[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the most recent episode of Game of Thrones.]
The hits just keep on coming in Game of Thrones' final season. Though we just lost a whole slew of characters in the Battle of Winterfell last week, this week's episode, "The Last of the Starks," gave us even more heartbreaking deaths.
You would think the show would give Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) a break, considering she was still reeling from losing Ser Jorah (Iain Glen), but Episode 4 took away even more. First to die was Dany's second dragon, Rhaegal. Upon returning to Dragonstone, Dany's ships found themselves under attack from Euron Greyjoy's (Pilou Asbæk) fleet, armed with dozens of scorpions — the giant crossbows that Qyburn designed to kill dragons. Three enormous spears took the already injured Rhaegal down in mid-flight. That marks two dragon deaths this season (if you count reanimated Viserion's second death), leaving the Mother of Dragons with only one child left. Drogon might be Dany's favorite, but if dragons keep dropping like flies, then it's possible not even he will walk (or fly) away from this season.
The pain didn't stop there. The other major death of this episode was Dany's close friend and confidant, Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel). She was taken hostage in Euron's attack and delivered to Cersei (Lena Headey) in King's Landing. Though Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) tried to negotiate peace, Cersei eventually ordered Missandei executed on top of the battlements, right in front of Dany and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson), Missandei's lover. Her death arguably hits the hardest; Missandei might be the only character on the show who has consistently proven herself to be a good, loyal, and innocent person. Watching Grey Worm witness the execution in agony and the light just seep out of Dany's eyes upon seeing her friend murdered was a special kind of torture for fans.
Any hope f0r peace (or leaving King's Landing in one piece) is now gone; there's little doubt Dany will burn the city to the ground in revenge. That won't exactly endear her to the people though, and it's looking less and less like Daenerys will wind up on the Iron Throne at the end of all this. Her advisers, Tyrion Lannister and Varys, are already beginning to look at Jon (Kit Harington) as a possible better candidate to rule. And now that so many people know his true identity, thanks in part to Sansa strategically breaking her oath of secrecy, it's going to be harder to ignore Jon's birthright.
Things weren't all doom and gloom and death though. In what may be the most anticipated sex scene to ever grace Game of Thrones' fans screens, Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) finally gave in to their undeniable chemistry. Sadly, Jaime decided to leave Brienne and ride south, wanting either to save Cersei or to die with her in the Red Keep.
In the meantime, let's just hope Arya (Maisie Williams) succeeds in crossing Cersei's name off her list, now that she's on her way down to King's Landing along with Sandor Clegane. Perhaps the only thing that could prevent Dany from destroying King's Landing — and the innocent people Cersei is using as human shields — is Arya's skills as an assassin.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.
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