Game of Thrones Episode (4×10) Review – “The Children”

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Game-of-Thrones-Review

Dead Men Can’t Hear

HBO’s Game of Thrones tied up many loose ends and still managed to open new ones as the series wrapped up its season 4 finale. Stannis Baratheon marched on the Wall and interrupted Jon’s meeting with Mance Rayder. Cersei threw her incestuous relationship with Jaime in Tywin’s face (Happy Father’s Day!), while her brother Tyrion shot an arrow in dear old dad’s gut. Dany learned the price of freedom when she allowed a former slave to return to his master, and decided to imprison her “children” upon learning that Drogon killed a 3 year-old child. Bran and Co. finally met the 3-Eyed Crow, but lost Jojen along the way. Meanwhile, Arya and the Hound parted ways. Lot’s happened in episode 4×10. So let’s not waste any time and get down to business by discussing “The Children.”

RELATED | Game of Thrones Episode (4×09) Review – “The Watchers on the Wall”

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“In all the ways I’d kill you, poison would be the last.”

Jon Snow marched to possible death last week when he decided to go over the Wall and broker a peace treaty with Mance Rayder. This week the two men do just that, but before Jon could take the terms back to the Night’s Watch, Stannis Baratheon marches on the Wall. This story was basically a blip, but we did get to see a glimpse of what’s going to be happening on the Wall next season, and watch Jon say good-bye to Ygritte one final time. Having read the books I have an idea where this is going, but the manner in which the series strayed from the books this season leaves me questioning how true that belief actually is. One thing’s for sure, the way in which Melisandre was staring at Jon can’t be good!

Mance: Are you capable of that, Jon Snow? Are you capable of attacking a man at his table when he’s just offered you peace?

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“How can someone so consumed with the idea of his family have any conception of what is actually happening with his family?”

The moment we’ve been waiting for finally happened this week: Cersei threw her affair with her brother in their father’s face. OK, maybe that wasn’t the moment we’ve been waiting for, but it was pretty damn good. Tywin has played with his children’s lives for much too long, and Cersei is finally over it. Lena Headey did phenomenally in this scene, and while I doubt Cersei’s words to tell the world of her “brotherly love,” I do think she meant it at the time. At least Jaime got to have a bit of happiness for a change. Even if it turns out to be fleeting.

Cersei: I’m not interested in listening to your smug stories where you tell me how you’ve won. This will not be one of these times.

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“Freedom means making your own choices.”

Dany may have freed slaves, but now that she’s set herself up as the Queen Across the Water she’s discovering that freedom isn’t free. She finally has set up a government and social services for the people, but crime riddles her streets. Not only that, but her “babies” are unruly. Especially, Drogon. While Viserion and Rhaegal tend to be better behaved, Drogon is a loose cannon that kills a 3 year-old child in the finale. As a result, Dany chains up Viserion and Rhaegal in the catacombs. Dany may believe this is for the best, but what she doesn’t realize yet is that she’s chained up her best defense against her enemies. Then again, you can’t have them frying little children where they stand, can you? As of now Dany’s choice appears to be the lesser of two evils, but this being GOT, chances are it’s a trap.

Ex-Slave: The young may rejoice in the world you have built for them, but for those who are too old to change it only means fear and squalor.

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“Come with me, or die with them.”

In a completely WTH moment, Bran, Jojen, Meera and Hodor finally reach the mysterious tree Bran dreamed about earlier this season, but are attacked by zombies. Growing up I loved Jason and the Argonauts as much as the next kid, but seeing armed skeletons swarming the kids seemed pretty much out of left field. Maybe because this never happened in the books. At least not yet. Though it came across pretty cheesy, it still was also pretty cool. Sadly, Jojen didn’t make it. One of the warrior skeletons stabbed him to death. Still, you have to give Jojen props for accompanying Bran on this suicide mission knowing full well that this was how he’d die.

Three-eyed Crow: You will never walk again, but you will fly.

Aside from the crazy weird battle scene, we finally meet the 3-Eyed Crow Jojen’s been going on about since season 2. The dude is some old man who lives under the tree with the Children of the Forest. What they want from Bran will be a treat we won’t get until next season, but the tease is enough to keep any GOT fan panting for more over the next year.

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“There’s no safety, you dumb bitch. If you don’t know that by now, then you’re the wrong one to watch over her.”

In another cool scene, the Hound and Brienne battle it out over who gets to take Arya. For a few seasons we’ve been waiting for Arya to get some sort of connection with her family, and when it finally comes she doesn’t want it. The Hound was right. Everyone Arya loved is gone (save Sansa). Including her home. Where is she going to go? Bravos, that’s where! Thanks to her lucky coin Jaquen gave her, Arya’s going off on a new adventure. If you’re a fan of the character as I am, then this had to be one of the most exciting developments.

The Hound: Going it alone you won’t last a day out there.

Arya: I’ll last longer than you.

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I am your son. I’ve always been your son.”

This being the finale, the writers couldn’t let us go without leaving our jaws dropped on the floor. So much happened in the finale that most of us forgot we were supposed to learn if Tyrion would survive until season 5. He did, thanks to Jaime and Varys freeing him from the Black Cells. However, before the Imp could make his great escape, he decided to pay his father for a visit. Why? Who knows since this scene was badly edited from the book, but it was still a good scene. Upon entering the Tower of the Hand, Tyrion discovered Shae in his father’s bed and strangled her with her own necklace. He then shot Tywin in the stomach and heart with a crossbow. While Charles Dance will be greatly missed as Lannister patriarch Tywin Lannister, his death opens many doors for the other characters. How much do you want to bet that all of Cersei’s claims to pronounce her love for Jaime will now be null and void? I know I’m not betting on it!

 

Once again writers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff gave viewers much to contemplate and theorize over. A Storm of Swords is a massive book, and while there may appear to be things featured that appear less important then others, they once again prove that everything happens for a reason. Arya’s trek across Westeros with the Hound was needed for her to become the cold-hearted warrior that would leave a man to die a slowly instead of giving him a merciful death. Director Alex Graves had his hands full trying to wrap up the second half of ASoS. Even though the ending felt a bit rushed and we didn’t see She Who Shan’t Be Named (yet), he did a pretty damn good job. There was lots of chatter online about what was missing from the finale. Like you, I also thought the finale moment of the episode would be the finale moment of ASoS, and felt a bit of disappointment when it wasn’t, but viewers need to remember that season 3 encapsulated storylines from book 3-5 and it’s going to take a while to get through them.

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Questions…. Comments…. Concerns…

  • Are you as worried as I am over the look Melisandre gave Jon? He doesn have a thing for redheads…
  • Where do you think Tyrion is running to and why is Varys going with him? Will Jaime and Cersei be happy Tywin is dead?
  • Did Drogon really kill that little girl, or is Dany being played for a fool?
  • I was pretty surprised how the dragons allowed themselves to be chained up. Just goes to show you how much power a mother has over her children.
  • RIP Jojen!
  • Who will you miss more: Tywin or Shae?