Game of Thrones – Season 8 Episode 4 Recap – The Trouble With Targaryens

Previously on Game of Thrones: some of our most beloved characters met their end, and also Melisandre. But most of all:

ARYA STARK KILLED THE GODDAMN NIGHT KING! SHE STABBED HIM RIGHT IN HIS ICY GUTS!!!!!

See what getting laid can do for a girl’s confidence?

This week on Game of Thrones: time to take out the trash.

The Battle of Winterfell has been won, and we pause to remember those we lost. They were friends, they were allies, but most of all they were speaking roles. The sad-yet-triumphant defenders of humanity can revel in their victory but there is still unfinished business, like Dany and Jon adapting to a more traditional aunt-nephew relationship, and Sansa dislodging the stick from her butt.

Oh, and also there’s Cersei to knock off. That’ll take some doing, what with Lou Ferrigno guarding her at all times.

But first: it’s still dark at Winterfell, because viewers have simply not gotten enough of not being sure what’s happening. As dawn breaks, Dany is kissing the forehead of Jorah’s corpse, suddenly realising what a fool she was to friendzone him in the first place. Sansa, meanwhile, is crying over Theon’s corpse, having basically forgiven him for, well, everything. After all, we’ve all known what it is to fall in with the wrong crowd. Sansa, in fact, knows better than most.

As the survivors of the battle gather to mourn the fallen, Ghost the dog is fine, so that’s a relief. Kill whoever you want, Benioff and Weiss, but leave the dog out of it. Also, Bran seems pretty OK with everything. Must be nice to just sit around chilling while everyone else gets hit with swords.

Jon makes a stirring speech about how it’s important to remember the dead people because the dead people did a damn good job of getting themselves killed for a good reason. He’s kind of life-shaming everyone else really: he makes it pretty clear that the people who died were the heroes and the people who lived really let the team down.

Jon is particularly sad about Lady Mormont, who refused to go down to the crypt and paid for it, although he doesn’t say so because he’s not one to victim-blame. It’s incredibly sad, possibly even sadder than when they actually died, because this is visible.

Later on, everyone’s in the dining room, which is fitted out with so many candles you’d think it was the Bachelor mansion. Dany calls Gendry over to make some pointed remarks about Gendry being Robert Baratheon’s son. This is very unfair of Dany, as it’s not Gendry’s fault he’s Robert Baratheon’s son, and all he wants is a quiet life boinking Arya. But then Dany pulls a twist and tells Gendry that henceforth he shall be Lord Gendry Baratheon of Storm’s End, and everyone gets up and cheers and it turns out this is actually Gendry’s surprise party.

Tyrion compliments Dany on her cleverness in making the lord of Storm’s End indebted to her, and Dany enjoys the fact that she can exercise cunning statecraft without losing her femininity. Davos comes over to chat with Tyrion about what a dick Melisandre was and what a dick the Lord of Light is and how the world is basically a big pile of crap. He’s a gloomy fellow, is Davos, and probably feeling a bit miffed that Gendry gets to be Lord of Storm’s End, even though it was Davos who spent all those years in loyal service to Stannis Baratheon, despite Stannis being such a cock.

Tyrion detaches himself from Davos’s moaning and goes to talk to Bran, which is no improvement. Bran doesn’t want to be Lord of Winterfell. Tyrion is jealous of Bran. Bran thinks he shouldn’t be because not only is Bran a paraplegic, he keeps getting inside ravens and so forth.

Tormund leads the men of the dining hall in a celebratory vomit while Jaime and Brienne play Never Have I Ever. Tormund, as drunk as only an enormous Tom Baker impersonator can be, waxes lyrical on the subject of how awesome Jon is. Tormund is especially impressed with Jon’s ability to ride a dragon. Dany is offended, because she was riding dragons before it was cool, and the fact Tormund lauds Jon’s dragon riding and not hers is just another sign of the systemic misogyny that permeates Westeros.

Back at the drinking game, Tyrion, in very ungentlemanly fashion, reveals that Brienne is a virgin. It’s a tense moment broken by Tormund’s arrival to slobber all over everyone. Tormund has reached the point in his drinking where he’s gone all maudlin. The Hound wants no part of it. Tormund wanders off to bang a random girl. The Hound wants no part of that either.

Sansa wants to know why the Hound didn’t want to get his end away. “There’s only one thing that will make me happy,” he replies. “What’s that?” Sansa asks. “That’s my fucking business,” says the Hound. She only bloody asked, Sandor.

Meanwhile Arya is practising her archery because she’s a bit of a weirdo. Gendry comes to tell her that he is now a Lord and stuff and that he loves her and wants her to marry him.

This is all a bit much for Arya, who cannot marry Gendry for she is already married to her one true love: murder. She kisses him tenderly and tells him she’s not a lady, which confuses Gendry because just last night he saw her lady bits.

Jaime goes to Brienne’s room and demands she explain herself re: virginity. He wants to know whether she likes Tormund – like, “like likes” him. Brienne won’t say. Jaime definitely like likes Brienne, and he shows it in the traditional manner: by trying to take off her shirt. Brienne is a proud independent woman, however, so she takes her own shirt off. She also takes Jaime’s shirt off. “I’ve never slept with a knight before,” he says. “I’ve never slept with anyone before,” she counters. Before Jaime can get into the issue of whether he’s ever slept with anyone he wasn’t related to by blood, they’re going at it like guinea pigs.

It’s time for Dany and Jon to have a nice chat. Dany tells Jon she loves him: not in the way an aunt loves a nephew, but in the way a sister loves a brother, assuming the sister and brother are Lannisters. They almost start doing it, but then Jon breaks away and walks to the other side of the room to look brooding. Dany tells Jon it sucks because he is the king. Jon tells Dany he doesn’t want to be the king. Dany tells Jon nobody gives a shit what he wants, if everyone knows he’s the king he’ll have to be the king because the great tide of history sweeps all up in its mighty wash, regarding not the wishes of the flotsam and jetsam.

She doesn’t say it in those words, but I think I put it much better than she did, really.

Dany begs Jon to tell nobody that he’s the rightful king, because it’ll royally fuck everything up. Jon tells Dany he has to tell Arya and Sansa because they’re his sisters, and being his sisters they have a right to know that they’re not his sisters. Dany tells him she is not up for his bullshit and if he doesn’t keep his mouth shut he’s not getting any dragontang any time soon.

Later, at a council of war, everyone discusses how best to get rid of Cersei. Dany wants to wreck the place. Tyrion reckons they don’t have to destroy King’s Landing, they can just wait for everyone in King’s Landing to realise that Cersei sucks. Meanwhile, Sansa tells Dany that all the soldiers are sore and tired and need massages, and they can’t fight just yet. Dany says they frigging better fight. Sansa says that it’s probably better that the men are ready to fight before they go and fight. Jon says that Sansa can zip it.

The Starks and Jon Snow have a family meeting out by the weird tree. Arya and Sansa don’t trust Dany. Jon thinks they’re both incredibly racist. Bran has nothing to say because he’s off inside a cockroach’s head or some stupid thing. Arya tells Jon that he has to stick with them because he’s their brother. Jon feels awkward. Bran pipes up to say, “It’s your choice”, just to be completely unhelpful. Jon feels even more awkward. He can’t help himself: he has to tell them that he’s actually their cousin not their brother and that he’s also Dany’s nephew and that he’s technically the king but he doesn’t want to be and he wants to keep on having sex with his aunt. He swears them to secrecy first, but it seems pretty unlikely that Sansa will keep to that, given that her fondest desire is to kick Dany so hard up the clacker she can taste Stark toenails.

Meanwhile Tyrion quizzes Jaime about Brienne’s vagina, the highest he has ever known, but they are interrupted in their intellectual sparring by the arrival of Bronn, who is here to make amusingly obscene banter and threaten both of them with a crossbow. Bronn has been hired to kill both the Lannister brothers, and informs them in his colourful, Bernard Manning-esque way that he totally will, unless they make him a better offer than Cersei can. Tyrion offers him Highgarden. Bronn likes the sound of this, but reminds the brothers that one of them is a dwarf and one of them has only one hand and he has a crossbow and if they screw him on this he is not a man to be swayed by sentimental memories. He leaves, and Jaime and Tyrion find the whole mood has been ruined and they don’t feel like talking about vaginas anymore.

Out in the snow, Arya and the Hound have a brief conversation about nothing. It is completely insignificant and not worth mentioning.

Elsewhere, Dany plays with her dragons. Sansa watches the dragons flying above the castle and thinks, “I could take them.” Tyrion walks up and wants to know why Sansa is being such a bitch about Dany. Sansa says Dany is total pants. Tyrion points out that Sansa will be in charge in the North, if Dany is queen and Jon is with her. Sansa doesn’t want Jon to go to King’s Landing, as men in her family don’t “do well in the capital” (she’s talking about how they all get murdered). Tyrion points out that Jon isn’t a Stark, which makes Sansa desperately want to spill the beans. She is absolutely going to dob on Jon. Jon should never have told her. Frigging Bran.

Jon, ready to head south, says his goodbyes. Tormund is preparing to head back to the far north to live the carefree life of the unwashed savage. Jon tells him to take Ghost with him, as the south is no place for a direwolf, but what he means is he doesn’t want to have to walk him every day.

Jon moves on to say goodbye to Sam and Gilly. Gilly is pregnant again, this time to someone who isn’t her father. Specifically, to Sam, who explains that it happened because he’d run out of reading material, in what Gilly must take as an immense compliment. Gilly tells Jon that if it’s a boy they will call it Jon. “I hope it’s a girl,” he says, extremely rudely. What Gilly doesn’t tell him is that if it’s a girl they’ll call it Jon too. It’s the Wildling way.

Aboard ship, as they sail for King’s Landing, Varys and Tyrion discuss the news that Jon is the rightful heir to the throne. It is, they believe, problematic, as once everyone knows about it the North will want to follow Jon . Tyrion thinks it might be OK because they could get married, and generally speaking Targaryens are OK with marrying their aunts. Varys notes that Jon is from Winterfell, where marrying your aunt is frowned upon, though really, if you’re going to be so closed-minded to other cultures you don’t even deserve to be king.

As they ruminate, a more urgent matter presents itself to their attention: as Dany flies above the waves on one dragon, the other is suddenly pierced with a barrage of massive arrows, and crashes to its death beneath the sea.

It’s Euron Greyjoy with his Shithead Navy: he prepares to fire his giant crossbow straight at Drogon and Dany. She flies the dragon directly at his ship, screaming with fury, and then…

She just sort of flies away. She totally could’ve burnt him. She could’ve torched the bastard and she didn’t. WHY DIDN’T SHE BURN HIM? Bloody hell, what is even the point of having a dragon if you won’t use it at the very time when it would be most useful i.e. when you have Euron Greyjoy right in your crosshairs?

Turning his attention to Dany’s fleet, the Shithead Navy begins to fire its giant bolts instead at the ships, shattering and sinking the one on which Tyrion, Grey Worm and Missandei are situated. Tyrion jumps into the sea and cops a mast to the head.

We cut now to King’s Landing, where Cersei is pondering why she hasn’t been on screen for so long. Euron is there, being all slimy and telling her about how awesome he is. She promises him that the baby she’s carrying is his, which overjoys Euron, an incredibly gullible man. It is revealed that Missandei has been taken captive in King’s Landing: a grim development albeit not that grim because she’s a pretty minor character and we’re not particularly invested.

Back at the fleet, Dany decides that since Cersei has captured Missandei and killed her dragon, she is going to fuck Cersei right up. Varys and Tyrion think that maybe they could go with the original plan, since charging in with the whole army and the dragon will mean the city destroyed and a hell of a lot of people get killed. Dany replies that you know what, she really doesn’t give a fuck, Cersei is going down and she’s going down now so get out of her goddamn way.

Varys and Tyrion have another serious and poorly-lit discussion. Varys thinks they better give up on Dany because she’s gone all fascist on them. Tyrion thinks that Dany is still pretty OK and he would like to stay on her team. Varys says it’d be better if Jon were king and maybe it’s time to give Dany the old Mad King treatment. Tyrion finds this prospect deeply unappealing. Varys selfishly cares more about the thousands of people who’ll be slaughtered in the battle than Tyrion’s feelings, and walks out in a huff.

Back at Winterfell, Sansa tells Jaime what happened on the high seas, and that his sister is about to get what’s coming to her. Sansa is incredibly smug about this, which is fair enough because it’s Cersei, you know? Jaime immediately packs to go to King’s Landing to defend his psychopath sister. Brienne begs him not to, making the not unreasonable point that Cersei is an arsehole and he’s not. Jaime counters with the even less unreasonable point that he, who pushed a child out a window for Cersei and murdered his own cousin so he could get back to Cersei, is actually a complete arsehole too.

Outside King’s Landing, Dany’s troops are massed. Cersei looks out upon them with that aggravating look she has. Wrinkly old Qyburn comes out to chat with Tyrion. Tyrion tells him that Dany wants Cersei to give up. Qyburn tells Tyrion that Cersei wants Dany to give up. Tyrion tells Qyburn that Cersei is being a twat. Qyburn reckons Cersei is all good and going nowhere. Tyrion walks past Qyburn, showing an appalling lack of manners, and approaches the city wall.

The archers on the wall prepare to turn Tyrion into a human porcupine. Cersei almost gives the order to fire, but despite really, really, really wanting to murder her brother, she doesn’t. She will hear him out. Tyrion begs her to surrender, pointing out that if she fights, she will die and so will her unborn child, and as he recalls, she has always been pretty fond of her children.

Cersei is getting a bit teary and you can tell Tyrion has struck a chord.

Turns out it was the wrong chord though. Possibly an F. Because rather than listen to her brother’s reason, Cersei orders the Mountain to cut off Missandei’s head, which he does with his usual quiet dignity.

This development does not please Grey Worm, who liked Missandei’s head almost the most of all her body parts. It doesn’t please Dany either, who turns and walks back to prepare to give Cersei and her nasty little foetus an almighty dragon-assisted beatdown.

Tune in next week, when Drogon will burn a bunch of people to cinders unless Dany chickens out again, and when with any luck someone will stab Euron Greyjoy right in the dick.

Read previous episodes:

Game of Thrones – Season 8 Episode 2 Recap – A Bit of a Chat

Game of Thrones – Season 8 Episode 1 Recap – You got KHALEESIED!

Game of Thrones – Season 8 Episode 3 Recap – The Battle Of Bad Lighting