My husband and I have been joking that the “Previously on Game of Thrones” recap should really be called “Previously on Spoilers” because it often reminds the viewers of certain storylines only to spoil something in that night’s episode. There was a touch of that in last night’s season finale.
As always the credits give certain things away. In episode 8 Arya and Sansa were on the verge of be reunited when Arya and the Hound found out that Lysa had died. When I did not see Sophie Turner in the opening credits I knew that there would be no Sansa and thus no reunification for the two Stark Sisters. It’s too bad that the credits themselves can be a spoiler but oh well.
I wasn’t surprised when I found out the season finale was going to be sixty six minutes. Since episode nine took place entirely at the Wall there was a lot of ground to cover before the show leaves us for ten months.
The episode began where all of episode nine took place, up north at the Wall. Jon walked off to find Mance Rayder and kill him. I was surprised that Jon was able to get to Mance so easily. I was expecting some kind of confrontation beforehand but all Jon had to do was hold up his hands and say he was there to negotiate.
I think Kit Harrington is a very attractive man and I’ve tried to be very patient with his acting but he’s driving me crazy. When he told Mance that Ygritte was dead it was a perfect opportunity for Jon/Kit to show some kind of emotion but instead his face was a blank slate. Come on Kit, you’re being given amazing material here, be more expressive!
Anyway…I found it interesting that Mance told Jon that the Wildlings don’t want to destroy the wall and the Night’s Watch. What they want is to be protected by the wall because winter is coming. Obviously, the White Walkers are the common enemy these two groups have always had.
Over the course of this season I felt like the show was changing the way that the Wildlings were portrayed. In the first three seasons I thought they were misunderstood, that they weren’t these awful devils that the Night’s Watch made them out to be. But then this season their savagery was shown more. Which portrayal of the Wildings is correct? My guess is both. After all, they are not one group but a hundred warring groups that have been united under one man. I felt that this episode did do a good job of bridging the gap between the two different portrayals of the Wildings.
As Jon and Mance were having their talk a new batch of soldiers arrived. And those soldiers belonged to Stannis…Unfortunately, this is something that the recap gave way…Jon made his identity as Ned’s son known to Stannis and it probably saved Mance from being killed.
In King’s Landing the battle between the Mountain and Oberyn Martell has left the Mountain in bad shape. It looks possible that even though Oberyn is dead that may get his vengeance on the Mountain after all because his sword had poison on it and that poison is now killing the Mountain. Cersei was doing everything she could to save the Mountain from dying. At the end she asked if the possible cure might make him weaker and the answer was no. Not only was the answer no but it was implied that it might make him stronger. The thought of a stronger (and crazier) Mountain is truly a terrifying thought.
Cersei next confronted her father in a scene that I absolutely loved. I usually hate Cersei but I always hate Tywin. In the scene Cersei protested her arranged marriage to Loras Tyrell, which she’s protested many times before, and once again Tywin said that she must do it for the good of the family. With Joffrey dead and Myrcella in Dorne (where things can’t be good for her after Oberyn’s death) Cersei only has one child to protect, Tommen. She said that if she marries Loras she’ll be sent away and Tywin and Margery will fight over Tommen and tear him apart. Tywin continued to scoff at her and then then Cersei went for broke saying that she would do whatever she could to protect Tommen and that she would burn the house down I order to protect her son. Tywin asked how and Cersei revealed the truth about her relationship with Jamie. What better way to destroy her father and make him back off than the show him that all the awful things he’s done “in the name of the family” have all been in vain. I don’t often like Cersei but I did like her in that moment.
Cersei then went to Jamie and told her that she told their father about him. Then the two of them celebrated the outing of their incestuous fucked up relationship by having sex on a table. I did question Cersei’s motives in this scene. It makes sense that she could got to Jamie to tell him and kind celebrate but I also wondered if she was using sex as a way to distract Jamie from the fact that Tyrion was about to be executed.
Seasons one and three ended with great moments of triumph for Dany but things did not end on a positive note for her this season. In Meereen, she is once again hearing the plight of her people. One man is complaining that after the slaves were freed he lost his identity. As a slave he was a teacher but as an old free former slave he is nothing. He wanted Dany to let him go back to his former master so he could be a teacher again. Dany agreed to this…I was struck by how despite Dany’s pure intentions the consequences of her actions are not as clean cut as she imagined they would be. She can’t force the people she conquers/ frees to change. I was already left wondering if she was lost without Jorah.
Then came the real devastating news for Dany; one of her dragons, Drogon, has been flying around free and has now roasted a three year old little girl. Obviously, Dany is in an impossible situation.
Her Dragons are her ultimate weapon that may allow her to one day reclaim the Iron Throne but she can’t have them on the loose killing little kids. So she made the heart wrenching decision to lock up the two dragons that are still with her. It was really sad to see Viserion and Rhaegal cry out for her as she walked away from them, just as it was sad to see the look on her face as she left them…I fear that even if Dany is the “victor” at the end of this story it will come at a high price.
Back at the wall the dead bodies were being burned. I was a little worried when Melisandre caught a glimpse of Jon. There is no way that can be good.
Jon’s last scene of the season was of him burning Ygritte’s body north of the wall.
He may know nothing but I do think he knew that they loved each other. I will really miss her in season 5.
Jon is the character that has gotten the most attention north of the wall but I am for more interested in Bran’s storyline and I became even more intrigued after the season finale. Just as Bran and his crew were about to reach their destination they were attacked by something we hadn’t seen before, some weird ice zombie creatures. I literally said, “What the fuck?” when I saw them. Bran was able to help out by worging into Hordor but Jojen wasn’t able to escape the attack by the ice zombies. Bran, Hodor and Meera were only able to escape because some little girl, that knew who Bran was, came to their rescue ushering them into a cave where the ice zombies couldn’t follow.
It’s been clear for several seasons that Bran has been driven north to an extent that he must leave everything behind and after last night it’s clear they’ve been waiting for him as well. The little girl identifies herself as a member of “the children” and that, “he waits for you.”—Who is he?
It turns out the he is the three eyed raven but in this point he’s some kind of man who says he has been waiting for all of them but Bran has come late in the hour. I think line indicates that in the future Bran’s storyline will be vital to that is happening in the rest of the story but that he almost took too long. I believe Bran will be vital in protecting or saving something, we just don’t know what that is yet…The heartbreaking part of this scene was when the Three Eyed Raven Man said Bran would get back what he has lost and Bran asked if he would walk again and the answer was that he will never walk again but he will fly. I felt really bad for Bran, that poor boy was the first character in this saga to lose something and he’s been on this quest and clearly what he was hoping for won’t come true.
Heading back south of the wall we found Brienne and Pod on their quest to find Sansa when they stumbled across…Arya and the Hound. During Brienne and Arya’s brief exchange I was struck with how the two of them are similar spirits. Both are tough tomboys who never wanted to be ladies.
But things did not go well after this initial exchange. The Hound was under the impression that Brienne was working for the Lannisters and this was only strengthened when Brienne confessed that her sword was given to her by Jamie. I knew the scene was building to a battle where either Brienne or the Hound would die. I was very torn, I absolutely love Brienne but I don’t dislike the Hound either. In the end the fight between Brienne and the Hound left Brienne victorious as the Hound went falling off a small cliff. But Brienne’s victory was short lived because Arya ran away. Despite all of her efforts Brienne still has not been able to actually do anything to help Arya or Sansa…and in a way she hurt Arya’s efforts here because Arya has no reason to trust Brienne and without the Hound she’s all by herself.
Instead of going with Brienne and Pod Arya hid and then went down to the Hound. He basically begged her to kill him. He tried everything from asking her nicely to trying to make her angry, by saying he should have rapped Sansa at the Battle of Blackwater, but she didn’t kill him. She took his money and walked away. Why didn’t Arya kill the Hound and put him out of his misery and cross another name off of her revenge list? I think there are two answers. I think part of Arya did become attached to the Hound and she couldn’t bring herself to finish him off, but I think the bigger part was that she didn’t want him to have a quick death. It was better for her to leave him to suffer.
Of course, the big question for the season finale was centered on whether Tyrion would die or not. Despite the fact that nobody is safe on this story still didn’t believe that Tyrion would die following the Mountain’s victory over Oberyn Martell in episode 8. I turns out I was correct. Tyrion’s first scene in this episode involved Jamie helping him escape (so much for my worry that Cersei’s having sex with him on the table would distract him from being upset about Tyrion). Tyrion and Jamie’s last interaction was a nice one (which apparently is very different than in the books). Tyrion was supposed to meet Varys and escape but for some reason Tyrion turned around and headed back into the castle. I was utterly confused by this (my husband informed me Tyrion has a very clear reason in the books, one that I won’t reveal but I will say I think it was a major mistake to leave it out of the show).
Tyrion clearly went to confront his father because Tywin’s chambers was Tyrion’s destination. In Tywin’s chambers Tyrion finds Shae. What an utter betrayal on top of the betrayal at the trial. Tyrion and Shae struggled and he ended up chocking her to death. This was really sad because it’s clear that Tyrion still loved her and that any affection that she once had for him was completely gone.
Tyrion then went to find his father, crossbow in hand.
Tyrion found Tywin sitting on the latrine. Tywin tried to convince Tyrion that he wasn’t going to have him executed after all but all of the events of his life really gave Tyrion no reason to believe his father. But the thing that pushed Tyrion over the edge was Tywin calling Shae a whore. The first time Tywin called Shae a whore Tyrion shot him with the crossbow. Tywin was clearly shocked that that his imp son shot him but that didn’t stop him from calling Shae a whore a second time which caused Tyrion to shoot him again. It was clear this second shot was lethal and with that Tyrion left the Castle to escape. Upon meeting up with Varys (who I am happy helped Tyrion after seeming to betray him at the trial) Tyrion was put in a crate that was then up on a ship. Varys was about to head back to the castle when something changed his mind. Varys made the choice to accompany Tyrion in his escape to wherever he is going…My guess that that Tyrion is going to Dorne.
The season ended with Arya. With the money she got from the Hound she tried to catch a ride on a ship to the Wall (to find her brother, Jon) but the ship isn’t going to the Wall. Knowing she can’t just walk around the countryside by herself Arya uses the coin Jaqen H’gah gave her to buy passage to Bravvos. The season ended with Arya on the ship, completely alone, headed off to a new land where she doesn’t no anybody…I think Arya will be “safer” in Braavos but she really is all by herself now. There are no siblings to find, no Aunts to pay for her. She will be a little girl in a foreign land fighting for herself next season.
I really enjoyed season 4. It was the first season that I had HBO and as a result the first time I’ve been able to watch each episode as it airs. I have also enjoyed writing my blog about the show every week, although it has taken much more time than I thought it would. I’m looking forward to the premiere of “The Leftovers” but let’s be real here, there is no show on television like “Game of Thrones”.
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