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Game of Thrones - Episode by Episode #40

Finally, I have watched 40 episodes of this show and gone through half the seasons, so I am invested enough in this series to see how it ends. So far, I'm both stunned at how many characters have met an early demise and yet at the same time surprised that a lot of the fantasy elements have been muted. This means the show is about to hit a turning point, but before that, there's a season to close out...and even more exits, and I don't mean just deaths.

After all, episode 9, while action-packed, was not the emotional thrill ride the showrunners intended. What does that mean for the final episode of Season 4?

Episode 40: "The Children"



Jon Snow goes to the camp of the Wildlings alone with the goal of killing Nanook of the North. Nanook welcomes him and see through his ruse trying to negotiate terms. Although Nanook initially offers to spare the people of the wall if he allows the Wildlings passage, he quickly realizes Jon Snow has come to kill him on a suicide mission.

But, all of a sudden there is a lot of clamoring and an army approaches. Is it Lord Bolton? No...

...it's Stannis!

He and his army come in, killing Wildlings left and right. They force Nanook to surrender. Jon tells Stannis that the bodies have to be burned. Little does he know these people are fanatic pyromaniacs. Burning bodies is what they do best.

In the capital, Incest Queen protests that she doesn't want to marry the Flower Knight, but Bad Dad tells her that she's going to marry him whether she likes it or not. Incest Queen then threatens to tell the truth that she and Incest Charming have had incest babies and the King is a fake. Bad Dad is stumped. This comes across as odd because just last season, he was marrying her to the Flower Knight so she would stop having sex with people she shared blood with.

And so Incest Queen and incest Charming get their Incest on. So we're going to pretend that it was not rape, but forceful sex.

Also, apparently Oberyn got the last laugh as while the Mountain survived, he poisoned the Mountain before dying. So they drain his blood and give him an emergency, untested cure, but the Mountain will never be the same again.

Given that this guy slaughters horses and people when he's mad...any change would be an improvement.

But finally, we have the meeting of characters on different arcs. Podric and Sergeant Calhoun are headed towards Milkmaid Mountaintop but their horses have run away. So Sergeant Calhoun encounters a practicing Arya...

...okay, I have to stop here, because already this is entering stupid territory. Why would Arya and Scarface just turn around upon hearing her aunt is dead? Surely she knows that she has a cousin. It would have made more sense if she had learned Don't Trust Me, Bro was her step-uncle, but she didn't. Plus, the moment he would have heard a girl claiming to be Arya made it to the gate, he would have sent someone after them...

...but back to the show, Arya and Sergeant Calhoun talk. Sergeant Calhoun tries to ingratiate herself to Arya, who is scared at first and calls for Scarface. Scarface arrives.

Now what normal people would do is talk. They would tell each other all that has happened then figure out what to do from there. Because if you talk, you could probably figure out that Sansa Stark is a half-day away and you all can go and reunite, and maybe even team up with Don't Trust Me, Bro to start taking back this kingdom.

There aren't normal people. Especially not Scarface who doesn't want to talk and assumed that Sergeant Calhoun is a servant of the Lannisters. Sergeant Calhoun, seeing how irrational this man is, tries to explain the situation and wants Arya to come with her, but neither Arya nor Scarface want to hear it, and Scarface, being stupid, picks a fight with Sergeant Calhoun.

So we see these two go at it, and it is a very dirty fight. Sergeant Calhoun tries to keep it clean, but with the increasingly desperate tactics she ends up having to counter his tactics with her own. Both of them were being stupid, but Scarface is stupid enough to get kicked off a cliff and down the hillside. Podric loses track of Arya, who hides, so all of this fighting was for nothing.

Arya, though, waits until Podric and Sergeant Calhoun leave and goes down to the fallen Scarface. He tells her to go with the woman who beat him, because she'd be safer, but she refused. He also knows he's dying and begs Arya to kill him. He goads her by telling her that he slaughtered her friend in Winterfell, and that he should have let her sister get raped. Instead, she walks away as he begs her to kill him.

Also, in the realm of Mereen, Daenerys is greeted by another petitioner. Apparently one of her dragons has graduated to setting fire to actual children. She is able to put two of her dragons into chains, but the third one is missing.

Meanwhile, there is finally some payoff to the whole Bran plot. Somehow Bran, The Brother and Sister Act and Hodor made it all the way through the snow without encountering any undead or Wildlings. No wait as soon as they see the Tree of Life they are looking for, skeletons pop out of the ground. These aren't blue-eyed corpses or blue-eyed blue people, but Jason and the Argonauts skeletons. The skeletons kill Peter Pan, leaving the Brother and Sister Act just a Sister Act. However the undead are overwhelmed all the sudden by this little fairy girl casts Fire Ball and obliterates their bones.

Seriously she's throwing Fireballs or light bombs just like the fairies from True Blood. MAGIC MISSILE!

Anyway, FairyChilde beckons the survivors to come and then they make their way over to the three-eyed Raven who is now much like an animalistic advisor from a Zelda game taking the form of an old man.

Are there any more 8 and 16-bit RPGs we can can pay homage to?

Yes, we can find some more because we have Tyrion's escape from the dungeon.

Much like Chrono Trigger, Illusion of Gaia, and just about any 16-bit RPG, Tyrion gets a few Helping Hands to escape from prison. Incest Charming lets him out, but Tyrion does not take the standard route to safety. Instead he goes to a chamber, and in it is Melania, naked. There's also clothing - Bad Dad's clothes. And Melanie is calling Bad Dad (who isn't in the room) "My Lion."

Tyrion snaps.

He strangles Melania. He then takes a crossbow and confronts his father, who is on the equivalent of a toilet. His father tries to talk him out of shooting him, claiming that he was never going to actually kill him. Bad Dad then calls Melania a whore, and Tyrion shoots Bad Dad. Bad Dad then says Tyrion is no son of his then calls Melania a whore again and Tyrion shoots him again. So Bad Dad is dead, and Tyrion leaves.

Then Tyrion goes to Uncle Fester who asks what has he done. However, Uncle Fester smuggles him into a crate on a boat like he's trying to sneak in an occupied South Figaro.

But then this season ends with Arya striking out on her own. She meets a captain of a boat, then shows him the magic coin she got two seasons ago and says the magic words. He then takes her aboard the boat, which sails toward free city of Bravos

This series is a love letter to the RPGs of my youth.

Other Notes:

  1. I hope they don't push Shereen on Bran. Seriously, put her with Tom Thumb, let her run things once she's grown.

  2. So if the bodies have to be burned and Dragonglass kills the undead, it will seems obvious that dragons are the natural enemy of the undead. Given the way the dragons are acting, though, I'm tempted to throw in my hat with the undead folks.

  3. I'm very concerned about Mormont and his safety with a rogue Dragon out there.

  4. Halfway through the series? And no "Shame" yet?

  5. Where is WildThing and Baby Stark? They have been absent the entire season?

  6. What about the sorcerers who were after Daenerys?


Tags: game of thrones
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