The writers of Game of Thrones knew they’d given me very little material last week, so they decided to make up for it with this episode.
And then also decided to ruin so…so much.
Ugh. God. Okay.
THIS POST IS DARK AND FULL OF SPOILERS FOR SEASON EIGHT, EPISODE FOUR OF GAME OF THRONES
I considered just copy/pasting my notes from this episode, but fully half of them are just me repeating “JAIME AND BRIENNE” over and over and then incoherent yelling about Missandei and I think that’s not the best post.
But now you know what the focus will be!
This time, let me talk about the ships that I can put into bullet points.
- Jon and Dany. Probably I should make this its own actual part of the post, but, they’re not what I want to focus on right now. They got enough in the first post, and not a lot has changed. She’s still his aunt. He’s still the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. He’s still telling her he doesn’t want it, and she’s still unable to accept anything other than a world without any threats to her reign.
- I don’t know at this point what I want to happen. They love each other, and I love love, so I can’t help wanting them to be happy.
- I just don’t see how it’s possible, especially when this episode showed Jon leaving behind his sisters, Bran, Ghost, Sam, Tormund, and the North to follow Dany – leaving behind everything that’s mattered to him. Leaving behind himself.
- I WANT NOTHING MORE IN THIS LIFE THAN FOR ARYA AND GENDRY TO LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER and each kiss in this episode renewed my soul, but dammit I knew the moment he asked her to be Lady of Storm’s End that it was over. That’s not who Arya is, or who she ever will be. Their relationship won’t be able to work unless Gendry sees that and changes his own priorities.
- The show definitely feels like it’s starting to push Sansa and Tyrion aaand I’m pretty okay with it. When they were originally married, I liked them together as people but didn’t actually want it to happen because, well. Sansa was still Little Bird. There was no way for it to be anything other than exploitative with terrible power indifferences.
- Now, though? Sansa, Lady of Winterfell, and Tyrion, Hand of the Queen?
- That I can get behind.
- My one comfort in this episode is that Sam and Gilly are having a baby, and that baby will be the cutest baby, and they will continue to be the best and cutest parents.
- I’m sorry, Tormund. You and Brienne are never going to happen.
- Also, to demonstrate how serious I was about shipping anyone who makes eye contact for too long, some of my notes include: “Tormund/The Hound?” and “…Tormund/…..Jon?”
- That fanfic exists. Obviously.
LET’S MOVE ON TO THE PART THAT HAD ME ACTUALLY SQUEALING WITH JOY, THE SQUEALS STEADILY RISING IN PITCH THROUGHOUT THE SCENE,
and that is obviously Jaime and Brienne.
Has Game of Thrones had a ship that had this slow of a burn? Usually people get together pretty dang quickly unless it’s completely one-sided. But Jaime/Brienne has been lowkey burning for like awhile.
The scene where they finally got together was just…honestly perfect. I loved Jaime trying to Super Casually talk about Tormund in a Totally Not Jealous Way while also Super Casually taking off his clothes because Wow It’s Just So Hot In Here.
I FEEL LIKE I AM GOING TO SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUST FROM BLUSHING JUST THINKING ABOUT IT.
And then him Super Casually staying behind at Winterfell because, uh, you know, reasons, and obviously Brienne has to stay too, Casually, because of her oath to protect the Stark girls, you know, very valid reasons, definitely not because of ~ LOVE ~.
…But this is Game of Thrones. We couldn’t stay happy.
Narratively, I like Jaime owning up to his various sins. My interpretation of the scene also wasn’t that he was heading off to return to Cersei because he thinks he belongs with her. I think he’s going to kill her, because he’s finally realized that as long as Cersei is alive, she’ll keep killing everything in her path (not unlike a certain undead army). That’s a part of his character arc that has been building for at least two seasons.
I also understand that if Jaime is doing that, he wouldn’t tell Brienne, because she’d follow him. So he hurts her to get her to stay.
Despite all that understanding, as a human with a heart, I don’t like anything that hurts Brienne. I still couldn’t help thinking, “So, this is how Jaime’s redemption arc ends – by making Brienne cry.”
We got one last really touching moment between Missandei and Grey Worm, on the ship to Dragonstone, hands held tight, unwilling, perhaps, to separate now that they survived one of their most dangerous nights.
I kept going back and forth on this, because this is a relationship recap, not a full recap, but I’ve decided it would 1) be disingenuous to pretend that I haven’t typed this whole thing with my brain yelling “WOW SO THEY REALLY KILLED THE ONLY WOMAN OF COLOR ON THIS SHOW TO FURTHER MOTIVATE THE WHITE SAVIOR QUEEN” and 2) Missandei’s death did break one of the core ships of the show. So it counts!
I’m really mad about Missandei’s death. I’m not mad Cersei killed her – anyone expecting Cersei to spare anyone ever has not been paying attention – but I’m mad the writers made the choice to put Missandei in her path. Dany was already spiraling into the Mad Queen. She didn’t even need an extra kick beyond the death of Rhaegal. She was already there, so Missandei’s death just felt gratuitous, even for a show known for its shocking deaths. Even if Dany had needed a push, using the death of a character of color to once again push her storyline also feels gratuitous.
I’m torn on if this means I want Dany to win the throne, so that it could mean something, anything, or if it means I don’t want her to win the throne, because goddammit, stop letting her rule on the backs of POC and their deaths!
The only good that could come of this would be Grey Worm getting more screentime as he deals with her death and his grief, but I’m not sure they’ll give us that – or at least not a satisfactory amount.
The Battle of Winterfell successfully lured me into a false sense of security by not killing off any of the really major characters (though all of the deaths did hurt me, personally, in my heart). I forgot one of the core rules of this show: Whatever Game of Thrones gives us, it’s going to take away even more.
Just…maybe give us Jaime and Brienne back at least?