GAME OF THRONES (2014): Season 4 Finale Review
GAME OF THRONES will be an epic saga that is going to continue for generations. That is the feeling that one is left with after the Season 4 Finale tonight. After a chest poundingly unresolved and tangled Season, the Finale ends with a hopeful look to the future, with some resolutions and other mysteries… but an over all satisfying conclusion to the story lines of this Season.
Last week’s episode ends with Jon Snow walking out to meet Mince Raider, leader of the Wildling army to end this battle once and for all. The Season Finale picks up exactly from there as Jon & Mance have a cordial conversation regarding fallen comrades. What’s of significance here is that Mance finally reveals his true intentions for reuniting all the crazy Wildling clans, Giants and for doing all this crazy business in the first place. Mance pleads to Jon that they have no wish to conquer or kill, that they are actually seeking refuge on the other side of The Wall, from some other threat that is coming. So the White Walker threat is still very real, despite the fact that it’s taking freakin’ 3 Seasons for them to attack! But these peace talks end abruptly as Stannis Baratheon marches against the Wildling Army and defeats them in a fell swoop. Last we heard of Stannis, was when he finally got the money he wanted from the Iron Bank, but instead of marching on King’s Landing, it seems he listened to his Red Witch lady and came to the North. It seems she also, was talking about the White Walker threat. Now whether him coming is a good or bad thing, remains to be seen. It was awesome to finally see one of the main characters like Jon Snow, be together with another force of good in the show, Stannis Baratheon, or at least Ser Devos. Two rational good guys together can’t be a bad thing… but that Red Bitch is undoubtedly going to be a 3rd wheel.
After weeks, we finally see Bran reaching the White Tree from his vision, earlier in the Season, looking for the man who called out to him in the same vision. Reaching the Tree, Bran’s group is attacked by a group of undead skeletons. During an intensely awesome CGI, fantasy inspired sword fight, a creepy girl saves them with napalm throwing powers. But not before future-boy Jojen dies in the process. The creepy girl, who looks like a child version of a homeless Medusa, reveals that they are called ‘The Children’, but that they were born before the First Men. Bran finally meets the 3 eyed Raven, who is in the form of an old guy that looks, almost trapped, in the roots system of the White Tree in caves underneath it. He mentions that he’s been watching Bran and his group all their lives, and that they’re all together here for a reason; he confirms for Bran that he’ll never walk again, but that he will fly. That’s it. After an entire Season’s worth of teasing of Bran’s significance, that’s the only thing we’re left with… more teases. It’s an unsatisfactory ending to Bran’s story this season, especially given the snail’s pace that it’s being told in.
Danaerys is just annoying now. After deciding NOT to come to King’s Landing right away anymore to reclaim her birthright, she’s playing Queen in another city, with little to no thought of WTF she’s doing. The slaves she’s freed want to go back into Slavery, because they had more respect and a sense of purpose as a slave, rather than be homeless in her ‘free’ city. She has put in no thought of infrastructure, employment, social security or anything else… and bitch wants to runs a city. Danaerys’ storyline this whole season has been one of impulsive actions to decisions made rashly and it keeps going. After hearing that one of her Dragons killed a little toddler girl, Danaerys takes the drastic action of imprisoning and chaining up her Dragon babies. WTF!? Literally the only reason she is famous and known across all the world if because of her gigantic advantage of being the ‘Mother Of Dragons’, and without any thought or discussion, she decides to chain them up in deep dark and dandy catacombs, not only giving up said advantage, but risking the wrath of her own Dragons, at herself. Idiot. At this point, I could care less of she lives or dies. Something drastic needs to happen to Danaerys in Season 5, and I don’t even care what.
The incestry returns as Cersei, all happy that Tyrion is going to die, decides to celebrate by proclaiming to her father that she’s not going to marry and stay in King’s Landing with her son Tommen, the new King. She hooks up with Jamie, proclaiming her love for him and then… hooks up with Jamie. Up until this point, the Episode is pretty mild focusing on tying up some ends, like a funeral at The Wall for everyone that’s died, but then shit gets cray cray.
As I predicted 2 weeks ago, Brienn and Podrick meet up with Arya & The Hound on their way to the Eyrie. Another group of good guys meeting up should be a joyous occasion, but due to The Hound & Arya’s bad history with the Lannisters, and given that Brienn was sent by Jamie to find Arya, misunderstandings ensue, culminating in one of the best one-on-one fight scenes that has ever occurred in the show. The Hound and Brien go at it, and it’s a brutal scene of swords and fists and blood, ending in the defeat of The Hound, while Brienn goes off to find Arya again. Both actors display some brutally raw emotional hysteria as they beat each other to a pulp. It’s so damn badass seeing Brien go toe to toe with The Hound and win. If only Danaerys’ character was still treated with the same respect and less female clichés.
Returning to his side, Arya has yet another display of utter cruelty and cold blooded-ness as she leaves The Hound to die, despite him begging for death to ease his pain. After stumbling upon a ship that’s going to Braavos, Arya thinks quickly and remembers something someone once told her. An assassin she met and freed Seasons ago, promised to kill people she wanted, and did so silently. This man from Braavos gave her a coin, and told her to show it to anyone from Braavos, and utter some magic words and she’ll be taken care of. She does this with the captain of the ship, and his reaction can only mean that the man was, or is, royalty! The Season Finale ends with Arya Stark now on her way to Braavos, while she was literally kilometers away from her sister, Sansa Stark & Littlefinger! Despite the frustratingly close call, the episode still ends with a sense of hope and something to look forward to in Season 5. Arya maybe in good company in Braavos, learning, training and binding her time until her return to King’s Landing, for her revenge. I have an inkling they may not show much of her in Season 5, but even if they do, I don’t see how it’ll be relevant to everything else going on in the show, given that she is now completely disconnected from anyone else in the story.
Even though the episode ends with Arya, the most important thing of note is Tyrion’s story. As I thought, Jamie does help Tyrion escape from prison, along with Varys. However, Tyrion’s got some unfinished business before he leaves. Going to confront his father, he finds his own former lover and betrayer during his trial, Shae in his father’s bed. In an impulsive crime of passion, Tyrion strangles her to death. Finding his father on the crapper, he then impales him with two shots of a crossbow, during an exchange that an emotional Tyrion could no longer tolerate. Tyrion finally grows a spine and has an amazing scene reminiscent of his time in Season 2 and Peter Dinklage more than makes up for his disappointing performance in the recent X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. (My Review here) Having reached closure, he continues onto Varys who helps him escape. When realizing that alarm bells have sounded in the Castle, Varys, it seems like, decides to escape with Tyrion. I suspected the brother Lannister to be in exile together, but, in an amusing turn of events, it seems Varys will be joining Tyrion in their fugitive status in Season 5. A dwarf and a eunuch on the run from the Kingdom… I guess they needed another unlikely duo to replace Arya & The Hound.
Thoughts for Season 5
- I hope we get to see the, what seemed like, organized and sentient White Walkers. Hopefully Season 5 deals with the White Walker threat, more so than family squabbles, weddings and political bullshit. We need WAR again!
- How will Sansa Stark and Littlefinger affect things now with their apparently creepy… union? Will they set their sights grooming Robin to become King of The Vale? And to what end?
- Is it me, or did Danaerys have three Dragons, while she only locked up two? The father of the girl who died, mentioned that the one that was all black killed his daughter. So where is that Dragon now?
- What happened to Jorah? And whom will he join now that Danaerys gave him the boot? Jorah is going to be the wildcard of Season 5. He’s been with Danerys since Season 1, and her evolution from whiny bitch to… well, a different kind of whiny bitch. His intel on her way of thinking, strategy, plans and character will be of great use to the Lannisters. Depending on what happens in King’s Landing now after Tywin’s Death. (Jamie will become Hand to The King)
- Where will Tyrion & Varys go? And whom will they join up with? Best bet is to go North of The Wall and ally themselves with Stannis, given he’s the natural enemy to the Throne & Lannisters. Although, there may be complications.
- Where the fuck is Ricon?!
Season 4 has been a tumultuous one with many ups and downs; some shockers and some threads left hanging throughout the season. Those threads have been tied off, with others dangling but most resolved in a neat little bow. This Season Finale truly does leave one excited for Season 5, but in a positive way. Probably the best, non-horrible cliffhanger finale from GAME OF THRONES that we’ve ever seen.
Gotta Get It!