In the preview of this seasons Game Of Thrones finale I warned that the sheer number of plot resolutions could harm the experience. Luckily I was dead wrong. The Children (as the episode is called) is a wonderful episode that lays out the future of many characters and sadly also means the end of some favorites. Both Arya and Tyrion have basically turned in Westeros for the eastern continent. Tyrion thus escapes his death sentence while Arya settles her past and begins her future in earnest. After two weddings this episode once again shifts the entire game by bringing those standing in the shadows such as Stannis and Bran forward. We only saw them intermittently since season 2. This Game of Thrones Season 4 Finale Review should proof that the creative staff of Game Of Thrones are well aware of the choices they need to make to brings the best out of the TV-series while not ignoring the novels written by GRRM.
Game of Thrones Season 4 Finale Review
In King’s Landing
Having been struck with Prince Oberyn’s poisoned spear in their battle, Ser Gregor “the Mountain” Clegane (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) lays dying in bed. Though Grand Maester Pycelle (Julian Glover) is certain that he will die, Qyburn (Anton Lesser) believes that he can save Ser Gregor, and Cersei (Lena Headey) orders him to do everything he can. She then confronts Tywin (Charles Dance), saying that if she is forced to marry Loras Tyrell, she will expose that her children are born of incest between her and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Tywin refuses to believe her, and she leaves to be with Jaime, where she confesses her love to him.
In the dungeon, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) awaits his execution, but he is surprised to be smuggled out by Jaime. They say farewells in the underground escape tunnel, and Tyrion uses a small hidden passage to sneak into the Tower of the Hand. He finds Shae (Sibel Kekilli) in his father’s bed and, in anger, strangles her. He then takes a crossbow off a wall and confronts Tywin in the privy. Tyrion warns Tywin to not call Shae a whore, but when Tywin does anyway, Tyrion shoots him in the chest twice, killing him. Tyrion then escapes King’s Landing with Varys (Conleth Hill).
Beyond the Wall
Jon (Kit Harington) meets with Mance Rayder (Ciarán Hinds) to discuss an end to their conflict, and secretly to try to kill him. Mance explains that the wildling army wants to go south of the Wall in order to hide from the White Walkers. Jon glances at a nearby knife, but before either man can make a move, the group hears a horn blast, and a cavalry led by Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) overrun the wildling encampment. Mance surrenders to Stanis and Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham). Though Stannis wants to execute Mance, Jon convinces Stannis to take the Mance captive instead. After holding a funeral for the deceased brothers, Jon burns Ygritte’s (Rose Leslie) remains north of the Wall, following Tormund’s (Kristofer Hivju) request.
Far north of the Wall, Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and his companions reach their destination: the large Heart Tree seen in Jojen’s (Thomas Brodie Sangster) vision. They are set upon by a group of reanimated skeletons. Though Jojen is killed in the attack, Bran, Hodor (Kristian Nairn), and Meera (Ellie Kendrick) are saved by a child of the forest (Octavia Selena Alexandru). The child takes the group into the cave under the Heart Tree to meet the three-eyed raven (Struan Rodger), who tells Bran that he will never walk again, but he will fly.
Across the Narrow Sea
Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) receives a citizen who wants to be sold back into slavery, as he knows no other way to live. Daenerys reluctantly grants his request, allowing him to form a contract with his former master that can last no longer than a year. The next citizen in line brings her the charred remains of his daughter, who he tells Daenerys was killed by Drogon, one of her dragons. As a precaution, she has her two other dragons chained and locked in the catacombs.
In the Vale
Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and her squire, Podrick (Daniel Portman), lose their horses as they make their way toward the Eyrie. They come upon a young girl who, unbeknownst to them, is Arya (Maisie Williams). When the Hound (Rory McCann) arrives, Podrick tells Brienne who he is, and she deduces Arya’s identity. Brienne tells Arya of her oath to Catelyn, but the Hound is unconvinced by her story, pointing out her Lannister sword. Brienne and the Hound fight, and after a brutal brawl, Brienne knocks the Hound off a cliff. Arya evaded Brienne and Podrick, and arrives to find the Hound mortally wounded at the bottom of a hill. Though he begs her to kill him, she instead takes his money and departs. Arriving at a nearby harbor, she buys passage on a ship bound for Braavos with the coin Jaqen H’ghar gave to her.
The encounter between Jon Snow and Stannis felt very satisfying. It reminded the viewer of events that happened during season 1. The death of Eddard Stark essentially meant that Stannis lost the Iron throne to his brother and later Joffrey. Many speculate whether the relationship between Jon and Stannis is the prelude to Stannis becoming full king while others wonder whether it will be Jon.
Yesterday was father’s day and no one can ignore that everybody’s favorite father Tywin got the sticky end of things in this episode. Strangely enough being killed was not his biggest defeat. Instead, Cersei revealing to her father that she committed incest with Jaime was his defeat. Had he been less arrogant he could have used his family better. The death of Shae is almost forgotten after Tywin states to Tyrion that he would never have allowed him to be executed. Tyrion fired the crossbow with what felt like such hatred I have no doubt Cersei and Jaime pushed the two arrow along as well. It is sad to see Charles Dance go, but such is Game Of Thrones.
I was happy to see Daenerys got a chapter in this episode. To have seen her story line ended for the season with episode 8 would have felt like a let down. Instead we can almost hear the words of Jorah Mormont echo when she is confronted with the fact that she no longer can control her dragons.
The dénouement between Arya and The Hound was the most satisfying. Their mutual animosity stems back from events during season 1 and despite some arrangements it felt satisfying that Arya finally turned her back on him. With the coin Jaqen H’ghar she can finally say goodbye to he past en embrace her future. The novels are rather vague as to what her ultimate future should be but we find out soon enough.
The Children was in my opinion amongst the best Game Of Thrones episodes so far. I disliked last weeks episode with a vengeance so I am glad we had one more episode filled with crossbows, dragons and incest to put us in a good mood for season 5. This was Game of Thrones Season 4 Finale Review
Score; 10 / 10. I am not sure but this may be the first perfect mark I have ever given.