Game of Thrones Season 4 Ep 10 (TV Show Review)

And so it all ends. After flip-flopping with quality and content so much in the past nine weeks, we are finally at the point where we see the ending to yet another seaosn of HBO’s runaway hit Game of Thrones, the show that has apparently made fantasy cool for television viewers, finally, if some people are to believed. It may have, at that, but the just-finished season has had plenty of problems as far as I’m concerned. Still, I’ll admit that the finale beat most of my expectations in the end and it was actually half-way decent.

The finale is titled “The Children“, which is fairly apt given that is all about the children, sons and daughters fighting against their legacies and their parents. In this entire season, a lot of resentment has been brewing up between the Lannister children and that comes to a devastating close here. Plus we see Arya’s arc end for this year and get a chance to get really excited about what’s coming up with her. Then there’s the whole thing with the aimlessly wandering Stark and Reed kids, who finally run into their mythic and cliched wizard-who-knows-it-all. Across the Narrow Sea we find that the Mother of Dragons doesn’t have control over her children after all and then Beyond The Wall see that Jon Snow just got an opportunity of a lifetime twice over.

Note: This is a review with major spoilers from the finale. You have been warned.

Game of Thrones Season 4 Poster 0002

Like I said, this episode, this finale is all about the children of the various characters, whether dead or alive. The Lannister misfits. The Reeds and Stark boys. Jon Snow. Arya Stark. Daenerys and her dragon children. I liked several of the arcs in this finale, such as the whole thing with Tyrion as Jaime and Varys break him out of prison or Arya and the Hound running into Brienne and Podrick, after which the Hound and Brienne have a really awesome, no holds-barred fight that leaves the Hound dead and dying. But at the same time, I was also disappointed with how Cersei was portrayed, not to mention Shae, who proved to be a most disappointing character in the end (thank you screwing up THAT, GRRM!) and the whole thing involving Daenerys since it all just proves that she is not cut out to be either a ruler or a general or a leader or even a mother. A mother to dragons, yes, but still a mother. In all of this the only arc I consider to be a bit boring was the whole thing with Jon Snow and Mance Ryder, especially the…. interruption by Stannis Baratheon and his devastating cavalry charge against the wildling army.

If you were following my tweets, then you know well how I feel about the whole thing Tyrion and Tywin and Varys, plus Arya and Brienne and the Hound. These were the best stories in this finale, and I’m really glad to see some really major shake-ups in the Westerosi status quo through these characters.

For one, Jaime helps Tyrion escape but before he does that, the younger Lannister son finds a way to his father’s bedchambers where he finds Shae lounging in the sheets, waiting for Tywin to come back and have sex with her. As with the episode in which Tyrion was put on the bloody ridiculous trial for the murder of Joffrey, the emotional impact of this final betrayal is without compare. And yet, I found that I hated that this is how the story ended up, that Shae was Tywin’s whore in the end and that she betrayed Tyrion in such a manner. But, things got really grand later on when Tyrion, after murdering her, went on to find his father in the privy and put a couple crossbow bolts in his chest, thus killing him. This goes back to a much earlier episode in which Stannis and his Hand, Ser Davos, go to the Iron Bank of Braavos and convince the bankers to aid them by presenting to them a vision of a future in which Tywin Lannister’s shrewdness and cunning is no longer in service to House Lannister. Man, watching that entire scene between Tywin and Tyrion really gave me goosebumps, I have to say. The dialogue between them isn’t all that great, but it is short and to the bloody point, which was just as well. Tyrion got his revenge on some of those who wronged him, and I’m all the more excited to see where he goes next from here, having escaped with Varys finally to Essos.

And then, with the whole thing involving Brienne and Podrick heading to the Eyerie to search for Arya Stark there, the two of them run into both The Hound and Arya, and what ensues is one of the coolest fights in the entire show to date. Fists and kicks and swords and head-bashing and rock-bashing and what not. An undignified fight to the death between two of the best swords-users in Westeros, make no mistake, and all the more better for that fact. They don’t fight as knights, but as brawlers, without technique and discipline but with passion and fury. Loved it all. I kind of resent the fact that the setup for their fight is so artificial, but it allowed Arya’s character to go in a really interesting place in the end, in a way that references her parting with Jaqen H’ghar, a Braavosi assassin who helped her escape Harrenhal previously. Man, that was too damn exciting an ending.

With the whole Cersei thing, while I loved that she finally stood up to her father and took matters into her own hands on that front, refusing to be cowed by his wishes and desires, I was disappointed in that she went back to Jaime for some more incestuous sex. I mean, after being raped by him next to their son’s corpse in the earlier episodes of the season, I thought they’d be done with the whole thing. And Jaime, all he seems to want is his sister’s body. None of their dialogue in which they once again profess their love for the other, basically, comes off as a good piece of writing. It is just too melodramatic and even boring and uninspiring. It seems that for the two of them, sex is the best way to relieve their tension. Just… weird.

And where Daenerys Stormborn is concerned, one thing has been made to clear to me finally: she is far too inexperienced at everything to be able to do anything properly. After sending Ser Jorah away from her side and from her council, since it finally came to light that he used to be a Westerosi spy for Varys, I thought the writers would try to redeem the character of her stupidity, but nothing of the sort unfortunately. For one, whenever she is holding court in Meereen, I get the feeling that she buys into her own pomposity and she treats it all as a game. When a shepherd appeared in one of the earlier episodes, bringing his burnt sheep before her, she did jack-all to bring her dragon Drogon to heel. And now he’s killed the daughter of a farmer, and the Mother of Dragons’ reaction is to lock up her other two dragons, who haven’t done anything wrong it seems. She chains them instead of Drogon, who appears to have taken off. She has already failed as a leader and a general several times and she does not seem to be interested in getting back to Westeros either, so I fail to see the relevance of any of her actions in this seasons. She’s been a disappointment after disappointment for me.

Game of Thrones Season 4 Stills 0010

And finally, we have everything that happens beyond The Wall, whether it is the whole thing to do with Mance Ryder and his wildling army, or the trek by Bran and Jojen finally coming to an end when they reach the Heart Tree and its environs. For the first of these, I think that Ciaran Hinds delivered some of his better performances to date, although his accent often got a bit unhearable on account of how heavy it was, and the whole plot itself was pretty darn cool. A big cavalry charge by Stannis who is now funded by the Iron Bank of Braavos? Man, I want more of this. More of Stannis and Ser Davos being actually proactive instead of just sitting away in Dragonstone, doing jack-all to further their own plans. For the second, it was just ridiculously boring. Not even the whole “attacked by reanimated skeletons” was pleasant in any way. And it was all far too cliched as far as I’m concerned. All the kids trek so long through various adversities and this is how it all goes down? Nah. I could very well have done with less of this and more of Brienne beating the hell out of Sandor Clegane.

Going in, I was expecting this finale to be quite atrocious at times and to be a big disappointment in the end. Fortunately, it was neither, although it did come quite close at times. I had low expectations of the finale, and it managed to surprise me, which I welcomed. Sure, I would have liked to see some more things addressed, such as what Ser Jorah is up to now, and what the hell is really going on in the Eyerie with Sansa and Petyr Baelish, not to mention seeing more of Margaery and her brother, or find out just what the hell Yara Greyjoy and her father up to, and the same applies for the Boltons as well, who’ve taken up residence in Winterfell. But we don’t see any of that. Not too peeved off, but I think that the finale could have gone for a broader scope and yet it didn’t.

On the other hand, we also have the thing that the production value of the finale was really low, especially when you compare it to the awesome finale of season 2, which totally rocked, and was really deep and challenging for the viewer. This finale is just a straight-up story with no frills, no bells, no whistle.

Still, it ends the seasons on a good note, and I suppose that is all that matters in the end!

More Game of Thrones Season 4: Ep 1, Ep 2, Ep 3, Ep 4, Ep 5, Ep 6, Ep 7, Ep 8, Ep 9.


Posted on June 16, 2014, in Game of Thrones, Review Central, TV Show Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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