After the carnage of last week’s episode we open The Last of the Starks on the body the Ser Jorah Mormont as the funerals of him and all the others who fell during the battle take place, Jon gives a speech before all the bodies are burned.
At dinner Gendry goes to search for Arya, but Daenerys stops him and asks if he’s Robert Baratheon’s son. She asks who is Lord of Storm’s End, when no one knows she suggests that he should, and declares him to be Lord Gendry Baratheon. Tyrion reasons that he will now be forever loyal to her with her response being he isn’t the only clever one. Afterwards Tyrion suggests to Bran that he is Lord of Winterfell now, but Bran doesn’t want it, saying he mostly lives in the past now. Meanwhile Tyrion, Jaime, and Brienne play a drinking game, until Tyrion offends Brienne and she leaves. Jaime follows her to the disappointment of Tormund. However Tormund is quickly over it and is telling stories about Jon and his heroics, which clearly upsets Daenerys.
Sansa talks to the Hound who remarks how much she has changed and saying that Littlefinger and Ramsey could have been avoided is she had left King’s Landing with him back in season one. Sansa however points out that without the horrible things that have happened to her she would still be the same person that the Hound knew. Meanwhile Gendry finds Arya to tell her the news about being made the lord of Storm’s End. He tells Arya he loves her and proposes. She says that he will make a wonderful lord, but that she is not, and has never been, a Lady. Meanwhile Jaime comes to Brienne’s room and they sleep together. Daenerys meets with Jon. They talk about Jorah, with Daenerys saying that she could never love Jorah the way she loves Jon. After they kiss she says that wish she’d never learnt about his lineage. She begs him not to tell anyone, saying that the people of The North already look at him in a way they will never look at her. Jon says that he must tell Sansa and Arya, as they’re his family.
The following day the leaders discuss how many men they have left, we discover that Yara has retaken the Iron Islands, and the the new King of Dorne is against Cersei. Tyrion suggests that they attempt to lay siege in an attempt to stare King’s Landing of food and turning the people against Cersei. Sansa argues that they must give their troops time to recover after the battle they just fought. Jon however says they will honour their promised to Daenerys and march south. Afterwards Arya tells Jon they need to talk. Sansa and Arya tells Jon they don’t trust Daenerys, with Arya saying that the four of them are the last of the Starks. Jon then reveals his lineage after making them swear never to tell another person.
Jaime and Tyrion discuss Jaime’s decision to stay in Winterfell with Brienne. However right then Bronn arrive and holds them at crossbow point. He tells them Cersei’s offer, and Tyrion says that if he allows them to live and they survive he can have Highgarden. Bronn agrees to this and says he will find them once the war is done. As the Hound rides Arya comes up behind him. Both agree that have unfinished business down south, and neither plans on coming back. Sansa and Tyrion talk about their loyalties, with Tyrion saying that she will be the power in the North, and attempting to get her to support Daenerys, even is she doesn’t like her. Sansa reasons that he’s afraid of Daenerys, before suggesting that there are better rulers. As Jon prepares to leave for the South he says his goodbyes to Tormund and Sam. Tormund reveals he is taking the free folk back North of the wall, and Jon asks him to take Ghost. Sam reveals that Gilly is pregnant.
After the events at Dragonstone Sansa and Brienne receive word, which they share with Jaime. Later he finds himself unable to sleep, and Brienne wakes to find him saddling a horse. Brienne appeals to him to stay, calling him a good man, But Jaime admits the bad things that he’s done for Cersei, saying that she is hateful and so is he, before riding south.
As Daenerys’ fleet approaches Dragonstone Tyrion and Varys discuss Jon’s parentage. Varys says that he has a better claim to the throne, and that the people are drawn to him. Tyrion suggests that the two marry, but Varys says that she’s his Aunt, and whilst it may be common for Targaryens to marry in the family, it is not in Winterfell. Suddenly Rhaegal is hit by two arrows downing him into the sea. Drogon narrowly avoids another as the Iron Fleet reveals itself. The Euron turns his weapons on Daenerys’ ships, Grey Worm tells Missandei to get to the skiff to escape. After the fleet is destroyed the survivors wash up on the shores of Dragonstone, where Grey Worm searches for Missandei.
Daenerys wants to to launch a full on attack on King’s Landing after the death of Rhaegal, but Varys warns her that a full on attack is a mistake. Tyrion says that it will be a fortnight until Jon and the rest of their army arrives, and suggests that Daenerys attempts to avoid the bloodshed by offering Cersei a chance to surrender. Daenerys says she will talk to Cersei saying she will have offered her every chance to surrender so that the people know to blame Cersei when the sky rain down upon them. After Varys and Tyrion once again discuss the problem of Daenerys and Jon. Varys says he has served tyrants all his life, and that Daenerys is beginning to sound like them talking about her destiny. Tyrion continues to stand by his position, reiterating that Jon doesn’t want the throne, something Varys says may make him a better ruler.
After Euron’s attack at Dragonstone, he returns with the news, and Missandei captive. Cersei is having the message spread that Daenerys is a usurper coming to bring destruction, and that Cersei shall protect them by bringing the people into the Red Keep, meaning that if she wanted to take the castle she would have to murder thousands of innocent people. Cersei manipulate Euron by telling him that she’s pregnant with his child, when in reality it is Jaime’s.
We see Daenerys and her advisors approaching King’s Landing. Qyburn is sent out to meet Tyrion. Both bring a message from their queen demanding the other’s surrender, with Cersei saying Missandei will be executed is Daenerys doesn’t. Tyrion walks up to the gates to talk with Cersei directly, who decides not to have him immediately shot. He appeals to her, saying that she has always loved her children more than anything, and saying that if she surrenders she will be allowed to live, as will her child. Cersei offers Missandei last words, as she shouts Dracarys. The Mountain executes Missandei, and Tyrion looks back at an enraged Daenerys.
Well many of us having been predicting for a few seasons now that Daenerys would wind up being the big bad of the series. Not the Night King, and not Cersei, and it certainly seems to be going that way. More and more people seem to be moving away from her side to support Jon, as Varys is, and Tyrion seems to be wavering. He basically told Varys in this episode that he believed she would make the right choice, but Cersei has played her perfectly, and is completely going to turn the people of Westeros against her. Meanwhile Daenerys seems dangerously close to becoming her Grandfather and looking to burn them all, making it very clear she doesn’t care about the innocents she will kill in her attack on King’s Landing.
Really the one this that Cersei hasn’t counted on will be Jaime’s return to King’s Landing. Maggy the Frog’s prophecy foretold that Cersei would be killed by her brother, and Jaime’s sudden decision to return after hearing about the decimation of Daenerys’ forces will bring him right back into that fold, and with the best chance of getting close to Cersei out of anyone. Quite exactly what forces Jaime to kill Cersei, whether it is her using their baby to manipulare Euron, or something she is going to do in the next couple of episodes (probably next week) I’m not sure, but you feel like that seems to be the inevitable outcome.
Honestly I cannot believe how continually awful at strategy both Jon and Daenerys are, and yet people keep ignoring the wisdom of Sansa who is the only one amongst them who seems to be talking any sense. If Daenerys had listened to Sansa about the need for everyone to rest then they may well have not been caught so unawares by the Iron Fleet, and Euron wouldn’t have been able to shoot down Rhaegal. Sansa also made the very astute decision to tell Tyrion about Jon’s parents, which has led them to question Daenerys, with Varys even suggesting open treason to support Jon.
Whilst we saw other moments, like Gendry being made a lord, Arya rejecting his proposal (I mean come on Gendry, she’s a damn warrior), and Brienne and Jaime beginning a short lived relationship, this episode felt like it was focused on Daenerys’ continued turn towards becoming the show’s ultimate villain. The loss of Rhaegal and Missandei will almost certainly push her over that edge next week.
I really liked a lot of this episode, but particularly the smaller moments. Jon’s goodbyes to Tormund and Sam were one of the best. I have no idea whether they will be gone for the rest of the show, or if they’ll return to support Jon if (probably when) he has to take on Daenerys. If it was the end for them, then it’s a pretty nice end, with Tormund taking his people home, and Sam having a baby.
The ending of The Last of the Starks has certainly left us in somewhat of a cliffhanger, and one that I cannot wait to see how it plays out.