, it was super sweet, and they banged, multiple times, with Jamie looking over at her with affection as she slept.

At first, it looked like there might be a happy ending for the two of them with Jamie choosing to stay in Winterfell with Lady Stark (aka with Ser Brienne, which is acknowledged through a knowing look between the two bad-ass broads). Yet once the news of Cersei’s destruction and the fact she’s surrounding herself with a human barricade of 10,000 innocent people reaches him, Jamie makes a choice.

Attempting to leave in the middle of the night while Brienne is sleeping, she confronts Jamie in the courtyard and he does a pretty solid job of convincing us he’s an asshole who’s going back to Cersei.

“You think I’m a good man? I pushed a boy out of tower window and crippled him for life for Cersei. I strangled my cousin with my own hands to get back to Cersei. I would have murdered every man, child and woman in Riverrun for Cersei. She’s hateful and so am I.”

Yeah yeah, we’ve seen this move in every teen romance from the 90s.

He’s trying to break her heart for her own good. In this instance, so she won’t follow him to what he knows is likely to be certain death at King’s landing. Because it’s what we’ve always known, and what Jamie knows too: he deserves to die.

This is the last season for it to happen. The question is, did it need to come at the cost of Brienne’s dignity, as she weeps and begs him to stay?

Bebby Jon Snow

Brienne and Jamie weren’t the only ones who got some, with Gilly now up the duff with Samwell’s baby.

“If it’s a boy, we want to name him Jon,” Gilly tells him, before an embarrassed Jon replies “I hope it’s a girl.”

The Battle For Worst Hang In Westeros Continues

It’s Bran Vs Qyburn, but as we learned in episode two Bran has the potential to deliver petty one-liners.

So, Qyburn inches ahead in episode four, once Tyrion tells him “I don’t want to hear the sounds of children burning alive.” With a heavy, almost bored sigh, he replies “Well, it’s not a pleasant sound.”

That means a) he has heard children burning alive before, because of course he has and b) he didn’t add the sound to his reincarnate zombie soldiers playlist.

Bronn Back With Da Boyz

Bronn pops in to Winterfell with a fucking string of bangers — “That title is worth as much as a blonde hair from your brother’s ball sack!” — and flexes at the Lannister brothers, basically telling them Cersei wants Tyrion dead and if he can double her price then he’ll dip.

Tyrion agrees to give him Highgarden, Jamie tries to pounce, Bronn delivers another zinger (“You couldn’t do it on your best day, you one-handed fuck.”)

Bronn leaves, as promised, but by the end of the episode Jamie has left too, which is … convenient. They work well together, those two, and suggesting they might have some kind of plan in King’s Landing is not out of the realm of possibility.

Checking In With Our Favourite Game Of Thrones Fan: T-Pain

He gets his own section now. Because of tweets like these.

Jon’s Taking His Horse Down To Old Town Road

He got the horses in the back. Horse tack is attached. Hat is matte black. Got the boots that’s black to match. Can’t nobody tell him nooooothin…

All of that to say the plan for taking King’s Landing and kicking Cersei off the Iron Throne is in motion. Or was.

As Varys notes “the balance has grown disturbingly even” and that means the stakes for everything going forward are as high as ever, even if there isn’t an army of ice zombies. But Cersei is also “losing allies by the minute”, apparently, with the new Prince of Dorne coming into play (??????) and Yara Greyjoy retaking the Iron Islands.

“The objective here,” as summarised by Tyrion, “Is to remove Cersei without destroying King’s Landing.”

To do that, Jon and Ser Davos are heading down the King’s Road with the remainder of the Dothraki (mmmkay, all five of them?) and the Unsullied. Everyone else, including Dany and the dragons, were gonna loop around to King’s Landing. Except, well …

Dragon? More Like Dra-goooooooone

Look, Rhaegal wasn’t flying that great anyway and I guess he couldn’t swim that great either as he got SHOT THE FUCK DOWN FROM THE SKY! By dirty Euron Greyjoy, perhaps the worst part of it all.

While trying to execute their plan, Euron was waiting on the seas with some serious phallic imagery and Rhaegal took three spears: one to the chest, body and head. There’s no coming back from that, RIP.

With Dany’s dragons now down from three to one, things only got worse as a significant portion of Dany’s fleet was sent to the bottom of the ocean and Missandei was captured.

Which leads us to….

“Dracarys”

“All men must die, but we are not men …. “ Decapitated by The Mountain, in front of the two people that loved her most: Dany and Greyworm.

RIP Missandei, whose death we truly did not see coming. If you had told us two of the most prominent and enduring supporting characters from the start of Game of Thrones — Missandei and Rhaegal — would bite it in this episode and not the Battle of Winterfell, we would have chortled heartily.

Yet that’s what this show is known for: doing the unexpected. Whatever the cost.

Game of Thrones Season 8 is currently streaming on Foxtel Now.


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Maria Lewis is a journalist, screenwriter and author of The Witch Who Courted Death, It Came From The Deep and the Who’s Afraid? novel series, available worldwide.