Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4 Review [SPOILERS]

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4
Qyburn and Tyrion speak on behalf of Cersei and Daenerys before negotiations completely fall apart. Courtesy:

Wow. Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4 may not have been a full-on physical battle like the previous episode, but the psychological wars were raging! This is a much better episode than the previous one. While “The Long Night” focused on the “Battle of Winterfell,” this episode highlighted the moral conflicts that each character is facing.

Let’s go through this episode in the same way the books were written. I will tackle each main character one at a time.

arya stark

There is no doubt that Arya Stark was the big hero of the Battle of Winterfell. After downing the Night King, she does her best to slip back into obscurity. Even when Daenerys offers a toast to her, Arya is nowhere to be seen in the great hall. Gendry seeks her out and gathers the courage to propose to her. She refuses him and it becomes clear that Arya has other plans for her future. This is the first heartbreak of many in this episode. She knows she has no time to celebrate because she still has many enemies. In the end, she leaves Gendry and her family behind. She makes her way to the south, where she will no doubt seek out the remaining people on her list.

gendry rivers/baratheon

Gendry is given the Lordship of Storm’s End as a reward for his service during the Battle of Winterfell. Despite knowing that he is Robert Baratheon’s son, he never really had much ambition until this moment. He accepts the Lordship and immediately realizes that he is now worthy enough to be with a lady. Unfortunately, Arya has other plans. If anything, giving him the Lordship was definitely a clever move by Daenerys. Of course, none of this matters if she never takes the Iron Throne

daenerys targaryen and jon snow/aegon targaryen

Daenerys lost Ser Jorah Mormont in the previous episode as well as a great part of her army. However, this episode is tons more heartbreaking for her. First of all, she sees that her grip on the throne is slowly slipping away. During the celebrations, Tormund Giantsbane and many others are very vocal about their allegiance and admiration to Jon.  Jon’s true identity is becoming a bigger problem and she confronts him with it. Jon assures her that he doesn’t want the throne but she knows that everyone around him will support his claim.

Jon insists that he needs to tell his sisters about his true identity. Despite his loyalty to Dany, he knows that he owes his family the truth. Just like it did in the past, Jon’s honor puts his cause in jeopardy. His honesty causes a chain reaction of events that could eventually lead to the destruction of his partnership with Daenerys.

Daenerys makes a rash decision to charge to King’s Landing almost as if she just wants to show the Stark girls that Jon is under her thumb. This backfires as everyone in her council starts to question her abilities as a ruler.

sansa stark

Once Sansa finds out about Jon’s identity, she is even more certain that she wants her brother/cousin in power. She never trusted Daenerys and this information fuels her desire to push for Jon’s claim to the throne. She tells Tyrion about Jon’s identity and whether she intended to or not, she makes Jon a viable and possible better option than Daenerys as a future ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. We all know that Sansa has learned how to make her own maneuvers to get what she wants. Planting this seed in the mind of Dany’s hand could be a good strategy to get what she wants.

tyrion and varys

After Daenerys insists on charging to King’s Landing against everyone’s advice, Tyrion and Varys have a serious discussion. They both know that she’s making a big mistake and they start to question the soundness of her mind. They begin to consider the possibility of choosing Jon over Daenerys. While they are reluctant to speak of this treason, they both know that it is something that they need to seriously consider. However, a marriage between the two is still on the table. It could possibly solve the issue of a power struggle between the two Targaryens. This is a viable solution but Tyrion and Varys are quickly learning that the two personalities might not necessarily function well as co-rulers.

brienne, jamie and tormund

This love triangle is finally settled. When Tyrion brings up the issue of Brienne’s virginity, Jamie makes it his mission to remedy the situation. Tormund makes a move but Brienne shuts him down flat.

Jamie and Brienne start a steamy but short-lived affair. After finding out that one of Dany’s dragons died in the hands of Cersei’s allies,  Jamie realizes that Cersei’s head will likely part ways with her shoulders very soon. She will be facing the full brunt of Daenerys’ wrath. Jamie suddenly has a change of heart…or did his heart never change after all? He tells Brienne to her face that he would do anything for Cersei and leaves her in tears. He rides for King’s landing but it remains to be seen what will happen once he sees that Euron has taken his place warming Cersei’s bed.

cersei and euron

Euron manages to ambush Daenerys and kill Rhaegal. This is yet another one of the Dany’s heartbreaks in this episode. This death honestly provided a better shock factor and devastation than the whole Battle of Winterfell put together. Cersei may have seemed like small fry compared to the Night King before, but now she has proven herself to be a lot more formidable than expected.

Losing another dragon affects Daenerys and clouds her judgement. When they try to parlay with Cersei and the latter decides to cut off Missandei’s head, Daenerys sees blood. There is no doubt that she will be making rash decisions in the next episode. This will create a greater wedge between her and her allies and advisors.

Now with only one dragon left, Dany isn’t as strong as she used to be. She can’t afford to lose the loyalty of the people of the North. If she and Jon disagree on how to move forward, they will both be in big trouble against Cersei and Euron.


Jon’s direwolf finally got some CGI time in this episode. However, it was only to give us one of the biggest heartbreaking moments of the season. He survived the Battle of Winterfell with one of his ears partially cut off. He is battered from the battle but he is clearly even more hurt when Jon decides to give him away to Tormund. His small whimper as Jon rides south without even a tap on the head really made me want to cry!


Overall, this episode was an emotional tug-of-war. For the first time ever, Daenerys is in real danger of losing all of her allies. Even her most loyal supporters are now wavering. Despite always maintaining that she will be a just and wise ruler, she is now showing her faults and weaknesses.

After the Night King has been defeated, loyalties are up in the air once again. everyone is struggling to find their place in the world now that the threat from the dead army has been eliminated. Once again, sigils and houses bear weight. The next episode will feature a war against Cersei but more than the carnage, it appears that the series will end in shocking betrayals and the biggest impact will come from the deaths of relationships rather than lives.