Now that the battle against the Night King and the army of the dead is over, our heroes turn their focus south to King’s Landing. Let’s take a look at what to expect from this Sunday’s episode of ‘Game Of Thrones.’
Game of Thrones offered up its longest and second-most controversial episode ever last Sunday with ‘The Long Night’. Only ‘Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken’ back in Season 5 was more controversial, and even that’s up for debate. Spoilers up until Episode 3 follow.
I loved the episode–my review is right here
–but many others disagree. One way or another, what’s done is done and the Battle of Winterfell is over, along with the threat of the White Walkers and the Night King.
That leaves us with the question: What now?
The Night King is dead thanks to Arya and Bran and the Catspaw dagger. Daenerys is down to two (wounded) dragons. The Dothraki are almost all dead. I can only imagine most of the Unsullied are as well. I have no idea how many troops from the North and the Vale that leaves us with, but I’m fairly certain Jon and Dany’s forces are much weakened and, dragons notwithstanding, vastly outnumbered by Cersei and her Golden Company.
I think most of this coming Sunday’s episode will be spent surveying the damage and planning for the war to come–the “last war” as Dany herself describes it in the trailer for Episode 4. Let’s watch that, shall we?
We see Jon Snow looking rather grim and Daenerys looking quite a bit more chipper–after all, we’re off to fight Cersei and finally take that pesky Iron Throne. Jon is probably thinking about being Aegon and about how many people died and that sort of thing while Dany’s single-minded focus on her birthright is keeping her distracted
In King’s Landing we see Cersei and Euron, presumably between bouts of baby-making, both looking rather pleased with themselves. Many of these same shots can be found in the images below, which could mean that both these images and trailer are leaving out important pieces, or that what we see here pretty much sums up the next episode. Then again, it’s 78 minutes–just 4 minutes shy of last week’s massive battle, and only 2 minutes shorter than the next two episodes. A lot has to happen in that amount of time, right?
Okay, on to the images HBO released for Episode 4.
Cersei and Euron
Here we see Cersei (Lena Headey) and Euron (Pilou Asbæk) standing around at the Red Keep looking very confident. It’s a shame the whole Dragonbinder thing never came into play in the TV adaptation. If Euron had a Dragon Horn he could use to control Dany’s dragons, well . . . that would be quite a game changer. As it stands we have ballistae that are hardly accurate enough to bring down a flying beast (though they probably still will at some point)
Cersei and Euron
In some ways, Euron is more like the Jaime Lannister of Season 1 than Jaime Lannister is himself these days. I know Cersei is almost certainly just using him for his ships and men, but I think she’s actually attracted to his confidence and devil may care attitude. There is a bit of that old, heartless Jaime in Euron. He’s not really a villain. And he’s certainly a bit crazier than Jaime. But he’s absolutely bad and cocky and, well, the kind of man you’d expect Cersei to like.
The next shots are interesting. First up we have Daenerys and her retinue:
It’s as though they lined them all up from tallest to shortest. We have Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) Varys (Conleth Hill) Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) all standing in a row. Unsullied and Northmen stand behind them, while corpses line the foreground.
Presumably in some other part of the courtyard we have Team Stark:
Alright, it’s not just the Starks. It’s the Starks and friends. The Hound (Rory McCann) Davos (Liam Cunningham) Sansa (Sophie Turner) Arya (Maisie Williams) and Bran (Isaac Hemsptead Wright) watching the same funereal proceedings.
Meanwhile, presumably in the middle of all this we have Jon Snow (Kit Harrington).
It looks like he has the unpleasant job of lighting the pyre. No use burying the dead on the off chance the Night King comes back and raises them all up. At this point, burning corpses is second nature and, in any case, much simpler than digging all those graves.
Ah wait, Jon isn’t alone in this grim task. Here we see several others, including Dany, Grey Worm, Sam (John Bradley) and Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) all bearing torches for the pyres as well:
Burn them all.
As you can see, Dany looks quite a lot less morose than her paramour/nephew, though this isn’t the same scene and she’s always a bit happier when she’s around Drogon:
Dany and Drogon
And here she is at the war table helping devise what will almost certainly be a crappy war strategy to take on Cersei:
Missandei, Dany and Varys.
No amount of wise advisers–from Varys to Tyrion to all the amassed warriors at Winterfell–can save us from writers and producers more interested in spectacle than actual realism in battle tactics, after all. Let’s just hope the spectacle is worth it.
Oh, and here’s Dany’s ships replete with the Targaryen symbol, sailing their way toward King’s Landing (or perhaps first to Dragonstone):
We have three episodes left, with a combined run-time of 238 minutes, or just a hair under four hours. That’s plenty of time for lots of crazy battles, some big revelations, and maybe even some much-needed explanations about who the Night King was, why he was so linked to Bran, and how this whole Azor Ahai prophecy worked.
Hopefully the final resolution to all of this doesn’t disappoint. I also hope we get Cleganebowl soon–the Hound really needs to be the one to take down the Mountain, however predictable that may be. And it’s very possible that we’ll all be surprised by what’s to come, that even the things that now appear resolved could be less set in stone than we think. I’m really not sure what to expect from these final three episodes, and while I wish we had some books to go by (thanks a lot George R.R. Martin) it’s also kind of fun to be uncertain and to be surprised.