Beware! The night is dark and full of spoilers!
Well, what can I say? We’re back to setting up for a later and much bigger episode, but unlike the first two episodes of the season that placed pawns on the chessboard and dragged on, “The Last of the Starks” is a break that feels earned and needed.
For one thing, I think that the show and the exhausted fan community needed a collected sign of relief after the Battle of Winterfell. We needed to see the North bury their dead which was a very intense and emotional scene, by the way. We needed to see the fallout, the celebrations, and the bitter endings and apparent final goodbyes to a large number of the supporting cast whose characters appear to be going their separate ways for good.
What’s more, the show is finally facing the biggest question that needed to be answered: Will Daenerys even be good queen? Questions about her “destiny” and her legitimacy were raised and as her closest allies begin to conspire behind her back, her sanity appears to be fraying which makes one wonder if she will repeat the sins of her father and actually burn King’s Landing to the ground.
There were also two more major deaths as the culling of the cast continues. The death of Rhaegal was both shocking and unexpected, though I would have figured it would have had more of an emotional impact than it did. More impactful was the execution of Missandei whose final defiant word could be the thing that changes Daenerys from the savior to the Mad Queen who’s blown a three-dragon lead.
Lots of balls got thrown up into the air, but now the excitement begins to see where they might all land and, this time, the feeling of boredom I felt from the earlier episodes is finally replaced by anticipation.