Ah….another Monday morning, another post-mortem (and I do mean “mortem”) of a “Game of Thrones” season finale. The world weighs in!
The big news of course was Tywin Lannister’s murder at the hands—er, crossbow—of his hated son, Tyrion. With brother Jamie facilitating his escape, Tyrion then strangles Shae in his father’s bed, revenge for her perjured testimony as well as getting it on with the old man. He confronts Tywin, now sitting on the un-Iron Throne, and wangs him twice with what appears to be Joffrey’s crossbow. You remember…the one he used for target practice on that poor prostitute, Ros. Lovely continuity there.
I’ll miss Charles Dance, a terrific actor who plays malevolence like nobody’s business. I loved how Tywin kept on lying through his teeth even as Tyrion loaded that crossbow. I only wish the show runners had retained George R.R. Martin’s account of Tyrion’s reaction to his father’s passing: [paraphrase] “So the Lannisters don’t shit gold after all.” George R.R. Martin is a genius.
In other news, Stannis Baratheon and his troops have arrived at the Wall to eliminate the White Walkers. Good luck. As Mance Rayder observes, they’re not dressed for the weather, and given that Stannis isn’t the sharpest tool in the drawer, Melisandre or no Melisandre, I hope he’s dispatched soon. And Dany has locked up two of her dragons in the catacombs after they’ve started scorching children instead of sheep during their flyovers. However, the biggest and baddest dragon is still at large, so you can definitely plan on more barbeques in the future.
But the best was saved for last. Arya came face to face with Brienne, and the look of recognition on the latter’s face, not only of Arya’s identity but the sense that she was seeing her younger self, was lovely (kudos to Gwendoline Christie). I figured the Hound’s days were numbered anyway, what with the festering wound in his neck, but Arya’s refusal to show any mercy whatsoever by saving him from a lingering death was rather chilling. Granted, he was on her Hit Parade for murdering her friend, the butcher’s boy, way back in Season One, but how many times had he saved her hide since, even if monetarily motivated?
Watching Arya sail away on a ship headed North (“Valar morghulis” to you, too) was a great way to open the door to new possibilities. Hopefully it will finally result in a Stark meet-up with a family member. That clan has been so inept at reunions that they really should consider posting on Craigslist’s Missed Connections.
My final impressions of Season 4 of “Game of Thrones” ?
I’m satisfied, but….I really would have preferred to end the season with Lady Stoneheart’s appearance instead of Tywin’s murder. Since I don’t spoil, you’ll just have to hang on until next season to see why. And I think you’ll agree with me.
I wish Oberyn Martell had stuck around longer instead of having his head squished like a grape.
The press reaction to a certain plot twist has bugged me no end. There’s been a lot of chatter about Lysa’s drop through the Moon Door a couple of episodes back, but not the substance of her babbling that preceded it. If you’ll recall, she reminded Petyr Baelish of her collaboration in his plotting: writing the letter in which she accused the Lannisters of poisoning Jon Arryn, her late husband, and stealing Tyrion’s dagger in order to further Catelyn Stark’s belief that the attempt on Brandon’s life was his doing. So Brandon’s would-be killer was actually dispatched by Petyr Baelish? Was this merely revenge for Catelyn’s spurning him so many years before, or the opening salvo of his grab for power in setting off what was sure to be a civil war between the kingdoms?
Ten months is a long time to wait.