Macall B. Polay/HBO
August 27, 2017 at 11:24 PM EDT

Game of Thrones

TV Show
Drama, Fantasy
run date
Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey
David Benioff, D.B. Weiss
We gave it an A

Red Keep: I almost feel sorry for Cersei. This episode has been an emotional gauntlet for the queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Now comes arguably the toughest moment of them all: Jaime. She secretly plans to back out of the Dragonpit Accord, having no intention of helping Dany’s forces to defeat the Army of the Dead. She rather smartly deduced why Viserion wasn’t among Dany’s dragon entourage and thinks the dragons are vulnerable. She’s dispatched Euron to Essos, where he’ll stock up on some guyliner and buy more troops. Her plan is simple: Let them fight them, we’ll kill whoever’s left. 

The moral rift between Jaime and Cersei has been widening ever since the Kingslayer returned from being captured in season 3. Until now, he’s been able to straddle being supportive of her psychopathic selfishness and his need to retain pieces of his tattered honor. This is decision time, and he makes it: Jaime will ride North. “That’s treason,” Cersei declares, but for Jaime it’s about doing the one thing people always believe he cannot do: keep his word.

The Mountain is there, ready to kill Jaime. He’s rattled. “I don’t believe you,” he says, and boldly walks away. 

She gives a hand signal and The Mountain starts to make a move, yet doesn’t go through with it. It’s unclear what happened. Did The Mountain misunderstand? But Cersei could have followed up with a verbal order to her massive kill-bot. Yet once again, she didn’t do it. She couldn’t kill Tyrion, whom she hates. So how can she kill Jaime? If Cersei were to execute him she’d be killing the only person in this entire world who still loves her. If you do that … well, what’s the point of living? She must let him go, even though tactically it’s a poor decision. Letting Jaime leave might even result in her eventual downfall. But as a man once said: The things we do for love.

Jaime rides out of King’s Landing, hiding his golden hand, and he sees it: snow. Winter has come to the south. Cersei can’t hide from this. 

And as one incestuous relationship seemingly ends…another is about to begin. But first:

Winterfell: Littlefinger tries to convince Sansa to turn against Arya by leading her through a really cynical worst-case scenario thought exercise. She does what he advises. But she doesn’t just think about Arya. She thinks about him. 

She has Arya brought into the Great Hall. Littlefinger is smirking his final smirk in the shadows. Arya asks, “Are you sure you want to do this?”  

Sansa starts reading out a list of charges: treason, conspiracy — our hearts are in our throats. But GoT is messing with us.

“Do you deny it…Lord Baelish?”


Sansa, Arya, and Bran — they know. They all know all of Littlefinger’s crimes. They rudely had their big intelligence-sharing meeting behind our backs while we were watching Jon and Dany fool around. Thrones, you tricky. Next: One rung too far 

/ ( 4 of 7 )

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