It’s been a fortnight since the finale and originally I was going to name this post with some pun related to “How to Train Your Dragon” or a comment about farm boys because of Grenn, or something relating to Father’s Day because Tywin’s was less than optimal. That being said there wasn’t a particular scene that I thought was better done than others (well there’s one exception… sort of) and every actor (even in the scene I loved least) played their role so well, hence the title. So, let’s dive into the finale of season four!
Now, I’ll start with my least favorite part of the episode, which was partially due to how much it shifted from the text. Jojen’s death shocked and upset me… like a lot. It was the first time in a while when I was like “WAIT WHAT?!?!”, though I guess I did that when we saw the wight walker transform the baby. Anyway, the scene itself… minus the fire bombs (they sorta took me out of the moment) was well done, and watching Meera have the guts and mercy to slice Jojen’s neck was heart wrenching (she’s far more kind than Arya, but we’ll get to that). Also, I’m only about a 1/3 of the way through A Dance with Dragons, so I by the end of this finale I was about as far along as the show is, and all I could think when the guy hanging in the roots of the weirwood tree told Bran he’d never walk again, but that he would fly was “well gee… that’s like super unhelpful… and if you’ve watched me through like a lot of eyes… couldn’t you have just sent me a raven with this info?” I feel like at this point Bran’s plot better have an outcome that’s got a more awesome payoff than Dany’s considering I feel like a lot of what happened with him has been a waste of time, if it doesn’t lead to some awesome payoff.
Speaking of Daenaeys…. So I loved and hated her scenes in this episode. I loved them because I was nearly moved to tears when the actor playing the shepherd who’s daughter had been burned by Drogon, came before his queen. What I hated about this particular scene though is first of all I would have loved it if it had come sooner. There’s no guarantee that Drogon did this (though I personally think he did), it could have been Dany’s enemies, trying to cause problems for the queen who basically ruined an entire economy by eliminating it’s only export. Now I’m not saying Dany hasn’t done a good thing, by setting all of these slaves free, but there are a lot of questions that could be asked in this fictional political environment, and I feel like we never got enough time for them. Also (in the book), Drogon had fled after they had already captured the other two dragons, and had tried unsuccessfully a few times to capture Drogon. That being said I loved that we watched Dany have to chain her children, and I don’t think any viewer missed the fact that the “Breaker of Chains” was, at least in these moments a hopeless hypocrite who could think of no alternative.
Speaking of no alternative… one thing that went the only way fans could have predicted, had Brienne and the Hound ever met was that they’d have one of the most badass fights of all time, and so this was one place where as a fan of the books, I was really happy to get something different. The whole scene was just awesome, Brienne and Arya talking about their swords, and the Hound pointing out the Lannister gold on Brienne’s sword made for great watching, it was almost better than the actual fight scene… almost.
What was actually better than the fight scene was what came after. I’m not sure if Maisie Williams or Rory McCann should get an award for the nearly one sided conversation between Arya and the Hound, as he lays there dying, and she makes a comment about how she’ll make it farther from him, and then does nothing except take his silver and walk off, when he did everything he could, including begging and making comments about how he should have “raped [Sansa] bloody” to try and get her to mercifully end his life. I bet Merra would have, but, this is Arya, and her hardened little heart is part of why I love her. The other part of why I love her is her fearless sense of adventure, which will take her to… somewhere that… is awesome. Or at least I hope it’s as awesome in the show as it was in the books.
Moving on to other actors who made it difficult for viewers to decided who played their roles more awesomely, we have “Jon Snuh” (as one user on twitter called him… love it… if you don’t get it read it out loud) and Mance Rayder. The scene between the two of them might have been bland, but the way Kit Harrington delivered the line “Grenn came from a farm” after Mance just finished telling him that the giant Grenn (and others) had dies killing had been the last of his long, and important line, was so epic. What got more epic was when Stannis showed up, and despite the MASSIVE force that rode into the woods, when told to kneel all Mance said was “We do not kneel” as if he were stating that the sky is blue. These scenes were just awesome, and of course inspired the meme to the right (yes, I’m proud of it).
Finally, the majority of awesomeness, even though a great deal of it was different than the books, was everything that happened in King’s Landing. The scenes with Lena Headey were ridiculously spectacular, and I write that as one who already loves her acting. Her scene with Charles Dance, telling Tywin the truth about her and Jaime was almost… almost the best scene in the episode. The best scene though was with Peter Dinklage andt Charles Dance. Looking back on when I read the book it all seemed very rushed (not the Martin has really rushed anything… ever). The scene where Tyrion kills Twyin though felt like everything slowed down, and we could really take it all in. My only complaint (and I know that they were pressed for time, and we already got a longer than usual episode), was the lack of conversation between Jaime and Tyrion that takes place in the books, which gets very, very emotional. I think that they did viewers a bit of a disservice by not having Jaime come clean.
Well, that’s all I’ve got until season five. How are we already on season five?!?!
Thanks for reading, and leave a comment!