Four episodes down, and only two remaining of one of the greatest television shows on the planet. People have been hating hard on this season, so I thought I’d start going through and giving my reaction to the show.

First, let me say this – I have enjoyed every episode this season. Are they perfect? No, but in my opinion, the only shows that get even close to perfect are Westworld and Black Mirror. But overall, all of the episodes this season get a big thumbs up from me. I just have to suspend belief a lot of times with these episodes and not try to nitpick. Believe me – I can nitpick with the best of them. And when the ride is over, I will go through and watch it again and probably nitpick the hell out of it. Every showing of Avengers: Endgame after the first has had me much more critical than the next, but that’s after just relaxing and enjoying the ride the first time.

Right now, people just need to be relaxing and enjoying the ride. I am convinced people are TRYING to find something to hate about this show because it’s had so much hype. I’m convinced it’s the “cool” thing to do on social media to hate things other people love. I’ve seen it with both Endgame and Game of Thrones.

With all of that said, here is my takeaway from Episode 4 of the final season…

(spoilers obviously)

At Winterfell

Everything starts with a mass funeral for everyone that died fighting the dead. I thought this scene was extremely well done. I loved the connections they had with who lit each funeral pyre (Sansa with Theon, Daenerys with Jorah, etc.).

After that, it goes to a party with everyone celebrating the victory. I feel like there were multiple comments made in the first couple of episodes about how little food there was, so I don’t know that it would necessarily change right after the battle. We don’t know exactly how much time has passed between the killing of the Night King and the funeral and then between the funeral and feast. The passage of time is perhaps my only real complaint, but more on that in a moment.

Let me also throw an obligatory comment about the Starbucks cup while talking about the feast. I am more laughing at it than anything, but it’s still a major goof on everyone’s part. I didn’t notice it on my first watch and I’d be willing to bet that 95% of people didn’t either.

The story arcs of many characters then skew off in different paths at the feast:

Gendry – Poor Gendry just wants to be with Arya, but instead he gets rejected and his consolation prize is he gets to rule his own kingdom alone when Dany names him the Lord of Storm’s End, which was once ruled by his dad Robert Baratheon.

The Hound – Knowing that the Great War is over, he’s set on taking out his brother, but he doesn’t really want anyone to interfere or even help him with it. As everyone celebrates, he simply drinks in silence trying to avoid everyone. Sansa gives him a nod of approval as she brings up that she is almost glad she didn’t go with him back in the day because she has become a stronger woman for dealing with people like Littlefinger and Ramsay.

Arya – To be the hero of Winterfell and the toughest Stark there is, she kind of got pushed to the side this episode. After she rejects Gendry, we really only see her with the rest of the Starks when they talk to Jon and then riding with The Hound on the way to King’s Landing.

Brienne – Brienne is still kind of in her shell but a drinking game helps bring her out slightly. Jaime decides to finally make a move on her and they…do things.

Tormund – Poor Tormund has been obsessively in love with Brienne this whole time and she goes with Jaime who ends up leaving her. He basically realizes there is no place for him anymore and he wants to go back and live with the Wildlings north of the wall again. Jon sends Ghost with him and that’s the last we see of Tormund (and probably Ghost).

Jaime – After getting with Brienne, Jaime and Tyrion are confronted by Bronn (who somehow just strolled in to Winterfell untouched). They push Bronn off by offering him Highgarden. Jaime ends up destroying every bit of good will and redemption he’s built up to go back to Cersei when he realizes stuff is about to go down in King’s Landing after everything that happens at Dragonstone. Now – I’m not convinced he is going back to fight by her side. I could almost see a story line where he goes back and maybe puts an end to all of it by killing her and then himself. We’ll see what happens, but for now he is back on the evil side joining Cersei and having broken Brienne’s heart.

The main story continues as Daenerys begs Jon not to tell anyone about them being related and that they can still be together with her as the lone ruler. Jon feels obligated to tell the rest of the Starks about it and after they confront him about not trusting Dany, he tells them anyway. As of now, we don’t know that she knows that other people know. However, loose lips sink ships (literally) and now Varys and Tyrion also know after Sansa spills it to Tyrion.

Basically – everything that happened in Winterfell this episode was to A) put a cap on the Great War with the Night King and the dead, B) set up the path for characters we may never see again (like Tormund, Sam, Ghost) and C) set up the distrust of Dany by all of the true Starks as they head to battle with Cersei.

One side note – I am actually disappointed that Sam didn’t have more of a story arc. I always felt he was as important to everything as anyone else, and he basically just stayed behind with a pregnant Gilly and that was it. I thought that maybe little Sam could have been involved with a white walker story line, or that Sam actually turns out to be a brave fighter…or something. I assume that if Jon or Dany end up on the throne that Sam will be an adviser or maester or something with them in King’s Landing, but we’ll see. I hope he’s not done.

At Dragonstone

This is where my one big complaint is. So Dragonstone and Kings Landing are not that far apart from one another. However, from Winterfell – it’s a long way to either one. Seeing as how they were on ships, they would have had to go a good bit on foot, then get on the ships and sail around Westeros a good ways to get to Dragonstone. However, we just kind of warp straight to Dragonstone and all of the sudden, Euron’s ships are there to shoot down Rhaegal and kill him.

The passage of time is hard to keep track of in this show. I’ve never really cared until Season 7, Episode 6 when Jon and company went beyond the wall to try and capture a wight. That’s the episode where they send Gendry running back to the wall to get a raven to Daenerys to come help them and she comes with the dragons and Viserion gets killed and turned to a zombie dragon. It seems like the whole process of Gendry running back > sending a raven > Dany getting the raven and coming to help would have taken a few days at least. I feel like them traveling to Dragonstone would have taken a few days at least also.

I thought the scene where they were ambushed by Euron looked good visually, but wasn’t set up very well. I have no problem with killing Rhaegal (as you can see from our death pool below, I thought all three dragons would die this season), but the rest of that scene is just a little choppy to me. Dany charges at Euron, then backs off when tons of arrows come flying at her. Like…what did you think was going happen?

This is one of the most criticized scenes that I’ve seen from this episode from A) the scorpion’s (big crossbows) being shot that often and that accurately, B) the fact that the books say a dragon can’t be taken down from an arrow like that because their skin is too tough and C) the quick nature of the battle to where they capture Missandei and escape to King’s Landing.

The scene between Varys and Tyrion in the Dragonstone throne room is a good one. I really like Varys and I am interested to see what he does with the whole Dany/Jon situation because you can tell he supports Jon fully and Tyrion wants to keep supporting Dany even if he knows it may not be best.

At King’s Landing

Before the meeting between the two sides, Cersei tells Euron that she is pregnant and that the baby is his. That is clearly a lie because she has been playing the pregnant card for a while now, before Euron ever showed up. Euron gets happy, but should be questioning things after what Tyrion says below…

Daenerys, Grey Worm, Tyrion and a small group of Unsullied go to King’s Landing to try and ask for Cersei’s surrender (which we all know isn’t going to happen). Qyburn comes out to talk to Tyrion as the hands and representatives of their respective rulers. They both ask for the surrender of the other queen, which of course doesn’t happen, so Tyrion decided to go around Qyburn and go talk to Cersei himself. The soldiers aim their bows at Tyrion but Cersei calls them off after a few seconds. He pleads with her to surrender for the sake her unborn child, but she refuses.

This is where Euron should have done a double take. How would Tyrion know about the baby if Euron just impregnated her? If Euron were smart (and I think he is kind of dull in everything outside of fighting and war strategy), he would notice and that could cause a conflict. However, we don’t get that.

Cersei then orders the Mountain to to behead Missandei. Missandei utters “Dracarys” as her last word and dies.

Let me point out two things in this final scene:

1) Let’s not ignore that there are scorpion’s (the giant crossbows that killed Rhaegal) atop every tower on the wall and Drogon is just chilling in the background. If Cersei wanted to be smart, she should have had them all trained on that dragon and just fired. Dragon problem solved. If she could kill Rhaegal that easy in the water, this should have been a breeze.

2) She had every chance to kill Tyrion and make everyone that wants main characters to die happy – but Missandei’s death is the perfect one to have at the end. She was Daenerys’ best friend and Grey Worm’s lover. If Cersei is in maximum “piss off everyone” mode – she can kill a piece of both of their souls with one swing of the sword. Killing Tyrion wouldn’t have done much other than show she doesn’t care about her family. Tyrion isn’t exactly anyone’s best friend right now except maybe Dany, but she is even having her reservations about him after he fell for Cersei sending her army to help in the Great War. I think by not killing Tyrion, she shows that she does somewhat care for her family and that could lead to Jaime getting behind enemy lines to kill her.

Next Week

The preview doesn’t show much other than basically setting up for the final big battle we will likely see in this series. The final fight was always going to be between Daenerys and Cersei, Jon against the dead was always the secondary battle. I’m excited to finally see it, and I imagine there will be more bloodshed in this episode when it comes to the most “main characters” dying.

I do feel more and more like we are heading for a fairly happy ending without too many main people dying overall. I feel like while the fight against the dead was at Winterfell and there were plenty of places for main characters to fall back to (like Sansa and Tyrion in the crypt), that can’t really be the case when the Targaryen/Stark army is on the offensive. There are more “main characters” in that army so I imagine we’ll see some carnage.

If I had to rank who is on the throne now after four episodes, I’d probably guess:

1. Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen
2. Sansa Stark
3. Daenerys Targaryen
4. Tyrion Lannister
5. Cersei Lannister

Here are the Vegas odds right now:

Jon Snow (Aegon) +165
Sansa +375
Daenerys +550
Gendry +550
Bran +800
Tyrion +850
Arya +1400
Jon & Daenerys baby +1400
Cersei +2000
Littlefinger +2000
Samwell +2500
Bronn +5000
Jaime +5000
Varys +6600
Davos +10000
Euron +10000

I feel like Gendry was so weird about just taking over Storm’s End that he would never rule the Seven Kingdoms. I know Jon has consistently said he doesn’t want to rule but he ends up doing it anyway. However, I feel like this is different.

I also feel like Bran would never rule because the Starks don’t have a claim and he wouldn’t want to anyway. At least Jon and Gendry have family claims to the throne.

Jon and Dany’s baby has been a popular pick, but after this past week – I think one or both of them die and if they both live, they won’t be together.

Then there is Littlefinger…still hanging around at +2000. Also, shoutout to Varys who I think has a very small outside chance. I feel like he showed up in a big way this episode for a reason.

I took Sansa at +1800 almost a year ago and I’m still liking it.

Death Pool Update – Episode 4

Also, if you missed it, we have a little death pool going among Jox Primetime and a few other people around the office.

The rules are simple:

– If someone/something dies and then come back as a wight, they still count as DEAD.

– Only the Night King and Viserion are eligible from the dead side of things, but they have to be permanently dead (aka killed with dragonglass) to count.

– If a character dies and is brought back by the Lord of Light (such as Melisandre bringing someone back), then they are counted as ALIVE.

There is also a bonus of five points to whoever correctly guesses which character dies first starting with the beginning of Episode 3. All other deaths are worth one point.

The tiebreaker is who kills Thanos, but for spoiler reasons, I won’t put who got that right until the end of the show so that Endgame will have been out for a few weeks.

The contestants:

Jon Lunceford – Host of Jox Primetime
Tim Melton – Host of Jox Primetime
Conrad VanOrder – Producer of Jox Primetime
Aaron Daniel – Cumulus Traffic Director
Laurel Taylor – Producer of Jox Roundtable
John Saberre – Producer of 3 Man Front
Felecia Melton – Tim’s Wife

Here are the current standings:

– There are a total of TEN (10) dead “main” characters after Episode 4. The additions this week were Missandei (beheaded by The Mountain) and Rhaegal (shot down by Euron).

– Eddison Tollet was the first character dead (Jon correctly predicted)

Name # Correct # Wrong Dies First? Total
Jon 7 Eddison Tollett 12
Laurel 8 Euron Greyjoy 8
Saberre 8 Grey Worm 8
Tim 8 Grey Worm 8
Conrad 6 Davos Seaworth 6
Felecia 5 Theon Greyjoy 5
Aaron 5 Tormund Giantsbane 5

Full Death Pool Picks

Aaron Daniel

Conrad VanOrder

Felecia Melton

Jon Lunceford

Laurel Taylor

John Saberre

Tim Melton