Sunday, May 12, 2019

Discussing Game of Thrones: The Last of the Starks

* Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen “The Last of the Starks”

It's getting down to the wire for GoT—"The Last of the Starks" is the episode before the penultimate episode and follows the intense battle of "The Long Night." In typical GoT fashion, we get a super talky episode after an action-packed one. Spoiler alert for my opinion of Episode 4: I thought it sucked.

Remembering the Fallen

The episode opens in a very somber manner, with all of those who died during the battle against the Night King laid out on pyres. There are some private goodbyes between Daenerys and Jorah, and Sansa and Theon. Sansa removing her direwolf pin and putting it on Theon is especially poignant. Jon gives a moving speech about never forgetting those who gave their lives; he looks and sounds rather kingly here, something that Daenerys in particular takes note of several times during this episode.

Gendry Gets Bumped Up

There's a subdued feast in the Great Hall, from which Arya is noticeably absent. Gendry notices, and after getting razzed by The Hound, stands up to leave and go find her. Daenerys unexpectedly acknowledges him, and things seem a little dicey as she also mentions how Robert Baratheon tried to have her killed. Awkward. It's good news, REALLY good news for Gendry, though—not only does he end up legitimized, but he's named the Lord of Storm's End!

Daenerys is quite pleased with herself for making a strategic move: not holding Gendry's parentage against him as well as making him a lord in front of all of the Northerners. We'll see in a few minutes that as smart as that was, she just can't compete in the North's popularity contest.

The Feast Lightens Up . . . for Some

The mood in the Great Hall and around Winterfell shifts to a lighter one after Daenerys's pronouncement, with Tormund wasting no time filling up his drinking horn. When he sings Jon's praises, Daenerys keenly feels how much Jon is loved in the North, where she's an outsider. Varys catches the whole thing and follows her out of the feast.

Tyrion, Jaime, Brienne, and Pod are playing a drinking game that gets super awkward when Tyrion directs a super personal question/statement at Brienne. I feel like even drunk Tyrion wouldn't be that mean-spirited, but welcome to Season 8, where the characters you've known for 7 seasons do and say uncharacteristic things. We all know what happens a few scenes later with Brienne and Jaime, and as much as I've shipped them since reading A Storm of Swords, I think the show does a rushed, clumsy job of putting them together.

Not a Lady

Newly minted Lord Gendry finds Arya practicing her archery. He excitedly tells her all about his new title, and now that he's a lord, he asks her to be his lady. Echoing a conversation she had with Ned back in Season 1, Arya replies that she's not a lady. Proposal rejected, Gendry.

Just Keep Your Mouth Shut, Jon

It's back to that thorny We're Aunt and Nephew and Jon Has a Better Claim to the Iron Throne issue for Jon and Daenerys. If words gets out about Jon's true parentage, the Northerners will press him into pressing his claim, no matter how much he insists that he doesn't want to rule the Seven Kingdoms. Daenerys says they can live happily ever after if he swears Bran and Sam to secrecy. Despite not being Ned Stark's son, Jon sure has inherited Ned's penchant for being honest to a fault. Jon insists that he must tell Sansa and Arya. Daenerys begs him not to and gets pissed off when he balks.

On to the Next Battle

It's time for another war strategy meeting, this time preparing, if you want to call it that, for the battle against Cersei. Rather than a full on assault of King's Landing that would result in innocent lives being lost, Tyrion suggests the best strategy is to get the people to turn against Cersei. If they get hungry enough, they'll blame her and abandon her. Team Daenerys's army took a huge blow during the fight with the White Walkers, and as Sansa rightly points out, those who are left are exhausted/injured and need time to recover. Daenerys takes this personally, as just another instance of Sansa disrespecting her. Jon steps in and tries to smooth things over with Daenerys, which doesn't go over well with Sansa and Arya. Arya holds Jon back after the others leave for a private word with her and Sansa.

No, Really, You Need to Shut Up, Jon!

In the godswood, Arya tells Jon that they don't trust Daenerys. When Arya says that she, Sansa, Jon, and Bran are the last of the Starks, you can see the gears turning inside of Jon's brain, like he HAS to tell them about his parentage. Jon is still half-Stark, but it's like he's forgotten that? Which annoys me immensely. I was mentally screaming at the TV for Jon NOT to say anything, but of course he does. Except we don't get to see that part.

WTF Is Bronn Doing Here?!

Seriously! Since when does Bronn do anything above what he minimally has to do in order to get paid? He travels ALL THE WAY TO WINTERFELL to threaten Tyrion and Jaime with the freaking crossbow. What a waste of a scene, especially with only 2 episodes left.

Has Cleganebowl Been Scheduled?

The Hound is hitting the road, apparently with Arya. It seems they both have "unfinished business" in King's Landing, and it's going to be a one-way trip. The Hound's business seems pretty easy to guess, but what about Arya? Going to cross Cersei's name off The List?

And So The News Starts Travelling

Tyrion tries to convince Sansa that Daenerys will be a good queen and they should be allies, but Sansa's not having it. Sansa really has learned a lot from Cersei and Littlefinger, hasn't she? She asks Tyrion what if there's someone better fit to rule than Daenerys, and you know Sansa's about to fill him in on Jon's "secret."


Jon says goodbye to Tormund, who's taking the Wildlings further up North. I'm going to miss Tormund and his magnificent beard and bawdy tales. Jon also bids farewell to Sam and Gilly. You know who doesn't get a fucking goodbye? That's right—Ghost! Jon asks Tormund to take Ghost with him. What. Excuse me? Your loyal direwolf, who's fought by your side, doesn't get so much as a pet goodbye? Ghost looks SO SAD!!!!!! :'( Apparently there was not enough in the CGI budget for Jon to give Ghost one last pet. Maybe cut a few seconds off one of the dragon sequences? I'm sorry, but this is GHOST! Are you only all about the dragons now, Jon Snow? Sad Ghost broke my heart, and this will go down as one of my least favorite GoT episodes ever.

Surprise! No, Not Really

Daenerys, Drogon, and her remaining ships are headed back to Dragonstone, where Euron and the Iron Fleet are waiting for them—with a whole lot more of those dragon-killing crossbow gizmos. Sooooo, there was money in the production budget for that, but not enough for Ghost's goodbye? Still not over it.

Rhaegal is shot and killed, so now Daenerys only has Drogon. Definitely not the way I pictured her taking the Iron Throne. Her ships are also destroyed, and Missandei is captured. Did no one on Team D really think they would sail right onto Dragonstone's shores without a hitch? Tyrion and/or Varys didn't think it might be wise to send a scout ahead to make sure the coast was clear? Again, I feel this season is going for all of the dramatic moments and throwing everything else out the window.

Maybe Cersei Will Win This Thing After All

Cersei has offered to "protect" the people of King's Landing by opening up the doors of the Red Keep to them. Please. What she's really doing is protecting herself and forcing Daenerys to kill the very people she's trying to win over to get to Cersei.

Cersei also has the Golden Company, who haven't just fought an exhausting battle against zombies. And she has Euron and his ships, if you want to call Euron an asset. I think he's just an ass, haha. Seriously, though, his shtick is very tiring, and I hope he finds out Cersei lied to him about Jaime's baby being his.

The T Word

Daenerys, having suffered the loss of another dragon and knowing that Missandei is Cersei's prisoner, is really being pushed to the edge. Varys has a very tough time trying to talk her out of going full Dracarys on King's Landing. Tyrion advises Daenerys to spare Cersei's life in exchange for giving up the throne. Really, Tyrion? I thought you were smarter than that. Remember back at the beginning of this season when Cersei failed to send her army north? I do. Another example of crappy writing/character development/consistency this season.

Alone, Tyrion and Varys talk treason. Varys reminds Tyrion that he's going to do what's best for the realm, and he no longer thinks that Daenerys is what's best for the realm. Tyrion is all like, I believe in our queen! Again, Tyrion, I thought you were smarter than this.

Just No, Jaime

In an episode filled with frustrating character actions, here's another gem. Jaime finds out about Euron's attack and tries to sneak off in the middle of the night. Brienne catches him and is heartbroken that he's going back to Cersei. I really, really, really, really, really, hope he's going to King's Landing to kill her, and not help her. 1) I need to know the outcome of the Valonqar theory and 2) I really don't want the show to end with him being such an asshole. Dude has been written very inconsistently over the years; can we please get it right for the end?

Showdown at the Gates

Daenerys, Grey Worm, and Tyrion are outside the gates to King's Landing, with Cersei, Euron, and The Mountain looking down at them. Cersei also has Missandei, in chains and perched dangerously close to the edge of the rampart. First Tyrion has to deal with Qyburn, who's such a psycho and blindly loyal to Cersei. Tyrion then tries to appeal directly to Cersei. Again, Tyrion, your sister IS a monster! There's no reasoning with her! She just sent Bronn to kill you and Jaime! When are you going to wake up? ARGHHHHHHH—so frustrated with everyone on this damn show!

Of course Cersei won't surrender, and there are dragon crossbows lined all around the castle ramparts. When did they have time to build all of them? It reminds me of when Yara and Theon stole Euron's ships and Euron magically had a shiny new fleet built in a snap of a moment. But still not enough money for Ghost. I'll *never* be over that.

Cersei orders The Mountain to kill Missandei, whose last word is, "Dracarys!" And that's what it looks like Daenerys is going to do to all of her enemies: burn them.

In the Next Episode

Maybe more battle and less talking?


  1. Oh my I'm kind of emotionally shattered after TONIGHT'S episode lol, but I'll try to comment intelligently. :) Okay, there was so much wrong with this episode. First of all, the Jon / direwolf thing was ridiculous. I saw something on Twitter where people were joking about the CGI budget and then posting amateur Photoshop images of Jon hugging the wolf that were good- I had to smile. :)

    Also the fleet thing. So how did Euron's fleet totally shatter Dany's fleet but he suffered apparently no (or few) losses? And then TONIGHT Dany lights his whole fleet up. Good grief, what an inconsistent mess. And I thought Jaime/ Briene was sloppily done too. Also, they played Tyrion's first wife for a laugh in that horrible drinking game, and anyone who knows the story of Tysha knows that is not a funny story. Such ham handed writing...

    Well we have one more episode to see what they do next haha!

    1. It's been almost a week, and I'm STILL digesting last week's episode. Going to try to get that recap up later today, but the truth is, I really don't want to rewatch it. :(

      It's been 2 weeks since Jon ditched Ghost, and I'm STILL not over it! The Twitter memes were great, though, lol!

      Daenerys (or any of her crew) not even considering that they'd have unwelcome guests waiting for them at Dragonstone blows my mind. The inconsistency between her fleet getting destroyed one week and then Euron's the next is one of my biggest pet peeves about this season. And one of the many, lol, because this season has been such utter trash.

      Great point about Tyrion's first wife not being a joke. That whole scene was so cringey, as was the whole hour and 20 minutes of "The Bells." I almost don't want to watch the finale but will tune in just so I can appreciate all of the Twitter memes that will pop up after it airs lol!


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