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16 June 2014 @ 01:03 pm
Game of Thrones: "The Children" Season Finale Review  
Game of Thrones 4.10 "The Children"

It was alright. Though I'll admit, I have some mixed feelings about some parts.

There were things that were good of course, like Stannis arriving at the Wall, which I'm happy about because finally certain characters are coming together that have never crossed paths before and it will lead into some great things for next season. Dany facing the harsh realities of what her liberation has led to, and the consequences of allowing her dragons to roam free amongst the city. Bran and Co. finally arriving at the Weirwood tree, meeting the Children of the Forest and the last greenseer, also known as the Three-Eyed Crow from Bran's dreams. The Hound getting fatally wounded and Arya leaving him there to die alone while she goes off on her own and sailing to Braavos, thus beginning the next part of her journey that will be leading into the next season. And finally, Tywin getting killed by Tyrion.

But there were other things that I'm uncertain about, or just plain didn't like.

First and foremost, I'm incredibly angry with the way they handled the whole Tyrion killing Shae moment. Due to how developed they made her character on the show over the course of the seasons, it seemed out of place to just have her merely there only to die without giving her more to do or even say. Never mind how, after killing her, they seemed made Tyrion sympathetic while she will be seen as the "evil whore" who betrayed him, thus others might take away that him killing her, while regretful, was justified. This was the moment where even book fans of Tyrion were to not see him in a positive light because he killed her. And outright killed her too, not in a "self-defense because of a fight" way, but basically snapped and murdered her. There is no justification for it and she didn't deserve it, no matter what happened between them. Granted, I knew they had to do things differently because they way they setup that relationship on the show, but here it was just horrible in the sense that they obviously didn't think it through and had to go with the book route for Shae, but the sympathetic show route for Tyrion. Despite the fact that it was Tyrion who intentionally called her a whore and sent her away in order to "protect" her, didn't he even bother to think that perhaps, somehow, she hadn't been on the boat (thanks to Bronn, who, as he said himself, is only looking out for himself) and was possibly blackmailed by his family to testify against him and to be in Tywin's bed because of her occupation. Like, seriously?

It's a travesty and disappointing, really. I can only imagine the actress hated it just as much because she was adamant on giving Shae a voice and have more control over her storyline, and even argued with D&D about certain things. Just. Ugh. Farewell Shae, I'm sorry your character was mistreated by the show because you were way more than what they painted you to be in this season. They should have paid attention to their own continuity.

Also, why wasn't Tyrion's first wife brought up when he and Jaime were parting ways? That would have made more sense, given what happens with Shae. It was mentioned before in a previous season, but it would have been important to bring it up here when Tyrion was confronting his father.

Furthermore, while I know that Jaime and Tyrion have a nice relationship with each other, there was supposed to be important reveal of things; Jaime telling Tyrion the truth about his first wife (leading to the incidents with Shae and Tywin), and Tyrion telling Jaime that Cersei had been unfaithful to him while he had been away in captivity. Plus, the fact that they have Cersei and Jaime still on good terms (despite what happened earlier this season) left me confused more than anything. It would have made sense to leave them having these revelations, especially having them confess it to each other in the heat of the moment. I don't know why they didn't have it.

Also, I think the biggest thing that I'm deeply disappointed in was there was no [book character spoiler]Lady Stoneheart; I felt that would have been perfect for a great finale cliffhanger, leaving the audience, especially non-book fans, something to look forward to for next season. Considering that the finale was fifteen minutes longer than usual, I would have figured they made that extra time to have the last moment of the episode for it to happen. Apparently not.


Other things about the episode:

++ Dany making the hard decision to lock up her dragons to prevent further killings of innocent children. It's sad because it was Drogon that did it, not the other two, but for her she doesn't want to take that chance and reluctantly decides to lock them away. Furthermore, she has to deal with the repercussions about former slaves wanting to be enslaved again. This is something she has to deal with because those who have only been slaves all their lives don't know what to do with their freedom; some will get out of control and do whatever they want while others seem to have a lost sense of self. As a slave, they had purpose. Being freed, they have nothing. No stability. Dany is now in a position where she must face this reality of these slaves, along with the other masters who might take advantage of this, and let's not forget the other slaver cities she has sacked and looking to revolt against her. While this season has been lacking in certain things with Dany, I'm hoping next season will bring more, and that we'll get to see more internalizing and vulnerable moments with her.

++ I'm confused on Jojen dying, because he clearly didn't in the books. It has made me realize, though, that there seems to be a pattern with the show's decision of killing off these characters that haven't died in the books. They seem to kill them off because they don't really do much else in the books thus far, although GRRM has commented on this saying that the show is shooting themselves in the foot because of this.

++ Is it just me, or was anyone else disappointed that the Three-Eyed Crow/Greenseer was just an old man sitting within a tree rather than being an almost-skeletal man basically having tree roots going around/through him? I was hoping for such a visual that it seemed rather...underwhelming?

++ Also, why no Coldhands though?

++ While it was nice seeing Brienne and Arya conversing with each other, especially about being girls fighting alongside men even though they were told otherwise, Brienne never met up with Arya and never fought The Hound. Her entire mission was to search for Sansa and finding clues as to her whereabouts. I mean, I didn't dislike it because it was a nice little moment (while it lasted) and I liked that it gave Arya a chance to speak with another woman, and that her decision to not join her was because of her trust issues. But honestly, it was quite weird nonetheless.

++ Regardless though, Arya not reacting to The Hound as he was begging for her to kill him was a great moment. She was so indifferent, impassive towards him. She just looked on at him for a long, long moment, took his money and left. She wanted him to die, but she wanted him to suffer.

++ I liked that they showed what happened to The Mountain, the aftermath of him being poisoned by Oberyn's spear during the fight. I also liked that it's a parallel between both the brothers, both of them are slowly dying. Of course, the man who treated Jaime's hand will be experimenting on The Mountain, and I'm hoping we get to see that process later. Should be interesting.

++ I'm further confused with what they're doing with Jaime and Cersei anymore. I don't think they know. Bah.

++ I'm going to miss Charles Dance as Tywin Lannister. He had such presence as the character, his performance was magnificent throughout the show.


Overall: I liked it well enough, though it was a bit underwhelming as far as season finales go. I think the majority of that was due to getting my hopes high for certain things only to be letdown. Which is partially my own fault, I feel. I should know by now that, because of how much the show is changing things from the books as the seasons go on, I should keep my expectations low.


Season Four Overview: It was a good season, there were several high points, though I'll be honest I think the pacing wasn't as great. As always, I feel like they need to cease with the unnecessary things like nudity/rape scenes, have less fillers and more plot. They did keep hyping up this season to be more fast and action-packed that previous ones, but I felt it was just the same, just with certain scenes rearranged. Overall, the season was good, just not spectacular as I had originally thought it was going to be.
 
 
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no good either: [GoT] Jon - In the Rainalanna_zero on June 16th, 2014 09:22 pm (UTC)
During the whole finale I just kept screaming in my head "THAT'S NOT HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE BOOKS!!!!" xD
I'm currently reading ADWD and just recently read that Bran chapter and when Jojen died in the finale I was like "WHAT THE HELL????" and then I thought "FUCK then he's surely gonna die some later time and they just did it now" but if you say he doesn't die at all then...this doesn't make sense either way???

Is it just me, or was anyone else disappointed that the Three-Eyed Crow/Greenseer was just an old man sitting within a tree rather than being an almost-skeletal man basically having tree roots going around/through him?
YEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSS. I thought the description of him in the books was so great and from afar I thought at first he was looking like that (or kinda similar to that White Walker with the long grey hair) but then they zoomed in and it was like...Dumbledore/Gandalf???? UGH.

I am extremely angry about that Brienne/Hound fight. It made me sick how violent it was - ESPECIALLY SINCE THEY NEVER FUCKING MET IN THE BOOKS. ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH.

I would have loved to see Lady Stoneheart in the finale, but I kinda figured they wouldn't show her, since Tyrion killing Tywin and Shae would be ~shocking enough, so now they can still set it up to be a ~great reveal next season (I hope?????).

Having Tyrion and Jaime parting ways as bffs...DO THE WRITERS EVEN CARE ANYMORE?!?!?!?

Also, Stannis' appearance fell completely flat in my opinion. It would have made a much bigger ~impact if he had shown up in the ep before.
Renée: Daenerys Targaryen.rogueslayer452 on June 20th, 2014 05:31 am (UTC)
but if you say he doesn't die at all then...this doesn't make sense either way???

The show has messed with the timelines of certain storylines, and while in the books it's unclear about what will happen to Jojen, he definitely hasn't died either.

I thought the description of him in the books was so great and from afar I thought at first he was looking like that (or kinda similar to that White Walker with the long grey hair) but then they zoomed in and it was like...Dumbledore/Gandalf???? UGH.

Seriously, his entire appearance is supposed to be awesomely creepifying, and yet we got absolutely nothing. For a show that revels in the special effects for the White Walkers and dragons, they didn't even attempt at bringing this character to life. And it's not even something trivial (like sometimes we are re: character clothing and whatnot), it's the entire appearance of him being a live skeleton embedded into a freaking tree. I guess they wasted all their CGI on that massive battle in the last episode. *sigh* Such a letdown.

I am extremely angry about that Brienne/Hound fight. It made me sick how violent it was

My thoughts exactly. I guess they wanted to make things "exciting" for the finale so they wanted the fight to happen.

I mean, if they wanted Brienne and Arya somehow meeting along the way they could have done that without Brienne knowing who Arya was or ever meeting the Hound. It would have been a nice way of "missing them while crossing paths" moment, which seems to be a common occurrence. None of this fighting business. The Hound was supposed to wither away from an infection, which I thought they were going to do since it was shown his wounds in a previous episode.

so now they can still set it up to be a ~great reveal next season (I hope?????).

I'm hoping so too, although I'm rather dubious about it ever happening due to the comments the director made in explanation about not including her in the finale.

Also, Stannis' appearance fell completely flat in my opinion. It would have made a much bigger ~impact if he had shown up in the ep before.

I'm not a fan of Stannis' storyline, however I do agree that he's been awfully underused on the show. It's one of the issues they have because there's all these characters with very limited time to show them all and their storylines. I generally think that ASOIAF isn't a story meant to be told in television form, especially for something as restrictive as HBO. But that's just me, because as much as I have enjoyed the show it is upsetting seeing how restrained they are about telling the story, and how much they have to follow the HBO guidelines.
Sylvia: Waterrheasilvia on June 16th, 2014 11:23 pm (UTC)
Haven't read the books, but even so I agree with pretty much everything here, although I think that on the whole I am more lukewarm than you about the ep because it prominently featured several characters I find boring.

Shae's death was not justified to me, as I have already mentioned in answer to your comment on verdande-mi's LJ - for exactly the reasons you mention. I'm sure they come out yet more strongly in the books, but even in the TV show it seemed obvious to me that Shae was not testifiying voluntarily and that she truly loved Tyrion. So Tyrion should have *talked to her* and everything mightb have been cleared up, because they both still loved each other. Instead - he murdered her, because he was hurt and couldn't see past his own pain.

I'm further confused with what they're doing with Jaime and Cersei anymore.

Oh my god, me too. Looks like raping your sister/lover really isn't such a big deal; sure, she kept saying no, but secret telepath Jaime *knew* she really wanted it. Maybe it balances out Cersei doing her level best to murder Tyrion, whom Jaime loves. Balance is achieved! All is well in thew wonderful lovey-dovey land of incest.

I will also miss Tywin's actor! Just like Joffrey's actor... but the characters did have to go. I didn't expoect Tyrion to be the one to kill Tywin, but I knew he'd have to die simply to upset the balance of power sufficiently to let some fresh plots flourish. :-)



thekaiserchiefthekaiserchief on June 17th, 2014 12:58 am (UTC)
I didn't really have any expectations for the finale, just that it would be good, and it didn't disappoint me.

I'd love to see more being done with Dany's character next season.

That Brienne vs the Hound fight was interesting. I was relieved that she didn't die. Looking forward to the adventures Arya will go on in Braavos, without the Hound.

Gah, I like Tyrion and I don't know what to think. Good riddance to Tywin, but I wish he hadn't killed Shae.
Renée: House Stark. Winter is Comingrogueslayer452 on June 21st, 2014 06:39 am (UTC)
Even though I'm able to separate adaptations from the source material, esp knowing how complicated the series is as it goes on, there's just a lot of things I wish the show did better with their decisions on things.

I mean, it was a good episode for the most part, but it just didn't feel like a finale, you know?
goldenusagigoldenusagi on June 17th, 2014 04:48 am (UTC)
Jaime telling Tyrion the truth about his first wife

Which is... what?

And Jojen didn't die in the books?! I liked him. And yeah, I have no idea why they're killing these characters, because what if Jojen plays an instrumental role in book seven or something, lol.

Huh, so how did the Hound get hurt in the books? Did he just fall off a cliff or something?

I continue to feel weird about the Shae thing. As you say, that's how she died in the books, but they changed so much of the feelings in that relationship that going back to the book story line for the end doesn't really make sense. So, in the books, DID she leave the city as Bronn said and was just brought back for the trial, or was she always there, coerced under Tywin's control?
Renée: House Martell.rogueslayer452 on June 17th, 2014 06:09 am (UTC)
Which is... what?

Jaime tells him that Tysha wasn't a whore, like Tyrion was told and had believed she was, and that she truly did love him. And that Tywin, after finding out about the marriage, ordered Jaime to lie to Tyrion and say she was merely a whore paid to "make him a man", and had forced her to have sex with guards while he made Tyrion watch on.

It seemed something rather relevant to bring up, considering that, in the show, Shae loved him as he loved her, and that Tywin had once again ruined his relationship with a woman he loved.

So, in the books, DID she leave the city as Bronn said and was just brought back for the trial, or was she always there, coerced under Tywin's control?

Tyrion was planning on marrying her off to a knight to avoid suspicions, but Joffrey had been murdered before that could happen. Cersei had made promises to her, similar to what Tyrion had been planning, in exchange for her testimony at his trial, and there's implications that Tywin had known about Shae for a while (GRRM even made a recent statement that there is something that will be revealed in a later book).

But yeah, the show continued to screw everything up because they were trying to play it both ways. In the books we only are seeing through the eyes of POV characters, on the show there is a responsibility to show everyone's perspectives. They did that with Shae and Tyrion, having them together in private intimate moments declaring their love for each other, and even Shae had her own storyline with Sansa (which never appeared in the books) which showed her having a sisterly love for the girl and would have done anything to protect her. This season, however, they messed all that up to have her testify against Tyrion and Sansa, while not even bothering to allow her last moments to have any kind of agency of her own storyline which she has had over the course of the previous seasons.

Plus, when Tyrion kills her in the books it's clearly out of strong emotion after Jaime's confession about Tysha, which prompts him to kill his father afterwards. Just, the show didn't even bother trying to make sense with their own continuity and it pisses me off, dammit.

And Jojen didn't die in the books?! I liked him. And yeah, I have no idea why they're killing these characters, because what if Jojen plays an instrumental role in book seven or something, lol.

Yeah, he doesn't. Jojen reaches the tree with the others, and he's weakened but fine, though he does get a dream about his fate. And that's all there is with him.

The books already have enough death and torment, why do they feel the need to add more with characters that could possibly be vital in later books? I mean, I'm thinking back to S2 when the Thirteen of Qarth are killed, they appear in Meereen later in the books. Like, I don't understand their need to kill off characters that do have roles to play, even minor ones.

Huh, so how did the Hound get hurt in the books? Did he just fall off a cliff or something?

When he fought at the Inn (where Arya retrieves Needle) he was severely injured and his wounds got infected to the point where he couldn't go on. That's basically it, really. There was no other big fight. And beyond that, after Arya leaves him without giving him a quick death, we're uncertain about what has happened to him.

So yeah, the show has changed a lot of things. Some which I can accept for a televised adaptation, while others makes me wonder what in the hell they were thinking.

Edited at 2014-06-17 06:11 am (UTC)
goldenusagigoldenusagi on June 21st, 2014 05:50 am (UTC)
Huh. That's really interesting about Tysha. And why wouldn't they bring that up? It's not as if it takes away from anything or is overly complicated.

The Shae thing does bug me. Even like, I just don't buy her ending up in Tywin's bed if she loved Tyrion (as she does in the show) without some evidence of coercion or being forced/having no other choice. Which we don't get. As it is, it looks like she gives testimony against him because simply because he called her a whore and then jumped into bed with his father.
verdande_miverdande_mi on June 17th, 2014 01:16 pm (UTC)
As a regular episode it was a good one, but it didn’t feel or work as a season finale.

I had my heart and mind set on seeing Lady Stoneheart in the final shot and I think that was wasted opportunity! And yes, there should have been more to the farewell scene between Tyrion and Jamie and I will just continue to believe that the relationship between Cercei and Jamie is bad at the moment. Nothing else makes sense to me. That or I have to pretend that previous horrifying scene never happened, which is better, but even so at this point in the story their relationship should be rocky.

Stannis arriving at the Wall was the best thing for me, as well as Dany being confronted by both the consequences of freeing so many people who have no understanding of what freedom is and that her dragons are dangerous animals who don’t care about the difference between sheep and human.
~** The Queen of Peace **~: The night is darkmeri_sielu on June 17th, 2014 09:23 pm (UTC)
I LOVED the fight between Brienne and the Hound and what was even cuter was that my Brienne seems to recognise her character and gets all excited when she's on screen! ^_^

I really enjoyed the interaction between Mance and Jon too. I can't believe it's over for another year now. :(