The long night left a lot of collateral damage in its wake including two of the most misunderstood characters in the series. We lost Jorah of House Mormont and Theon of House Greyjoy, both of whom had had a tumultuous journey from hell and back, dying, finally, in a sweep of glory while fighting to defend what they cared for. With Theon we saw a complete character transformation from a man of arrogance to a man who lost his humanity becoming a slave, and to a man who owned up to his past and found his sense of duty. With Jorah we saw a spy falling in love with his subject, being exiled into a hard life, battling a deadly disease, and returning to defend his unrequited love despite everything. Here’s to the heroes who gave their lives for the greater good !
After a lack-lustre episode 3 where audiences didn’t quite warm up to the almost pitch black cinematography, episode 4 felt far more “normal” and visible. My eyes can relax in their sockets now. Despite the fact that more than half of Dany’s army has been wiped off, including the entirety of the Dothrakis, it has indeed been an unexpected victory for them, and celebrations were in order. So, here are the key events that transpired in this episode:
Brienne and Jaime do it: Well, we cannot say that we were completely taken by surprise. In episode 2, we saw Brienne defending Jaime after which there was some casual banter between the two, not to mention the Knighthood that Jaime conferred upon her. Although Jaime had been unwavering in his blind love for Cersei, her megalomania had broken whatever remnants of affection he had had for her. Brienne, on the other hand, is noble and righteous, and deserving. This particular turn of event is not just a romantic twist in the plot, but an acceptance of Brienne of Tarth as a woman who has desires, and not just a manly warrior who has been taunted all her life for her size and gait.
Jon shares his truth: Ever since Sam has spilled the beans on Jon’s lineage, the dynamic between Jon and Dany has become far more complicated. After Jon shares this mind-crushing info tidbit with Dany, we anticipated the various possible options. The most logical one seemed that Dany’s penchant for power would make her completely ignore Jon’s claim and move ahead as if nothing had happened. Well, that’s kinda what happened. Jon emphasizes to her that he doesn’t want the throne and that she was her only queen, but Dany sees how the North adores him and is ridden with insecurity. She probably knows inside that he would make a much better King bringing the best of the Starks and the Targaryens to the table, and uniting the North with Westeros in the process. However, Jon, in his naivety, feels that even if he tells his people the truth, they would still accept her as their queen. Later, in the most kindgarten-way possible, Jon shares his truth with his sisters asking them to swear to keep it between themselves. But as well as these things usually go, Sansa lets it out to Tyrion who, in turn, lets it out to Varys both of whom also agree that Jon would be the better King. It is only a matter of time now until everyone knows about Jon. It would be interesting to watch how Dany reacts to the situation. Suffice it to say, she ain’t gonna be thrilled.
Dany loses her second Dragon: It was heartbreaking to watch Viserion die in the last season. Dragons are one of the biggest appeals of the show. Until they first appeared on Dany’s shoulders as tiny, smouldering lizards, the show was largely about medieval politics and power-games. It was only after the appearance of the dragons that it truly assumed its genre of fantasy. After the Battle of Winterfell, the show seems to be moving fast in order to tie all the loose ends in just three remaining episodes including this one. As Dany’s ships near Dragonstone, we watch a flying spear rip into Rhaegon’s chest, as more spears follow piercing into his wings and tail. As we grab onto hope that he may just survive Euron Greyjoy’s onslaught, we watch him plummet into the sea as Dany looks in shock. Dany’s power is constantly being diminished since she has arrived at the North, making the power-balance more skewed towards Cersei. Not just that, if Dany has to complete her transformation as the mad-queen, she will probably have to lose all her “children”, making her blind with rage. It would also be a strange symmetry between her and Cersei, making them almost equals since Cersei had also lost all of her three children, that led her to become this cold woman that we know now.
Death of an innocent: After Euron’s spears decimate the Targaryen fleet, the survivors somehow reach King’s Landing. With a handful of Unsullied at her back, Dany confronts Cersei at the gates. Missandei has been made to stand at the edge of the high walls as Qyburn and Tyrion discuss terms of surrender for both of their queens. When Tyrion realizes that discussion is futile, he makes a direct plea to his sister to drop her ego and surrender. The end of her reign does not have to be the end of her life – he says. Cersei signals to the Mountain as he takes his sword out and with a single sweep beheads Missandei. Any chance of reasonable diplomacy has been buried. With little power in her hands, Dany would have to rely a lot on the Greyjoy forces and her last remaining Dragon – Drogon. Odds are definitely in Cersei’s favour which would make the fight all the more interesting.