Game of Thrones Notes, Season 8, Episode 4

2245 wc

I’m still playing Sekiro, so not much to write about until I’m finished with it. Until then, more notes on Game of Thrones! Thought I should post them before the new episode airs to lock in my predictions for the Internet office pool.

Episode 4

Seeing from Twitter that there are spoilers for the episode and not even 5 pm yet. Was there another leaked episode? Probably. Undoubtedly. I had to find the leaked episodes last season so I could watch them before people posted spoilers from them. Was a pain.

Previously on: Cersei. Jon + Dany. Arya + Jon. Mormont. All the deaths last episode.

Here goes. All new territory. Director David Nutter I think it said. [I remember him from The X-Files.]

Opening on Jorah’s body. Dany whispered something we couldn’t hear.

Sansa crying over … ? Lady Mormont? Oh.. no it’s Theon. Puts Winterfell pin on him. Nice gesture.

Whoa hell of a lot of dead on those pyres. No army left. Oh Ghost survived, but bloody. Actually it doesn’t look like enough dead bodies. Should be more dead than alive right now.

Cough no injuries at all on the main characters. Where’s Brienne? Jaime?

Didn’t see Arya either come to think of it. Saw Brienne at the dinner table. Ah there’s Jaime at the table too.

Gendry lord of Storm’s End by Dany’s proclamation. Well didn’t see that coming. Don’t really care either. Oh we’re back in the game now. Sansa doesn’t like.

Sansa not standing. Ruh roh.

Jon getting all the credit from Tormund. Ruh roh.

Dany’s cracking under pressure.

“You’re a virgin.” Ugh. Super cliche.

What is even happening right now. This has to be a distraction for some kind of jarring surprise coming up. [Nope, it wasn’t.]

Sansa talking to The Hound. Callback. “Little bird” callback. Hrm she’s a bit power hungry there isn’t she.

Arya finally. [Gendry proposes.] WTF. She better say no. Whew. Something done right at least.

Brienne and Jaime. All this relationship stuff is getting painful. OMG again, let me say, what is even happening right now. Is this a frickin YA novel suddenly? There’s not going to be any plot development in this episode is there.

Okay Dany and Jon. Maybe something interesting will happen here? Maybe? Whew, it almost went south there, but they righted the ship at the last second with a consequential conversation. Jon can’t do it. [Keep his secret.] Of course. Oh god. Well here’s the moment. Yep, Jon just sealed his fate.

Crossbow for Jaime now? Guess not.

“Half gone?” [Half of their armies gone.] That’s all? So much for the dead being the end of all things. [Was just a mild bump in the road.]

Varys speaks for the first time in the season? Hey siege of King’s Landing. Actually a good plan. Heh some tension here. Just a tad. All between the ladies.

Well the secret’s out. [Jon tells the Starks.]

Cross…. ha! I was about to type “this is when the crossbow shows up,” and in he [Bronn] walks! Worried about Jaime here. But could be a feight. Pointing crossbow at Jaime then switch. Oh… well it played out without any peril to the main characters. But I was worried for a second there.

“Some unfinished business.” … [“not planning to return”] “Neither do I.” [The Hound and Arya heading to King’s Landing. One to fight The Mountain, of course, the other to kill Cersei, of course. All to fan’s expectations.]

Dragons are fine apparently. No damage. Oh… well, one’s flying crooked. One looks hurt. Hole in the wing.

Unsullied marching by. Like last week’s battle didn’t happen.

“Someone better.” [Talking about someone better than Dany for the Iron Throne.] Well that was predictable.

Somebody’s probably going to die before the end of this episode. Right? Surely?

Ghost going north. Not like Jon’s ever talked to him in forever hehe.

Bye Sam. Bye Ghost. [Ghost whines.] I mean, are we supposed to be sad about this direwolf that we haven’t seen in seven seasons?

Greyworm and Missande sailing? Um? How are they sailing from Winterfell to King’s Landing?

Oh damn. Well that was a surprise. [Euron’s surprise attack that kills one of the remaining dragons.] Err Dany’s dive bomb should have killed that dragon.

Heh CG scene. Tyrion man overboard! [Euron’s fleet destroying Dany’s fleet.]

Eh they’re all fine. Ships destroyed though.

Missande missing.

Qyburn nodding? Why?

Oh god seriously? Missande captive? How the holy hell?

Pacing of this episode is really wack. Skipped over really consequential stuff. Maybe couldn’t afford it.

Dany being made to look crazy.

Tyrion and Varys. Good scene. No, great scene. Best of the show by far. Harkens back to early seasons, finally.

Jaime deciding to go to King’s Landing probably. Yep. People probably not going to like this side of Brienne. Jaime: “She’s hateful and so am I.” Oh man. Should have quit while they were ahead with Tyrion and Varys. [That was a textbook “pushing someone away” line.]

Still more?? [Longer episode than I expected.]

Parlay? Um. That’s not how that’s done? Qyburn coming out. Here’s where we get the single combat challenge I bet. [Nope.] Dany looks really vulnerable there. Those Unsullied won’t save her.

Um. Lotta upper arm strength to hold those bows drawn like that.

[Tyrion appealing directly to Cersei. Doing well then…] Oops lost her. [With the appeal to her baby.] Knew it. [Tried to fake us out by letting us believe Cersei might let Missande go but I wasn’t buying it for a second, not with that expression.] [There’s definitely something hinky about the baby thing - it’s not … natural.]

“Draconis??” [Didn’t catch her last word. Dracaris? The word Dany says to tell the dragons to burn things.]

Well, I hate to be right. [Missande the one to die, not Greyworm.]

Well we’re in for a brawl now. So much for the single combat.

Next week: This should be the big, big fight.

Next Day Thoughts

Was tired and went to bed before I wrote down any thoughts about the episode. This was a weird, disjointed episode to me. The pacing was all over the map, and it reeled from childishness to serious drama and back again.

There’s no way that they should have been caught sailing from Winterfell to King’s Landing via. Dragonstone. It makes no logical sense to sail that way, because Winterfell is on the western side of Westeros, and Dragonstone and King’s Landing are on the eastern side. They would have had to march their armies clear across the continent to get to the eastern shore to embark. They should have been sailing around the western coast, past the Iron Islands, past Dorne, to King’s Landing. They would have had to sail past King’s Landing to get to Dragonstone, in other words. But they’ve lost all sense of the size and scope of the map in the last few seasons, so it doesn’t surprise me. I just rolled my eyes at how stupid they think their audience is now.

I was very confused about the geographical location of that surprise sea attack, by the way. I thought they were outside of King’s Landing. But I think they were outside of Dragonstone. When they dragged themselves up on the shore, at first I thought they were right there at King’s Landing and it was game over. But (apparently?) they were dragging themselves on shore at Dragonstone. Wasn’t shown very clearly.

Then they apparently marched south to King’s Landing for parlay, which again, made no sense. Cersei should have simply wiped them out while they were standing there outside the gates with like two dozen Unsullied for protection, against her thousands and thousands of Golden Company.

That was the part of the episode where the pacing was extremely jarring. They put an entire episode’s worth of events into like two minutes of running time. In the blink of an eye, they sailed from Winterfell to Dragonstone, got attacked by Euron’s fleet, lost a dragon, lost their fleet, lost Missande, marched south to parlay at King’s Landing.

As for Jaime and Brienne, I just don’t even understand what they were thinking there. I mean, I know what they were thinking (give the fans what they want! Jaime goes to King’s Landing to confront Cersei one last time!), but it came off as such a cheap gimmick that mostly undermined all of the character development of Jaime and Brienne. Brienne, the strong independent female character, became the super cliched crying lover saying “please don’t go I can’t live without you!” Come on. That was just painful to watch.

They spent way too much hanging around in Winterfell at the start of the episode. A lot of it seemed really juvenile, too. I don’t really remember the specifics now. Oh I remember.. that drinking game with Jaime and Brienne and Tyrion and Pod. What in the actual hell. “You’re a virgin!” That was so incredibly lame.

The scene with Bronn and Jaime and Tyrion. They had a chance for some kind of shocking drama, but in the end it was just … nothing. A confrontation with no consequence. I would have had a lot more respect for the show if Bronn had killed one or both of them. Bronn had his crossbow trained on Jaime the entire time, so I thought they were building audience expectations for him to suddenly shoot Tyrion before he left. It would have been a cheap, random surprise for the shock value, but at least that would have made sense. The way it played out made no sense at all. They could have simply deleted the scene, and deleted the scene where Cersei gave Bronn the orders to kill them, with no effect on the overarching plot. The only thing I can figure is that it was the only way they could get those characters together in one scene for one last time before the end of the show, for the fans. Again, putting fan service ahead of good story.

Anyway, overall a puzzling episode. I felt like they squandered a lot of screen time on inconsequential stuff. They could and should have put a lot more time into the political machinations. Tyrion and Varys turning on Dany felt very sudden as a result. (Though it was the best scene of the episode. It was the only scene I can think of recently that reminded me of the good old days of the show.)

The show getting a lot of flak for apparently trying to install Jon (the man) instead of Dany (the woman). I think there’s a better-than-average chance that all the talk of “Dany can’t rule because she isn’t a man” is a feint, and she will still “win” to subvert that trope. They leaned into it pretty hard. I mean, otherwise, wow, they threw Dany’s character under the bus bigtime, which would be somewhat surprising for this show (or any show in 2019), even as awful as it is now.

The show is also getting flak for Arya saying “I’m not a lady.” I just saw that as a callback to a conversation with Ned Stark in the first season, I didn’t see that as a diminishing of her gender at all. She said it in a way that sounded like she was proud of it, to be honest, which is what I would expect from her character. It would have diminished her gender A WHOLE LOT MORE to say yes to marriage.

No excuse for Brienne, though. That was painful. If they don’t have something else in mind for her in the last two episodes, then just, wow. What a terrible way to end her arc.

[Update: I had a fleeting wondering thought about whether Arya had taken Jaime’s face for that scene where Jaime left. “She’s hateful and so am I” takes on a new meaning if what we saw was actually Arya in Jaime’s face. It would also explain Jaime’s completely ridiculous and inexplicable change in attitude on a dime. That would mean, of course, that Jaime’s dead, and was killed offscreen. It makes a certain amount of sense as it would be an easy way for Arya to get close to Cersei to kill her. And it would surely be far easier to kill Jaime at Winterfell, rather than at King’s Landing.] [Later Update: Oh nevermind. Arya had already left Winterfell long before Jaime left.]

Predictions: Still predicting Dany will “win.” If she does, Jon obviously will die. Probably by her hand. That’s the safe money. Arya planning to kill Cersei, but Jaime will ultimately be the one to do it. The Hound will fight The Mountain and it will be dumb, because The Hound will clearly win because fan service. Will just be a waste of time. Still waiting for the other foot to drop with Cersei’s baby. Maybe it’s like Millisandre’s “baby?”

And finally, I didn’t see the Starbucks cup in the episode, and wouldn’t have cared if I had. It is a measure of how poorly the episode came across that a coffee cup made such a huge splash on the Internet.

Sunday morning prediction: Brienne will go to King’s Landing to kill Cersei. The surprise twist angle! I don’t think Arya will do it. She might get killed before she gets a chance. A scene will probably be Cersei and Jaime and Brienne in a room together.

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