Post Episode 4: Game of Thrones Latest Favourites
May 10, 2019
Spoilers ahead – After last week’s huge-scale battle, the survivors did what anyone who has won a war but knows another one is on the horizon would do – mourn the dead, get drunk and ahem ‘comfort’ each other. Episode four of Game of Thrones’ final season was another quiet one, for the most part, but that’s not to say it was uneventful!
We had sex, death, secrets, lies, a battle at sea and a power struggle – all the things we love about Game of Thrones! We even had a proposal, although Arya was never going to settle down to become Mrs Gendry, let alone Lady of Storm’s End – a girl has always known “that’s not me”.
Here’s a feature-length recap of the episode and a look at the potential fallout in terms of Games of Thrones betting.
There was a lot to take in, starting with our last glimpse of the fallen heroes Dolorous Edd, Jorah, Ser Beric, and Lyanna, before they disappeared into the funeral pyres.
Dany cried for the love she couldn’t return, but soon became preoccupied with current flame Jon’s claim to the throne. In a shrewd move, she legitimised Gendry as Robert Baratheon’s son and made him Lord of Storm’s End, thereby (she believes) securing his gratitude and loyalty.
She begged Jon not to tell his sisters of his true parentage, which, of course, he did anyway and then argued with first Sansa, and then Tyrion and Varys, regarding doing things her way.
Meanwhile, Brienne rebuffed Tormund’s drunken affections, but embraced Jamie’s after a drinking game with Tyrion alerted Jamie to the fact that his Lady knight was, as yet, ‘unsullied’.
Jon backed Dany, for now, and the remaining soldiers set sail for King’s Landing. As described, Euron was more than ready for them, blowing ships to pieces, killing Rhaegal and taking Missandei prisoner.
A bit more plot armour kept the main players in the game, particularly as it looked like Tyrion was about to be squashed by a falling mast, but that would have been a disrespectful end to such an iconic character, so we’ll forebear.
The feature-length episode ended with two deaths and two queens at war, with the promise of a whole lot more bloodshed and fire to come…
The body-count was low for this episode – unless you count presumably 100s of nameless soldiers who perished in the attack on the Targaryen/Stark fleet?
But both deaths hit Dany hard and, perhaps, set her further on her path to becoming the Mad Queen? We’ll look at that further shortly, but we would be doing them a disservice if we didn’t eulogise Rhaegal and Missandei.
Yes, the Mother of Dragons is down to her last ‘child’. In the end, it took only a couple of bolts fired from a giant crossbow by Euron to send Rhaegal crashing down into the sea. In his already weakened state, the dragon just couldn’t survive and plummeted into the water before a horrified Dany’s eyes.
Not only does Dany love her ‘children’ she’s very aware that they are a large part of her success at getting men, women, and armies to pledge their loyalty to her.
So, she mourns, but she’s also scared and fear breeds madness, particularly in those who already teeter on the edge of sanity…
If the loss of Rhaegal wasn’t enough to bear, Dany also watched her dear friend and personal assistant Missandei quite literally lose her head.
It seemed inevitable that Missandei or Grey Worm would die in the battle of Winterfell after they pledged their love and loyalty to each other in episode two, yet her death was all the more poignant because it was entirely avoidable.
Beautiful and gentle, Missandei came from a peaceful people and wasn’t built for war. It is incredibly interesting, therefore, that her last word wasn’t the expected goodbye or even plea for mercy, but a call for war to Dany: “Dracarys”.
The Mad Queen?
So, will Dany heed her cry? Come on, of course, she will!
In Westeros, killing your enemies makes you a ruler but slaughtering innocents makes you a tyrant.
Dany has always tried to fight against crossing that line but has become less and less concerned with the fate of those who get in the way of her achieving her goal – the Iron Throne.
She believes it is her destiny to unite the seven kingdoms and bring peace to the world, but she’s increasingly willing to kill and destroy in the name of ‘peace’.
She was once the ‘breaker of chains’ freeing the oppressed and persuading, rather than commanding, that they follow her.
However, when she burnt not only Randyll Tarly, but also his son Dickon, alive simply for refusing to bend the knee and fight for her, she took a step closer to becoming her father.
Now, she’s lost Jorah, Missandei, and two of her dragons, and she feels like she’s losing Jon. She’s getting pretty desperate and she’s blinded by grief, rage and hatred.
This is a highly combustible combination that is likely to see her erupt in the final two episodes.
Cersei calculated that Dany wouldn’t want to burn 1000s of innocent people and therefore brought them into the castle walls to force her hand.
However, that was then.
Both queens want the throne above all, neither will surrender and, we suspect, both will therefore die.
Jamie stabbed Dany’s father in the back to end the tyranny of his reign, might Tyrion, or even Jon do the same to Dany once they see she’s beyond help?
Alternatively, we could see Arya and Sansa team up to dispatch the Mad Queen, or even just Sansa herself. She never liked or trusted Dany, and there’s a darkness in her which is waiting to be unleashed once again.
If Dany does make it to the throne, we suspect there won’t be anyone left alive to actually rule.
Survival of the Ruthless?
Speaking of homicidal rulers, Cersei made it crystal clear that the Iron Throne is hers and anyone wanting to take her place will have to prize it from her cold dead (or perhaps burning) hands.
Tyrion miscalculated when he tried to coax Cersei to surrender by appealing to her maternal instincts. Part of the reason she’s so obsessed with getting the throne is that all of her children have been taken from her in the pursuit.
The prophecy states that she would only have three children, all with ‘golden crowns and golden shrouds’ – Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen – so it’s unlikely the fate of her unborn child is high on her list of priorities. Even if it is, she’s a lioness and must secure her position by killing any rivals in order for the world to be safe for her next offspring.
She’s already sent Bronn to kill Tyrion and Jamie (although he didn’t) and there’s nobody else left she remotely cares about. She’s got nothing left to lose and everything to gain.
Besides, Cersei always knew the score: “When you play the Game of Thrones, you win, or you die”.
Surely, she can’t win?
And what of Jamie, has he gone to die with Cersei? try to save her? or will he be the one to kill her?
To Brienne, he chose his sister/lover/mother of his now dead children (Jamie’s relationship status would definitely be ‘it’s complicated’) but to the audience, it was much more ambiguous.
After Bronn and then Sansa reminded Jamie of the kind of man he really is or, at least, used to be, Jamie seemed to realise he couldn’t sit this one out.
One arm or not, he’s a lover and a fighter, and his fate seems inextricably entwined with Cersei’s.
He made his bed long ago (and pushed Bran out of a window for being a witness) and he can’t escape, no matter how many good deeds he does, or bad people he kills.
Our take on it is that, like all good anti-heroes, Jamie’s realised that Brienne is too good and pure for him and he won’t taint her any further.
Riding to King’s Landing in the dead of night seems rather like a suicide mission and, frankly, we don’t like his chances of making it to the season finale.
That just leaves Tyrion to complete the unhappy Lannister trio.
Apart from Cersei wanting him dead, which he’s pretty used to by now, Tyrion doesn’t really have any enemies left. Before joining Team Dany, he also built bridges with Jamie, Sansa and Gendry, which means, in theory, he’s covered on all fronts.
However, Varys wants a transfer to Team Stark/Snow and is trying to persuade Tyrion to go with him.
Will his faith in Dany cost him his life? Or will he switch sides too late and suffer the consequences?
If he doesn’t pay his debts, Bronn might feel compelled to take Tyrion out to prove he’s a man of his word, or Sansa may be right, and he could die simply because he cannot fight.
Tyrion’s brains are his greatest asset, but he needs to wield someone else’s brawn to prevail – when it comes to the crunch, will anyone fight for ‘the Imp’?
Arya and The Hound
Giving us the idea for being a brilliant buddy/odd-couple comedy spin-off, Arya and The Hound have once again teamed up to get back to their missions. The Hound’s is to get revenge on his brother, The Mountain, for burning him, and Arya’s is to cross the last two names off her list – The Mountain, and Cersei.
We’re going to keep saying it – Arya killed the Night King, we’d back her against anyone at the moment. The Hound… not so much, but a lifelong vendetta can provide incredible motivation.
There’s no reason why the pair can’t kill The Mountain together, other than, you know, he’s huge and he crushes skulls as if they’re glass – RIP Oberyn.
One possibility is that The Hound wounds his brother but dies in the attempt and Arya finishes him off. Alternatively, The Hound could come to Arya’s rescue, dying to save her and she kills the Mountain as he thinks she’s done for.
Either way, we have a feeling the brothers will leave the world more or less together.
Unpopular opinion – Jon Snow is far too weak and clueless to rule, and him winning the Iron Throne would be a travesty.
Even when all the secrets are revealed to him, Jon Snow really does ‘know nothing’.
He confided in Sansa and Arya who he really is, and Sansa promptly told Tyrion, who disclosed the information to Varys. All in all, eight people now know that Jon Snow is actually Aegon Targaryen and many more will surely follow.
Jon also backed Dany’s battle plan, even though Sansa’s was arguably more strategic. We all know how that turned out.
He’s optimistically trying to keep everyone happy and dividing his loyalties and, in Westeros, that’ll get you killed pretty quickly – RIP Robb.
Don’t get us wrong, we admire his moral code and the fact that he bent the knee to Dany but still couldn’t lie to his sisters. But Dany will see it as betrayal in an ‘if you’re not with me, you’re against me’ paranoid kind of way common to the paranoid and the insane.
He might be a good man, but he’s unbelievably naïve, and we just can’t see him outmanoeuvring all the power players to take the throne.
He’s already been murdered once, and there’s no Red Woman to bring him back this time. Then again, most fans believe he wouldn’t have been brought back if he wasn’t ‘the chosen one’ to end the chaos and unite the seven kingdoms. Time will tell.
In contrast to Jon Snow, Bronn is, as he reminded Jamie and Tyrion ‘good at killing people’, but he’s also a master of surviving.
Cersei promised him Riverrun to kill Jamie and Tyrion. Bronn, being Bronn, sets off to do the deed, unless the pair can offer him something better – Tyrion does, in the shape of the much larger and grander Highgarden. After all, it’s not like the Tyrells are using it…
Bronn accepts, and rules himself out of the coming battle for King’s Landing, telling the Lannisters ‘don’t die’.
So, if he’s not going to be fighting, it seems he would have a decent chance of outliving a fair few of those taking up arms.
He also leaves the brothers with some more food for thought on how someone like him could rule:
“Kill a few hundred people they make you a lord, kill a few thousand they make you king.”
How many people do we reckon Bronn has killed in his long career as a ‘hard b***ard’?
We’d actually quite like to see Bronn lounging on the Iron Throne after all the rivals have killed each other off. Just picture it, a drink in each hand and a wench on his lap. Unfortunately, we can’t quite see it happening.
Then again, the cast have repeatedly stated that, of those who knew the ending, none of them guessed it correctly, so, maybe we should be thinking outside of the box on this one?
The bookmakers offering Game of Thrones betting odds
A Boro fan from birth, Elle is a qualified sports journalist and the former editor of the now-defunct sports site ComeOnBoro.com and Sporting Preview. Her work and strong opinions have been published in The News of the World, The Observer and BBC Tees Radio. After work in PR, Elle returned to her roots as a copywriter as a Content and SEO Editor at ActiveWin Media.