After the Battle of Winterfell in episode 3, the latest installment of Game of Thrones season 8 had a big act to follow. Directed by David Nutter, it delivered over an hour of Westeros woe and left us with plenty of big questions that the series only has two - oh god what are we going to do with our lives - final episodes to answers.
Hopefully it goes without saying from here on out, but here it is anyway: Spoilers spoilers spoilers. More spoilers than George R. R. Martin's Gmail account.
1. How did that human barbecue not attract the dragons?
I don't mean to be flippant - it was super affecting and everything - but every time I go to the kitchen my dog is right there, watching me like Cersei watches the wine supplies. God forbid I'm actually cooking anything.
So injured, hungry dragons - remember all that "whatever they want" snark from Daenerys? - are hanging around Winterfell and the smell of roasting flesh doesn't so much as warrant a flyby? I'm no cryptozoologist, but they'd at least be hanging around the edges hoping to steal a leg or an arm when Dany wasn't looking.
2. Can any of us continue to support Jon Snow after *that* Ghost goodbye?
Your furry boi has lost an ear fighting the undead hordes for you and you're just going to give him away to a functional alcoholic and not even pet him goodbye? There are a lot of things that are questionable about Jon Snow in season 8 episode 4 - he can't stand up to Dany, he could be on borrowed time given the fact they everyone wants to remind us he came back from the dead - but this flagrant disregard to the best direwolf in Westeros is the shocking twist that none of us needed. I hope Ghost poops in his armor.
3. What's Arya's plan for Cersei?
We know that Cersei is 100% on Arya's shit list, and nothing would make me happier than her singlehandedly saving the day at King's Landing, but narratively it just wouldn't work to have the mini assassin take out the Night King and Cersei. Someone else has to do some of the work, to share the hero spotlight, and that worries the mead right out of me. Arya is heading south with one objective, but it feels very very likely she'll fail. She has to survive though, right? RIGHT?
4. Seriously, how was the Euron Greyjoy ambush a surprise?
One of the precious flamey babies is dead and I swear to god it is the fault of everyone aboard the Targaryen cruise ship convoy. How are you just going to sail into enemies waters - knowing they have a fleet of Greyjoy ships - and not expect an enemy attack? But there they all are, holding hands and smiling like they're off for two all-inclusive weeks in the Bahamas. The audacity.
I'll accept that the giant dragon harpoons were unexpected (although, girl has already lost one dragon to a massive spear so... dragon armor?) but facing down a fleet should have been top of the to do list. Send a smaller ship to do reconnaissance, get Bran to warg into a bloody seagull, use a damn telescope to see the massive black ships coming.
5. Is Daenerys just super pissed off... or showing signs of the Targaryen madness?
It was not a good episode for the mother of dragons. Every big scene seemed design to push her to her breaking point, and the strain showed. The merriment and drinking at the beginning of the episode was just the start, highlighting how few truly dedicated allies she has - and making her look like someone's second wife at their high school reunion - and things got much much worse. She lost Rhaegal the dragon, she lost her beloved Missandei, and she lost - *looks to camera* - a part of Jon after it became clear he couldn't get over the whole aunt thing.
Her speeches are becoming more bombastic and her choices more reckless, but it could be more than the pressures of ruling that are breaking her. She is, after all, the daughter of King Aerys II Targaryen, the "Mad King" who became increasingly murderous and insane before Jamie Lannister executed him. Could the madness be Dany's Targaryen inheritance?
6. Will the writers really give us the CleganeBowl we demand?
Arya and The Hound's conversation left us in no doubt that both were traveling to King's Landing. Arya to handle Cersei, and The Hound to deal with his brother the Mountain, AKA Gregor Clegane. CleganeBowl is something the fans have demanded ever since The Mountain squished Oberyn's eyes like overripe grapes.
But since when have the Game of Thrones writers given us exactly what we wanted? They love to mess with our expectations and surprise us - sometimes in the worst, Red Wedding style ways - so it feels incredibly unlikely they're going to give us the straightforward showdown that we've envisioned in our fevered little brains.