Game of Thrones S04E10 Recap: The Children

 It’s the finale already, and I’m just not sure anyone is ready for this. There is so much aftermath to be dealt with still, Tyrion and the battle at the wall are certainly on top! Let’s begin with the last look at that awesome map. It'll be a bit different the next time we see it, with more of the south added.

Jon Snow marches out beyond the wall. Jon allows the wildlings to surround him, raising his hands in surrender as he goes to speak with Mance. They notice he’s wearing a black cloak again, and in his best batman voice he tells Mance that he’s come to negotiate with them. It’s a disappointment that he’s a crow once more, Mance tells him. He was always loyal to the night’s watch, Jon explains, he did what half-hand told him too. Mance asks about Ygritte, if he was enough to turn her, he wasn’t. Jon tells Mance that she put three arrows into him when he left, and she died. They drink to her. Mance is impressed with the crow’s efforts, they speak of their fallen, Mance’s Giant, and Jon’s friend Grenn, and drink to them. Jon tells Mance to go back, to stop this war. Mance knows that Jon doesn’t have nearly as many men as he’s boasting to have. Mance is completely honest with Jon. They aren’t there to conquerer, but to hide behind it. Winter is coming. Mance offers him his own bargain. Jon can return and open the gates, and there will be no bloodshed, or Mance can come and kill every last one of them. Mance figures out that Jon came to kill Mance. He wonders if Jon is capable of the deed after he just offered Jon peace. A horn is sounded, it isn’t the crows though, they don’t have enough men. A large force heads towards the wildlings, they come from both sides, and slaughter the group. Mance can only watch in shock as his men fall around him. He orders them to stand down, his people have bled enough. Leading the group is Stannis Baratheon. Well, surprise, surprise, he finally shows up. Mance throws his weapons to the ground before Stannis, and Stannis makes his introduction. Stannis wishes Mance to kneel, but wildlings do not kneel. Mance and his men are taken away. Davos asks what the Night’s Watch is doing in a Wildling camp, and Jon tells him he came to discuss terms with the King Beyond the Wall. Davos reminds Jon that he is speaking to the one true king. Jon addresses Stannis, and introduces himself properly. Stannis knows that his father Ned was an honorable man, and asks what he should do with Mance. Mance took Jon prisoner once, and he treated him well, he suggests that he take Mance prisoner, and listen to what he has to say. Stannis agrees with Jon. Jon has one further suggestion, to burn the dead, all of them.

The Maester looks over the Mountain’s wounds, he’s been poisoned by the Viper’s blade. He’s been poisoned by the venom of the Manticor, they don’t know a whole lot about the venom. The Maester thinks that the Mountain is too far gone, but his assistant has other thoughts. He isn’t a Maester, grand or otherwise. Cersei dismisses the Grand Maester, and allows his assistant to do what he can to save the Mountain. He warns that the process may change him. It will not weaken him, so Cersei is on board.

Cersei goes to see her father about her betrothal. She does not wish to marry Loras, but he is adamant that she will. Her role in the future of the Lannister’s is pivotal, now more than ever. Jaime cannot inherit land, Tyrion is about to die, so Cersei is all they have left. Cersei doesn’t want to listen to anymore of Tywin’s tales of times he’s won. When he came to the rescue them at the Battle of Blackwater, she was about to kill Tommen, to ensure he didn’t suffer a worse fate. She is willing to go the distance for her family, but she will not let outside forces tear them down. She knows that Marery will do just that, that she and Tywin will tear apart Tommen for control. She warns Tywin, that if she is forced to, she will out her own secret, that her children are products of incest. Her father never believed the rumors, he was too consumed by the idea of them without actually seeing them. Tywin claims to not believe, but Cersei knows that he does as she smugly walks away.

Cersei goes to see her next victim. She goes to see Jaime. He asks if she’s happy about her latest victory, telling her that she doesn’t get to chose her family. Cersei thinks that she does. She still hold a grudge towards Tyrion, blaming him for his birth, and their mother’s subsequent death, so she is very happy with the outcome. But she’s come to tell Jaime that she chooses him. Jaime cannot believe his ears. She kisses him and tells him that she told their father. She doesn’t want to speak of Tywin anymore. She knows that people will talk, but she no longer cares, and Jaime takes her on the table.

Daenerys has quite the impressive number of titles now as she is announced to Fennesz, a former slave and tutor. He taught the children of his master many things of history, including her own. He tells her that when she took the city, the children begged him not to leave, but he and his master thought it best if he did. Since then he has been homeless. The Khalessi has provided barracks and mess halls for those freed, but it is not for him. The young pray on the old. Dany vows for the unsully to make them safe, but that is not what he wants. Even if they are safe, then he still has no place, he wishes to be sold back to his master. Dany cannot understand how he would want to be owned by a goat. Fennesz thinks her rule is good for the young, but for the old, it is too much change. She did not take the city to force them into anything more than freedom. She tells him he is allowed to sign a contract, for no more than a year. Fennesz thanks her. Barristan tells her that the masters will take advantage of this, they will use her mercy to enslave the people once more. Another man approaches with a bundle in his arms, she allows him to approach. He does not understand her words, Missandei translates for him. He tells his queen that the black one came from the sky. He opens up the bundle, it is the charred bones of his three year old daughter. Drogon has not been spotted since. She tells Grey Worm to meet her in the catacombs. Dany brings her two other dragons below to the catacombs. Like obedient children they head below, and they find the meat that has been planted for them, but they do not see the danger as they eat. Chains have been prepared for them. As they feast, Dany chains her children. With the collars in place she walks away, and only then do they see what has happened. They see their mother leave them, and they squall like toddlers. Dany closes them inside. That has to be the biggest mistake yet.

Maester Aemon survived the battle on the wall. He says a few words over the fallen brothers. Their watch has ended. He prepares the funeral pyres. Jon is among those watching, as well as Stannis and his men. All of the bodies are burned. Melisandre looks at Jon through the fires. Tormund asks why their blind man patched him up.  Jon tells him that it is the Maester’s job to patch up all men, friend or foe. Tormund wonders what his fate will be, presumably torture before death. He will not be tortured, but Jon does not know what will be done in truth. Tormund asks if he is king, but Jon says that they have no king on the wall. He has been a wildling too long Tormund muses, he will not be a kneeler again. Jon tells him that they will burn their dead, and asks if they have any words, but the dead cannot hear, so they have no words. Tormund asks if Jon loved Ygritte, because she loved him. She never spoke the words, only those of wanting to kill him, and that said it more than anything else. He tells him that she belongs in the North, the real North. Jon understands him. He takes Ygritte’s body out in the woods, and builds a proper burial pyre for her, and he lets her go.

Hodor, Jojen, Meera, and Bran press ahead through the snow. Meera asks if he would like to rest, scared that they aren’t going to make it, but they already have. On the top of the next hill lies a great Godwood. The sun shines beautifully upon it. The small group is nearly there, when something grabs Jojen from beneath the snow. Meera makes a leap towards him, trying desperately to save him from the skeletal hands that hold him. Hodor panicks, and Bran tells him to help them. Meera manages to free Jojen, but the skeletons rise all around them. Meera fights them off, one crawls up Bran’s body, but Summer takes care of it. Hodor is overwhelmed, and Bran finally wargs and takes him over. Hodor throws off his two, and helps Meera with the rest. Jojen calls out to Bran to save himself, as more of the skeletons rise from behind him. Meera and Hodor destroy all save for one, which viciously stabs Jojen in the gut repeatedly. The pair of skeletons coming towards Bran are blasted by some sort of lightening balls. And a girlish figure calls to Bran and the others to come with her, or perish along with Jojen. Meera hesitates, but Jojen tells her to leave him. She slits his throat mercifully as more of the skeletons rise. Hodor grabs Bran and they follow the being to safety. Jojen’s body is blasted, as they run to the safety of the cave beneath the tree. Only a little further and they would have all lived, The skeletons cannot follow. The beings were called the Children by the first men, but they are much older than that, and she beckons them to follow her. “He” awaits them. Hodor is hesitant, he lies Bran down upon the floor before a large throne. Bran crawls his way forward. It is the three eyed raven, but now it is a man. Jojen knew what would happen if he brought them here, he knew from the start and still he brought them. Bran has come to him at last, though the hour is late. Jojen died so Bran could find what he had lost. He will never walk again, but he will fly.

Brienne and Podrick wake to find their horses gone. Podrick thinks it may have been thieves. Brienne is not pleased at all, its still thirty miles to the Eyrie. She crests a hill and spots Arya practicing with Needle. She warns the Hound that his business can wait, that there are people coming. Brienne asks if they are close to the gate, and it’s only ten more miles. Arya asks if she’s a knight, she is not, but she knows how to use the sword. Ayra asks for the swords name. She asks who taught her to fight. Her father did, and although he didn’t want to teach her to fight either, Brienne kept fighting the boys and losing, so he finally taught her. Brienne greets the Hound. Podrick recognizes him instantly, and once she hears his name, she recognizes Arya. She tells Arya that she swore to her mother that she would bring her home. Arya asks her why she didn’t save her mother. She was tasked with taking Jaime back to Kings Landing. The Hound thinks that Brienne has come for the bounty on his head. She hasn’t, but she’s still carries Lannister gold. Brienne tells them the sword came from Jaime, which does nothing to quell the Hound’s fears. Brienne speaks of her vows, but Arya doesn’t care about her vows. The Hound makes it clear that Arya is not coming with her. Brienne tries to appeal to her again. The Hound tells her that there is no safety, and if she doesn’t know that by now then she’s the wrong one to watch over her. Brienne doesn’t believe that’s what he’s doing, but that’s exactly what he’s been doing. Brienne draws her sword on the Hound, and the two engage in quite the fight. Brienne brings the Hound to his knees, but she doesn’t want to kill him. The Hound is no knight, so he fights a little dirty. He grabs her sword, and butts it against her, bringing her down. She fights back like a girl, hitting him between the legs. The two begin brawling, its awful and vicious. Brienne manages to throw the Hound down the hill. She calls for Arya, but she cannot find her. Arya has disappeared, she slipped away as Podrick watched Brienne. Arya looks below where the Hound has fallen. She climbs down to him. He’s bloody and broken. He tells her that the big bitch saved her, but she tells him that she doesn’t need saving. The Hound knows that he is finally done. He cannot believe that he will be killed by a woman. He tells Arya to go on, to find Brienne, that she’ll help her. He doesn’t think Arya will last a day without her. Arya tells him that she’ll last longer than him. He’s ready to die, he tells her to do as she’s promised him that she would to take his name off her list, to kill him. He taunts her that he killed the butcher’s boy, how he begged for mercy, how he bled all over his horse. The Hound tells her about Sansa, how he should have taken her pretty sister and raped her, then he’d have atleast one happy memory. Still Arya does not move. The Hound asks if he has to beg her, asking her to do it. He quivers, begging her to kill him. Arya finally rises, and comes to him. She takes his gold, but not his life. She leaves him there, as he shouts for her to kill him. That has to be the saddest thing ever, and I will miss Rory McCann, he was an excellent Hound.

Tyrion awaits for his own death in his cell. It’s only a matter of time, and he wishes they would hurry up with it. Jaime arrives to spring Tyrion from his cell. Tyrion asks who’s helping him. Varys is, he has more friends than he thought. Jaime tells him to go to the locked door and knock twice and Varys will open it, and get him to safety. Tyrion and Jaime embrace for the last time, and say goodbye. Tyrion thanks him for his life, as he heads away. All Tyrion has to do is go up the stairs, to safety, instead he goes through a trap door and heads to the Hand’s tower. He finds Shae in his father’s bed. The heartbreak is all over Tyrion’s face. Shae grabs a knife from the table nearby, and Tyrion springs on her. He gets the knife away from her and as she slaps at him and tries to hurt him he strangles the life out of her with her own necklace. She really was just a whore, and he loved her. This betrayal cuts deeper than that of his sister’s. Tyrion removes the crossbow from the wall, and pays his father a little visit on the crapper. He asked who released him, but he already knows that it was Jaime. He wishes to speak in his chambers. Although he’s always wished Tyrion’s death, he has always fought for life, and Tywin claims to actually respect that. He tells Tyrion that he would never have let them take his head, he’s a Lannister after all. Tyrion asks about Shae, tells him that he killed her with his own hands. Tywin tells him that it doesn’t matter, that she was a whore. Tyrion raises the bow once more, and still Tywin doesn’t think he’ll kill his father in the privy. Tyrion damns his soul, knowing that Tywin knew that he didn’t poison Joffery. He wants to know why he sentenced him all the same. Tywin wants to go down and talk in his chambers, but Tyrion can’t go back there, Shae’s body is there. Tywin makes the mistake of calling her a whore again, and Tyrion shoots him in the chest. Tywin cannot believe that his son actually did it, as Tyrion loads another bolt. Tywin denounces him, but Tyrion has always been his son. He shoots him one last time, and walks to Varys room. Varys asks what he’s done. He loads Tyrion into a box, one like his former master was kept in, and asks for Tyrion to trust him. The crate is loaded onto a ship, and Varys takes a final look at King’s Landing, before heading aboard the ship himself.  Varys will ride with his crate to distant shores.

Arya rides upon her horse alone. It’s all very Neverending Story Atreyu. She rushes towards a ship being loaded, and speaks to the captain. She wishes to go North to the wall. He tells her that she doesn’t want to go there, there is nothing there. She tells him that she can pay, and she’s willing to work as well. He isn’t going North though, the ship is headed home to Braavos, and he doesn’t want her money. She has something else, the coin from Jaqen H’ghar she speaks the words “Valar Morghulis.” He gives her a cabin, and they set sail. Arya is finally headed to Braavos, and with that we end our season.


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