Saturday, September 30, 2023

Game of Thrones 8×04 Liveblog: The Guardians of King’s Landing

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Last week took care of that pesky and annoying side-quest, so we are finally back in the action with the ultimate villains of Game of Thrones: a Jack Sparrow impersonator and a drunk pregnant lady with an affinity for elephants. Our live reactions are below in the Disqus thread, and don’t forget to fill out your official CAROL board (or the alternates here).

Kylie and Julia, having just watched, provide their episode thoughts.

Our reactions to this episode


It’s hard for me to think what to write with that ending note. I have to say: I was very, very wrong. I thought it’d be a good thing to be back in politics land, and more enjoyable in a world where we can just meme about elephants rather than squint through a second nighttime zombie battle.

Give me the zombies back, honestly. The final tension is going to be Mad Queen Dany, and she emerged from her chrysalis as randomly as Cheryl. It’s really not a good viewing experience in any regard, because it’s just “Oh how many people is the crazy woman going to kill before the men can put her down?”

Though props to both Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke this week. If only they had been directed to emote this entire time. Or maybe the actors are just getting giddy that the end is in sight.

Highlight: It’s kind of hard to think back to anything mildly enjoyable in this drek. I laughed the loudest at the meta line “does anyone know [who’s ruling Storm’s End]?”, but I wouldn’t call that a highlight. I guess I enjoyed aspects of the drinking scene. It went on for an eternity, but it was a nice mood. Also everyone got laid for some reason. I also felt the opening burial actually gave the fight with the dead a gravitas it had ironically been lacking an episode prior.

Lowlight: There’s a lot I could pick here, really, not the least of which being the emergence of Mad Queen Dany as our final pit-stop. I know every vague SanSan is going to be ripping the Sansa/Sandor conversation since she basically canonized D&D’s quote about how she needed a painful experience to get her political savvy. Then there was Rhaegal’s death of complete randomness, brought down by Euron of all people. Because that had been well-seeded.

Also wtf, Jaime?

But no, I have to pick Missandei getting fridged as the catalyst for Dany burning King’s Landing to the ground, or whatever the hell the next episode’s bullshit is going to be. It was unnecessary, I hate how revenge-filled her last words were (she was the one talking about retiring away from all this!), and the shot very purposely kept her broken body in frame behind Tyrion afterwards.

I knew it was coming, and frankly Rhaegal’s death really made me feel oddly disconnected from everything else happening. It was just pure “things happen, whatever” mode. But my god, could it have been carried out any worse?


I kind of realised while I was watching this episode that I have no interest at all in what happens on this show at all, and the next few weeks are just going to be like a fun scavenger hunt to see which leaks are true. I feel no emotion, not even outrage. I’m just an impartial observer here to document bad writing in the wild.

I have to admit, Evulh Deadpan is a much better final boss than Eurovision.

Highlight: It was nice to see everyone having fun at that party. Gendry was super cute when he proposed to Arya. Um… the time flew easier than I thought it would. I looked up and it was already half over. Usually I’m begging for mercy after 10 minutes. God, I don’t know anymore… the sets were mostly lit.

Lowlight: I spent most of the first two thirds of the episode screaming at the screen that Deadpan and Jonny should just get married, and the gods know I’m glad they actually addressed that at all, or else I would have gone insane. But, wow was the way Varys and Tyrion dismissed it as a viable idea weak. But you see, it’s not really because incest taboos conveniently exist (I image we’ll discuss this extensively in the podcast…) it’s because Dany is terrible and out of control and Jonny has totally proven himself to be the best leader ever over the last eight season…. Remember when he charged an army by himself and got all his men killed? Or when he deserted his post in a huff? Or when he kneeled away the kingdom after going the see another monarch with 5 guys? So inspiring. And clearly much better kingship than having the nerve to *gasp* consider attacking your enemy’s capital! Anyone who would suggest doing that needs to be stopped!

Only two more weeks, only two more weeks…

Images courtesy of HBO


  • Kylie

    Kylie is a Managing Editor at The Fandomentals on a mission to slay all the tropes. She has a penchant for complex familial dynamics and is easily pleased when authors include in-depth business details.

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