Every week we are going to have an episode review of Game of Thrones Season Four which will include SPOILERS for seasons One through to the last episode screened of Season Four.
WESTEROS – And so we rumble towards an end of Games of Thrones. After the head-smashing duel and the devastating battle comes the epic tying up of loose ends in the final episode of Season Four ‘The Children’.
There was something bathetic about the conclusion, but then again George RR Martin’s whole narrative style could be classed as a kind of epic bathos, constantly wrong-footing our expectations with sudden scenes of violence, cutting off interesting narrative strands prematurely. Here we have the Mountain in the hands of Victor Frankenstein. Jon Snow being saved by the arrival of the cavalry. Arya and the Hound finally caught up by Poderick (the single most pointless character) and Brienne, who seem to be completely forgotten and have some of the worst dialogue of the Seven Kingdoms: ‘Do you hear that Poderick? We’re only ten miles from the Bloody Gate.’ Daenerys continues her narrative arc from bold dragon warrior queen, to bleeding heart weepy girl. A stunningly uninteresting reversal. Bran’s story finally looks like getting a little interesting although when the magical seer tells him he has been watching him all his life, you can’t help but feel some sympathy for the poor man. Tyrion – who has once more been the star of the show – gets the most dramatic send off. The second shitus interruptus of the episode sees him off his dad just after he’s done in his girlfriend with some exquisite double standards: strangling girlfriend to death, fine; calling her whore, death penalty. Charles Dance has been consistently brilliant in the series and his scenes with Peter Dinklage have been the acting highlight of the whole show. Again Martin goes for bathos – an Oedipal murder is carried out in the privy – but here it felt right. Seeing Tyrion crated up like a little Ark of the Covenant and shipped out does not bode well for the next season, but it seems like everyone’s leaving. The dying moments of the Hound was a powerful scene, even though as far as duels were concerned nothing was going to match the Mountain and the Viper. And weirdly it made me dislike Arya, or worse still just not understand her. She’s on a boat to Bravos anyway which again is worrying. Surely at this stage all your main characters should be converging, but instead it feels like a dispersal. Here I’d like to jump ahead ten years and have them all coming back, but I don’t feel that’s going to happen. The dynamic of the story feels paradoxically both slack and as fettered as Daenerys’ dragons.
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