Power Ranking The Major Plot Lines In The Latest Episode Of ‘Game Of Thrones’: ‘The Last Of The Starks’

by 1 year ago

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Each week I will set out with a foolishness and a sense of purpose that would make Jon Snow proud by power ranking all of the plot lines in the most recent episode of ‘Game of Thrones.’

You know how sometimes things are going, like, really good? You feel good, you look good, and you have nothing but blue skies ahead and then all of a sudden someone shoots a big effin’ arrow out of nowhere and kills one of your dragons and *POOF* just like that, your day has completely gone to shit.

The Night King is gone but if you were worried that him being out of the picture might take something off of Game of Thrones’ fastball heading into the last few innings then you definitely forgot about the Cersei Smirk.

The Cersei Smirk is back. It’s back in a big way and screw the Night King. That asshole never even talked. Cersei is a villain worthy of this show, worthy of the people that are watching, and worthy of a battle of epic proportions which 100% seems to be headed our way next week.

Game of Thrones straight up laughs at our amazement of last week’s episode, “The Long Night.” It sits back and nonchalantly declares that you haven’t seen anything yet.

With that being said, here’s our song of the week.

Onto the rankings!

10. The Bran Abides

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Not much doing for Bran this week. He declined Tyrion’s “offer” to be Lord of Winterfell and then told his sisters that their half-brother was actually their cousin.

So all things considered, kind of a slow week for him.

9. Oh Thank God, Tormund Is Still Alive

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With the fighting done and the land beyond the wall presumably safe now, Tormund has decided it’s time for him and the remaining free folk to pack up and head back that way. Was his decision to do so spawned at all by Brienne choosing Jaime over him? Probably. He did seem to take it pretty hard.

Love hurts my man. We’ve all been there. He’ll bounce back, though.

It should be noted that during the after party, Tormund was going on and on about Jon being killed and coming back to life, something Jon had been trying to keep on the down low. Now it’s just out there. I wonder if it was like spoilers for Avengers: Endgame. Maybe the embargo had been lifted?

Jon and Tormund say goodbye, but it was a heavy goodbye. These two dudes have gone from enemies to bros and their relationship had become one of the show’s best. But you know what else was a good relationship? The one between Jon and Ghost.

Now that ship has sailed too, as Jon asks Tormund to take Ghost with him, saying he doesn’t belong in Winterfell and that he’d be happier north of the North.

“So would you,” Tormund replies. “You got the north in you. The real north.”

And that’s it.

Jon rides off and DOESN’T EVEN SAY GOODBYE TO GHOST AND WHAT THE FUCK THAT WAS SOME BULLSHIT AND I HAD TO PAUSE THE SHOW FOR A SECOND TO GIVE MY DOG A SCRATCH BECAUSE YOU JUST DON’T DO THAT TO DOGS!

Sorry.

What Jon should have done is ask Tormund to take Ghost. Tormund would naturally say yes because Ghost is awesome and then take him for a walk right around the time Jon is leaving so Ghost doesn’t have to see him go. God, Jon. Did you not do any reading about owning a dog?

8. Let’s Talk Logistics

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After the Battle of Winterfell, one question that remained was who exactly we had left. Darkness aside, it definitely looked like a lot of people were killed, and as a result, Team Dragon was looking pretty short-handed. With a fight with Cersei next on the schedule, it was worth asking what the squad had left.

Thankfully, the show laid it out this week.

Half of the Unsullied are gone as are half of the Northmen. I’m assuming this includes the Knights of the Vale and members of the Night’s Watch. There’s no mention of any Dothraki having survived. That tends to happen when you charge full speed (which is what the Dothraki do!!!) into a dark abyss that is full of murderous ice zombies.

Yara was able to retake the Iron Islands, so there’s that. Plus there’s a new prince down in Dorne and he’s on board.

I’m not sure what that all translates to in numbers, but according to Varys (who I trust) the field has evened up significantly.

However, whoever is left in Winterfell is either banged up or exhausted, something Sansa wisely points out. She thinks they should all take a few days before heading south and let everyone get their legs back underneath them. This would make total sense to anyone besides Daenerys, who already had her bags on Drogon and added Kings Landing to her list of locations on her Accuweather app.

Sansa, you’re overruled.

7. Arya! Things Make Sooo Much Sense Now.

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Noticeably absent at the after party was Arya, who was the reason they were all there. Boozing and celebrating isn’t Arya’s move though. She was back in the locker room, watching film, gearing up for the next game. She’s a true professional.

She is also, however, still not a lady and Lord Gendry learned that the hard way. He told her he loved her. He proposed. It was adorable.

Unfortunately, she said “no thank you” as she’s not about that life. Gendry would have known that if he had watched Game of Thrones. It’s a call back to season one. Do your research Gendry.

After participating in the Stark family meeting and learning about who Jon really is, Arya pulls an Arya and dips out. She joins The Hound for the trip south to King’s Landing as both of them have “unfinished business” to attend to. Spoiler: their unfinished business pertains to The Hound wanting to kill The Mountain and Arya wanting to kill Cersei.

After that, they’re going to start working on their screenplay.

6. Keeping Up With The Lannisters: Jaime

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Jaime Lannister rocking the old trick of swinging by a gal’s dorm room late night to say what’s up. Classic.

It was wonderful seeing Jaime and Brienne together, and for a moment there, it actually looked like there would be some sort of happy ending for the two of them. They would be staying behind in Winterfell because Brienne has Sansa’s back for life and Jaime is cool with just hanging out.

But then you pause for a second and think that the idea of Jaime essentially being sidelined for the rest of the season doesn’t feel right. Plus, there’s a lot of action in the Thrones betting market that has Jaime as a favorite to kill Cersei before this thing is over. There’s no way he’s staying in Winterfell.

And he’s not.

After hearing of Euron’s ambush of Daenerys, he seems shook and responds by packing up and heading out.

“She’s hateful and so am I,” he says to Brienne about Cersei before leaving.

I felt like he was doing so to join or save Cersei but it wasn’t entirely clear. Either way, tough go for Brienne. There’s no shame in sending a quick text to Tormund, Bri. No shame at all.

5. The Second Thoughts Club

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Varys has been pretty quiet since joining Team Dragon and you had to think that at some point, the ol’ Lord of Whispers would somehow factor into things. Well, he’s factoring and factoring big time.

He sees what’s up with Daenerys better than anyone and that includes Sansa, who never takes her eyes off her. He sees the messiah tendencies and not just the good side that most of her followers do. He sees the tyrannical side, and after some thinking, it’s starting to make him question his allegiance, especially after Sansa told Tyrion who then told him about Jon.

The Starks: “Winter is Coming, and so are the secrets because we can’t keep them to save our lives”.

Varys picked Daenerys because he walked up to the race track, saw the two horses that were favorites and picked one. But all of sudden he’s realized that there’s a dark horse and is wondering if it’s too late to change his bet. I have no idea how betting in horse-racing works but I know how Game of Thrones works so I’d say he’s probably good.

He’s also starting to get Tyrion second-guessing his allegiance as well and, ladies and gentlemen, Varys is back in business.

4. Keeping Up With The Lannisters: Tyrion

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Before getting into Tyrion, it’s worth noting that Bronn came back and the Bronn heel turn I was dreading was in full effect. Tyrion was able to buy him and Jaime some time, but only a little. Bronn is still all about who is paying him and has positioned himself so that he can win regardless of which Queen comes out on top. That’s so Bronn.

With that out of the way, Tyrion tries to broker peace between Sansa and Daenerys, and to no one’s surprise, it doesn’t go well. He does learn about who Jon is but that really just complicates things. He also cops to being a little afraid of Daenerys to Sansa before heading south to Dragonstone.

Tyrion has been one of Daenerys biggest supporters since enlisting but you can see him start to waver a bit now. He thinks Jon would be a good King but he believes in Daenerys (or at least he pretty much does). Varys points out that he’s been drinking a lot lately and that makes sense—our dude is conflicted.

He also almost died twice in the episode.

That’s not going to help when it comes to cutting back on booze.

3. The North Remembers Everything Except For The Fact that You Know The North Remembers

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Winterfell still stands. A portion of those who defended it still stand as well.

The dead have been burned due to what is probably tradition but could also be a “better safe than sorry” move because, you never know, there might be another Night King out there. Also, has anyone put any thought to the fact that burning corpses likely smells terrible? I bet Jon came up with the idea to burn all the corpses. Jon’s plans are horrendous.

We get past the burning of the dead and it’s time for the after party, which was dope unless your last name was Stark or Targaryen. Everyone else was living large.

Daenerys made Gendry legit, declaring him Lord Gendry Baratheon of Storm’s End. Smart move. Our girl the Dragon Queen is now in the business of ally collecting and nothing gets you loyalty better than a lordship. Right? It seems that way.

Daenerys’ actions do not go unnoticed by Sansa and that Dany/Sansa drama is intense. If one of them were to drop a diss track in the next few hours I wouldn’t be surprised. Definitely keep an eye on their social media accounts.

All Sansa cares about is the North and her family, which she believes consists of Jon, Arya, and Bran. Bran might be a weirdo now, but until he gets his name legally changed to The Three-Eyed Raven, homeboy is a Stark. And Jon is a Stark, so we’re cool, right?

Well, actually. About that…

Jon couldn’t keep it from them any longer. Despite him having to know that the truth could easily do more damage than lying, he told them. Or, more accurately, he had Bran tell Sansa and Arya. I suppose that was the right move. Bran could say anything at this point and you’d just believe him. He’s reached the level of crazy where you’d have no choice.

Of course, before Jon tells them, he makes them swear that they won’t tell anyone.

Guess what?

Yeah, they told someone. Remind me never to tell Sansa the password to my HBO account.

2. Keeping Up With The Lannisters: Cersei

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You knew Cersei was going to come back in a big way. She had two weeks off. Two weeks! Facing her now is like facing the Patriots in the playoffs after they once again secured a first-round bye.

During her bye weeks, Cersei has had her dudes busy building those big ass crossbows and now those things are everywhere. I hope Qyburn secured a patent first. If not, joke’s on him. They’re on boats and they’re on the castle walls. There are probably a few that we didn’t even see. Did the Golden Company build those or did she send out for bids?

Also, Cersei is definitely pregnant. She said it at the end of last season when she told Jaime it was his. But then he bailed on her so guess what? Now it’s Euron’s. Congratulations!

It’s worth pointing out that it’s the same move she pulled on Robert back in the day. I’ll say this about Cersei: she’s nothing if not consistent.

I’ll also say that she is not effin’ around.

If you found yourself sleeping on Cersei’s qualifications as a Big Bad, that’s fine. Jon’s talk about the Night King got to you. Totally understandable. It got all of us.

But once Sunday’s episode was over, we very quickly remembered who was the real Big Bad of Game of Thrones. The fight against the dead was cool and I was here for it. But this stuff—the stuff we saw in “The Last of the Starks”—was what got us hooked in the first place. It’s the human drama that got us.

The stuff with the Dead? It was empty calories. Now we’re on to the main course.

1. Stop Dragon My Heart Around

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The celebration after the Battle of Winterfell was short-lived for Daenerys because I’m not sure if you knew, but she kind of wants to be Queen. This whole Battle of Winterfell was a last-minute favor and now she’s looking to get back on track.

First, though, there is that sticky situation with Jon. How do you play something like that? Well, you go in soft and play it cool. She talks about Jorah who, even in death, is still in the Friend Zone.

Harsh.

Jon’s not though. She loves Jon. The whole “true identity” thing, however, is a bit of a bugaboo. Can’t we like, just forget about it and pretend it never even happened? You know, like middle school or the second season of True Detective.

“I wish you’d never told me,” she says. “If you hadn’t, I would be happy.”

And don’t you want me to be happy, Jon? I want to be happy. I want you to be happy. Let’s be happy together and never mention a word of who you really are again.

But no. Jon’s not going to do that. Jon can’t. Jon needs to tell Sansa and Arya and even after doing so, believes they’ll all find a way to work it out. Let this serve as a reminder that Jon is god awful at making plans. He’s not great at reading the room either.

It’s not going to be cool, Jon. Daenerys wants to be Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, with one of those kingdoms being the North. Sansa needs to accept that and move on.

Simple.

Yes, so simple, like just stopping home for a few days before heading back out on tour again. Sleep in your own bed and see some friends and OH MY GOD THAT GIANT ARROW JUST HIT MY DRAGON.

I don’t know if you ever watched Downton Abbey, but if you did, then you remember when Matthew died. He was all smiles and everything was dope and then oops, dead in a ditch. This kind of felt like that, right down to Daenerys looking lovingly at Rhaegal as he suffered that first blow. I’m not saying it was telegraphed. It was a shock. It was more like moments after it happened you were like, “Oh yeah, I should have seen that coming.”

Euron takes down Rhaegal and then all of the ships carrying Tyrion, Varys, Missandei and the Unsullied, all of whom later wash up on shore.

Except for Missandei.

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Down a dragon, Daenerys takes a swing at peace but Cersei is not having it. Not only does Cersei reject Daenerys’ terms for surrender but she has The Mountain kill Missandei.

Yeah. Missandei is dead.

Ugh, welcome back Game of Thrones.

See you next week.

Ryan harbors a constant fear of losing his keys, prefers flip flops and will always choose cereal if it's an option. He maintains his own blog, Giddy Up America and hasn't gotten a speeding ticket in over the year. He has previously contributed work to UPROXX & Heavy. Ryan is on Twitter: @ryanoconnell79

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