Major deaths, a massive fight between two warriors, a bad dragon and supernatural creatures helped to produce an explosive “Game of Thrones” Season 4 finale. And it all started off on Sunday night with a massive rescue at The Wall, as two storylines finally came together.
Here’s our recap of “Game of Thrones” Season 4, Episode 10, “The Children”:
The Wall Is Saved: Jon Snow left The Wall to kill Mance Rayder, an act he thought would create chaos among the Wildlings and stop them from continuing South and butchering the Night’s Watch. But, just as Mance (who returned for his first Season 4 appearance) cottoned on to Jon’s deadly plan, the cavalry came in in the form of Stannis Baratheon and his army. Turns out the money Davos Seaworth helped Stannis get from the Iron Bank of Braavos helped them save the men at The Wall.
After Mance ordered a surrender of the Wildlings, Stannis came face to face with Mance and with Jon. Neither Mance nor Jon kneeled to Stannis. Instead, Jon took the moment to reveal who he is. “My name’s Jon Snow, your grace. I’m Ned Stark’s son.” Stannis then turned to Jon and asked him what he would do with Mance (Jon said to take him prisoner, not kill him). Jon also offered some unsolicited advice – “burn the dead before night fall.”
Back at The Wall, Maester Aemon said some words before they burned the bodies of the men of the Night’s Watch – the ones who died in the battle (in Episode 9). Through the flames, Jon caught Melisandre’s gaze, and her eyes lit up.
Later, while Jon was visiting Wildling captive Tormund Giantsbane in his cell, Tormund told Jon that Ygritte loved him. “She belongs in the North. The real North,” Tormund added, prompting Jon to take Ygritte’s remains beyond The Wall, where he built a funeral pyre for his first love.
Tywin Learns The Truth About The Twincest: After Cersei instructed a disgraced Maester – Qyburn – to revive the dying Mountain (turns out he was indeed poisoned by Oberyn Martell’s spear, during their Episode 8 fight) by any means necessary, Cersei went to her father to retain her place in King’s Landing – by any means necessary. Cersei threatened to tell the world that the rumors are true – her children were fathered by her twin, Jaime — unless Tywin called off his plans to wed her to Ser Loras Tyrell.
Cersei revealed her goal is to stay in King’s Landing to protect her son, King Tommen Baratheon, from the Tyrells and from her father. And after setting things straight with her dad (Happy Father’s Day, Tywin), Cersei strolled up to her brother, Jaime, and restarted their relationship. “People will whisper. They’ll make their jokes. … I don’t care,” she said, kissing her brother, who was quickly swept up in the moment.
Dragon Trouble For Daenerys: Ruling continued to be a hard battle for Dany, who found out one of the slaves she freed wanted to go back into servitude (to help out his family). She told him he could go back and work for his former master under contract, but for no more than a year. The second man that visited her, however, delivered an even bigger blow. One of her dragons killed his three-year-old daughter, he said. Devastated, Dany chained up the two dragons still close by (the presumed culprit, Drogon, was nowhere to be found), and left them in a vault.
Bran’s Journey Into The Supernatural World Took A New Turn: And in the Season 4 finale, Bran finally found the tree the voice was calling him to, but it came with a price – Wights (as in reanimated corpses in varying states of decay). They attacked his group, and Jojen died in the process. But Jojen’s death allowed Bran, Hodor, Bran’s direwolf Summer, and Meera Reed to follow a young girl with blue, blue eyes (like the girl from the Season 1, Episode 1 pilot) into a cave that the Wights could not enter. “The first men call us the children, but we were born long before them,” the girl said, leading the party to the man in the roots under tree. “You’re the three-eyed raven,” Bran said. “Now you’ve come to me at last, Brandon Stark,” the man/creature told the Stark heir. “You’ll never walk again, but you will fly,” he said, mysteriously.
The Hound Battled Brienne Of Tarth: In a surprise twist, The Hound faced off with Brienne in a no holds barred battle to the death. Two characters, who could have otherwise been associates (let’s not go so far as to say they’d be friends), fought after two crucial words – “Jaime Lannister.” The Hound noticed Brienne’s nice armor and her Valyrian steel sword and accused Brienne of being paid by the Lannisters, while she questioned whether he was really looking after Arya.
The knock-down, drag-out fight was long and impressive, but ended when The Hound fell off a cliff. Brienne lost sight of Arya during the fray, but the Stark returned later to the side of a gravely injured The Hound. He urged Arya to go after Brienne, before insulting her in an attempt to get her to release him from the world (by killing him). “Do I have to beg you? Do it. Do it,” he said, nearly crying at the end. Arya stood up, walked over to her Season 4 traveling companion, took his coin purse and walked away. Later, she used the coin Jaqen H’ghar gave her in Season 2, and the saying, “Valar Morghulis,” to get passage (and a cabin) on a boat to Braavos.
Tyrion Turns Murderer: After being freed from his cell by Jaime, Tyrion walked through the halls and into the Hand of The King’s chamber where he spotted a figure on the bed. “Tywin?” a woman’s voice asked. “My lion,” she added. It was Shae. Spotting Tyrion, she grabbed a knife by the bed and the two struggled and fought. In the end, Tyrion choked her to death with her necklace. “I’m sorry,” Tyrion said.
After spotting a crossbow on the wall, Tyrion came up with an idea. He went and found his father, Tywin, who was on man’s other throne (the privy/as in, the loo). “This is how you want to speak to me? Shaming your father?” Tywin asked. Eventually, it was Tywin calling Shae a whore for a second time in their son-to-father-seated-on-a-toilet-conversation that made Tyrion fire the crossbow. And then, Tyrion reloaded. “You’re no son of mine,” Tywin said, after being knocked off the, er, pot. “I am your son. I have always been your son,” Tyrion said, as he shot his father again – leaving Tywin dead.
“What have you done?” Varys asked when Tyrion turned up at his door moments later (Varys was working with Jaime to help Tyrion escape the death sentence). Varys put Tyrion into a crate and on to a boat, where he sat at the crate’s side.
“Game of Thrones” returns for Season 5 in 2015 on HBO.
-- Jolie Lash