Jon Snow, Kit Harrington, Game oF Thrones

TV Review: Game of Thrones 4.09 “The Watchers on the Wall”

game of thrones Our long national geek nightmare is over!  Game of Thrones has returned for 10 weeks of fantasy awesomeness and this is the ninth installment in our lively talk-backs and reviews of each episode.  A warning, and the only one before we dive in, this column is specifically for people watching the show live week-by-week so if you don’t want spoilers, don’t continue. Samwell Tarly, Jon Snow, Kit Harrington, Game of Thrones   The dreaded ninth episode.  In season past of Game of Thrones, it has been the ninth episode that gave us Ned Stark’s death, The Battle of Blackwater Bay and The Red Wedding.  The fourth season didn’t disappoint as the conflict brewing in the North between the Wildlings and The Night Watch erupts in The Battle for Castle Black. thewatchersonthewall1-630x419 In many ways this episode was a brother to the Blackwater Bay episode as it focused solely on the storyline in the North and didn’t jump around to visit all the threads as is the  norm.  It’s a three-act play: preparation, battle, aftermath and it all takes place on the Wall. We got some very nice character scenes between Jon and Sam and I especially liked the one between Sam and Maester Aegon.  But as the preparations draw to a close and the “greatest fire the North has ever seen” arrives in the form of Mance and his 100,000 and Tormund & Ygritte’s raiding party drive up from the south, we begin an uninterrupted near 30 minute battle sequence. Giants, mammoths, barbarian hordes, flaming arrows, boiling oil, and the coolest of all-for me-was the hidden axe that swept the wall clean of invaders.  Casualties mount and we lose most of the group that accompanied Jon to the Wall in Season One.  As the leaders fall, Jon takes command and steps up to run the defense. thewatchersonthewall4-630x947 We also finally lost Ygritte.  I love Ygritte and her death was appropriate and tragically handled.  I’ll really miss Rose Leslie’s presence on the show.  Tormund is captured, the lead Thenn gets a hammer inserted into his brain pan and the Wildlings retreat to lick their wounds as dawn rises.  They have more mammoths, they have more giants and they still outnumber the Night Watch by 1,000 to 1. Here’s where we take another huge diversion from the book in which Jon’s elected Lord Commander and this battle lasts a loooong time.  The episode ends with Sam and Jon; Sam opening the outer gate for Jon to go find and kill Mance Rayder (who have we seen at all this season?). Jon Snow, Kit Harrington, Game oF Thrones I have a good idea how they’ll wrap things up at King’s Landing for the year, but the other plot threads?  No clue how they’re going to manage to pull it all together next week.  Then we have to wait ANOTHER YEAR???  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRGH.  Another epic episode 9! 9.75/10

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