Before I start a couple of things. There will be spoilers, don’t go moaning at me when you read something that you haven’t already watched yet ok? If you do I will hold you in as high regard as I hold Dany’s story lines. Secondly, I’m not going to go through everything that happens in the episode, just little things that popped into my head as I watched. Sorted? Good, off we go.
Well that’s it for another year folks. No more Jon Snow and his terrible accents, no more Hound and Arya comedy tag team duo and certainly no more Tywin Lannister. What are we going to do for twelve months? For starters if you haven’t read the books I highly recommend you start doing so. Anyway enough moaning about what we won’t get, let’s go over what we did get in the Season 4 finale.
When I said last week that I thought the battle at the Wall ending was a bit of an anti climax , now you can see why. I was fully expecting an army to come riding in to save the day just as the Wall looked like it was about to fall. It was nice to see Mance Rayder again and he actually seems to be one of the better “kings” in the whole show; yes he looks after a rag tag bunch of people from all different races who would eat you in your sleep but, he genuinely cares for his people. He’s not necessarily doing it for revenge, or to become the King in Westeros he is a man leading his people to safety. With Stannis now at the wall it will be interesting to see what happens from here, Mellisandre and Jon Snow looking at each other from across the pyre might give us an inclination as to why Melisandre was so keen to come north, she might have seen Jon Snow in her fires.
Bran, oh boring Bran. For once his storyline wasn’t dull as dishwater. I suppose there’s only so much pulling of a crippled boy you can show in two and a bit seasons before people really switch off. They kept trying to show Bran as an important character when he was on screen, always reminding us of his sight and finally, today we saw something of interest happen. The skeletons that rose up out of the ground for the most part looked pretty decent, you couldn’t notice the CGI for the most part. It was nice to see Meera actually in a proper fighting situation, she held her own, she was strong and wanted to do everything she could to protect her little brother, sadly to no avail. It was fun to see Bran become Hodor again as well, I’m sure the actor playing Hodor is happy he took the part now, he actually gets to do something of note and not just be the big man saying his own name! Seeing the creepy little kid thing come out and start throwing magic bombs all over the place was great and the rest of that section shows that the show is full on fantasy, yes we have dragons and Mellisandre occasionally has demons coming out of her vag but most of the show is around the politics and the personal stories, seeing and old man chilling in a tree whilst skeletons attack a crippled boy and a young girl throws fire bombs…No that’s fantasy.
If you are a regular reader then you will know I don’t really care too much for Dany and her storyline and I still don’t. I didn’t really feel anything for her, or her dragons when she locked them up in the catacombs of Mereen, they are beasts, she can’t control them, it’s actually a good move for her.
Now, onto my two favourite parts…
Tyrion. I think most people would expect this to be the last thing I talk about, even I thought it would be, saving the best for last and all that but for me there was a section that was even better which I will get onto shortly. Tyrion being broken out of his cell by Jaime was great, seeing the love those two have for each other even though Jaime knows that it will more than likely mean some kind of bad ending for him was great, it certainly brings Jaime back into being a character you can get behind, even after the return of the incest in this episode and the shady scene with him and Cersei after Joff’s death. I Shae and Tywin sexing it up would have come as a surprise to a lot of TV viewers, it does seem a bit out of place for Tywin to want to bed anybody, let alone a whore who his evil dwarf son had been with many times before. But, it served to give us another great Tyrion scene with him putting an end to Shae which was great, Tyrion sitting on the floor apologising while Shae’s lifeless body was slumped next to him was actually quite beautiful in a way.
Then came the big one though, Tywin taking two crossbow bolts whilst having a crap was great, shame they didn’t throw in the lne about a Lannister not really shitting gold, but that would have taken away from the scene. Charles Dance as Tywin is going to be a big miss for the series, yes he’s an asshole of a character but my god he commands every scene he is in. But at least we got a victory for the good guy, for once.
Finally though,without a shadow of a doubt the best thing about the finale was Brienne and The Hound. This was a surprise meeting even for us book wankers and at first I wasn’t quite sure about it as Arya was talking to Brienne, but when that fight kicked off, my word, it was something else. It was by far the most intense and brutal fight that we have seen on the show, it even tops The Mountain v The Viper for me. Seeing Brienne going toe to toe with The Hound, showing her strength and her courage was fantastic. They both dished it out and as the fight went on and it turned from a sword duel to a full on fist fight they both dug down and pulled out their animal instincts with each one doing everything in their being to not die. The final sequence with Brienne unleashing with a flurry of punches to the face screaming as she went, finally kicking The Hound off the cliffside was breathtaking. Never did I think I would be so invested in a fight, especially where I didn’t really want either character to lose.
A few quick final points:
- Arya sailing away on a ship to Bravos was actually a nice ending. They needed to move away from the Lannister murderfest in Kings Landing and end on a semi happy note and they did. A bit cheesy, but not as bad as the season 3 finale with Dany being carried on the shoulders of the slaves she had freed.
- Sticking with Arya, was expecting her to put The Hound out of his misery and it didn’t happen. Damn you Arya.
- How big did Mance Rayder look in that fur coat?! The man looked like a giant!
So, that’s it for this season. Thanks for reading those of you that got this far. I’m really interested to see where the show goes next year. So many characters have come to a point in their story arc where they need something new to do and I have a feeling the next season might come across as a bit slow, they have effectively reset the show and it will be very interesting to see how many people stick with it. Needless to say we will see a lot more of Dorne next year and the repercussions of Oberyn’s death which will be a nice change of setting.
Here’s to looking out for casting rumours for ten months!