Warning: Spoilers. Look away now if you haven't watched season 8, episode 4 yet.
Last week we saw the final battle between the living and the dead, but while our heroes were battling actual zombies and an ice dragon, Cersei was getting ready.
Episode four saw Dany and Jon's crew head south as promised - and with only two episodes left to go things are looking like they're about to heat up to levels we've never seen before. Join us as the TimeOut team give their initial impressions...
SIENA YATES: As far as I'm concerned all that White Walker/Night King/zombie dragon nonsense was just a bad dream and now we're back to the real Game of Thrones and my girl Cersei is still slaying despite everything.
This episode still packed in the cheese factor - for some reason people declaring their love and expecting the world after a couple of sessions between the sheets is apparently a thing now - but we got a death that actually mattered (even if it was a blatant fridging) and more of that behind-the-scenes chess-playing that made me fall in love with the likes of Cersei and Varys in the first place.
Also, I don't know what it is but Queen Sansa is definitely up to something, and Arya's back on the road with the Hound to take care of "some unfinished business" - ie, Cersei.
Next week, Yara will undoubtedly be back to hopefully make someone her lesbian lover and really, that's all I care about at this point.
Is it wrong that I'm more upset by the death of Rhaegal the dragon than I have been by any other character in the entire previous eight seasons? It was just so brutal and unexpected. Admittedly, that's what we've come to expect from the show – and has been seriously lacking in recent episodes – but still. Couldn't we have eased into it with the death of a less majestic character?
Yet again, we had an episode where producers seem loath to kill off anyone significant. This week, they opted for the pleasant but totally non-essential Missandei. Sure, her death has now calcified Dany's resolve to destroy Cersei (although Rhaegal's death had already done that) but really it didn't contribute much. Have the producers gone soft on us? Given how long they dedicated to the deaths of secondary characters like Ser Jorah, there won't be enough time for them to kill off anyone significant in the remaining two episodes.
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So now we're on the brink of another epic battle – with Jamie Lannister supposedly on his way to reunite with his evil sister having convinced himself he's not half the man Brienne of Tarth believes he is (prediction: He will change his mind mid-battle and ultimately redeem himself, while dying in the process). Meanwhile, Arya and The Hound are on their way to save the day. Again. And Sansa is stirring up trouble for Dany so even if she defeats Cersei, it won't be the end of her power struggles. Also, her boyfriend is still her nephew and apparently that's frowned upon in the north. Thanks for clarifying, Lord Varys.
In short, everything we predicted would happen last week is now happening. Which is not how Thrones is supposed to roll. With two episodes left, I need more drama. But no more dead dragons.
Firstly, this episode confirms that the Battle of Winterfell was spectacular but, plot-wise, useless. Despite the opening tribute, it already feels like a fading historical footnote, which is a slap in the face to viewers who were told to invest in that threat across eight seasons. At least Arya is rightfully riding high on her victory.
I'm fixating on one detail from this episode: That interaction between Sansa and The Hound, which I found to have disturbing implications. I've found Sansa's arc in this show to be the most riveting and rewarding, but I felt like the dialogue in this scene implied Sansa would be a "weak" character had she not survived years of horrendous abuse. This is the same show that gave clues to Sansa's fighting spirit even in season one – remember when she pleaded for her father's life in front of Cersei and Joffrey? It feels lacking in nuance to imply the strong Sansa we know now was reborn out of, even created by her abuse. Certainly it was the catalyst for much of her growth – but I wish the show had found room to explain how that journey was more about Sansa uncovering the empathetic, intelligent leader that always lay within.
That aside, those final scenes were thrilling. It's a real shame to see another female character fridged out of existence, but seeing Daenerys and Cersei finally face off was an incredible moment. I'm interested to see both these queens dressed in red, to perhaps imply that despite being opposing forces, they have something in common – a taste for bloodshed. Dany's ethics are certainly slipping, and it'll be interesting to see how she avenges the death of Missandei and Rhaegal in next episode's showdown.
Meanwhile, I'm rooting for Sansa and Arya as they try to shake sense into their brother, who doesn't seem to realise just how unhinged Daenerys is becoming. Perhaps they'll be the last ones left after everyone's done frying each other in King's Landing.
The latest portion of Game of Thrones continued this season's descent into cheesiness and just two episodes remain before we, along with a host of the show's big-name players, are finally put out of our misery.
The fourth instalment in the final season began more like an episode of The Young and the Restless, updating us on the status of several ill-conceived love affairs, powerful family secrets, and pending betrayals.
After the carnage of last week's epic Battle of Winterfell, all of our favourite hard-ass characters have seemingly lost their edge and now appear to be following the Beatles' mantra of "All You Need Is Love".
First we had to endure Gendry clumsily proposing to a disinterested Arya, before Jamie – with a belly full of booze – plucks up the courage to swing by Brienne's pad to "take a shower" along with her virginity (okay, so that made me chuckle).
Daenerys then made it clear she'd be happy to keep things "all in the family" and continue her relationship with her lover and nephew Jon - so long as he keeps his true lineage a secret. But it took only a couple of minutes before the Starks held a family meeting and Jon crumbled like the wet paper bag he is, spilling the beans on his true identity and throwing fuel on Sansa's burning distrust of the Mother of Dragons.
Things got a lot brighter and funnier, thankfully, once Bronn – the lovable rogue – finally rolled into town with his crossbow and outlined to Jamie and Tyrion plans to renege on Cersei's orders to kill the pair and double-cross their beloved twisted sister.
But for all the blossoming love among the ranks, miserable heartache appears most likely for those "lucky" enough to survive the last two episodes – as signalled by Grey Worm's sadness after Missandei literally loses her head.
Thank god for the Hound, who has perhaps only grown more bitter and twisted in recent weeks and remains committed to seeking revenge and murdering his brother, the Mountain.
Props to Arya too, for shunning life as the wife or a blacksmith and staying focused on getting through her To Do List and killing that cow Cersei.
KARL PUSCHMANN: This was an episode about decisions. All our heroes - and villains for that matter – reached a crossroad and had to weigh up which path they would go down. Some peeled off and said their goodbyes. Fare thee well, crazed Wildling man and your merry band of Wildlings and also to you nice young family man Samwell and your soon to be expanding family.
Others however chose to keep bloodily barrelling towards their fate. Fuelled either by a self-important belief in said fate, a continued lust for power or, perhaps most foolhardy of all, love.
During the mind-wanderingly slow first half of the episode my focus was on whether the showrunners' decision to cram this final season into six episodes had been a wise one. Yes, the characters needed a bit of a breather and debrief from last week's hour-long battle, but by golly did it drag. Even if a lot did eventually happen.
Even so, I don't know if I buy Jamie's big change of heart, especially after he'd just learned that Cersei had put a price on his head, and I can only surmise that Gendry becoming a Lord will somehow be important at some point in the final two episodes…
But just like Daenerys I was mostly itching to get out of Winterfell and push on to Kings Landing.
When we did finally arrive, around the mid-point of the episode, things picked right up. A well-played nautical ambush levelled the playing field considerably for Cersei in the upcoming battle and a particularly brutal power-play saw the unflappable Grey Worm, the leader of the Unsullied, almost lose his head in rage at her.
It's fair to say Cersei is currently living rent-free inside her opponents' heads right now. But there's no escaping the fact that when they come to collect they're going to demand a high price. The question is whether they'll be able to get through the door. At every step of the way Cersei's outwitted and outplayed her opponents. I'm sure her defence plan will be far more strategically sound than the casualty-filled, completely rubbish job Dany and Jon Snow led at Winterfell last week.
Tyrion's final plea to avoid bloodshed was always folly. Neither Queen was backing down from this fight. He offered them both the choice but neither would have felt they any other option.