Here we are at the conclusion for Game of Thrones’ fourth season and what might be my personal favorite season. Honestly I think this season has surpassed the others for me in terms of its character work, story progression, quality, and shocking events to keep you on your seat week after week.
So let’s finish strong with out PENULTIMATE(!) and finale episode of the strongest season of Thrones yet.
Let us drink this ale to SPOILERS!
This weeks episodes are “The Watchers on the Wall” and “The Children”.
Game of Thrones: Season 4: Episode 9: The Watchers on the Wall: GRADE: A-
Well its PENULTIMATE(! I seriously love that word a lot) episode and on Game of Thrones that means shit usually goes down. Remember how fucking amazing Blackwater was? Well They got director Neil Marshall back for this one as it resembles Blackwater in terms of the episode focusing primarily on one storyline and featuring a big huge battle. This time being between the Night’s Watch and the Wildlings at Castle Black. Let’s get into this!
Jon and Samwell begin to prepare for the upcoming battle just as the Wildlings are as well. Gilly arrives to the wall before the horn sounds off that Mance Rayder’s army is arriving. Sam hides Gilly and her baby somewhere safe for the duration of the battle.
The stage is set. Both sides ready.
THE BATTLE IS ON!
The Wildlings attack both sides by having an army climbing the Wall and another lead by Ygritte attacking Castle Black. Once they are through the bloodbath truly begins. Giants and wooly mammoths attempt to breakthrough the tunnel leading to Castle Black but once one breaks through he charges at a gate being guarded by Grenn and five others who hold their ground and give their lives as well as taking the giant’s holding the their ground and reciting the Night Watch’s oath.
Mass killing and fighting going on all around as Alliser Throne goes down to the main level of Castle Black to fight, thus leaving Janos Slynt in charge, who proves to be as effective as a commander as Plank from Ed, Edd n Eddy, so he goes down the main level as well, thus leaving Jon in charge. Jon takes charge and starts a flurry of sword fighting and swinging fists around to whoever he can hit, even getting his direwolf, Ghost in on the action, mauling some of the Wildlings.
Jon battles Styr and kills the Thenn before he comes face to face with Ygritte. She brings her bow out but hesitates, thus giving Olly the opprotunity to stick a few arrows in her. She then dies in Jon’s arms. Tormund is then captures on Jon’s orders.
Atop the Wall, Edd leads a successful defense by releasing a massive scythe that kills all Wildlings climbing the wall.
Gilly is shown as safe and sound, having held up fine her while shit went down. Jon predicts that the Wildlings won’t retreat for long and seeing no other alternative goes beyond the Wall to kill Mance.
Game of Thrones: Season 4: Episode 10: The Children: GRADE: A
Well picking up where last episode ended, Jon “Don’t Fuck With Me Now” Snow, meets Mance Rayder to discuss a peace treaty, which is Jon code for killing the shit out of him, before the Stannis Inquisition arrives. Unexpectedly! Stannis and Davros come in and overrun the Wildling camp and well Jon convinces them to keep Mance alive and later burns Ygritte’s remains.
Within the vicinity of the Wall way up North, Bran and crew finally reach the large Heart Tree from Jojen’s vision but suddenly are attacked by skeletons, or Wights as I now know, and Jojen is killed in the process but they are saved by a child of the forest and meet the three-eyed Raven who tells Bran while he’ll never walk again, he’ll fly.
Daenerys meanwhile has a new problem. After selling a man back into slavery, as he has knows no other way to live, her dragon, Drogo has been burning things up again but this time he has killed a little girl. Drogo’s whereabouts are unknown but she has the other two locked away as a precaution.
Over in King’s Landing, The Mountain is still feeling the effects of Oberyn’s poisoned spear and is trying to be saved by of course Cersei with the help of Qyburn. Cersei then goes to confront Tywin about her upcoming marriage to Loras Tyrell. She’s not a fan of it and will admit to her incest with Jaime is forced to go through it, but Tywin doesnt buy shit even after her confession of loving him. Jaime overhears and after Tywin laves, they both engage in sex, consent was made this time.
Jaime later has Tyrion smuggled out and after their goodbyes, Tyrion goes to decide to visit old daddy Tywin a visit but when entering the Tower of the Hand, he finds Shae in his bed. A confrontation breaks out and this leads to Tyrion strangling Shae dead. Tyrion grabs a crossbow and goes off to give his dad a welcomed Father’s Day gift (the day the finale aired), two arrows in the chest when he calls Shae a whore, killing him. Tryion then goes off on Varys ship towards Essos.
In the land of Converging Storylines, I mean Vale, Brienne and Podrick awake to see their horses ran off but keep making their way towards Eyrie and come across Arya and The Hound. Brienne deduces Arya’s identity and tells her of her oath as Hound realizes her Lannister sword. A brutal fight between Brienne and Hound breaks out that concludes the Hound being knocked off a cliff by Brienne who then goes to search for Arya, who find the Hound. He lies there dying and begs to be put down but Arya refuses and instead takes his money and departs to a harbor and buys passage on a ship bound for Braavos with the given to her by Jaqen H’ghar.
Well thus concluded what I think is my favorite season of Game of Thrones. Yes better than three, which I think is still a masterpiece but I like the way the storytelling went here this season and all the risks the show took. Now yes rape episode and all and even a few moments I wasn’t that invested in happened, but when I look upon it as a whole, it holds up.
Now first is the PENULTIMATE(!) episode which even I admit might be my least favorite of the PENULTIMATES(!) but I still find it a great episode. Pure great action that’s shot and choreographed expertly by Neil Marshall, who gives me more hope for the upcoming Constantine series of which he is the pilot director, and gives enough focus on the singular storyline. This also surely now shut up on Jon Snow haters as this is Kit Harington’s finest hour on the show. He shines brilliantly here in this episode and I think he’s just great. His command of the Night’s Watch and badass attitude is shown in battle. The guy gets his face smashed on an anvil and he’s still like, “Bring it on, bitch!” You gotta admire that. Plus he had one last great moment with Ygritte, RIP, and made it count.
Of course the giant ice slicer in the wall was the biggest “WTF” moment of the entire episode. That shit was insane all over.
Speaking of insane, the Brienne and Hound fight at the end of the finale. I swear this was turning into They Live. Brienne needed to ask Hound to put on the glasses for it to be perfect. They too is expertly shot and put together with amazing tension from the editing, music, and stellar acting from both sides. It was the most engaging moment after the shocker that was Tyrion killing Shae.
That was a big surprise, but yet not given how she betrayed him at this trail after he gave her up, which damn that was just…DAMN! That scene was just gut-wrenching to watch. Peter Dinklage gave off so much emotion in just his facial expression, that again, just give him the goddamn Emmy for Actor in a Drama Series now.
The one complaint I had came from Jojen’s death. Not that he died, that was shocking, but I’m okay with, its how it looked. the one hand of the skeleton coming from the ground looked so CGI and not layered or rendered enough to make it match the look on screen. The others looked fine with a blend of complete CGI and motion capture suits which allow me to give props to the effects department on that, but it looked a bit hokey.
Also, fuck Cersei. Lena Headly is doing great at making me hate her character so much. Great actress though.
The Daenerys bit with her dragons was surprisingly effective. Honestly thanks to again yeah acting, and one the aspects I don’t mention much, the excellent musical score.
This season has had memorable episode after episode and its gotten better as it goes. Game of Thrones works better than I’m sure a lot of other people thought it would have and I for one am glad its here. Game of Thrones is a shining gem among an already bright golden age of TV.
SEASON 4: GRADE: A