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[RECAP] Game of Thrones S08E04 Plays Into Cersei’s Hands

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Two Steps Forward, 1 Step Back

There are two episodes left in the fantasy epic, and even though a lot has happened in the last few weeks. The story feels a bit rushed.

Yes, even though epic, The Long Night did sort of end bathetically. It did serve as a meaningful end to a story, but in the end, it did seem to be rushed. But with a 6-episode final season, and going so far off the reservation with the source material, there’s nothing really you can do.

Subverting expectations on who would have survived the war with the dead did have it’s benefits, especially with the redemption and fitting ends to some of the minor and not so major characters.

It would have been more interesting if the battle went on a little further, and a major character would have been killed off. But I think we just have to live with what we get. Beggars can’t be choosers.

With this episode, we had another rare instance of happiness, celebration, and a focus on character development. Secrets and plans, that were halted in previous episodes are open to discussion. But not everybody is happy, or even willing to discuss them.

If you survived the end of the world, wouldn’t you just want to have a few drinks with the few remaining friends of yours?

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The Division of Daenerys and Jon

It shows the difference in how Daenerys and Jon are seen in the North. Even though it was Dany’s numbers and dragons that took the tide of war, Jon is being praised, and even flocked with Norther’s and Freefolk’s praises about his Dragon rider skills.

Daenerys even tries to win the people over by making Gendry Lord of Storm’s End, which does give him cause to be loyal to her. But otherwise Dany’s jealousy seems to be seeping out of her with every waking minute until she leaves the celebration. Along with the different shenanigans that come from a drunk Tormund, or the realization of the feelings between Jamie and Brienne, or even Arya’s cryptic motivations of completing Melisandre’s prophecy, and refusing Gendry’s proposal. Most of the episode is about Daenerys’s want of keeping her crown, and the secret of Jon’s true parentage.

And to prove she’s a worthy Queen. She moves her troops south to the capital. Even though half of her forces along with the Northerners are battle worn after the big fight with The Night King. Even though it puts her at odds with her advisers, and deepens the mistrust of her more reluctant allies.
Which makes Jon spill the beans about his claim to the throne to ease his families’ doubts about Dany.

That quickly gets to Tyrion’s and Varys’ ears.

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Playing into Cersei’s Hands

What Daenerys doesn’t take into account is that Queen Cersei is all but ready for her arrival. Rhaegal is killed, ships are destroyed, and Missandei is captured. It’s then we focus on Cersei for the first time in two episodes, and she’s up to her normal tricks. Knowing how Daenerys doesn’t want to harm innocent people, she lets them into the Red Keep as pawns in her plan.

Uncharacteristically, but logical to the plot (in a few ways) Dany considers actually destroying the city to get the throne, but it draws Varys to question her mental state, and her leadership even if they do take the capital by force. He begs her to try every option, but Varys wants to keep the realms wellbeing intact. Even by the cost of his own life.

It all comes to a head when both Queens confront each other outside the city walls. Both wanting unconditional surrender on either side, but none are giving in. Even pleas from Tyrion can’t quell how far his sister has gone into abyss. And with the death of Missandel, are there signs of a new Mad Queen coming to light?

With the end of the series approaching fast, can all of these conflicts be resolved in the time left? Even if these last two are over an hour and a half long? We’ll just have to wait and see.

For North American fans, Season 8 of Game of Thrones is available via HBO. For Australian fans, Season 8 is available via Foxtel.

How did we rate Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 4? 4 Sodas
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