Following last week’s epic Battle of Winterfell, the survivors of “The Long Night” turned their attention to Cersei Lannister, King’s Landing, and the battle for the Iron Throne in season 8, episode 4 of Game of Thrones.
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR ‘GAME OF THRONES’ SEASON 8, EPISODE 4 WILL FOLLOW.
Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 4 Recap
Major Deaths: 2 (Rhaegal, Missandei)
Major Reveals: 2 (Jon telling others about his parentage, Cersei having Missandei in captivity and then killing her)
Number of times Bran Stark/Three-Eyed Raven creeped someone out: 2
Director: David Nutter
Similar to the first three episodes of the season, tonight’s Game of Thrones intro included minor tweaks to the map of Westeros, this time to reflect the victory of the living over the dead in “The Long Night”, as the ice of the White Walkers stops at Winterfell.
Following last week’s world-saving victory in The Battle of Winterfell, the surviving heroes turned their attention to Cersei Lannister, Euron Greyjoy, King’s Landing, and the battle for the Iron Throne in the fourth episode of the final season.
After the intro, the episode opens with Dany looking over Jorah’s dead body, kissing him on the forehead. She appears to whisper something in his ear but we can’t hear what she says. Sansa says goodbye to Theon.
Jon gives a speech before lighting the dead on fire. Arya lights Beric, Sam lights Dolorous Edd, Jon lights Lyanna Mormont.
The Hound and Gendry are eating in the Great Hall as Gendry ask the Hound if he knows where Arya is. The Hound busts his balls before Gendry stands up to find her. As he does, Dany calls him out for being Robert Baratheon’s bastard. She then makes him Lord of Storm’s End, the Baratheon ancestral home.
We’re now with Jaime and Brienne, as Jaime says he wants to talk. We don’t get to hear what they talk about, as we’re now with Tyrion and Davos, who are talking about the Lord of Light. Davos is clearly conflicted after what he saw Melisandre pull off during all these years.
Tyrion then goes to talk to Bran, making a comment about his wheelchair. Tyrion tells Bran that he’s the Lord of Winterfell because he’s Ned Starks last Son, but Bran obviously weirdly turns him down.
The Great Hall then cheers to Dany, who gives a shoutout to Arya Stark. Tormund chugs whatever it is that he drinks. It’s all way to happy, veteran Thrones fans know something bad is coming.
Jaime, Brienne and Tyrion are playing a drinking game as Tormund talks about seeing Jon ride a dragon. Tormund and Jon bro out hard, as Tormund talks about Jon’s return from the dead and why they believe in him. Dany is clearly jealous and the camera cuts to an ominous shot of Dany surveying the Lannister’s, pondering her next move. Varys watches closely with a worried eye.
Back to the drinking game with Brienne and the Lannisters, as Tyrion calls out Brienne for being a virgin. Brienne leaves embarrassed, but Tyrion seems determined to get her laid.
Tormund is hammered, crying to the Hound about having a broken heart. A woman approached Tormund, saying she’s not afraid of Wildlings.
A girl approaches the Hound, but he angrily rejects her. Sansa notices and approaches the Hound, saying she’s seen much worse than him since they last saw each other. She tells the Hound about feeding Ramsey to his dogs. The Hound says none of it would have happened if she came with him when he left King’s Landing. Sansa grabs his hand and says without those experiences she’d still be a “little bird.”
The joyous atmosphere continues to give off an ominous vibe.
Gendry tells Arya he loves her and proposes to her, but she denies and repeats her line from season 1 … “that’s not me.”
Jaime drunkenly knocks on Brienne’s door with wine, and brings up Tormund, to which Brienne points out that he seems jealous. Jaime and Brienne take each other’s clothes off. They sleep together.
We’re now with Jon, whose hammered and brooding. Dany walks in, and Jon says his condolences about Jorah, saying if he could have chosen a way to die, it would have been protecting her. They start to get physical, but the knowledge of Jon’s heritage gets in the way. Dany voices her jealousy about the way people treat Jon.
Jon says he doesn’t want to be King but Dany asks what will happen when his people demand that he does. She urges him to keep his heritage a secret and make Samwell and Bran to secrecy.
Jon says he has to tell Sansa as he owes his family the truth. Dany says it will destroy them and begs him not to. Jon tries to smooth things over, but Dany storms off giving a definite Mad Queen-ish vibe.
The remaining leading heroes discuss their upcoming siege on King’s Landing. Sansa points out the armies need time to rest, and Dany snaps. Jon’s tried to defend her, but Arya and Sansa are suspicious. Arya and Sansa confront Jon, leading to a scene with the four Starks at the Godswood.
Jon debates telling Arya and Sansa about his parents, and Bran blurts out “it’s your choice”.
Jaime and Tyrion are drinking and Tyrion busts Jaime’s chops about Brienne. Bronn shows up with the crossbow and breaks Tyrion’s nose for talking too much. They strike up a deal to give Bronn High Garden.
Arya and the Hound are on horseback leaving Winterfell to King’s Landing, as they both have “unfinished business”. They say they don’t plan on coming back.
Dany goes to pet her Dragons and Sansa worriedly watched them fly in the sky. Tyrion approaches Sansa, who asks Tyrion why he’s out his faith in Dany. Tyrion tried to reason with Sansa, who is clearly shaken about what’s she’s learned about Jon. Sansa then appears to consider telling Tyrion about Jon’s parentage.
Tormund tells Jon he is taking the Free Folk back up North. Jon gives Tormund Ghost, and the two best friends say goodbye. Sam and Gilly approach Jon and reveal that Gilly is pregnant again. They say if it’s a boy, they’re going to name him Jon. Jon says he hopes it’s a girl. Sam tells Jon he’s the best friend he’s ever had, and the two say goodbye. Jon and Davos leave Winterfell and begin their march south.
We cut to a fleet of ships approaching Dragonstone with Grey Worm and Missandei, who holds Grey Worm’s hand and the two share a smile. Below deck, Tyrion tells Varys what he’s learned about Jon.
The two discuss the situation as Varys reveals he worries about Dany’s “state of mind”. Tyrion jokers that Cersei winning and killing them will solve their problems.
Rhageal gets shot by a scorpion arrow and falls into the ocean as the Iron Fleet led by Euron attack. Euron aims the scorpion at Cersei’s ships and opens fire. Tyrion is forced to abandon ship. He gets knocked out before a cut to black, as we pick back up with the survivors being washed ashore. Grey Worm, Tyrion, and Varys all survive, but Missandei is missing.
We’re back with Kings Landing as Euron is already back, who says one of the dragons is dead. Euron bends a knee to Cersei, who says “our child” will one day rule. She instructs to keep the gates open as Dany would need to kill “thousands” to sack the city.
It’s revealed that Cersei has captured Missandei.
Dany and Grey Worm plot immediate revenge, but Varys advises against it. He warns not to seek revenge as she will be destroying the city she came to save. Tyrion also advises against a siege, but Dany seems committed.
Tyrion and Varys are talking in private, as they worry about Dany and the true parentage of Jon Snow. Varys asks who Tyrion would think would be the better ruler. Tyrion floats the idea of them both ruling and reiterates his faith in Dany. Varys reminds him that his loyalty is to the realm and more or less hints that he is going to take serious action against Dany.
Back in the North, where Brienne gives Jaime word about Euron’s attack and informs him of the dead dragon, destroyed ships, and that they captured Missandei.
Sansa says to Jaime she’s upset she won’t be there to see Cersei executed. Jaime ponds over his choices while Brienne sleeps in bed behind him. Jaime exits the room to load up his horse, and Brienne follows him out begging him not to go, because he’s a “good man and can’t save her”. Brienne begs Jaime to stay. Jaime laments that Brienne thinks he’s a good man, listing all the horrible things he’s done for Cersei. He says “she’s hateful and so am I.” Jaime lives Winterfell and Brienne is left crying.
Dany and her forces are outside the gates of King’s Landing as Missandei is dangled like bait. Qyburn exits King’s Landing to discuss terms with Tyrion. Qyburn says Missandei will die if Dany does not surrender. Tyrion begs Qyburn to help him bring peace, but Qyburn lists all the ways Cersei currently has the advantage. Tyrion gets tired of Qyburn and approaches the gates of King’s Landing to speak to Cersei directly. Cersei chooses not to kill Tyrion and allows him to speak. Tyrion tells Cersei she’s not a monster and uses her children as examples. He says just because her life is over does not mean that she and her child have to die.
Cersei responds by asking Missandei if she has any last words. Misandrist says “Dracarys”. The Mountain then beheads Missandei.
The episode ends with Dany angrily walking off.
Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 4 Review
Sandwiched between two “big battles” — episode 3’s “The Battle of Winterfell” and episode 5’s presumed Battle of King’s Landing — this week’s episode was always bound to be somewhat of a breather from the torrid pace of this final season.
The eighth and final season of HBO’s Emmy Award-winning fantasy drama ‘Game of Thrones’ began on Sunday, April 14, and will conclude on Sunday, May 19.