They say that love is a battlefield.
On Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4, however, the concept of love appeared to trump anything that happened on the battlefield...
... and it was exceptionally weird.
Following a succesful battle against the Night King, nearly everyone in Winterfell was in a celebratory mood on Sunday night.
That's fine and great and understandable and all.
We'd down a few pints of ale after defeating the army of the undead as well.
But focus was shifted so strongly away from what Dany described as the "last war" still to come against Cersei that many of our heroes and heroines cared more about plotting their romantic gestures than plotting their next attack.
This was no big deal when it involved poor Gendry (just made Lord of Storm's End) proposing to Arya and the young Night Kingslayer responded by saying she'll never be a Lady.
However, it was a far bigger deal when it centered on Jaime and Brienne shedding both their armor and their clothing.
These two have been through a lot together. There's a very clear and strong bond there.
But the show somehow couldn't leave it alone, couldn't just allow them to be respectful friends and battle partners.
It had to give us a storyline in which Jaime got jealous of Tormund hitting on Brienne and therefore got drunk and followed her into her bedroom and the two had sex and then acted like a pair of totally smitten teenagers.
Heck, totally middle middle schoolers, really.
Because they were just so in love, Jaime and Brienne chose to stay behind in Winterfell, even after a plan was devised for two groups (one by boat and one by land) to storm King's Landing and overthrow Cersei.
Yes, Brienne (a proud knight who may be the best fighter in all of Westeros) and Jaime (who should want nothing more than to murder his sister and who isn't a shabby fighter himself) stayed behind to hang out in bed all day.
This changed, of course, after Sansa made a remark about Cersei eventually getting hanged and then Jaime broke Brienne's heart by choosing to rush back and seemingly save his sister because he, too, is "hateful."
This reduced mighty Brienne of Tarth into a blubbering, crying mess and, just... WTF, Game of Thrones?!?
But it got far worse and less sensical on two other fronts.
First, Jon Snow proved that he was far better off when he knew nothing because he insisted on spilling the secret of his true identity to Sansa and Arya.
He did this after Dany begged him not to because she wanted to be Queen and he didn't -- and it didn't take a Tyrion-like mind to realize that Sansa would not just sit quietly on this information.
Dany basically threatened her lover to take this secret to his grave or else they'd never live peacefully as a couple and she'd never reign peacefully as a monarch.
Jon ignored her, however, and told Sansa and Arya everything.
At least we assumed he did so -- somehow, despite Jon's heritage being THE main plot point right now, the series chose to cut away and not give us Arya and Sansa's reaction to this bombshell.
Dany did prove to be prophetic, though, when Sansa barely lasted one scene before telling Tyrion everything.
This at least led to maybe our favorite scene of the episode, as Tyrion and Varys debated what the heck to do about it.
Jon is the true heir to the Iron Throne. He is reasonable and popular and, as Varys astutely pointed out, perhaps the ideal ruler is someone who actually does not want to rule at all.
But Tyrion remained steadfast in his opinion that Dany would make a great leader, despite her penchant for killing and her frightening talk earlier that it was her "destiny" to rid the world of tyrants.
She seemed totally fine doing this by burning King's Landing to the group and killing thousands of innocents in the process simply to dethrone Cersei.
Thankfully, Tyrion convinced his Queen to at least try and strike a bargain; to offer to spare Cersei's life in exchange for a quick surrender.
Cut to the final, most confounding and both suspenseful and irritating scene of the episode.
Cersei and her crew stood outside of the capitol's gates and Tyrion delivered their terms.
However, he did so while Cersei and her entourage held Missandei hostage.
She was handcuffed and standing up high alongside Cersei and Euron (who has been told the child in Cersei's belly belongs to him) and The Mountain.
This development raised several questions, chief among them:
- How did the Golden Army capture Missandei, who Grey Worm had told to get on a skiff as soon as things turned violent when the Unsullied approached King's Landing?
- How did the Golden Army even know who Missandei is?
- Was this scene really necessary?
Let's put aside the beef that many critics have, which is that a show lacking in diversity took a former slave and put her back in chains and then (SPOILER ALERT WE GUESS!) chopped her head off.
Let's just hone in on why this was even included in the episode ... outside of the broader political/societal points one could make about Game of Thrones.
Did we need yet another reminder that Cersei is a monster?
Tyrion pleaded with his sister to surrender at one point because he claimed she was decided NOT this type of non-human being.
But she has proven at every turn that she's as monstrous as they come! She blew up the Sept of Baelor and killed like hundreds of people at once just a short while ago!
The audience didn't need to be told yet again that Cersei is the absolute worst.
And Team Take This Bitch Down Forever shouldn't have ever thought differently, either.
It all felt unnecessary, akin to torture porn and a forced twist, orchestrated by the writers for full effect -- when the past seven-plus seasons have already been more than enough to prepare us for Dany taking on Cersei and pursuing what she believes is rightfully hers.
Whether Dany truly goes mad and goes all dracarys on King's Landing is an intriguing cliffhanger.
The closing shot of the Mother of Dragons in full-on motherf-cker mode was awesome.
But the time spent on supposed romances this week - concluding with the pain of Grey Worm watching his girlfriend get executed - felt out of place, not wholly earned and often extraneous.
Do you agree? What did you think overall??
Check out scenes below from Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5, which will allegedly be THE BEST THING EVER: