Game of ThronesTV ReviewsGame of Thrones (8×04) The Last of The Starks Review

Keith NoakesMay 5, 201988/100
David Nutter
David Benioff, D.B. Weiss
Running Time
78 minutes
Sundays 9pm
HBO Canada, HBO
Overall Score
Rating Summary
The Last of the Starks was a compelling one that saw the characters step back from last week's epic battle and position them towards the end. Some characters turns were a little drastic and some were questionable with the season trying to perhaps pack in too much but the performances more than made up for it, all while setting up what looks to be another epic battle.

For our review of the last episode of Game of Thrones, click here.

Synopsis: The Battle of Winterfell is over and a new chapter for Westeros begins. (IMDB)

The Last of The Starks did not give the characters much of a rest coming off of last week’s brutal Battle of Winterfell as there was still one more war still to be decided which of course was for who got to sit on the Iron Throne. We haven’t seen Cersei or Kings Landing in a while but in this episode, Cersei made her presence felt and reminded us why she is one of the best villains on television (and that Lena Headey should get her Emmy for god’s sake).

The episode rightfully started where the last left off with Winterfell reeling from the war that just ensued. They burned their many dead, including some heartfelt goodbyes among the big losses. Jon made sure to let everyone know that their sacrifice should never be forgotten. In the evening, the dining hall was abuzz as Daenerys rewarded Gendry for his efforts by naming him the lord of Storm’s End (which was obviously a strategy move) but the attention would quickly shift away from her as Jon was celebrated as a hero and leaving her on the sideline (and perhaps looking a little jealous). Meanwhile, as the Three-Eyed-Raven, Bran was not interested in becoming the Lord of Winterfell.

Not yet comfortable with his new position, Gendry asked Arya to be the lady of Storm’s End and his wife but Arya was never going to be that kind of woman. From the way Jaime and Brienne were going, something was going to give and it finally did (much to Tormund’s misfortune). They grew even closer in this episode. While being chivalrous in checking up on her, their feelings for one another became quite clear. One thing led to another and they would sleep together. Jaime was happy and Tyrion was curious. Meanwhile, Bronn showed up to interrupt their chat. He did not seem as interested in Cersei’s offer and tried to get a better offer. Tyrion offered him Highgarden and it seemed enough for now.

Daenerys took her insecurities to Jon, sharing that she wanted things the way they were before between them (before the truth about Jon’s true identity). However, this wasn’t going to be easy for Jon. He didn’t want the throne but it didn’t matter. She tried to dissuade them with all the responsibility it would entail. Jon wanted to tell Arya and Sansa the truth while Daenerys begged him not to. He believed they could all love together and she believed he not going further was the only way.

Now it was time to focus their attention on Kings Landing and the Iron Throne. Daenerys’ advisers suggested a strategy of minimal bloodshed. Tension arose as Sansa dissented from the plan. They split their forces between Kings Landing and Dragonstone. Meanwhile, the other Starks shared their thoughts with Jon about Daenerys. They agreed that they needed her for the battle but didn’t trust her. They considered him a brother perhaps until he told them the truth about his identity after making Arya and Sansa promise not to tell anyone (we didn’t actually get to see their reactions). 

It was just like old times as Arya joined The Hound for his unfinished business on the way to Kings Landing. Everyone was leaving but Tyrion wanted Sansa on Daenerys’ side before he did. Sansa was uneasy with Jon in the capital (his likely destination considering his relationship with Daenerys) considering past history with her family. Tyrion wasn’t worried because he still believed Jon to be a Stark until Sansa would share his secret with him as a backup plan for the two of them (off-screen again). Tormund, Ghost, and Sam (who was having a baby with Gilly who were having a baby who they were hoping to name Jon) all left Winterfell as well.

On the way to Dragonstone, Tyrion shared his ace in the hole with Varys and what to do about it (going over combinations of Daenerys and Jon and debating their allegiances). They were definitely worried about her. Meanwhile, Euron Greyjoy anticipated their arrival and killed one of Daenery’s dragons before attacking their fleet. With the fleet destroyed, everyone washed up on shore except for Missandei (news of the attack drove Jaime away from a heartbroken Brienne to Kings Landing and Cersei who he still loved). Suffice it to say that Cersei was pleased with the news and Missandei was now their captive (somehow). After what happened, Daenery’s advisers pleaded caution and to not become a tyrant herself (though things seemed to be going in that direction).

The Last of The Starks ended at the gate of Kings Landing where Daenerys and her procession met Cersei perched on the wall. When a diplomatic approach failed, Tyrion attempted to appeal to Cersei’s love of her children (she’s pregnant). His appeal almost worked until Cersei had Missandei beheaded in front of everyone.

Cersei being Cersei. Either way, a new battle awaits next episode.

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