I Drink and I Know Things: Game of Thrones Sn 8, Ep 4 & 5 – “The Last of the Starks” & “The Bells”

Let me start out by saying that you should not think of this as “he couldn’t write episode 4 in time so he had to combine it with episode 5.” Think of it as a two episode extravaganza that was always planned from the beginning! OK, are we clear on that? Great! We’re going to do this one a little differently and highlight some of the main takeaways (in my opinion) from these two somewhat controversial episodes. Maybe controversial isn’t the correct word for it. Divisive maybe? Well the internet, like King’s Landing, was ablaze with mixed feelings about how this show is looking to wrap up. I’m torn too. I like the main plot points the show is hitting, just not necessarily how they were presented. So raise up your glasses and lets talk some shop about the good, the bad, and the WTF were they thinking!

The Good

Big kudos to the special effects and cinematography departments. If nothing else, this show looks amazing and is a spectacle unlike anything ever presented on television. Even the scenes that we might hate still look fantastic. Sometimes we might have to turn the brightness up on our screens, (looking at you episode 3) but overall the quality has been stellar.

Characters saying their goodbyes at the funeral pyres was a touching moment. Jon gave a good eulogy. Then they all got trashed in the great hall of Winterfell! I loved everything going on in this scene. Gendry gets a castle. Tyrion plays his drinking game. Tormund (I love this man) tells stories about how crazy and awesome Jon is for riding a dragon, and he does it right in front of Dany. Great character moments throughout. There’s also a lot said between the characters that is not spoken. Some great glances back and forth that told us that all is not yet resolved between these people. And Podrick gets a threesome! Seriously, in the background during Sansa and The Hound’s conversation. It’s hilarious!

Jaime and Brienne finally hooking up was great fan service. We’ll save the rest of this story for the “bad” section.

Dany asking Jon to swear he won’t tell anybody he’s a Targaryen was actually one of the few times I bought the “Mad Queen” turn for her. She was frightening in this scene and may have also threatened Jon without outright saying it.

Arya and The Hound on the Road again! I was really hoping we’d get more scenes with these two.

Sam and Gilly are having a baby!

Sansa is clever. Tyrion takes the bait. Telling him about Jon was a crafty move.

Tyrion and Varys have a couple of great dialogue exchanges and talk about loyalty and treason. I miss these two together. I’m glad we got these scenes, but there could have been so much more. Pitting them against each other after all these years was a move that I would have loved to see play out a bit longer.

Unfortunately Varys didn’t make it very far into episode 5, but not without making his purposes known. We see him writing letters that the words “true heir” can only be read thanks to the camera operator. Zoom out please! Also, was he trying to poison Dany? It’s very subtle, but I think we were supposed to infer that with the conversation he has with his little bird. I absolutely love hints like that and again I would have loved to see it play out, but instead he is executed before we can see any of his schemes come to fruition…yet.

Tyrion had to be the one to do it. He lets his old friend know that it was him. “I hope I’m wrong” are The Spider’s last words before he hears “Dracarys.”

Tyrion and Jaime sharing what would be their last scene together was some of the best acting the two have ever done. Especially my man Peter Dinklage. It was touching and it showed us why we all STILL love Tyrion. I don’t care if he hasn’t had a great plan in a while OK? Tyrion is the best! Deal with it.

Dany learns some aerial combat tactics and utterly destroys the Iron Fleet, the scorpion crossbows, and breaches the wall right behind the Golden Company. So much for the odds being evened out. Tell that to Drogon. Better yet, tell that to the useless Golden Company! I laughed once I realized they were summoned to King’s Landing to stand in front of a wall and get decimated. The rest of the one sided attack on the capital was brilliant and well executed. The city quickly surrenders itself to Dany. Then things get crazy…

The CLEGANE BOWL!!! Do I need to say more? Easily my favorite part of the episode. A fitting end to The Hound and The Mountain. Also for Qyburn, who got smashed in a split second. It lived up to the hype, and there was A LOT of hype leading up to it.

Jaime and Cersei dying together fits. It’s not the way I think anyone envisioned it happening, but it fits. They are crushed by the cave in of the Red Keep. The very thing they (Cersei mostly) had fought to keep in their family. It’s poetic. It’s fine. I wanted a little more, but I’ll take it.

The Bad

Everything else. (I really thought about just leaving it there.)

The now infamous coffee cup in the party scene of episode 4. All that attention to detail and someone in the editing department missed that?! It happens. You just wouldn’t expect it for this show. It has since been fixed, but man did it get a bunch of attention. Although, I think Dany’s mad queen turn can be traced back to the moment they got her latte order wrong. That was the last straw. Maybe it was intentional all along…

You’re going to have Jon tell the truth about himself to Sansa and Arya and not show us their reaction? You showed it with everyone else that knows, but you’re just going to cut away before we see him tell his sister cousins? Fine.

Dany doesn’t want her troops to rest before the next battle. Why? Because she doesn’t want her enemies to become stronger? No. It’s because there are only a few episodes left and we need to get them there now.

Why show a mast falling on Tyrion, cut to black, and then pick it up immediately afterwards with him washed up on shore? Did they want us to think he was dead for five seconds? Cool trick.

Only Missandei was captured during the Iron Fleet surprise attack? Then they just stopped attacking. Convenient.

Jaime leaves Brienne after their one knight stand (had to) to run back to Cersei. I really did not want to believe those were his true intentions, but they were. He really is the dumbest of the Lannisters.

Really not like Varys to talk treason out in the open as soon as Jon arrives at Dragonstone. Just rush rush rush!

Tyrion reminding everyone just before the battle that the bells ringing means they surrender was a huge tell that the plan was not going to work. “Remember guys, no more attacking when you hear those bells ok?” You get all that audience? They are supposed to STOP ATTACKING. If they don’t then it’s a big clever twist you definitely didn’t see coming ok!

WTF Were They Thinking?!

You’re really going to write off Tormund and Ghost like that? What a load of crap. The needs more Giantsbane and Direwolves dammit! WTF.

Jon doesn’t say goodbye to Ghost? He lost his ear fighting for you cold hearted, brooding, know nothing son of a Targaryen! I hope your dragon dies unceremoniously. WTF.

Euron Greyjoy constantly appearing out of nowhere at the right place at the right time. He’s also a perfect shot from a moving boat. Hitting a moving target. On water which is also, you guessed it, moving! THREE PERFECT SHOTS to take Rhaegal down, but can’t hit Drogon when the entire fleet shoots at him. WTF.

The set up for the “parlay” scene with Cersei made zero sense. If Cersei was just going to kill Missandei, why didn’t she just obliterate Dany, her army, and her dragon too? They were all sitting ducks and not nearly as far away as the Iron Fleet was from them earlier. WTF.

Can Euron not do math? Did he not wonder for a second how Tyrion already knew Cersei was pregnant? Shouldn’t he have questioned it? No. He shouldn’t. He’s dumb. His face is dumb. I hate him. WTF.

Oh, and there he is again! Just happened to be at the exact same part of the shore at the exact same time as Jaime huh? Jaime kills him finally, but seriously WTF!

Dany is the Mad Queen. I get it. I can see the tracks that were laid down before now. I will buy that they were hinting at this possible turn for seasons now. I refuse to believe that in that moment, when the bells are ringing, and she has everything she always wanted, she decides to burn the city to the ground and the innocent citizens along with it. If the bells had been ringing and then one of the Lannister army attacked it would have made more sense. Or if they had saved Rhaegal’s or Missandei’s death for that moment. Imagine if the bells are ringing and then Dany looks at the Red keep and sees Cersei push Missandei from the balcony. Then by all means burn them all! Again, I buy the turn into the mad queen eventually, but not in that moment despite Emilia Clarke’s great performance. It’s just…I…can’t…ugh…WTF.

Thoughts and Theories

Just one since this particular blog was just a bunch of bullet points cleverly disguised as legit writing. If Tyrion dies in the finale so help me old gods and new I will riot! That is all.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and theories in the comments. As always, thank you for reading.

One more for the ditch!

That’s what I do. I drink and I know things.