Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4 review - Another poor chapter with amateurish writing
PUBLISHED: 11:32 07 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:50 07 May 2019
With the white walker threat defeated this week Game of Thrones switched its attention back to the tussle for the iron throne, and remained equally disappointing. CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS.
As I did last week, I'll open this week's review with another well-known expression. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice (or in this case four times) shame on me.
After last week's abysmal episode, that has only gotten worse as internet sleuths have unearthed more potholes, if you expected any better from this week's Game of Thrones you only have yourself to blame.
It would be fair to say season eight of Game of Thrones has not been good, and 'The Last of the Starks' was another poor chapter in a final season that has failed to live up to the show's own reputation.
Of the four episodes so far this was probably the strongest, which speaks to the overall quality of what is shaping up to the one of the most disappointing final seasons in television history.
Social media was awash with theories about how the Night King survived after last week's butchering of that arc but straight away it was confirmed that he was in fact defeated. The first act of 'The Last of the Starks' was spent celebrating the victory, and for the first time it seemed the series was building some solid momentum.
We got decent character moments with plenty of tension bubbling under the surface as Dany becomes more and more worried about Jon's claim to the throne. The banquet scenes were absolutely stolen by Tormund, and if his farewell to Jon truly is the last we'll see of him, he will be sorely missed.
The secret of Jon's linage doesn't seem destined to remain a secret for much longer (Thanks to Sansa!) and the several scenes of Tyrion and Varys debating as to who would make a better ruler between Dany and Jon were engaging. Even though the answer is pretty clearly the latter.
With around 30 minutes of the episode left things were looking hopefully, perhaps a corner had been turned and from here on out Game of Thrones' eighth season might at least somewhat resemble the show it once was.
Then the final third (and a bit) happened.
The surprise attack by Euron Greyjoy's fleet and the murder of another of Dany's dragons was a lowlight in a season stuffed full of them. The whole sequence abandoned logic in favour of shock value and raised so many baffling questions.
The final scene, outside of King's Landing (Which looks completely different to when we've seen it before) was similarly poorly written.
Cersi had Dany and her council outmatched and instead of open firing and ending the war before it's begun, she instead killed only Missandei because Game of Thrones has long since ditched good writing and any sort of adherence to its own previously established logic.
Maybe season eight of Game of Thrones can be enjoyed if you switch your brain off and just accept the amateurish writing, but this show used to be so much more than that. This used to be the shining example of thoughtful character development and careful plotting, now it's like every other generic high concept television show out there.
Game of Thrones was the benchmark for quality television, the last four episodes have done remarkable damage to that reputation.
Perhaps our last two outings in Westeros will pull off a truly satisfying and well delivered climax, but, at this point, that would be an outcome even more shocking than The Red Wedding.