Friday, June 20, 2014

Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 10: Finale Review

Warning.  This Review contains spoilers.

So here we are, ten episodes later at the finale of the fourth season of Game of Thrones. Took me a while to get to it this week, but here's my review.  I'm actually in a toss-up for this episode as to how much I liked it.  Don't get me wrong, it was still a very entertaining episode though.

We pick up right where we left off after last episode, with Jon Snow going out to meet Mance.  While, in the midst of them trying to act tough in front of each other, an unknown army on horseback comes in a surprise attack, and pretty much wipes out the Wildling army.  Surprise, its Stannis.  If you read the books, you knew he was coming and if you didn't, well there were hints in the past few episodes and for the most part it couldn't really be anyone else unless a new character was introduced.  I would've liked to see a little bit more of the slaughter and the sheer size of the Wildling army which should have numbered at just under 100,000, including some giants and mammoths.  Instead, Stannis's army is made to look massive (If i remember right, its less than 5,000), and we only see a handful of men from the Wildling side, and we don't get to see any more giants or mammoths after the whole two we got to see last week.  I know Mance has the last giants ever in his army, but theres more than two.  Anyways, just another 30 seconds to a minute to show a couple more deaths/ angles of maybe the Wildlings fleeing to better show the numbers and I would've been content.  And a couple more shots of giants and mammoths.

In Mereen, not much is going on.  A man comes to show the dead body of his child who was killed by Dany's loose dragon.  Distraught, and through a bit a of irony, she chains her dragons after vowing so many times that she was there to break the chains of everyone.  Of course she does this with the intention of protecting people, but it shows that she plans on being in Mereen for a while, and she does, she'll probably be there for most, if not all of next season.

The Three Eyed Raven
Now back to the North, Bran finally meets the three eyed raven.  Bran and friends are frozen and about to give up when they see just over the rise that they have found their destination.  But right on the doorstep they're attacked by zombies soldiers (not White-Walkers, they're the ice type zombie things).  Its a pretty cool fight, Bran controls Hodor again to kick some ass but not everyone is so lucky.  Jojen gets stabbed and doesn't make it.  What appears to be a small female child opens the door to the underground cavern where they find refuge and the three eyed raven, and that is all we really get until next season for Bran.

Over in the Vale, Brienne and Podrick happen upon Arya and the Hound.  They start out talking like just travelers who just happen upon each other until they learn who each person is.  A fight ensues between Brienne and the Hound.  The fight is pretty good, they both go hit for hit to almost the point of exhaustion until Brienne gets the upper hand and knocks the Hound down a cliff. Apparently during this time Pod and Arya are playing hide and seek.  This is where I start to have problems with this (it doesn't happen in the book).  Not only that, but all season (and last season) we've been getting hints at how useful Arya and Pod can really be, and theyre both no where to be found.  After the fight Brienne finds Pod kind of lost claiming he was watching Brienne in case she needed help, but where was Arya?  She comes out of the shadows to find a dying Hound and when he begs for a killing blow she takes his money and leaves him to die (the only part close to the book and the only part of this I really liked).  Now while I enjoyed the fight, and it was cool to see Brienne get to challenge the Hound, I think it ruins Arya's story.  She has no where to go, and while she doesn't love the Hound, he's grown on her, they've started to take care of each other.  Brienne can obviously take of her as well, and is probably nicer considering the whole i swore to protect you vow thing shes got going on.  So I find it kind of silly that Arya would still choose to go to Braavos after running into Brienne, another strong female warrior.  It makes sense in the books, The Hound dies from the bite on his neck and Arya literally has no other option other than trying to find Jon.  Not only this, there were rumors of a Lady Stoneheart reveal.  Brienne runs into her through a series of smaller events in which the writers could have made a smaller event to get Brienne and Pod to meet this new character that will blow people's minds once they get to meet her, this really would've made this episode great and left people drooling for next season (if you aren't already).

In King's Landing we get to see some more incest for those of you that like that kinda thing with Cersei and Jamie.  Not only that, but Cersei throws a temper tantrum when she doesn't get her way with daddy and tells Tywin that the incest rumors are true and she'll use it as blackmail if she must.

But what's awesome, for anyone but Tywin (he has a bad day), is the escape of Tyrion.  Jamie, realizing he's the only one who loves Tyrion helps him escape the night before execution through the secret passages of the Red Keep.  He's to meet Varys on the way out to take him to a ship.  Along the way he sneaks into Tywin's chambers where he finds Shea, begging for Tywin to come back to bed. Well Tyrion's obviously hurt, and Shea tries to stab him, so he chokes her out with the gold chain around her neck.  Tyrion takes cross bow and finds his father sitting on the shitter.  Tywin tries to talk his way out of it but essentially admits he's always hated Tyrion, so Tyrion shoots him still on the toilet.  This was what I've been hinting at all season to happen, and I must say I really enjoyed it, but it wasn't as awesome as I thought. When I read this part, I was like "WHAT!? YES!!" and as gratifying as it was to watch, it wasn't the same.  The hate for Tywin builds up so much more in the book, it just felt like it fell a little flat in the show, but it was still cool to see.
I imagine Tywin pooping when hit gets hit, everytime....
It seems like I've done some more complaining than usual this review, but I still enjoyed the episode.  Maybe I'm just being a nitpicky fan, I did have really high expectations for this finale.  My only hope is that the changes made from the book to the show don't get out of hand.  I don't mind changes that help tell a better story or shorten parts that don't need to be so long, but when they fundamentally change things, or at the least kind of screw with motivations (Jamie's rape scene, Arya ignoring Brienne), that's when it can get annoying.  Either way, this season overall was pretty good, can't wait till next season. And hopefully there will be some more GoT reading material as well.



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