Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Game of Thrones 4x09: The Watchers on the Wall
Opening Credits Map
King's Landing -> Moat Cailin -> Winterfell -> The Wall -> Braavos -> Meereen
We start the episode with Sam and Jon keeping watch on the Wall. Sam wants to know want sex is like. He figures that he's about to die a virgin so he'd at least like some insight. Instead of giving Sam a warm pie and telling him to find out for himself, Jon Snow says all it was like two people becoming one but that all it ever really got him was an arrow six inches from his heart.
Meanwhile, the Night's Watch are actually the knights watched. A wildling warg is spying on them with an owl. Ygritte is sharpening her arrows and awaiting the chance to use them. She also really isn't interested in hearing Tormund Giantsbane's tales of bear fucking.
Styr interrupts the proceedings to taunt Ygritte about her “crow lover” Jon Snow. Ygritte brags about how many “crows” she has already killed. She also announces that if Jon Snow is alive she wants to kill him herself. None of that has to do with Ygritte's ginger minge which was also discussed.
Back at Castle Black Sam is reading a book. He is interrupted by Maester Aemon who wants to know what Sam's up to. I figured Sam was looking up more loopholes regarding physical intimacy with women but, instead, he's just reading about the dastardly deeds of the Wildlings.
Maester Aemon thinks Sam should stop fretting about the woman he loves. Sam declares that he doesn't love Gilly. Maester Aemon, speaking for the audience, knows that's bullshit.
Speaking of Gilly, she appears at the front gate. Pyp, however, won't let her in. A few curse words from Sam changes his mind, though. Once Gilly is safe inside Castle Black, Sam promises never to leave her again. Just then a horn blows letting everyone know shit is going down.
Mance's army is preparing to attack from the rear. Ygritte's crew, via the warg, know it's time to attack the the front. The undermanned Castle Black prepares its defenses.
Ser Alliser and Jon Snow look over Mance's army. Alliser is like, “you may have been right about sealing the tunnels.” Jon tries to be polite by saying it was a tough decision. Alliser says he's fine with his decision because a true commander never second guesses themselves. Which, to me, is as stupid as the people who say they live their life with no regrets but...whatever.
Sam takes Gilly to the safety of the kitchen. Which I guess is fine but if Castle Black falls it won't matter much. Sam is about to leave but Gilly wants him to stay. Sam says his duty is to help defend the castle. Sam promises to not die (which is an oft heard promise by people who have little control over keeping said promise) and then gives Gilly a big kiss before heading out.
The armies begin to march on Castle Black. Ygritte and her camp run towards the front gate. From the back comes Mance's huge army; including giants riding on mammoths. Which, I mean, c'mon, where has this been all series? I know Game of Thrones is popular in its own right but if it was changed to “Giants Riding Mammoths” is there any doubt the viewership would double?
Anyway, Alliser tells his archers to nock. The archers draw instead and other men accidently drop a barrel of oil off the cliff. Ser Alliser is unimpressed.
Ygritte's army attacks the southern gate and there's yelling and flame arrows and death. Ser Alliser is made aware of this development and decides he needs to go to the front and leaves the ever competent Janos Slynt in charge. Janos responds to this news by looking like a deer in the headlights. Janos does manage to get out the order to shoot more arrows, though, which is something.
The battle wages on as Alliser arrives at the southern gate. He gives a rousing speech about not wanting to be eaten by cannibals. The rest of the soldiers are on board with that idea. Personally, I was just waiting for a giant shark to rise up behind Ser Alliser and eat him.
Soon enough the wildlings bust through the southern gate. A lot of swording occurs but Ser Alliser is holding his own. The wilding Tormund is kicking some serious ass too, though.
Meanwhile, back at the northern gate Janos is mumbling about how undisciplined Mance's army is…or the Night's Watch is? I'm not sure which. Jon thinks they should do...something...but Janos has faith in the north gate's 4 inch thick cold rolled steel. Jon is like, “Uh….Giants…RIDING MAMMOTHS! Have you not noticed?” But Janos doesn't believe in giants.
While most of the men can't roll their eyes hard enough, Grenn decides to take action. He tells Janos that he got word from Alliser that Janos is needed at the front. Janos reluctantly leaves and nobody is really sad that Jon Snow is now in charge on the northern side.
Now it's Jon Snow's chance to command the archers to shoot more arrows. I'm starting to think I could be the commander! Some of Mance's raiders make it to the cliff. They begin to climb but Jon's not worried. He knows how tough a climb it is. One of the giants launches a super arrow from below and sends a dude flying all the way the southern gate.
Janos arrives at said southern gate and sees the carnage. He pretty much says, “Nuts to this!” and runs off to lock himself in the kitchen where he comes face to face with Gilly.
Pyp manages to crossbow one of the wildlings and is pretty pumped. Sam says to celebrate when the battle's over. But the battle IS over for Pyp because he gets arrowed by Ygritte. Instead of getting the hell out of there like I would, Sam stays and comforts the dying Pyp.
At the north gate the giants hook the mamoth up to that cold rolled steel gates. They attempt to pull the gate down. Jon tells Grenn to go below with some men and hold the gate. He then reiterates that they must hold the gate. Grenn agrees.
At the south gate Alliser and Thormund begin to battle. Alliser is injured and incapacitated. While being dragged off he order his men to hold the south gates.
Sam leaves the southern area and heads up to the north gate. On his way up he tells Olly, the kid whose parents were killed by Styr in front of his eyes, to grab a weapon and fight.
At the north gate Jon Snow commands the men to drop flaming oil on the mammoth. This causes it to flee and one of the giants run after it. Apparently, the Night's Watch have super arrows of their own and use one on the running giant. This, however, gets the other giant PISSED. He hulks up, lifts the gate himself and walks into the tunnels.
Sam arrives at the north gate. He tells Jon Snow how dire things are at the southern end. Jon heads for the south gate leaving Edd in charge. Guess what? Edd orders the archers to shoot more arrows.
In the tunnel, Grenn and his team are understandably freaked about the giant. The giant begins to charge them. The soldiers chant the Night's Watch oath as the giant heads straight for them. There's a big crash.
At the south gate Sam wants to help Jon Snow. But Jon thinks his puppy would be more useful than Sam. So Sam leaves and releases Ghost who begins feasting on the jugulars of the wildlings.
Eventually Jon Snow and Styr do battle. It's pretty evenly matched but Styr seems to get the better of Jon. But, right when it looks to be the end for our favorite bastard, a well-placed hammer to the skull ends Styr instead. I'd say Jon should have then eaten him but, strangely, I think Styr would've wanted it that way.
Naturally, right when that fight ends Jon turns to find Ygritte pointing an arrow at his heart. She, of course, waivers, so young Olly puts an arrow through her back. Olly nods to Jon Snow in solidarity but Jon can't return the nod.
Jon runs to the dying Ygritte. And thus, Jon Snow comforts and mourns the woman who nearly killed him and successfully killed many innocent villagers as well as Jon's own Night's Watch brethren. I guess this is supposed to be sad but Ygritte's last words are “You know nothing Jon Snow,” which really just makes me glad she's dead.
At the north wall the climbers are getting to high. Edd orders the scythe to be dropped. So this huge blade on a chain comes swinging down and cuts through all the climbers. It's pretty bad ass! Edd declares that Mance's army has had enough for one night. After that I would have had enough too!
So the battle's over. The Night's Watch is victorious at least on this night. Thurmond has been Boromir-ed pretty badly but he lives and is taken into custody. Sam checks on Gilly. She's fine but Sam's surprised to find a cowering Slynt in the kitchen as well. Frankly, that's a fair sight better than I thought Sam might walk in on.
The next morning Jon declares to Sam that to kill a snake you have to cut off its head. He's planning on going off into the north to kill Mance. Sam points out that nobody gave Jon that order. Jon points out that there's no one around to give orders at the moment. Sam points out that going north of the wall to kill Mance is a suicide mission. Jon agrees and waits to hear a better plan. There, of course, is none. Thus, Jon relinquishes his sword to Sam and walks through the northern gate.
So, like Blackwater, this episode all took place in the same location. I liked this episode more than Blackwater, though, mostly for its increased action.
I hope Gilly liked Sam's kissed. Part of me worries that now she views him as "just another horndog guy." But I don't think that's the case.
Ser Alliser kind of concedes that he should of sealed the tunnels. On that note, why don't they just collapse the tunnels after the battle?
A lot of flaming arrows were used during this battle. Apparently the Night's Watch haven't heard of the benefits of night arrows.
Speaking of arrows. I really feel like Mance's army didn't take advantage of the giant's super arrows nearly enough.
The sweeping shot of the southern gate battle that panned from main character to main character certainly was impressive. At the same time, it had a little hint of showboating to it.
It really seemed like the wildlings were kicking ass at the southern gate. I was surprised when the battle suddenly finished in the Night Watch's favor. Maybe Jon Snow and Ghost were just that awesome?
During this episode I came to the realization that Ygritte is/was probably my least favorite Game of Thrones character. All she did was annoy me and not in the good Joffrey way. She wasn't the kind of villain that you love to hate. She was just an annoying character with confusing motivations.
It's a good thing the wildling climbers were climbing in a straight, horizontal line!
I'm a little confused at how that giant/Grenn and crew battle went down in such a way that no one survived.
Why didn't Jon take Ghost with him when heading into the north?
In the end, this was mostly just an action heavy episode. There isn't too much to analyze. That's not a complaint, it's just a statement.
We got a rather happy ending this episode which is rare in Game of Thrones. However, I'm probably not as happy as I should be. I did want Jon Snow, Sam and Gilly to survive, which they did. But, beyond those characters living, I really don't care if Castle Black falls. Who in Westeros don't I want to see overrun by Mance's army?
Jon Snow: And you...for a little...for a little while you’re more than just you. You’re...well I don’t know. I’m not a bleedin’ poet!
Sam: No, you're really not.
Maester Aemon: Thousands of books and no eyes to read them. Old age is a wonderful source of ironies if nothing else.
Pyp: I think we're going to die.
Sam: If you keep missing we will!
Season 4 Totals
Boob Count: 28
Full Frontal Count: 4 (3 Female, 1 Male)
Butt Count: 10 (8 Female, 2 Male)
Coitus Count: 4 (I don't think kissing counts, but I'm sure Sam enjoyed it!)
Main Character Death Count: 6 (Joffrey, Karl, Lysa, Oberyn, Styr, Ygritte)(Shockingly, no real heroes died this episode. I didn't count Grenn or Pyp as "main" characters. Styr is borderline but I went with it.)
Hodor Count: 40