Game of Thrones is burning through the story at this stage!
On Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4, the survivors of the Battle of Winterfell partied the night away, and rightfully so.
What else is there to do when you survive a literal battle with the dead?
There wasn't much for Daenerys to celebrate. She lost a lot of her men, a man who defended her to his last breath, and her claim to the Iron Throne was on shaky ground.
It's hard to believe it, but it seems like the writers are setting Daenerys up to fail at this final hurdle.
Her journey has been eventful. She's raised three dragons, broke many chains, and survived various near-death experiences.
Now, she's the most vulnerable she's ever been.
Daenerys is so consumed with taking up residence on the Iron Throne that she was ready to put Drogon's life on the line mere moments after Rhaegal was killed.
Her decision to charge towards the ships, but it was an instinct based on what happened to Rhaegal.
It was silly of her to be against a much-needed respite for everyone involved in the battle, but I guess she felt so close to King's Landing that she could taste the victory in her mouth.
That being said, it's doubtful that she banked on losing more men, a dragon, and one of her closest allies.
It could be said that Daenerys lost more than one ally during Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4, but there's really no telling what Tyrion or Varys will do.
There were definitely pros and cons to ending their Queen's journey, but would either of them really go there?
In all honesty, Daenerys has kept Tyrion around a lot longer than she should have. At points, she's worried the imp has been helping his sister.
A part of Daenerys is always going to resent Tyrion for his surname.
Did anyone actually think Daenerys was going to surrender?
That's not her style, but we did get a rare moment of weakness from her as Tyrion tried to get her to see the light.
Cersei is a master manipulator, and the very notion that she would leave without a fight is laughable.
The big niggle with that final scene is the way Missandei died. Missandei's friends and loved ones watched on in horror. Wouldn't it have made more sense for her to try to knock Cersei off the platform with her?
Cersei: If you have any last words, now is the time.
While it would have still resulted in Missandei's death, it would have been a much more honorable way to go. She had to have known that Cersei would not allow her to leave with her life.
Having Missandei killed was Cersei's way of raising the middle finger to any sort of deal that could lead to a truce and avoid a war.
It was ridiculous of Daenerys to head straight for King's Landing, knowing full well that Cersei's group have weapons that can wipe her final dragon out.
Then there's Cerse, who is killing it as the Queen.
Bringing the people of King's Landing to the castle with the promise of safety was a smart move. She knew that would present an issue for the people who were coming to tear the city to pieces.
Telling Euron about the child changed everything. He realized at that moment that he had to do whatever he could to get that child born and into power. It's always about power on Game of Thrones.
Daenerys seems ready to become the Mad Queen for the battle, and it might be what she needs to increase her own odds of remaining in power at the end of it all.
I know you don’t care about your people. Why should you? They hate you, and you hate them. You’ve always loved your children more than yourself, more than Jaime, more than anything. Your reign is over. It doesn’t mean your life has to end. It doesn’t mean your baby has to die.Tyrion
Like I've said on countless occasions, Daenerys has been driven by her quest to take over the Iron Throne throughout her entire arc on the series.
She's starting to crack now that the obstacles are intensifying and her allies are dwindling. Her and Sansa were serving looks at each other throughout the entire episode, and it's only a matter of time before one of them bites back at the other.
Jon: I owe them the truth.
Daenerys: Even if the truth destroys us?
Jon: You are my queen. Nothing will change that. And they are my family. We can live together.
Daenerys: We can. I’ve just told you how.
Sansa and Arya having reservations about bending the knee to Daenerys was right on the money. The Starks have been burned by traitors who lured them into a false sense of security on more than one occasion now.
They're not about to make that mistake again. On the other side of the coin, Daenerys brought her army North, to a place she never wanted to go to in order to defend them.
It's a catch-22 scenario, and I only wish Daenerys would let fate play out instead of trying to grasp on to her claim to the Iron Throne.
She wants to make the world a better place. I believe in her.Tyrion
Even though Jon was adamant that he did not want to be the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, that wasn't enough for Daenerys, and she wanted her lover to lie about his lineage.
How could you be in a relationship with someone who asks that of you?
Jon tried to honor Daenerys by staying quiet, but Bran being given the green light to spill the beans kind of allows Jon to deny he said it himself.
This presents a big issue for Daenerys. As people learn that she tried to hide the truth, she's going to lose what little faith people have in her.
It pains me to say this, but her quest for power is probably going to cost her everything, and that's pretty sad. Her father went crazy, and it seems history is about to repeat itself.
Jaime: I’ve never slept with a knight before.
Brienne: I’ve never slept with anyone before.
Jaime: Then you have to drink. Those are the rules.
It's possible another twist will be thrown in to help her realize that she needs to sink or swim ahead of the final battle.
Despite my issues with Daenerys, at least she was kind to Gendry. However, her gesture seemed like a thinly veiled attempt to get people in the North to look up to her.
Nonetheless, it was good that Gendry finally got a shred of power. He's been through the mill, and it's a shame the woman he loves will never be the woman he wants her to be.
The execution of the scene between Arya and Gendry worked really well. When Arya kissed Gendry, it was like she was about to say something about them making it out of the battle alive and seeing what happens.
For someone who murdered the Night King, Arya was all about pressing on with the next stage of the plan. Maybe it's that she knows she's not going to be able to rest until her list is complete.
Either way, if we're following the prophecy here, Arya will be the one to murder Cersei on Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5.
It remains to be seen how she will do it, but there's a good chance it will involve Jaime's face. Yes, there's a good chance Jaime is not making it out of the series alive!
He may want to be a good person now, but if you watch Game of Thrones online, you know that he's done his fair share of terrible deeds over the years.
It sucks that Brienne finally found a man that she wanted to have sex with, only for him to run off in the dead of night because of the past catching up with him.
It's likely the duo will never meet again.
Despite one of the wars already won, there were a lot of goodbyes during this expanded installment, and it's possible we will not see some of these characters again.
We’re here to say goodbye to our brothers and sisters, to our fathers and mothers, to our friends, our fellow men and women who set aside their differences to fight together and die together so that others might live. Everyone in this world owes them a debt that can never be repaid. It is our duty and our honor to keep them alive in memory for those who come after us, and those who come after them, for as long as men draw breath.Jon
Tormund has come to Jon's defense on more than one occasion now, and I doubt that will change any time soon.
The moment he hears of the deceased dragon and Missandei, he's probably going to hotfoot it to King's Landing to be by Jon's side.
Jon handing over Ghost to Tormund was a touching moment. It reiterated how strong the bond between Jon and Tormund.
The Direwolf plot hasn't lived up to its potential, and with two episodes remaining, there's a chance it could come to the forefront with a solution to winning the final battle.
Other odds and ends:
- Who thinks Sansa will be the one to sway Tyrion over to turning on Daenerys?
- Never Have I Ever: Westeros Edition should have a spinoff.
- Did anyone else expect Daenerys to scold Grey Worm for not yelling out her name when he arrived at Dragonstone?
- Euron paused when Daenerys made a beeline for his dragon-killing machine. That dude would have been happy to go out that way. He's crazy!
- Bronn took his time getting to Winterfell. It was so in character of him to want to get a better deal.
What did you think of those deaths? What do you think will go down on the penultimate episode?
Hit the comments below.
Game of Thrones continues Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.