Review: Game Of Thrones S8E4, The Last Of The Starks
Here’s to hoping that Game of Thrones S8E4 means there’s no where to go but up
Where does one of the most renowned shows go, coming from such a hyped but divisive episode? They leave a Starbucks cup in one of the scenes.
This oversight may not be the biggest of mistakes but when your name is Game Of Thrones, this is simply not a mistake that you make. Looking at this further, this applies to more and more things in The Last Of The Starks. And with fans so hungry for a bounce back from last episode, it feels a little like stories are being told yet rushed, which translates to not-so-good in this fan’s perspective.
WARNING: The article below is long and full of spoilers.
My fan brain is stressed out hoping that they can still fix things. I am hoping simply because it is Game Of Thrones that we’re talking about. But with only two episodes to go, this brings me back—why do things feel rushed? Why do things feel a little less glued together like they were previously? Let me talk about some signs of this below.
Are they purposely not showing fans what we want to see?
The cat is out of the bag: Jon told Dany who he was before the war against the Night King and in this episode we see the nerving confrontation about Jon’s identity. Daenerys makes Jon swear not to tell anyone (not surprising, but more on this later) as it would destroy them. She also goes on to mention something about a better claim to something called the Iron Throne—again, more on this later.
Jon chooses to put family first and tells his sisters the truth, to which his sisters promise to keep Jon’s secret to themselves. The conversation was…wait, WHERE WAS THE CONVERSATION? This wasn’t some small innocent whisper from the schoolyard; Jon Snow (Targaryen) told him that he was the rightful king! Why didn’t they show us how the family took the news?! I didn’t realize this at first but after thinking about it, I felt so deprived.
Sansa, unsurprisingly tells Tyrion the secret. And, for all his logic and mental prowess, how does the imp react to the news when Sansa tells him? WE DON’T KNOW BECAUSE WE WERE NEVER SHOWN THE CONVERSATION. Character development, okay, I guess we’ll skip that…but I’m not happy with it. Not at all.
— Sam DeFlitch (@sdeflitchy) May 6, 2019
This seems to be a bit of a recurring element in the episode (how was Missandei captured by Euron?). Coming from where we’ve already been with Game of Thrones—the detail, the careful character building, the calculated plot points—we’ve been spoiled by some of the best storytelling TV has had to offer. Why then is the show starting to lose a lot of what built it up to be so great to begin with? We can go on and on about this but the bottom line is that fans are seeing gaps and we don’t like it.
Oh, and don’t even get me started on Jon almost giving zero fucks about Ghost, his protector and companion since season one. Why the writers would choose to brush the Ghost-Jon relationship aside like that is mind boggling.
Euron, you machine. Literally
Euron killed Rhaegal…how? With huge ballistae aimed towards the sky. Did he kill Drogon, too? No. But Drogon and Daenerys were flying straight towards him out of revenge, wouldn’t that be simpler than aiming at something far in the sky? Well yes but…I don’t know. It doesn’t seem logical. Wait a minute; how did he even know that Daenerys was going to be at Dragonstone? It doesn’t make sense (I have a theory on this for later).
I don’t like the way that Euron has become a Swiss knife for Cersei and the show. Need to divide the brother and sister from the Iron Isles? Euron kidnaps Yara. Cersei needs new motivation by getting pregnant? Answer: Euron. Even with depleted armies, battle is tipped towards those from the North because they have two dragons; enter Euron. His character has become too one dimensional making him feel like less of a character and more of a tool.
Dany, you are looking predictable and I hope I’m wrong
How many times have we heard that Dany is turning into a clear reflection of her father, The Mad King? Countless. I even wrote about it in a previous review. That’s not to say that it would happen but that signs were present. Given what happened in this episode, however, it looks like she is going in that direction at full speed. I let out a silent groan as I write because, as a fan, that’s not what I want to see.
With so much grief, death has hit Dany time and again. Jorah, Rhaegal and, by the end of the episode, Missandei. One can understand that she would go nuts, right? The difference between her and her father is that her father was mad; Daenerys was driven mad by death and ambition. It is possible but I hope that’s not where it really goes, because despite Daenerys having her sights clearly on the Iron Throne since day one, she has also stood for freedom from tyranny. Breaker of chains, anyone?
Ominous as it is, I am secretly hoping that Daenerys realizes within the season what Varys and Tyrion talked about “those that are most fit to rule may be those that do not want to rule.” What if Daenerys realizes this later and let’s Jon (or Tyrion, don’t ask me how) take the Iron Throne? I remain silently hopeful.
Season eight has been mediocre compared to its predecessors and this episode is no exception. Logic is being defied and writing is feeling rushed. I am still a Game Of Thrones faithful but the show has to pick up fast and I’m scared that two episodes may not be enough to do it. Close this well please, HBO. Don’t join Lost as a show that left with WTFs instead of satisfied hearts.
Game of Thrones S8E4: The Last Of The Starks was underwhelming, but here’s to hoping the series closes with a steep—and quick—uphill climb.
Words Yosu de Erquiaga
Art Alexandra Lara