Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4: The final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones is finally at hand. Every week before a new episode, The Hollywood Reporter’s resident Westeros expert Josh Wigler will offer up a guide to the must-see moments of the coming installment. What should you expect from the latest adventure of Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and anyone else who is still lucky enough to be alive? Who will die this week? What monstrous twists have creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss cooked up as Thrones rushes toward the end of the line? Chew on those questions and more in the story ahead.
Where we left off: Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) shattered the Night King and expectations with one well-struck blow, stabbing the White Walker commander in the gut with a Valyrian dagger and ending the Army of the Dead’s reign of terror in a single move. Even a week later, writing those words out feels utterly surreal, but it doesn’t make them any less true: not only is the Night King merely dead, he’s really most sincerely dead. Sadly, so are Dolorous Edd (Ben Crompton), Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey), Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen), Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) and the red priestess Melisandre (Carice van Houten), all killed during the battle at Winterfell.
What we expect to see: Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and the other residents of King’s Landing, who have gone sight unseen since the final season premiere. Queen Cersei said she wouldn’t join the fight against the Night King, and she lived up to her end of the deal. Now that the war is over and the focus is shifting back toward interpersonal conflicts, what can we expect from Cersei and her machinations? What schemes does she have up her sleeve, and how much wildfire does she plan to wield in her fight against Daenerys? Expect an accounting of Cersei’s plan in this next episode, if not quite a full one. It’s also safe to bet on a whole lot of fallout at Winterfell from the White Walker war, as Arya is feted for ending the war, while Jon Snow and Daenerys must finally address the elephant in the room. (Note: not an actual elephant; there’s no budget for such creatures.)
What we won’t see: White Walkers, because they’re all dead. Beyond that? Really hard to say. We’re in uncharted territory, folks. With the Night King gone at the midpoint of the final season, it feels like almost anything is fair game — except for some of the really far-out theories, like Syrio Forel’s sudden return.
What we’re hoping to see: Syrio Forel’s sudden return, just because it would be such an unexpected left turn only one week after the unexpected left turn. ‘Tis the season of Arya, afterall; whatever she wants, she should get. On a more serious note, here’s hoping the final episode from director David Nutter contains what the celebrated filmmaker behind “The Rains of Castamere” and “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” does best: character moments that cut deep, whether it’s as punishing as the Red Wedding or as rewarding as Brienne of Tarth’s impromptu knighting ceremony. If Game of Thrones is ever going to offer up another “calm before the storm,” it’s now; after episode four, it’s full-on through to the very final push.
Now that we’re past the halfway point of Game of Thrones season 8, there’s very little else that anyone is talking about right now. The best thing you can do is get on board with the hype and enjoy it while it’s still on the air.
With the Battle of Winterfell out of the way, everyone’s excited to see where the Game of Thrones story will go as we enter into the show’s last three episodes ever.
It’s hard to say exactly what the motivations of Jon Snow, Daenerys, Tyrion Lannister, Arya Stark and the rest of the Game of Thrones cast will be after the events of last week, but the season 8, episode 4 trailer does give us some clues.
Of the brief glimpse that we’ve seen in the Game of Thrones season 8, episode 4 trailer, it seems as though King’s Landing will the biggest focus this time around, as we move away from the frozen antics of the North and its White Walker problem.