Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Game of Thrones 4x10: The Children
Opening Credits Map
King's Landing -> Moat Cailin -> Winterfell -> The Wall -> Braavos -> Meereen
Jon Snow is walking north of the wall and is soon captured and brought to Mance. So, this was apparently his plan? He's lucky that Mance's army were more interested in negotiating rather than slaughtering any Night's Watch soldier on sight.
So Mance says that it's already cold in the north and now winter is coming. Beyond that, there are ice zombies roaming about. All he wants is the ability to go south for the winter like every other self-respecting northerner. Hey, I live in Minnesota, I get it!
Jon Snow is humoring Mance by acting like he's listening but really he's just looking for a sharp object. Jon grabs a knife but Mance sees it. Mance knows the score but before anything can go down a horn blows. Mance thinks it's the Night's Watch but Jon hastily admits that he was right and the don't have enough men.
Outside Mance's tent the cavalry arrives. Better late than never. A bunch of soldiers on horses make quick work of the wildlings and Mance is forced to surrender to this not-so-mysterious army. Ser Davos and Stannis Baratheon come forward and ask Mance to kneel before Zo…er…Stannis. Mance refuses to kneel.
Jon Snow introduces himself to Stannis as Ned Stark's son. Stannis asks Jon what Ned would do. Jon Snow believes that Ned Stark would simply take Mance prisoner. I'm not entirely convinced that's the case nor am I convinced that Jon Snow believes that's the case but the end result is Mance is taken captive.
Back at Castle Black they're having a mass funeral/burning of the bodies. Melisandre stares at Jon through the flames. That seems...ominous.
Jon Snow talks with Tormund. Tormund wants to know what form of torture or execution he'll have to endure. Jon Snow has no clue. He just wants to know if Tormund wants to say any words to the wildling dead before they're burnt. Tormund says the dead can't hear anything. Then, after telling Jon Snow that Ygritte loved Jon, Tormund asks Jon to burn Ygritte's body north of wall like she would have wanted. Even though Tormund seems to be contradicting himself, Jon obliges.
The Mountain is in rough shape. Not only did he suffer those spear wounds but apparently Oberyn's spears were poisoned. (Red Viper of Dorne indeed!) Grand Maester Pycell is sure the Mountain will die but Cersei is seeking a second opinion from the unlicensed Qyburn. Qyburn's ready to do some experimental stuff that may very well change the Mountain. Cersei's cool with it as long the Mountain keeps his muscles.
Cersei then talks with Tywin about not wanting to marry Loras. I thought she was on board with the marriage? Either changed her mind or was just saying that as a part a manipulative scheme. Neither would surprise me.
Anyway, Tywin says that Cersei isn't the first person to be forced into marriage and she won't be the last. This causes Cersei to resort to blackmail. Either the marriage is called off or she confesses the truth about Tommen's incestuous parentage. Tywin plugs his ears and says, “La la la, I can't hear you!” He then immediately leaves to find some sand to bury his head in.
Cersei then goes to Jaime and says she found a way for them to be together. She then forces herself on him. Jaime is like, “Well, you did orchestrate our brother's death sentence but I'm really turned on right now. So let's do it!” And do it they shall.
Later, Tyrion is sleeping in his cell. He is awoken and assumes it's time for his execution but it's actually Jaime coming to the rescue. The plan is take Tyrion to a secret passage where he knocks twice to meet Varys who will take Tyrion to freedom. Jaime and Tyrion say their goodbyes and then Tyrion is left alone.
Tyrion could now escape but he realizes that he has a prime opportunity to fuck some shit up. He walks up to Tywin's bedroom to find Shae in Tywin's bed. He kills her. I'm not sure how to feel about that. Tyrion figures that if his dad isn't in the bedroom then he must be taking a giant dump. So Tyrion grabs a spare crossbow and makes his way to the privy.
Tyrion does find Tywin in the privy and he and daddy have a nice little chat. Tyrion recites the same old song about how Tywin always wanted him dead. Tywin admits that it's true but says he respects Tyrion for not dying. Tywin also admits that he'd never let Tyrion be executed. I'm not sure if that's true or if Tywin is just recognizing the vulnerable position he's in.
Tyrion tells Tywin he truly loved Shae. Tywin tells Tyrion Shae was a whore. Tyrion would like for Tywin to call Shae that again. Tywin does not oblige. So Tyrion wants to talk about the trial instead. Tywin would be more comfortable discussing these matters in his chambers where his pants would no longer be around his ankles. Tyrion thinks that would be awkward considering the dead Shae that's hanging around there. Tywin asks Tyrion if he's afraid of a dead whore. Tywin said the secret word! But instead of everyone screaming real loud Tywin just gets shot with a crossbow.
Tywin is still alive, though, and proclaims Tyrion to be no son of his. Now, readers, I can't stress this enough. If you learn anything from this show let it be this. If someone shoots you with a crossbow and you still live and the shooter stands in front of you casually reloading their crossbow then, for the love of God, don't insult them. If you do you'll probably suffer the same fate as Tywin; a crossbow bolt to the heart.
So Tyrion, feeling he's caused enough chaos for one night, makes his way back to the secret passage door. He knocks twice and an anxious Varys takes Tyrion to a boat. Varys puts Tyrion in a crate and reassures Tyrion that he'll have top men look after Tyrion. TOP MEN.
As Varys leaves he hears death bells ringing. Putting two and two together Varys decides that his days King's Landing are through. He decides to hop aboard the ship as well and plants himself right next to Tyrion's crate.
Daenerys is holding court. She speaks with a citizen who was once a slave and a teacher. He now has nowhere to turn. All he really wants to do is return to his life as a slave teacher. Daenerys refuses to institute slavery again but says the man is welcome to sign any contract he chooses provided it doesn't exceed one year.
Next comes in a man and the charred remains of his son. Yup, it was one of Daenerys' dragons. Said dragon is apparently missing. Daenerys rounds up the two dragons that aren't missing and chains them up in the catacombs. As she leaves them it's clear that nobody is happy with this arrangement.
Really Far North
Bran and company finally reach the One Tree to Rule Them All. They walk towards the tree and where's Admiral Ackbar when you need him? Soon enough zombie skeletons pop up all around the group.
It's a battle but even Summer and a wargged Hodor aren't enough to fend off the skeletons. Jojen ends up getting stabbed repeatedly in the chest. The rest of the group is surrounded and, just when all seems lost, the cavalry arrives. Better late than never.
The cavalry, in this case, is in the form of a fireball hurling young girl. But, seriously, where was she two minutes ago? It turns out they were even expecting them! Anyway, the young girl leads the group (except for the no longer living Jojen) to a cave where the skeletons can't enter.
The girl introduces herself as one of “the children.” (That's the name of the episode!) But apparently they're really old (or there race is really old?) and they're also magical, which helps. She leads Bran, Hodor and Meera to an old man who Bran recognizes as the three-eyed raven.
The three-eyed raven says that Jojen knew he was going to die but he lead Bran there anyway so Bran could find what he has lost. Bran's pretty stoked to walk again but we all know that trees are dicks and, apparently, so are the magical people living in them. Because the three-eyed raven tells Bran he'll never walk again. He says this despite obviously phrasing things in a way which Bran can't help but get his hopes up.
Instead of walking the three-eyed raven promises Bran that he will fly. Um…Bran has tried flying before and didn't work out so well for him. Hopefully this time will be different?
On the Road
Podrick the Penile Powerhouse continues to be inept at everything that isn't of a sexual nature. This time he's lost the horses. So Brienne and Podrick must walk the rest of the Eyrie.
On the road Brienne comes across Arya practicing here sword fighting. Arya seems impressed by the female warrior. They discuss the names of their swords and how their dads didn't want them to fight. The bonding stops, however, when Arya's boyfriend finishes up his deuce and appears.
The Hound wants to know what's going on but Podrick outs the Hound as the Hound. This leads Brienne to out Arya as Arya. Brienne says she has sworn an oath to keep Arya safe but the Hound outs Brienne for carrying a Lannister sword.
So, nobody is trusting anybody and this all leads to a Brienne/the Hound sword fight across the rocky terrain. They're pretty evenly matched but eventually Brienne gains the upper hand. However, she hesitates and declares that her intentions are not to kill the Hound.
Naturally, this pause give the Hound a chance to grab the blade of Brienne's sword, punch her and gain the upper hand. Just when I thought Brienne had Oberyn-ed her victory away a well-placed nut shot gets Brienne back on even footing.
The fight is now hand-to-hand and becomes more visceral. There are cheap shots and biting and it all ends with the Hound being pushed off a cliff. Of course, it also ends with neither Brienne nor Podrick knowing where the hell Arya went.
The Hound is in bad shape as Arya happens upon him. The Hound thinks it's time for Arya to cross one more name off her list. Arya doesn't oblige. The Hound then tries to insult Arya into ending his misery which is a no go. Finally, he just begs her. Arya just takes his money and wanders off. Was Arya just after his money all long? I'm sure Kanye West would have some words about that. Regardless, I think we just witnessed the end of the greatest love in Westeros' history.
Arya makes her way to a port. She finds a ship captain and requests to be taken to the north. The captain says he's ready to just go home to Braavos. Arya's eyes light up at this news because she just so happens to have a coin given to her by Jaqen H'ghar that makes any Braavosi have to do whatever she asks. Soon enough, Arya is setting sail for the fifth season.
As mentioned above, this episode is titled The Children. I think every setting this episode deals with children in some form. Bran and company (who are mostly children themselves) come across the children of the forest, Arya is basically a child in a custody battle, Tyrion is obviously a child dealing with daddy issues, Daenerys has a problem child of her own and I suppose you could say Jon Snow is still operating in the shadow of his father's legacy.
At first I sympathized with Mance. All he wants is for him and his people to escape the North. At the same time, I did wonder what Mance and his army planned to do once in the South. Am I to believe they'd all become productive members of Westeros society?
I wonder how Stannis' soldiers felt about riding through the North. I get the impression it's viewed as kind of a haunted, uncharted piece of land. These men seemed very comfortable riding into the unknown.
Despite the fact that if you replaced Stannis with a cardboard cutout they'd have the same amount of charisma, Stannis is growing on me. At least he's doing stuff!
I liked Oberyn and all and I don't feel bad for the Mountain but using poisoned spears seems to be a bit of poor sportsmanship.
Would Cersei outing her and Jaime's affair really help Tommen? Tommen would immediately be identified as a pretender to the throne and I wouldn't think the results would be pretty. Then again, Cersei was willing to poison him a couple of seasons ago. So maybe she's completely comfortable with this scorched earth policy?
I don't think I'm intelligent enough to speak of the implications of the show presenting us with a freed slave wanting to be a slave again.
It's probably because of budgetary constraints but we haven't seen Daenerys interact with her dragons much. Because of this I have no idea what kind of communication she has with them nor why she thought something like one of them burning an innocent child wouldn't happen.
You would think that Daenerys could've found a place to chain up her dragons that was at least outside in the fresh air.
Also, you named your dragon Drogon? She really burned a lot of brain cells there.
Overall, I liked the scene involving Bran and company battling the skeletons. But something seemed a bit hokey about when Jojen got stabbed in the chest repeatedly. It all felt...unnatural.
I'd like to see a wargged Hodor fight the Mountain.
The Hound's fate is rather up in the air. If he does die then there goes the theory that Oberyn's death had the silver lining that it kept the door open for the Hound to get his revenge.
At first I wondered how Tyrion knew exactly where to find Shae. Then I realized he went to Tywin's chamber in search of Tywin himself. So Shae was sleeping with Tyrion's father. That had to doubly sting.
Tywin is one of the first villains to meet a satisfying demise. Not only did he come face to face with Tyrion and know the reason he's being is killed is because of how poorly he treated his son but, before that, he had to come face-to-face with the fact that his legacy is a lie (even though he was in denial about that).
It's certainly a good thing that the Iron Bank got off the Tywin bandwagon when they did.
In the end this was a good season finale. It set up next season but still gave us enough plot progression to make the episode not completely be foreshadowing.
Tyrion: Oh, get on with it you son of a whore.
Jaime: Is that any way to speak about our mother?
Varys: What have you done?
Season 4 Totals
Boob Count: 28
Full Frontal Count: 4 (3 Female, 1 Male)
Butt Count: 10 (8 Female, 2 Male)(No more nudity in this episode so what you see is what we got for the season.)
Coitus Count: 4 (No more sex this episode either, I don't think. Cersei and Jaime got close but the scene ended before it really happened.)
Main Character Death Count: 9 (Joffrey, Karl, Lysa, Oberyn, Styr, Ygritte, Jojen and Tywin)(With Jojen, Tywin and Shae dying our grand total for the season is 9 main character deaths. However, the fates of Ser Alliser, the Mountain and the Hound are all up in there air.)
Hodor Count: 46 (It was tough to tell which times Hodor was just grunting and which times he was saying Hodor but I counted 6 this episode. That means our grand total is 46 this season.)