I think I’m out of my post-Game of Thrones funk enough to write this review of the season finale. It’s always a mixed bag for me when the season ends. Though I’m always excited to see how it’s presented, I’m sad to see it go. My Sunday nights will feel a little emptier for the next year until GoT comes back. After all of the action from the previous episode, the season finale felt a little quiet. In its hushed tones, however, the episode managed to change the status quo for the entire cast. “The Children” was full to the brim with payoff even if it left us with just as many questions. We’ll get to Tyrion in a few minutes. The show made us wait so I will too. What a joy it was to see Ciarán Hinds as Mance Rayder again. He gave Jon the business about deserting him but Jon proved himself honorable to his original oath. And to Ygritte. Her death carried weight in this episode through Mance and a shackled Tormund. It was good to see her honored. Things seemed bleak for the Night’s Watch but Mance revealed that he only wants passage through the Wall not more death. As Jon and Mance appear ready to settle things, Stannis Baratheon and his army come riding over the hill like the Cavalry to save the day. Stannis gives his support to the Wall like a true King. We’ll have to wait until next season to see how this plays out. Daenarys is faced with some extremely difficult choices during the finale as she finds being a liberator is much simpler than being a ruler. Bred into a culture of servitude, the freed slaves are having a tough time adjusting to their new status. One of the former house slaves, who was a teacher in his bondage, asks Daenarys if he could return to his master so that his life might have meaning again. Dany makes a wise decision and allows the former slave to enter into a contract with his master. That can’t possibly go wrong, surely. To make matters worse, Dany is presented with the burnt body of a three-year-old. Her largest dragon, Drogon, killed the child. She is then forced to shackle her children to keep her subjects safe. Emilia Clarke plays a broken leader beautifully as her character turns from emancipator to enslaver in a fantastic, emotionally charged scene. Bran finally gets somewhere! Hodor, Meera, Jojen and Bran finally reach the mysterious Weirwood from their visions and are immediately set upon by undead warriors crawling up, out of the ground. Bran possesses Hodor again and fights like a madman but it isn’t enough to stop Jojen from getting prison-shived by one of the zombies. Meera sends her brother on his way in an act of mercy. As all seems lost, a little girl appears form underneath the tree and begs our heroes to follow her. Under the weirwood, the zombies turn to dust and she leads them to safety. She explains that she is one of the Children from the tales of the First Men and she is much, much older than she seems. Finally, at long last, we meet the three-eyed crow that has been speaking to Bran since season one. He’s an old man entwined in the roots of the great tree and he tells Bran that someday, he will fly. Brienne of Tarth , Podrick Payne, Arya and the Hound converge on a hilltop. Though Brienne explains herself and her mission to find Catelyn Stark’s children, the Hound isn’t having it and fight soon follows. Brienne, the toughest not-knight in Westeros, defeats the Hound but loses Arya during the scuffle. The Hound is dying and tries to shame Arya into killing him and eventually begs for death. Rory McCann has been fantastic as Sandor Clegane since season one. No one can deny his abilty and power as an actor after his final scene this season. Arya left him alive, though I will never be certain why. Perhaps she felt that he no longer deserved to die by her hand. If pity stayed her blade then why would she leave him to suffer? As moving as Rory McCann’s last words were, equally moving was Maisie Williams’ silence. It’s doubtful their paths will cross again as she finally uses the coin given to her by the Faceless Man, Jaqen H’ghar, and books passage to Braavos. See you next season, you little assassin wannabe. Cersie lays it all out on the table to her father. She confesses her love and passion for Jaime, refuses to marry Ser Loras Tyrell, and leaves the room a victor. She and Jaime return to bed one another and all seems right in her world. Don’t expect that to last. No one is allowed to be successful or happy in Game of Thrones. And that brings us to Tyrion. Poor, doomed Tyrion. This season has belonged to Peter Dinklage. That is an amazing feat since he spent most of the time listening to other people speak. When he was allowed to act, he amazed us. They were saving the best for last. Jaime unlocks Tyrion’s cell and breaks him free. The plot to free Tyrion came from Varys. All Tyrion has to do is walk up the stairs, meet Varys and be off. This is Tyrion we’re talking about so, of course, he has other plans. Tyrion makes his way through the secret tunnel to the rooms of the Hand where he finds Shae in his father’s bed. He strangles her. It was brutal and heartbreaking. Tyrion then takes a crossbow off the wall and goes in search of his father who he finds in the privy. The dialogue between the two was measured and heavy with danger. Charles Dance dueled well with Dinklage but even his upturned eyebrows and commanding presence couldn’t halt the inevitable. Tyrion killed his father. We are left with Varys, escorting Tyrion in a crate as they set sail across the narrow sea. Chew on that for the next year. This was a season of surprises that never seemed to let up and I am anxious beyond belief for the next season. As I’ve said, I’ve read the books and I know where most things are headed though the show has diverged in a few minor ways. I will give you a fair bit of warning. The next two books in the series, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons were both massive tomes. In fact, they are actually one giant book split in half. Feast featured a certain set of characters while Dance featured the rest. It took forever to find out what happened to Tyrion. Be happy you only have to wait a year. I will tell you this though: things don’t let up and George RR Martin never gives you what you expect. Isn’t that wonderful? See you next season. Game of Thrones 4.10 “The Children”4.5Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.