This one goes out to the kids. The “Game of Thrones” Season 4 finale carried out some major plot points for many of the show’s main characters, from Meereen’s Queen Daenerys having to make some tough motherly decisions, to Jaime navigating some tricky familial relations. There were a whole lot of shocking moments to take in, and as per usual, some key characters died, proving that nothing is a guarantee—including the privacy of a bathroom.
The finale “The Children,” which will be the only episode submitted to the Emmy committee for consideration in the writing category, opens with Jon Snow heading out to negotiate with (or kill?) Mance Rayder before the demise of Castle Black and more blood is shed. Jon considers taking a cheapshot o Mance via a knife nearby, but is noticed. Luckily for our favorite bastard, he is saved by a last minute invasion by—what?—Stannis Baratheon’s army. Mance surrenders, and bodies are burned. Upon the request of the free army, Jon burns Ygritte’s body in the “true north.”
The burning of Ygritte seems a filler of time, and a bit unnecessary for the episode, so what purpose did it fulfill? Jon has evolved since he left the wildlings: he grew a backbone, a penchant for strategy, and most importantly, a bit of heart. He’s merciful, and as we now know, he honors his word. The show is building his character for something big.
Bran, Jojen, and the rest of the psychic misfit brigade in the North very quickly found themselves knee-deep (literally) in Zombieland. Jojen didn’t make it, but Bran got to meet a weird old guy (or, The Three-Eyed Raven), who says he’s going to help Bran fly. OK MAN.
Next up, Brienne and her lovely assistant Pod happen upon Arya Stark—how lucky is that, right? By now, we know Arya doesn’t take to people who tell her what to do, even though we all know Brienne is awesome and a badass fighter, so she is obviously pretty non-compliant when Bri tells her she must go with them…to, uh, somewhere “safe.” The Hound, rather than asking for a price for Arya (which, some time ago, would have probably been his first move, since he knows Brienne was summoned by Jaime), instead wastes no time in challenging her for Arya’s companionship. Is this chivalry or nah? Whatever, the Hound lost the battle, and Arya decided to not put him out of his misery. While BriPod ambled around frantically screaming for Arya, she 86’d out of there, with that weird coin, some money she lifted off the Hound and her trusty needle sword.
Cersei, meanwhile, decides to go there with Pops and tell him about her horrible yucky trysts with Jaime—this was the beginning of Tywin’s no good very bad day. We’ll check back in with the Father of the Year in a bit.
Dany, upon learning her renegade dragon has charred a child, finally comes to the realization that dragons just cannot be tamed. She descends to the catacombs and locks up her babies, and everyone cries—mostly the dragons.
Jaime pulls a fast one on the Lannister clan (CLannisters?) and releases Tyrion. Rather than immediately heading to Varys’ room as Jaime advised, Tyrion seeks revenge. He heads to his father’s room and finds Shae in bed, who is grossly apparently also calling Tywin “my Lion” at this point, and well, Tyrion loses it. He chokes Shae to death and then grabs a crossbow to find the real enemy. Tywin is doing his business in the bathroom (or whatever it’s called in this case), and after some uncomfortable arguing, Tyrion puts two arrows in his father. Then he and Varys head to the escape boat and when Varys realizes what has just happened and that he can’t go back, he turns right back around to take the trip to Margaritaville (presumably) with Tyrion-in-a-box.
The episode closes on Arya Stark, who is making a break to the free city of Braavos via a ship captain whose mind she just blew by handing him a very special coin and saying,”Valar morghulis.” All men must indeed die, (Happy Father’s Day Tywin!), but Arya ain’t a man, and she’d heading for the hills on a new adventure. Until next year!