The Last War has begun Game of Thrones season 8, episode 4, "The Last of the Starks", but the journey there has left many questions. The Great War has ended with a victory for the army of the living, thanks to Arya Stark killing the Night King and becoming the Hero of Winterfell, and now the show is moving to Daenerys Targaryen grappling Cersei Lannister over the Iron Throne.
The endgame of Game of Thrones is starting to take shape and things have once again gone very badly for Daenerys. At their victory feast, Tyrion Lannister noted ominously to Davos Seaworth that with the White Walkers destroyed, they are left with each other to deal with. Indeed, without a common cause to fight against, the heroes have reverted back to their own self-interests. Before they traveled back south to face Cersei, Dany begged Jon Snow, in vain, not to reveal the truth that he's Aegon Targaryen to Sansa and Arya, knowing that they would never support her claim to the Iron Throne.
Meanwhile, Cersei, who is fully aware of the result of the Great War, set up an ambush at Dragonstone that led to the death of Dany's dragon Rhaegal and the capture of Missandei, whom Cersei also had executed at the gates of King's Landing in full view of Daenerys. With the Dragon Queen seeing red and next week's siege of King's Landing unavoidable, here are all of our questions about Game of Thrones season 8, episode 4, which took some baffling turns and was, frankly, the weakest entry of the final season so far.
16. What Did Daenerys Say To Jorah At The Funeral Pyre?
Game of Thrones season 8, episode 4 began on a funeral pyre for all of the Battle of Winterfell's fallen heroes, Daenerys took a moment to kiss Jorah Mormont goodbye and whisper something to him. Dany was well-aware of Jorah's romantic feelings towards her, which she couldn't reciprocate, and what she said wasn't intelligible, but no doubt it was a touching farewell to the knight who was the Dragon Queen's oldest friend and closest advisor.
Iain Glen, the actor who portrayed Jorah, told Entertainment Weekly that Emilia Clarke made up her own lines and what she said was "something entirely sincere and true to the moment and something that I’ll never forget... it’s something no one will ever know but the two of us. And that’s a memory to hold onto.” No doubt, Dany's words of farewell will be something fans will be curious about for a long time.
15. Did Gendry Go To Storm's End Or To King's Landing?
At the Winterfell victory feast, Daenerys raised Gendry to Lord Gendry Baratheon and made the blacksmith the new Lord of Storm's End, the ancestral home of House Baratheon. The Dragon Queen was strategically ensuring the loyalty of Storm's End to her, but for Gendry, this was a major change of fortunes. Unfortunately, Arya rebuffed his marriage proposal, dashing fans' hopes that Arya and Gendry would live happily together.
But it's not clear what Gendry did next when Daenerys and Jon took their forces south to wage the Last War against Cersei. Did Lord Baratheon ride with Jon's host to King's Landing or is he skipping the war to go straight to Storm's End and get his House in order? Hopefully, it's the latter and Lord Gendry isn't going to die before he can settle into ruling the Stormlands.
14. Where Did Bronn Go After Talking To Jaime And Tyrion?
Bronn made a sudden and baffling appearance at Winterfell to confront Jaime and Tyrion with his crossbow. The former sellsword nearly broke Tyrion's nose and made it clear his loyalty was only to himself; Bronn is after as a big a reward as possible, whether it comes from Cersei or from the Lannister brothers. In the end, Bronn seemed satisfied with Tyrion offering him Highgarden if Daenerys beats Cersei, as opposed to Bronn taking ownership of Riverrun if Cersei wins. Bronn then left just as randomly as he appeared, but where did he go? Is he just planning to wait out who wins the Last War and then collect his castle? And where is he planning to wait until he hears who won?
13. Who Is The New Prince of Dorne?
During their war council before they departed Winterfell, Varys made a surprising offhand comment. When discussing what allies Daenerys still has in the Last War, the Spider added, "The new Prince of Dorne pledges his allegiance". No further explanation was given about Dorne's mysterious new ruler. In Game of Thrones season 6, Ellaria Sand killed Doran Martell and his son Trystane to take control of Dorne. After Cersei Lannister killed Ellaria and her daughters the Sand Snakes in Game of Thrones season 7, Dorne hasn't been seen since and fans wondered what became of the southernmost kingdom.
The new Prince of Dorne could be Quentyn Martell, the older brother of Trystane. Quentyn hasn't appeared on Game of Thrones but he is a prominent POV character in George R.R. Martin's A Dance With Dragons, where he went to Meereen and attempted to marry Daenerys before he was killed by dragonfire. Game of Thrones is now far beyond Martin's novels and some characters are dead on the show who are alive in the books. "The new Prince of Dorne" could be a shout out to Quentyn, who would then be a case of a dead character in the books who is alive in the series.
12. Why Didn't Jon Say Goodbye To Ghost?
Ghost survived the Battle of Winterfell, thankfully, but when Jon departed the castle, he left the direwolf in the care of Tormund Giantsbane, who is returning north beyond the Wall. Jon is right that the south is no place for a direwolf and that Ghost would be happier going further north with the Wildlings. Still, his refusal to even say goodbye to his loyal wolf was surprising, especially considering how many fans have taken Jon (and the rest of the Starks) to task for their poor pet ownership. Perhaps Jon felt guilty since he knows that he's Aegon Targaryen and only half-Stark, but it was still cruel not to even pet Ghost goodbye, considering they may never see each other again.
11. What Are Arya And The Hound Planning?
The Hound kept to himself during the Winterfell feast and alluded that there's only one thing left in the world that can make him happy, which fans interpreted as the Cleganebowl and Sandor's final battle with his older brother Gregor, the Mountain. The Hound left Winterfell to ride south alone, but he was joined by Arya, who is also on her own, mysterious mission. Given that Arya has one last big name to scratch off her list - Cersei - and the Mountain is always by the Lannister Queen's side, it seems Arya and the Hound have a common goal. What are they each planning and will they work together to finish their personal missions?
10. How Did Rhaegal Die So Easily?
Rhaegal's sudden murder at the hands of Euron Greyjoy's scorpion bolts cost Daenerys her second dragon. Rhaegal was an easier mark than usual because the green dragon was still injured and recovering from the wounds he incurred fighting the Night King's ice dragon at the Battle of Winterfell. Meanwhile, Cersei's forces have stocked up on giant scorpion crossbows to take out Daenerys's greatest weapons. Multiple giant bolts, including one through the neck, was enough to kill the weakened Rhaegal and send him crashing into the Narrow Sea.
In Game of Thrones lore, dragons are not invincible and conventional weapons like scorpion bolts have historically proven effective at taking out the great beasts. The first victim of this tactic was Meraxes, the dragon rode by Queen Rhaenys Targaryen, sister-wife of Aegon the Conqueror. Ironically, Rhaegal's death by scorpion bolt is the same way the dragon owned by his namesake Rhaenys perished.
9. Why Didn't Daenerys Attack Euron's Fleet From Behind?
It doesn't make sense how Euron's Iron Fleet was able to ambush Daenerys' dragons to begin with. Given their bird's eye vantage point and how both dragons and Daenerys were circling high over Dragonstone, they should have easily spotted Euron's armada. What's more, Daenerys' attack after Rhaegal was killed also made no sense: she charged at the fleet head-on before evading their scorpion bolts and then retreating completely. Why didn't Daenerys just circle behind the boats, where their scorpions can't aim, and then sink them with dragonfire from behind? If the Dragon Queen didn't fly off, she could have prevented the sinking of her fleet and the capture of Missandei.
8. Why Didn't Euron Attack Dragonstone And Finish Daenerys' Forces Off?
As for Euron's strategy, once Daenerys and Drogon retreated, why didn't Greyjoy's Iron Fleet finish off the survivors of Daenerys' fleet. Euron's ships easily destroyed and sank Daenerys', but they allowed Grey Worm, Tyrion, and numerous others to swim to the safety of Dragonstone's beaches. Why didn't Euron finish the assault by storming the beaches and killing everyone who made it to shore? Instead, Euron took one hostage - Missandei - and sailed back to King's Landing, when he could have eliminated Daenerys' Hand, the leader of the Unsullied, Varys, and whoever else was on the boats.
7. What Will Euron Do If He Finds Out Cersei's Baby Is Jaime's?
Euron's big plan to ingratiate himself to Queen Cersei and eventually become King of Westeros is to "put a prince" inside of her. Little does Euron know Cersei was already pregnant by Jaime and, it can be inferred by the knowing looks between Cersei and Qyburn, that they're pulling the wool over Euron's eyes and making him think he's the father (just like with Robert Baratheon before). Despite the question of how long Cersei had been pregnant before she and Euron started having sex, this arrangement works in Cersei's favor since her incest with Jaime is still considered taboo in Westeros, and it keeps Euron - and his Iron Fleet - loyal to the Iron Throne. But with Jaime returning to King's Landing, the jig will eventually be up and Euron will likely learn he's not the father. Then what will happen to the Cersei-Euron alliance?
6. What Is Sansa Really Up To?
Sansa has made no effort to hide how much she dislikes and doesn't trust Daenerys. Lady Stark's top concern is the safety and future of the North and she worries that Jon will always do what the Dragon Queen says and that he will put Daenerys' interests above what's best for the North. Once Jon and Bran told Sansa and Arya the truth that he's Aegon Targaryen, Sansa wasted little time betraying her vow of secrecy and telling Tyrion about Jon's heritage to plant the seed that Jon should press his claim to the Iron Throne. Although she has her doubts about Jon's ability to rule, he's still half-Stark and part of her family and she trusts him more than she ever will Daenerys.
But what is Sansa's long-game? Having learned political strategy from Cersei and Littlefinger, Sansa is now one of the shrewdest minds in Westeros, and the loyalty of the North and the Vale are hers. Some fans suspect Sansa is even back-channeling info about Daenerys to Cersei, perhaps believing she has a better chance of defeating Cersei herself if the Lannister Queen won the Last War and not Daenerys. Whatever Sansa is up to, she's going to do whatever she must to protect the North from both Queens fighting over the Iron Throne.
5. Why Did Jaime Leave Brienne?
Jaime and Brienne finally acted on their long-burgeoning feelings and got physical in Game of Thrones season 8, episode 4. But not long after the Kingslayer decided to stay with Brienne at Winterfell so she can continue to protect Sansa, Jaime heard the news from Sansa of the war in King's Landing. This prompted the Kingslayer to break Brienne's heart and leave her so he could return to King's Landing to be with Cersei. Jaime attempted to explain that he understands who Cersei is and he admitted, "she's hateful, and so am I." Now that he's gone, it's likely Brienne will never see Jaime again.
After his multiple seasons of character growth and Bran Stark absolving him of his original Game of Thrones season 1 sin, is Jaime just reverting back to being his worst self? Is the former Lord Commander of the Kingsguard returning south to protect his twin sister or to kill her himself to end the war. Given how tragically this is likely to turn out, this looks to be Jaime Lannister's final ride that will probably lead to his demise. But what kind of a man will Jaime be when the end comes for him and for Cersei?
4. Why Did Cersei Only Kill Missandei And Not All Of Her Enemies?
After Tyrion's attempts to negotiate with Qyburn and Cersei herself (expectedly) failed, the Lannister Queen decided to execute Missandei by having the Mountain behead her atop the gate of King's Landing. For her part, Missandei defiantly uttered her last word - "Dracarys!" - a word dripping with meaning that could also be a signal for Daenerys to unleash dragonfire and burn the city to the ground.
However, why did Cersei only kill Missandei? After all, Daenerys' forces were severely diminished, with only a few dozen Unsullied, Tyrion, Varys, and Drogon joining her at King's Landing's gate. Further, Cersei had scorpions mounted on the walls and Daenerys' people (and dragon) were in range of her giant arrows. Cersei could have given the order immediately to attack with the scorpions and ended the war in one fell swoop. Instead, the Lannister Queen nonsensically decided to only execute Daenerys' translator - and made the still-living opponents angrier.
3. Will King's Landing Be Destroyed - And By Whom?
With the war now arrived at the capital city, King's Landing certainly seems doomed. Daenerys is now motivated to let Drogon burn the city to the ground and for her part, Cersei doesn't care if the people of the city taking refuge in the Red Keep die since that also serves her interests. Cersei has also used wildfire to burn down the Sept of Baelor in Game of Thrones season 6, and she may use the same tactic to raze the entire city, so long as she survives. When the war is over, one of the Queens will be held responsible for the deaths of millions and the destruction of the city - the question is who?
2. Will Varys Betray Daenerys - Or Will It Be Tyrion?
Though he's only confessing his intentions privately to Tyrion, Varys doesn't trust Daenerys will be the just ruler she says she will be and he's poised to betray her. Varys has long made it plain that he only serves the realm and the best interests of the people, not any individual king or queen. The Spider has grown increasingly alarmed that Daenerys will become a Mad Queen and he already seems to have given up on her. Instead, Varys has been arguing for Jon Snow to press his claim, citing his many advantages over Daenerys if he were to rule (never mind that Jon is not a good ruler and says he doesn't want the throne).
For his part, Tyrion continues to defend Daenerys and argue for her better instincts, but some fans suspect it will ultimately be the Imp who stabs Daenerys in the back. Either way, without Jorah to be unflinchingly loyal to her, at least one of Daenerys' two most trusted advisors looks like he's going to betray the Dragon Queen.
1. How Did A Starbucks Cup End Up on Camera?
Many fans complained about how dark the previous episode, "The Long Night" was, but ironically, "The Last of the Starks" being suitably lit ended up working against Game of Thrones because fans spotted a gaffe: there's a Starbucks coffee cup on the table in front of Daenerys during the Winterfell celebration. Obviously, Game of Thrones isn't a TV series that uses product placement and this is clearly a mistake that somehow, production failed to catch either on set or during the editing process. Still, it's a surprising error for this series that eagle-eyed fans have roasted on social media and it's an embarrassing production error for Game of Thrones to make, especially in its highly-scrutinized season 8.
Game of Thrones season 8 airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO.