Well, folks, it’s time once again to savor the last moments of “Game of Thrones” before the god-awfully long hiatus, cherishing the final scenes like sucking the flavor from the bare bone of a baby back rib.
This week’s episode, “The Children,” ties up most loose ends that were ignored after the blood fest that was last week’s Battle of Castle Black.
The episode begins with Jon Snow (Kit Harington) arriving at the Wildling camp to supposedly murder Mance Rayder (Ciaréan Hinds), the King Beyond the Wall.
After a few drinks, Mance reveals their true intention for attacking the wall: Winter is coming (but seriously, when isn’t winter coming?), and the Wildlings need a place to crash, somewhere to stay safe, and maybe a warm fire and a few cups of hot cocoa to share.
But in the midst of this surprisingly calm encounter, a mysterious troupe of like, hella men, attack the Wildling camp from both sides. The men belong to Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), who tries to assert his dominance as the rightful king, but is threatened by Mance’s stubbornness. Things tend to get a little tense when two men who claim to be king are put in the same place, kind of like Regina George and Cady Heron.
But leave it to Jon Snow to save the day: he drops the Ned Stark (Sean Bean) bomb, and Stannis immediately takes his advice, taking Mance as prisoner to listen to what he has to say, just like Ned would.
Meanwhile, Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) is having the best Father’s Day ever. Cersei (Lena Headey), in her angry refusal to marry Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones), threatens to go public about her relationship with Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Tywin is completely in denial about the whole situation until Cersei gets all up in his face and straight up tells him that yes, all of your grandchildren are incest babies, then leaves the room, walking straight to the room where her brother is just chillin’ and proceeds to viciously make out with him atop a very circular table.
Cersei and Jaime may not be king and queen, but they do hold the crown for most ew-worthy couple in Westeros. There’s just something unsettling about watching two similar-looking people have sex…Oh yeah, it’s because they’re RELATED!
Our dearest Dany (Emilia Clarke) is thrown a doozy when a man comes for her council, carrying the blackened skeleton of his three-year-old daughter, claiming that one of her dragons ravaged her and dropped her from the sky. Distraught, she descends to the dragon’s quarters. In a tear-filled scene, Dany dramatically chains the necks of her dragons, bounding them to their quarters. As she looks back before leaving (which you should never do), her dragons writhe in anger and agony, confused as to why the Breaker of Chains would chain her own children.
Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and company finally make it to what I like to call the “Tree of Incredibly Vague Purpose,” when an army of skeletons attacks, killing Jojen (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) in their wake. They are saved by a mysterious little girl with the power to blast fire and ice from her hands, who leads them to the three-eyed raven, who is actually an old man that’s been watching Bran & Co. for a very long time. The mysterious oldie tells Bran he will give him the ability to fly, and this storyline gets even more confusing than it was to begin with, if that’s even possible.
One hopes that Bran does gain the ability to fly, simply to bring a little more personality to his character. He’s spent his entire on-show existence chasing a bird, then following a tree. He might as well be a glorified Boy Scout.
In a random turn of events, Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) comes across the Hound (Rory McCann) and Arya (Maisie Williams), and it becomes obvious that Brienne and Arya, are like, totes the perfect match #girlswithswords. After a witty conversation about sword fighting and females, Brienne recognizes Arya as a Stark, which threatens the Hound, resulting in a scenic sword-fight-turned-physical-combat. A few brutal beatings later, Brienne pushes the Hound off a cliff, where Arya finds him on his last breaths. He begs her to kill him, to finish him off, to cross another name off her infamous list. But instead of stabbing him in the chest, Arya hits him with one of her signature glares before she walks off, leaving as the Hound desperately screams, “Kill me!” into the void.
In the moment that everybody saw coming, Jaime helps Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) escape his death sentence (because you can’t kill off an Emmy-winning actor… yet), leaving him at the foot of the stairs, instructing him to do a secret knock before he is taken away. They exchange an emotional goodbye. Once Jaime is gone, Tyrion sneaks into their father’s chambers with the intention to kill him, but instead he sees the sensual silhouette of his former lover, Shae (Sibel Kekilli), waiting patiently for Tywin to return to his bed. Out of spite, Tyrion strangles her to death with her own necklace, takes a crossbow off of his father’s wall, and shoots two arrows through him – all while Tywin is sitting on the toilet.
Happy Father’s Day, Tywin! Your legacy is a lie, you sit on a throne of incest, and your dwarf son just killed you on the loo. Best dad day, ever!
Tyrion leaves his dying father to find Varys (Conleth Hill), who puts him in a crate for escape, accompanying him on a ship that is leaving King’s Landing.
In the final scene, Arya rides her majestic horse across an idyllic countryside, stopping at the docks to approach a ship’s captain, begging for a place on the ship. At first the captain refuses, but Arya, who always seems to have the hookup, finally pulls her super-rare, magical iron token from Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha), causing her to gain the captain’s respect and earn a spot on the ship.
In true “Game of Thrones” fashion, the season finale was eventful, but not nearly as action-packed as the penultimate episode. Although they do set up most of the major storylines for next season, the fates of Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Reek/Theon (Alfie Allen) are left untouched.
Will Dany eventually tame her dragons? Is Tywin actually dead? Are there enough little holes in that crate for Tyrion to breath through? Will Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson) EVER get any screen time?!
All these questions and more, answered on season 5 of “Game of Thrones,” coming to a TV near you in god knows how long. (Seriously, how long do we have to wait for a premiere date?!)
Contact Rosemarie Alejandrino at [email protected].