Such a sad, sad day. This is the end of season 4 of Game of Thrones. Pretty hard to believe, isn't it? The finale, episode 10, "The Children," was promised to be one of the best finales in Game of Thrones history, and it did not disappoint. It only goes to show how much fans are going to miss this incredible, insane, amazing series.
Of course, the one thing on every fan's mind going into the finale was: Is Tyrion Lannister going to live or die? The finale, suffice it to say, thoroughly answered that question. Did you see that ending coming? And what the hell are we going to do now that the show is over anyway?
Here's your warning: SPOILERS AHEAD for episode 10, "The Children." Check out the finale, then come back and geek out with the rest of us geeks. It's truly worth the watch!
The episode begins right where we left off last week, with Jon Snow trudging out to meet Mance Rayder and end the battle at the Wall. He just walks straight into the wildling camp, arms raised, ballsy as ever. Rayder admits he is disappointed in Jon's betrayal, and Jon sadly admits to him that Ygritte is dead, yet again being reminded that he couldn't keep his chastity vows (even if Samwell Tarly did manage to find a convenient loophole).
Jon requests that they turn around and leave, but Mance stays firm, saying he needs to get through the Wall and gain protection from the White Walkers. Suddenly their meeting is interrupted by an attack -- and it's not the Night's Watch. Thousands of men on horseback charge the wildling camp from both sides in an awesome, wide-sweeping shot of the forest.
Who is it, who is it? Well, if you were paying attention, you probably knew that Stannis Baratheon was making his way North. The wildlings are no match for a trained, regimented army. Mance looks on horrified as his people are slaughtered, and he surrenders.
Stannis and Ser Davos Seaworth approach Mance and Jon. Mance refuses to kneel while Jon introduces himself as "Ned Stark's son." Jon does the honorable thing and stands up for Mance, saying he was treated well when he was Mance's prisoner. Jon also warns Stannis to burn the dead -- White Walkers are able to reanimate the corpses, remember!
Everyone gathers to burn the bodies of the fallen. Jon sees Melisandre through the flames -- oh boy, another redhead, Jon better watch out.
Tormund Giantsbane is all patched up, and Jon asks if he wants to say farewell to the dead before they're burned. As Jon walks away, Tormund asks, "Did you love her? She loved you ... All she ever talked about was killing you. That's how I know." Tormund also says that she belongs to the "real North," so Jon takes Ygritte's body out beyond the Wall and burns her himself. Um, sort of romantic, right? Poor Jon. Loves just cannot exist on this show.
It's been confirmed: The Mountain has been poisoned with manticore venom, but he is still alive. Nice last laugh there, Oberyn Martell, RIP. Cersei leaves him to be experimented upon by Qyburn.
Cersei and her father Tywin argue over her being sent to Highgarden to be married off to Loras Tyrell. She even threatens to tell the truth about her and Jaime's relationship. "Everything they say is true about Jaime and me ... your legacy is a lie," she says. For once, he is left speechless as she saunters away.
Might as well pick a fight with her brother too -- she still blames Tyrion for their mother's death, while Jaime looks at her incredulously. Still she kisses Jaime and admits she told Tywin "about us." He doesn't seem to mind too much since they proceed to get it on.
On the other side of Westeros, Fennesz is introduced to Daenerys. He tells her that he lost his home and that he feels he has no purpose in life anymore. He asks to sell himself back to his slave master. She allows him to sign a contract with his former master, though she is still disappointed all the same.
It's about to get worse: Another man approaches sobbing and says that Drogon burned up his daughter. She was 3 years old. It's not a good day for Dany. She is forced to send her other two dragons underground and chain them up. "Breaker of Chains," no more. Though kudos to her for being brave enough to be the one to do it. She can't control her tears while they cry out for her, knowing they've been betrayed. Good luck to whoever is in charge of feeding them.
After a long absence, we check back in with Bran Stark, Jojen and Meera Reed, and Hodor. It wouldn't be a season finale without a "Hodor." They finally find that damn huge ass tree that's blooming red leaves in the snow. Suddenly a couple creepy skeletal hands reach out from under the snow and grab Jojen. The wights, aka reanimated corpses, aka the zombies from Pirates of the Caribbean, come out from the snow and one approaches a helpless Bran. Summer is there to save the day, but Hodor is not so lucky. Bran wargs as Hodor and is able to take them on.
Suddenly Jojen is stabbed multiple times by one of the wights. Just as two wights approach Bran from behind, a creepy little kid shoots fire at them. Meera is forced to kill Jojen out of mercy and leaves him behind. We've finally got our first look at "The Children," the original habitants of Westeros, long believed to have been extinct.
They approach an old man in the heart of the tree. He reveals himself to be the human manifestation of the three-eyed raven. "You will never walk again," Dumbledore (this was a joke) (sigh) says. "But you will fly."
Well, anyway, Podrick manages to lose their horses, but Brienne spots Arya practicing with her sword while the Hound taks a poop. Makes sense since both of them were going to or leaving the Eyrie. Arya and Brienne bond over swords, of course, and you immediately hope it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. But hell no, this is Game of Thrones. Podrick immediately recognizes the Hound. Brienne realizes who Arya is and admits she could not protect her mother. Once Arya hears that Jaime gave Brienne her sword, she refuses to go with her.
Brienne and the Hound whip out their swords and start dueling. In an incredibly violent, brutal fight, Brienne punches the Hound down a cliff. It seems to be all for nothing, as Arya hides from Brienne. Arya manages her way down the cliff to find the Hound, and he heartbreakingly admits, "I'm done." He even tells Arya to go with Brienne, though Arya is as cold as ever to him and will take her chances alone. She has a chance to scratch a name off her list, and he uses all his ammunition to get her to do it.
"Do I have to beg you?" he then relents. "Do it. Do it. Do it."
But all she does is steal his money and leaves him to die. Out of bitterness or out of compassion in the slight chance that he'll live? We'll leave that one to the philosophers.
Suddenly, after that, we get right into a prison break, as Jaime leads his brother Tyrion out of jail. Jaime admits he and Varys are organizing it all. They hug each other, knowing they may never see each other again. Looks like Tyrion is going to escape death once more.
Tyrion emerges from the dungeons into his own father's room and sees Shae in his bed. Furious, after a brief struggle, Tyrion strangles Shae with her own necklace. He even apologizes to her for it.
Afteward, he happens upon his father, Tywin, who is on the toilet, and approaches him with Joffrey's crossbow. Tyrion, heartbroken, asks why Tywin would ever sentence his son to death, knowing that he was innocent and didn't kill Joffrey. Tywin asks to have a civilized chat with his son -- but his words won't save him this time. After Tywin repeatedly refers to Shae as a "whore," the trigger word, Tyrion shoots him once in the gut, then again in the chest. He turns around and leaves his father to die on the crapper. Happy Father's Day indeed, Tywin!
In the last scene of season 4, Arya approaches a ship ready to set sail. She finds out the captain is on his way to Braavos. She shows him the coin Jaqen H'ghar gave her all the way back in season 2 and she is immediately welcomed on board. Looks like Arya is well on her way to a brand-new adventure.
Wow. Wow! What way to end an incredible season 4. Jon Snow and Stannis are ruling the North; Bran has met Dumbledore the three-eyed raven in his human form beneath the tree; Arya is on her way to Braavos, hopefully to become a master assassin; Tywin is dead; Jojen is dead; the Hound is most likely dead; Tyrion is free and safe; Brienne and Podrick have no choice but to continue to look for Sansa; Daenerys is still struggling with ruling ... all setting up for what should hopefully be a fantastic season 5.
Thank you all for following along these past few weeks! It has been incredible. But the question remains ... what are we supposed to do now until next season?!
What was your favorite part of the Game of Thrones season 4 finale?
Image via HBO