Cersei Lannister's violence saves 'Game of Thrones' season 8 episode 4 from becoming an otherwise boring show
This article contains spoilers for season 8 episode 4.
When 'Game of Thrones' showrunners promised that the Red Wedding will seem like a small rehearsal compared to the great battle of Winterfell, and then gave us 'The Long Night', a lot of fans were left disappointed. Not only did it lack the blood and gore that the show has grown extremely popular for, but it also didn't give us any pivotal deaths apart from the colossal loss of Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey.) True, Ser Jorah also died and so did Theon Greyjoy, but none of the mains were harmed all that much, making fans believe that this season was going to be nothing but mild. That is until Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) decided to bring in her A-game in the recently aired episode 4, thus restoring the violent quotient that the HBO show is famous for.
The fourth and latest episode of Game of Thrones' final season 8, saw Cersei return to her ruthless ways when she made Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) march his fleet to ambush Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and kill her dragon-child, Rhaegal, while simultaneously capturing Khaleesi's advisor and closest friend, Missandie (Nathalie Emmanuel). Following that, Danerys marched off to demand total surrender from Cersei, but of course, the reigning Mad Queen of the Iron Throne wasn't having any of it.
Even as her brother and the hand of Daenerys, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) tried reasoning with her, bringing up her unborn child and her love for her children which has always been more than any other love she has ever known or loved, Cersei doesn't budge. Sticking to the choices she made all the way back in the initial episodes of this season, Cersei — far from surrendering — chose to indulge in the same violence that got her the label of the Mad Queen in the first place. Cersei beheaded Missandei, Daenerys' closest consort, the same day she ambushed her fleet and killed her dragon, this episode is what ended up making the Red Wedding look like a rehearsal dinner, purely because of how both characters died because of no fault of their own.
The episode picked up on the violence even when it came to Euron's fleet attacking Daenerys. The tension it created was beyond anything the battle of Winterfell offered, probably because as a viewer we had just started getting used to our favorite characters being safe for a while at least. And while Euron might have been carrying it out, let's not forget the mastermind behind it all was Cersei Lannister and her shrewd, cruel mind. When Tyrion tried reasoning with Cersei mentioning her unborn child, it was clear from the Lannister queen's expressions that this is not a woman who's going to surrender. But still, we clung on to the hope that maybe something inside her will melt and the fact that it did not happen only further establishes the twisted sadistic nature of the show.
Cersei resorting to violence establishing our faith in the violent roots of the show isn't the only good that came out of her actions. In her own way, she also helped an otherwise drab and boring episode turn into something beyond momentous. With her actions, she singlehandedly changed the plot arc of so many characters. Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) and Ser Davos' fate is in question now that they have marched off to King's Landing. On the other hand, Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is on his way back to Cersei, leaving a heartbroken Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) behind.
And more importantly, the whole Jon-Daenerys debate on which Targaryen should rule the Seven Kingdoms was also amplified. We now know that Daenerys is more likely to act on her emotions and rage than logic and rationale, so maybe that will cause her people to overturn and start looking at Snow to be more of the voice of reason. In short, Cersei Lannister just brutally beheaded the most innocent character on the show, and such is the charm of 'Game of Thrones' that we can't stop cheering for its dark undertones in all its violent glory.
'Game of Thrones' airs on Sundays, at 9 pm, only on HBO.