Game of Thrones S04

You like this character? *squish* How about this one?

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Game of Thrones season four has had its slow moments, but the momentum it built over its last three episodes has been nothing short of insane. The conclusion of the season, while not as high on the intensity level as “The Watchers on the Wall,” or as shocking as “The Mountain and the Viper,” still delivers on both counts, and leaves us with hopeful questions and a few bloody shocks.

The only question I have now is, how will season five ever top off this level of storytelling intensity? Season four was the best season of Game of Thrones so far, except perhaps for season one. We can only hope; there’s still plenty of shockers and excitement where those stories came from.

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[do action=”moment” emo=”Creative” title=”Jon and Mance Rayder remember the fallen.”/]

Hard to believe these two were throwing lives at each other just one episode ago. This is the perfect cap to the excitement of The Watchers on the Wall: an oddly intimate meeting between two battle commanders. I especially loved that the giant that Grenn and the others killed in the tunnel was Mag the Mighty, king of the giants. Jon’s answer to this was wonderful: “Grenn came from a farm.”

[do action=”moment” emo=”Exciting” title=”The cavalry is here. No, literally.”/]

It’s great to see such interesting characters as Stannis Baratheon and Ser Davos join the action at the Wall. Stannis’s presence when facing Mance was formidable. “It is customary to kneel when surrendering to a king.” I think the Wall just got an excitement injection for season 5. It’s not like it was boring or anything…

[do action=”moment” emo=”Triumphant” title=”Oberyn poisoned his blade, getting his vengeance after all.”/]

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bastard. Although I have to wonder what Qyburn has in mind. Not sure I like the sound of that scene…

[do action=”moment” emo=”Interesting” title=”In a desperate gambit to stay in King’s Landing, Cersei admits to incest in front of Tywin.”/]

I… What? Why? I’m convinced Cersei is slowly going mad since Joffrey died. Threatening to reveal her relationship with Jamie would accomplish… what exactly? A very interesting and intense scene between Cersei and Tywin. Tywin’s attitude reminds me of all those parents who cannot deal with their children’s abuse so ignore it even in the face of undeniable evidence.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Frustrating” title=”It’s the finale, surely Daenerys will sail to King’s La–nope, she’s chaining her dragons.”/]

More scenes of Daenerys administrating her city of ex-slaves, and being puzzled when the culture doesn’t instantly change to accommodate her white savior complex. And now she’s chaining her dragons in a cave? Riveting action, I tell you. I hope that when the ultimate collector’s edition Blu-Ray comes out, there’s an option to play the whole series and skip Daenerys after season one.

[do action=”moment” emo=”WTF” title=”Skeletons? Fireballs? What is this, a D&D game?”/]

WOAH. Did we just see an unearthly child throw fireballs at animated skeletons? And here I was, last episode, celebrating how low-key the fantasy elements are in Game of Thrones, and how shocking these elements were when they made an appearance. But this… This is going overboard. I realize it’s Bran getting to the Three-Eyed Raven, but it just felt out of place and too sudden. Still, the wight effects were really good.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Bloody” title=”It’s Brienne versus the Hound! I don’t know who to root for!”/]

What an intense, riveting battle between two beloved characters! I loved how it started with a more restrained duel until the Hound made it up close, bloody, and personal. Hearing Brienne shriek like a banshee while ripping out a piece of the Hound’s flesh with her teeth was both satisfying and troubling.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Sad” title=”The Hound lies dying, and Arya watches him like a crow.”/]

Dammit, not the Hound… He and Arya were the perfect match throughout season 4, so I’m sad that this time is finally over. That’s what happens when you base your TV series off books… In any other TV show, the fans’ positive reaction to Arya and the Hound would have ensured they are kept together for season after season until we no longer cared. But this is Game of Thrones, baby. So Sandor Clegane doesn’t even get a goodbye from her.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Intense” title=”Tyrion goes all Django on King’s Landing.”/]

What a shocking ending to a shocking season. Tyrion, set free by his brother, can’t walk away from King’s Landing so easily, so visits his father’s chambers and finds Shae there. Her death was gruesome, and perfectly set the tone for the fatal confrontation between father and son. I wish the great Tywin Lannister had had a better death than sitting on the crapper, but in a way it’s oddly appropriate. His presence on this show will be missed; he brought menace and gravitas to every single scene he’s been in.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Hopeful” title=”Everyone’s on a boat.”/]

Where does this all lead? We know Arya is bound for Braavos, but what about Varys and Tyrion? Given how clever and careful Varys has always been, what does it mean that he now flees King’s Landing? Is the reign of House Lannister coming to an end? Did Varys miscalculate, or was this his plan all along?

Season five can’t come soon enough!

Game of Thrones S04E10: “The Children”

A strong finale to a very exciting and shocking season. There's plenty of shockers in this episode alone, and enough good stuff to make sure we'll all be anxiously awaiting the season five premiere. Game of Thrones is easily the best show on TV right now.

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