Game of Thrones Season 4 Finale Recap

16
Jun
2014
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  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent

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  • Last modified: June 17, 2014

Review Summary:

Last night was the season 4 finale of Game of Thrones titled “The Children”, and with it the end of a few story lines and lives. The episode title “The Children” was a literal and metaphorical one. The episode aimed heavy focus on the relationships between parents and children, some being more figurative than literal. Amongst the usual power struggles and murder, there were a few surprises.

Let’s start with the big one. Just a night before he was set to be executed for the untruthful conviction of Joffrey’s murder, Tyrion Lannister was set free by his brother Jaime. I for one have been surprised by Jaime’s turnaround as a character. He started off as such a monster in the first season, but after being imprisoned and having a hand cut off, he has seemed to turn a new leaf. He fought hard for his brother, even going against his own father and sister/lover. Jaime let’s Tyrion go after he told him to go find Varys. Tyrion instead goes to his father Tywin’s chambers where he finds Shae, his former lover. Let’s recap their timeline quickly: They met before a battle, fell in love, he brings her back to King’s Landing, he is forced to marry Sansa Stark which obviously irks Shae, he forces her to leave King’s Landing for her own safety by making it seem he doesn’t care about her (in an homage to Harry and the Hendersons, at least I assume), she comes back to testify against him and lie about what he said, and then Tyrion finds Shae in the bed of his father, the same man who has convicted Tyrion to death. Imagine that reality hitting you all at once. Tyrion and Shae have a scuffle, and Tyrion strangles her. Even though she wronged him, Tyrion had a look of sadness on his face, because it was a series of events that shouldn’t have gone down like it did. Then he finds his father, not on the iron throne, but one made of stone (the toilet). Tywin tries to talk his way out of the situation, since Tyrion had a loaded cross bow aimed at him. It was Tyrion’s moment to get revenge, and the audience’s moment to see an evil man get what’s coming to him. But instead, the scene was filled with sadness. At that moment all of the depression of not being loved by his father hit Tyrion, and after uttering the words “I am your son. I have always been your son.”, he killed Tywin Lannister. It wasn’t the triumphant moment fans thought it might be, considering Tywin is the one who orchestrated the Red Wedding. Instead, it’s the recap of a painful and hurtful relationship Tyrion had with Tywin. Then Tyrion got into a box, and was put on a ship to be sailed far away.

Sidenote: having a son kill his dad on Father’s Day. A tad messed up, but I digress.

 

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The previous episode saw Jon Snow and the Men of the Night’s Watch get into a huge battle with invading Wildlings. Snow then went to try and strike a truce with the defeated savages, before they attack again. In a surprising moment, Stannis Baratheon and his men swarm over the forest beyond The Wall, and imprison and kill many wildlings. It appears Stannis is taking a different approach to his quest for the throne. Stannis kept Snow alive, and might even use him as an adviser. I personally like this pairing because it is a new one, and it will be interesting to see how the two interact. Plus you throw in Melisandre into the mix, and things at The Wall will be interesting.

Daenerys continues to have problems as the new ruler of Meereen. One person came to her asking to basically become a slave again, which will make the former masters more powerful. Another person came to her because one of her dragons lit his 3 year old daughter on fire and killed her. She then had to face the reality that her dragons are doing more damage to her reign than good. While her black one, Drogon, remains an escapee, she brought her other two down to the catacombs to chain them up so they won’t do any harm. As ridiculous as it sounds for a scene like this to be sad, when the dragons were crying for their mother and Daenerys was crying as she walked away, it got to me. This was “The Mother of Dragons” having to imprison her children because of how dangerous they are, even though she loves them. Also adding to the irony of the episode, the “Breaker of Chains” put chains on her beloved dragons.

 

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One story line on Game of Thrones that has continued to confuse and annoy me is Bran’s. Last night he continued to travel with Hodor and the siblings, until they found the tree he saw in his vision. Then they get attacked by snow zombies (who have been largely MIA since showing up in the season 2 finale). They kill the brother, and then Bran and friends get saved by some weird looking girl throwing green fireballs. The girl (who refers to herself as one of The Children) takes them into a cave where they finally meet the three eyed raven, who turns out to be Gandalf the Grey (or just some old guy sitting on a thorny throne). Even since his escape of Winterfell, the Bran storyline has been rather uneventful and boring. It definitely falls into the category of “This better end up turning into something awesome”. What is the point of turning Bran into Professor Xavier? Will he be the one who stops the White Walkers? Or will it be used to get revenge for the crimes committed against the Starks? I hope they have something good lined up.

Finally, a big pairing ended last night. Arya Stark was practicing her moves when Brienne showed up. She figured out who Arya was and demanded Arya go with her, since she swore an oath to Catelyn Stark (a line I feel she’s said a billion times so far). Then Sandor “The Hound” Clegane turns the corner, and isn’t happy with Brienne’s presence since she’s sporting some Lannister gold. I remember thinking “Man that would be a cool battle if those two went at it.” Thinking it wouldn’t go that far….and then it went that far. They had one of the most badass one-on-one battles the show has seen. Swords were flung, fists were thrown, and pieces of flesh were bitten off. In the end, Brienne came out on top. Literally, since she knocked Sandor off the top of a cliff. Arya was able to hide from Brienne, but then went to visit her sort-of-friend before he died. He begged her to put a sword through his chest, even taunting her. But she just stood there, cold and emotionless, took some gold from him, and walked away, leaving him to die. The end of the episode showed her cashing in a favor to get a ride to Bravos.

 

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Arya, Daenerys, and Jon Snow are the three characters who have had the most growth throughout the series, and I’m starting to think the entire show will end with the three of them on top. Daenerys has gone from a trophy wife to a dominant Queen. Jon Snow has gone from just another bastard sent to the wall to a true leader of men. Arya has gone from spunky little Lord’s daughter to a badass with a mission. The three of them still have a lot of growing to do as they continue to face obstacles, but I predict in the end you will see all three of them rule the Game of Thrones.

Overall it was a very good episode, that capped off another strong season. As with any season finale, a few looming questions were raised going into the next season: Where is Tyrion being taken to? How will Daenerys deal with the hardships of being queen? What’s next for Arya as she heads east? How will Stannis and Jon Snow get along? Will Bran recruit Wolverine to help him out? We’ll just have to wait to see what George RR Martin has in store for us in 2015.

Pros

Powerful and emotional episode, big story lines ended effectively, Raised interest for next season

Cons

They killed off the Hound, which made me sad. And the Bran storyline is still too random to be likable at this point