And so ends another season of Game of Thrones. Before we can get the season wrap up, we must first look at the season finale.
The Children Recap
We start where we left off. Jon Snow is off to find and kill Mance Rayder. The unarmed Snow walks right into the camp of the wildlings and sits with Mance to negotiate. They each talk a bit about the battle and each drink to their fallen comrades. It is during this meeting that Mance Rayder’s true intentions are made known. They advance to the wall not to tear down the wall and invade Westeros, but they advance so that they can hide behind the wall because “Winter is coming.” Around this time, an alert rises through the camp. The wildling camp is being attacked by men on horseback. Mance throws down his weapons citing that no more of his men’s blood will be spilled today. As for who is attacking the camp, the leader of the attack soon reveals himself. It is Stannis Baratheon, True King of Westeros and yada yada yada along with The Onion Knight. At this point, Jon Snow addresses Lord Stannis (I refuse to call him King Stannis yet) and reveals that he is Ned Stark’s son. Stannis then asks Jon Snow what Ned Stark would do with Mance Rayder. Jon replies and Mance is taken into custody. Jon also recommends that all the dead be burned before nightfall.
Meanwhile back in King’s Landing…
The Mountain is getting some much needed medical attention. Cersie is ominously warned that the procedure will change The Mountain. (I personally don’t see how he could get any worse.) Cersei then goes to talk to Lord Tywin Lannister. She tells her father that she refuses to marry Tyrell and leave King’s Landing as she only has one child left. She then takes it a step too far and tells Tywin that if he does force her to marry against her will, she will tell everyone the truth about her and Jaime. Leaving him, she then goes and tells Jaime what she has done and then the brother and sister celebrate in that very Lannisterish way that they do. (Not saying all Lannisters are like this.)
But what of Khaleesi and her countless titles and name modifiers?
A former teacher comes before the Mother of Dragons and he tells that when he was a slave, he was loved and respected but that is not so now. Now the old are preyed upon by the young. He then asks for permission to be sold back into slavery. Khaleesi allows it with the caveat that they can enter into contracts with their former masters for a year and that it will be renegotiated yearly. She is then visited by a grieving father. Khaleesi’s dragon, Drogon, has killed this man’s 3 year old child. The decision is then made to lock up the two dragons that did not kill this child as Drogon is out flying around.
Back at Castle Black, Maester Aemon is presiding over a mass funeral of crows. Jon Snow goes to ask the previously captured Tormund if he would like to say any words over his fallen brethren but he declines and then asks Snow if he loved Ygritte because she loved him. He tells Snow that she deserves a burial in the north, the true north. Alone, Jon Snow goes off to burn Ygritte’s body. Up until the moment that the fire catches, you expect her to wake and all be right with the world. Then you remember that this is Game of Thrones and we should be glad that she is just dead and did not have her head crushed in.
A bit further north, we once again join our team of Hodor, Bran, Jojen and Meera Reed as their quest to find the three-eyed raven comes to a close. All feels lost until they spot the tree that they have been searching for. The way to tree is across a large expanse of ice however as they begin walking across, the ice begins to crack. For those that think, “Oh no, the ice is giving way,” you obviously have not seen enough Game of Thrones. Why just go for a natural threat like melting ice when you can have a supernatural one like ICE ZOMBIES (not to be confused with White Walkers.) These Ice Zombies look like frightening versions of the skeletons from Army of Darkness and are not to be trifled with. Sadly, Jojen dies at this point as he is knifed in the gut by an ice zombie. The rest make it to the tree and are greeted by the children. (Hey, that’s the name of the episode!) Under the tree (I feel like a Jamaican crab should start singing a song for some reason), Bran meets an old man who tells Bran that he will regain what he lost. Bran takes this to mean that he will walk again, but the old man quickly corrects him by saying you will not walk again, but you will fly.
At this point, you might begin to feel relieved. At this point in the episode, there were no major deaths. Yes, Jojen Reed died, but as he is also the voice of Ferb on Phineas and Ferb and Phineas was killed on The Walking Dead and then became a zombie, it was almost a given that Ferb would die. (Although, while Phineas died and became a zombie, Ferb was killed by a zombie. Ironic? No. There are two completely separate shows and I should not have brought it up.) But don’t worry, the major deaths are still a-coming.
Brienne and Podrick wake up to find that the horses are gone. As she is looking for the horses, Brienne happens across Arya practicing. Arya and Brienne share a moment until The Hound appears. Realizing who this little girl is, Brienne and The Hound fight. Eventually she wins and The Hound falls and is mortally wounded. As Brienne looks for Arya, Arya is visiting with The Hound. Eventually he asks her to kill him and end his suffering. Arya then stands, takes his money and leaves him to suffer and die. (We had been expecting Arya to show compassion on Clegane. She might have at one time. As he recounts to her how he killed the butcher’s boy in an attempt to make her mad enough to kill him, you can see the hardening of Arya’s resolve.) So while The Hound is not officially dead, we will assume that he is.
Back at King’s Landing, Jaime breaks his brother out. He tells him that Lord Varys is at the top of the stairs and that he will get him out of King’s Landing. Tyrion feels that he needs to confront his father first. It is, after all, Father’s Day. Tyrion creeps into Tywin’s room and discovers Shae there, in his father’s bed. She calls out for her lion, the same thing that she used to call Tyrion. So he kills her. He loved her and it appears that the entire time, she was using him. Tyrion then picks up a crossbow and encounters his father as he is using the toilet. They talk briefly and then Tyrion kills his father as he is sitting on the toilet. He then escapes thanks to Lord Varys who leaves with Tyrion, leaving King’s Landing.
Our episode ends with Arya sailing off to Braavos.
Looking back over season 4, we see that the season is littered with dead bodies. Included among the dead are those characters that we were rooting for and those that we wanted dead all along. Sadly, Walder Frey is not one of them. I fear that the squib Frey will be with us for a while. As for the rest of our cast of heroes, villains, and misfits, we will have to wait until next year. Or you could read the books…if you do though, don’t ruin it for the rest of us…
Until next year, this has been Nathan Gifford (First of His Name, Eater of Pizza, and Writer of Columns) for TheNerdyBomb.