Every word mattered on the latest episode of Game of Thrones, “The Last of the Starks.” Characters spoke carefully, especially Tyrion, whose final words to Cersei in Season 8, Episode 4 were meant to prevent a war between Daenerys and Cersei. Those words were also chosen with precision, attention to detail, and, most likely of all, the intention of separating Cersei from her closest ally, Euron Greyjoy.
Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones Episode 4, “The Last of the Starks.”
Before we dive into how Tyrion might have knowingly let some key information slip and possibly sow the seeds of a rift between Euron and Cersei, we need to know how we got here. Midway through “The Last of the Starks,” Euron led his Iron Fleet in an ambush on Daenerys and the remains of her army as they approached Dragonstone. During this attack, the Iron Fleet killed Rhaegal and captured Missandei, taking her prisoner to use as a bargaining chip so Dany would surrender to Cersei.
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At the end of the episode, Dany brings Tyrion, Grey Worm, and a handful of Unsullied to the gates of King’s Landing in hopes of asking for Cersei’s surrender and release of Missandei. Tyrion and Qyburn, the Hands of their respective queens, speak first about this surrender, but Qyburn reveals Cersei is in no mood to give in. Instead, Qyburn says Cersei demands Dany’s surrender or else she will kill Missandei.
This potential stalemate causes Tyrion to approach the King’s Landing gate and speak to Cersei directly, who stands on the Wall with Missandei, Euron, and the Mountain. As Tyrion pleads with her to meet him on his terms, he entreats her to think of her love for her children and goes on to say:
“But you’re not a monster. I know this. I know this because I’ve seen it. You’ve always loved your children. More than yourself, more than Jaime, more than anything. I beg you, if not for yourself, than for your child. Your reign is over, but that doesn’t mean your life has to end.”
Tyrion calling on Cersei to consider kindness and compassion for others the way she has shown kindness and compassion for her children — Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen, all of whom are dead now — seems like a smart move, even if it fails.
Tyrion’s mention of Cersei’s pregnancy in front of Euron, however, has the potential to really mess with her growing alliance with the Ironborn pirate. At this point, Euron thinks he’s the only one who knows about Cersei’s pregnancy because she’s carrying his baby.
But the audience knows Cersei has been claiming to be pregnant since Season 7, meaning that if she is carrying a baby, it’s probably Jaime’s, not Euron’s. At the end of Season 7, Tyrion guessed that his sister was pregnant, and she didn’t deny it.
It’s been a minute since Tyrion’s intellect has actually come in handy with Dany, but his casual acknowledgment of Cersei’s pregnancy — information Euron doesn’t think he should be privy to — could be the first step in breaking up their alliance.
Tyrion has been keen to get back in Dany’s good graces since that Season 7 conversation with Cersei, which forced Dany into a ceasefire she never agreed to. Since then, her trust in Tyrion has been waning and even though she’ll likely blame Missandei’s death on his inability to get Cersei to relent, hopefully, it will become clear to her that Tyrion helped seed some doubt in Euron’s mind about whether he can really trust Cersei.
Of course, you could argue that Tyrion has no way of knowing the details of Cersei and Euron’s relationship, in which case it makes no sense that he’d come up with this clever plan. But Tyrion and Jaime have been spending an awful lot of time together so far in Season 8 and have likely reconnected as brothers, and it’s possible they could have discussed Euron’s role offscreen.
In Season 8, Game of Thrones has done a fair amount of characters sharing important information with one another but not showing it to viewers. In “The Last of the Starks,” Bran told his sisters the truth about Jon’s lineage offscreen, and then the same thing happened in a conversation between Sansa and Tyrion.
So why can’t we also reason that Jaime told Tyrion about Euron? Jaime could have mentioned Euron’s obsession with getting into Cersei’s pants as a way of getting even more power, two goals that have been clear since Euron first arrived in King’s Landing in Season 7.
And even if Tyrion just got lucky, it could prove to be the key to defeating Cersei. Now that the seed has been planted, it may only be a matter of time before Euron turns on Cersei or at least demands an explanation that she can’t provide.
If that happens, Euron will likely turn on his ally, and even if we don’t expect to him to side with Jon and Dany instead, simply losing the Iron Fleet would be a crushing blow to Cersei just when she needs all the support she can get.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays on HBO at 9 p.m. Eastern.