If you really needed one more reason to know that Jon Snow (Kit Harington) truly knows nothing, just look at the way he treated his most faithful direwolf, Ghost. If anyone deserved a proper farewell, at least a boop on the nose, it was this good doggo, and Jon just walked away. And he’s not the only one who’s been doing some brisk skedaddling around the Seven Kingdoms.
In one of the most plot-packed episodes of the season, we saw ‘Game of Thrones’ writers try to fit everything from funerals and celebrations and proposals to break-ups and two major deaths. With only two episodes left to wrap up the lengthy saga, it is these two crucial deaths, which we’ll come to in a bit, that will set the tone for the Iron Throne endgame.
The episode begins with an emotional funeral for those who died fighting the Night king, especially Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) and Ser Jorah (Iain Glen), who are mourned by Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) respectively. The same evening, the living return to celebrate their victory over the dead and there is a freeing lightness to these moments, and for a while you’d be forgiven for feeling a sense of comfort. Even Jon and Dany share warm smiles. What could possibly go wrong? Everything, it seems.
One of the things that didn’t go wrong, however, was Gendry (Joe Dempsie) receiving his due as Dany names him Lord of Storm’s End and a rightful heir to Robert Baratheon. But that gets quickly upended when he runs to Arya Stark (Maise Williams) and asks for her hand in marriage, to be his lady. It’s a heartbreaking moment, not just because Gendry gets gently turned down, but also because as much as he may claim to love her, he really doesn’t know her at all. Makes it all the more fitting when she leaves Winterfell, along with The Hound (Rory McCann), as they ride to King’s Landing for their respective unfinished businesses (re: Cersei and The Mountain).
In one of the most disappointing but on point scenes of the episode, we also get to watch Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) throw away his one chance at happiness (and all the character work that’s been put into him over the seasons) as he walks away from Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) after they consummated the relationship they’ve been nurturing since the tail end of season two. He’s heading back to reunite with Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey); and whether it is to rejoin her side or whether it is to finally put an end to her reign, it can’t bode well for him in any scenario.
There’s also the matter of the poor writing that the women on this show are repeatedly being subjected to. From Sansa embracing her rape and torture as a “learning lesson” to Brienne being reduced to tears over a love interest, the show cheapens the journeys that these women have taken over the last seven seasons.
Jon and Dany also get a loving moment together before they are also torn apart by the truth: Jon’s parentage and the secrecy surrounding it. While Dany, understandably, doesn’t want him to reveal his Targaryen bloodline; Jon, also understandably, wants to include his sisters. It’s a tug-of-war that Dany knows will “destroy” them, but Jon is Jon and naively holds out faith in Sansa and Arya’s loyalty to Dany’s claim to the throne.
Once Sansa and Arya know the truth, it doesn’t take long for more to know, and the first person to leave Camp Dany (apart from Sansa, who was never really interested anyway) is Varys (Conleth Hill), whose misgivings about the Dragon Queen have been simmering for sometime now. As he bids Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) goodbye, you know everyone’s in big trouble now.
The episode’s biggest moments are reserved for the final five minutes, of course. As Daenerys, her two dragons and her fleet head to King’s Landing, they’re confronted by Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek) and the Golden Company, and the first casualty is the already injured Rhaegal, as he plunges to his death in the ocean, as Dany’s forces scatter and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) is kidnapped by Greyjoy. This leads us to the second big death of the episode: Defiantly, Missandei barks “Dracarys” as a call-to-action before she’s beheaded by The Mountain (Hafthor Julius Bjornsson) on Cersei’s behalf.
If the episode began with Dany saying goodbye to her oldest friend and most trusted adviser, Ser Jorah, it ended with her having to witness the unnecessary and untimely death of her most unconditional supporter, as well as the death of her second dragon. This is the unravelling of Daenerys, and if we complained over the lack of casualties in ‘The Long Night’, we’re pretty sure episode five will deliver with interest on that front. Because a Lannister always pays his debts and Cersei’s waiting.
Don’t miss it!
The final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ airs in the UAE exclusively on OSN. OSN Play, On Demand and Wavo the same time as the US.