Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 4 Winners and Losers: Cersei, the Real Evil, Returns
Last week's episode Game of
Thrones opened with a clear directive: a whole
80-some-minute battle sequence, lots of action. This week finds
everyone dealing with the fallout, with fewer fights and more
political maneuvering: Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, and Sansa
Stark bid farewell to some of their closest companions, consigning
them to a massive, sprawling funeral pyre. War’s not all that fun,
huh? (As showrunner David Benioff explained in the “Inside the
Episode” segment at the end of Sunday night's episode 4, they
wanted to show just how many people died in the battle for
Winterfell. Spoiler alert, it was
actually a lot.)
After the funeral, though, comes a debaucherous night of
drinking and hookups. No one on this show knows how to flirt;
instead, they just binge drink and play never-have-I-ever like the
high-school-aged kids they really are. The next morning, everyone’s
scattering across the Seven Kingdoms—Daenerys, Tyrion, Varys, Grey
Worm, and the rest of the army south to King’s Landing; Jaime
Lannister following hot on their heels; Sansa and Brienne of Tarth
back in the north—to deal with the next most existential threat
after the zombie army: the reign of Cersei Lannister.
The episode closes with yet another violent death: the execution
of one-half of a couple we kind of figured were too good to last.
(It was not a great week for the show’s women characters more
broadly, with an overwhelming social media reaction questioning
Sansa’s declaration that a series of abusive relationships made her
stronger; Brienne’s tearful farewell to Jaime Lannister; and
Missandei’s sudden death.) So here’s where everyone
stands—politically, romantically, and, plainly, who’s alive—at the
end of the (kind of messy, really) fourth episode.
Thanks to last week’s ninja move that took down the Night King,
Arya is everyone’s favorite. “The hero of Winterfell” sounds so, so
sweet. And killing the Night King and having your dude profess his
love to you in one night and still managing to keep your
head about it? The true winner of season 8 so far.
There’s good reason to be suspicious of anyone who wants to be
in power as badly as Daenerys wants to be in power, and Sansa knows
it. Plus, she’s got a new sci-fi leather look, indicating
sartorially and politically that her mall goth days are well behind
her. (She says as much, telling the Hound that were it not for
Ramsay, Littlefinger, and Joffrey, she wouldn’t be who she is
today. A way to address her prior traumas, sure, but this show
cannot really expect us to give credence to the idea that it
took years of abuse for Sansa to develop from “little bird” to Lady
Didn’t kill the Night King; still gets to eulogize everyone who
the Night King (and his baby zombies) killed. Jon Snow loves a big
speech moment. Behind the scenes, Varys, Sansa, and maybe,
reluctantly, Tyrion are scheming to put him on the throne; don’t
tell Jon Snow, because he doesn’t even want it anyways, and don’t
tell Daenerys, because she’ll blow a fuse.
Not very good at playing never-have-I-ever. Still got laid. Keep
Game of Thrones horny. (It does, however, seem inconsistent
with her character thus far to leave her sobbing over Jaime
Lannister’s sudden departure…)
Going to be parents! If it’s a boy, they’re going to name him
Jon; given that Gilly’s last kid, with Craster, is named Little
Sam, we’re thinking they need to get a little more creative with
Cocks, as he declares, are not a political qualification. Which
apparently needs to be said, here and also in Westeros, this week
Bye, bye my dragon child.
Wights did what greyscale couldn’t to Jorah Mormont, and
Daenerys is now short an advisor—one who she realized a little too
late maybe didn’t suck as much as we thought in previous seasons.
(Remember how mopey he was about not being able to get in her
pants?) In the last two weeks, Daenerys has lost two advisors (as
we bid farewell to Missandei) and a second dragon; this is getting
Plus, now that Jon Snow’s true parentage has emerged, Daenerys
is little by little losing her firm grip on her genetic claim to
the throne, so she’s instead resting on a political one. “I’m here
to free the world from tyrants,” she declares, a destiny she will
fulfill “no matter the costs,” which sounds… pretty tyrannical.
Captured, chained up by an eight-foot-tall undead strong man,
and then decapitated by said strong man, by the order of Cersei
Lannister, in front of an audience that included her closest friend
and her dude. One of the very few people of color left on the
show—and women of color, at that—now written out.
Has a new velvet look and a new fake baby daddy; still a total
He was so, so close to escaping the firm grasp of inc/est. At
the last minute, after hooking up with Brienne a couple times, he
decided to hurry back to the south to his sister-lover, which is
probably going to go poorly for both him and Euron Greyjoy. At
least the show didn’t deign to redeem him so easily.