29 votes

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4 discussion

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74 comments

  1. [24]
    Ember (edited ) Link
    Such a disappointing waste. How do you fail to take advantage of so many setups? Jon coming back to life? Doesn't matter, no impact. Bran's huge journey to the North? Just turns him into an...

    Such a disappointing waste. How do you fail to take advantage of so many setups?

    • Jon coming back to life? Doesn't matter, no impact.
    • Bran's huge journey to the North? Just turns him into an uninteresting statue/bait.
    • Arya's whole thing with the Faceless Men? Nothing but granting her an overpowered fighting ability.
    • Dany's whole journey across Essos, learning what it means to be Queen? Nah, she's nuts. No cure.
    • The direwolves? Can't afford the CGI budget, just phase them out.
    • The Dragons being chained up vs. being a wild animal (season 5)? Nope, just a weapon of war, 100% controllable.
    • Unsullied being an amazing fighting force / the Dothraki coming under Dany's rule? Barely matters, they all just get eaten by wights. Which, could've been a good twist, to see her entire military destroyed by the dead... but they have to be seen as competent first and win some battles. Not get easily outmaneuvered by the Sons of the Harpy.
    • Do we care at all what happened to the mess Dany left in Essos?
    • Jaime finally redeeming himself? He takes a trip to Winterfell (across the whole continent!!), fights one battle, then decides to go all the way back to King's Landing.
    • Jon quitting the Night's Watch? Ehh, doesn't matter.
    • Tyrion's development to caring about more that whores and drinking, and putting his cleverness to use? He just hides under Winterfell during the whole battle, never contributes to anything.
    • Varys is developed as this Spider in the shadows. So why is he constantly being crystal clear about his intentions to Tyrion? Where's the carefully hidden agendas, or at least a sense of self-preservation by not talking about treason to the Queen's Hand?
    • Tension between the Wildlings and the people of Winterfell? What about Dany/Tyrion trying to earn the North's trust?
    • What's Sansa doing, anyways? Was her terrible, abusive, journey worth just killing Littlefinger and hanging out in Winterfell? Does she get to do anything, or achieve any peace in her life?
    • Was the whole point of Sam's time in the Citadel just to confirm Jon's parentage and heal Jorah?
    • We're never getting any answers on the Lord of Light, or the prophesies, or what the various gods were playing at, are we?
    • Does no one ever grieve for their dead ones? Ok, yeah, we see a lot of grieving for Ned and Lyanna, but what about Rikkon? or Robb, or Catelyn? Does Dany ever show any emotion about her dragons dying? those dragons are her children! and she just watches Viserion die to the Night's King with a blank, unchanging, nigh-unemotional expression on her face. Cersei barely ever shows any emotion either; she just stares blankly at the city; she's driven by hatred, yes, but pure hatred from a character for seasons-on-end gets really tiring. She doesn't even feel like a real person: just a fairy tale evil queen.
    • What was the whole deal with the North Remembers thing? Did that ever pay off?
    • Really, what is the point of setting up a game of thrones where you win or die... and then separating the major factions so they never collide until the very end? There was some real intrigue possible in King's Landing (the High Sparrow, Margaery, or maybe there's *gasp* other players that are always coming out of the woodwork?). Cersei's claim to the throne is tenable at best; shouldn't there be some factions that challenge her on it, or play political games around her court? Nah, let's just kill off literally everyone in KL and let Cersei's actor just stand alone in a room for multiple episodes. No intrigue == subverting expectations!
    • Seasons upon seasons of setup for the War for the Dawn... the White Walkers literally open the first episode of this whole show... and it doesn't matter. Destroyed in one battle. The Long Night was literally just a long night. Half the kingdoms won't even believe the army of the dead existed, because they never saw them. The Night's King is built up as this incredibly mysterious figure that's been waiting for thousands of years... and we get not a single answer. I was hoping for maybe some kind of twist, like "The White Walkers weren't totally evil, just angry the humans broke a truce/did something wrong" or even better "The 3-eyed Raven was the real villain: he killed Bran and perma-warged into him, and so the 3-eyed Raven resurrects the Night's King immediately".
    • Let's not even talk about all the mythos and legend and other locations set up by the novels that never come into play...
    33 votes
    1. [6]
      roboticide Link Parent
      I mean, some of these are legit, but I think some of these aren't as unresolved as you make it seem, or honestly even that unsatisfactory. I mean, he's kind of had a huge impact. The whole Azor...

      I mean, some of these are legit, but I think some of these aren't as unresolved as you make it seem, or honestly even that unsatisfactory.

      Jon coming back to life? Doesn't matter, no impact.

      I mean, he's kind of had a huge impact. The whole Azor Ahai thing is definitely unresolved, but arguably his purpose as an agent of the Lord of Light was to unite the living and defeat the White Walkers, which he did. That matters. That's an impact.

      Arya's whole thing with the Faceless Men? Nothing but granting her an overpowered fighting ability.

      I mean... Character development? It's not like this was something D&D came up with, Martin wrote that route first. Like the issue above, the books would probably explore this more elegantly and more in depth, but Arya has clearly grown tremendously beyond just her fighting skill and the House of Black and White had a lot to do with that.

      Jaime finally redeeming himself? He takes a trip to Winterfell (across the whole continent!!), fights one battle, then decides to go all the way back to King's Landing.

      Yes, to kill Cersei. Jaime's journey isn't about geography (and lets face it, this show has stopped caring about geographical distances since Season 1), it's about his redemption, and fighting for the living was a good start, and killing Cersei is a good end.

      Jon quitting the Night's Watch? Ehh, doesn't matter.

      I mean, it doesn't? I don't get the beef here. They killed him, he said "Fuck y'all" and left. That seems fair. He was Lord Commander, tried to do the right thing, and the Watch isn't even an organization anymore, and wouldn't have been even if he stayed.

      Was the whole point of Sam's time in the Citadel just to confirm Jon's parentage and heal Jorah?

      Sam's whole point was to go and learn useful skills to be a Maester for the Watch. There's no more Watch and he arguably learned other valuable information, so mission accomplished. Were you looking for something more grand?

      I mean, a lot of it is disappointing and we're not going to get the resolution to a lot of questions we have, especially regarding the mythology, but some of these points seem rather resolved. Not everything needs a big grand answer.

      9 votes
      1. [5]
        MrGrey Link Parent
        Why? The entire coalition of the living accomplished effectively nothing and under some scenarios (handing over undead dragon) enabled the only viable method for breaching the wall at all. Just...

        unite the living and defeat the White Walkers, which he did. That matters

        Why? The entire coalition of the living accomplished effectively nothing and under some scenarios (handing over undead dragon) enabled the only viable method for breaching the wall at all. Just the solo run through a castle filled with undead, right past the grasp of white walkers, only to pull a knife trick generally decimates the literal meaning of the 'we all need to fight together' bit. Bran and Arya could have theoretically ended the NK with the same trap setup without tens of thousands dying.

        4 votes
        1. [4]
          PahoojyMan Link Parent
          The great war was required for the trap to work. It was the only way to draw the NK out.

          Bran and Arya could have theoretically ended the NK with the same trap setup without tens of thousands dying.

          The great war was required for the trap to work. It was the only way to draw the NK out.

          1. [2]
            MrGrey Link Parent
            How? Why? He showed up at hardhome, no coalition required. The '7 samurai' mission to grab a random wight, he shows up again. Before the battle Bran specifically states NK is coming after him, and...

            How? Why? He showed up at hardhome, no coalition required. The '7 samurai' mission to grab a random wight, he shows up again. Before the battle Bran specifically states NK is coming after him, and he knows where he's at due to his mark. Wherever people are getting this idea from, it has most definitely not been shown on screen.

            4 votes
            1. PahoojyMan Link Parent
              Do you think that in either of these previous encounters, anyone had a real shot at the NK? They are logistically very different to Winterfell. Don't they literally state, on-screen, that they...

              Do you think that in either of these previous encounters, anyone had a real shot at the NK? They are logistically very different to Winterfell.

              Don't they literally state, on-screen, that they need to draw the NK out with Bran as bait?

          2. Amarok Link Parent
            Frankly from what we saw with Arya, all Bran would have had to do is guide her near the NK with a raven and she'd get the backstab in even if he were sitting in the middle of his entire army and...

            Frankly from what we saw with Arya, all Bran would have had to do is guide her near the NK with a raven and she'd get the backstab in even if he were sitting in the middle of his entire army and surrounded by all the walkers. They could have quietly ended the NK before anyone but the Wildlings even knew he was out there.

            1 vote
    2. [12]
      json Link Parent
      And fucked Brienne.

      Jaime finally redeeming himself? He takes a trip to Winterfell (across the whole continent!!), fights one battle, then decides to go all the way back to King's Landing.

      And fucked Brienne.

      6 votes
      1. [11]
        ras Link Parent
        My gut feeling is that he's going back to King's Landing to kill Cersei. He still loves her, enough to not want anyone else to do it.

        My gut feeling is that he's going back to King's Landing to kill Cersei. He still loves her, enough to not want anyone else to do it.

        8 votes
        1. NaraVara Link Parent
          The Valonquar prophecy is basically the only one they went into any detail with. And since they seem to have such a boner for SUBVERTING EXPECTATIONS at the expense of literally every other aspect...

          My gut feeling is that he's going back to King's Landing to kill Cersei. He still loves her, enough to not want anyone else to do it.

          The Valonquar prophecy is basically the only one they went into any detail with. And since they seem to have such a boner for SUBVERTING EXPECTATIONS at the expense of literally every other aspect of good story-telling, I'm almost certain this is what they're setting up.

          9 votes
        2. [7]
          dubteedub Link Parent
          You have far more faith in the writers than I do. That would be far too competent of them.

          You have far more faith in the writers than I do.

          That would be far too competent of them.

          5 votes
          1. [5]
            ras Link Parent
            I think it's pretty telegraphed. They show him learning about what is about to happen King's Landing and we see him up thinking about it while Brienne sleeps. We're supposed to think that he's...

            I think it's pretty telegraphed. They show him learning about what is about to happen King's Landing and we see him up thinking about it while Brienne sleeps. We're supposed to think that he's going back to save her, but why in the world did he leave in the first place if that was the case? You could be right though, the writers might just be completely incompetent. There's pretty good evidence for that.

            4 votes
            1. [4]
              dubteedub Link Parent
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8K9XuPrXko Well, in the behind the scences bit from the showrunners for this episode they just said that Jamie is just addicted to Cersei and is going back to her....

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8K9XuPrXko

              Well, in the behind the scences bit from the showrunners for this episode they just said that Jamie is just addicted to Cersei and is going back to her.

              When Jamie decides to stay behind with Brienne it's a choice that
              he makes with every intention of seeing it through. When he hears what Cersei is done I think that's the turning point for him. At that point Jaime really has to has to take a really long uncomfortable look at who he really is. As much as Jaime cares for Brienne and admires her and loves her he's got unless an addiction to Cersei that he just can't break. So even though he's given a kind of a chance at happiness and some kind of different life for himself, he can't take it, he makes the choice to go back to Cersei.

              The showrunners could be trying to subvert expectations again in this behind the scenes bit and may actually follow through with Jaime taking Cersei down, but I just have no faith in them whatsoever.

              5 votes
              1. [3]
                Loire Link Parent
                I hope to god they are just misleading for the sake of the shock of Jamie killing her. If that is an actual representation of their thought process then they fundamentally do not understand the...

                I hope to god they are just misleading for the sake of the shock of Jamie killing her.

                If that is an actual representation of their thought process then they fundamentally do not understand the character, nor his arc, and shouldn't have wasted our time with his (extremely late) turn away from Cersei.

                2 votes
                1. [2]
                  Amarok Link Parent
                  I invite you to read the stunning cinematic achievements of Weiss and Benioff then draw your own conclusions. :/ I think we can safely assign any/all excellence in the show to GRRM.

                  I invite you to read the stunning cinematic achievements of Weiss and Benioff then draw your own conclusions. :/

                  I think we can safely assign any/all excellence in the show to GRRM.

                  4 votes
                  1. NaraVara Link Parent
                    Oh no. . . Oh God no. . .

                    I invite you to read the stunning cinematic achievements of Weiss and Benioff then draw your own conclusions. :/

                    Filmography

                    . . .

                    • Untitled Star Wars Project (written by)

                    Oh no. . .

                    Oh God no. . .

                    2 votes
          2. SensibleMadness Link Parent
            I think it's fairly obvious Jaime went to Kings Landing to kill Cersei. Whether he'll succeed or night is an open question. Arya apparently went there for the same reason, so he at least has some...

            I think it's fairly obvious Jaime went to Kings Landing to kill Cersei. Whether he'll succeed or night is an open question. Arya apparently went there for the same reason, so he at least has some competition. My prediction is he'll hesitate and Cersei will end up killing him.

        3. babypuncher Link Parent
          Also he can't have anyone stealing his title of Kingslayer. That is already in jeopardy after Joffrey's assassination.

          Also he can't have anyone stealing his title of Kingslayer. That is already in jeopardy after Joffrey's assassination.

          2 votes
        4. Ellimist Link Parent
          I somewhat agree but disagree. Jaime is going to back to King's Landing because he loves Cersei but he's not going there to kill her. He's going there to try one last time to save her. When he...

          I somewhat agree but disagree.

          Jaime is going to back to King's Landing because he loves Cersei but he's not going there to kill her. He's going there to try one last time to save her. When he gets there, I think he'll realize just how irredeemable she's become and will be the one to kill her to stop her from doing something even more evil.

          1 vote
    3. [5]
      nic Link Parent
      Such a good point. Also, why did Sansa tell Tyrion about Jon's secret? We keep hearing how smart she is. Telling the queen's hand "my brother would make a great king" seems like it could have gone...

      Varys is developed as this Spider in the shadows. So why is he constantly being crystal clear about his intentions to Tyrion? Where's the carefully hidden agendas, or at least a sense of self-preservation by not talking about treason to the Queen's Hand?

      Such a good point.

      Also, why did Sansa tell Tyrion about Jon's secret? We keep hearing how smart she is. Telling the queen's hand "my brother would make a great king" seems like it could have gone one of two ways.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Macil Link Parent
        The one thing that Tyrion has done in these last few episodes is become friendly with Sansa. It's nice that there was a plot payoff to that.

        Also, why did Sansa tell Tyrion about Jon's secret?

        The one thing that Tyrion has done in these last few episodes is become friendly with Sansa. It's nice that there was a plot payoff to that.

        3 votes
        1. nic Link Parent
          Yes, friendships are nice, but either Sansa gets what she wants and now her brother the king hates her, or she doesn't get what she wants and likely both her brother and her queen hates her.

          Yes, friendships are nice, but either Sansa gets what she wants and now her brother the king hates her, or she doesn't get what she wants and likely both her brother and her queen hates her.

          1 vote
      2. [2]
        Amarok Link Parent
        That part at least was handled rather well, I thought. Sansa clearly wants Dany out of the picture. Once she noticed that Tyrion was 'afraid' of Dany during that conversation, she saw an...

        That part at least was handled rather well, I thought. Sansa clearly wants Dany out of the picture. Once she noticed that Tyrion was 'afraid' of Dany during that conversation, she saw an opportunity to pull a Littlefinger, and slip some divisive information into Dany's ranks that would help drive her supporters apart. She was willing to roll the dice that Tyrion wouldn't tell Dany until after the war, if ever.

        It worked better than she could have ever hoped for, since she didn't know Varys was already having second thoughts about Dany's crazy-targ syndrome manifesting every time she didn't get everything her way, right away. Now Varys is undoubtedly working to undermine Dany in favor of Jon. I'm sure he's already sent ravens to start rumors, so his death (which he is unconcerned about as he already said) won't prevent this information from coming back to bite Dany in the ass.

        Sansa knows Dany will guess it was her, but by then, Dany will be either dead or on the Iron Throne and dealing with the uprising this information causes when the population of Westeros finds out about all of this stuff. Sansa will just be chilling out in Winterfell a thousand miles away, or she may disappear to the Eyrie or some other unknown location until it's all over and Dany is off the throne. It's actually a safe gamble from where Sansa is sitting.

        That whole thread might be the one thing in the show that I don't have issues with... though why Sansa and Dany are at odds in the first place is rather heavy hand-waving. If Dany had taken the time to pitch her 'break the wheel' plans to Sansa (or if Jon or Tyrion had done it) I doubt they'd be at odds. More likely Sansa would be advising Dany, and her pragmatic quantum ruthlessness is exactly what Dany needs right now.

        3 votes
        1. nic Link Parent
          Yeah, they seem to have deliberately skipped all the character development and focused on sentimentality and action.

          though why Sansa and Dany are at odds in the first place is rather heavy hand-waving.

          Yeah, they seem to have deliberately skipped all the character development and focused on sentimentality and action.

          3 votes
  2. [7]
    Sahasrahla Link
    Since the beginning of the series one of the things I've most looked forward to is how they would handle Dany's character once she got to Westeros. She's always seen herself as a liberator and a...

    Since the beginning of the series one of the things I've most looked forward to is how they would handle Dany's character once she got to Westeros. She's always seen herself as a liberator and a defender of the people and in recent years she's been loved by the fandom as a hero and one of the 'good guys'. There's always been a hypocrisy to her, though, and a cruel tyrannical streak. She calls herself the "breaker of chains" and abhors slavery, yet she wants to rule over the Seven Kingdoms whether they want her or not; she says she wants to "break the wheel", but rather than destroying the unjust system of feudal exploitation she uses it as the source of her claimed legitimacy. When it comes to ruling and ensuring the loyalty of her followers she threatens death by dragon fire both to keep people in line and to punish those who don't wish to serve her.

    Dany was always set up to have the potential to become a villain in the narrative. She's not "mad" like her father but there's a conflict (even if she doesn't personally realize it) between her desire to rule and her desire to do good. However, as much as the books and the show have been building to this, I didn't trust that the show would follow through with it: fans love Dany, she's become a feminist icon, and 1 in 4000 girls born in the US in 2017 were named Khaleesi. Making Dany an unambiguous hero would be the safe fan-service friendly choice, and given how things have been going, I respect what this episode has done with Dany's character and the conflict they've set up. This is also an instance of some characters acting in ways that make sense for them: Why would Sansa and the North trust Dany and want her as a ruler when they've fought so hard for their independence? Why would Varys go along with her when he has always been loyal to the people and worked to put a good ruler in place?

    So whatever other problems the show has by this point I'm at least interested in seeing where this goes. Personally I hope that Dany is a tragic figure who's brought down by her inability to see that she's just as much of a tyrant and slaver as those she's hated her whole life, and I hope the show doesn't shy away from showing us this is why she fell, but I can't trust just yet that this will be handled well.

    Some thoughts on the rest of the episode:

    Likes:

    • Conflicts in Dany's character that have been building up since season 1 are starting to come into play.
    • Sansa and the North and their part in Dany's coalition is a source of non-contrived conflict.
    • Varys has a purpose and motivations again.
    • There were some good character moments in the feast.
    • Nice to see the progress in Jaime and Brienne's arc, with Jaime finally leaving Cersei and Brienne putting aside past trauma to open up. (Well, I liked it for about 30 minutes.)

    Dislikes: (oh boy)

    • The show did not earn the right to say through Tyrion that with the Night King fight over they are now left to deal with each other. It misses, again, the whole thematic point of the Long Night story line.
    • The emotional notes of the funeral pyre scene weren't earned. There are heaps of bodies but hardly any characters we have much of a connection with are among them. Are we supposed to care about Beric Dondarrion or the running gag Mormont kid?
    • Since when is Tyrion motivated by blind loyalty? Since when would he go against his better judgment because of the logic that 'sometimes you just need to make a choice and stick with it'?
    • If Ayra is (presumably) going to go kill Cersei why wouldn't she tell anyone at the war council? Why would she let her family risk themselves when she could just tell everyone she has super-assassin powers that would let her easily kill Cersei? Why doesn't anyone ask her to kill Cersei? Do they know she has super ninja powers now? What do they think she's been doing, and how do they think she killed the Night King or survived the battle?
    • Why doesn't anyone ask Bran for help? He can warg, he can spy, he can see through time. He's disassociated and emotionless but he's not completely beyond caring about his family.
    • Making Cersei the endgame threat is silly. It's anti-climactic after facing the Night King and the efforts to make her forces seem equal to Dany's are contrived. The narrative would have been much stronger if the final conflict was an internal one between Dany and her supporters and between Dany and herself, with Cersei being a minor threat that still had to be dealt with.
    • Those stupid ballistas. Was Qyburn really the first person in the history of Planetos to look at a crossbow and say, "What if we made it bigger?" And now we're supposed to believe that they're these super weapons that can tear apart a fleet of ships in minutes and accurately hit and kill flying dragons at far range? I get that the show needed something to even the odds with Dany's dragons but this is a ridiculous solution and it makes one wonder how dragons were ever much of a threat in the show's history if they're so easily countered.
    • How did a fleet of ships ambush someone flying in the sky? The show tried to make it look like the ships were behind an island but they would have had a line of sight to shoot at the dragons.
    • Euron.
    • Why would Bronn think his plan was a good idea? Did he imagine that Jaime and Tyrion would keep their word because of the threat of one guy who would want to kill them? If it were so easy to get a major lordship in Westeros everyone would do it. And why would Bronn expect he'd be able to rule one of the Seven Kingdoms without immediately getting killed himself by his noble born banner-lords? Also, how did Bronn just walk into Winterfell's keep with an armed crossbow and accost Dany's Hand and one of her commanders? How did he get out again without anyone (like Jaime or Tyrion) raising the alarm and killing or capturing him?
    • Why did Jaime suddenly regress back to near the beginning of his character arc?
    • Even with Dany's army being depleted and her dragons apparently useless now, how are her and Cersei's forces considered equal? They mentioned Dorne, Storm's End, etc. as supporting Dany now. They also say that Cersei basically only controls King's Landing. Even by the show's own twisted logic this doesn't make sense.
    • They really don't explain why a siege of King's Landing wouldn't work. They wouldn't even have to wait for the city to run out of food. They'd just have to wait for Cersei to run out of money to pay the apparently large number of mercenaries she's hired and then there'd be a hostile force inside the city walls who would be ready to turn on Cersei. Didn't Dany already take a city once by convincing their mercenary company to switch sides?

    I'm sure there's something I'm forgetting. All that being said though I enjoyed this episode and I'm trying to appreciate the show in the context of what it's become rather than being too let down by what is used to be. That's something I've had years to come to terms with, despite hope for a turnaround as we approached the end.

    18 votes
    1. [3]
      roboticide Link Parent
      I agree the ballistas are terrible. The added stupidity of the fact that Dany has encountered them before, and knows they exist and are a threat. The fact that D&D explained the ambush in the...

      I agree the ballistas are terrible. The added stupidity of the fact that Dany has encountered them before, and knows they exist and are a threat. The fact that D&D explained the ambush in the after the show clip with "Dany forgot about the Ironborne fleet right after the scene with them talking about the Ironborne fleet is arguably the dumbest "word of god" moment in film/TV history.

      However, I think a valid explanation for earlier dragons in Valyrian/Targaryan history is that they were simply bigger. Balerion the Black Dread was supposed to be fucking enormous, and presumably you get to a point where you simply can't build a ballista big enough to threaten a sufficiently large dragon. Dany's dragons aren't even 10 years old after all. With ballistas largely ineffectual, and catapults/trebuchets being better anti-personnel and siege weapons, the idea of ballistas just being kind of a forgotten technology makes a little bit of sense.

      With regards to the other castles and factions like Storm's End and Dorne, I assume those forces have largely been depleted by the ongoing wars? I mean, if the Lannister forces alone were at maximum strength, they wouldn't need the Golden Company, but they've been as badly battered as anyone else.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        Staross Link Parent
        The worse thing about the ballistas is that to shoot a dragon they need to have line of sight, which means Dany could also see the ships. Seeing a fleet of ships on the sea is much easier than...

        The worse thing about the ballistas is that to shoot a dragon they need to have line of sight, which means Dany could also see the ships. Seeing a fleet of ships on the sea is much easier than spotting a dragon in the sky, meaning that Dany is either blind as fuck or dumb as brick.

        8 votes
        1. Amarok Link Parent
          I could buy that they were hiding in that small ravine between the rocks and Dany was simply distracted looking at Rhaegal. She wasn't very high up, and she wouldn't have had line of sight until...

          I could buy that they were hiding in that small ravine between the rocks and Dany was simply distracted looking at Rhaegal. She wasn't very high up, and she wouldn't have had line of sight until she was right on top of them. They, on the other hand, were waiting for her and likely had someone signaling from the top of something nearby so that the ships could fire their entire payload almost immediately - though why they didn't target the largest dragon, or both dragons, hoping to get Dany into the water is a mystery to me.

          It's lame, but people do get distracted. What I don't buy is that they went down to Dragonstone (after leaving it unmanned for months) and weren't cautious and expecting an ambush, or prepared for some sort of dragon-countering strategy. Did they think Cersei was just sitting around waiting for them, when she's ambushed everyone at every opportunity multiple times already? Tyrion needs to lay off the sauce, and Bran needs to give him a copy of the successful hero's list, since Cersei clearly has a copy of the evil overlord list. Also, let's send these on to D&D or whoever is handling the four upcoming spinoffs so we can avoid this conversation happening four more times. :P

          Ballista are to trebuchets and catapults what crossbows are to regular bows - a game changer meant to defeat any amount of armor. They are also notoriously hard to maintain, aim, and reload - though the advanced scorpions shown in the show would definitely be easier to aim, with the ranged sights and 360' rotation. The firing rate there was ridiculous, easily triple any kind of realistic reload and aim time. They'd obliterate any dragon, though, and they'd shred Balerion as easily as they did Rhaegar, though it might be a bit harder to get a solid kill shot through the heart or neck on a much larger dragon. There's no reason not to barb and poison the missiles. Dragons are sitting ducks against that kind of firepower, as is any living thing.

          Those ballista had a rather ridiculous range. I'd be curious to know what the hell they are using for draw strings and how many people it takes to pull that fucker into firing position - with four levers it's got to require a staggering amount of force, which means a much longer reload time. It also seemed to me they were using anti-gravity bolts, coming in horizontally on the other ships which is insanity at that distance. They'd fall into the water at that angle long before they got to the ships.

          But it was a cool looking scene, right? /sigh

          Dany could have flamed them easily, too. They may rotate 360, but the sail is in the way from the rear, preventing any kind of aim. If she'd circled around back and they didn't have another ballista set up at the rear of the ships, that would have been an exploitable flaw. Similarly, if when they assault KL, they can arrange to have a lot of smoke in the air (flaming a forest nearby for example) that will also make the weapons much less useful, trying to aim through the smoke... or wait until a fog rolls in, or attack at night if the dragons can see at night.

          1 vote
    2. [2]
      Pilgrim Link Parent
      Exactly! They managed to take one of the scariest and most ruthless characters from the books and turn him into a clown.

      Euron.

      Exactly! They managed to take one of the scariest and most ruthless characters from the books and turn him into a clown.

      3 votes
      1. Amarok Link Parent
        I think if show Euron was as epic as book Euron, they'd be catching a lot less shit every time he shows up on screen. Pilou Asbæk would probably be a lot less bored playing that role, too.

        I think if show Euron was as epic as book Euron, they'd be catching a lot less shit every time he shows up on screen. Pilou Asbæk would probably be a lot less bored playing that role, too.

        1 vote
    3. nic Link Parent
      Great point. I forgot John Snow only knows Arya used her sword "one or two times"

      how do they think [Arya] killed the Night King or survived the battle?

      Great point. I forgot John Snow only knows Arya used her sword "one or two times"

      2 votes
  3. [11]
    shiruken Link
    https://twitter.com/reckless/status/1125230801715593216

    The real Game of Thrones innovation this season is using the Inside The Episode to explain why everything is happening after the show is over, instead of doing good writing on the show itself

    https://twitter.com/reckless/status/1125230801715593216

    19 votes
    1. [6]
      bhrgunatha Link Parent
      I'm hate-watching now - just to see it finish because I've invested so much time over the years. There is no joy watching any more. It's become so disappointing I can't even be bothered to express...

      I'm hate-watching now - just to see it finish because I've invested so much time over the years.

      There is no joy watching any more.

      It's become so disappointing I can't even be bothered to express it, so here's a visual representation comparing how it was, to how it is now.

      15 votes
      1. [2]
        shiruken Link Parent
        Couldn't even give Ghost a goodbye pet ffs

        Couldn't even give Ghost a goodbye pet ffs

        10 votes
        1. Amarok Link Parent
          They just want us to worry that since Ghost is gone, Jon 'Jesus Christ' Snow will be next. Oh no, he's going south!

          They just want us to worry that since Ghost is gone, Jon 'Jesus Christ' Snow will be next. Oh no, he's going south!

          3 votes
      2. dubteedub Link Parent
        I am right there with you. I honestly just hate the show at this point. I was willing to try and give them the benefit of the doubt for this final season since they had so much time to plan and...

        I am right there with you. I honestly just hate the show at this point. I was willing to try and give them the benefit of the doubt for this final season since they had so much time to plan and prep, but jesus, the writers really have no clue what they are doing or why people were interested in this show in the first place.

        3 votes
      3. cwagner Link Parent
        Take it as the tragic comedy it is now. And hope that GRRM kicks his own ass in gear and gives us the real story.

        Take it as the tragic comedy it is now. And hope that GRRM kicks his own ass in gear and gives us the real story.

        3 votes
      4. synergy Link Parent
        I'm so glad I dropped the show after season 5. My girlfriend still watches it and watching her reactions is priceless.

        I'm so glad I dropped the show after season 5. My girlfriend still watches it and watching her reactions is priceless.

        1 vote
    2. [3]
      nic Link Parent
      Did I miss anything specifically insightful?

      Did I miss anything specifically insightful?

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        shiruken Link Parent
        Apparently Dany "forgot" about the Iron Fleet

        Apparently Dany "forgot" about the Iron Fleet

        3 votes
        1. nic Link Parent
          Her dragons have burned an entire fleet down before. How was she to know the iron fleet would have cross bows that had enough english to curve around islands?

          Her dragons have burned an entire fleet down before.

          How was she to know the iron fleet would have cross bows that had enough english to curve around islands?

          2 votes
    3. Cosmos Link Parent
      Thank you so much for sharing that. Didn't even know this was a thing.

      Thank you so much for sharing that. Didn't even know this was a thing.

  4. [8]
    doug3465 (edited ) Link
    I promise you this is real. A starbucks cup(?) in front of Dany at 17:38 on hbogo. edit: Addressed by HBO on twitter
    18 votes
    1. [4]
      Amarok Link Parent
      Did they rush through post and miss it, or did the post team notice and decide not to say anything just to enjoy the schadenfreude when the internet notices this? :P

      Did they rush through post and miss it, or did the post team notice and decide not to say anything just to enjoy the schadenfreude when the internet notices this? :P

      5 votes
      1. [3]
        roboticide Link Parent
        I assume missed it. If the post team caught it, I assume they would have just edited it out.

        I assume missed it. If the post team caught it, I assume they would have just edited it out.

        1. [2]
          Cosmos Link Parent
          How exactly do you edit that out easily without also editing out Danny? Might have just decided that fixing the mistake was more of a hassle than it was worth.

          How exactly do you edit that out easily without also editing out Danny? Might have just decided that fixing the mistake was more of a hassle than it was worth.

          1. Amarok Link Parent
            Modern video editing software has gotten rather good at click-and-replace for objects, just like photoshop can magically disappear objects from photos. This is largely due to recent improvements...

            Modern video editing software has gotten rather good at click-and-replace for objects, just like photoshop can magically disappear objects from photos. This is largely due to recent improvements in AI pattern recognition, one of the few areas where this technology is having a realistic and positive impact. There's usually some manual touchup required but it's not at all difficult or very time consuming. Unfortunately this has lead to a mentality of 'we'll fix it in post' taking over film and television production - I feel for the guys who are constantly having to clean up amateur shit like this.

            2 votes
    2. firstname Link Parent
      I believed you, but still had to re-watch that part. It was even more hilarious seeing it live.

      I believed you, but still had to re-watch that part. It was even more hilarious seeing it live.

      3 votes
    3. Apos Link Parent
      Feels like the editors just gave up.

      Feels like the editors just gave up.

      2 votes
  5. jprich Link
    The show has slowly been insulting our intelligence for a while now but after the shitshow that was Ep 3 I'm watching it for comedy. The amount of suspension of disbelief they expect from us is...

    The show has slowly been insulting our intelligence for a while now but after the shitshow that was Ep 3 I'm watching it for comedy. The amount of suspension of disbelief they expect from us is honestly painful.

    I mean, yeah, I get it, the show has dragons and undead but for fucks sake. There were like 18 people left alive in winterfell (none of which were lvl 0 characters) but yet HALF the north, unsullied, and dothraki survived? Bitch please.

    sorry this is ep 4 discussion
    So yeah, you have someone high in the sky who gets ambushed by a fleet of ninja pirate ships appearing out of no where who have 110% accuracy for unridden dragons. Also they can only fire one shot at a time at said unridden dragons. If there is a rider they get rapid fire but cant hit shit even when the fucking dragon is dive bombing them. Fuuuuuuuck this show.

    13 votes
  6. nathan Link
    I felt sad at the end of the episode, which was weird after not feeling anything particularly strongly during the emotional climaxes of the episode. I realized I felt sad because the characters...

    I felt sad at the end of the episode, which was weird after not feeling anything particularly strongly during the emotional climaxes of the episode. I realized I felt sad because the characters are acting so out of character it feels like they’re already gone, why be sad for Dany’s death of her child when Dany’s character is already gone. I went from dreading there only being six episodes left to being ready for the end of the series, and not in a good way.

    12 votes
  7. [6]
    Amarok (edited ) Link
    This show is getting quite boring and predictable lately. Honestly, going off the rails is the rule, not the exception - not everyone can be Breaking Bad, or The Wire, or Babylon 5. Those are the...

    This show is getting quite boring and predictable lately. Honestly, going off the rails is the rule, not the exception - not everyone can be Breaking Bad, or The Wire, or Babylon 5. Those are the only shows I've seen that managed to stick the landing. I hear Six Feet Under managed a proper exit but haven't watched it yet.

    When Cersei grabbed Missandei's arm, I was hoping she'd have the presence of mind to knock Cersei right off the platform along with herself. Her hands were tied but she still had a chance, and since she knew she was going to die there was no reason not to try. Do writers even bother to put themselves into their character's heads when doing television? I don't know a single tabletop gamer who would have passed up that opportunity.

    I'm sure we'll get a nice scene later where Grey Worm takes Missandei's ashes back to Narth. I've been expecting it since they had that conversation in Ep2. I feel like the writers sit around trying to come up with a 'cool looking scene' and then write backwards to justify setting it up. That's going to end up as shit writing - every goddamn writer worth his salt knows the rule is 'kill your babies' yet D&D seem hell bent on indulging theirs. Set the board and then let the pieces play out each according to their personalities, then try looking for the cool scenes that naturally present themselves. There will be plenty.

    At this point, I'm rooting for Sansa, Varys, and/or Tyrion to knife Dany in the back and spare the kingdoms from another idiot Targ. Dany has become a bad parody of her former self, she's regressed to the spoiled 'where are my dragons' brat we saw in S1. 'Break the Wheel' is right out the window. If Dany had that conversation with Sansa they'd have been friends rather fast I think, but no, we've got to sacrifice any character growth just to figure out a reason for Dany to firebomb King's Landing.

    Jamie has to get to KL so he can kill his sister despite having no fighting ability. I'm not even ruling out Arya doing it wearing Jamie's face, she's become quite the kill-stealer and the show has fallen that far already. Will Brienne follow him just so the writers can indulge themselves in what a 'cool scene' it'll be when Jamie dies in her arms? What fun.

    Rhaegal's sniper death was the highlight of the episode, and it didn't bother me half as much as Tyrion's utter failure, yet again, to predict the staggeringly obvious ambush that would be waiting for them at Dragonstone.

    I'm now on team Mad King, I think. Burn them all, blow the city to dust, just like the plot. At least then there is symmetry. :P

    12 votes
    1. [2]
      DanBC Link Parent
      The Wire had a terrible season 5 with McNulty tampering with crime scenes.

      The Wire had a terrible season 5 with McNulty tampering with crime scenes.

      4 votes
      1. smoontjes Link Parent
        You call it terrible, but that's only true in comparison to seasons 1-4. Season 5 of The Wire is still better than 99% of TV series in my opinion.

        You call it terrible, but that's only true in comparison to seasons 1-4. Season 5 of The Wire is still better than 99% of TV series in my opinion.

        4 votes
    2. nic Link Parent
      I made the same comment to my wife during the show. She commented that Cersei's super-warrior Gregor Clegane would have put a stop to that. Which would have been awesome. A dramatic yet failed...

      When Cersei grabbed Missandei's arm, I was hoping she'd have the presence of mind to knock Cersei right off the platform along with herself.

      I made the same comment to my wife during the show.

      She commented that Cersei's super-warrior Gregor Clegane would have put a stop to that.

      Which would have been awesome.

      A dramatic yet failed attempt to kill Cersei, where yet again it doesn't matter if you are good or evil.

      The show is so bad, I am having these side bar conversations during the actual show.

      I mean, it is still good enough to keep hate watching the the show.

      2 votes
  8. Apos Link
    When they announced ~2 years ago that episodes would be longer, I thought we'd be getting more content per episode and that'd be sick. My expectations couldn't have been more wrong. They padded...

    When they announced ~2 years ago that episodes would be longer, I thought we'd be getting more content per episode and that'd be sick. My expectations couldn't have been more wrong. They padded the time, but there's barely anything happening. So much filler.

    12 votes
  9. SuperGracchiBros (edited ) Link
    This episode finally got me to stop caring about Game of Thrones. I'll still watch the last two episodes, but I understand the people who won't, and those who stopped after season 7. I have no...

    This episode finally got me to stop caring about Game of Thrones. I'll still watch the last two episodes, but I understand the people who won't, and those who stopped after season 7. I have no intention of watching the spinoff series. I'm completely emotionally checked out.
    For me, Jon not even giving Ghost a pet goodbye perfectly encapsulates everything wrong with the show now. He gives him a a nod, and then fucks off to help Dany. Pet your damn dog Jon, it's the last time you're ever going to see him! Jon and Ghost have been together since the first episode of the series! They spent all the money on gratuitous dragon shots, and have nothing left for anything else. It's like the writers resent writing anything that's not Arya/Sansa, Daenarys, or Cersei/Euron.

    8 votes
  10. [4]
    firstname (edited ) Link
    The only good thing about this season, mostly episode 03 is that it made me re-watch the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. And that is all i have to say about that. You others seems to have covered...

    The only good thing about this season, mostly episode 03 is that it made me re-watch the Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

    And that is all i have to say about that. You others seems to have covered everything else.

    edit: actually, i want to add one thing. I feel like the actors know how bad this is compared to the earlier seasons, they are simply not very engaging anymore like they used to be.

    7 votes
    1. [3]
      Sahasrahla Link Parent
      I feel bad for Bran's actor. Imagine being a main character on one of the most popular and influential TV shows ever and your character becomes "emotionless guy who sits there with no expression...

      I feel bad for Bran's actor. Imagine being a main character on one of the most popular and influential TV shows ever and your character becomes "emotionless guy who sits there with no expression on his face." The bit of surprise he showed when he realized Jon was going to spill the beans on his parentage is the first bit of acting they've let him do since he came back from Beyond the Wall.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        Staross Link Parent
        And they could have easily made him more interesting. What could seeing other timelines and everything makes to you ? maybe make you a bit of a confused, crazy, ranting lunatic ? That would have...

        And they could have easily made him more interesting. What could seeing other timelines and everything makes to you ? maybe make you a bit of a confused, crazy, ranting lunatic ?

        That would have been a more interesting character. And making him unreliable/unintelligible would avoid the problem of Bran being a spoiler-machine that can't say anything without ruining the show.

        3 votes
        1. Amarok Link Parent
          I like that angle. Bran's rapid assimilation of tree-knowledge turning him into an intermittently semi-coherent raving loon who needs someone there to listen and translate crazy-tree-talk into...

          I like that angle. Bran's rapid assimilation of tree-knowledge turning him into an intermittently semi-coherent raving loon who needs someone there to listen and translate crazy-tree-talk into some semblance of useful intel. That sort of character can provide all kinds of misleading information along with relevant nuggets.

          I've always found it works best (in tabletop gaming, anyway) to present all forms of divination as a trap rather than as an I-Win button. I've made so many players pay heavy prices for thinking their magical 'I know it all' spells were infallible. Even gods can be wrong or misinformed, and even gods have their own agendas. Some of them don't like it when you pester them because you're too lazy to think, either. :)

          2 votes
  11. nic Link
    Cersei didn't kill Tyron? I mean after hearing what he had to say. What was up with that?

    Cersei didn't kill Tyron?

    I mean after hearing what he had to say.

    What was up with that?

    7 votes
  12. [3]
    Autoxidation (edited ) Link
    Echoing the other posters sentiments here (so far): really disappointed with this episode. Characters teleport around, act totally different than they have the past seasons, or throw away all...

    Echoing the other posters sentiments here (so far): really disappointed with this episode. Characters teleport around, act totally different than they have the past seasons, or throw away all their hard earned character development so far. More general nonsense with the Rhaegal death, mass of ships hidden in plain sight, etc. What the hell was that ending parlay scene anyway.

    It's really sad to see such previously well-crafted and deep characters end up like this. The earlier seasons were some of the best written TV ever IMO, and yet, here we are. Ugh.

    I read the end of season leaks posted elsewhere last week and unfortunately they were very spot on with specific characters deaths in this episode. Anyone hoping for the slim chance the show somehow redeems itself, you've been warned. It only gets worse as the episodes go on.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Grzmot Link Parent
      GRRM at least gave a shit about battle tactics. It's clear D&D either don't, or didn't have enough time to write all this stuff out properly after the show surpassed the books. What makes the fall...

      GRRM at least gave a shit about battle tactics. It's clear D&D either don't, or didn't have enough time to write all this stuff out properly after the show surpassed the books. What makes the fall of GoT so frustrating is that Seasons 1-5 were all very good. S6 was where we first saw writing without any real guidance from GRRM. It's clear that D&D either lack the interest or the ability to write for TV on such a level. Euron is a poor cop-out to level the playing field for the two sides, and every time he does something it's infuriating. Rhaegal's death even more so. It didn't make any physical sense. Sure, the ballistas are powerful enough to pierce dragon scales. But the positioning... THEY WERE HIT HEAD ON. ARE YOU TELLING ME NO ONE SAW THAT HUGE ASS FLEET JUST CHILLING THERE. FROM THE AIR?!

      Honestly the only way this episode could've saved itself was if Missandei just grabbed Cersei and had murder-suicided the both of them off that high wall. Why Cersei didn't give the command to just shoot the dragon standing there in plain sight I don't fucking understand. Everyone's stupid. There isn't a single smart choice made by any of the characters in this episode, save for maybe Podrick scooping up that second lady that the hound scowled (you can see that happen in the background during the Sansa-Hound conversation).

      11 votes
      1. Pilgrim Link Parent
        That sums it up quite succinctly I think.

        Everyone's stupid.

        That sums it up quite succinctly I think.

        2 votes
  13. [2]
    RapidEyeMovement Link
    At this point I just feel bad for the writers, they are so clearly out of their depth in writing ability. They have showed since the end of Season 5 that they cannot write w/o source material....

    At this point I just feel bad for the writers, they are so clearly out of their depth in writing ability. They have showed since the end of Season 5 that they cannot write w/o source material. They are actual great at translating the source material to the screen, but w/o it they are lost.

    I feel bad because there are too many characters, too many plot points, too many interwoven threads and lose ends to tie up. And they are out of time. Everyone wants to move on. The audience, the actors, HBO. There is too much content with no time to develop it, so you have bad writers using short hand to hit plot points that they want to get across to the audience and it's sloppy. You have to insta-travel because there is no time, you have to make large character arch happen quickly. Everyone has plot armor because you don't have time to develop new characters. You have to set pieces in motion w/o proper motivation all because there is no time for proper pacing and development.

    On top of all this everyone has there own side characters and they want/expect to have good fan service done to them.

    There is just a Mountain of content that the writers are trying to plow through in the next 2 episodes.

    4 votes
    1. Amarok Link Parent
      Am I the only one who wonders why this is the case? Surely the most successful blockbuster television show of all time can manage to go on for as long as it needs to in order to wrap things up....

      And they are out of time.

      Am I the only one who wonders why this is the case? Surely the most successful blockbuster television show of all time can manage to go on for as long as it needs to in order to wrap things up. The fans certainly didn't seem to be fatigued (until recently) and HBO is both not short of cash and short on good shows at the moment. Why not do ten seasons if that is what it takes? I doubt any actor is going to bail on a contract renewal for a show with this much star power and this many fans.

      7 votes
  14. babypuncher Link
    At this point I hope they have the Mountain kill Arya the same way he killed Oberyn. If they are going end the show in such a messy state they might as well cap it off in the most fucked up way...

    At this point I hope they have the Mountain kill Arya the same way he killed Oberyn. If they are going end the show in such a messy state they might as well cap it off in the most fucked up way possible and piss everyone off for good.

    4 votes
  15. [2]
    actionscripted Link
    "Hey, we only have a few episodes, better rush the dialog along! What? No, no. Go ahead and burn half of Ep. 4 on awkward party shots. Make sure Dany's army looks wimpy as shit when talking to...

    "Hey, we only have a few episodes, better rush the dialog along! What? No, no. Go ahead and burn half of Ep. 4 on awkward party shots. Make sure Dany's army looks wimpy as shit when talking to Cersei and keep the dialog shallow...and brief."

    3 votes
    1. Staross (edited ) Link Parent
      Everybody gets a love scene ! because that's what you do the day after you survived the apocalypse.

      Everybody gets a love scene ! because that's what you do the day after you survived the apocalypse.

      3 votes
  16. Staross Link
    I love the additional content with the writers, very insightful.

    I love the additional content with the writers, very insightful.