Last week I wrote in my episode review that I was disappointed with the final confrontation between Bran and the Night King and that disappointment sent some of you into paroxysms of rage.
My wife even read my Twitter mentions and said, “I’m glad that people are mad at you about something other than politics for a change.”
Well, this week, some praise at the outset, I liked tonight’s episode the most of any in season eight so far, but some of the narrative failures and illogical actions, which I’ll discuss below, are slowly driving me insane.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) May 6, 2019
1. But first we open on Jorah on the funeral pyre with Daenerys crying over his dead body and Sansa crying over Theon’s dead body as well.
The mirroring of these two women, which began in the first episode, continues.
Sansa gives Theon the Stark family crest and then we zoom out to see all the dead about to be burned on the funeral pyres.
Honestly, there are less dead than I thought there would be. (Later on we’re told that only half of the soldiers died, which seems like far fewer than I anticipated based on last week’s episode when every non-major character appeared to die.)
(Sidenote: is Jorah a victim of the worst friend zone of all time? Talk about a rough go of it since he met Daenerys. And it all ends this way? Yikes.)
I still question the stupidity of the battle plan against the White Walkers, but Jon Snow delivers an eloquent eulogy for the fallen: “They were the shields that guarded the realms of men and we shall never see their like again,” he says.
Then all the bodies burn.
2. Gendry asks The Hound where Arya is.
The Hound calls him a twat and says the bodies are still burning outside.
Daenerys calls out Gendry as he attempts to make a poon run and says: “You’re Robert Baratheon’s son.”
She then makes him the lawful ruler of Storm’s End and names him a Lord.
“A fitting reward for a hero,” says Tyrion.
“See you’re not the only one who’s clever,” says Daenerys to Tyrion as Sansa looks on, aware of the clear political move just made.
3. Davos tells Tyrion about Melisandre dying in the snow.
“We may have defeated them, but we still have us to contend with,” says Tyrion, looking across the throne room at Jon and Daenerys.
Creepy Ass Bran, the biggest party downer ever, tells Tyrion. “You shouldn’t envy me, mostly I live in the past.”
Tormund, on the other hand, is the life of the party, pounding drinks and telling great stories and building up Jon Snow’s claim for the crown. “Most people get bloody murdered, they stay that way,” says Tormund. “What kind of person climbs on a fucking dragon, a mad man, or a king?”
“You should have said or a queen, and you didn’t!” my wife yells at Jon, foretelling Daenerys’s anger.
3. Tyrion, Lady Brienne, and Jaime are playing never have I ever when Tormund runs up and says. “Now, which one of you cowards shit in my pants.”
Just as it seems Lady Brienne and Tormund are destined to create the baddest ass warrior of all time, Jaime sweeps into the picture with an epic, one-handed cockblock.
Then Tormund whines about the Brienne cockblocking to the Hound until two young girls come and attempt to seduce them.
Tormund leaves with one girl while the Hound pushes the other girl away.
“She could have made you happy for a little while,” says Sansa.
“There’s only one thing that can make me happy,” says the Hound.
“What’s that?” Sansa asks.
“That’s my fucking business,” says the Hound, who also says nothing bad would have happened to Sansa if she’d left King’s Landing with him.
“Without Little Finger and Ramsey and the rest, I would have stayed a little bird all my life,” Sansa says.
At this exact moment of the episode I would rank the future Iron Throne ruler odds thusly: 1. Jon Snow 2. Sansa 3. Tyrion 4. Daenerys
4. Gendry proposes to Arya.
“You’ll be a wonderful lord and any lady will be lucky to have you, but I’m not a lady, I never have been, that’s not me,” says Arya, leaving Gendry high and dry.
What a roller coaster.
Did he really row for three years for this?
5. “I’ve never slept with a knight before,” says Jaime as he and Lady Brienne undress each other.
“I’ve never slept with anyone before.” says Lady Brienne.
Meanwhile, Jon and Daenerys meet by the fire.
“He loved me and I couldn’t love him back, not the way he wanted. Not the way I love you. Is that alright?” Daenerys melodramatically says.
The two make out.
Could it be, incest sex?!
Not quite yet.
Jon pulls away from Daenerys, who demands Jon never tell anyone who his real mom and dad are. “I want it to be the way it was between us,” says Daenerys.
“I have to tell Sansa and Arya,” says Jon, perpetually the slave of his own morality. (Remember, this sense of morality is what got him killed at the end of season five.)
“She’s not the girl you grew up with. Not after what she’s seen, not after what they’ve done to her,” says Daenerys of Sansa. “I’ve never begged for anything, but I’m begging you, don’t do this, please,” says Daenerys.
“You are my queen, nothing will change that. And they are my family. We can live together,” Jon says, bending the knee once more.
“We can. I’ve just told you how,” Daenerys responds.
6. Sansa and Daenerys square off over when to advance on Cersei at King’s Landing.
Jon cuts off the icy stare down by saying the north will follow Daenerys.
Which provokes a response from Arya: “We need a word.”
Where does the word take place? By the tree of life, where creepy ass Bran joins the Stark crew.
“We don’t trust your queen,” Arya blurts out.
“We’re family, the four of us, the last of the Starks,” says Sansa.
“I’ve never been a Stark,” Jon responds.
“You are, just as much Nedd Stark’s son as any of us,” Sansa replies.
“You’re my brother,” Arya echoes.
Creepy Ass Bran steps in at this point: “It’s your choice,” he says.
Again, we, the viewer, are caught here because we have more knowledge than either Sansa or Arya. We know what’s about to be said, but the Stark daughters don’t.
“I need to tell you something, but you have to swear you’ll never tell another soul…Swear it,” Jon says.
Sansa and Arya both swear they will never tell anyone. But, honestly, can Jon really trust Sansa to keep her promise at this point? I mean, of course not.
“Tell them,” Jon says to Bran. (Interesting point here, does this give Jon an out if Daenerys later asks whether he told Sansa and Arya about his parentage against her wishes? He can say he didn’t tell them, Bran did. This seems very un-Jon Snow like, but it’s at least a possibility.)
7. Tyrion teases Jaime about sleeping with Lady Brienne as the two sit by the fire.
“I’m happy that you finally have to climb for it,” Tyrion says. Then he follows it up by saying, “Do you know how long I’ve waited to tell a tall person joke?”
Then, who should arrive, but Bronn, with some of the best lines of season eight so far.
Bronn slaps Tyrion in the nose and says he didn’t break Tyrion’s nose because he’d know what it felt like since he’s been breaking noses since he was Tyrion’s size.
Bronn tells Jaime and Tyrion that Cersei has tried to hire him to kill them both — with the crossbow Tyrion killed Tywin Lannister with on top of that — but that he won’t do it if the price the brothers offer is high enough to convince him otherwise. (That’s especially the case because Bronn says he’s seen the dragons and thinks Cersei will lose the battle with Daenerys).
Tyrion offers him Highgarden, the Tyrell estate.
“I’ll come find you when the war is done, till then, don’t die,” Bronn says as he walks out of the castle room.
8. The Hound and Arya are back together headed to King’s Landing.
“I don’t plan on coming back,” The Hound says.
“Neither do I,” says Arya.
“You going to leave me to die again if I get hurt?”
“Probably,” says Arya.
We know that both are headed to King’s Landing: The Hound to fight The Mountain in the Clegane Bowl and Arya to kill Cersei. (I’m now convinced that Cersei — or Euron — will kill Jaime and then Arya will put on Jaime’s face and eventually kill Cersei).
9. Both dragons are still alive, but one’s wing is injured.
“Why her?” asks Sansa as the dragons fly overhead.
“You seem determined to dislike her,” says Tyrion.
“The men in my family don’t do well in the capital,” says Sansa, explaining why she doesn’t want Jon to head south.
“What if there is someone else, someone better? asks Sansa.
Then Sansa breaks her promise to keep Jon’s secret and tells Tyrion about Jon’s parents.
10. Jon says goodbye to Tormund, Sam, and Ghost.
“You’ve got the north in you, the real north,” says Tormund as Ghost looks on morosely.
Then Sam and Gilly say goodbye. “If it’s a boy, we want to name him Jon,” says a pregnant Gilly.
“I hope it’s a girl,” says Jon Snow.
“You’re the best friend I ever had,” says Sam.
Aww, how sweet.
But it’s hard not to think of both Nedd and Robb Stark leaving Winterfell never to return as they headed south.
11. Varys and Tyrion know now about Jon’s lineage and his claim on the throne.
Varys says, “The fact is, people are drawn to him…he’s a war hero.”
Tyrion suggests a co-throne. But Varys says you can’t marry your aunt in the north.
Tyrion is troubled by the dilemma. “We still have to take King’s Landing, maybe Cersei will win and kill us all. That would solve our problems.”
Then, look out, another naval sneak attack!
12. Euron Greyjoy shoots down one of Daenerys’s dragons and kills it as Cersei heads to Dragon Stone.
Here, we meet with a tremendous logical issue — why wouldn’t Daenerys and Jon be using Bran’s ability to warg into the three-eyed raven as a scouting device? If you knew you had someone who could easily fly ahead and make sure the trip was safe, why wouldn’t you?
Why in the world is Bran just biding his time with no particular goals at all in Winterfell?
This is just insane to me.
You have the best scouting service of all time and you refuse to use him? It’s nonsensical.
Regardless, Euron’s men all miss the final dragon from point blank range as an angry Daenerys charges him.
I think we all know what time it is now — time for dragon armor to be crafted to overcome the spear firing device. (I’d be shocked if this isn’t deployed soon).
The ships are mostly sunk and Missandei is kidnapped. (Anyone else wonder how Varys managed not to die in the sneak attack? Does he seem like a great swimmer? Especially in those robes? Also, how do they capture Missandei and no one else?)
13. Cersei receives the news of the dragon sinking beneath the sea.
“Our child shall one day rule them all,” says Cersei to Euron.
Then she says, “Keep the gates open, if she wants to take the castle she’ll have to murder thousands of innocent people first. So much for the breaker of chains.”
14. Back at Dragon Stone, Daenerys wants to attack Cersei and Varys argues against it.
“They should know who to blame when the sky falls down upon them,” says Daenerys.
Then Varys and Tyrion discuss who would make a better ruler, Daenerys or Jon Snow.
“Have you considered the best ruler might be someone who doesn’t want to rule?” asks Varys when Tyrion says Jon doesn’t want the iron throne.
Could they rule together, Tyrion wonders again? “She’s too strong for him,” Varys responds.
“I believe in our queen,” says Tyrion, “she’ll make the right choice with the help of her loyal advisers.”
“I’ve spoken as honestly as I can, each of us has a choice to make, I pray we choose wisely,” says Varys.
(Daenerys seems likely to find out about Varys’s disloyalty and kill him, as has been predicted before).
15. News of Euron’s sneak attack arrives at Winterfell.
“I always wanted to be there when they execute your sister, seems like I won’t get the chance,” says Sansa as she delivers the news of the Euron sneak attack to Jaime.
This news, for some reason, forces Jaime to abandon his decision to stay with Lady Brienne in Winterfell.
I honestly have no idea.
It’s totally illogical.
Surely Jaime knew that the entire purpose of everyone going south was to kill his sister, right? So suddenly he feels compelled to leave upon hearing this news about Euron’s sneak attack?
It just makes no sense unless he’s suddenly jealous of Euron.
But wouldn’t he have known Euron was allied with Cersei already? Again, this reaction just makes no sense. Especially after all the time spent redeeming Jaime so far this season.
Nevertheless Lady Brienne argues for Jaime to stay. “You don’t need to die with her. Stay here. Stay with me, please.”
Jaime responds, “You think I’m a good man. I pushed a boy out of a tower window, crippled him for life, for Cersei. I strangled my cousin with my own hands just to get back to Cersei. I would have murdered every man, woman and child in River Run for Cersei. She’s hateful and so am I.”
And with that, so much for Jaime’s redemption.
The turn seems, honestly, far too melodramatic and, worst of all, as I laid out above, downright illogical.
16. At the walls of King’s Landing Daenerys demands Cersei surrender and Cersei demands Daenerys surrender.
The two hands, Tyrion and Qyburn, walk to converse outside the King’s Landing gates.
Tyrion advances on the castle walls alone and for a moment we think Cersei might kill him.
But she doesn’t.
Tyrion, still convinced he can turn Cersei to the good side, delivers a stirring soliloquy: “You’re not a monster. I know this because I’ve seen it. You’ve always loved your children more than yourself, more than Jaime, more than anything. I beg you, if not for yourself then for your child, your reign is over, but that doesn’t mean your life has to end, doesn’t mean your baby has to die.”
This is an interesting speech because, at least in theory, Tyrion is letting Euron know he’s not the father of Cersei’s baby, a Maury Povich Game of Thrones style reveal.
Since, after all, how could Tyrion know Cersei is pregnant if he left before Euron returned to King’s Landing? Is Euron smart enough to realize this? Who knows?
But it could be a clever ploy by Tyrion to turn Euron against Cersei.
But that’s for the future.
In the present Cersei turns to Missandei, “If you have any last words, now is the time,” she says.
“Dracarys,” says Missandei.
Then the Mountain chops her head off.
But let me ask you this, why stop here? Why wouldn’t Cersei have had her army attack Daenerys at this exact moment? Why wouldn’t she have killed Tyrion when she had the chance? Why in the world would she stop with one assassination of Missandei when the opportunity for total victory was there for the taking? She could have fought half of Daenerys’s army, a weakened dragon without armor, and then only had the Jon Snow half left?
It’s just nonsensical not to attack here and now.
At a minimum she could have let loose a torrent of arrows and spears from the castle walls with virtually no risk at all.
Also, how in the world can Daenerys sail to Dragon Stone from Winterfell, get attacked, have a war council, then march to King’s Landing on foot and Jon Snow and the rest of the army with Davos still isn’t there yet?
I just don’t get it.
And with that, we’re on to the final two episodes in the series.
I hope they are better than the first four have been. Because so far the final season has not lived up to my (admittedly high) expectations.