The penultimate episode of Game of Thrones airs on Sunday and we’re expecting an epic showdown. Eight seasons, 72 episodes, and around 69 hours (nice) have led to the final confrontation between the show’s major players — the ones that have survived this long, that is.
Throughout season 8, and for the remaining two episodes, Polygon is going deep on all things Thrones, recapping the show, explaining lore you may have forgotten, and asking questions about things that are still unclear. We’ll also remind you where and when to stream the episode (or where to catch up if you’ve fallen behind.)
[Ed. note: These next two sections contain spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8, through episode 4, “The Last of the Starks.” If you still need to catch up, scroll down to the last section, or check out our post on how to watch the season premiere.]
Game of Thrones episode 4 mini recap: The Last of the Starks
The first half of this episode was, frankly, extremely horny. After mourning their fallen comrades, the Northern and Eastern armies celebrate their victory over the Night King with plenty of ale and wine
and coffee. Tormund toasts the Dragon Queen, and Daenerys, in turn, toasts Arya and raises Gendry to the Lord of Storm’s End. He proposes to Arya, who gently reminds him that’s she’s not a lady and has never wanted to be.
Post-Night King Winterfell’s angst rivaled Degrassi High, complete with crying over a crush and secret-revealing drinking games. Brienne is embarrassed when Tyrion guesses that she’s a virgin, and leaves the feast. Jaime follows her and they consummate their relationship in an uncharacteristically tender love scene (for Game of Thrones). Podrick, meanwhile, whose sexual prowess is apparently legendary, leaves with two women.
After a wild night of fan service, the second half of the episode hit us with a terrible hangover. Many viewers were disappointed with what they saw as uncharacteristic moves from the characters they’ve grown to know and love.
Despite Daenerys literally begging Jon not to tell anyone that he’s a Targaryen, he brings Sansa and Arya in on the secret. Sansa turns around and tells Tyrion, who tells Varys, who points out that so many people know now it’s “no longer a secret, it’s information.” Later in the episode, Sansa tells the Hound that she would still be a “little bird” were it not for the torture and manipulation she received at the hands of Ramsay Bolton and Littlefinger, which was seen by many as an excuse for some of Game of Thrones’ more controversial choices. And in one of the final scenes, Jaime rides off towards King’s Landing and Cersei, leaving a crying Brienne in the Winterfell courtyard.
Finally, Daenerys and Cersei face off in King’s Landing after Euron’s fleet takes out Viserion and kidnaps Missandei. Though Tyrion tries to reason with his sister, the parley ends with the Mountain cutting off Missandei’s head. Her final words, Dracarys, might compel Daenerys to adopt a scorched earth policy in order to reclaim the Iron Throne.
What to expect in episode 5
The episode 5 preview is very reminiscent of the episode 3 preview, in which we see Winterfell’s armies preparing for the Night King’s assault but none of the carnage that follows. We can assume that episode 5 will follow a similar pattern, especially since Miguel Sapochnik, who directed previous epic Game of Thrones battles including the Battle of the Bastards and the Battle of Winterfell, is back behind the camera for episode 5.
Though Game of Thrones has been brutal about killing off even its major players, there are still some powerful pieces left on the board. We have a lot of questions and theories about what could go down in the Battle of King’s Landing.
Now that Drogon is the only one of Daenerys’ children left alive, could dragons be wiped out (again)? A glimpse of Qyburn’s new-and-improved Scorpion is seen in the preview, which doesn’t bode well for our scaly friend. Is there still wildfire stashed beneath the streets of King’s Landing? A blast of dragonfire could cause another disastrous explosion in the capital. What is Jaime planning? Is he returning to his sistere’s side because he just can’t quit her or is he going to bring his redemptive arc full circle by murdering the woman for whom he was willing to “murder every man woman and child in Riverrun?” Will Arya finally cross off the rest of the names on her list? And will Varys and Tyrion turn on their dragon queen now that they know of Jon’s true parentage?
We are sure of one thing, though: Cleganebowl definitely, absolutely must happen.
Where to watch season 8, episode 5
Episode 5 will air on HBO and (drop onto streaming services) at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 12. Here’s all the ways to watch Game of Thrones, whether directly from HBO or as a streaming service add-on.
Those who subscribe to HBO through a cable or satellite package can stream Game of Thrones live or on demand via the HBO Go service. The HBO Go app is available on most phones, tablets, smart TVs, and gaming consoles. Check if your device is supported at HBO’s Help Center.
Stream Game of Thrones on HBO Go.
Cord cutters can still watch HBO on the network’s own platform. HBO Now is a stand-alone service, so it doesn’t require a cable subscription or another streaming platform; you stream directly from the HBO Now website or app. A one-week free trial is available — after that, it’s $14.99 per month.
Stream Game of Thrones on HBO Now.
Hulu also offers an HBO add-on for $14.99, which allows live HBO streaming whether or not you subscribe to Hulu’s live TV subscription tier. Subscribing through Hulu, or any other streaming service, also grants access to HBO Now.
Stream Game of Thrones on Hulu.
In addition to the TV shows and movies available free to Prime members, Amazon offers add-on premium subscriptions through the Amazon Channels program. The HBO add-on costs $14.99 per month (the same as HBO Now).
Stream Game of Thrones on Amazon Channels.
Sony’s own TV subscription service, PlayStation Vue, is another streaming option. HBO is available as an add-on to a multi-channel package or as a stand-alone subscription. It costs $14.99 per month either way. The PlayStation Vue Ultra package, which costs $79.99 per month, includes HBO and Showtime.
Stream Game of Thrones on PlayStation Vue.
AT&T’s streaming service is the only subscription that includes HBO at its base level, though at $50 per month, it’s the most expensive plan on the market. Because DirecTV Now operates more like a traditional cable package, subscribers have access to HBO Go, rather than HBO Now.
Stream Game of Thrones on DirecTV Now.