Ugh. This episode was hard to watch. Perhaps even harder than the previous episode (no, not a joke about how dark it was). Earlier, Kit Harrington warned that episode four would be "twisted and uncomfortable". He wasn't joking. Let's dive right in.
Two major deaths
I may be in the minority here, but the two deaths in episode four were harder to swallow than the deaths during the Battle of Winterfell. Presumably due to the nature of the deaths. In episode three, the deaths were all on the battlefield. They were honourable and noble deaths. Deaths in the name of the living, in the name of protecting loved ones. The two deaths in episode four were cheap shots by cowards who are only fighting for power and authority.
Rhaegal's death was a shock, it came out of nowhere and was so sudden. It felt harsh since he was just recovering from fighting with zombie Viserion from the previous episode. But what's frustrating is how easily he was killed. Aren't dragons supposed to be like, super tough to kill? But a 100% shooting accuracy by Euron's fleet made it look like a walk in the park. And couldn't Drogon have obliterated the fleet after avoiding the first volley of shots? Seems like Daenerys quit too easily.
Missandei's death was equally hard to swallow, though it was probably expected the moment we saw she was kidnapped by Euron. You could see the rage in Daenery as her best friend was murdered, but you have to feel sorry for Grey Worm. He was a slave all his life and after being freed by Daenerys he found love, only to have it cruelly taken away from him. Cersei was always one of the most hated characters on the show, and she just cemented her place at the top after this episode.
Lord Gendry Baratheon of Storm's End
The episode may have ended on a very low note, but it began rather jovially. After an emotional farewell to those who lost their lives during the Battle of Winterfell, the North celebrated. Gendry was the first to celebrate as Daenerys made him the Lord of Storm's End, a big promotion from a mere blacksmith. Even if this was Daenerys merely rewarding him just to win his support, it was great to see him receive the honour regardless. Too bad he got friendzoned by Arya in the end.
Jaime's redemption hits a snag
Though we can feel sorry for Tormund, Brienne and Jaime was always going to happen. After such a long journey together they finally expressed their feelings for each other intimately, though I was always wary about Jaime returning to Cersei once the dead were defeated. I still have hope for him though. I know he's on a path of redemption, but I think many of us wouldn't mind if he added "Queen Slayer" to his list of titles. It could go well with his King Slayer title. If anything, just so poor old Brienne can get her man back. She was distraught when he left.
Who will rule The Seven Kingdoms?
Jon and Daenerys' situation is just a mess isn't it? John doesn't want the throne, Daenerys does, but she also wants Jon, which Jon feels uneasy about given their familial relationship. Jon wants to tell his family his true heritage thinking it won't affect anything (so naive), but Daenerys believes that will only hurt her claim to the throne. She is right of course, as Sansa couldn't keep Jon's secret a secret for very long. But not because she's some gossip girl. On the contrary. If Jon's journey taught him honour, loyalty, and courage, Sansa's journey has taught her that chaos is a ladder, and she knows that with Jon's secret out, the ensuing chaos will prevent Daenerys from claiming the throne. As she told Tyrian, she wants "someone better" to rule. She may want Jon to rule, but some believe she will ascend the Iron Throne. Only time will tell.
Episodes one and two were generally quite well received, but episodes three and four have been met with mixed reactions. While I'm rather frustrated with some plot points in episode four (for example, Bronn's ease with which he just betrays Tyrion and Jaime after everything he's been through with both of them), there are others who are absolutely furious about the writing of the episode (not to mention the absolutely embarrassing error involving a Starbucks cup as you can see above).
Even poor old Ghost has his fair share of supporters who were unimpressed with how the writers seem to be writing him off into insignificance.
Now that we're approaching the penultimate episode, how do you feel the season has been? Some people feel like the writing has been poor as of late, possibly because the show has now overtaken the books, thus losing the source material and the author's original vision for the story. I'll have to admit, though I'm excited to see how it all ends, I'm not feeling the same feelings watching this final season as I did previous seasons.