Game of Thrones: ‘The Children’ Review
And it’s here. The finale of Game of Thrones season four. Coming off of last week’s phenomenal yet single storied episode, there was a lot to tie up. Thankfully this was an extra length episode. Enough was done despite the amount that needed to be tackled. With that said though, this was a gut wrenching episode and in order to really talk about it, I must warn you that there will be spoilers in this review. There’s no way to address one particular storyline without spoiling it. It will be at the end though so you can keep reading for now.
The episode opens with Jon Snow meeting with Mance Rayder. It’s extremely tense but almost friendly. There’s a mutual respect between the two. Jon is there to strike a bargain. It’s a simple deal. Mance wants the gate opened and no one else will die from the Night’s Watch. Winter is coming and quite frankly, this is the wildlings only way to not die or be turned into Whitewalkers. It’s a short yet effective scene until it’s interrupted by a very shocking surprise. It ends Jon’s story on a bit of a cliffhanger
Back in King’s Landing, the Lannisters are dealing with more drama than any family can ever handle. Cersei is fighting Tywin again on marrying Loras. Cersei goes really off the deep end in tonight’s episode. She has an epic showdown with Tywin and despite all the bad that she’s done, she has always been a victim of Tywin. It’s a bit cheer worthy. She’s a woman finally standing up for herself against a man that was keeping her down. Yet the things she does are horrid and morally questionable. It’s give and take with Cersei.
Dany is not a great Queen at this point but is making an effort. However, nothing is going her way. The situation that many “thinking fans” thought about has finally come up. You cannot teach an old dog new tricks and that’s the lesson she’s taught by an old man tonight. He’s a former slave who can’t find his way in the new world Dany created. To make matters worse, the dragons are not behaving. She is unable to control them. Bigger dragons, bigger problems. She makes a really unfortunate choice that hurts her and is effective for the viewers emotionally. Emilia Clarke sells this very well. She makes the scene as effective as it is.
Meanwhile Bran has made it to the tree but things do not go as planned. They are attacked by the undead and then saved by ‘The Children’. It’s a bizarre story but one of the most intriguing. Bran is powerful and it’s paid off. He’s made his way to his end goal and events have escalated quickly. It’s the biggest departure from the books but not in the sense that it does things drastically differently. It’s moving things along. It’s getting to places the books have not yet.
Near the Veil, plots are finally converging. Brienne of Tarth has finally run into one of the Stark girls. The Hound though will not make any of this easy on her. It’s a dark scene but shows off how bad ass the two of these characters are. Their fight scene is choreographed very well. Each character’s movements are within their character. Brienne though takes a very violent turn. She’s ruthless in a fight and it’s exacerbated by her desire to fulfill what Catelyn Stark asked of her. Maisie Williams is a child actor way beyond her age. Her scene with the Hound is shockingly cold for a child. It’s the culmination of all the awfulness she’s been through.
The last segment of the season finale was the most heart wrenching. This is your spoiler warning. Do not keep reading if you want to know nothing of this episode.
Tyrion died tonight. Not physically, no need to riot. He suffers a metaphorical death. Tyrion the person dies in this episode. Jamie sets him free and he goes to Tywin’s bedroom. There he finds the love of his life Shae in his bed. He puts two and two together and he kills her. The look in Peter Dinklage’s eyes is cold and broken. At the moment he sees her in bed and she feels no remorse he dies. He ceases to be who he is. He’s never been truly wanted. His father was going to kill him despite knowing he wasn’t Joffrey’s murderer. The show did a much better job with Shae and her importance to Tyrion because her death by his hands feels worse. Charles Dance is absolutely perfect in his final moments. His pants are down, he’s about to be shot with a cross bow but he’s still trying to weasel his way out of this. It’s the send off he could have had.
The final scene of the season is not what many book readers speculated but was still a decent choice. It set up Arya’s future and called back to previous events. The season as a whole was the series’ best. It hit every emotion on the spectrum, had the best action of any television series in history and was memorable after every credits rolled. This is a season most definitely worth a re watch and will come to define what can be done with these kind of stories on television.