Here's who died in the Game of Thrones season 8, episode 4, "The Last of the Starks". Last week's epic and ultraviolent Battle of Winterfell saw many thousands of deaths, including fan favorite major characters like Lyanna Mormont, Theon Greyjoy, and Jorah Mormont breathing their last breaths. However, the army of the living miraculously defeated the White Walkers thanks to Arya Stark slaying the Night King with Littlefinger's Valyrian steel dagger.
Yet despite the slaughter, Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow survived, along with Bran, Arya, and Sansa Stark, Jaime and Tyrion Lannister, and most of their supporters. In this week's episode of Game of Thrones, the survivors burned their dead from the Great War and had a night to celebrate their victory before worrying how their fragile political alliance would break apart in the wake of defeating the White Walkers. Meanwhile, Daenerys is looking ahead to the Last War with Cersei Lannister to settle who will win the Iron Throne, and she tries (in vain) to convince Jon not to reveal the truth to Sansa and Arya that he's really Aegon Targaryen.
For her part, fully updated on the events at the Battle of Winterfell, Queen Cersei put her own plot into motion. She dispatched Euron Greyjoy's Iron Fleet to ambush Daenerys' fleet as they returned to Dragonstone. Fans who hoped for a brief respite from favorite characters being killed off in this week's feature-length episode were dealt two stunning blows thanks to Euron's sudden attack. Here are the two major deaths in the episode, both of whom are two huge losses for Daenerys:
Rhaegal. Daenerys' green dragon was still recoupering from his wounds from the Battle of Winterfell when he was shockingly shot down and killed. Euron's fleet was equipped with scorpions and Rhaegal was killed by three bolts, two to his chest and one through his neck. Rhaegal crashed into the Narrow Sea and died. Rhaegal was the dragon Jon Snow rode, but Jon didn't mount Rhaegal in order to let him heal from his injuries (if he had, the Warden of the North would likely be dead too).
With Rhaegal dead, this leaves Drogon as the last of the three dragons who were magically born when Daenerys survived the fire at the conclusion of Game of Thrones season 1. Rhaegal is named after Rhaegar Targaryen, the older brother of Daenerys and the father of Jon Snow. Rhaegal had survived since the Game of Thrones season 1 and nearly died beyond the Wall when Daenerys led the rescue mission to save Jon and his team as they captured a Wight in season 7, which is when his brother Viserion was killed and turned into an ice dragon by the Night King. Since the ranks of the Unsullied and Dothraki are a fraction of what they once were, the loss of Rhaegal severely damages Daenerys' ability to make war from a firepower and an intimidation standpoint as it's now proven the dragons are capable of being killed by conventional weapons of war.
Missandei. Daenerys' loyal translator and the love interest of Grey Worm tried to escape the sea ambush on a skiff but she was captured by Euron's fleet and brought to King's Landing in chains. Missandei was murdered by the Mountain Gregor Clegane on Cersei's orders; she was beheaded and fell from the top of the gate of King's Landing, but she defiantly said her last word - "Dracarys!" - before her death.
Missandei of Naath was one of Daenerys' closest friends ever since the Dragon Queen freed her from slavery along with the Unsullied in Game of Thrones season 3. Missandei stood by Daenerys' side in Essos as she conquered Yunkai and ruled Mereen before they finally traveled to Westeros to fight for the Iron Throne in Game of Thrones season 7. Missandei and Grey Worm also fell in love; making her death extra tragic was that they both made plans to sail to Naath and live a peaceful life once Daenerys has won Westeros. This happy ending Missandei and Grey Worm were looking forward to made fans believe they were earmarked to die in the Battle of Winterfell. Sadly, fans' instincts that the translator and the Unsullied commander would be denied a happy ending were proven correct this week.
Game of Thrones Season 8 airs Sundays @ 9pm on HBO.