Review: Game of Thrones — Season Eight, Episode Four (“The Last of the Starks”)

Sam Bull, Opinion Editor

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Episode four did well to display the realities from the aftermath of the Battle of Winterfell. The harsh attitudes and frustrating issues reminded us that, while Cersei still lives, no victory has been secured for anyone quite yet.

A powerful commencing speech from Jon Snow at the burning of the dead bodies set a serious tone that lasted only until a celebratory dinner later that night. The creators did well to really show the pride and humanity of the victorious survivors that the show often lacks.

However, through all of this celebration, Daenerys seemed to be experiencing a downfall, as now that Jora is dead, she is rather alone in individuals who are still fond of her. Loyalties were in question as the usual allies of Daenerys seemed to second-guess themselves.

This was done well, because it can bring up the question of just how fair Daenerys would be as queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Throughout season eight, we’ve seen her slowly become more and more desperate for power, and that may just be a foreshadowing of corruption if she takes the throne.

Jon’s popularity combined with the reality of his true identity effectively throws another person into the battle for the throne, and the creators did well to add that hint of irony, as Daenerys and Jon are supposed to be on the same side.

Despite these effective elements, the odd and rather uncomfortable budding relationship between Jaime and Brienne just doesn’t fit. It’s understandable that they’ve had a positive relation to one another throughout the show, but them together just throws things off.

Additionally, when Daenerys and her fleet were travelling South to Dragonstone in the first part of their plan to advance on King’s Landing, one of her dragons was suddenly shot down by Euron and the Iron Fleet. It was a good element of surprise, but more could’ve been done with that dragon’s death, rather than just a few quick seconds.

Many complaints had come from the third episode in terms certain characters failing to die, and episode four did do well to continue killing some off. For example, Missandei was captured and later executed in front of Grey Worm, Tyrion, Daenerys and others worthlessly trying to negotiate for surrender with Cersei.

The creators continue to do well in creating possible theories for the season’s final two episodes, most notably when Missandei angry muttered “dracarys” before she was executed. This could mean anything from a simple expression of anger to a deeper symbolic foreshadowing.

In sum, the episode was good—but it wasn’t great. More could’ve been done with certain elements, and others could’ve been left out altogether. Despite this, it was still a fantastic representation of the realities that Jon, Daenerys, and the rest of Westeros must face in the battle for a just ruler on the iron throne.