Spoiler loaded review of Game of Thrones final season Episode 4. I must provide a full disclaimer. I believe I was too generous in my previous review because I wanted to remove my bias from how bad episode 2 was. Ironically the Battle of Winterfell was more poorly received than I would have thought. So this time I will award no free passes. With thats said, the episode began with another painful reminder that a major battle took place and only four characters were killed off. There are somehow Dothraki left and the unsullied and northerners are forcing themselves to fight yet another battle. Fast travel is back for Jon Snow cannot march wounded northmen to Kings Landing so hastily. It should take perhaps three fortnights for that journey, not one. And lets not forget someone didn’t have the level of professionalism to keep their Starbucks off of the set. Seriously, pour the coffee into a horn.
Verdict: Final Season Episode 4 was an inconsistent mess.
There was once a stoner animated film called Sausage Party. The film was basically about convincing people there is no god so then they can fulfilled their insatiable sexual desires. Spoiler alert, the end of the movie features an orgy of all the characters. Game of Thrones is basically becoming like the Seth Rogan film in its “character development.” Brienne and Jaime. Tormond Giantsbane, who is married in the books. Arya and Gendry. The show seems to have substituted the sexual revolution for the beliefs of sex held in Westerosi culture. The wildlings are quite animalistic in that the male must prove his worthiness to mate and the female is expected to resist. It’s quite rapey. Yet that’s how Ygritte fell for Jon Snow, because Jon Snow killed her man, thus proving the better mate. The highborns of Westeros don’t view sex outside of marriage favorably, despite the wide availability of prostitutes. Characters ranging from Arya Stark to Stannis Baratheon held this traditional view. In the North, marriage is held sacred, which is why the cruelest such as Roose Bolton held pratook in the First Night, which was how Ramsay Snow was conceived. The show has taken the ideals of the sexual revolution and applied it to characters who do not hold these ideals. Now Daenerys is an exception, but then again not really. She does hoe herself for Dario Naharis, but this paramore relationship is not meant to reflect positively for her. In fact its another chink in how bad of a ruler she is portrayed as in the books. Ser Barristan Selmy, a man of great honor, thinks poorly of this relationship. As would any rich parent whose daughter brought home a drug dealing boyfriend. The scenes with Jaime and Brienne really went against Brienne’s character who is a misfit. She wants a family but no one wants her, so she picks up a sword and still no one wants her. Of course she’s a virgin but she’s demonstrably had the self control of Stannis Baratheon.
Cersei using human shield to prevent a superior force from attacking due to the deterrence of bad optics. Sound familiar? This is literally Hamas against Israel. It was a bold decision for her to open her gates to swell the casualties at the expense of her own food supply. It’s also a bold assumption to think that the people playing the game of thrones care about civilian casualties like this is the age of counter-terrorism. Still, one cannot ignore the ideas the show runners are borrowing from, and the coincidental timeliness of Episode 4.
Dragon Down Unimportant Character Up
Last week, to borrow from a tweet I saw, Jorah died because Daenerys parked her Bugatti dragon in the ghetto like everything would be sweet. This week she was sending a raven while flying and somehow didn’t see a small armada pointing ballistae at her. Would have been better if the dragon was downed in some sort of guerilla attack over land, but come on. We know Daenerys isn’t quite intelligent, but the dragons should have seen that coming. Then Missandei was captured, and was treated with disproportionate importance. Daenerys slave, who is free in belief only, being captured and executed was meant to be a big moment but that moment fell short because she’s just a translator. Still not sure how Daenerys she loses an entire fleet. A naval battle featuring a decisive Greyjoy victory would have been the climactic battle scene the episode needed but didn’t have as well as something groundbreaking for television.
Emasculation of Tyrion Continued
Tyrion has got to be the most bastardized main character. They made Tyrion naive, altruistic, and severely stupid, as I’ve long said. Tyrion sees Daenerys as a means to his own ends. Varys, ironically, seems to be what Tyrion isn’t. And Varys isn’t altruistic either. The shows insistence that his motives are to serve the realm deleted a nefarious element of his character making him white, where all the characters are gray. The talk of treason was a high point for the episode. As predicted before season 7, I believe Tyrion will betray Daenerys for love. After episode 1, it appears certain that Jon Snow has the bigger set up for that. One of Episode 4’s lowest points, in a purely embarrassingly demonstration as a fan, was watching Tyrion beg to Cersei. How many times can they keep writing Tyrion as making the same mistake over and over again.
King Jon Snow
The proposition of Jon Snow as king gives the show a dynamic plotline this season has been missing from a political perspective. Daenerys has drank from the sacrificial cups and now the writing is on the wall for her. This is the best thing Game of Thrones has left and it probably because its a bullet point from George RR Martin.