Here ends the greatest season of one of the greatest TV shows ever made. I will not hide my appreciation of Game of Thrones. This is a fan-freakin'-tastic show! I could go into the depth of the characters and how well they are created. I could go into the rich lore and astounding attention to detail. Maybe I could talk about beautiful musical scores or the top notch visuals that rival that of cinema. There is not enough time for that though. I could be here all day. Instead let's go through a quick recap of the episodes before closing thoughts. Episode 1: Two Swords
Quote of the episode: "Tell your father I'm here - and tell him the Lannisters aren't the only ones who pay their debts." - Oberyn Martell
This was classic introductory episode. Not much happened except for getting a look back into the live of our favorite characters including Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Morther of Dragons (or just Dany. . .). Her dragons are getting a little too fierce. We also got our introduction to Oberyn Martell, aka the Red Viper. This obviously would be a set-up for crap later down the line.
Episode 2: The Lion and the Rose
Quote of the episode: "War is war, but killing a man at a wedding, horrid. What sort of monster would do such a thing? As if men need more reasons to fear marriage." - Olenna Tyrell
Joffrey's death sold the episode here, and for good reason. We all wanted that - insert derogatory term here - to die for what seemed forever. This would be a sign to all the unpredictable craziness to come for the rest of the season. We also can't overlook Brandon's visions from the tree. They could be a huge indicator of what's to come.
(Link to extensive review of episode: http://www.celebrategeek.com/spoiler-television-review-game-thrones-season-4-episode-2-lion-rose/ )
Episode 3: Breaker of Chains
Quote of the episode: "I will not become a page in someone else's history book." - Stannis Baratheon
Oh Littlefinger, you do think you're a clever one. While learning that you and Olenna were the culprit of the "crime" was huge, watching the fight later on in the episode with Daario was more fun. Sadly though, what stole the show here for many people was the mistreatment of the not-so-consensual-sex-scene with Jaime and Cersei. Apparently it was consensual in the book. So why did not appear to be here?
Episode 4: Oathkeeper
Quote of the episode: "Sansa's not a killer. . . not yet anyway." - Tyrion Lannister
You've got to love the hinting of the Brienne Jaime show-mance. After the unfortunate mistreatment of the incident that happened by the grave the previous week, we needed some reassurance of Jaime's growth as a character. What better way to show that than giving one of the most precious sword in all of Westeros and fitted armour to Brienne to go find Sansa. Then there was the baby incident by Crastor's Keep, where Brandon and his crew would be captured. This would lead to us seeing the White Walker taking the baby to fortress and a leader (apparently not even discussed in the books. Take that book readers!).
Episode 5: First of His Name
Quote of the episode: " I saw you die tonight. I saw your body burn. I saw the snow bury your bones" - Jojen Reed
Littlefinger, maybe you are as clever as you boast. All of the crap that happened previous seasons appears to be a direct or indirect result of you. Let's also not forget Jojen! I know we all want to remember Professor Xavier (Brandon) controlling the Hulk (Hodor) to kill off the Bolton spy, but the power of Destiny (Jojen) cannot be understated.
Episode 6: The Laws of God and Men
Quote of the episode: "I am Reek!" - Theon Greyjoy??
Ramsey Snow (um, I mean Bolton), the dick who stole Theon's (um, I mean Reek's) dick, is apparently a badass. Beating off the feared Iron Islanders half naked is an impressive feat. What's even more impressive is Jaime's willingness to give up the life he desperately loves with his sister at the capitol to save his brother from death. If only Tyrion could control his outrages. Though we understand. Shay's a bi-otch!
Episode 7: Mockingbird
Quote of the episode: "I have only loved one woman, only one, my entire life. . . Your sister." - Littlefinger
Some of the most emotionally deep and touching scenes to come out of this season have to be the scenes with award deserving Peter Dinklage in prison. Of those scenes, an argument has to be made for the best one being with Oberyn as he recounted when he first met Tyrion as a baby. Tyrion's reaction to him saying "I will be your champion." was priceless. Then there was the scene with that bat-shit crazy, erotomaniac Liza Arryn playing with Sansa's life. Thank goodness for Littlefinger. WHOOSH! Right through the moon door!
Episode 8: The Mountain and the Viper
"YOU RAPED HER! YOU MURDERED HER! YOU KILLED HER CHILDREN!" - Oberyn Martell
I don't have much more to say than wow. . . I always been skittish of weird or ugly treatment of eyeballs. Talk about taking that phobia and infusing it with most emotion possible for a not so pleasant combination. I was literally shaking when the episode ended. It may have not been the most violent thing ever to take place on TV, though taking the moment and shooting it in the arm with the most emotionally raw confession of horrific acts of savagery in the midst of my favorite character Tyrion's life on the line was too much to handle.
(Link to extensive review of episode: http://www.celebrategeek.com/brandons-corner-game-thrones-season-4-episode-8-mountain-viper-review-spoilers/ )
Episode 9: The Watchers on the Wall
Quote of the episode: "You know nothing, Jon Snow." - Ygritte
This was definitely the most cinematic of the episodes. Everything about it screamed epic battle one would find at a local theatre. The long shot panning across the entire battle was, in my mind, the most ambitious and astounding shot in Game of Thrones thus far. This episode was also Samwell's shining moment, showing us all that he has got what it takes to be the next Rambo (Ok, maybe I am overstating that just a little). Jon Snow was also freaking awesome. It was nice to see that he is learning from each battle he is in, by using the so called cheep tactic of spitting in your opponents face which happened to him in episode 5. And Pyp and Grenn, you two will be missed.
Episode 10: The Children
Quote of the episode: "Safety, where the fucks that?" - The Hound
Far and away, this was the most ambitious of the Game of Thrones finale. Four characters (three to be sure) of importance died and every single one of their deaths was physically and emotionally brutal. Jojen needs to be mentioned. His death is telling to the type of character he was to the end: loyal, and steadfast. In the face of a death he knew he would realize he lead Brandon to his destiny. What we all want to talk about though is the fight between Brienne and The Hound (Sandor Clegan). In the history of television, or cinema for that matter, have we ever seen a more brutal sword fight between two evenly matched opponents who happened to be of opposite sex? I know I can't think of any. What was even more brutal though was the emotionally desperate scene of the Hound begging for death. It was both incredibly sad, and showcased how good of and actor Rory McCann really is.
This all leads us to Tywin's demise. You've got to be shitting me! Charles Dance has been such a powerful presence on the show. He was so good that his performance could probably only be said to be shorter (pun intended) than that of Peter Dinklage. His final scene with Tyrion was so well done and speaks volumes to the beauty of the dialogue in the show. Tyrion's delivery of the line, "I am your son. I have always been your son." said it all when it came to their broken relationship.
Now what is this all leading to and what does it mean?!
When it comes down to it, when you think about it, this season really was about the downfall of the Lannisters. Last season was the Starks with the Red Wedding and the constant torturing of Sansa. Season 2 could be said to be the Baratheons with the loss of Renley and Stannis's fail at Blackwater; and season 1 was setup. The real question is what will be in store for us next? In my mind, we're only beginning to see a downfall of the Targeryen empire with Daenerys cutting Jorah loose, her general lack of momentum, and loss of control with her dragons.
Next season will also have us reuniting with some more crazy scenarios. Jon Snow and Stannis situation should be interesting. With the way Mellesandre was eyeing Jon, we could be in for a rivalry. What I think we all care about though is an invasion of the Whitewalkers or anything of the like. Whatever it is, anymore fighting up at the wall, particularly from Jon Snow, is an open invitation.
Then there's Arya. While she was one of my favorites for the first two seasons, she has fallen out of grace for me. She has become someone root-able to a stone cold bitch who thinks she know everything. Maybe this all part of her character arc, but as of now I don't know. Hopefully Braavos has something cool set out for us such as finding out her water dancing instructor Syrio Forel never died or he is Jaqen H'ghar.
When it comes to Starks, there is always Charles Xavier. Brandon apparently is going to fly. By what mean, is the real question. Is he going to warg into a bird or a dragon like Drogon since he's gone missing? Or he could ride one? Though this could be the case him going Jean Grey style with telepathy and telekinesis. All I know is that I want to see more flame throwing from the children of the forest.
Then we come to the major unknowns. The Tyrion and Varys situation should be interesting. I don't care where they're heading. Any discussion between those two will be awesome. As for Littlefinger and Sansa relationship - who knows? Those two are some of the two most unpredictable characters in the show. My hope is that Brienne and Podrick find their way to them like they said they would.
Though, with all this speculation, let us not forget about the phenomenal season we were given. I could go into depth, but considering you've watched it this far, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Quick shout out to What The Flick and Post Show Recaps for all their awesome videos of Game of Thrones this year. Here's to 40 weeks of peaceful enjoyment till another incredible season.
Before we end though we end completely though, let's look back at the top three quotes of season 4.
Bronze: "Hodor" - Hodor
Silver: "WHOOSH! Right through the Moon Door!" - Robin Arryn
Gold: "YOU CANNOT GIVE UP ON THE GRAVY!" - Hot Pie