Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4 Discussion Thread

The episode may have leaked early, but I’ve been (mostly) good; how ’bout you? I’ll be doing the usual live-chat over on Low Expectations Viewing, so check that out starting at 9PM Eastern.

At the same time, I also want to give you a space to kibbitz amongst yourselves, so feel free to have at it in the comments below.


28 thoughts on “Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4 Discussion Thread

  1. JG says:

    Well pretty good other than the fact they somehow marched from KL to Highgarden and back and extracted the entire harvest from the Reach in less than an episode

  2. JG says:

    Also it looks like there is gonna be a “Dany is becoming a tyrant arc” which is hard to take seriously when Cersei suffered zero consequences for anything she did.

    • Winnief says:

      Did like Bron openly pointing out to Jaime the obvious-that Cersei is NOT building a better kingdom but in fact is rather a destroyer.

      Looks like Jon/Dany marriage will happen. Yuck. And not just because she’s his aunt-I just don’t see any chemistry there no matter how much they try to force it.

      LOVED Bran’s moments with LF. Baelish is dealing with a whole different kind of game now he doesn’t understand and with Arya back as well…things are getting interesting. Three VERY tough Starks now at Winterfell-just want Jon back there too.

      So looks like Jaime’s gonna be Tyrion’s prisoner-but only after learning for sure his brother didn’t kill Joffrey. Of course he still killed dad…

      Second time on the show they mentioned the Golden Company. Yeah, somehow they’re gonna play a part. And I bet the things Cersei wants retrieved include Sansa and Baelish’s heads. Which helps set up Clegane Bowl!

      • Gonzalo says:

        The show also namedropped Tysha several times and we only got the Orson Lannister and bugs speech. They namedropped Catelyn time ang again in Season 4 and we never got Lady Stoneheart

      • Keith B says:

        Jon/Dany … Yuck.

        Ygritte was worth ten Daenerys Stormborns.

        • Ioseff says:

          The Yuck is more said for the incest, although lack of chemistry counts too.

          Than being said, is better her (however little chemistry they might have onscreen, though in the books I think it will be different) than a rapist.

          Yes, Ygritte was a rapist.

          • Keith B says:

            The incest doesn’t bother me. They’re completely unaware of the relationship. But take away Dany’s dragons, and what is she? Blonde hair and a name she did nothing to earn. Ygritte had none of her privilege and, partly because she wasn’t stuck up, was a far more appealing person.

      • > I just don’t see any chemistry there no matter how much they try to force it.

        It’s a really weak tries at that – just a several scenes where Jon and Dany share exposition dialogue and some glances.

    • Agreed, but looking for consistency on this show is the definition of a fool’s errand.

  3. artihcus022 says:

    I want to say something positive for a change.

    1) The scene between Arya and Sansa, note perfect, the dialogue between them is truly heartwarming and the hugs were sweet. I can buy that even if the book counterparts are entirely different and have entirely different roads to get to the same castle, that GRRM could (not that he would or should, he can come up with something entirely different )…that GRRM could have written a moment like that.

    I also buy the ethos and implication of the bittersweet ending here…obviously the Starks are reunited but they aren’t the same and they have a lot of differences and I can imagine that when things over, they part ways again one final time.

    2) The battle scene at the end with the carnage really captures the duality that GRRM is going for, in that the dragons are both awesome, beautiful creatures but are also terrifying and no matter the fact that the lannisters are villains (i.e. stealing food from farmers and acting like Ironborn gangsters) you do feel for their human bodies against the might of that dragon.

    Having said all that.

    1) I cannot believe that Bronn on the show or the books would support the Lannisters when they are plainly stiffing him. I cannot buy that the guy who refused to fight Gregor Clegane because Tyrion wouldn’t offer him a reward would fight a giant dragon for free. I am sorry I just cannot believe or accept that this character would do that. Not as a mercenary, or a human being. Brown Ben Plumm would cite Show!Bronn as a cautionary tale for stupidity in the next meeting for the Second Sons, as a guy serving masters who are not paying him what he’s worth and for risks that he should be charging a Wardenship if not a marriage proposal to the Queen for.

    2) I am getting perturbed by the show’s misogynistic treatment of Dany. Like Jon Snow’s mansplaining speech, Tyrion’s stupid advice that we need to see as smart since the show has made him a sidekick rather than a man with his own goals. And I don’t like that Tyrion’s wildfire attack in Season 2 was glorified with much of the violence unleashed by the wildfire on stannis’ soldiers which Steven described in ACOK airbrushed away, and which earlier this scene was made into a humble-brag by Tyrion to Davos (who lost his son to Davos), and yet the show makes Dany’s dragonfire violence on a pack of crooks more tugging of the heartstrings.

    I cannot care for Randyll and Dickon Tarly, the former is a Bolton-worthy traitor who drains the wealth of his own people for an unworthy ruler (which even Book!Roose didn’t do), and his son is “a good Nazi” who follows corrupt orders the way I cared for Matthos Seaworth. And yet the show is telling me to do otherwise.

    • Brett says:

      Bronn doesn’t really have anywhere else to go. If he leaves, he’s essentially leaving behind all that he’s built up in Lannister service to go back to being a somewhat richer sellsword knight. He’s trying to move up in the world.

      • artihcus022 says:

        Umm…he could join Tyrion and Team Dany right away. Be on the right side of the dragons, give them valuable intel and get that sweet castle he wanted…

        • apolotresse says:

          I really doubt that Dany would agree to team up with a treacherous sellsword as much as Tyrion writes a recommendation letter for him.

          • artihcus022 says:

            Dany has employed and worked with Sellswords before…Daario Naharis, the Second Sons and likewise she has employed Jorah Mormont, an ex-sellsword. She knows Bronn’s kind and has worked with them and rewarded them in the past.

    • Billy Howard says:

      Why “mansplaining”? because the hand she appointed for advice and guidence gave his advice? Because the fellow ruler she asked for guidance gave it? That seems reasonable to me. And I am not convinced they glorified the battle of blackwater at all…. they showed men burn alive, Davos’s son died horribly, Tyrion watched in grim horror, the hound fled… the only person who enjoyed watching that was Joffrey.. and he was a real cunt….

      I agree with your point about Bronn, but it looks like he may switch at this point, during the battle its more about survival if anything, and for Randyll Tarley, but Dickon is just a son doing what he is told really, keep in mind it is all he knows, he has been told the enemy are traitors for a foreign invader. And his betrayal would mean the loss of all his family, and execution. I think the point is there is good and bad on both sides, and that war is horrendous….

    • 1. The whole business with Stokeworth I see as just more fallout from Jaime’s Dornish adventure. Needed some way to get Bronn back into the story.

      2. The show is generally bad at having advisors actually providing sensible advice and then it working – for whatever reason, they seem averse to the idea of intelligence.

  4. StupidDanyyy says:

    Overall, I’m dissapointed that GOT is turning predictable… I mean come on, who is buying for even a second that Bronn or Jamie died? Nobody important dies anymore! It was a pathetic cliffhanger. The whole Stark family angle is interesting, but the daenerys aspect has gone to shit. I mean jesus christ, the end justifies the means! “Oh no she cooked a couple of fucking absolute gang bagning murdering thieving cunts”
    Where the fuck did the giant crossbow come from? I thought this is a small party thats out collecting harvest and transporting loot to the iron bank and whatnot! Were they EXPECTING to get hit by a dragon? If so why only 1 giant crossbow? And why didnt they get used right away?
    Why does daenerys have her troops storm in, dying left and right, when she coul dhave done the job with literally just one dragon… or better yet, all three! Who needs troops when you have dragons? Waste of human lives. I am actually rooting for cercei and the night king. I want the world to burn. I dont want a happilly ever after ending with a bunch of targaryen/snow children playing in a castle as everyone dissapears in a sunset. Fuck dany the stupid bitch queen who lost pretty much her entire army because “oh shes so fucking nice”. Bitch show a backbone! Fuck Jon snow and his “queen of the ashes” bit and whatnot.
    I predict that Jon will marry Dany and therefore avoid bending the knee, since they are equals and shit. A dragon will probably die, maybe even 2, to the giant crossbows. Probably get resurrected as an ice dragon in the final season. My question is, why not put some of that expolosive green shit on the arrows? I bet that shit would do a lot of damage! Or poison the arrows…
    I’m still pissed at how shabby Cercei’s revenge was last season. I want to see real brutality, not this whole “humane” aspect. I want to see gregor rape the fucking sand snake’s daughter, over and over every day. Maybe add in a few chopped off fingers or some burns. You know, get inventive! But noooo cercei is all like “lol i poisoned ur daughter bye”
    Me: oh nooo wow thats gona be super rough on you! I mean wow slowly dying to poison, wow cercei ur pretty brutal and I’m totally scare…. NO! FUCK YOU FOR DISAPOINTING ME

  5. Brett says:

    Definite “wham” episode. It’s the show at what it’s good at, honestly – doing some good interpersonal scenes (although I am long past tired of Littlefinger), and throwing big expensive spectacle sequences that most other TV shows could never afford to do. That was probably my favorite big battle sequence since Battle of the Blackwater.

    My nitpicks are pretty minor. Why bother name-dropping the Golden Company just to get them wrong? Or is this an easter egg for one of the spin-off series they’re considering? Or is the Golden Company going to show up at some point to turn the odds back in Cersei’s favor?

    Also, Jon and Dany kind of felt like they were spinning their wheels waiting for the plot to need them to do stuff. Thank goodness for the battle sequence at the end of the episode to clear that away.

  6. Chris says:

    Wow, that certainly changed the Westerosi chessboard a bit. And so many questions:

    Steven, how accurate was this battle in terms of what we know both sides are capable of? Would a Westerosi force always lose against Dothraki screamers (without a dragon)? I mean, as Robert Baratheon reminded Cersei back in Season 1 “only a fool would meet the Dothraki on an open field” plus they had the element of surprise. From the World of Ice and Fire book the Dothraki have had a successful history of engaging infantry/heavy cavalry before, but it’s been some time since any khal has had that opportunity besides skirmishes/raiding?

    Which brings me to what we actually saw. What Lannister/Reachmen forces did Dany actually attack? How did she know where to find them? Their force didn’t seem overly large, as some would still be confiscating food from the local people in the Reach. Plus the first convoy carrying the Reach’s gold arrived in KL so Cersei still has some forces left (albeit without a commander).

    Did Randyll Tarly die in this battle? I thought I saw his face melting but wasn’t quite sure.

    Dany now knows about Cersei’s ballista weapon design and that her dragons can’t attack targets by themselves (though Westerosi history has shown that to be the case as well, even without Ballistas…). It’s interesting that there was a ballista in that convoy at all, meaning Cersei/Jaime/Randyll expected a dragon attack at some point during their incursion into the Reach and back again. I wonder if this means Dany will be wary to attack King’s Landing (and Euron’s fleet) from now on?

    Looks like the missile [correct term?] fired from the ballista hit Drogon’s right shoulder, so it doesn’t look like it was fatal. If he is flightless for the time being, it does present a logistical problem of how you transport a full-sized dragon across land. It would be incredibly ironic if Drogon were to get an infection from his wound and die as Drogo did…

    I went back and watched the episode again. I thought Dany had destroyed the wagons carrying the stolen gold being sent to pay the debts owed to the Iron Bank but that had already reached Cersei. Which means Dany just attacked the food supplies confiscated from the Reach….vital logistics needed to feed her army, prisoners and feed the Westerosi populace (as well as sustain the upcoming war in the Long Night 2.0). Was it really that necessary for Dany to extol that much carnage from her dragon? Arggh this show >_<

    Edit: Ok, just saw the promo to Episode 5. Looks like Dany got back to Dragonstone on Drogon (no way he could recover that quickly from a ballista shot =/). So, what happens to the Dothraki (+prisoners) now? Does Dany march them northeastward to King's Landing to besiege it? Or attack elsewhere?

    Does this now mean the Unsullied can move from Casterly Rock down into the Reach or Riverlands to rejoin Dany's army? Given that there are no Freys and the Lannisters are preoccupied elsewhere would the Tully forces have cause to rearm and join Dany? (I assume the show will handwaive away any Lannister garrisons that remain in the Westerlands to prevent their passage)

    On a tangential note, what the heck happened to the Dornish army? I thought Euron only attacked the Sandsnakes/Grey Joys on their way to Dorne to pick up their forces?

    • Denverite says:

      Re: Randyll Tarly

      I suspect that he survived the battle but is going to be killed at the beginning of the next episode (probably torched and/or devoured by Drogon) to advance the Mad Queen story line.

    • In terms of accuracy, I think that’s what happens when an outnumbered Westerosi army gets jumped on the march, yes. In other circumstances, with more men and more time to prepare, probably not as much.

      Dany attacked the 10,000 men who had marched from Casterly Rock to Highgarden and she knew about them because plot.

  7. Maarten says:

    The notion that one large army completely surprises another large army seems a bit alien to me. Also the army from dothraki seems to have come out of nowhere. Logistiscs temporarely suspended. I suppose they have a teleporting gateway somwhere or a large collection of helicopters.

    Awesome battle graphics. Very entertaining.

  8. Scott A says:

    I’ve been reading some reviews on Winter is Coming site and reddit, and they all seemed to say that Dany only “half” followed Jon’s advice on the beach. I disagree. I think she heeded his advice 100%.

    Jon basically said that she should not burn cities to ashes if she wanted to actually be different than the Mad King and every other nasty ruler that Westoros has ever seen. But he didn’t tell her not to fight. In fact, if the scene on the beach was extrapolated, you could very easily expect the next question from Dany “if not the Red Keep, then what”, and Jon responding that the armies of her enemies were open game… and I agree that they were.

    After seeing the Ep5 previews, I am not sure where things are going with Tyrion and Vyras and their disapproval of Dany’s battle of the Loot Train. Did the Dothraki and Drogo inflict more carnage than the unsullied did (or intended to do) at Casterly Rock? Does Tyrion find death by sword and spear to be more noble than arakh and fire? Me thinks they doth protesteth too much lol.

  9. Sean Engelgau says:

    Sean Engelgau

    I wrote this long analysis after brainstorming the differences between this and the battle of the bastards. I hope you find this interesting!

    The Battles of Ice and Fire

    Even an hour after I finished the latest episode of Game of Thrones, my heart was still pounding in my chest and my fingers trembled at the thought of what had just happened. Daenerys Targaryen had finally met with the Lannisters in open battle in an amazing twenty minute action sequence that left my jaw on the floor. I cheered, trembled, and shouted at the TV several times during the Field of Fire 2.0 and after it had ended I knew it was up there with the now legendary Battle of the Bastards. I went back and rewatched both battles several times and wondered which one was better. I thought for a long time and got nowhere because they were both so successful at what they set out to do. During this process I came to a realization about them. They are both polar opposites of each other. Not in any superficial way such as “One was shit and the other wasn’t”. No, the differences between the two were made consciously by the filmmakers in a way that makes them perfectly oppose each other.

    Of course there are similarities: the heroes go from moments of triumph to failure several times over the course of both battles, both do not shy away from the reality of war and how suffocating and brutal it all is, and lastly they both share terrific long takes that demonstrate the chaos of it all. These are too some extent the same battles but played in reverse and there are three different ways this is done. Through the look of the battles, the emotions the audience feels during them, and the way the characters grow through these events.

    The most trivial point I’m going to make is still an important one. These battles look entirely different and reflect the characters participating in them. In Jon’s Battle of the Bastards, color is drained away and everything blends into a mess of browns, blacks, and bloods with the only bright color being the white snow that coats the battlefield. A thick fog descends once the fighting starts and you can hardly see a few feet ahead of Jon as he is lost in the skirmish. When Daenerys Targaryen launches her attack on the lannisters, the field is bright green with royal red lannisters littering the field. By the end, the field is orange and black from the countless bursts of dragon fire. A black smoke blots out the sun and suffocates the soldiers. However nothing makes clear how different these battles are than the fact that one is ice and the other is fire.

    The Battle of the Bastards makes the audience feel like Jon. When it first begins after Rickon’s death, you feel angry beyond belief at Ramsay and things do not look well. Jon falls from his horse and looks as though he is about to die. Then he is saved, a brief moment of triumph followed by the fog of war. You think Jon might die at any moment, then his army is surrounded, then he is trampled. Things could not get any bleaker when Sansa arrives with Peter and saves him before he charges into Winterfell and beats Ramsay Bolton. Even though there are small ups and downs throughout the fight it generally starts with the audience feeling low, angry and afraid, but ends with a triumphant victory. When Daenerys does her first run with Drogon, destroying the Lannister’s shield wall, I was jumping up and down at the spectacle. The Dothraki met with the Lannisters and Daenerys destroyed all of their food and I was still sitting on my couch with a gigantic smile. Then Jaime and a Dothraki Soldier fight and he is saved by Dickon. When that happened I cheered and quickly realized I didn’t know who I was rooting for. Bron loses his horse and is chased through the smoke of war by a particularly persistent Dothraki and when he harpooned the soldier into a wall I cheered. Jaime then sees some burning Lannister soldiers run to water and others turn to ash before being blown away in the wind. By the time Bron fires the harpoon at Drogon I don’t know who I want to live. Drogon is shot and Jaime takes his chance but is knocked into the water and sinks in his armor. By the end of the battle I thought Daenerys and the Dothraki were horrifying and the Lannisters were terribly outmatched. I felt bad for the innocent soldiers who burned and regretted cheering for Daenerys. I still wanted her to win the battle but I didn’t want anyone to be hurt and it all came into perspective when Tyrion witnessed the battle. Like Jon he is the lense through which the audience views the battle and it is bleak. You don’t want anyone to die but here is the Khaleesi, burning thousands of soldiers who are scared shitless. This battle felt nothing like the Bastards because it began with the cheers but ended somber.

    The last thing I wanted to talk about was the characters since Game of Thrones has always kept them in the forefront, even during the great battles. There is hardly ever a scene with physical conflict where the characters or the audience’s view of the characters are greatly changed. Before the Battle of the Bastards starts, Jon does not want to live. He died at the hands of his own men and didn’t see anything worth living for other than his family. Sansa comes into his life and says she will take back Winterfell with or without him and he cannot let her go alone. Just before the battle begins he tries his hardest to save his little brother but fails. Jon, with the loss of his youngest brother, sees nothing worth living for and stands down the Bolton’s cavalry alone. In the last moment he is saved by his own men who throw away their plan and their lives to protect him. This deeply affects him since the reason he gave up in the first place was because his men betrayed him. It affects him so much that when he is being trampled to near death he decides he doesn’t want to die and crawls his way out. By the time he gets to Ramsay he doesn’t use his sword recklessly. He picks up the Stark shield and throws away his anger and his pride to truly win over Ramsay and become a true Stark (Targaryen). It is clear that Jon changes during the battle and best of all it is told brilliantly with no words. It is too early to tell seeing as this is being written the day after the episode’s airing but this whole season so far daenerys has been trying so hard to be the kind ruler but fails three times over. By the time she rides Drogon over the Lannisters it is clear she is almost willing to burn her way to the Iron Throne. I do not believe she is becoming a mad queen or anything of the sort but I do think this battle may signal a shift in Daenerys from a caring ruler to a much more ruthless one. It certainly wood follow the pattern if Daenarys changes for the worse unlike Jon because of this battle and though it may be a red herring the new trailer for episode five makes it appear as though she is truly becoming a dragon.

  10. Re-watching this a long time later, Steven. I know you’re crazy busy with your prothesis, but I have a question, if you ever have the time to deal with it – the Dothraki are showing as leaving their stirrups, at least on one side, and rising up to one knee for a lot of their arrow shots. I’m no equestrienne, but that seems … really unlikely.

    I know you shift your weight and *stand* in your stirrups sometimes, but firing from a half-kneeling position seems really unstable. I’ve known some women who do dressage in sidesaddle, and it’s challenging. I can’t imagine going into battle doing that particular trick, unless the idea was to be able to dismount very quickly. And if you dismount, you lose the advantage of being a cavalryman. Thoughts?

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