HBO‘s Game of Thrones The Children TV Show Review. Game of Thrones: Season 4, Episode 10: The Children was the best season finale to date for the George R.R. Martin TV adaptation. After the music, action, and bloodshed of The Watchers on the Wall, an observer might think writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss would give the audience withdrawal time with a down-key follow-up episode. That was not the case with The Children. What the viewer received from The Children were narratively powerful moments and inventive action. The episode was also an hour and six minutes long, the longest episode every for Game of Thrones so far. That time was not wasted but used to bring to a close many of the lingering story-lines that had been left unresolved following Mockingbird and The Mountain and the Viper.
The journey to the three-eyed raven had been arduous to say the least. The end of the party’s long quest was breathing-taking, a beautiful vista unlike any the down-trodden cadre had every seen before that moment (besides the ones with ‘green dreams’). The heart tree looked like a living, breathing Vermeer painting. What followed this brief respite was just as vivid and explosive.
I never expected everyone to live but who died was ironic, considering this person’s ability, in spite of another person’s continual and valiant efforts to the contrary. When Jojen Reed (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) saw his hand on fire while imprisoned in First of His Name, was he seeing his own end or Leaf (Octavia Selena Alexandru)’s ability?
I did miss a particular character omitted from the scene but then again he and his giant elk had been missing for almost two seasons.
The Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane (Rory McCann) / Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) fight was the best altercation that either character had been involved in since they have been on the TV series. It was brutal. The writers took two of the most physically imposing characters in the show and threw them into the arena together.
Before the fight began, The Hound showed that his personality had undergone a subtle change and his perception of Ayra Stark (Maisie Williams) had gone through a major change. At first, Ayra was just a means to a financial end for him. At the end of their journey together, he saw himself as her one and only protector.
Ayra had gone through a transformation as well. She was far colder than when she first met The Hound and The Hound had become more to her than a name on her list. From the book, I know what was going through her mind as she looked upon his broken body. From her on-screen actions, Ayra left The Hound to die slowly with no emotional reaction to his entreatments, pleadings, and plight. That mental decision showed that she was on the road to becoming ‘the great killer’ she fantasied about.
Varys (Conleth Hill) helping Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) escape fell in line with Varys’ former words and actions but what Tyrion did in the interim between his escape and boat loading will rock King’s Landing and the Lannisters to the core next season. The private guilt Ser Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is going to feel will be tremendous. I can’t say the same about Tyrion. He vanquished two people that tried to kill him in the span of ten minutes using the favored weapon of the person he was accused of killing. He felt far more regret over Shae (Sibel Kekilli)’s death than Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance)’s. Tyrion had told Shae from the beginning: “We have come to a dangerous place.”
Varys watching ‘the Tyrion box’ getting loaded, hearing the tower bells then turning and boarding the ship was great writing, acting, and a humorous yet astute reaction to an emerging reality. Varys never foresaw the the evening ending like that but he was a creature that could adjust to new circumstance on the fly.
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) locking up her dragon children Rhaegal and Viserion was as if she was locking up human children. That was the reaction she had to it yet the real threat, the ‘black shadow’, was still on the loose. Rhaegal and Viserion’s dog-like attention and bellowing could not distract from the uncontrollable monster that had escaped Daenerys’ catacomb cage.
To many others and I, Game of Thrones has become the best fantasy series that has ever aired on television. The War of the Five Kings may be over but the aforementioned crown rests firmly on the head on HBO’s creation for the foreseeable future.
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