So last Sunday was our second to last episode for season four of Game of Thrones, and I have to say that I was quite shockingly underwhelmed and bored by it, considering it was, on the whole, the most action packed episode of the season, and in all fairness, incredibly well done. It was not what I’d consider a poor episode, and not the weakest of the season, but it didn’t do it for me, and here’s why.
Where was I… ah yes, why I didn’t like the episode, even though there was a lot to like.
Well for starters, even in the books the scenes at The Wall were always by least favorite. I’ve nothing against Jon Snow (and as a side note, I don’t get why Kit Harrington gets a lot of internet hate, I think he’s a perfect Jon Snow), but my favorite things about the series (the books) are the Lannisters, Arya Stark, and Daenerys and her dragons. And my favorite things in the show are the same, but also Sansa Stark (because I like how much she’s grown diabolically). The Wall just doesn’t do it for me. There’s no intrigue. Things are, in general, simpler than they are throughout the rest of Westeros.
So when I found out that the entire episode would be at the Wall, naturally I felt pretty meh about it, and my expectations were met. Let’s recap shall we.
The Wildings attacked the Wall (the most epic moment for me being when the giant made it through the gate, and the men held their ground, saying the words of the Nights Watch. I would ague that it was more touching a scene than Rose Leslie’s (which I’ll get to), but I think her scene edged theirs out… but I’m getting ahead of myself.
During all the attacking Jon Snow had several moments to be a leader, which was fitting as Allister Thorne had, at the beginning of the episode made comments about leadership, and how everyone will second guess a leader, who’s main job is to not second guess themselves. **Random side note** It’s also during his brief conversation with Jon that the word “tw@t” is used, twice. Why do I bring this up? Because just the scene before Ygritte is catching flack from the wildlings for not being sure that she killed Jon, and the word “m!nge” is used, also twice. Now I’m not offended by these words (though I censored them, because I find them pretty crass), and I don’t think it’s out of context for the characters to use them. However, this was a completely sex/nudity free episode, and I feel like someone in the writers room decided that they had to compensate for the lack of naked women by using different slang words for vagina. But maybe I’m crazy.
Anyway, speaking of Ygritte, again, I think Rose Leslie did a superb job. The hurt at even having to aim, what she assumed was the arrow that would end her lover’s life was so perfectly apparent that for this couple of moments I was able to stop being bored with the battle. And no it’s not because I’m a chick, I like battles, but (and yes it’s my fault for reading the books) I knew they weren’t going to kill anyone like Jon or Sam, and that Ygritte would die, so it’s not like I was on the edge of my seat, until I saw how well done this scene played out. Kit Harrington was also awesome, but Rose Leslie definitely dominated this scene. When she said “we should have stayed in that cave” I felt completely swept up in the moment.
By contrast, while I’m happy for Sam, and his relationship with Gilly, I feel like (and this goes back to my boredom with the episode), that his scenes with her felt like filler, and without her in the episode, we might have had time for other parts of Westeros.
Speaking of other parts of Westeros. It seems, that none of them really know, or even care about what’s been going on at the Wall (which makes me feel a tad guilty, for not caring about the Wall much). Yet, at the end of the episode, after the battle is over, and Tormund Giantsbane is a hostage, Jon Snow is about to essentially be a diplomat on behalf of all Seven Kingdoms, going to talk with Mance Raydar to try and convince him not move South. So for all the boredom I personally suffered during this episode, I’m definitely Team Snow on this, and look forward (especially after how things in this ep deviated from the books) to seeing how things play out.
On to the finale!!!
What were your thoughts on the episode, leave a comment!