'Game of Thrones' Final Season, Episode 4: What to Expect

Winter is dead. Now what?
Helen Sloan/HBO

The final season of HBO's Game of Thrones is finally at hand. Every week before a new episode, The Hollywood Reporter's resident Westeros expert Josh Wigler will offer up a guide to the must-see moments of the coming installment. What should you expect from the latest adventure of Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and anyone else who is still lucky enough to be alive? Who will die this week? What monstrous twists have creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss cooked up as Thrones rushes toward the end of the line? Chew on those questions and more in the story ahead.

Season 8, Episode 4: "The Last of the Starks"

Directed by: David Nutter

Written by: David Benioff and Dan Weiss

Airdate: May 5, 2019

Runtime: 78 minutes

Number in series: 71 out of 73

Where we left off: Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) shattered the Night King and expectations with one well-struck blow, stabbing the White Walker commander in the gut with a Valyrian dagger and ending the Army of the Dead's reign of terror in a single move. Even a week later, writing those words out feels utterly surreal, but it doesn't make them any less true: Not only is the Night King merely dead, he's really most sincerely dead. Sadly, so are Dolorous Edd (Ben Crompton), Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey), Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen), Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) and the red priestess Melisandre (Carice van Houten), all killed during the battle at Winterfell. 

What we expect to see: Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and the other residents of King's Landing, who have gone sight unseen since the final season premiere. Queen Cersei said she wouldn't join the fight against the Night King, and she lived up to her end of the deal. Now that the war is over and the focus is shifting back toward interpersonal conflicts, what can we expect from Cersei and her machinations? What schemes does she have up her sleeve, and how much wildfire does she plan to wield in her fight against Daenerys? Expect an accounting of Cersei's plan in this next episode, if not quite a full one. It's also safe to bet on a whole lot of fallout at Winterfell from the White Walker war, as Arya is feted for ending the war, while Jon Snow and Daenerys must finally address the elephant in the room. (Note: not an actual elephant; there's no budget for such creatures.)

What we won't see: White Walkers, because they're all dead. Beyond that? Really hard to say. We're in uncharted territory, folks. With the Night King gone at the midpoint of the final season, it feels like almost anything is fair game — except for some of the really far-out theories, like Syrio Forel's sudden return.

What we're hoping to see: Syrio Forel's sudden return, just because it would be such an unexpected left turn only one week after the unexpected left turn. 'Tis the season of Arya, afterall; whatever she wants, she should get. On a more serious note, here's hoping the final episode from director David Nutter contains what the celebrated filmmaker behind "The Rains of Castamere" and "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" does best: character moments that cut deep, whether it's as punishing as the Red Wedding or as rewarding as Brienne of Tarth's impromptu knighting ceremony. If Game of Thrones is ever going to offer up another "calm before the storm," it's now; after episode four, it's full-on through to the very final push.

Catch up on the past week of THR's Thrones coverage: 

Recap: Who Died in "The Long Night," And Why It Matters
• Podcast: "The Long Night," Explained
Interview: Bella Ramsey ("Lyanna Mormont")
• Interview: Jacob Anderson ("Grey Worm")
Interview: Carice van Houten ("Melisandre")
Interview: Vladimir Furdik ("The Night King")
Interview: Richard Dormer ("Beric Dondarrion")
Interview: Rowley Irlam (Stunt Coordinator)
• Deep Dive: How the Final Season's Most Shocking Death Played Out
• Deep Dive: 23 Burning Questions After the Battle of Winterfell
Deep Dive: Why Arya Stark is Likely to Die
Deep Dive: 15 Key Quotes From "The Long Night"
Deep Dive: Why the White Walker Threat May Not Be Over Yet
Forecast: What Comes After the Night King?
• Trailer: What's Next After the Battle of Winterfell
• Photos: Episode 4 Promises War After Winterfell
• Critic's Notebook: Why the Final Season of Game of Thrones Can't Win
• Critic's Notebook: Hollywood Reporter TV Critics Debate the Best Spring Shows Beyond Game of Thrones
• News: Game of Thrones Viewers Frustrated by Dark Cinematography
News: Game of Thrones Gets More Huge Ratings For "The Long Night"
News: Avengers Endgame vs. Game of Thrones: Who Won the Pop Culture Bloodbath?
News: Late-Night Hosts on Avengers: Endgame Breaking Box Office Records and Game of Thrones Battle
News: Game of Thrones Creators Set for Austin Film Festival Honor
• News: Game of Thrones Finale to Deadwood Movie: What's Coming to HBO in May

Evergreen Essentials:

• Running Times for the Final Season
• Complete Guide to the Final Season
• George R.R. Martin on the Final Season
• Season 8, Episode 1: Everything to Know Ahead of "Winterfell"
• Season 8, Episode 2: Everything to Know Ahead of "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms"
• Season 8, Episode 3: Everything to Know Ahead of "The Long Night"

Read all of THR's Final Path series, featuring character-by-character predictions:

1. Jon Snow
2. Daenerys Targaryen
3. Tyrion Lannister
4. Cersei Lannister
5. Jaime Lannister
6. Sansa Stark
7. Arya Stark
8. Bran Stark
9. Samwell Tarly
10. Theon Greyjoy
11. The Hound
12. Brienne of Tarth
13. Varys
14. Melisandre
15. Davos Seaworth
16. Jorah Mormont
17. Bronn
18. Tormund Giantsbane
19. Beric Dondarrion
20. The Dragons
21. The Night King
22. Across the World of Ice and Fire
23. Final Predictions

Follow THR.com/GameOfThrones for continuing coverage all season long.