Game of Thrones 4.10 – The Children

Arya Stark, winner of the Most Grizzled Player award

Arya Stark, winner of the Most Grizzled Player award

[Previously.] I AM COMPLETELY SATISFIED. Hunnert percent. If you wanna complain about that season ender, you can go find elsewhere, because I am dancing around in my house with my hands on my cheeks, blown away. My husband has a bruise on his arm from me slapping it and saying, “Oh my god!” I can officially say that I had no frakkin’ idea that like, most of that would happen. EXCEPT. I totally called one thing, and I cannot believe I was right.

I know nothing about the books, as you all should know, so for me, an Unsullied, this was a great wrap up leaving me excited for Season Five. GAH, keeping spoilers from above the cut is making me crazy, let’s get to it.

 

Jon is making his death march to the Free Men with the hopes of assassinating Mance Rayder under the guise of brokering for peace. It’s pretty clear he expects to die. First, props to the FX department for the impressive Gate, the dead bodies strewn about the clearing, and the dead Giant making a home for some Nevermores.

Jon gets all the way to Mance’s tent (under heavy and suspicious guard) when Mance agrees to a parlay. Here’s the thing, guys. I like Mance. A lot. He’s honorable, he’s sticking to what he believes, he tough, and he’s fair. Basically he’s a three dollar bill in Westeros. Jon tells him the truth about Quorin and staying loyal to his vows. Well, all but that one.

Speaking of, Ygritte died, not by Jon’s hand, and that death hits Mance in the feels. They drink to her, to the giant Mag the Mighty, who was from one of the oldest bloodlines and the Giant’s king, and to Grenn, who was a farmer. (That was a great line of Jon’s.) And I assume they’re drinking straight up everclear filtered through skunk teats given the face Jon makes.

As they play a subtle game of dominance, there’s a lot of attention being paid to the knives in the room, one to cut meat, one on a table, another in someone’s hand. Mance knows Castle Black gave it all they had last night. And he sent 400 men further north to climb the Wall. They won’t all make it, but they won’t all need to, will they? He wants to be honest with Jon, let Jon know everything so he can make the right decision. Guys? I really like Mance. He has nothing to lose so he has no reason to lie.

“We’re here to hide behind your Wall. Just like you.” Winter is coming, and they both know what that means. Mance doesn’t want to conquer – open the Gate, let them through, or they’ll kill every last one of you mother truckers. This seems like a bad idea, Jon, because those Thenns are not going to be good citizens. They’re not going to join Junior League and keep their lawns mowed. And there are a lot of them.

But knives are drawn—I watched this three times and never saw Jon pull one, just that Mance thinks he will—and Mance wants to know if Jon’s that sort of person. Can he kill a man who just said he wanted peace?

WHO CARES BECAUSE RIDERS COME ALL OF A SUDDEN AND BREAK THIS UP. [Riccola horns] It’s not Jon’s men because he doesn’t have any, so who the hell is it?

AHHH THIS WAS SO COOL LOOKING

AHHH THIS WAS SO COOL LOOKING

IT’S A HUGE ASS BATTALION OF RIDERS in amazing formation (thank you arial shot) coming west along the wall, curving north into the woods, and HOLY SHEEP DUNG, there are more of them flanking from behind and cutting south, what?! They’re armed, they’re in armor, and they’re good. Who the hell do they belong to? Stannis mother-putting-aside-to-bone-Red-Crotch-Mage Baratheon, that’s who.

And Stannis just earned himself a place in my heart with that awesome move. Okay, Maxwell, I get it. Stannis is a gee dee KING. This was pretty awesome. That’s a leader for you, right there.

They kill loads, Mance throws his swords down because he doesn’t want more deaths on his hands, but it’s not like he’s going to bow before Stannis. He’s a Free Man, and they do not bend the knee. AHHH, MANCE!! His “watcha gonna do?” grin as he tells Stannis, “All the same, we do not kneel” makes me want to get into a bar fight or make love to a beautiful woman, I DON’T EVEN KNOW I just have a lot of feelings that I don’t know what to do with.

Now THAT'S a king.

Now THAT’S a king.

Jon watches in awe because he fully expected to die today. Looks like he’s been given a raincheck. Mance and his men are put in chains. Jon tells Stannis who he is. Stannis liked Ned, so he automatically trusts Jon. What would Jon do if he were Ned?

Respect the Mance. Chain him up and burn any bodies. ALL bodies. Okee dokee! (Ooh, especially the giant!! Don’t let that turn into a White Walker/ice zombie/Predefremen*, oh my gosh!)

* for n00bs: in the first episode, the first one we saw had blue eyes of Spice consumption, yet also resembled a Predator, hence, Predefremen. /nerd alert!

[check comments for more talk on why it’s important this all didn’t happen in last week’s episode!]

Down in King’s Landing, Grand Maester Pycelle, Cersei, and Qyburn look over the mangled body of the Mountain. And it appears that The Mountain isn’t quite dead yet?

The Mountain: I’m not dead yet…
Grand Maester Cat Piss: Yes, you are.
Cersei: What was that?
GMCP: Nothing. Here, let’s leave him to be buried.
Mountain: I’m not quite dead! Just mostly.
Cersei: Now see here, he says he’s not dead.
GMCP: Yes, he is.
Qyburn: No, he isn’t.
GMCP: Yes, he is.
Mountain: [faintly] I think I’ll go for a walk now…
Cersei: Is there anything you can do?
Qyburn: Send Cat Piss off and leave me to drain the Mountain of his humors?
Cersei: Seems legit. Off you go, Cat Piss.
GMCP: This is against regulation! [is shoved out]
Mountain: What was that about draining?
Qyburn: [conks Mountain on the head]
Cersei: Oh, cheers for that. I’ll leave you to it, then.
Qyburn: [unnecessarily walks with a limp, dragging his foot behind him as he gathers morbid looking medical supplies]

Gee dee, it, Oberyn. You couldn’t have used a poison that worked a little faster? But anything that gets Cat Piss in a foul mood is awesome by my thinking. Qyburn is skeevy, but you have to admire a morbid doctor with a penchant for unnecessary medical experiments. He tells Cersei that the Mountain will be… changed somewhat, so raise your hand if you think that means a Human Centipede? I mean, sorry, wrong genre, a White Walker? Can you imagine the Mountain as an undead ice zombie!?

Cersei then goes to her dad to say a) she is not marrying Loras Tyrell, b) she is keeping her word about protecting her family, c) her family does not include whatever Tywin has in store, d) Jaime and Tommen are her family, and e) yeah, it’s true: Jaime is her baby daddy. SUCK IT, POPS, YOUR LEGACY IS A LIE. Oh, you doubt she’ll stand up to you, Tywin? Because she was willing to poison her baby to keep him from the wrong hands, what the hell do you think she’ll do to keep him from the likes of Tywin Lannister and Margaery Tyrell? Why, tell the world her son is a bastard incest baby, that’s what. [“How You Like Me Now” plays on 11]

She leaves Tywin biting the inside of his mouth in his ineffectual rage in order to see Jaime. Jaime is looking at the slam book of Kingsguard (“Andy D’elissio, House D’elissio, made out with a hot dog.” “Loras Tyrell, House Tyrell, too gay to function.”). Jaime’s sad that they haven’t said anything about him yet when Cersei sweeps in all smiles, lust and promises to never stop hating Tyrion.

Jaime: You have got to let that go.
Cersei: I’ll let that go when you let me go.
Jaime: That doesn’t make any sense.
Cersei: Your face doesn’t make sense. Let’s screw. Forever.
Jaime: Well, if you insist… [grabs her lustily and proceeds to slow bone on the Kingsguard table]

Aww, these two crazy kids in love… Shame they’re so closely related and will burn in everlasting hellfire. Of love. It’s weird that I’m rooting for the incest couple, right? But I am, you guys. I am. I think it’s the passionate kiss Cersei placed on Jaime’s golden hand. (She totally had that commissioned with Special Features, gimmie a break.)

Daenerys is seeing her citizens again and has an awakening of how much work there is left to do (and how Jorah could have been of help—too bad he’s wandering the wastelands like Caine in Kung-Fu [whistles of loneliness] —or at least she could have set up some some community organizers). An old slave, Fennesz, who had a great life as a teacher wants to be allowed to go back to being a slave. The streets are run by hoodlums. It’s Cabrini Green out in the streets of Meereen, and old folks just tryna make a living aren’t able to because of Young Bucks runnin’ thangs.

She decides that he can sell himself back for a year, then, and he’s okay with that. Barristan isn’t into that plan, because it’s still slavery. But she didn’t think about what happens once the shackles fell, did she? Just a sign of her youth and inexperience, really. Speaking of not seeing things all the way through, a sad, sad man comes with a bundle in his arms. It’s his child, burned alive by her dragons. He’s weeping and devastated, and the fun thing is that no one knows where Drogon (the black dragon) is. And by fun I mean terrifying.

Well, shit. Dany has the town bullies as her kids and what is she gonna do about it?

She leads her babies into the catacombs below the city, and this is some awesome CGI, them walking and flapping downstairs. There is meat waiting for them… and some chains. The chains go off the people and onto her own children. [all my tears] She chains them around the neck while they’re distracted, then walks away, crying as her babies cry out to mama. WELL YOU SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THAT BEFORE YOU STARTED EATING THREE YEAR OLDS, BOYS. No supper until you think about what you’ve done.

MOM I HATE YOU I HATE YOUR FACE I HATE YOUR KINGDOM I JUST WANNA EAT A KID MOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

MOM I HATE YOU I HATE YOUR FACE I HATE YOUR KINGDOM I JUST WANNA EAT A KID MOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

(Ahhh, her crying and broken hearted as they cry to her and the big stone rolls back into place! Dragons, nooooo!)

Side note: can’t their fire go through that metal? And how pissed are they going to be when they ever get out? Do they need some goblins with clackers to train them? I’m just trying to Big Picture this, because it seems like no one does.

Maester Aemon has a funeral service for the Night’s Watch who died. We see Pyp and Grenn in the pile…and watching are Stannis, Davos, Newt, Crazy Mom and Melisandre as Jon and Samwell light the bodies on fire. There are a lot of bodies and not many Watchmen left. “And now their Watch has ended.” The smell of long-pig is thick in the air.

Melisandre looks in the fire and see the hotness that is Jon Snow. I have no idea what she sees, just that she catches an eyeful of our resident bastard. You better not try to Gendry Jon, Mel. (And where has Gendry been all season? I need some hot, guileless blacksmith, okay?) This makes me think Fire Crotch Mage can see a Big Picture Importance in Jon, which instantly has me worried.

Jon goes to Gjördkr the Bær Fuçkër to see how he’s doing. Healed up, angry, and confused, that’s how. He wants to know first how he’s to be killed—Jon doesn’t know, or even if he will be. (OMG, the mutual and grudging respect they have for each other makes me so happy.) But let’s talk about the dead Wildlings and what should be said over their bodies? The Free Men don’t do funerals, btw, because “the dead can’t hear us, boy.” Love that. They’re too straightforward for that nonsense. Plus, they know what happens to people who die—and are clever enough to know that what lives again isn’t what once lived.

I’m thinking Gjördkr the Bær Fuçkër saw himself as a sort of father figure (not like the George Michael’s song, it’s important I point that out) to Ygritte and wants to know if Jon actually cared for her. Jon doesn’t say anything, but his ManPain is strong on his stoic face, so we know. We know.

We also know because Jon drags her behind a horse to beyond the gate, builds a funeral pyre for her, and climbs on and dies with her as it’s set alight. WELL, HE SHOULD HAVE DONE SO, HE’S THE DAMN ROMANTIC LEAD NOW. Oh, what’s that? The one-handed sisterfucker is? Oh. Well, good thing you didn’t climb on with her, Jon, seeing as you’re not Dragonborn and wouldn’t have that Daenerys-ending of Season One, and I like you.

Hodor, Bran, Jojen and Sister whose name is too close to too many other names are somewhere North of the Wall as well, and Jojen ain’t looking too good. Looking mighty peaky, actually. But they’re close, he feels it, and remember how they have to go below the Weirwood tree? They found it! Can I just say how cool this image is? The tree and its red leaves look almost like an old drawing of a heart’s circulatory system, which means this thing is the heart of how to heal the world. My two cents.

There’s a wide expanse of open space in front of it and Jojen is lagging behind. Aaaaaaand a skeletal hand busts out of the ice and grabs him. And there are now loads of these ice skeleton warrior thingies busting out everywhere and they were so close! They could see a door under the tree, nooooo!

Bran Wargs into Hodor (m-o-o-n, that spells Hodor!) and starts attacking all the Draugr fighting them. (Seriously. Bethesda writers are total ASOIAF fans, I will never be convinced otherwise), but they’re tough! Jojen gets shower-shivved! Our guys have knives while the Draugr are rocking battleaxes, FFS, and let’s take a moment to slow clap for the AMAZING visual effects here.

GoT Dragur

AHHH!! I did NOT see this coming.

Sister slits Jojen’s throat, Creepy Kid blows him up with a fireball, the Draugr are hot on their heels, Mereen in particular (I’m just saying, couldn’t she be named Janice? Something easy and not quite so similar?), but there’s a magic barrier that prevents the skeletons from entering the secret entrance under the Whomping Willow, shattering them into dust. Awesome

Seriously, that was an awesome fight scene, especially considering how much CGI there was. Erm, except the rather silly shivving. Sorry. I know I’m supposed to be broken up, but it was pretty silly looking.

The kid says “The First Men called us The Children, but we were born long before them.” So they’re like elves, I guess? She leads them to “He [who] waits for you.”

Seriously: look at the intro picture of Arya. There are some similarities happening.

Seriously: look at the intro picture of Arya. There are some similarities happening.

Raise your hand if you got some True Detective season finale feels from that eerie root-strewn underground system of tunnels they all have to walk through? Hodor dumps Bran on the ground, and seriously? He couldn’t take two more steps, so we’re having to watch him crawl on his belly through a pile of bones to some ancient dude? Not cool, Hodor. The ancient dude is the Three Eyed Raven, and this isn’t even his final form! (He’s going to become Harold in Oasis, a village in Fallout!)

He kinda throws shade for them taking their sweet ass time to get there, says Bran will never walk again, but—and it’s a big but. [Oh, my god, Hodor, look at his but. It’s so big! Tchuh. He looks like one of those magic-guys’ ravens.] The big but: Bran will fly.

OKAY. GUYS. THIS IS MY GUESS. I have no idea if this is possible, but this is what I thought: Bran is going to freaking Warg into the DRAGONS and turn the tide of war.

I MEAN CAN YOU IMAGINE?! Don’t tell me if this is actually something in the books. But that would be a pretty sweet way to use Warg on Expert mode, right?!?

Brienne and Podrick wake up to no horses. Oh my god, Podrick is terrible at this squire-thing. Brienne makes him carry the saddlebags as they push on to the Eryie. And ho ho, Brienne spies Arya practicing her water dancing on a hillside as Sandor lays a deuce. Brienne doesn’t recognize her, but chats her up, amused and impressed by the little girl with a sword, talk about their father’s philosophy on girls fighting, and it’s so cute. I want everything to stop here, I want them to fall in sisterhood, I want Brienne to take Arya under her wing and train her up and for everything to be glorious.

Of course, none of that happens. Sandor comes over, Podrick recognizes them, Brienne automatically assumes Terrible Things are happening to this little girl, because as Cersei pointed out, “terrible things happen to little girls every day,” and Brienne is going to save Arya, not just because of duty and honor sworn to Catelyn, but to her personal duty and honor to little girls everywhere. Also, Sandor calls her a dumb bitch, and Brienne just talked about fighting the boys. What do you want to believe they called her a dumb bitch?

GoT Brienne jumps to conclusions

GoT Hounds response

Holy shit, she and the Hound are going to fight, mano a mano, real dueling, and it is HORRIBLE to watch. Fists to the face and gut, close shaves with heavy bastard swords (hand and a half hilts!), Sandor has the upper hand at first, but the tide changes with some sick-sounding punches and blows with their swords. She gets Sandor on his knees, knife at his throat. But here’s her mistake. “I have no wish to kill you, Ser,” she says. She just wants Arya. The Hound grabs the fucking Valyrian steel blade in his hands and squeezes, says “I’m not a knight,” and MEN? CAMERA THREE.

Do you know how many freaking nerve endings are in your hands? You know how important that delicate engineering wonder that is your hand IS? Don’t go grabbing swords barehanded to freak out your opponent, that is STUPID. NOW HOW DO YOU HOLD A WEAPON?

Brienne loses her sword, the Hound grabs her around the head and starts beating her. Brienne cock punches him, he gets some rib kicks in, she bites off the Hound’s ear, gains a rock and proceeds to bash the Hound about the face with it. It’s seriously brutal, this fight, but doesn’t get to Oberyn levels of brutal.

She gets him to fall off the cliff, rolling and bumping and crashing below with several good knocks to his head and a huge gash in his leg. BRIENNE OF TARTH JUST TOOK OUT THE FREAKING HOUND, YOU GUYS. Pack it up, the most awesome fighter has just been revealed.

Aaaaaand Podrick let Arya get away. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PODRICK. In his defense, he was watching Brienne, because she was awesome. Brienne, so good, so honest, so fucking loyal, she wanted to save the child, do ONE THING that could count towards the debt she owes Catelyn Stark (in her mind), not knowing that the Hound… god, he was doing the same thing. He’s tough, talks tough, is tough, but he actually cares about Arya. I don’t mean to say that if it came to his neck or hers that he’d let himself die (wait for it), but he never imagined Brienne could actually fight. (Did anyone notice that they’re the same height? So. Awesome.)

Also, I think Arya ran off right away, got to a hiding place so she could watch. Pick up tips on how lady warriors fight. Arya? You should pick up tips on how lady warriors ARE. Brienne sees a mangled giant of a man and smiles, says, “Seven blessings on you,” and means it. Then she (incorrectly) puts two and two together in order to protect a young girl, and has the skills to back it up. Brienne of Tarth is better than all of us, I’m just saying. PETITION FOR GWENDLYN TO BE PRINCESS DIANA OF THEMYSCIRA, a.k.a. WONDER WOMAN. Oh wait: she already is. [gross sobbing of love]

Brienne and Pod can’t find Arya—she’s got her elven cloak on, hiding on the rocks in plain sight, but blending in seamlessly. Once they’re gone, she gets down to where Sandor is clearly dying a slow, painful death. Sandor tries to goad her into killing him. “You remember where the heart is?”

Yes, she says, not moving. He eventually begs, but she does nothing. “You won’t make it a day out there,” he tells her.

“I’ll last longer than you.” She takes his sack of coins and leaves him there. Arya is officially The Most Grizzled. Also, anyone else notice that she looks like the weird Child who helped Bran? Has to be intentional. I can’t decide if she doesn’t kill Sandor because of a mutual respect thing—he kept her alive and safe, so he no longer needs to be on her list—or because she knows it’s the worst way to kill him: alone, in pain, and by the hand of a woman. Help me out on this one.

I actually feel terrible for Sandor. That’s how you do a redemption arc. And one that leaves the audience aching.

Jaime comes to free his brother under the cloak of night. He has Varys waiting for Tyrion and an escape route, but before Tyrion can leave, he holds out a hand. BROTHERS DON’T SHAKE HANDS. BROTHERS GOTTA HUG! I love that they really do care for each other, I really do. And guys, I need this moment because it’s about to get AWFUL (then it gets awesome. Then awful again). Tyrion escapes, sees how close he is to his father’s chambers, and of course he’s going to go exploring, and hears the worst thing ever. EVER. OH MY GOD. “Tywin…” a sexy, fucked-out voice moans, “My lion?”

It is SHAE and are you kidding me? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? SHE WAS IN CAHOOTS WITH TYWIN ALL ALONG?? Or was she bought after? Is Shae that good of an actress?? If so, she is forever Shitty Shae to me, because oh my GOD this is so painful to see the betrayal on his face. She’s dripping with necklaces and gold and before she can scream out, Tyrion gets a hold of one of the necklaces and chokes her with it. Killed the only woman he ever loved. Edit: Book readers have reminded me that Tyrion mentioned once that he’d been married before. Dear sweet merciful Dog, how can you keep breaking my heart?! (I love it, don’t worry.)

He whispers in the voice of a scared little boy, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry,” and spies Joffrey’s cumbersome crossbow on the wall. He drags it to the chamber pot where he finds Tywin sitting, dropping a deuce. (And we remember the conversation he had with Jaime about people dying on the shitter. NICE FORESHADOWING. At least the Hound got to pull up his pants.)

YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN SEXIER, PETER DINKLAGE.

YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN SEXIER, PETER DINKLAGE.

Tywin is surprised, but still believes the force of his personality can make Tyrion bend to his will. Yeah, that’s not happening. What, did Tyrion think Tywin would actually let anyone kill Tyrion? He’s a Lannister! Um, yes, actually Tyrion does think that. Also, there’s the whole fucking Shae thing.

Tywin: Doesn’t matter. She’s a whore.
Tyrion: [raises crossbow] SAY THAT AGAIN. /Jules voice from Pulp Fiction.
Tywin: Blah blah, you’re not going to do that. I admire you, I guess, and let’s talk in my chambers.
Tyrion: You’ve hated me since birth. And I won’t go there. She’s there.
Twyin: You afraid of a dead whore?

BOLT TO THE SHRIVELED HEART MEAT, WHAAAAAT!?

DON'T CALL HER THAT, DAD. Even if she was. [gross sobbing]

DON’T CALL HER THAT, DAD. Even if she was. [gross sobbing]

Yeah, Tyrion has nothing to live for, and he finally has the upper hand. And about two more bolts that he slowly loads into his father, who begins to die. (It’s a cool weapon. It’s just cumbersome.) Let’s slow clap for the use of Rains of Castamere here, also. (Bear and the Maiden Fair is more of a drinking/rape song, right?) Also, Tywin dying this episode was something I guessed at, but didn’t think would actually happen. TYWIN, YOU WILL BE GETTING AN ODE FROM ME.

Varys loads Tyrion into his Sewed-Mouth-Sorcerer box with promises that it’ll be okay in the end. (Did he know about Shae? DID SHAE LIE FROM THE START?? [still broken hearted over that one]) I do love that Varys did help Tyrion, that he never lied about that. They get him loaded on a ship to points unknown, and as Varys turns to go back to King’s Landing, hears the bells tolling for Tywin. Aaaaand turns back around and gets on the ship because that’s not a good place for him, he suspects. I hope he has gold/money somewhere safe to get.

Arya, on horseback, sees a port ahead. She asks the Captain to take her north, but the guy’s heading home to Braavos.

Maybe this will change his mind… [shows him the coin A Man gave her in Harrenhal] Valar Morghulis.

“Valar Dohaeris,” he says, awestruck. Cut to her on a ship heading north, because somehow that coin means something to this captain, enough to give her a cabin and a lift to The Wall. Edit: some of you think she just gained passage to Braavos, not got the Captain to change his plans for her. I do not know which way to think, because as a non-book reader, I don’t know enough about that Coin and what it signifies to know for certain.

I WANT MORE ABOUT THIS. Is he afraid she’ll ‘name’ him? Is he someone who knows Jo’quin whoziwhatsit A Man?

I'M THE QUEEN OF THE NOOOOOORTH!

I’M THE QUEEN OF THE NOOOOOORTH!

I will say that the final mat shot of the boat on the open water, headed for a storm was awesome.

I liked it. It wrapped up a lot of storylines, closure on many, setting the stage for the next part of some characters’ arcs, and left me satisfied. If you’re a book reader and you didn’t get something out of the books and you’re unhappy, let me remind you that there is a LOT of story left to tell and there is probably a reason why we didn’t get it.

So now what? The season’s over and we have ten months to pine. What you can expect from me:

  • We can keep talking (spoiler free) here, of course. Sign up for notifications to see when new discussions pop up.
  • I’m regularly posting about different topics on my Home Blog, if you want to see what might be of interest to you
  • and I’ll be returning to recap The Walking Dead this fall.

I’m going to miss our regular weeks here—this season led to some of the best discussions we’ve had on the site, and it made me so happy, I can’t begin to tell you. And I want to thank you all for helping me stay spoiler free, for sharing your thoughts and theories, and especially for sharing your passionate enjoyment of this show. I love you guys. :)

SEASON FIVE IS RIGHT HERE!

Please like & share:
  • Katy

    Gee dee, it, Oberyn. You couldn’t have used a poison that worked a little faster?

    No, he didn’t. He wanted the Mountain to suffer for everything that had been done to his sister and her children.

    Everything here is just so…..wow. I do like some aspects of where the show is going and the choices that are made. But there is one line in the book, happens with Tywin’s death. It didn’t happen here, I’m hoping maybe it happens later, cause it’s an awesome line.

    Everything that happens to Tyrion, this is a great bunch of scenes for Peter Dinklage. So much emotional stuff. And if you look really closely at the chain he uses on Shae? Made of tiny hands (cause Tywin is the Hand *winkwink*).

    IS IT SEASON FIVE YET?

    • Oh, I didn’t mean for Oberyn to use THe Strangler, but something that would have worked in, say, a few hours would have been good. I just don’t want the Mountain to live!

      OOOOH, I DID NOT NOTICE THAT NECKLACE, I’M GOING TO WATCH AGAIN! (I liked the nod to the Hand pin on Tywin’s clothes to show us where Shae has been all this time…)

      HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LAST FOR TEN MONTHS, I ASK YOU?!

  • Okay. So. I have this theory. And it’s based on stuff from the first season, and also stuff from the books (but I only read til the beginning of this season along the parallel, so this is spoiler free). I wonder if Jon wouldn’t burn with Ygritte, because I wonder if he’s not secretly Targaryen. See, in the books, early on, we’re told Ned went to find his sister, who’d been ladynapped by Prince Rhaegar (Dany’s biggest bro, who died in the war), and she was found lying down, all bloody, and she goes to Ned, “Promise me, Ned. Promise me.” And then magically he comes home with a bastard baby boy whose mother he adamantly won’t talk about.

    I think his sister is Jon’s mother, and she slept with Prince Rhaegar Targaryen (or was raped, as this is GoT, but it’s the books, you never know) and Jon is the scion of Targaryen house that would’ve been a bastard anyway, just the bastard of the dead heir to the throne. He’s got the weird pale eyes, he’s got the missing backstory, Ned thinks about his sister in tandem with Jon in the books. So. I’m wondering, it’s a theory, I think he might’ve survived that fire. And I sure hope when Dany comes over with her dragons (at some point???), he hops on a dragon too and saves the North with Bran Warging that particular dragon and they work together to bring down the White Walkers.

    And that’s my idea for that. For the rest of the ep, I am heartbroken at Shae, I am hoping for lots of Varys/Tyrion shenanigans overseas, and I was under the impression that Arya was headed to Braavos with the coin? That was supposed to be the point, and the guy said he was going to Braavos and she’s like, “Oh, here you go.” I’ll have to go watch Jaqen again to see (and mmm, I don’t mind that one bit, A Woman likes A Man’s voice).

    • A common theory, one all over the net and one I personally agree with. I would add more detail, but I think this is already spoilerish for those Unsullied that plan on reading the books so I’ll abstain. Check out http://towerofthehand.com/essays/ Or http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Theories

      for a BUNCH more theories and essays written about Books info.

    • Wow, I’m going to have to rewatch S1 again to pick up any bits about the early Targayrens, Ned’s affair-how Jon came to be so I can have anything to even SAY about that.

      But him hopping on a dragon while Bran Wargs into it? I AM ALL FOR THAT.

      • Lisa

        It’s all theory (so it cannot be a spoiler) but, yeah, there are all sorts of things in Season 1 that make it a plausible theory.

        – Robert says that Ned’s sister was “stolen” by Rhaegar Targaryen (and implies she was raped). We’re told she died… somehow, but it’s never said exactly how.

        – The whole thing about Dany’s and Oberyn’s story is that Robert and Tywin ordered the deaths of all Targaryen offspring.

        – Ned was present at his sister’s death (but he never says much about it).

        – Ned refuses to reveal Robert who Jon’s mother might be when Robert speculates in Season 1.

        – Specifically at their parting in Season 1 what Ned says to Jon is “You are my BLOOD” not “You are my son.”

        So it would makes some sense if Ned knew his sister died birthing a Targaryen bastard and rather than see the infant killed, claimed the infant as his own child, allowing his wife to hate the baby as his “bastard” because for her to do otherwise would’ve been suspicious… because Ned was just that kind of noble, quixotic martyr.

        Again, all theoretical (on info we already know) so it’s not a spoiler. But it seems a plausible.

    • Donny

      Jon burned his hand when he set fire to the wight back in season 1. If he climbed onto the pyre with Ygritte he would have died. If he were immune to fire/heat like Dany he wouldn’t have burned his hand.

      • Lyanna Mormont

        GRRM is on record as saying that Targaryens are in fact not immune to fire at all. What happened at the birth of Dany’s dragons was a one-off, miraculous event. Whether the show will keep to that is of course a different question… On the one hand, they did make a mention of the past Targaryen who died after drinking wildfire. On the other, they’ve made a show of Dany touching really hot things without flinching.

        • LOL nicely put! Weird that we were typing the same at almost the exact same time

        • I hadn’t seen that interview, but it makes sense… Thanks for new info!

        • Lisa

          I thought that Drogo’s funeral pyre/Dany being unburnt had something to do with it coinciding with the Red Comet and it’s all mystical what’s-it rather than her being forever immune to fire.

      • Not all Targaryens are immune to fire. Only certain ones who have “the dragon” in them. Don’t forget that Dany’s brother Viserys died of Molten Gold in Season 1 and there have been mentions of previous Targaryens who died from drinking Wildfire in attempts to “Wake the dragon”

        • OOOH, I HAD FORGOTTEN ABOUT DRINKING WILDFIRE! Holy smokes, I am looking forward to watching everything over from the beginning during hiatus

  • JadedDM

    Something that bothered me with the scene with Daenerys and the old man is that…couldn’t the old man’s master just hired him back as a teacher, and just pay him? Even if it was just a pittance. Seemed like a good solution that nobody brought up for some reason.

    “The First Men called us The Children, but we were born long before them.” So they’re like elves, I guess?
    Didn’t Nan tell Bran a story about The Children back when he was still in Winterfell? I can barely remember it now, I’ll have to go back and rewatch it.

    I WANT MORE ABOUT THIS. Is he afraid she’ll name him? Is he someone who knows Jo’quin whoziwhatsit A Man?
    I might be wrong, but I got the impression that the faceless men are just so respected and revered among the folk of Bravos that brandishing one of their coins automatically grants you a +10 Charisma bonus to anyone of Bravos.

    • I thought that, too, that he could just be hired back. I think the problem is that there’s no infrastructure, nor do the slaves know how to advocate for themselves in such a fashion. But yeah, I was there with you.

      WAIT, THERE ARE MORE FACELESS MEN THAN JO’QUIN/A MAN? I thought he was unique!! But you get a +4 bag of awesome added to your supplies list for the charisma joke. :D

  • Sue

    Judicious use of “Mean Girls,” nice.

    SUCK IT, POPS, YOUR LEGACY IS A LIE. Oh, you doubt she’ll stand up to you, Tywin? Because she was willing to poison her baby to keep him from the wrong hands, what the hell do you think she’ll do to keep him from the likes of Tywin Lannister and Margaery Tyrell? Why, tell the world her son is a bastard incest baby, that’s what. [“How You Like Me Now” plays on 11] Right up until Brienne vs. Hound, this was my favorite scene.

    I can’t decide if she doesn’t kill Sandor because of a mutual respect thing—he kept her alive and safe, so he no longer needs to be on her list—or because she knows it’s the worst way to kill him: alone, in pain, and by the hand of a woman. I had the same query.

    I watched this with a 22 year old last night and tried to explain the luster of the CGI in comparison with the ‘special’ effects I grew up with on “Dragonslayer” and “Clash of the Titans.” I mean, you could see the strings. But those dragons? I think they were real!

    • I wondered who would pick up the Mean Girls… :D

      I loved Cersei standing up to her dad and actually following through on it. That’s the problem with her up to this point: all bark and no bite.

      THE CGI WAS MAGNIFICENT. Last week and this week, the line between real or not was blurred even further. Absolutely stunning. All I need to say is what you’ve pointed out: Clash of the Titans. (Which I love. But yeah.) Oh, or Sinbad and the Seven Seas! LOL.

  • Daniel

    Arya’s rationale for not killing the Hound in the books was “you don’t deserve the mercy of a quick death” or something along those lines

    • I can see that being the case. Book characters and show characters do have their unique elements due to the nuances the actors bring, so I don’t know that I can 100% agree with you here, but it’s close. She did try to warn Sandor when Brienne showed up, and if ever there was someone who looked like a Safe Person, it’s Brienne.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Well, that was the rationale she would admit to, in any case… Anything could’ve been hiding behind those words. Things she might not admit even to herself, might not be aware of.

  • magnuskn

    Actually, Arya is heading to Braavos, as pointed out by the captain of the ship. Just wanted to clear that up.

    I’ll be looking forward to what you write next week and for next season. Great recaps! :)

    • …well, the Captain said that he was going, and couldn’t be bought for a new port, and then she showed him her coin. So maybe that swayed him to take her where she wanted? I don’t know! (And I would love for Arya to finally get to the Wall, seeing as she’s been headed that way since 1.10!)

      And thank you so much, I appreciate the support!

      • Lyanna Mormont

        The Wall, where Jon is, but where there is also the threat of ice zombies, vs Braavos, where Jaqen H’ghar suggested she should go. Hmmmm.

        (If I got to decide her destination, I’d pick a reunion with Jon any day.)

        • Jaqen DID say go to Braavos… Maybe to get an army/supporters of her own? I DON’T KNOW. I just know that I’d love ANY SORT of Stark-offspring reunion. Heavy sigh…

          • Marilyn

            Yeah, the captain said that he couldn’t be convinced to go anywhere but the destination they’d already determined — Braavos. When Arya heard that, she remembered what The Man with the Sexy Sexy Sexiness said and whipped out her lucky death charm so she could go with them to Braavos.

  • A wonderful episode! And also somewhat bittersweet for a book reader…. but at this point I love the show too much to care much.

    My observations:
    Jon looking at Missandre gazing at Jon through the flames… dude, you haven’t even burned your previous readhead! You have a fever, and the only cure is MOAR GINGER MINGE

    Meanwhile in the extreme North: The Deadites (Shop Smart… shop S Mart) had me laughing too much to fully appreciate the fight scene, but I liked it. and I totally got the True Detective feels!! And now that storyline is essentially caught up to the books.

    Bran flying was mentioned by Jojen in an earlier episode. I think it means warging in general but Warging a dragon would be infintely harder than Hodor… especially if Hodor was also being warged riding the Dragon. I want Warging layers damnit!

    Arya wasting time while the Hound poops… as a pet owner I’ve been there! “C’mon Hound! Pinch it off already it’s cold out here!” Now I have the image of Arya walking behind him with a pet waste bag. LOL

    No comment on Brienne\Hound. Fun to see, but (REST OF COMMENT REMOVED DUE TO SPOILERISH BOOK OBSERVATION)

    Tyrion scenes changed just enough from the books that I wanted more, but Ohh well! It was still great to see!

    • Anthony, I am so glad that you, a book reader, love the show. They really are doing things right. And since I have nothing to back that up with, I like to think I’m right, ahahaha.

      *adds 40 points to your house for a Cowbell reference*
      *adds another 75 points for some Army of Darkness…* Oh, you didn’t like the Dragur? (That’s from my fave game, I don’t know what they’re supposed to be called here since they were never named on the show) I thought the CGI was great. Well, except for Jojen’s shower-room shivving. That looked silly to me.

      Okay, Bran Wargs into a raven, who wargs into Hodor who wargs into a dragon who wargs into a warg wargy warg-warg. I got a bit carried away…

      I loved Tyrion getting closure on both fronts, even if one (Shae) made me incredibly sad. THAT was when I teared up, had my hands over my mouth and everything. :(

      • I haven’t been a gamer since Quake Team Fortress 1 back in 1999-2000 so a lot of those references go over my head. I’m sure that I totally would have backed your Elder Scrolls reference if I had played!

        You are correct… that Shiv scene I could have rigged with a leftover used Yo-Yo.

        warg wargy warg-warg? and we thought there were too many Lannisters in Lannisters…. that’s just going too far Laura!

        Shae was difficult to watch for sure! I knew it was coming and it still hurt. But at the same time I couldn’t help but hum JT’s “Cry me a river” afterwards. Angry Half-man with a broken heart…. poor guy!

        I truly hope that your other reviews are half as fun as the GOT ones! I seriously just discovered your site from a link, from winteriscoming.net a week or two ago and I don’t think I want to give this up just yet. I am giving the next HBO show a chance just to see your reactions to it. ;)

        • Hey, at least you didn’t say your last gaming experience was Oregon Trail! :D (I have turned hard-and-fast anti-gamers on with Elder Scrolls. I’m just saying.) AHAHAHA, leftover Yo-Yo. YEah, that shot wasn’t good. BUT. I will forgive the CGI department because the week before was amazing, and, of course, Blackwater. Everyone gets a B- at some point in their life. ;)

          Angry half-man having to fight her and withstand her slapping and scratching him and then his VOICE as he slumped next to her lifeless body… *tries not to cry/cries a lot*

          And thanks for saying these reviews are fun! I certainly set out to make them that way. We have other writers here, as well, each with their own “voice” so some may work for you, and some may not. (Sam, who writes the action movie recaps, is one of our most popular writers!)

          Yay, I have one reader confirmed for The Leftovers! :D

      • Marilyn

        I loved Tyrion getting closure on both fronts, even if one (Shae) made me incredibly sad. THAT was when I teared up, had my hands over my mouth and everything. :(

        For this I love you more than all the magic and all the treasures in all the world! I’ve seen so many people making Tyrion out to be a straight-up villain for what went down here, or saying that he’s being excused by Shaeters for his bad behavior because he’s a fan favorite. This ending for them made me sad, too; Shae is a complex character, and I liked her (sometimes), but she wasn’t a Victim, and she DID, in fact, bring this on herself to some extent. I feel like she was doing the best she could with the world view she had, but her inability to see Tyrion for who he really was (again, because of the world view she’d had to develop in her line of work, so I’m not hating) was kind of a tragic flaw. I am sad about this thing, and I am sad that Tyrion did this thing, because this was a horrible thing that he did, but that’s it. I don’t feel like Tyrion’s suddenly an evil killer whom we should not sympathize with, just that he’s in uglier and uglier situations with No Right Answer.

  • Rena

    That episode was amazeballs. I love how they can keep surprising even us book-readers, even when it’s not a pleasant surprise (Pyp! Grenn! JOJEN!!!)
    I totally thought I knew all there was to expect from the finale, but boy was I ever wrong! I spent the whole time yelling, and when it was done I just stared straight-ahead all bug-eyed.
    Dany locking up her dragons broke my heart. BROKE IT. I started to cry, and just when I managed to stop JOJEN omg wtf??? More tears. Screams.
    The fight with the Hound just blew me away. Brutal. I am going to have to watch it a few million times more.
    There was a MAJOR bit left out from Tyrion’s rescue/murder of Tywin, which left me a little… not disappointed, exactly, but a bit confused. I can only assume they mean to address it later on.
    All in all, probably my favourite ep so far, full of ‘Holy Shit!’ moments. I feel bereft that it’s over.
    Ten months to go. And now my watch begins.

    • IT REALLY WAS AMAZEBALLS. I had NO idea what to even expect to SEE. I thought sure, some Jon Snow, but didn’t think we’d get an actual resolution yet, maybe some Tyrion, but didn’t see ANY of that coming. I thought Tywin might die, because that seemed to be set up throughout the season, but not like that! (So. Awesome.)

      That fight with the Hound… Wow, was I cringing. That was so hard core, and they seemed evenly matched, which is amazing to see. God, I love that of all people for Brienne to defeat, it’s one of the Cleganes.

      This season was so good, the plot moved forward in so many ways, that rewatching it over the next few months is going to be a treat. Because of course, I’ll be watching from S1 to look for goodies sprinkled here and there. <3

      And now my watch begins. <3 (You're fantastic.)

  • Jeremey

    Re: Arya not killing Sandor: My thoughts were that she might have mercy-killed him BEFORE he told her about the butcher’s boy begging the Hound for mercy but he gave him none. So, Arya decided that JUSTICE for the Hound for the murder SHE WAS PISSED AT HIM ABOUT AND GOT HIM ON HER KILL LIST IN THE FIRST PLACE meant that he, too, was not worthy of mercy. Giving him mercy at that point would have been dishonorable to Mycah’s memory, which now included NOT being granted mercy by the Hound. Arya agreed that the Hound deserved death (which was already apparently coming for him), but decided he didn’t deserve mercy–at least not from her.

    As for where Arya is going, I think you may have misunderstood that part. The boat captain refused to take her North (b/c pirates and whatnot, no profit in it). The coin thus only bought her passage and a cabin on the boat, but didn’t alter the captain’s intended destination: Braavos.

    • I could buy what you’re selling re: Arya. My initial thought was that she knew he was goading her, and had in fact forgiven him for the Butcher’s Boy some time ago. She had the chance to kill him a few times, now, and didn’t take it. Just because he was protecting her? Because she needed more training under his unwitting guidance? IDK.

      Honestly, I think she is beyond mercy. I think she’s falling into a dark, dark hole where there is only action and what she feels she must do, and mercy has no part in it.

      Re: her ship passage. My assumption was that he changed his mind on the location when she showed him the coin, but that may be completely wrong of me. But hey, either way, she’s getting what she wants, she’s getting SOMEWHERE (finally!), and I’m looking forward to next season like nobody’s business!

      • Marilyn

        Honestly, I think she is beyond mercy. I think she’s falling into a dark, dark hole where there is only action and what she feels she must do, and mercy has no part in it.

        Yup. Maisie Williams has been warning us that Arya is heading to a dark place and we need to stop rooting for her death fetish. My husband totally broke up with Arya over this–the Hound had no reason to protect her anymore, seeing as she had no family left for ransoming purposes, and Brienne kind of is BFFs with Jaime Lannister, and that’s a big red mark in Arya’s book. So. Yeah. This was way harsh.

        • I just read an awesome interview of Maisie and it made me think of this thread. link below. The best part is:

          HBO: Was there any temptation on Arya’s part to put the Hound out of his misery?

          Maisie Williams: She almost would have – until he asked. It’s like when you have an argument with someone and they go, “I’d like you to apologize.” You immediately don’t want to because you feel talked down to. They never saw this day coming. If anyone, it would have been Arya on the floor. She’s kicking it over in her head and not quite sure what decision she’s going to make until he says, “OK, you know where the heart is. Go on, girl.” And that’s when that sick, twisted girl we saw in Episode 1 of this season comes back again. With every cry and plea from the Hound, it almost gives her more strength to hurt him more, emotionally. He’s taught her so much and she uses it against him. ”

          http://www.makinggameofthrones.com/production-diary/2014/6/15/maisie-williams-reveals-aryas-red-flags

          • Marilyn

            Incredible. I love the way she’s able to make a comparison to something so easily relatable, too–my Arya/myself. :(

  • Colleen

    *fist pumps the air, high fives Laura, does a jig* THIS EPISODE IS WHAT MAKES GAME OF THRONES THE BEST SHOW EVER! Also, how did I not get the Prederfermen joke all season. You are so my tribe, woman.

    The only thing that SORT of annoyed me is that now all the book readers know what Martin is going to do to Jojen. He ain’t makin it. Meh, he’s kind of whiny anyway.

    BRIENNE. There are hardly words for what a damn national treasure this woman is. I love Pod. If I were a squire in Westeros, I would do the dumb shit that he does. Brienne fighting the Hound? Awesomely terrible. I was so damn conflicted, I couldn’t root for anyone, all I could whimper is “Stop, please. I love you both”.

    The Hound, and the look on his face, just smashed what this show has left of my heart. See, here’s the thing, the Hound does terrible things in a terrible world, because he has to. Except he’s a decent dude. He protects the Stark girls, he teaches Arya about surviving, he rightly tells Joffrey to fuck off. He’s a real knight, except he’s not a knight. He’s flat out begging, and Arya’s all “declined to acquiesce to his request”.

    Arya, she can’t kill him, because he’s a decent dude. However, she isn’t going to help him either. He didn’t save her mother and he killed her friend. Oh my dark little child.

    OMG, someone give Dinklage an Emmy. NOW. Poor Tyrion. Shitty Shae is a good name for her. Seriously though Tywin, WTF with your sons left overs? Alas, I will miss Tywin. He’s a terrible dad, he’s ruthless, but he’s trying to hold the kingdom together. I respect that last bit.

    LOVED the Varys gif!! One of the few good guys in the realm, but now he’s peacing out too. Welcome, complete anarchy. Other good guys? Mance, agree with you completely. For a wildling, he’s one heck of a class act. I understand them not developing the wildlings as people that just don’t want to serve prederfermen. All of Westeros is going to be “Oh hell to the no with you people coming on all sides of the wall”, and we are supposed to be that too.

    Alas, I cannot get Jon Snow’s smile for Ygritte in the middle of their battle last week out of my head, and WTF exactly are you looking at there Melisandre?! Go check on creepy mom with the babies in the jar and stay the hell away from Jon.

    One last bit, and that is that Stannis Baratheon is a bad ass and he totally has my vote for king. He’s a bit of jerk from time to time, but he’s the real effen deal.

    This recap? I am going to miss the heck out of it. I’m going to post your link in my Game of Thrones Ascent group, which you should totally play. Thanks for such a great season!!

    • I realized as I was writing this that there were so many new folks this season who didn’t know the reason behind the nicknames, so I am VERY HAPPY to find another Zensunni of Arrakis. :D

      So Jojen didn’t die in the books here? Ooooh, I can just see the book readers getting mad. I would understand. AND THEN I WOULD POINT OUT HOW MUCH IT SUCKS TO KNOW STUFF BEFORE YOU CONSUME SAID MEDIA. Ahem. *adjusts shirt, wipes spittle*

      “It hurts my tummy when Daddy and Mommy fight!!” That is TOTALLY how I felt watching that, but I did lean more towards Brienne, because she’s just so damn awesome, and she so clearly wants to be a guiding force for goodness, and ARYA NEEDS THAT. *cries a lot*

      I was SO GROSSED OUT by Tywin and his sloppy seconds (shudder at the term). You’d think he’d think too much of himself to be with someone who had lain with his “grotesque monster of a son” right? Oh, how I loved Tywin, I did. Such a wonderfully complex character, rotten and awful, yet determined and sometimes for the right reason.

      VARYS. One of the best characters in the entire series, hands down. Mysterious, plays everyone like they’re ukuleles, and can long-con like just about nobody. (Saving Littlefinger.)

      Jon’s relieved, happy smile for Ygritte! And in my head, when he laid her on the altar, he pulled aside the neck of her furs so he could bury his face in her neck and shoulder one last time, even if she was cold, because it will be the last time he sees her. One last gentle kiss to her collarbone, and then never look back. *gross sobbing*

      I really can get behind Stannis as the King of All after this. TOTALLY. Like, I’m shocked at how much I have turned around here. I want Dany to stay south, gain some knowledge, forgive Jorah, and teach her dragons to behave, and Stannis to rule Westeros.

      I will miss all of you guys!! But you have places to find me (or here!) if you have new ideas, theories, etc. before the show comes back. *hugs* I’m so glad you found me over here!

    • Lyanna Mormont

      “Stannis Baratheon is a bad ass and he totally has my vote for king.”

      You don’t vote for kings! Watery tarts lying in ponds distributing swords are in charge of choosing kings. EVERYbody knows that.

      On a more serious note, I disagree that we’ve now been spoiled that Jojen’s going to die in the books. For one thing, the show and the books are different creatures, and what happens in one doesn’t necessarily translate to the other. There’s are several things that have NOT happened in the show which did happen in the books, and that doesn’t mean they weren’t important. The most daring conclusion I’d dare to draw from Jojen’s death on the show is that he won’t be the one to ultimately defeat the White Walkers or sit on the Iron Throne. And, looking at it from a different angle, Jojen’s always been fairly obviously doomed in the books as well, IMO, with all his little implications that he knows how/when he’s going to die.

      • {pops in] Is that Dennis the Constitutional Peasant? “Listen, strange women lyin’ in ponds distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!”

        AND EXCELLENT REMINDER THAT THE BOOKS AND SHOW ARE DIFFERENT ANIMALS.

      • Hence the Violence inherent in the system!

        LOL speaking on Monty Python and the Holy Grail did anyone else see Tim the Enchantrer’s influence in the Children of the Forest’s projectiles? Apparently the manner of man that can summon fire without spark or tinder is a Child of the Forest!

        I think that Jojen still has a purpose in the books, but won’t speculate why here.

        • I FELT THAT I’D MADE MY MONTY PYTHON QUOTA AND DIDN’T INSERT A “Some call me….Tim?” “Well, Tim the Enchanter!” JOKE. You get fifty thousand bonus points for your column, Anthony.

          • Marilyn

            If only the Draugrs had been the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodents you ever set eyes on! Look at the BOOOONES!

  • Firstly, I love that Stannis is really established in this as De King. All the way through, I had doubts, but really, he wouldn’t be ANYWHERE without Davos (who I heart by the way, he’s the grampa/badass general I never had). This battle scene totally cements it for Stannis.

    As for The Mountain, I wonder whether he’ll be a zombie. I love how Cersei’s only worried about whether he’ll still be a strong ‘un and able to squish people.

    Twincest couple makes me so confusled :( I love Jaime and I want Cersei to get her ass bit. Although I love the actress who plays Cersei, can’t wait to see her reaction about her dad. Ooo, and when Tyrrion got the crossbow, I totally thought he would go for Tommen and get revenge, surprised it didn’t happen!

    Also I no trust Melisandre. I think she’s either gonna try to bone him or kill him. Or both, and Stannis is gonna be a sad bunny when he finds out.

    OMG and when Ygritte is burning, was it me or did you imagine she was gonna wake up a zombie?? I was seriously imagining a story where Jon lets her live (ala Shaun of the Dead style) and keeps her in his shed. Sad.

    Okay last point. I love that this is all about the children. And not just the spooky immortal ones, but about Bran, Arya, Sansa (in the background in her goth black), Tommen, even Jon, it’s all about the new generations. And I can’t help but think that this generation is a lot more ruthless, harder and cooler than their parents.

    And the music in this thing. Gave me chills. LOVED. IT. I’m a geek like that.

    Just wanted to also say THANK YOU for the awesome recaps, made this season (and all the others) that much more amazing. Please never stop writing.

    • Agreed re: Stannis. Man, I am sold. SOLD. The way Qyburn was all twitchy about how this would affect the Mountain… Yeah, I don’t have any hopes that it won’t be Bad News.

      Did you really think Tyrion would kill TOMMEN?! I think that’s the first time I’ve seen someone think that! Oh, his anger is cold and righteous, is Tyrion’s, and it’s all for his father. Maybe a little leftover for Cersei, but once he saw Shae? Yeah, it’s all for Dad.

      I think you’re spot on re: The CHildren being tougher and more ruthless. They’re growing up in this war, whereas the other generations knew more peaceful times. (The Starks in particular.) The music all season has just been gorgeous, right? Perfect mood enhancing.

      I will not stop writing, don’t you worry! (In fact, I’m publishing a book come November! :D) Thank YOU so much for sharing this show with me! I don’t know how people can consume media without fellow fans, I just really don’t. <3

  • Arania

    One of the reasons that the Hound’s redemption arc is so heart-wrenching is because it’s also Arya’s descent arc. His path upward, her path downward. They came to the crossroads the day Arya got the horse (and the wolf cookie), when they were equals.

    • Oh, aren’t you SO RIGHT? So, so right. As he rises, she’s falling. And we can only imagine just how much further she has to go. :(

  • Christian

    So, this is it then for the moment, isn’t it? For you the season is over, and I’ll get to watch the whole thing in twelve days! This season seems to have been the most controversial so far, but the most critical people seem to be the really stuck-up book readers – most people who watch the show for fun seem be pretty satisfied.

    So, I’m curious. Which one was the thing you DID see coming? Shae and Tywin in short succession is the one thing that surprised me the most back in the books. I’ll sorely miss Charles Dance, by the way. I only knew him from one episode of Merlin and the TV adaption of ‘Going Postal’ before, but he was always great to watch. Also Rory McCann – one of my favourite casting choices for the show, I would’ve loved for him getting even more screentime, though it seems he had a slightly m0re comedic role this season, yes?

    By the way, regarding disappointed book readers: From what I gathered the disappointment mostly stemmed from one Big Moment people were expecting because of a picture One Actress posted on instagram and they didn’t get that. But as far as Stuff Happening goes, this episode seemed to have plenty!

    As for the coin, she gave it away, right? I think (and I say think, because that’s one of these things the books haven’t been very specific about – I suspect the show will in due time be more direct, as they’ve been about a number of things) it’s an easy exchange – one coin for one favour.

    Oh, a couple of nits to pick – and forgive me for doing so, but it’d be a shame to leave a nit unpicked. That would be a waste of good nits.

    #1 – “the only woman he ever loved” – are we not forgetting someone here!?

    #2 – “on a ship heading north” – Saltpans-Braavos isn’t actually so much north. It’s north-ish.

    #3 – “Dragur” – Draugar.

    Sooooo – I think I’ll join you for the Walking Dead thing, and of course I will re-comment the season four recaps after I’ve watched everything. And during the denial period for the first couple of weeks I’ll probably pester you about recaps on monday mornings. And if you need more shows to recap, there’s tons of pirate stuff going on currently – Black Sails finished its first season, and Crossbones started two weeks ago. It has Richard Coyle (who you’re supposed to take seriously because it’s like a lead role) and John Malkovich as Edward Teach but really a weird lovechild of Barbossa and, well, John Malkovich.

    Anyway, thanks for all the hard work – great, funny reviews AND you managed to gather a really nice community here. Rare thing on the internet!

    Anyway, I can’t wait to see next season with new locations – Dorne and Braavos

    • Christian

      Whoopsie, I got carried away there. Wanted to say, Dorne and Braavos are pretty high up on my wishlist – with all the good production money they’re getting these days, they can do alot better than that sorry excuse for Qarth we got back in season 2.

      • Oh man, ME TOO. I want to see both of those places, live there, see the people and their way of life, yes yes!

    • The only thing controversial (from where I sit) is that they took poetic license with specific details in the books, but kept the spirit of intent. And as I usually say, books and visual media are so vastly different, that sometimes you have to do that.

      You know, I was in such a rush this morning that I may not have put in what I knew was coming! Well, I didn’t *know* but I guessed that Tywin would die. I hadn’t a clue as to how, though! Oho, an actress posted a picture and that’s led to people expecting a scene? Oooooh, I bet she got reamed by the production staff! This is one of the main reasons I live a harshly spoiler-free life so that I don’t see things and speculate. Stick to canon and what we have so far, says I! (Well, WE can speculate, but that’s different. That’s us problem solving together.)

      And lol, we are BOTH wrong on Draugr <-- actual spelling. That's from Skyrim. :D But hey, I had a Krav Maga class to get to, plus a thousand other things for my paid job, so mistakes happen. *goes to edit* You know, I liked Black Sails, but not enough to want to recap it. I have to be passionate about it, want to talk and figure things out with other fans, and that one I was content to just watch. (And I did!) Thank YOU so much for joining this great community! It's the whole reason I started this site, to give folks a safe place to just love on the things they love, and not get beat up for being critical while still loving it. THANK YOU!

      • Christian

        I would not dream of correcting you without checking my facts first! Draugar is the plural of Draugr, so we were both right rather than both wrong in the end!

        As for the adaption thing, it’s the old issue – some things just aren’t suited for TV. I gotta admit to some disappointment whenever there a deviations from the books that aren’t easily explained by practical constraints the showrunners have to deal with. And of course there are expectations – you want to see THAT character saying THAT line (there is still a Sandor Clegane line that would’ve loved to hear from Mr. McCann, and if I ever come across him somewhere I will make him say it for all the youtube to hear). But in the end, if it’d ruin the show, we wouldn’t still be watching now, would we?

        By the way, the alledgedly-spoilering actress is one not easily reamed by anyone, I suspect.

        Onwards to the hiatus then – I decided to dedicate that time to find clips of GoT actors doing fun stuff in the past and post the, like that:

        Singing Hound

        • HA! Fair enough! :D Clearly I need to pull out my SKyrim game manuals and read more closely! /is a bad fangirl

          I think your time will be well spent! Ahahaha, that’s a great clip!

        • Marilyn

          And of course there are expectations – you want to see THAT character saying THAT line

          I still haven’t forgiven Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for leaving out one of Snape’s lines there at the end. *immortal stank eye*

      • Lyanna Mormont

        The show is diverging more and more from the books. Seasons 1 was as close to a scene-for-scene translation as you could make, but things have changed since then. Things that happened in the books that don’t happen on the show, things that didn’t happen in the books that do happen on the show, things that are just different. Sometimes it’s just a matter of taking a different path to get to the same endpoint, but sometimes it’s bigger than that. There are characters that were in the books (and were inevitably someone’s favorite) that don’t appear on the show at all. Characters who die, or don’t die, or who are fundamentally different.

        For instance – and keeping this completely non-specific to avoid spoilage – there were two big, game-changing events that took place at the end of A Storm Of Swords that didn’t happen in Season 4. One of them I’m confident will appear in Season 5. The other… well, I hope it happens, because it’s one of those jaw-droppers, but it actually might not. And that would be a big disappointment to many bookreaders who may have been waiting to see that moment since they first heard there was going to be a show made from the books.

        Now, me personally, I like both show and books very much. If for some weird reason I HAD to choose just one, I’d pick the books, because you can never replicate the depth of them on a TV show, especially not with ten hours per season, and you can’t show what goes on inside someone’s head to the same extent. But missing out on seeing these amazing actors bring the characters to life… that would be tragic.

  • Lyanna Mormont

    Yep, that was a finale, that was.

    That scene with Stannis’s army saving the day is the one that all bookreaders were expecting at the end of last episode. But hey, it worked here too. (The way they managed to stay in formation during the attack was Very Impressive.) And finally Stannis gets some love from the show! He’s been portrayed as fairly wishy-washy up until now, when he’s not rigidly inflexible, but this was prime Stannis. “I am the rightful king, and my kingdom needs protection, so obviously I will go to protect it.”

    Let’s just hope that he values Jon’s advice to respect the Mance higher than Melisandre’s inevitable demand for the blood of the King Beyond the Wall, eh?

    The Tormund and Jon scene was excellent. And the shot of Jon walking away from Ygritte’s burning body was Very Dramatic.

    Qyburn is creepy. The End.

    Cersei defies Tywin! All his Children do, in one way or another, in this episode called The Children. And Cersei lets loose about what’s been done to her Children – dead, sold to the Martells, sold to the Tyrells – as well as revealing their parentage. Then she makes a play for happily-ever-after with Jaime, and all he has to do is turn his back on Tyrion. Cersei wants to be Everything to him, and that’s SO much easier if she’s his only sibling…

    Ah, the trouble with ruling. No easy answers, huh Dany? And then we get more stories about Children, be they dead humans or hungry dragons. (I rather thought it was Drogon “the big black one” who killed the little girl, which means the other two were locked up for what their brother did. Yelling at Mom about that seems justified.) Being the Mother to Dragons comes with its own set of complications.

    Fare thee well, Jojen Reed. He knew the day he’d die (or at least the way) and he faced it bravely. And Bran finally meets the Children of the Forest, and the Three-Eyed Crow, who claims he really has a thousand eyes and one. Except he had TWO! I’m not blind. A thousand eyes and two just doesn’t have the same ring to it, though. A thousand eyes and three? (In the books, he’s actually one-eyed, so it makes more sense.)

    Oh, those first moments between Arya and Brienne. Sizing each other up, exchanging learning-to-fight stories, beginning to take a shine to each other… And then all goes to the seven hells. The Hound mocking Brienne, Brienne making assumptions, Arya looking pissed off that nobody is asking her what she wants, just claiming her. And of course Brienne’s association with Jaime makes her look bad from a Stark perspective. I so want these three (and Pod) to band together and work together and be friends and learn from each other and give Arya a family again and and and…

    The fight was pretty damn awesome, though. And gruesome. And a prime example of those GoT/ASOIAF moments when you don’t know who to root for because you like both sides. No, don’t hurt him! No, don’t hurt her!

    And of course Arya slips away. DAMMIT, POD! YOU HAD ONE JOB!

    Yeah, it’s really really hard to tell if not killing the Hound is Arya’s revenge, or because she can’t bring herself to kill the man who’s been the closest thing to a family she’s got left. So many have died, and maybe she’s secretly hoping that he will somehow survive against all odds, and she leaves because she knows how very unlikely that is and as long as she doesn’t see him die she can pretend a little longer. Maybe it’s a little bit of all those things.

    Oh, man, that brotherly goodbye got me. (Partly because it’s different from the books, so. Not saying any more than that.) And Jaime pressing a kiss to the side of Tyrion’s head was just… Argh. My heart. The show has done a beautiful job with these two, and the actors are amazing together.

    Oh, Shae. Oh, Tyrion.

    (I wonder if she had any choice when it comes to being there in that bed? If Tywin Lannister, Hand of the King, tells a lowly whore to come to his quarters, can she say no?)

    And then the scene that’s been building for seasons. The final confrontation. And Tyrion proves that yes, he really IS Tywin’s son. He IS capable of pulling that trigger. He may not be a Kingslayer, but now he’s a Kinslayer. Patricide, indeed.

    Where does Tyrion Lannister go from there? Everything that his life has been built around is gone – his family, politics, Shae. What is he going to do now?

    (Good call, Varys.)

    And Arya sails off into the unknown. Valar Morghulis.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      And you just HAD to earworm me with Father Figure, didn’t you?

      • HAHAHAH. It’s been an ear worm for me since last week. I NEEDED TO SHARE IT. ;D

    • Valar Dohaeris!

      Oho, so people wanted Jon to keep walking and have that first ten minutes? I can see why they were champing at the bit, then. That was MAGNIFICENT. But it needed to be set apart after all that battle to really resonate. (See, book readers? This is why you have to remember the two mediums are different!) I didn’t consider Melisandre requiring Mance’s blood – I have a feeling that will be much harder to get than anything else she’s tried so far, if so. I think she wants something from Jon, personally. TIME WILL TELL.

      And good thing the guy under the tree wasn’t “Nine hundred and ninety-eight eyes and three,” because that would just be ridiculous.

      How much do I want Brienne, Pod and Arya to be the Three Musketeers? SO MUCH. As for Arya and the Hound and how he dies, as you say, it’s a little of all of those reasons. Nothing is ever black and white in this world. Jaime’s goodbye kiss to his brother, Tyrion’s broken voice telling him thank you for his life… Yeah, that was a great damn moment.

      AND I WONDER ABOUT SHAE’S CHOICE TOO. I want her to have been forced there. Oh my heart when she called out, “My lion…” THAT IS TYRION’S LOVE NAME, HOW DARE YOU MADAM?!

      I cannot even begin to wrap my head around what Varys’ plans must be. I like that.

      And now my Watch is ended…

  • Ludo

    Hello Laura,
    Amazing recap, as always.

    I just wanted to say two things :

    – In the TV show the necklace is not made of golden hands, it’s a regular golden necklace and it’s a gift that Tyrion gave her in season 3 ! It is in episode 7 : The bear and the maiden fair.

    – Regarding the scene between Jaime and Cersei, here are my thoughts (I ADORE THAT SCENE, amazing performance from Lena Headey) :

    Jaime loves Cersei. He is deeply in love with her. Cersei is not. She is manipulating him, as she tried to manipulate Margaery, Oberyn and Tywin in episode 5. All that Cersei wants at that point of the story is the death of Tyrion. She is not stupid and she knows that Jaime loves her brother. She also knows that Tywin would spare Tyrion if Jaime was willing to leave the kingsguard and become his heir. It still applies after the trial by combat because Tywin still holds all the power in King’s Landing. The only way she has to avoid this situation is to offer something better to Jaime.

    “I will not marry Loras, I will stay in King’s Landing, and I want you to stay with me (= I want you to stay in the Kingsguard), look how I love you.”

    This is mere manipulation. She forbids Jaime to leave the Kingsguard because she knows how much her brother loves her. After that, Jaime has only to choose between the love he has for his brother and the love he has for his sister. Cersei is confident that Jaime will stay loyal to her. And at the same time, she gets rid of the wedding with Loras.

    There is no romantic feelings at all in this situation in my opinion. But she never predicted that Jaime would release Tyrion from his jail. Once again, her manipulation did not work.

    What do you think about it ? Do you agree with my views on this particular scene ?

    • Hey, Ludo! Thank you for that! Oooh, I am going to pull up that episode in S3 to look for that. I remember Tyrion giving her jewelry, just not the actual look of it. And that it was that necklace makes her betrayal even worse! GAH.

      I agree with you 100% on Cersei not having the same love for her brother that he does for her. I think once she had children, her capacity to love fell to them, and no one else. I do think there is some depth of feeling there on her part, but nothing like Jaime’s all-consuming passion. Nothing like that. Cersei wants what she wants, and that’s her bottom line.

      Oh, when she learns that Jaime helped Tyrion escape… She is going to punish him for that. HARSHLY. *high fives you*

      • Marilyn

        But will she ever learn of it? Jaime would essentially have to confess to her that he did it, and I’m not sure that he will. Given the scene between Cersei and Jaime (and I agree, she’s totes manipulating him, especially given her noted repulsion of his prosthetic hithertofore and the sudden and very specific attention she gives it in this scene), I’m guessing that this is Jaime’s bid to keep BOTH of his siblings. No need to defy Cersei and accept Tywin’s terms but still protect Tyrion. If that is the case, he’ll never tell, and the only other person involved – Varys – knows how to keep his mouth shut. Unless she’s got a minion planted somewhere who saw Jaime take Tyrion out of the cell (which is possible), I’m betting she’ll never know it was him.

      • Lyanna Mormont

        You should start a rewatch of all the seasons! One each week means 40 weeks, which brings us about to the beginning of the next season! We can all watch with you and talk about seeing things differently when we know the way things will turn out later on, and discover parallells, and compare grisly fates, and and and.

        (No, I’m not going to suffer any withdrawal pains. Why do you ask?)

        (Seriously, though. Wouldn’t it be awesome? You know you want to…)

        • Lyanna Mormont

          What the… how did my comment end up in the wrong thread? I was so careful to get it right!

  • lightandstars

    I will try to keep the lamenting and hand-wringing about what we are all going to do for the next 10 months to a minimum, considering I started lamenting 3 episodes ago. But OMG what are we gonna’ do without you every week, Laura? I have checked out your blog, and it’s awesome, so I will be drifting over there as soon as the pain and fogginess of there being no more GOT lifts. Thank you for planning something for next week. That will ease the torment somewhat.

    In the meantime, all props to ALL the actors in the series, what an awesomely talented bunch of people they are, too.

    But let’s start with Charles Dance. Who else but Charles Dance could play a character so utterly cocked-up (after all, do remember that basically he’s broke and wildly in debt) and caught off-guard, on the privy, no less, yet still look so damned dignified and imperious? He could have wiped himself and it probably would’ve looked kingly. Who else could plead for his life, and make no mistake, all that praise for Tyrion was him pleading for his life, and do it with such disdain? Ah, Tywin/Charles, you will leave a void in the show. You will be missed and remembered, shit that you were.

    I want to comment on all of it, but can’t right now. I will be back later. Hopefully, the rest of the crew will be back to check on comments as well. This whole episode WAS satisfying, just as you said, Laura. I didn’t have any preconceived notions of what should have been said, what was left out, blah blah. I was happy the way they did it. Except for Arya. Oh geeez, see I can’t leave this discussion alone, even when my own little house is fraying at the edges. Gotta go. It’s a comfort to know you’ll still be here when I get back.

    • COME DRIFT OVER! Plus there will be some shows going on here, I’ll be recapping a few others, if any of them hold your interest.

      BUT I AM SAD ABOUT OUR LITTLE GoT FAMILY BREAKING UP FOR THE SUMMER. FALL. WINTER. *cries*

      This show is an embarrassment of riches, I tell you. From the actors to the locations they shoot at to the writing. This show has me by the short hairs like nothing has had me before, truthfully. And how DID Charles Dance look imposing on the toilet!? [Insert Sir Patrick Stewart saying ACTING.gif]

      He is getting his own ode next week, because DAMN. Tywin Lannister was one of the most powerful men to ever grace the screen.

      I’LL STILL BE HERE! *shoos you off* ;D

    • Lyanna Mormont

      I was going to say that Charles Dance is the shit, but then I realized how very wrong that choice of words would be…

      Seriously, though, his Tywin is just perfect. So devastatingly, casually brutal towards his children, making it all seem only logical all the while he’s just DESTROYING them. So intimidating you can see while nobody stands up to him. So absolutely convinced he knows what’s best for The Family, while completely ignoring the wants and needs of the individuals who make up that family. So intelligent, yet so blind. (When Cersei told him the truth about her children’s parentage, I could HEAR him internally repeating that it wasn’t true, it couldn’t be, he wasn’t going to believe that.) I can’t imagine anyone else in the part. He completely owned it.

      • size four million font –> AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        Charles Dance WAS Tywin. I can’t imagine another actor giving such a nuanced and rich performance. I’m putting Tywin Lannister in my list of great and complex characters I know I should hate, but can’t. You’re spot on with hearing him telling himself THAT IS A LIE to drown out what Cersei was saying.

        He’s better at lying to himself than George Costanza. :D “Remember, Jerry: if you believe it, it’s true.”

  • Maxwell James

    Okay, Maxwell, I get it. Stannis is a gee dee KING. This was pretty awesome. That’s a leader for you, right there.

    Hehehe. Yeah, the thing about Stannis is: he may be a humorless sourpuss, but he’s a humorless sourpuss WHO SHOWS UP, and as we all know that’s 80% of success in ruling. Especially in a crapped-out country like Westeros.

    “Miracle Max” Qyburn: Hey – what’s so important? Whatcha got here that’s worth living for?
    The Mountain: TWOOOO SMAAAASH
    MMQ: Smashing is the most wicked cause there is, except for a nice IBZ – Ice Baby Zombie.

    I’m glad you loved the episode. They definitely covered most of the insanity that is the end of the third book, albeit with some intriguingly different beats in places. While I definitely had some issues with it in places, that’s the challenge of being a reader & seeing something you love get adapted to a new medium (and also being a viewer who THINKS they know something, but doesn’t actually).

    That said, the Brienne-Arya-Hound scene could not have been more perfect, and the goodbye (so to speak) between Arya and the Hound had me all choked up. Terrible and magnificent and so very human, all at once. One of my very favorite scenes of the entire series to date.

    • “a humorless sourpuss WHO SHOWS UP” That may be the best description of Stannis Baratheon ever.

      Ooh, when the Ice Baby sliced thin? *kisses fingers* And wait…an hour. Yeah, an hour before you go smashing. :D

      I think the Brienne/Hound/Arya scenes (with, as you said, the goodbye between Arya and the Hound) stand as my favorite, too. I had my fists to my mouth, trying to hold in screams and not jump around the house during that fight, not sure who to back. Ugh, the Hound dying in pain, alone, and a slow death at that. Pure torture for him. The only thing worse would be if Arya set fire to the scrub brush upwind. WHY DID I JUST SAY THAT?! *shudders*

  • Bee

    Bless you for that awesome Burn Book reference! I can’t help but feel like Jaime’s would read “grotsky little byotch, made out with his sister.”

    Overall, the finale was pretty decent, although maybe a little underwhelming for some of the more eager book readers. I gotta agree with you about Mance, that man is pure gruff perfection, all realistic and grim and worldweary. Stannis showing up with the crew was by far one of my favorite moments (not to mention any scene with Davos is automatically the best scene).

    I feel like a few more plot lines could have been better wrapped up if we had made Episode 9 only 70% Northerner stuff, but that’s just a personal nitpick . Like, did we really need Aemon Targaryen telling us about that time all those hot noble ladies were cruising the shit out of him? No resolution for Ellaria Sand or mention of what happened to Oberyn’s body (whose death is almost sure to have an affect on the Dornish)? I just have a lot of feelings about the Martells, is what I’m saying.

    Everything with Pod, Brienne, the Hound, and Arya was perfection, nuff said. Seeing Arya see Brienne in all her awesomeness and having them tell each other the names of their respective blades gave me all of the feels. Why did things have to deteriorate so quickly from that point forward? Why couldn’t they all join up and ride around in a van solving mysteries and rescuing damsels together?!

    And Shae! Oh my Lord, Shae broke my heart. I loved her so much, loved what a survivor she was, loved her dedication and protectiveness towards Sansa, loved how she told Tyrion “Fuck your money” and refused to leave him until he personally sent her away, heartbroken and all. I honestly don’t know what to make of her deception. I don’t know how far it back it goes and it’s killing me, man. At least Tywin died on the crapper. That kind of cushions the blow a little, somehow.

    Thank you so much for your reviews, Laura. They’re always so funny and insightful and entertaining in the best ways. I can’t believe we’ll have to wait another ten months until your next GoT recap, you Unsullied dork goddess <3

    • HAHAHAH, Jaime’s burn would TOTALLY have been that one! :D

      How freaking awesome is Davos? ANd now I finally feel Stannis is worthy of him. Ha. I was talking about the ending to 4.9 in another thread above, and you know, I really don’t think the Stannis saving the day moment should have happened earlier. We had a long, hard battle, one where we could barely catch our breath. In fact, we weren’t able to take a deep breath until Jon walked out that gate. If he’d kept going to the Wildlings, we’d still be tense and on edge, and the moment with Mance and beyond… We’d be numb. I mean, there had been the Scythe!

      I like that it was its own moment to start the show. It felt amazing to watch Stannis come in after a week of letting the previous battle go. YMMV, of course.

      Maybe we’ll start off S5 with Oberyn and Ellaria so they can take us to new locations! That’s my hope, at least.

      “I don’t know how far back [Shae’s deception] goes and it’s killing me, man.” ME, TOO. I am positively sick about it, won’t even lie. SHAE, ANSWER FOR YOURSELF! Even Varys was fooled! VARYS!! (I assume. Lol)

      Oh gosh, thank YOU so much for adding to the amazing fun over here! This is the first season where we’ve had such a lively comment section, and I just LOVE it. I look forward to doing it again, come S5!! <3

  • Magamus

    “Tyrion gets a hold of one of the necklaces and chokes her with it. Killed the only woman he ever loved. Dear sweet merciful Dog, how can you keep breaking my heart?! (I love it, don’t worry.)”

    Tyrion have actually loved another woman. Tysha, as he told Shae when they met. Tysh and Tyr even married. http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/546086/20140401/game-thrones-season-4-spoiler-tyrion-lannister.htm#.U595Cvl_t8E

    D&D are definently Bethesda fans. A+ for the Draugr/Dragon CGI

    This was one of the strongest episodes this season, but there was one thiny eenie meenie thing I wanted to see this season that I have to wait until next season, but it’s ok, I’ve waited a long time for the books. I can wait a year for the show.

    • Oh, I completely forgot about that line back in…S1? That’s when Tyrion meets Bronn and Shae, right? It was such a throwaway line that I didn’t register it. Thankee, Sai!

      D&D are such Bethesda fans, and the Bethesda writers are TOTALLY GRRM fans. Circle of (geek) life! And I’m just happy someone caught the Draugr ref, ha! This really was just an outstanding episode, from the pacing, the locations, the acting… Just excellent. And hey, you don’t even have to wait a year, just ten months! (Silver lining? I’m an optimist, I can’t help it.) :D

  • Elgin01

    The deal with Arya going to Braavos is a little vague on the show simply because they didn’t really explain the coin or Jaqen. You saw how the ship captain FREAKED when Arya handed over the coin and said “Valar Morghulis” – everyone from Braavos would recognize it as the, uh, business card of the Faceless Men. They’re essentially the Thrones version of the Dark Brotherhood only with more shape shifting and less crazy jesters. (Bethesda TOTALLY read the books I swear)

    “Of course you shall have a cabin!” For all he knows, the girl in front of him is the current shape/face of a trained master assassin who wants passage back home to Braavos. The show just never really got into that.

    • Jaqen – thank you for the proper spelling! It’s been a while since we’ve seen him. And yes, yes, yes, there wasn’t enough explanation about him. He was just some dude who could kill anyone, and gave her a coin for emergencies, then put on a new face. I liked what we got, but as a non-book reader, I’m TOTALLY confused.

      BETHESDA TOTALLY READ THE BOOKS. I will never be convinced otherwise.

      Oh my gosh, this makes so much sense. THANK YOU for giving me info in a totally non-spoilery way, too. That’s not easy, yet you did it. <3

  • Jennifer

    I think Arya begrudgingly started to see Sandor in grayer shades (man she is all about the black and white, just like Ned) and come to rely on him but caring about him? Nah. She does not forgive, she does not forget. That’s why she didn’t give him mercy and left him to a slow and painful death. It’s really really sad what is happening to her.

    I wish they had made the situation with Shae more clear. I didn’t even think about her having been in cohorts with Tywin the whole time but if that’s what we were suppose to take from that, it wasn’t well done at all. I think it’s more likely that she’s going on with her life, trying to survive, and what better way than with the rich Tywin Lannister?

    I think Shae genuinely loved Tyrion but felt betrayed by him. He claimed to love her but his actions never really backed that up. Instead of running away with her, being happy with someone who loves him for the first time in his life, he says no because he likes playing the manipulative game at court too much. I mean, what? And that meant he had to marry Sansa too yet he still refused to leave with Shae. Then he said some extremely degrading things to her to drive her away instead of just being upfront with her about the situation. I don’t know, to me he didn’t love her enough to put her first.

    But I still don’t know if her anger was enough to make her testify willingly. And against Sansa too which is what actually hurt me.

    I’ll miss your recaps! Thank you for the laughs, yours are my favorites :)

    • I mentioned this in another comment, but I think Arya is sinking to a dark place where there’s no room for mercy, only survival and her own vengeance. It *IS* really sad what’s happening to her! Then again, it’s an interesting POV for us viewers to see the genesis of what makes someone become something like she is.

      I REALLY wish they would have been more clear about Shae’s motivations. Was she just sleeping with Tywin after the fact? Her “reward” for lying about Tyrion? Because I don’t know that she was *that* good of an actress (not the Actress-actress, the character Shae) to make all of us buy how she felt about Sansa, too. And Varys! What did he know/what does he think about this?

      I would totally side with you on her feeling betrayal and acting out. That’s what I thought in the courtroom. But her in Tywin’s bed, calling out “My lion…” *cue my tears*

      Then again, Tyrion truly loved her, but he couldn’t defy his father. He liked living too much for that, and everyone bent to his will. Maybe Shae did, too? GAH, I AM JUST SAD ABOUT IT, TOO. (Her going against Sansa was really the line she crossed, wasn’t it?)

      Aww, you are so kind! I’m glad you were able to enjoy this space over here, and we’ll still be here when Season 5 comes around! <3

    • Marilyn

      I do not understand (and I don’t mean to be mean/rude/snippy, but I see this a lot, and it perplexes me in a big way, so that’s all it is) this concept: Instead of running away with her, being happy with someone who loves him for the first time in his life, he says no because he likes playing the manipulative game at court too much.

      Why would we think that, because he does not want to give up a career he loves and finds fulfilling, he doesn’t really love Shae? Isn’t it rather that *Shae* doesn’t really love *him* if she wants to cut out that part of who he is? I mean, I can’t imagine demanding that my husband give up his career just to make me happy–that’s super selfish, and I would honestly be ashamed of myself. (And I would be mad as fire if he did it to me.) I mean, if you’re in a relationship and talk it out and find a compromise, etc., etc., you know, whatever, but he loved what he was doing and she straight-up could not care less. Wouldn’t even keep the relationship on the DL to save their necks–frankly, I wouldn’t have wanted to, either, but it was either that or leave him if this was a situation she wasn’t willing to live with. But that’s HER choice, not his!

      (Additionally, I would like to point out that she would have to be doubly secretive in order to be Tywin’s mistress, as he’s on the record very publicly as being anti-sex worker, whereas everybody knew Tyrion had no qualms about the profession.)

      And then this idea: Then he said some extremely degrading things to her to drive her away instead of just being upfront with her about the situation.

      But he WAS upfront with her about the situation, repeatedly, over multiple seasons, even, and she would not believe him. I don’t like that he did something cruel in order to protect her in a way she didn’t want to be protected (heard of this crazy little thing called “agency,” Tyrion?), but the mitigating factors, to me, are 1) that she really wouldn’t listen to him when he tried to explain their situation and 2) that he had to protect himself as well as her. But, in the end, he HAD explained the situation to her, and she just didn’t want to hear it.

      So…yeah. I don’t get it! *flail*

  • Richard

    Hello Laura, great recap as usual!!

    Disclaimer first, the finale was mixed for myself. This is one of the few times I realize the limitation of this medium due to budgetary constraints (I know even after all the money they shelled out in ep9/10). It isn’t about the quality of the special f/x but rather the fact that this series clearly needs 12~13 episodes like all other HBO classic shows. 10 hours simply just can’t cut it.

    Now if you haven’t been spoiled already you will be in the next few days that a certain scene did not happen at the finale. If book wankers cry about the infamous “LS” scene then you can tell em’ to shovel it Laura. Though it definitely is book canon, it came as an epilogue of the 3rd book. GRRM himself stated that story arc line was a mistake. Like the analogies he gives out, he’s a “gardener” when it comes to story telling. He’ll plant something but doesn’t know what will come up as opposed to the “architect” who has all of his plot twists/events and ducks all in a row before the first chapter. Well that story arc ended up being a bad weed that he says will probably never be referenced again. So people losing their shit over this omission just really have no real appreciation of the overall story here. Probably the reason why it got cut from the show as well, since there’s no point building a story that will literally get nowhere.

    The reason why I was a bit miffed is because of yet another example of a clear cut bumbling on the parts of the writers on the very final scene at King’s Landing. Jaime freed Tyrion because he loved him. By all accounts, Tyrion should realize how lucky he was that his bro came through in the end and that he really really needed to GTFO before he got caught. Yet upon a moment of reflection at the stairs he decides to go back to confront his dad. Which was SUCH TERRIBLE TRAVESTY. This next part is spoiler but will not affect the show (since this scene ended already).

    Jaime freed Tyrion, and Tyrion demanded to know why. I mean he knew his bro loved him but why take such a risk even for him? This is where Jaime dropped yet another bombshell. Tyrion told this story I believe in S1 inside the drinking tent game with Bronn and Shae. How he was traveling in the woods with Jaime when “brigands” accosted a young peasant girl and while Jaime was off pursuing the criminals Tyrion comforted the girl and fell completely in love with her. Tricked a drunken septon to marry them both and for a fortnight he was the happiest man in the seven kingdoms. Until Tywin found out that his youngest son married a peasant girl. Instead of annulling the marriage or killing the girl he proceeded to teach Tyrion one of his famous “lessons”.

    Tywin forced Jaime to tell Tyrion that the girl was a paid whore to act as the “damsel in distress” so that he could get his younger bro to pop his cherry. This notion got reinforced when Tywin instructed all the men in the barracks to “use” Tysha and then pay her in silver coins in front of Tyrion.

    Now at those steps, Jaime reveals that Lannisters always pays their debt and he owed Tyrion. At which point he tells Tyrion that Tysha was no whore and was truly a crofter’s daughter. This is what puts Tyrion over the edge, and instead of the sure safety of the ship decide to go back and confront his dad to pay HIS debt to him. This also puts Jaime and Tyrion in a really bad relationship, as Tyrion really detests Jaime for the first time in his life.

    Instead we get the “bros forever” hug and Tyrion simply deciding to go back on a whim scene… The Shae scene was also so poorly mishandled it made me see red. The Shae you saw at the finale was “book Shae”, the Shae that never loved Tyrion but really acted the part to move up in the world. Tyrion was suppose to realize everything was an act at that moment and then kill her for oscar performance. Yet from all the scenes we’ve gotten from Shae since S2, it’s HEAVILY implied she did truly love Tyrion despite her street instincts. Why else did she not leave to Essos with enough jewellery etc? Just a flip flop at the worst possible moment only to add the dramatic “death” on the bed.

    Those were my biggest gripes and yet despite ALL of that, they nailed some really key scenes. Stannis riding in like a pimp was pretty epic. Arya showing the Hound that she learned what he was really teaching her and then finding her way off this @#$#@ land. Bran playing live action Golden Axe and killing skeletons before doing a cameo on True Detective only to find Lo Pan hanging in the trees. Speaking of Bran, you’re caught up to his storyline Laura, so now every Bran scene will be totally off the book.

    Last but not least can we give out a nod to our favorite eunuch who obviously ran as a crew member under Neil McCauley? Seriously, don’t attach yourself to anything you can’t leave behind in 30seconds when you feel the heat behind you. How awesome was it watching him take one look and hearing the bells to just dropping everything and boogieing back to the boat. The man is a true pro!

    Will miss these recaps almost as much as the episode themselves. Hopefully we’ll have some more interesting discussion by the time Leftovers airs, till then cheers!

    • Hey, Richard! Oh my gosh, I so completely agree that we need 12-14 (ha, I’m greedy) eps per season. THere is SO. MUCH. STORY to tell. Oho, I have heard rumblings that people were hoping for an appearance of a certain character, but was skimming that stuff to avoid spoilers. And GRRM wishes he didn’t put it in, eh? *strokes chin* I will heed your advice and tell people to shove it, then. :D

      Oh, that is so interesting (and awful and heartbreaking and TOTALLY IN CHARACTER for Tywin Lannister) with the backstory! However… I can assure you that as an Unsullied, it made sense to me that Tyrion would seek revenge on his father if he could. He’d spent a bit of time with nothing but his thoughts (his intelligent, wry thoughts) and had plenty of time to allow his anger to take root in a fashion that could end up as a physical altercation with his old man.

      I will concede that Shae’s motivations made little sense to me, and to know that in the book she really is just acting… *tears heart out because it’s USELESS to me broken* I can see why book readers would be left feeling there was a spice missing from that scene’s dish.

      STAN THE MAN. I have been “meh” on him from the beginning, and that scene has me wearing a “Stannis Baratheon For King” t-shirt, with buttons and a flag, going door to door to ask people if they’ve heard of the One True King.

      LET ME LOVE YOU FOR LO PAN. *has pinky nail laser war with you* I literally just laid my head on my desk and shook with laughter for that one. And let’s HOPE Varys does better than Neil McCauley in the end! Fortunately there are no lady friends on Varys’ radar to be his ultimate undoing. :D

      God, I love the character of Varys. Just love him. So smart, so cunning, always visualizing the Big Picture game board and where his piece is. He’s five steps ahead of just about every player on it, and able to dodge and parry like no one else. So fascinating.

      Thank YOU so much for adding to the discussion here! It’s become a fun little family that I’m loathe to leave… But I will. /Val Kilmer-Chris Shiherlis character driving past you

  • Lee No

    Seven Hells Bells, that episode! Where to begin?

    Okay let’s start with the Wall: I like Stannis too. He is grumpy but he’s the only one who actually realises there is a threat up north that needs dealing with or there will be no Seven Kingdoms left to rule. Also, his meeting Mance was totally Caesar and Vercingetorix, except that Mance refuses to kneel (Ha!).

    The collars Dany put on her children looked exactly like slave collars, nice touch… But oh no the poor babies (human and dragonkin)! That imprisonment scene almost resurrected a deep-seated Nymeria-and-Arya trauma.

    Bran warging into a dragon is my pet theory as well *conspiratorial high five*! I knoo nuthing at that point, even as a book reader, your guess is as good as mine. But that has always been my theory. I think Bran, Dany and Tyrion should fly the dragons, how awesome would that be. And they met Harold/Bob!

    As Quyburn says, the moutain “might change in the process?” Like he’s never done that before – this probably foreshadows another recast :P

    The fight Hound vs Brienne was so brutal and physical. Wow. And I love Arya so much. A Girl is awesome.

    Finally, the scene we’ve all been waiting for… I think Shae wasn’t a spy or sth from the beginning, she was just a very angry spurned lover. She was just stupid not to recognise Tyrion always loved her and was just pushing her away to keep her safe. Tywin did not for a moment think Tyrion would go through with killing him. He was as arrogant as he was brilliant.

    So, what to do now but wait? I’ll give the Leftovers a try and will definitely be watching the Walking Dead (omg it’s gonna be so good I just know it)… Did you recap True Detective as well? I’m excited for season 2, whenever that might be. But let us not yet close the chapter on GoT, there is so much to discuss – and rewatch!

    • I am SO on board with Stannis, it’s ridiculous. My husband keeps rolling his eyes at me over that one, because I was so shoulder shruggy about him, but that’s because I’d not seen him pull a bad ass KINGLY stunt like this before! As you say, it’s because he’s the one person who is taking the REAL threat to the Seven Kingdoms seriously.

      OMG, don’t remind me of Nymeria and Arya! Oh, even worse was Sansa and Lady! *cries bitterly* Someone else pointed out in comments that Drogon’s brothers were being punished for his actions, totally unfair! Ahahahaha. But yeah, Dany needs to learn how to train up her babies so they don’t kill randomly.

      OOOH, YOU THINK HE’LL WARG INTO A DRAGON, TOO?! I’mma get us matching conspirator t-shirts and jackets. (Hahaha, I mentioned Harold in the post, too! *high fives*)

      Oooh #2, I didn’t think about a recasting scenario with The Mountain… Hopefully they’ll do better than the Daario recast. (I like the new Daario, don’t get me wrong, he just doesn’t LOOK like the original guy nor has his swagger, which I think is the ultimate definition for Daario.)

      I LOVE THE WALKING DEAD SO MUCH. Love it. And I’m comic book spoiler free on that, too, because I’m a masochist. I have them all! They are collecting dust in the library, waiting. Always waiting… I’m thinking of recapping True Detective this summer, since I wasn’t able to when it first aired, so keep your eyes peeled over here for that. I’m keeping the home fires lit for you guys! <3

  • Tibbs

    I’m a fellow Unsullied, and I just wanted to chime in and say I’m almost positive Arya is headed to Braavos rather than the Wall (although the scene WAS a bit unclear). Just my two cents. :)

    (A few weeks ago you mentioned that someone spoiled you for one of this season’s deaths. I’m so sorry! Do you mind if I ask which one?)

    • She very well could be headed to Braavos. I’m not emotionally connected to the direction, ultimately, because I trust the show to give me a good Arya storyline. Two cents are always welcomed! *jingles money purse* Ha.

      And you CAN ask, of course! If you can believe it, it was OBERYN MARTELL. I was devastated to find out that spoiler was true. I thought someone was just messing with me. And then, when he had the Mountain on his back, I felt vindicated. SO. YOU CAN IMAGINE MY HORROR. D:

    • (And I can’t let your comment go by without saying to myself in a terse an proud voice, “They call me Mister Tibbs.”)

      :D

  • Lisa

    Brienne/Sandor fight was epic! It hurt because no one should lose. Both should live. They were both fighting for the same thing and didn’t know it! *argh!*

    Perfection.

    And I love the forever ambiguity in Arya leaving Sandor in just that way. Was it that he earned his way off her list… or that this was the worst way to go? How many licks is it to the center of a Tootsie-pop? The world will never know.

    • That fight was BRUTAL, right?! Ugh. I was leaning a little towards Brienne, because she’s so damn GOOD and has so much to offer the world in a positive way, but YES. AGREED. That hurt.

      • Lisa

        Re: Shae, even as a book reader I wondered how/when Shae got hooked up with Tywin. Was she complicit all along? Did he and Cersei coerce her testimony?

        Book!Shae was far, far more mercenary and more shallow. Show!Shae is much more of a person and one I do think genuinely loved Tyrion at some point.

        But as to how she ended up in Tywin’s bed… book reader or unsullied, all we can do is speculate. It’s one of those things that’s left with enough ambiguity that we can only guess (then again, it’s told from Tyrion’s POV in the books and HE can only guess, so narratively I guess that makes sense).

        • Book Shae seems TOTALLY different than Show-Shae. Show-Shae (ha, say that ten times fast!) made me believe completely that she loved Tyrion.

          I like (from a writer’s standpoint) that her motivation is left to interpretation. From a bleeding heart romantic standpoint, I hate it. :D

          • Marilyn

            But since we only see Show-Shae from Tyrion’s POV, it makes sense that we would totally be sold on the Shae-loves-Tyrion idea, because Tyrion was sold on it. GAH!

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  • lightandstars

    I’ve taken a leisurely perusement through a variety of other reviews, and couldn’t wait to get back here. It’s a jungle out there! I got used to the lively, humor-filled, respectful aura of this lovely bunch of people, which is such a compliment to you, and figured it was probably much the same elsewhere. Ha!

    I just came from a recap by another female reviewer who questioned Cersei’s motivation for seducing Jaime; she actually brought up the rape/not rape issue again. OMG, they skewered her, Laura, squashed her like Oberyn’s poor skull. I had to smile to myself at one point, though, because I could easily pinpoint her age. She (the reviewer) has to be in her mid-twenties. No doubt, she’s heard that a woman’s sexual prime is her late 30’s, but it hasn’t been put the the test by her yet. Otherwise, she would know that Cersei wouldn’t need much motivation for jumping on Jaime beyond procuring nookie. She would know that the primal drums of lust beat in a woman’s head and loins, while her heart bleats a feeble “be careful.” If her favorite meal is right there in front of her, so much the better, but a woman in her late 30’s WILL HAVE MEAT. Or…er…maybe that was just me. Hmmm…
    Time to change the subject.
    I rewatched the episode for the umpteenth time — seeing Tyrion peep from a two-inch hole in a small box brought home the realization that maybe things are finally turning more positive for the Starks.

    What a lovely bit of irony – the mighty, perfect Lannisters are really poor, riding on a reputation that is losing value and unraveling at every turn. Tyrion might have been a misfit, but he always had the reputation and the gold to get him through. Now, he’s on a boat in a box, with no idea of what his future might hold other than he will be known as Kinslayer.

    The Stark misfit, Arya, who spurned all conventional “proper” training, also has no notion of her future, other than she’s headed to a land where some of her favorite people came from. Jaqen H’gar and Syrio Forel. But she’s garnered respect, she’s traveling first class, with free run of the ship, having parlayed every personality trait into something worthwhile. Smart little girl. Maisie is such a wonderful actress. Knowing that she’s a total, lovable goof in real life makes it all better. (They dead – my motha and brotha are dead…)

    Lordy, how I love this show. And to bring the opening sentence round to proper end, how glad I am that I found you and this lovely group you’ve gathered to share it with.

    • Marilyn

      Cersei wouldn’t need much motivation for jumping on Jaime beyond procuring nookie. She would know that the primal drums of lust beat in a woman’s head and loins, while her heart bleats a feeble “be careful.” If her favorite meal is right there in front of her, so much the better, but a woman in her late 30?s WILL HAVE MEAT. Or…er…maybe that was just me.

      Haha, I think that may be just you. They’ve made it pretty clear that, while Jaime has always been faithful to Cersei, she never paid him the same compliment. (And we ain’t just talkin’ wedding vows — remember Lancel Lannister?) She doesn’t need to jump Jaime to get her jollies ;)

  • Lyanna Mormont

    I also love how the show has been throwing in little “nudge nudge, wink wink” moments to bookreaders all season regarding Tywin’s upcoming death.

    * Littlefinger telling Robin that you can die any time, including “on your chamberpot.”

    * Davos telling the Iron Bank representatives that Tywin is the only competent ruler in the Lannister camp, so what happens when he dies?

    * Jaime and Tyrion talking about different terms for different kinds of killing in the cell before the trial by combat. Tyrion specifically mentioned patricide. (Jaime countered with there being no word for killing your cousin – remember when he killed his cousin back in Season 2, when trying to escape from the Stark camp?)

    Likewise, Varys had a line way back in Season 2 (I think), saying how much he hated the bells, because they always rang for disasters – deaths, attacks, weddings… And now it’s the sound of the bells tolling for Tywin’s death that makes him turn around and leave King’s Landing behind.

    Man, this show is good at the foreshadowing and the callbacks.

    • Good catches on all that foreshadowing! Chilling to hear the bells, especially in that context. Varys might not have known exactly what Tyrion did, but he figured out something was happening and decided to stick close by Tyrion’s box until the ship leaves.

      Another catch – did you see that Jaime now has an entry in the Kingsguard book? I think it was briefly shown before Cersei entered the room.

      • Jamie had an entry previously (Episode Oathkeeper), he just wasn’t happy with how short it was.

        I pulled this from the Show Wiki . ***Careful about navigating to this page! It also shows the entry from the books!!!! (which is more extensive)***(http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/The_Book_of_Brothers):

        Jaime Lannister’s entry
        “Squired for Barristan Selmy against the Kingswood Outlaws. Knighted and named to the Kingsguard in his sixteenth year for valor in the field. At the Sack of King’s Landing murdered his king, Aerys the second, at the foot of the Iron Throne. Pardoned by King Robert Baratheon. Thereafter known as the Kingslayer.”

        • oops, I remembered wrong. Thanks for finding the info, though!

  • I thought the finale was pretty good. The camera shot nerd in me is wondering if the shots in the Brienne-Sandor fight had been held longer, though, because we’ve seen both of these characters (and actors) have fight shots with full connecting actions, while this fight had so many fast cuts that I didn’t feel I could see all the actions connect.
    Also wondering (since this scene wasn’t in the books, but I can see how it was done for economy and themes and FEELS) why neither Brienne nor Pod couldn’t hear the dying Sandor calling out after Arya. Dismissed it as random death throes, or too far to hear?
    Still really liked how our feelings are split in two by the fight, and the show’s ambiguity over why Arya decides to leave Sandor like that. Also a good observation from above in the comments about how Sandor’s redemption arc runs concurrent with Arya’s fall.

    Stannis got a great entrance! And of course Melisandre gets to peer through the fire (and creep out Jon, haha). Where there’s Mel, there’s fire.

    Glad you picked up on the foreshadowing like the lines about “dying on the toilet.” I think most of the scene where Cersei confronts Tywin is not from the book, but it was a good scene with fine acting especially from Lena Headey.

    Happy Father’s Day!

    Tywin managed to look regal even when pooping.

    The way I think they treated Shae’s storyline in the show – I think she did care for Tyrion until he pushed her away, and she either turned to the Lannisters for revenge or was caught and saw an opportunity to strike back at Tyrion. After her testimony, though, she had to (for money and/or being under pressure?) return to sex work, and so was in the bed of rich Tywin. Also, revenge? I don’t know, I had been liking the different version of Shae we saw here, and then the show realized too late to smoothly set up what happens in this season, so suddenly spiteful Shae, not just toward Tyrion but Sansa in her testimony as well.

    Also something interesting to note about FrankenQyburn- he seems to be positioned (as he is in the books) as the only person Cersei trusts outside of her family. Remember the line during the Purple Wedding about her sending a serving woman to him rather than icky Pycelle for help? When your only friend is an oddball with necromancy tendencies who was kicked out of the Citadel for disturbing experiments…

    btw the Citadel: Pycelle mentioned this during the scene, but I think the Citadel was mentioned by Aemon and the dearly departed Oberyn too- you study there to become a Maester, with each completed branch of study allowing you to forge a chain. I think Cersei or someone else mentioned in the show about Oberyn studying there and getting a few chains just for kicks.

    Cool observation about the tree Bran & Co. see and how it looks like a circulatory system. True Detective echoes too.

    aw teenage dragons. Aw (firebreathing) babies killing babies.
    I don’t think they can twist in a direction that can melt the chains?
    Interesting parallel compared to how the dragons freed their mama in the S2 finale and Dany freeing people in S3.

    So cool to see all these storyline points fall into place, with Stannis being the only one to heed the dangers in the North (I think we saw Aemon sending ravens asking for help from anyone who’d care?) and Tyrion and Arya heading overseas and Bran finally meeting Crow dude.

  • Marilyn

    Okay, so I need to tell you the story of how I lied to my husband about the season finale!

    So I was sounding him out after Tyrion was sentenced to death to see what he thought would happen: “Will they really execute him? How would they do it?” That sort of thing. But he decides to be clever and asks a leading question about Tyrion’s sentence. And I phrased my response to suggest that the execution would definitely take place.

    And he says, “AHA! You have revealed spoilers! But it’s okay, because I tricked you.” Smug husband is smug. And also wrong. And I giggle all the way through his reaction when he finds out that, lo, he had verily been deceived. ;)

  • lightandstars

    Still can’t believe the season is over and there won’t be a new episode on tonight. Here I am, everybody, looking for more GOT talk. Heellloooo? anybody still around.

    I rewatched episode 10 again, and surprisingly my reaction to Tyrion was way different this time than it has been at any other time in the series. I didn’t mind him killing Tywin, that had been coming for a lifetime. But there he is, killing Shae, when she had BEGGED him to go away with her. His pride wouldn’t let him – I’m somebody here, I can play this game, I get off on annoying my sister and everybody else. I will be nobody someplace else, blah blah. Instead, he made her be a housemaid and tolerate seeing him fawning over another woman – and she took good, loyal care of that same woman as well. I know Shae had to go to aid plot continuity, but the fact that he killed her just annoys the shit out of me. Oh, she betrayed him – damn, not until he betrayed her just about every way there was to do it. What else was she going to do once the Lannisters got their claws into her, wither up and die?

    I’m so glad the show ended on Arya’s upnote, otherwise I’d be grumbling more than ever. You said you would have something for us next week, LS, I hope so. Anyway, happy summer to all.

    • Wargsforthewin

      Was it Tyrion’s pride that made him stay, or did he legitimately think he could save everyone in King’s Landing. I always felt he was trying to do the right thing. Tyrion felt like he had to make up for the wrongs of his sister and nephew, while at the same time wanting to prove to his father that he could still be the one to carry on the family legacy. He still carries around the guilt that was heaped on him for things beyond his control (dwarfism, the death of his mother.) For much of his life, Tyrion never aspired to much. He immersed himself in whoring and drinking because he never thought to have a shot at any legitimate pursuits. When Tywin asked (or really commanded) him to act as hand in his place, it was the first time in a long time that he dared to hope that he would actually be able to gain recognition for his merits and be considered an actual full fledged member of his family. So when Shae wanted him to leave, he couldn’t no matter how badly he wanted to. The things keeping him were so much deeper than pride. All of this compounded into the most brutal heartache and feelings of betrayal when everyone turns on him. His own family completely disregards everything he’s done for them and knowingly sets him up to take the fall for Joffrey’s inability to rule and for their failure to teach him anything or control him. These issues lead to Joffrey’s assassination. They don’t just want him to take the fall for his death. Cersei and Tywin are using him to hide their own miserable failures. When Shae comes to testify against him, the last remnants of hope, duty, love, and loyalty he has left are all obliterated. She may have felt betrayed, like she had no choice but to do what she did, but Tyrion was trying to protect her and still do what he thought to be right. When he finds her in his father’s bed he’s a completely broken man. He has nothing left but pain and that lifetime of pain and frustration drives him in that moment. That Tyrion is as good a man as he is after the life he lived is incredible. Eventually he can’t take anymore and he breaks. Shae didn’t deserve it but Tywin is more responsible for her death than anyone. I can’t blame Tyrion. My heart breaks for him.

      • Marilyn

        What Wargsforthewin said. Very well said.

        Also, this thing about Tyrion making her “be a housemaid and tolerate seeing him fawning over another woman” — 1) He didn’t MAKE her do anything; it was her choice to stay under the circumstances or leave if she didn’t want to be there, and 2) He never fawned on Sansa; Shae’s perception of that was borne of jealousy, not his actual behavior, which was never more than kindness to someone he perceived as being a fellow victim of his vicious family.

        • Marilyn

          Also, I keep thinking about this. It was always Shae who insisted that she be in King’s Landing. When he set her up outside the palace in an attempt to keep them safe, she cut up until he found a way to bring her inside — as Sansa’s handmaiden, yes, but she was the one who insisted on being close to him. When he got her into the palace, she wasn’t happy about that, either, and threw a fit because they weren’t public. She was always escalating, even before Sansa had entered the picture, and she was always demanding more from him.

          I know she eventually talked about running away together, but it seems…suspect to me. I feel like she was making a play to get the best of both worlds out of him: run away and establish themselves as a legitimate couple (rather than a clandestine one, or a transactional one) somewhere away from Westeros where no one knew them but still have all his money.

  • lightandstars

    Wargsforthewin and Marilyn

    Ok, I’ll concede some of my new ill will for Tyrion. It was an impossible situation from the beginning, anyway, given all the nastiness swirling around Tyrion. Thank you for taking the time to reply. I love reading everyone’s opinions – just keeps me closer to GOT.

    It’s a week and a half since the finale, and people are still on sites. Laura said that she would have something for us in the eternal interim.
    Is there something and I’m not looking in the right place? At any rate, Happy Interim everyone, see you all next April.

    • Marilyn

      OMG, the interim. It’s gonna be brutal, right? *cries*

  • Christian

    Now that season was awesome – it SO didn’t feel like ten hours of watching TV! Though they kinda overdone it with the Rains of Castamere on the soundtrack this time. I do like the occasional leitmotif – being an old STAR WARS fan will do that to you – but with the Rains they’re kinda taking it to the silly extrem :D

    By the way, this is how I watch GoT:
    gallery