Tales From Westeros – The Children
Wow geeks, can you believe that Season 4 of Game of Thrones is already over?! It feels like it was just the other week when I wrote the opening review to the season, and here is your faithful Lilith bringing you the review of the stunning conclusion to this season. I just want to give a shout out to Izzy Vassilakis Eden, it was a real treat getting to read your weekly reviews and discussions this season. But now I bring you my take on this season finale, titled “The Children”, leaving us another 10 months until we can again indulge in our weekly dose of blood, boobs, and dragons. As always, spoilers to follow.
After last week’s entire episode dedicated to the Wall I guess it is not surprising that this week’s episode starts on the Wall. Our fearless Jon Snow is heading towards the woods on the north side of the wall, planning to strike a bargain with the wildlings there. Mance Rayder, head of the wildling army that just struck a huge blow to the Night’s Watch on the battle the night before, sits down with Snow in his tent to discuss potential negotiations. I actually rather liked this talk. All too often in GoT we see deceitful, lying, manipulative characters. So watching these two drink to the loss of their comrades while discussing a potential truce was rather comforting for once. Of course it didn’t last, and Snow reveals his intentions of potentially assassinating Rayder, but just as Snow’s attempt is about to thwarted we hear an army approaching.
This was actually a nice surprise for me. We didn’t know where Stannis Baratheon was from the last couple episodes, but here he is, with his army right behind him. I have to admit I breathed a sigh of relief: thank goodness Stannis finally made an appropriate decision and decided to abandon King’s Landing to defend the North Wall. While the wildlings now seem defeated I do wish the Night’s Watch would have considered the wildlings’ proposal. Afterall, the white walkers are a gruesome force that it would do well for people to unite against.
Our story continues in the north following Bran, Hodor, and their group as they continue following the path of the three-eyed raven. Finally reaching the heart tree in his visions, they approach the base of the tree only to be attacked by wights from below. I have to admit, this scene was rather surreal for me: for a brief moment I thought “Am I watching Warm Bodies or Game of Thrones?”. Our first major death of the episode occurs as Jojen is stabbed to death but implores his sister Meera to continue onward and help Bran survive. My favorite direwolf Summer finally does some damage with the wights, and Bran wargs into simpleton Hodor again, doing some serious damage to the zombies. I had a moment where I wondered where did Bran learn to fight like that? But I guess I rationalized the answer to that by the fact that he was raised a Stark and therefore should have been taught to fight.
The remainder of our group make it in to a cave below the tree, led by a strange child that is a descendent of trees. And we reach the center of this cave which is filled with an old man that has grown in to the tree roots. The man admits that he is actually the three-eyed raven Bran has been dreaming about, and that it is his duty to teach Bran to fly. All very ominous and cliff-hanger like. Thanks GoT. Leaves us with a lot of questions at the end of the season. And did anyone else think that ancient tree dude looked like Sarumon?
Now you all know that I pretty much watch GoT for the dragons. And so our stint in Slaver’s Bay with Daenerys was a little sad for me this week. Daenerys has pretty much abandoned her quest to conquer the Iron Throne in favor and becoming a more consistent queen in these distant lands. But this week she finds out that her dragons have barbecued more than sheep: an infant child was killed by her largest dragon Drogon and so she is forced to chain up the smaller two of her dragons while Drogon is still missing. I have a lot of hope that Daenerys will go on to be a powerful queen of the seven kingdoms in seasons to come, but her character now, and repeated struggle to make the right decisions for her new subjects, is making me a little pessimistic.
Meanwhile in King’s Landing the Lannisters are a big hot mess. Cersei refuses to marry Lord Tyrell and tells her father this. When he tells her to grow up and get over it she admits to him her incestuous ways with her brother Jaime to him. Tywin refuses to believe it, but obviously needs to let out some frustration. And all is well in the land of rape and incest, as Cersei turns to her brother again for comfort, forgiveness, and good old-fashioned sibling sex.
This leads to the perfect set up to what was in my opinion the best scene of the entire episode: we’ve all been sitting on the edge of our seats terrified that George R. R. Martin is going to kill the last amazing character we have to route for. That’s right, is our favorite town imp Tyrion going to get the ax or not? You can bet your asses that I was shouting with joy when Jaime sprung our little lion from jail for a hasty escape from the capital. And as much as it was heart-breaking to see his Shae waiting in bed for Tywin, thank goodness Tyrion got the best of her, strangling her with her own necklace as he sobbed about the horror of it all. To top it all off Tyrion gets the best revenge we’ve seen on the show yet, killing his own father with a crossbow while he sits on the toilet taking a shit. Way to go Tyrion, I am personally looking forward to seeing more Tyrion triumphs and adventures in future seasons.
While we all might have been overjoyed by the death of Tywin, Martin has to make us feel sad about at least one death this episode. A character that we have probably all gotten a little too strangely attached to fills that role: The Hound. Brienne runs in to Arya and the Hound on the road, and the two behemoths rush in to an all out battle over who gets to be Arya’s caretaker. I realized as I watched this fight scene play out that I would be sad either way, as I have grown a little attached to both characters. Ultimately Brienne throws the Hound over a cliff and he breaks his femur. He then begs Arya to take his life rather than let him slowly die on the side of the road, but she just looks at him and walks away, getting her silent revenge and crossing him off her list of people to kill in her mind. Of course we technically don’t know if the Hound dies, but it does seem rather imminent.
And finally we reach the end of our ventures in Westeros this season. As much as I was a fan of this season, I did find this ending a little lack-luster. Arya ends up on a ship heading to Braavos using her lucky coin from her faceless assassin friend, staring off in to the distance from the front of the ship, leaving us to imagine what will come next.
There you have it folks. Now I will just rant that I hate how TV shows these days are only 10 episodes long: here’s to hoping we can get some extended GoT seasons in the future!!
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Posted on June 18, 2014, in Geekology, Tales from Westeros, TV and tagged Game of Thrones, Geeks, George R.R. Martin, HBO, Tales from Westeros, TV, Tyrion Lannister, Westeros. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.