We’re only a few more episodes away from the conclusion of Game of Thrones, and people are really starting to freak out. Last week’s Battle of Winterfell between the armies of the living and dead was intense, but at least we were prepared for the carnage. This week’s episode, “The Last of the Starks,” started slow but then jumped into a bunch of big events and even bigger deaths. Do I even have to say spoilers are ahead?
Euron Greyjoy and his band of extremely accurate sharpshooting pirates knocked Daenerys Targaryen down another dragon with a whole slew of giant scorpion crossbows. Missandei lost her head to The Mountain, and now it seems like Dany might be losing hers too as the war goes south. It’s probably a good time for her to start freaking out. If Cersei doesn’t kill her, it sounds like Varys might. She still has Jon Snow on her side, but he’s looking more and more like a liability these days.
Those were all big moments that punched you in the face. But behind those were many more subtle details you may have missed if you were too busy agonizing over the death of a loved one or the bizarre behavior of a formerly favorite character. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We scoured the episode looking for all the best Easter eggs, hidden surprises, and straight up bloopers from season eight, episode four of Game of Thrones. Enjoy!
As always, the opening credits continue to update as the show progresses through season eight. The start of the season brought us a completely new design and look that brought us further into Winterfell and King’s Landing than ever before, featuring more than a few cool details. The changes in episode four are small but important. Gone are the glowing blue tiles representing the march of the Night King’s undead army. When the view takes us into the great hall of Winterfell, it is shown as broken and in disarray. Finally, the outside view of Winterfell has changed from a castle prepared for a seige to one in the aftermath of battle, with the dead stacked up on pyres to the north of the castle ready for burning … which is exactly where the episode starts.
The drinking game Tyrion, Jaime, Brienne, and Pod are playing is a variation on “Never Have I Ever” and is a favorite of Tyrion’s. We first see it in season 1 episode 9 when he plays it with Shae and Bronn. It elicits perhaps a bit too much truth, with Tyrion revealing the tragic tale of his first marriage to Tysha, a peasant girl or prostitute depending on whose version of events you believe. The next time we see it is in season 6 episode 3 when Tyrion tries to get Grey Worm and Missandei to play. Alas, it proves to be a less popular game in Essos.
Showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have become two of the best known names behind the wildly successful series, but unless you watch the show’s DVD extras or the Behind The Scenes videos on YouTube, you may not even know what they look like. Even if you do, you might not recognize them during their cameo. They play Wildlings in the background of the Winterfell victory speech, smiling and laughing at Tormund Giantsbane’s jokes.
Pod the God strikes again. In season 3 episode 3, Tyrion rewards his squire Podrick for saving his life on the Blackwater by buying him three of the most expensive whores in Littlefinger’s brothel. Afterward, the women were apparently so impressed with Pod’s performance that they refused to accept his payment. That’s led many to speculate on exactly what he did to those girls. The answer is still unclear (after episode two some believe he sang them a song), but a few seasons later and it looks like Pod has finally grown into the reputation as a ladies’ man. In the background as Sansa Stark speaks to the Hound, you can see Podrick talking to two women and then leaving the hall with his arms around both.
You know Starbucks is hitting peak saturation when they’ve even got stores popping up in Winterfell. This one we’d classify more as a goof or a blooper than a detail, but it’s too good not to share. Someone missed a Starbucks coffee cup sitting on the head table during the Winterfell victory feast, and it’s clearly visible in the background while Tormund is drunkenly congratulating Jon Snow for being everything anyone could want in a leader.
Here’s another little error that is pretty shocking considering the attention to detail usually paid by everyone involved in the series. When Daenerys legitimizes Gendry and declares him Lord Gendry Baratheon of Storm’s End, he messes up his bastard name calling himself “Gendry Rivers.” But Rivers is the surname given to bastards from the Riverlands. Gendry is a bastard from King’s Landing in the Crownlands, and they’re known as Waters. So Gendry should have referred to himself as “Gendry Waters.” Whoops.
Gendry might not know what he is, but Arya certainly knows what she isn’t: a lady. When turning down his proposal, she calls back to a similar statement she made when her father said she’d marry and become a lady in season 1 episode 4: “That’s not me.” That same theme comes up again in season 7 episode 2 when she runs into her former direwolf Nymeria, now living fully wild in the woods with a pack of her own. The two share a moment and Arya asks her former pet to return to Winterfell with her. Nymeria disappears into the woods, leaving Arya to smile and realize “That’s not you.”
Bran Stark (or should we just call him the Three-Eyed Raven now?) continues to be a complete enigma, seemingly unwilling or unable to give us any useful information whatsoever. But junk knowledge? Oh yeah, he’ll share some of that stuff if you engage with his creepy ass long enough. His latest revelation? That the wheelchair he’s sitting in was built by King Daeron I Targaryen for his crippled brother over a hundred years ago. Daeron I is best known for becoming king at just 14 years of age and launching multiple wars against Dorne, the last of which would result in his assassination. In the books, Jon Snow names Daeron as an inspiration for his decision to join the Night’s Watch at such a young age. Benjen Stark replies that Daeron’s boldness got him killed at 18, perhaps foreshadowing Jon’s own ‘death’ in his youth.
It’s a strange and pretty useless connection, but we wouldn’t expect any less from Bran Stark. And at this point, we’re 99.9% sure he’s just being a weirdo and not dropping another super secret clue that may reveal how the show ends.
When Bronn ambushes Tyrion and Jaime Lannister in Winterfell, Tyrion tries to deflect the sellsword’s anger by making a quip about power. “Power resides where men believe it resides,” he says before Bronn tells him to shove it. That saying is part of a riddle Varys told Tyrion back in season two when he was still serving as King Joffrey’s hand.
“In a room sit three great men: a king, a priest, and a rich man,” Varys said. “Between them stands a common sellsword. Each great man bids the sellsword slay the other two. So who lives, and who dies?”
Later he gave Tyrion the answer.
“Power resides where men believe it resides. It’s a trick. A shadow on the wall.”
No doubt the writers for the show enjoyed the irony of putting the Lannisters in a similar situation with a sellsword, arguing over lands they don’t control with someone they don’t deem worthy for arbitrary reasons.
Episode four got really interesting the moment Daenerys and her army approached Dragonstone, an island just a few hours off the coast from King’s Landing. Once again, Euron Greyjoy managed to get the jump on her, decimating her fleet and taking down her dragon Rhaegal with an updated version of the scorpions we saw in season seven of the show. Take a look at the design difference, which seems to improve the power and reload rate of the massive dragon killing crossbows.