Game of Thrones: Fiery Dany, hot lovers, and boiling fans

by Charles Gerian

Another week, another column about HBO's Game of Thrones! Don't worry, I'll be back to publishing film reviews and stick to tossing these GoT recaps online with a slew of releases in the coming weeks like JOHN WICK 3, DETECTIVE PIKACHU, and GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS.

May is a busy, big, month!

This past Sunday's 4th episode of the final season was significant in many, many ways. Remember a few weeks back during episode 2 when I talked about how great it was that the whole episode was about love, people having sex, and Daenerys going crazy? Well there's that and MORE this week.

The episode starts with a moving scene of, basically, the top-billed cast lighting funeral pyres outside the Winterfell gates to burn the bodies of last week's causalities including Lyanna Mormont, Jon and Sam's Nights Watch bro, and Ser Jorah Mormont who gets a fantastic send off from Dany who whispers something to him- through tears- that the audience cannot hear. My friend maintains she probably told him he was her “sun and stars” in Dothraki, a call back from the early series. I like to imagine that as well. Ian Glen as Jorah has been a mainstay of the series since the very first episode and it was rough, especially, losing him.

Celebrations abound at Winterfell which is where we got the first tear-jerker of the night (I was two vodka drinks in by this point, so about 15 minutes into the show) showing Daenerys officially declaring Gendry as a Baratheon and the Lord of Storm's End.

Gendry is obviously elated and runs to find Arya whom, as I aforementioned, lost her virginity to him before The Battle of Winterfell. The two then have one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the show's history where Gendry asks her to be his lady- to marry him.

“All I know is that you're beautiful and I love you, and none of it would be worth anything if you're not with me,” he tells her. Arya of course, has to reject his proposal. She can't be the Lady of Storm's End because “that's not who [she] is.” Astute lore buffs and novel readers will remember Arya always reminded Eddard of his sister Lyanna (Jon's mother) who was a rough, rowdy, tomboy type. Her beauty was wild and her personality was even more-so. Robert loved Lyanna, but she (as Ned notes) wouldn't be content with growing old in a castle while her husband went off to war.

This is something I think we can coin “The Stag/Wolf Dilemma” and history is tragically repeating. Arya clearly loves Gendry back, but when we see her and Sandor Clegane, The Hound, riding the King's Road on black horses the next day we know Arya's mission isn't over...and neither is The Hound's. Are they riding to their deaths?

Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth also get some special time together, paying off for several years worth of romantic tension that would finally break Jaime free of his sister Cersei, who he was in love with. Jaime takes her virginity (common theme this season) and they presumably sleep together again soon-after which leads to Tear-jerker moment number whatever because I was more than a few drinks in by now.

The implication that they felt so comfortable sleeping with one another that it started to develop a pattern was so deeply touching, coupled with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's longing gaze at Brienne while she slept. We saw the inner-workings of the man's mind and, tragically, we knew what was coming. I've discussed at length that Gwendoline Christie might be one of the series' best actors and Jaime's departure cemented that. She tearfully begs him not to leave, telling him that he's better than Cersei, which he rebuffs, explaining all the people he's killed to be with his sister.

“Cersei is hateful...and so am I” with that, he departs. But that seems to be worded very intentionally. I think Jaime is on his way back to King's Landing to murder his sister and put an end to his vicious cycle once and for all.

All in all it was a fantastic episode with some baffling moments of stupidity peppered in for just the right amount of D&D's token ineptitude. One thing is for certain though, the final shot of Daenerys outside the gates of King's Landing with swollen red eyes and her bangs brushed out of her face and wispy as she has just seen her second dragon die and her loyal advisor as well...there's no saving anyone from her wrath.

“Burn them all,” The Mad King would say.

“Dracarys,” says his insane, terrifying daughter.