Game of Thrones: S8 Ep 4 – Review of "The Last of the Starks"

By Laura Prudom

This revision contains spoilers for Season 8 of Game of Thrones, episode 4, "The Last of the Starks". To refresh your memory of where we left off, read our review of episode 3 of GoT S8, "The Long Night," and if you are confused about what "dracarys" means, we have it covered.

In many ways, "The Last of the Starks" is the most solid episode of "Game of Thrones" of Game of Thrones we've had in a long time, full of political machinations and whispered plans. In others, he suffers the same narrative frustrations that have plagued this season (and, possibly, all seasons since the program began to surpbad George R. R. Martin's books).

It's realistic that even the most heroic and sensible characters are beginning to fall into distrust and paranoia when there's so much on the line (not to mention characters who are not sensible, like Cersei and Daenerys), but it's still exasperating that After all these people have gone through and all the horrible things they have seen, they can not let go of their differences and simply try to see things from the point of view of others. (On the other hand, probably the same can be said of our world and of the many civil wars in which Martin was inspired to elaborate his narrative).

Martin has always defended the idea that power corrupts, and we are clearly about to see it big with the blood of every man, woman and child in the King's Landing. Obviously, Cersei is prepared to use them all as human shields, while Daenerys is so focused on her goal and so traumatized by all that she has lost (her two closest friends and two of her children in a very rapid succession) that she is too blind because of the hatred to stop and consider the collateral damage.

The program has positioned these two "Mad Queens" in a chicken game that can not be won, where mutual destruction badured seems to be the most likely outcome, and yet, Daenerys once said that she had not come to Westeros to be the "queen of the ashes". Did you forget that vote, or can Jon and Tyrion take it off the edge?

Now that the White Walkers are destroyed, it is impossible not to look back to the vision he had in the House of the Dead, where something that certainly looked like snow was falling on the Iron Throne through the holes in the roof of the Red Guard. . Sure, we all badumed it would be the Night King's job, but the damage could easily be due to the dragon's fire, or the wild fire, and in "The Long Night," it was impossible to tell the difference between the snow and the ash outside. Winterfell. Certainly, we would not let Cersei ignore it simply to destroy the hiding places of the forest fires he has in the city, as Daenerys' father once tried, in a small demonstration of "if I can not have the throne, nobody can " , "And somehow, that would probably be the best result for everyone." (Euron have having made the calculations and deciphered that there are doubts about Cersei's pregnancy after Tyrion's pbadionate speech, right?)

But the program tilts so heavily and clumsily in Dany's Mad Queen routine. I still hope that the program offers us a satisfactory turn in that great omen. Otherwise, what were all your long (and often boring) efforts at Essos?

Watch the preview of Season 8 of Game of Thrones, episode 5 below:

We see that Daenerys can be strategic when she needs to be: legitimize Gendry as a true Baratheon to ensure her loyalty, but we also see how lonely she is without Jorah and Dothraki behind her. What has all this been for, if she does not have the love of the people or a family that will be by her side no matter what, as Jon has? How much more do you have to lose before having any perspective? Somehow, it seems that the program is preparing to sacrifice for Jon, to finally realize that the needs of the kingdom must go before their own desires, but it is equally likely that Varys is the third betrayal that was prophesied to Dany in the books: "You will know three betrayals: once for blood and once for gold and once for love". Varys almost openly says that his love for the kingdom will replace any loyalty to Dany, so that she could be the one to kill him (as Melisandre predicted) after he tried to badbadinate her before the final confrontation with Cersei?

Varys and Tyrion are not the only ones who plan this week. We can not blame the Stark sisters for wanting to cling to the idea that "the lone wolf dies, but the herd survives", especially considering all those who have tried to destroy their family, but it is still exhausting to see Jon do the same. disastrous mistakes he has made several times in the past, trusting that everyone else will be as honest as he is. By telling Sansa and Arya the truth about his identity as Aegon Targaryen, he shows that Daenerys is right: Sansa immediately begins to try to undermine Dany's claim, and in his opinion, that is probably perfectly rational, given everything she has seen. of the Dragon Queen until now.

Perhaps the best thing about this episode (and this season) is that there really is not a line between our so-called "heroes" and "villains": Sansa and Arya have our loyalty by virtue of being Starks, but their behavior this season is so manipulative and a mercenary like Cersei's, even while Daenerys seems to behave as selfishly and cruelly as Sansa, Arya and Sam warned that it would be, for what seems to justify the Starks' distrust.

Jon may be the only character in the program who technically has clean hands by staying true to his vows, but his ingenuity also puts everything he loves at risk, and those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. He has seen what cost honesty to Ned Stark, and when Daenerys tells him directly that some truths are far more harmful and harmful than the cost of hiding them, he selfishly puts his own honor and comfort above maintaining peace, because lying to his sisters would make him feel guilty. The fact that he is a reluctant leader does not mean that he is more qualified than Daenerys, when he has no idea how to negotiate or compromise when necessary.

As Tywin Lannister once said, it is not holiness, justice or strength that makes a good king, but wisdom: "a wise king knows what he knows and what he does not know". Sometimes wisdom means knowing that it is a secret, like the fact that Ned prevented everyone in his life from keeping Jon alive all these years, at a great cost to his marriage and reputation, is much more honorable than the truth.

That way, however frustrating this episode is, because all these people should know better, maybe it's one of the most honest in a long time, especially when Jaime, even after experiencing something truly pure, good and healthy with Brienne, admits that is "hateful" like Cersei, and he goes to face it for the last time. It is a heartbreaking moment, but despite the redemptive arc won by Jaime in recent seasons, he feels faithful to the character. Just as Arya refuses Gendry's proposal: a long time ago he told Ned "that's not me" when he predicted that one day he would marry a lord, and it's a satisfying answer to hear him tell Gendry the same thing. Like her wolf, Nymeria, she needs to be unattached, after all, she still has a name she should cross off her list.

Where "The Last of the Starks" falls short is in its recurring shortcuts. We've heard that direwolves are expensive (but now that Rhaegal and Viserion are dead, presumably the dragon's budget has been reduced by two-thirds), and yet, Jon arbitrarily decides that Ghost should go North with Tormund without just a pat or even goodbye to his absent teacher, even though they tore off his ear and scratched his sides in a battle in which we all thought he had died anyway? The direwolves were a fundamental part of the first seasons of the program (and they are still a fundamental part of George RR Martin's books, thanks to the emphasis of A Song of Ice and Fire on the Starks' war skills). It is heartbreaking to see them so marginalized. here. I almost want Jon to die again just for treating his faithful companion so badly.

Of course, there are also other punches. Why would the Daenerys not fly behind the Euron fleet where there did not seem to be any ballistas and they would burn them from behind? How did the dragons not see Euron's fleet from miles away? What the hell is Bronn's point more if he's going to sit in another big battle? But at this point, the show is in such a hurry to reach its final stage, that it is hardly worth losing the dream by the gadgets.

Perhaps it is only in the order of the truncated episodes that everyone's decisions feel much more extreme and heavy than they used to, when in the old days, I really could not guess who had poisoned Joffrey or sent a killer to Bran just predicted that it was the same damn person!). It is not a decisive factor, but it seems that the series lacks a sense of nuance compared to the complex form in which this game was played, and that could be preparing us for a divisive end.

The verdict

This is the most deliciously political game of thrones that has existed for some time, and there is something enormously satisfying about seeing all the intrigues and gags that propelled the early seasons of the program, even if Season 8 has lost all subtlety and nuances that used to be a hallmark of the show. There is something truly realistic in seeing our characters become this kind of pettiness, even after facing the literal incarnation of death, but we still want the show to take its time instead of running to the finish line.

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