I can safely say that season 4’s finale, The Children, was the best one the show has done. It’s been a crazy season of Game of Thrones (which is par for the course I suppose), and this was a fitting end. The finale concluded a number of storylines and set up a number of interesting plots for season 5. What am I supposed to do with my Sunday nights now???
After last week’s extended siege action, Game of Thrones decided to wrap up the events at the Wall right off the bat. Jon Snow had a suicide mission in mind, but I guess George R.R. Martin couldn’t kill all of the Stark men yet.
Stannis’ arrival at the Wall comes out of left field as a viewer, even if it was ever so conveniently pointed to in the ‘previously on’ section. I honestly thought he had forgotten that foreboding message about ice zombies, but he was just waiting for his loan to be approved. Now, things get interesting up north. Stannis wants to be King, and he’s going to have to march south to take it. This seems to be setting up a Baratheon-Bolton throwdown, which sounds fantastic. The flayed man vs. the stag for the right to take on the Lannisters.
Waaaaaaay up North
For the first time ever, Bran’s storyline is cool. How fucking awesome was it seeing them fight skeletons Zelda/Army of Darkness style? There was a certain stop motion animation quality to the skeletons that made me smile and think of Bruce Campbell blocking his eyes from getting poked.
Bran is now fully in the fantasy realm, and it’s a great look for the show. There’s some little girl that throws fire, and a big old wizard looking guy in a set straight out of True Detective. Yes please. So, when does Bran take over Daenerys’ missing dragon (with the inspired name Drogon)? Poor Jojen Reed. You were always so sickly, but you went out like everyone wants to: stabbed by reanimated skeletons and incinerated.
Brienne vs. the Hound was one of the more brutal fights in the history of Game of Thrones. I knew shit was going down as soon as Brienne spoke to Arya, but I never dreamed that it would do down like that. Brienne bit off the Hound’s friggin ear and gave him a crotch shot. The Hound gave Brienne a swift kick in the box (my girlfriend’s words), because he’s a gentleman and a scholar.
It was a thrilling fight between two fan favorites. It’s hard to believe that I’m at a point where my heart breaks for Sandor Clegane. His partnership with Arya was one of the highlights of season 4 and it ended on a powerful note. Leaving the Hound to die on his own and taking his gold was a stone cold move.
If I had to wager money, I’d bet the Hound survives. The Cleganes are tough SOBs. His maniac monster of a brother might somehow come back from his trial by combat injuries. The Hound is a survivor, and he didn’t die on screen. Don’t count him out.
As for our favorite wee psychopath, Arya is moving on to the land of Braavos. I’m looking forward to seeing a new land and culture that has just been described to us by Oberyn Martell.
Daenerys is finding out that freeing a big old city of slaves isn’t quite as black and white as she initially thought. Sure, letting people do whatever the hell they want sounds great, but you need some order. Now, she’s letting people lease themselves as servants. I guess that’s a step up. Only a year commitment, how could that go wrong?
Then she finds out that her dragons are not only burninating the countryside, but now they’re burninating the peasants. This is a PR disaster. Daenerys imprisons the two dragons that she can find in the catacombs, and hopes Khol Trogdor doesn’t kill everyone and everything in the meantime. I’m sure locking up your pet dragons is going to work out real well, Dany. Breaker of chains my ass.
Tywin Lannister died in King’s Landing just like he arrived, on top of a pile of shit. It’s so appropriate considering how much he’s shit all over his family during his time on the show. I really didn’t think Tyrion had patricide in him, but there you go. Seeing his father take his former lover was the final straw for the god of tits and wine.
Yet again, Peter Dinklage was fantastic as he took care of business before he departed King’s Landing. His final embrace of Jaime – the only family member who ever loved him – was heart warming. The look on his face after strangling Shae was devastating. His confrontation with Tywin was as cathartic as television gets. Now, he gets to travel around with Varys (who made an amazing “oh shit” face when he heard the commotion in King’s Landing). And hey, I was kind of right about Tyrion’s possible escape in my recap for The Mountain and the Viper! Tyrion didn’t quite escape in a wacky Scooby Doo manner in his container, but close enough. I will thoroughly enjoy my no-prize.
Even though I cheered for Tyrion as he worked out his daddy issues, I’m going to miss the hell out of Tywin Lannister. Charles Dance brought a regal menace to the show that was matched by no one. From his lecture to Jaime while skinning a deer to his interactions with Arya Stark and his pompous time as the Hand of the King, Tywin was one of the top characters on GoT. Westeros is a better place without Tywin Lannister, but GoT is a weaker show without him.