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- Episode: The Children (Season 4, Episode 10)
- Starring: Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau,Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Lino Facioli, Grahame Fox, Kit Harington, Lena Headey
- Written By: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
- Directed By: Alex Graves
- Network: HBO
- Studio: Home Box Office (HBO), Television 360, Grok! Studio
Game of Thrones: The Children Review
Season 4 Finale!
By Jarrett Kruse
June 16, 2014
NO BOOK SPOILERS IN THE COMMENT SECTION PLEASE!
Well season four is now officially over and I was overall a little underwhelmed at several of the twists. While I thought we were moving in the right direction from a narrative standpoint, I realized that this is GAME OF THRONES and none of those rules apply. There is no such thing as picking up at the exact point we left off of last week. Although it was pretty damn close when Jon Snow goes to see Mance Rayder and attempts to broker a deal. Still it can get a little frustrating knowing that something you may have wanted to be addressed in 2014 may just have to hold fast to 2015. As much as I love the show, ten episodes just does not quench or satiate my lust to see more as in right now! Sadly we will have to wait until next year when we are all riding Hoverboards.
The episode opens with Jon Snow making good on his promise to Sam last week that he is going to go after Mance Rayder on his own to broker a deal of sorts. Say what you will about Jon Snow but the kids got moxie. He is met by some of Mance’s thugs but he gets as much as the royal treatment that you’d expect from these guys. Mance has Jon sit down and they discuss the terms of turning themselves in to or joining forces of some sort. Its a little odd because once upon a time, Jon was part of Mance’ massive army. The seasoned leader of the Wildlings is adamant about getting himself and his men north of the wall because yet again, winter is coming. It seems like winter has been coming for a long damn time already! Mance and companies idea is to head south of the wall where they can escape the threats of the White Walkers. Between the White Walkers and the hope of winter arriving, we have barely seen twenty minutes of footage in four full seasons of TV. I guess this is how they hook us in; with promises that if we stick out, the payoff will be just that good.
Much further north of the wall, we meet up with Bran, Jojen, Hodor and company as they trek across the unforgiving terrain. I was a little confused as they approached the Weirwood tree but as they walk, creepy hands begin to break through the frozen ground. It was pretty cool to see these “wight’s” as they are called. A re-animated corpse so to speak. Apparently there is a reason that the Wildling’s burn their dead—-to avoid situations like this! While Hodor is completely confused does his best to save Bran but it is Jojen that falls to the undead. Major bummer for the group but hey, its Game of Thrones and no one gets a free ride. Bran’s group is saved by the “Children of the Forest” before being taken a sage old wizard called the “Three Eyed Raven.” A prognosticator of sorts, the Three Eyed Raven tells Bran that he will not walk again but he will indeed fly. Hmmm…
While on the RIverlands, Arya and The Hound come upon none other than Brienne and Podrick. The bond that the Arya and The Hound have come to a quiet accord this season. They are a team of sorts and although quite rough around the edges, they seem to make it work in their mutually trying times. Brienne had made a promise to Cat Startk that she would rescue and take care of young Arya but the tides have shifted. Brienne and The Hound engage in an epic hand go hand battle that easily makes my Top 10 favorite fist fights on cable. It was realistic and even more so believable because we know what a legendary brawler The Hound is but who knew Brienne could throw down like that? As The Hound lay dying, Arya stays strong and refuses to acquiesce to his request to kill him then and there. Instead, the young Stark takes his silver and walks away. Still the question remains if The Hound is really dead after all. I guess that will be in season 5. It seems that Podrick and Brienne want to make good on their bargain and take Arya but she is nowhere to be found. The Hound taught her well I kept thinking.
Stannis Baratheon makes a quick entrance and is no longer posturing about what big plans he has. Instead he is on the field of battle and ready for action. Stannis has always seemed to be posturing and thinking of big ideas to solidify his stake as ruler of the seven kingdoms but he has just not been much a threat. However tonight he implements the Braavos money he has come into as a gambit to form an alliance with the Wildlings. I definitely got a little confused at this part but it certainly was about damn time that Stannis did, well, anything. Oh, and he has Melisandre, in tow as his consigliere. Man that babe scares me.
In the King’s Landing dungeon, Tyrion is waiting for the word of just when he is going be executed. Enter big brother Jaime that has a soft spot for his clearly innocent little bro. Jaime whisks him off to a secret passage where none other than Varys is waiting to get him far and away from King’s Landing. After a tearful goodbye to Jaime (a rare show of love on GOT), Tyrion decides not to leave yet and make one more thing right. He seeks and finds his former lover Shae, the whore that blew Tyrion’s courtroom case all to hell. After a tussle, he strangles her and does not seem to feel anything anymore. He eyes a crossbow across the room, a good tool for his next victim. Tyrion walks in on Tywin on his chamberpot before going to town on his dad plugging him full of arrows from the crossbow. Now he is ready to leave King’s Landing and just like that, with the help of Varys, he is gone. Whoa.
Daenerys does not have much going on this week except for some major trouble from her dragons that have become wild and unwieldily. After incinerating a child, Khaleesi chains the dragons/children in their cave and leaves them visibly upset. It was deliciously nice to finally get a win for Tyrion after a less than stellar season half of it spent in the hole. While there are other plot lines available like Cersei and Jaime getting it on again. There is also young and now alone Arya finding seaport after flashing an iron coin to the Captain of the ship who is overwhelmed. She simply mouths “Valar Morghulis” to which the captain replies “Valsr Dohaeris” which is enough to get Arya a prime cabin on the boat.
While I was not overjoyed with the finale, I most definitely dug it. They seemed to have covered a lot of dormant story lines that we had forgotten about. Still the killing of Tywin, presuming he is in fact dead, was a big one. As for what comes next and if winter will ever get here is anybody’s guess. Me, I’m just trying to enjoy the ride.