13 Things You Missed From Game Of Thrones Episode 4 -- Incl. Arya's Callback
The latest episode of Game of Thrones was a return to the things many fans loved about the show in the first place: court intrigue, shifting alliances, the internal battle of good and evil.
Also in good news to Game of Thrones fans everywhere, this episode took place largely in the daylight. No more adjusting the tiny settings on your screen for THIS episode.
Jaime and Brienne finally getting together was undercut by the devastating moments we've come to expect: Jon straight-up abandoning Ghost to go south (without even a goodbye???), Arya rejecting Gendry's proposal, and Rhaegal dying utterly unexpectedly.
But apart from the big moments, here's all the little things you might have missed.
1. The episode's title gave a hint of things to come.
It was called 'The Last of the Starks', which is both a nice reminder of the three-slash-four of them left -- Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Jon -- as well as a warning that not all of them are likely to make this season out alive.
2. Theon Greyjoy died a Stark.
Also tying in to the episode's theme here, Sansa placed her Direwolf pin on Theon's corpse before he burned. Jon, Bran and now Sansa have re-welcomed Theon into their home and forgiven his crimes, and he burned with the sigil of House Stark on his chest.
3. Bran could still become the Mad King -- sorta.
For a while now, a Game of Thrones fan theory has been running that Bran will go back in time, try to speak to the Mad King about making better life decisions, and accidentally become the 'voice in his head' telling him to burn the city down. That fan theory is fading fast as we hurtle towards the close of this series, but Bran's message of "Don't envy me. I mostly live in the past" could signal he's got some unfinished business there.
4. Arya was never meant to be a lady.
In refusing Gendry's proposal to be the Lady of Storm's End, Arya told him, "That's not me".
It was a throwback to season one. Ned tells his daughter that she'll "marry a high lord and rule his castle", and that her sons will be "knights and princes and lords".
"No," she replies. "That's not me."
Also worth noting that Arya told her Nymeria the exact same thing, so now she and the Hound are on a buddy-cop mission to murder Cersei and the Mountain, perhaps they'll run into Arya's direwolf on their trip down the King's road, too.
5. Varys is absolutely the one pulling the strings here.
In the post-battle celebration scene, Dany watches Jon get praised for all the things she used to be queen of (dragon riding, etc), and realising she doesn't have quite as much power as she once did.
Varys pulls her aside, and the two go off to talk. Next minute, BAM, and Dany is pleading with Jon to never, ever reveal his true lineage.
Fast-forward a few scenes, and Varys now knows about Jon's claim to the throne thanks to a little known game of Westeros Whispers. We basically have a situation where Tyrion is trying to convince him not to commit treason. Varys does his whole "I hope we make wise decisions" thing and walks off.
Varys has always been loyal to the realm. What's yet another ruler when he's already served so many of them already (The Mad King, Robert, Dany etc)?
6. Sansa is our new schemer extraordinaire.
According to showrunner D.B. Weiss, Sansa knew exactly what she was doing by telling Tyrion about Jon. She's a "student of Littlefinger", as he puts it, and knows she's setting in motion something that can't be undone. Every other character can underestimate her to their own demise.
7. Bronn had a point about the Lannisters and Casterly Rock.
Bronn's price for betraying Cersei and not murdering the remaining Lannister brothers was Highgarden, which is missing an owner now all the Tyrells are dead.
Jaime mocks Bronn for his lofty goals, but Bronn fires back: how did the Lannisters take Casterly Rock in the first place? Bronn posits a theory: by killing a few hundred people, and Bronn -- as we've well-established -- is very good at killing.
In fact, according to the books, Lann the Clever supposedly swindled Casterly Rock from the Casterlys using nothing but his wits. One version says he broke into the castle via a secret passage and whispered to the brothers in their sleep, turning them against each other. Another says he filled the castle with rats and mice and drove the Casterlys out. Either way, he wasn't particularly noble or worthy, he just happened to see a castle he liked -- and took it.
8. Jon did Ghost dirty by not even saying bye to him.
Fans are rightly FURIOUS at Jon for not even saying goodbye to his beloved Ghost, after the direwolf stuck by him through thick-and-thin.
Remember: Jon is the one who convinced Ned Stark to let his children keep the direwolves as pets in the first place. Ghost and Nymeria are the only ones left, and without Ghost, Jon would have died a few more times than he already has.
Jon leaving a broken, one-eared Ghost without so much as a gentle scratch behind the ear feels like Game of Thrones making a quick exit from the expensive storyline, rather than staying true to the characters.
9. Finally, SOMEONE said the obvious about Dany and Jon.
She's his AUNT. Dany has grown up with the understanding that Targaryens married each other, and even believed she would one day marry her brother. Jon, however, is new to this whole incest thing. When the pair kiss after the battle, there's a moment when Jon stops what he's doing, which according to Weiss is about Jon remembering who she is -- again, his aunt -- and feeling unsure.
So when Varys finally said the words "she's his aunt" aloud to Tyrion, it was at last an out-loud acknowledgement of their shared family history. Not just a claim to the throne thing.
10. The 'Rains of Castamere' was a horrifying throwback.
No one knows how to use music to tell a story quite like Game of Thrones composer Ramin Djawadi. At one point this episode -- during a Cersei scene, naturally -- a few refrains of 'The Rains of Castamere' played, that classic Lannister song most notably used during the Red Wedding. It's used frequently to indicate Lannister victory, and there's no doubt this episode that with two main kills and a pitiful fleet decimated, Cersei is up on top.
Quite literally, in fact.
11. Missandei's final message was a battle cry.
Missandei knew she was going to die. Dany knew she was probably going to die. Missandei's final words -- "dracarys" -- was a message to Dany to burn them all. Which means:
12. Dany is going full mad queen.
This face is the face of someone who's about to burn everyone and everything in her path.
13. Arya is planning to kill Cersei. Will she kill Dany instead?
We've gone into this theory with more detail HERE, but as a few people have now noticed, Dany has green eyes -- possibly being the eyes Arya will "close forever", as Melisandre noted.
Her eyes were particularly green this episode, although as Dany was supposed to have purple eyes -- as dictated by the books -- there might not be too much weight to this theory.
There's nothing Game of Thrones fans love more than obsessing over a tiny detail, after all.
READ MORE ABOUT GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8