The pyres are piled high with bodies of every stripe: Dothraki, Night’s Watch, Northern warriors, Mormonts, a Dondarrion, and on.
How do you follow that? Lots of alcohol.
The remaining revengers assemble to say goodbye to the heroes who gave their lives fighting the army of the dead. (The revenging will have to wait – though not for long.)
“They were the shields that guarded the realms of men, and we shall never see their like again,” Jon Snow says, in a nod to the Night’s Watch creed.
Ghost survived, so we have that to thankful for. We’ll later see that he was battered and had his ear torn, and we wonder why Jon wouldn’t pull a surviving stable boy aside and tell him to – gently – tend to the direwolf, feed him, and give him a bath. That wolf is still covered in wight funk the last time we see him.
At dinner, Daenerys legitimizes Gendry: He is now Lord Gendry Baratheon of Storm’s End.
Tyrion and Ser Davos continue their strange friendship in the only eulogy that Melisandre will likely receive.
“To Arya Stark, the hero of Winterfell,” Daenerys says, but Arya is nowhere to be found.
Tyrion outs Brienne as a virgin, which is so not cool to do in public that we really wish Tyrion would never drink again. At least Brienne gets something out of it…
Then there was the Starbucks cup controversy:
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Gendry finds Arya, tells her his good news, and proposes to her in a hugely romantic gesture. She turns him down (we think): “I’m not a lady. I never have been. That’s not me.” But she can totally be a “not a lady” with Gendry — in a nice, historic castle with lands and loyal bannermen to grab some ale after work with.
Who was that smiling at Podrick after dinner? She’s in for a surprise. Later, he embraces both her and a woman whose advances The Hound spurned. Correction: They’re in for a surprise.
Jaime seduces Brienne – “I’ve never slept with a knight before” – then leaves her. On his way out, he confesses to her that he pushed Bran from the tower, he strangled his cousin, and he would have murdered everyone at Riverrun for Cersei: “She’s hateful. And so am I.” Brienne sobs. Been there, girl.
Tormund’s wildling heart breaks at dinner over Brienne. The Hound is not interested. Willa says he can touch her, and Tormund miraculously recovers.
And Gilly is pregnant. Can’t help but wonder: Will full-Craster Little Sam inherit Horn Hill or this half-Craster–Tarly child?
At dinner, Daenerys becomes crazy-eyed jealous when Tormund puts Jon in the spotlight and calls him “king.” Her seething gets Varys’ attention.
Later in private, Daenerys tells Jon she loves him, but their kinship stops him mid-snog. She wants to un-know that he’s Rhaegar’s child. When he tells her that he has to tell Arya and Sansa who he is, she replies, “I’ve never begged for anything, but I’m begging you. Don’t do this. Please.”
She’s under stress and people are seeing her sweat. “We’ll rip her out root and stem,” Daenerys says in a strategy session. You can see the mad king ranting and burning Starks in Varys’ eyes when he looks at her.
Tyrion and Varys convince Daenerys not to immediately burn down the Red Keep and all of the innocents Cersei has gathered to her side as dragon-fodder should Daenerys attack.
When Sansa suggests – Daenerys: stop talking, Sansa.
“We have won the Great War. Now we will win the Last War,” Daenerys promises, and looks at Sansa. “In all Seven Kingdoms, men will live without fear and cruelty – under their rightful queen.” (Her attitude will come back to bite Daenerys in the butt when Sansa weighs whether or not to share a big secret.)
Jon agonizes during the Stark family meeting in the godswood over whether to tell his “sisters” that he’s really their cousin. Arya calls him “brother,” as in “full rights to bogart the TV remote” brother. He’s dying inside and tells Bran to tell them – he’s not officially responsible for having told them if Bran tells him, right? He never really promised Daenerys that he wouldn’t anyway.
Despite promising to keep his secret, Sansa promptly tells Tyrion, who promptly tells Varys, who notes that it’s no longer a secret, but is now “information” (which is a commodity he trades in).
“A Targaryen father and a Stark mother – Jon’s the one man alive who might actually be able to keep the North in the Seven Kingdoms,” Varys says.
Tyrion calls Varys’ musings “treason.”
“You know where my loyalty stands. You know I will never betray the realm,” Varys says, in what may be the most important exchange in the episode.
When the Targaryen fleet drops anchor off of Dragonstone, Euron Greyjoy attacks. He has mounted scorpions on the front of his ships and unleashes on Rhaegal, who dies horrifically and plunges into the sea. Daenerys moves to attack, but retreats when she realizes how vulnerable Drogon is. Euron then attacks the Targaryen fleet, and, we later find out, takes Missandei prisoner.
Tyrion, Daenerys, Grey Worm, and a group of Unsullied arrive at the walls of King’s Landing to deliver a message: surrender and release Missandei of Narth. Instead, The Mountain beheads Missandei, whose last word is “Dracarys,” indicating to her queen, we thought, that she should burn King’s Landing to the ground.
Plus, Arya takes the King’s Road with The Hound to settle some “unfinished business.” (Arya says she doesn’t plan on coming back to Winterfell, which sounds ominous – Sansa only just got her sister back. Don’t leave me alone with weird Bran!) Bronn negotiates with the Lannister brothers: Their lives in exchange for Highgarden, the former home of the extinct House Tyrell. And, Jon tells Tormund to take Ghost with him beyond the Wall. OK, but who doesn’t hug their direwolf when they leave forever? Bad form, Aegon Targaryen, sixth of his name.
Next week on episode 5: The Last War.
What was your favorite moment of the episode? Tell us in the comments!
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.