HBO‘s eighth and final season of Game of Thrones continued Sunday night with “The Last of the Starks,” a conversation-laden episode dotted with surprising deaths and dramatic couplings.
As always, we’re here to bring you the most important details, references, and smaller moments on the episode you might have missed. Keep reading to see each detail, including the rogue coffee cup spotted on the Winterfell table.
The opening credits changed yet again following the destruction of Winterfell.
The animated credits for the eighth season of Game of Thrones have been changing incrementally depending on the episode’s events.
Last week the Army of the Dead was shown right outside the walls of Winterfell, but this week a collection of funeral pyres was stationed in that spot. The main keep of the castle was also shown in disarray, with the interior all smashed up as part of the battle’s aftermath.
The Night’s Watch eulogy Jon Snow gave hasn’t been heard in full since the fourth season.
Jon Snow spoke at the mass funeral for the fallen Battle of Winterfell soldiers, and he used the same framework we heard from Maester Aemon after the battle at Castle Black.
“Everyone in this world owes them a debt that can never be repaid,” Jon said. “It is our duty and our honour to keep them alive in memory, for those who come after us and those who come after them, for as long as men draw breath. They were the shields that guarded the realms of men, and we shall never see their like again.”
Maester Aemon’s version was delivered on the fourth season finale, “The Children.”
“They died protecting men, women, and children who will never know their names,” Aemon said. “It is for us to remember them, our own brothers. We shall never see their like again.”
When Maester Aemon died on the following season, Samwell Tarly was the one who delivered a heartfelt send off for him, though that eulogy was much more personalised.
Daenerys had a brand new Targaryen-red costume for the feast scene, and it’s the first time she’s worn this much of her House colour.
For Winterfell’s celebratory feast scene, Daenerys was dressed in a fully red dress/coat with a black panel running down its front.
The House Targaryen colors of red and black have had a presence in her costumes, though never before was it this pronounced.
The costumes are carefully crafted to reflect characters’ journeys, so this is potentially a major hint about Daenerys’ future actions.
Costume designer Michele Clapton told INSIDER last season that each “little bit” of clothing or jewellery worn “says something about the character.”
At the start of the seventh season, as seen above, Daenerys was only just starting to wear hints of red.
“With Dany in particular, finally we’re getting the [Targaryen] red,” Clapton said. “She was a confused woman, she was wandering … trying to seek something. And now she’s finally got her armor, she’s finally got everything, and she can finally echo the style of her brother with the extended shoulders and the red and the symbolism.”
The red dress Daenerys wore for Sunday’s episode is the most extreme version of this we’ve seen yet, and we doubt it’s coincidental she was in full-Targaryen mode when she was pressuring Jon to never speak a word about his claim to the Iron Throne.
Bran mentions Daeron Targaryen, one of Jon Snow’s ancestors who’s somewhat of a historical hero for Jon in the books.
While talking to Tyrion about his wheelchair, Bran brings up Daeron Targaryen, one of Jon’s ancestors who was crowned King as a young teen. In George R.R. Martin‘s books, Jon Snow mentions Daeron in one of his very first chapters.
While talking to his Uncle Benjen about joining the Night’s Watch, Jon insists he’s not too young because “Daeron Targaryen was only 14 when he conquered Dorne.”
Benjen points out that Daeron was also assassinated when he was 18. This was the earliest possible foreshadowing of Jon’s own coming death at the hands of the Night’s Watch men when he was little more than a teenager (in the books).
“Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss appeared on the episode as two wildlings.
As Benioff and Weiss point out in HBO’s “The Game Revealed” video, they were made up to look like battle-worn wildlings for Winterfell’s feast scene. You can spot them smiling and saluting Jon Snow as Tormund brags about the former-King in the North’s accomplishments.
There was a coffee cup left sitting on the high table by Daenerys.
Podrick Payne swooped in after Sandor Clegane yelled at one of the Winterfell gals, and left the feast with two women.
Maintaining his reputation as a master in the arts of seduction, Podrick was shown in the background wooing not one but two women at the feast. They leave the room together just as Sandor and Sansa begin to talk.
Arya repeated a line from the first season when she turned down Gendry’s proposal.
Gendry asked Arya to marry him after he was made Lord of Storm’s End, but the youngest Stark girl wasn’t interested.
“I’m not a lady,” Arya said. “I never have been. That’s not me.”
Back on the first season, Arya told Ned the same thing when he tried telling her about her future.
When Ned told Arya that Bran would grow up to be the lord of a castle, Arya asked if she could be a lord, too.
“You will marry a high lord and rule his castle,” Ned said. “And your sons shall be knights and princes and lords.”
“No,” Arya replied. “That’s not me.”
That same season one scene was referenced when Arya saw her direwolf Nymeria again.
After trying to get Nymeria to come with her to Winterfell, Arya watched her full-grown direwolf leave. She smiled sadly and said, “That’s not you.”
Arya didn’t mean that literally — she was referring to the fact that Nymeria wasn’t some domestic pet that would follow Arya around anymore, in the same way that Arya wasn’t following the rules a high-born girl should.
Aside from the Golden Company, the Dornish army is the only force in Westeros who hasn’t partaken in any of the season’s many battles.
Of each of Westeros’ Seven Kingdoms, Dorne is the only one whose army was left wholly intact. They were supposed to join in the fight last season, but Yara Greyjoy‘s fleet was attacked and sunk before she could get to Dorne and ferry the soldiers back to Daenerys.
Varys says there’s a new Prince of Dorne, but doesn’t reveal his name.
Back on the fifth season when more Dornish characters were introduced, the show cut out Quentyn Martell, Prince Doran’s oldest son in the books.
Then the show killed off Doran and the one son they did introduce, Trystane.
Is it possible the show is somehow adding Quentyn back in? Or did some random Dornish man name himself the new prince? Based on the show’s canon of characters, the entire Martell line was eradicated when Ellaria Sand had Prince Doran and Trystane killed.
We’ll have to wait for the final two episodes to see where the new Dornish subplot is headed.
The episode was titled “The Last of the Starks,” a reference to this key scene in the godswood.
HBO has been keeping the new episode titles a secret, so if you were watching live on Sunday night you might not have realized the episode was called “The Last of the Starks,” a line pulled right from the episode itself.
“We’re family,” Arya told Jon. “The four of us. The last of the Starks.”
This episode was heavy on scenes revolving around the Stark versus Targaryen division, and with Daenerys positioned as a potential tragic hero (or villain, depending on your perspective), it’s very interesting to have such a Stark-focused episode title for this instalment of the final season.
Jon Snow isn’t just one of the few remaining characters alive with Stark blood in his veins. He’s the only person in the history of Westeros to be a trueborn Targaryen and Stark, and heir to the Iron Throne.
When Tyrion was trying to reason with Bronn, he started to say one of the show’s most iconic adages.
“Power resides where men believe it resides, “ Tyrion began saying before Bronn cut him off.
This was the pearl of wisdom Varys gave to Tyrion back on the second season.
While Tyrion was exercising his power as acting Hand of the King, Varys came to him with a riddle. If a sellsword found himself in front of a king, a priest, and a rich man, which person would the sellsword obey?
This, of course, was a trick question.
“Power resides where men believe it resides,” Varys told Tyrion. “It’s a trick, a shadow on the wall. And a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”
Like Daenerys earlier, Cersei appeared towards the end of the episode in a new red gown, and her staple Lannister necklace is back.
Ever since the death of her eldest son Joffrey on season four, Cersei has mostly worn black on “Game of Thrones.” She occasionally wore a lighter pink or blue gown, but her primarily monotone (albeit incredibly intricate) wardrobe was a marker of her grief.
But now she’s back in the deep Lannister red, a colour we haven’t seen consistently since the second season. Her lion’s claws are back out at full force now that she sees Daenerys Targaryen’s weakened position, as proven by the execution of Missandei.