Game of Thrones

TV Review: Game of Thrones 4.10 “The Children” Season Finale!

game of thrones

Our long national geek nightmare begins once more.  Game of Thrones season four is done and we now face ten months without our GoT weekly fix.  We must be brave.  We have faced this before, and we shall do so again.  Before we wander off to other pursuits, though, it’s time for our tenth and last installment in our reviews and talkbacks for 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.

Game of Thrones
Well.  That was not how I expected the season to end, and there’s no way I can expound on how I expected things to end without ruining a plot twist for people who just watch the TV show.  The tenth episode of season four, The Children, covered a huge amount of plot; giving nearly everyone in the show a moment, and quite a lot happened; just not the final event I was betting would end the season.

Game of Thrones, Mance Rayder, Cirian Hinds

Picking up right where last week’s battle royale at the wall left off, Jon finds Mance and treats with him until they’re interrupted by the most fantastic cavalry charge since Return of the King as Stannis’ army swept in to cut through the Wildling ranks in a pincer movement.  Stannis is now sitting pretty on the wall fighting the war he’s convinced he’s called to fight, Mance is in chains and Jon’s going to find himself uncomfortably in-between the two kings.

Arya Stark, Game of Thrones, Maisie Williams

The Arya and the Hound Road Show, which has been the season’s highlight, ran into the Brienne & Podrick duo and the result was a brutal, brutal duel between Brienne and The Hound that Brienne won.  The Hound tried to provoke Arya into killing him, but in the end she took his money and left him to die.  The Hound is long-dead by this point in the books, so I knew he wasn’t long for the world, but I will miss the chemistry the two actors had.  I think this was a breakout season for Maisie Williams, who plays Arya.  It’s tough to get Emmy recognition for the show in the first place, let alone single out actors, but I think of everyone she and Peter Dinklage deserve the honors for MVPs of this season.

Brandon Stark, Game of Thrones

I think the title of the episode “The Children” can be taken two ways.  The first is in the form of The Children of the Forest (Martin’s version of the elves) whom Bran, Hodor, Meera and Jojen finally find at a giant Weirwood tree in the North.  Just before they get to the cave that leads under the tree, though, there is a fantastic action sequence where dead skeleton warriors come bursting from beneath the snow, killing Jojen (in a major departure from the books where he’s still alive) and nearly getting the rest.  One of the Children leads the remaining three to an old man whose identity will be explored more next season, but for now you can say he’s the three-eyed crow and leave it at that.  He promises Bran he’ll never walk again, but he will fly.

Peter Dinklage, Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones

The other children to speak of are those of Tywin Lannister, who are all in the same place for the last time in a good long time (as long as the books have gone so far).  Cersei refuses to marry and rubs her relationship with Jamie into her father’s face, who somehow seems to be the only person in Westeros or Planet Earth who didn’t know about it.  Jamie sets Tyrion free and arranges with Varys to have him smuggled out of the city on a ship.  Before he goes, though, Tyrion means to deal with his father.  What he didn’t expect upon entering his quarters was to find Shae in his bed, and he strangles her for this second betrayal.  He then grabs a crossbow and finds his father in the privvy.  Despite some frantic wordplay on Tywin’s part to try to talk himself back into his britches, he used the wrong word one time too many and Tryion shot him.  Varys then smuggles him aboard a ship out of King’s Landing and, as bells ring at the castle heralding the discovery of Tyrion’s work, decides he’d best leave town himself.  A Varys/Tyrion Road Show next season would be a very good pairing indeed.

Dragons, Game of Thrones

For being so integral in the first three season finales, Danerys has a very small, but very touching scene in the fourth finale.  Earlier in the season, a farmer had brought her the bones of goats her dragons had eaten, stealing his livelihood.  This time a farmer game with the bones of his daughter.  One of the dragons had taken his lifeblood.  Resigned that she cannot control them any longer, and unable to locate Drogon (the big black one), she leads the smaller two into the city’s catacombs, chains them up, and locks them away.  A far cry from the glorious soaring the trio did to close season three.

Arya Stark, Game of Thrones, Maisie Williams

The honor of closing the season is given to Arya, who escapes Brienne and Pod’s notice and rides to the sea.  Finding a ship captain, she first requests passage to the Wall and Jon, but the ship is going to Braavos.  This is even better for Arya’s purposes.  She removes the iron coin Jacquen H’Gar gave her when he helped her escape Harrenhal and speaks the words that have been the motto for the season: “Valar Morghulis”.  Our closing shot is of Arya standing at the bow of the ship while the music swells, bound for Braavos and a new destiny.

Game of Thrones

It was a fantastic episode, and if not the ending that I had wanted, still a fantastic capper to another fantastic season of the show.  Forty episodes in the books and not a weak one yet.  They’ve covered all the action now in the first three books, so season five (TEN MONTHS FROM NOW) will be pulling from books four and five.  Will Martin have published book six by then?  Who knows (I’m betting on “no”)?

It’s been a tremendous lot of fun doing these reviews for you each Sunday night the last eleven weeks.  It’s a lot more of an event, when I know I get to share in the reactions and debate with the KT community, so thank you all for that.  I hope you enjoyed them.  I don’t know that there’s another show that we’re all so wrapped up in that we could group together like this to do talkbacks, but if you have suggestions, leave them in the comments.  See you for season five!
Episode: 9.75/10
Season: 9.25/10
Season MVP: Maisie Williams  Runner-up: Peter Dinklage



3 thoughts on “TV Review: Game of Thrones 4.10 “The Children” Season Finale!”

  1. Since we didn’t actually see him die, maybe the Hound isn’t dead?

    Then again, the fact that fans liked him is good reason to consider him dead.


    1. In reading interviews with producers today, they’re indicating that he’s dead. I only really liked him in conjunction with Arya, and her story moves on to Braavos now, so it was time. Sad to say good-bye to a lot of good characters this season.


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