Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Discussing Game of Thrones: The Children & Final Thoughts on Season 4

* Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen “The Children.”

It’s the end of another season! After the epicness that was last week’s episode featuring the battle at the Wall, I really didn’t know how that could be topped. In the past the season finale has typically been a mellower affair than episode 9; in some ways this one was compared to all of the action sequences in the previous episode, but there were still several significant events. It is with great sadness that I present the last GoT recap for a while:

Jon Snow: Man with a Mance Mission

Jon heads to the Wildling camp to find/kill their leader, Mance Rayder. We haven't seen Mance in a while, and he notes that Jon is back in Night's Watch black. They talk about all the stuff that's happened, including Ygritte dying. Mance just wants to take the Wildlings south, away from the White Walkers; if the Night's Watch lets them through, they won't put up a fight. As Jon puts on his skeptical look, a horn blasts. Mance immediately thinks Jon brought reinforcements, but that's not who's knocking on the tent door. These troops carry Stannis Baratheon's banner! He actually listened to Davos (well, after Melisandre chimed in that it was a good idea and all) and went to the Wall. There was a cool aerial shot, showing the might of Stannis's forces compared to the Wildlings. When they meet face-to-face, Stannis is not impressed with Mance; Mance feels likewise about Stannis and won't kneel before him. Jon reveals to Stannis that Ned Stark was his father and advises Stannis to burn the bodies around them before they rise as White Walkers.

GoT Meets Frankenstein

Pycelle and Qyburn confer over the Mountain's critical condition. Oberyn Martell poisoned the tip of his spear, and now the Mountain is dying a horrible death (and rightfully so). Pycelle declares the Mountain a goner, but Qyburn thinks he can "save" the Mountain using the methods that lost him his maester's chain. Pycelle is outraged, and Cersei dismisses him as Qyburn gets to work.

Happy Father's Day

Cersei and Tywin are back to arguing about her marrying Loras Tyrell. With Joffrey dead and Myrcella in Dorne, Cersei won't leave Tommen for anything or anyone. She threatens to publicly acknowledge that the incest rumors between her and Jaime are true if Tywin continues to demand that she marry Loras. Cersei then tells Jaime what she said to their father, and then it gets all awkward . . . .

Bad Drogon, Bad!

In Meereen, Daenerys listens to disturbing back-to-back accounts from two of her subjects. The first is an elderly gentleman who actually misses his old life and wants to return to his former master. The next man brings the charred remains of his dead daughter, who was killed by Drogon. Reluctantly, Daenerys chains up the two dragons that haven't flown away.

And Now Their Watch Is Ended

Maester Aemon speaks at a memorial for the fallen Night's Watch brothers. The bodies are burned, Grenn among them. Jon and Melisandre make some eerie eye contact over the flames. Next Jon goes to see Tormund, who wants to know how he's going to be killed. Jon says that's Stannis's decision now, and he lets Tormund know that they're going to burn the bodies of all of the dead. Tormund tells Jon that Ygritte belongs in the real North, and so Jon builds a pyre for her away from the others.

The Children

Bran, Hodor, and the Reeds are struggling to journey on in the harsh weather. Jojen in particular is very weak and doesn't look too good. Bran is relieved to see the tree they've been searching for when suddenly these skeletons start popping up out of the ground and attack. Meera fights them with help from Bran warging into Hodor, but these skeletons mean business. A creepy looking girl rains down some fire on the skeletons and beckons Bran to follow her. Jojen gets stabbed, and the girl says they must leave him behind if they want to live. She is one of "The Children," beings who are really, really, really old. Bran finally meets the three-eyed crow, who is a man sitting on a tree throne. Bran is hopeful that he'll regain the use of his legs now that he's reached his destination, but creepy dude is like, no, but you'll fly!


Brienne and Pod are on their way to the Eyrie and who do they bump into? Arya and the Hound. I repeat: Brienne MEETS Arya. The Hound thinks Brienne is here to collect him for the Lannisters and draws his sword. They engage in an extremely NASTY fight, no holds barred. The Hound tumbles off a cliff, and Arya, meeting him where he's landed, is like, are you gonna die? He wants her to put him out of his misery, but instead she walks off with his money bag. Oh, and Brienne and Pod fail to figure out where Arya has gone. As crazy cool as the fighting was between Brienne and the Hound, I'm still not sure how I feel about this departure from the books.


Tyrion is lying in his cell when Jaime bursts in to bust him out, with help from Varys. Yeah! There's an "Awww" moment between the brothers which I loved despite the fact that in A Storm of Swords, Tyrion and Jaime part on very, very different terms. Anyway, Tyrion can't leave without paying his daddy one last visit. When Tyrion walks into Lord Tywin's chamber, guess who's occupying Tywin's bed? It's Shae! The two get into a physical fight that ends with Tyrion strangling her. Then he seeks out his father, who is uh, taking care of some business in the privy. FYI, that actually happened in the book. Tyrion aims his crossbow at his father, who doesn't believe Tyrion has the guts to kill him. But Tyrion does, and Lord Tywin dies on the toilet.

Sailing Away

After committing patricide, Tyrion is whisked away by Varys. Remember last season, when Varys opened up a big box that had a man in it? Well, Tyrion is now a man escaping in a box, with Varys accompanying on the ship. Arya boards a ship, too, this one headed for Braavos. Valar morghulis!

Final Thoughts on Season 4

Overall this season, I thought that the show was maybe feeling a bit of pressure from closing in on where the books are at this point. While there's still quite a bit of source material yet to be covered on the show, I felt like multiple story lines were dragged out, like Daenerys reaching Meereen and the Wildlings reaching the Wall. BUT, Episode 9, "The Watchers on the Wall," TOTALLY made up for everything. Totally. It was unquestionably my favorite of the season, and one of my all-time favorites. That episode made you want to fight alongside the brothers of the Night's Watch.

The other standout for me this season was Pedro Pascal's stellar performance as Prince Oberyn Martell, the Red Viper of Dorne. He wowed in every scene he was in, particularly in his visit to Tyrion's cell, when he tells Tyrion he'll be his champion in the trial by combat. And, of course, there was the trial itself. Oberyn was so close to pulling off an astounding victory over the Mountain, Gregor Clegane, and then . . . damn. I knew from the books that Oberyn was going to die, and I could not watch that part.

And now the wait for season 5 begins. I take comfort in the fact that the wait for this season flew by. In the meantime, I can always reread the books if I need a GoT fix that badly— Ally has been trying to get me to do a buddy reread with her for months, lol.

Peeps We Said Goodbye to This Season

RIP: Oberyn Martell, Tywin Lannister, Shae, Lysa Arryn, Jojen Reed, Pyp, Grenn, Ygritte, Styr, some giants. (And anyone else I forgot.)

Oh, and Joffrey died, too. May he burn in seven hells.


  1. I got teary when she shackled those dragons! And yay for Tyrion! Those two deserved it! I have to admit though, I feel bad for Mance, his way might be harsh but his intentions are good. I hope they work it out...

    1. The scene with the dragons was really sad; I'm not a big fan of hers, but even my ice cold heart felt for her, lol. The scene between Jaime and Tyrion- ahhhhh. And Mance is another classic Martin character; he deserted the Night's Watch, but he's just trying to get his peeps away from the White Walkers. The timelines on the show have really diverged from those in the books, so the next two seasons should definitely be interesting ....


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