(Photo by HBO)The dawn of a new day breaks on Westeros in “The Last of the Starks,” episode 4 of Game of Thrones season 8. And it’s a grim one.The pyres are piled high with bodies of every stripe: Dothraki, Night’s Watch, Northern warriors, Mormonts, a Dondarrion, and on.How do you follow that? Lots of alcohol.1. Funeral(Photo by HBO)The remaining revengers assemble to say goodbye to the heroes who gave their lives fighting the army of the dead. (The revenging will have to wait – though not for long.)“They were the shields that guarded the realms of men, and we shall never see their like again,” Jon Snow says, in a nod to the Night’s Watch creed.Ghost survived, so we have that to thankful for. We’ll later see that he was battered and had his ear torn, and we wonder why Jon wouldn’t pull a surviving stable boy aside and tell him to – gently – tend to the direwolf, feed him, and give him a bath. That wolf is still covered in wight funk the last time we see him.2. Dinner(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)At dinner, Daenerys legitimizes Gendry: He is now Lord Gendry Baratheon of Storm’s End.Tyrion and Ser Davos continue their strange friendship in the only eulogy that Melisandre will likely receive.“To Arya Stark, the hero of Winterfell,” Daenerys says, but Arya is nowhere to be found.Tyrion outs Brienne as a virgin, which is so not cool to do in public that we really wish Tyrion would never drink again. At least Brienne gets something out of it Then there was the Starbucks cup controversy:You re telling me they had TWO YEARS to put together a decent show and they couldn t even spot the goddamn Starbucks cup in Winterfell??!?! #GameOfThrones pic.twitter.com/8opg7nyydv Jenna Guillaume (@JennaGuillaume) May 6, 20193. Relationship Drama(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)Gendry finds Arya, tells her his good news, and proposes to her in a hugely romantic gesture. She turns him down (we think): “I’m not a lady. I never have been. That’s not me.” But she can totally be a “not a lady” with Gendry — in a nice, historic castle with lands and loyal bannermen to grab some ale after work with.Who was that smiling at Podrick after dinner? She’s in for a surprise. Later, he embraces both her and a woman whose advances The Hound spurned. Correction: They’re in for a surprise.Jaime seduces Brienne – “I’ve never slept with a knight before” – then leaves her. On his way out, he confesses to her that he pushed Bran from the tower, he strangled his cousin, and he would have murdered everyone at Riverrun for Cersei: “She’s hateful. And so am I.” Brienne sobs. Been there, girl.Tormund’s wildling heart breaks at dinner over Brienne. The Hound is not interested. Willa says he can touch her, and Tormund miraculously recovers.And Gilly is pregnant. Can’t help but wonder: Will full-Craster Little Sam inherit Horn Hill or this half-Craster–Tarly child?4. Daenerys UnravelsAt dinner, Daenerys becomes crazy-eyed jealous when Tormund puts Jon in the spotlight and calls him “king.” Her seething gets Varys’ attention.Later in private, Daenerys tells Jon she loves him, but their kinship stops him mid-snog. She wants to un-know that he’s Rhaegar’s child. When he tells her that he has to tell Arya and Sansa who he is, she replies, “I’ve never begged for anything, but I’m begging you. Don’t do this. Please.”She’s under stress and people are seeing her sweat. “We’ll rip her out root and stem,” Daenerys says in a strategy session. You can see the mad king ranting and burning Starks in Varys’ eyes when he looks at her.Tyrion and Varys convince Daenerys not to immediately burn down the Red Keep and all of the innocents Cersei has gathered to her side as dragon-fodder should Daenerys attack.When Sansa suggests – Daenerys: stop talking, Sansa.“We have won the Great War. Now we will win the Last War,” Daenerys promises, and looks at Sansa. “In all Seven Kingdoms, men will live without fear and cruelty – under their rightful queen.” (Her attitude will come back to bite Daenerys in the butt when Sansa weighs whether or not to share a big secret.)5. Family DramaDebbie DayJon agonizes during the Stark family meeting in the godswood over whether to tell his sisters that he s really their cousin. Arya calls him “brother,” as in full rights to bogart the TV remote brother. He s dying inside and tells Bran to tell them – he’s not officially responsible for having told them if Bran tells him, right? He never really promised Daenerys that he wouldn’t anyway.Despite promising to keep his secret, Sansa promptly tells Tyrion, who promptly tells Varys, who notes that it’s no longer a secret, but is now “information” (which is a commodity he trades in).“A Targaryen father and a Stark mother – Jon’s the one man alive who might actually be able to keep the North in the Seven Kingdoms,” Varys says.Tyrion calls Varys’ musings “treason.”“You know where my loyalty stands. You know I will never betray the realm,” Varys says, in what may be the most important exchange in the episode.6. R.I.P.(Photo by HBO)When the Targaryen fleet drops anchor off of Dragonstone, Euron Greyjoy attacks. He has mounted scorpions on the front of his ships and unleashes on Rhaegal, who dies horrifically and plunges into the sea. Daenerys moves to attack, but retreats when she realizes how vulnerable Drogon is. Euron then attacks the Targaryen fleet, and, we later find out, takes Missandei prisoner.Tyrion, Daenerys, Grey Worm, and a group of Unsullied arrive at the walls of King’s Landing to deliver a message: surrender and release Missandei of Narth. Instead, The Mountain beheads Missandei, whose last word is “Dracarys,” indicating to her queen, we thought, that she should burn King’s Landing to the ground.(Photo by HBO)Plus, Arya takes the King’s Road with The Hound to settle some “unfinished business.” (Arya says she doesn’t plan on coming back to Winterfell, which sounds ominous – Sansa only just got her sister back. Don t leave me alone with weird Bran!) Bronn negotiates with the Lannister brothers: Their lives in exchange for Highgarden, the former home of the extinct House Tyrell. And, Jon tells Tormund to take Ghost with him beyond the Wall. OK, but who doesn’t hug their direwolf when they leave forever? Bad form, Aegon Targaryen, sixth of his name.Next week on episode 5: The Last War.What was your favorite moment of the episode? Tell us in the comments!Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.
Long before Zack Snyder’s big-screen stab at Watchmen, prevailing wisdom was that writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons’ epic, genre-defining graphic novel was impossible to adapt for the screen. The 2009 feature film treatment did little to counter the argument — the movie has a 64% score on the Tomatometer. Damon Lindelof’s upcoming HBO effort might have better luck. The new series is not an exact adaptation, but a sequel in series format, and it is still under particular scrutiny going into its October 20 premiere.Fortunately, the creator has a secret weapon up his sleeve: namely, a pair of Oscar-winning leads in Regina King and Jeremy Irons.Set 30 years and change after the events of the original source material (which Lindelof considers canon and does not stray from), this Watchmen follows — among other things — the rise of a white supremacist terrorist group called the Seventh Cavalry and the masked police force in Tulsa, Oklahoma, tasked with finding them out and taking them down. King stars as detective Angela Abar (aka Sister Knight), while Irons’ character, on the other hand, has been sealed tight in secrecy. Many theories and leaks suggest that he’s playing an aged Ozymandias from the original novels, but how he fits into the plots of Sister Knight and the Seventh Calvary remains unclear. One thing is certain: Both roles give the inimitable acting talents a lot to play with.(Photo by Colin Hutton/HBO)The two joined Lindelof, series director Nicole Kassell, and castmates including Jean Smart, Hong Chau, and Tim Blake Nelson on stage at New York Comic Con on October 4, where they teased what’s to come in the much-anticipated, 10-episode first season, and King and Irons shared exactly how the creator of Lost and The Leftovers courted them for his latest buzzy project.“Damon took me to lunch,” Irons said in his iconic drawl, admitting that he didn’t fully understand what he was getting himself into. “[He] talked for an hour and a half, very quickly, with enormous enthusiasm, showing me that he had an imagination of an enormous wit. And I ate, and I understood about, I don’t know, 10 percent of what he was saying…. So I ate well, and at the end, I thanked him for his time and I left.”While the content of the graphic novel and the world that Lindelof was creating here was lost on Irons (“He was talking about this graphic novel/comic book world of which I knew nothing because I live in England and I’m over 45. Somehow that whole world had passed me by!”), the actor was left “fascinated” by the man pitching him from across the table.“He gave me bits of the script, which I had read, and it amused me hugely,” Irons continued, “but mainly all I thought was: That man who I just had lunch with has such energy and enthusiasm, I don’t know what he’s going to do, and I don’t know what he’s going to make, but if he thinks that I can be of some help in this story, then I’m on board.”King, an Emmy nominee for her work with Lindelof on season 2 of The Leftovers, was similarly wooed, but not until he broke one of his own filmmaking rules to hire her. Prior to King, the creator had adamantly never worked with actors on more than one project. “It was a dumb rule!” he exclaimed to the NYCC audience.“I’m glad I didn’t know about rule, because I would’ve thought that it was a joke,” King chimed in before recounting how she received a letter and script from Lindelof to her personal address. “It came directly to my house and it had the loveliest letter that said this is his next project, it’s dear to him, and he couldn’t see anyone else to be on this train with.”Talk about an opening line — King admitted that from that moment, she didn’t “even really care what I’m about to read, I’m in it!” But what really sold her was Lindelof’s inclusion of a sealed envelope midway through the script that instructed: “Regina: Don’t open this until you get to this page. Don’t cheat!” So upon getting to the envelope in the script (it was tucked between the first pages of Sister Knight’s introduction), she opened it. “I opened it up and it was an artist’s rendering of my face as Sister Knight,” King said to a round of applause from her audience.“It would’ve been very awkward if you had said no,” Lindelof said. “Very, very awkward.”King s first thoughts on reading the script? She related: “I had never read anything like this. I had never seen this world, I had never seen this woman before. So complex How could I not say yes? Just tell me where I have to show up.”Watchmen premieres Sunday, October 20 at 9 p.m. on HBO.Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.