In “The Long Night,” we got a night that was long, dark, and full of terrors. What it was not full of, unless you happened to be a reanimated corpse, was food. But in “The Last Of The Starks,” the living eat! It’s a positively shocking turn of events.
It’s considerably more shocking, for example, than the idea that poor dumb old Jon Snow would keep on sharing his incendiary secret while assuming that such a choice would have no consequences. It’s more shocking than the losses suffered by Dany’s army when she chooses to forgo rest of any kind, splits them in half, and sends them off to King’s Landing without doing any sort of reconnaissance to see if maybe Euron Greyjoy apparated with his whole fleet and one of those big dragon-killing crossbows to a spot conveniently on their path. And it’s much, much more shocking than Arya turning down a marriage proposal. (Read the room, Lord Baratheon.)
It is not, however, more shocking than Jon sending Ghost off to the north north without so much as a pat on the head and a “thanks for not dying, boy.” What the actual fuck was that? I apologize for dusting off this particular chestnut, but: When it comes to loyal pets, you know nothing, Jon Snow.
Here are the winners, losers, and winner-losers of this week’s Game Of Scones And Meats And Stews And Wines.
Winner: The Hound
Look, a person eating food during an episode of Game Of Thrones! What that screenshot can’t communicate was the earnest vigor with which Sandor Clegane housed his hearty Davos Soupworth meal. It wasn’t ostentatious, just determined. That man earned himself some meat and potatoes, and he was going to eat them, no matter what everyone else did.
He also got himself a Big Gulp.
+50 for eating actual food, +10 for style, +10 for DIY bottomless refills
Loser: Daenerys Stormborn Of The House Targaryen, First Of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen Of The Andals And The First Men, Khaleesi Of The Great Grass Sea, Breaker Of Chains, Mother Of Dragons, Not A Dude
Dany had a rough go of it this week. Aware that the Northerners all prefer her nephew/main squeeze to her, she attempts to buy some goodwill by making Gendry (more on him later) a legitimate son of Robert Baratheon, thus granting him the right to Storm’s End. That’s about the only plus in her column this week. (That, and the latté.)
Not all of it is her own fault. I, too, would fume endlessly if I rode a dragon—a dragon I hatched by walking into a funeral pyre and surviving—into battle, saving a bunch of lives in the process, and landed only to find out that nobody fucking cares, because whoo-hoo, Jon Snow also rode a dragon, isn’t that crazy? He rode a dragon! A man! Rode! A dragon!
Because that rightly pisses her off, she proceeds to make endless errors. She appeals to Jon by pitting him against his sister-cousins. She doesn’t hear Our Practical Queen Sansa’s good advice for what it is, considering it a threat to her rule instead. She disregards a lot of good advice, actually, and as a result, one of her dragons is murdered, Missandei is captured and executed, some of her ships are destroyed, and her loyal advisors are questioning whether or not she should really rule after all. All that, and she barely ate or drank a thing.
-200 for not grabbing a Snickers; she’s not herself when she’s hungry
Winner: Jon Snow
Jon Snow may know nothing about having a very good dog, winning battles with sound strategy, navigating rocky emotional terrain with his sisters and aunt/sweetheart, keeping secrets, staying alive, and (no matter what Varys says) being a “temperate” person who makes decisions based on anything other than emotion, but I’ll say this of him: He knows that vomiting is not celebrating.
Jon, please pass along the memo to Cubs fans, people about to turn 21, and anyone, absolutely anyone, who does SantaCon.
Also, did you hear, He! Rode! A Dragon! And Is! A MAN!
+50 for not feeling like garbage tomorrow, at least in the physical sense, -40 for not saying, “My dudes, you know she rode a dragon, too? She rides them, like, all the time. Also I totally fell off mine and she didn’t.”
A Rivers no more, Gendry leaves a feast during which he’s been granted a life-changing honor to propose to Arya Stark. She makes this face:
That’s an “I’m sorry, what?” face if I’ve ever seen one. Gendry, my man, you have badly misread this situation, and you abandoned your food with The Hound, who definitely ate it the second you left the table.
-10 for not realizing A Girl Has No Intention Of Getting Married; -30 for leaving potatoes at the mercy of Sandor Clegane
Winner: Ser Brienne and Ser Jaime
Behold, a portrait of thirst. (Because she’s drinking and she’s thirsty, get it?)
I’m just going to pretend that last Jaime/Brienne scene didn’t happen, because for all we know, he got outside the gates and turned right around. Just give me this for one week.
Here’s why they are winners, even if you do count that last scene, which I shall not. They got to play a fun drinking game with Tyrion and Pod (well, fun until Tyrion was a total dick by bringing up Ser Brienne’s sexual history).
Then they felt like this.
Then they looked at each other like this.
Then they did this.
+30 for playing a stupid drinking game, +50 for the dirty food-related joke of your choice, -20 for the end of this storyline I’m flat-out ignoring
Loser: Tormund Giantsbane
Jon says vomiting is not celebrating. Tormund does not agree.
He probably celebrated a lot after chugging—chugging—all that wine.
+25 for festive spirit, -50 for wine ralphs
The Hound: +70
Jaime and Brienne: +60
Tormund Giantsbane: +25
Jon Snow: +10
Gendry Baratheon: -40
Daenerys Targaryen: -200
Winner, week four: The Hound
Honorable mention: Podrick Payne
Still got it.