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Predictable Endings, Power Struggles & More Deaths: A Review of “Game of Thrones” Season 8 Episode 4

Liam Cunningham, Rory McCann, Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead Wright, and Sophie Turner in Game of Thrones (2011)
Liam Cunningham, Rory McCann, Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead Wright, and Sophie Turner in Game of Thrones (2011). Image via IMDb Liam Cunningham, Rory McCann, Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead Wright, and Sophie Turner in Game of Thrones (2011)

Unfortunately, killing off the Night King and his White Walkers was not the end to the Game of Thrones. There is still the question of who will actually win the Game of Thrones– who will win the Iron Throne and rule the seven kingdoms? Now that Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) is no longer the rightful heir, will Jon Snow (Kit Harington) become the King and will the power struggle get the better of Dany? Disappointingly, these answers aren’t quite answered in this episode, as instead, we receive yet another filler episode (the third one of the season)…

The Last of the Starks” goes straight into the aftermath of the Battle of Winterfell- the death of thousands. Benioff successfully made us all tear up within the first 5 seconds of the episode through the use of long shots depicting the masses of dead bodies laid upon pyres. In this scene, director David Nutter focuses on the reactions to some of the major deaths, in order to clearly emphasise what has been lost. For example, the close-up shots of Dany saying goodbye to Jorah (Iain Glen), Sansa (Sophie Turner) to Theon (Alfie Allen), and Sam (John Bradley) to Eddison (Ben Crompton). As a viewer, this emphasis hits hard, as it brings your mind back to the first time you saw the character in season one. The comparison from then to now just shows how much has changed, and although we are just the viewers, we have somewhat grown with the characters and been part of this journey from a fourth wall perspective. As a result, these deaths show that this show really is coming to an end very soon. To make the emotions worse, Ramin Djawadi beautifully composed a cello piece to fit this emotional scene. In particular, the dark and sombre mood of the cello almost emphasises the sad reality that these character are not coming back, specifically  through the fact it starts off as a soli, therefore creating a sense of loneliness between the cello and the other instruments, but also reflects the loneliness that the characters are now experiencing.

Peter Dinklage, Conleth Hill, Rupert Vansittart, Kristofer Hivju, Jacob Anderson, Nathalie Emmanuel, Kit Harington, Maisie Williams, Emilia Clarke, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Sophie Turner, and John Bradley in Game of Thrones (2011)

Peter Dinklage, Conleth Hill, Rupert Vansittart, Kristofer Hivju, Jacob Anderson, Nathalie Emmanuel, Kit Harington, Maisie Williams, Emilia Clarke, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Sophie Turner, and John Bradley in Game of Thrones (2011). Image via IMDb.

Moreover, the episode continues with the dark mood, through fitting the survivors into a dining hall, were each sit silently and awkwardly.  However, Dany breaks the silence by naming Gendry (Joe Dempsie) the Lord of Storm’s End. The cringe furthers as Gendry then goes and proposes and gets rejected by Arya (Maisie Williams). Unfortunately, that is not the end of the cringe-worthy scenes, as we next see a very drunk Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) get together, which again is something I’m not too sure how I feel about. Despite this, Tormund’s (Kristofer Hivju) role is comical as usual, breaking away the sadness and awkwardness of the scenes. Ongoing, we finally see Bronn (Jerome Flynn) arrive in Winterfell at the command of Cersei (Lena Headey). In the most predictable way, Bronn will do anything for money, and therefore getting High Gardens is enough for him not to kill the Lannister brothers- so long as they win the battle.

As if we haven’t experienced enough death in the last few episodes, Benioff was sure to add a few more to the list. Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) successfully kills Rhaegol with giant arrows, meaning that Dany is left with her last dragon- Drogon. Furthermore, a death that shocked me was Missendei (Nathalie Emmanuel), who was captured by Cersei’s new pirate lover and then beheaded by The Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson). Although not much has happened in this episode, this scene is highly significant, specifically for both Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and Dany as we can expect them to start making some pretty irrational decisions now that almost all their loved ones have died…

Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones (2011) © Home Box Office

Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones (2011) © Home Box Office. Image via IMDb.

Overall, this episode was okay. Many aspects of this episode were predictable, including who was going to get with each other, and what particular characters were going to go. For example, it was obvious that Jaime would go back to Cersei after hearing she wasn’t going to win. According to IMDb, this episode is the lowest ever rated GOT episode reaching only 6.7/10. Considering it is Game of Thrones, it is a bit disappointing. Quite frankly, I’m a bit worried regarding this last season, as so far it just hasn’t been that great. Despite that, there are two more episodes to come, so there is room for improvement! On to next episodes preview, we can definitely expect a battle, however, this time I don’t feel that much was really revealed in the preview. Therefore, hopefully, we can expect some surprises and the following questions to be answered:

– What is Dany and Grey Worm going to do now that Missendei is dead?

– What is Dany going to do about the power struggle between herself, Jon Snow and Sansa?

– What is Arya and the Hound going to do in the Kings Landing?

– What is Jaime going to do?

The next episode airs at HBO (US) on May 12th at 9 pm EST, and on May 13th on Sky Atlantic and NOWTV (UK) at 2 am BST.

Images via IMDb

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