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Episode 4.10 "The Children" discussion thread

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  • Episode 4.10 "The Children" discussion thread

    Oh D&D, what have you done? I have been looking forward to this season finale so much and you managed to ruin what I most cared about in it. There was plenty of good stuff in this episode but to me there were two big disappointments: firstly, the lack of a pivotal Jaime and Tyrion scene which actually explains Tyrion's motivation for climbing up into the Tower of the Hand from the dungeons (it also sucks that we didn't even get to see a hint of that arduous climb) to murder his father. What do non-book readers think that Tyrion's motivation was to do that? That it would take priority for Tyrion to murder Tywin instead of getting himself to safety? IMO as it was shown on the show Tyrion's motivation makes no sense whatsoever. (Book 3 and beyond spoilers!)
    It was only hearing Jaime confess to Tyrion what his part in the whole Tysha ruse was, how Jaime and Tywin tricked Tyrion into thinking that his first wife was a whore when she wasn't, when she really loved Tyrion for himself and how Tysha was given to Tywin's guards to be raped and Tyrion had to watch, it was only this horrible betrayal by both his brother and his father that spurred Tyrion into action, into putting him into such a vengeful mood that killing his father was more important to him than escaping from King's Landing. So when Tyrion thanked Jaime for his life in this episode, I thought here it comes, now Jaime will say that he owed Tyrion and the whole Tysha story will be revealed and then Tyrion will tell Jaime about Cersei's sleeping with Lancel, etc. out of spite. That this scene was cut short and the most important parts left out by D&D is unforgivable IMO because it robs Tyrion of his motivation and it robs Jaime of another step on his road to redemption. Jaime starting to despise and question Cersei because of her cheating on him was a development I loved in the books and I don't see how that's going to happen now. Maybe next season Jaime will find out for himself and start to turn against her. Or he will see what a terrible ruler she will turn out to be and start to despise her for that. I don't know. Jaime is already on the path to redemption and if he could finally rid himself of his love for Cersei, he could be a good man. Their love is twisted and unhealthy and makes him do horrible things and I finally want him to be free of her influence. I hope that will happen quickly in season 5. The writers could have planted the seeds for Jaime's further character development in this season finale, but alas for whatever reasons they chose not to.

    On the one hand, it was great seeing the brothers hug and part on good terms because I love their relationship and it always saddened me in the books that there was now this rift between them. On the other hand, it made no sense whatsoever character-wise, as explained above. I'm truly baffled by why D&D made this choice. Did they honestly think that show viewers who hadn't read the books wouldn't get the Tysha story? It's really not that difficult, they could have taken the dialogue almost exactly from the book and it would have made sense and been clear even to non-book readers. Once again D&D should have put more trust in their audience. Now I'm not gonna miss Tyrion's endless litany of the "wherever whores go" line but I'm sure the writers could have found a way to include the Tysha reveal without that line.

    And with respect to Tywin's death, I was sad that we didn't get to hear the last line of that chapter, namely that "Lord Tywin Lannister did not, in the end, shit gold". I think it's poetic justice that such a proud man was killed by his own son while sitting on the toilet.

    I was positively surprised that D&D didn't chicken out and had Tyrion murder Shae as well. However, the way it happened pissed me off. Not only was there almost no dialogue (so that maybe we could have gotten some insight into Shae's mind as to why she did what she did, how long she had been sleeping with Tywin, before or after she got together with Tyrion, anything at all), Shae also immediately reached for the knife, which made Tyrion's killing her kind of self-defence and I'm sorry but that's a cop out. I know that book!Tyrion and show!Tyrion are two completely different characters and mostly I've come to terms with that but in this instance the whitewashing of Tyrion pissed me off. So I'm sad to say that both Tyrion killing Shae and Tyrion murdering his father fell flat for me. There was just no emotional resonance for me. D&D really screwed up the motivation and even though Peter Dinklage and Charles Dance's acting was superb, the entire scene was just lacking.

    The second big disappointment for me during this season 4 finale was (huge book 3 & beyond spoilers!!! I mean it!)
    the complete lack of Lady Stoneheart! I was already half expecting this reveal in the season 3 finale and was already disappointed then. However, now I was really really expecting it and when it didn't come, I couldn't help but feel very let down. If the writers cut this storyline completely, I'll be seriously pissed off! If they moved it to season 5, I don't know where a good place for it would be. At the end of the season 5 premiere? Halfway through the season? Or will we have to wait another whole season for it to be revealed and it will be the last scene of the season 5 finale? I have no clue.
    I get that the writers want to keep some big stuff for the next season(s), especially since books 4 and 5 are not as good and as gripping IMO as the previous books. So it makes sense that they moved Jon Snow becoming LC into season 5 and Val and her baby storyline (if they don't cut that). But not the Lady Stoneheart reveal, that should have been in the season 4 finale and I'm pissed off we didn't get it.

    I was also disappointed that we didn't see or hear how Oberyn's poison affected the Mountain. In the book he constantly screams in agony (which is of course very satisfying!), while on the show he just lays there half-dead, all quiet. However, it was interesting to see Qyburn start his icky experiments and how Cersei is starting to trust him a lot.

    Now as I said above, apart from these two big disappointments for me (which prevents me from considering this to be the best GoT season finale so far, as D&D seem to do), there were also some really good scenes in this season finale. I enjoyed Jon Snow and Mance Rayder's conversation and then it being interrupted by Stannis sweeping in and saving the day. The visuals of Stannis's army arriving were great but I still feel that this scene should have come at the end of episode 9, it would have had an even bigger impact then IMO. I also loved Jon Snow taking Ygritte's body and bringing it north of the Wall to burn her body. When he broke down crying, that made me tear up as well.

    As did Dany having to chain up her dragons. How ironic and sad that the Breaker of Chains ended up having to chain up her "children". When the dragons were crying out for her and struggling against the chains, that broke my heart. Yes what Dany did was necessary, but it was still very hard to watch. Seeing the charred bones of the child Drogon killed was of course also heart-breaking. Very sad Dany scenes all around.

    Arya and the Hound meeting up with Brienne and Pod was not in the books but I didn't mind this change at all. On the contrary, I thought it was well done. I felt happy for Brienne that she got confirmation that at least one of the Stark girls was still alive, even if Arya did not want to go with her in the end. All Arya saw and heard was that Brienne was sent by Jaime and since the Lannisters are her enemy, she wanted nothing to do with Brienne. It is understandable of course since Arya has no idea about the oath Jaime swore or how much he has changed since she last saw him. The Hound pointing out once again how many people in Arya's life have died was very sad. It was great to see the two tomboys Arya and Brienne sizing each other up, I really enjoyed that. The fight between Brienne and the Hound was a bit too long and gruesome for my liking, but I'm glad that Brienne won, proving once again how badass she is.

    I get why Arya decided to sail for Braavos and luckily she still had Jaqen H'ghar's coin to guarantee her safe passage. She might certainly be much safer in Essos than in Westeros. (Books 4 & 5 spoilers)
    However, seeing Arya leave Westeros also made me sad because I have loved her storyline so far and her training to be a Faceless Man is not a storyline I enjoy, in fact it rather bored me and it makes me feel sad that Arya has become so cold and jaded, also evidenced when she didn't give the Hound the gift of mercy.

    As for the Hound, I'm curious whether the show will confirm at some point that he is really dead. On this show if you don't see a dead body, you never know.

    Bran meeting the three-eyed-crow (aka Bloodraven) was much cooler onscreen than in the books. The special effects of the wights attacking were pretty neat and I loved seeing Meera kick some ass. Jojen dying was very sad though as was Meera giving the gift of mercy to her brother. Meeting Leaf, a child of the forest, was interesting although I don't remember her throwing fireballs in the book. I loved that they had the three-eyed-crow say the following line from the book to Bran:

    "You will never walk again... but you will fly."

    It will be interesting to see how (book 5 spoiler)
    Bloodraven will teach Bran about greenseeing and skinchanging next season.

    I was glad that the writers kept Varys being the one who helps Tyrion escape, in addition to Jaime. I also loved that, unlike in the books, Varys gets on the ship with Tyrion in his crate after he hears the bells toll and immediately knows that King's Landing is no longer a safe place for him. If Varys and Tyrion will be travelling companions next season for an extended period of time, I'm gonna be very pleased because I like those two together a lot, although given the events of this episode their bantering may lose some of its funny qualities next season. I wonder how angsty they will make Tyrion and how Varys will act around him, given that Tyrion has killed his father.

    So while this season finale managed to get a lot of things right, IMO it epically failed when it comes to both Tyrion and Jaime's characterisations by omitting a pivotal scene from the books. I'm also disappointed I didn't get to see a certain plot twist, but I guess there is still next season for that.

    What did you guys think about the season 4 finale?

  • #2
    I agree Cori, so much was missing.. Jamie and Tyrion.. Tyrion and Twyin.. where was the betrayal?

    I felt the whole Tyrion/Shae story was done really badly in the show, it made Tyrion look bad and I reset that.. a lot.

    Anyway not going to talk about how much the book is compared to the show, especially in these last few episodes. I love that the show is doing some things differently and I'm really open to that for some story lines, but when characters motives are changed making them look worse that just doesn't sit well. I'm interested.. for everyone who hasn't read the books, how did it look? Tyrion killing Shae and Tywin?

    Funnily enough my favourite scene was The Hound and Brienne. I really liked that they let her see Arya and then that fight was brilliant, no music, just a good fight, really thought that was a brilliant add. I had kind of hoped Arya would go with Brienne.

    Just because the alternative is sooo boring!!!

    I really enjoyed Bran meeting the 3 eyed raven. That scene was really well done. Meera was really badass killing her brother off quickly.

    Dany chaining up her dragons was so sad, especially as those two never did anything wrong I felt she should have stayed and comforted them while they got used to the chains. Breaker of chains indeed I did love the look in her eyes when she turned back to shut them in, the pain said it all.

    I loved Jon and Mance, and Stannis arriving to save the day was a brilliant visual scene, absolutely how I pictured it.. if only they'd cut a good 10 minutes of rubbish from episode 9 and put that in there instead!! Really loved the exchange between Jon and Stannis about what Ned would do.

    I thought this was a good season. It's always over so quick with only 10 episodes and now we have a long wait until season 4.. and book 6


    • #3
      Well, this is very late, but I haven't been around lately...

      I'm reading the books, but I haven't gotten very far into CoK so far, so I can speak about the show from a non-reader perspective, while also knowing what is supposed to happen in the books.

      My view is, that while I can see how things being left out can be very disappointing to book readers, I still find the show to be very enjoyable if I try to completely separate them and don't bring expectations to watching it. I think we just have to be resigned to them being 2 different animals that have similarities, but aren't the same. Anyway.

      I totally agree about Tyrion's scenes. They left out incredibly important information, and the resulting scenes seemed lacking and...not that great, actually. Usually I like Tyrion scenes, and Tywin scenes, but these ones just kind of bored me, because there wasn't that deep sense of revenge in Tyrion. I mean, I guess he was getting revenge for his fathers attempt on his life..but it just seemed more petty or something. I just don't understand why they make some of the changes they do.

      The Dany scenes were totally heartbreaking. Her "reign" is kind of unraveling. Those poor dragons, locked in a tomb. Obviously she can't control them, but won't this turn them into true monsters? Haven't got that far in the books, so I don't know.

      Mance was really good, I think they chose the right actor and they've done a good job with him. Loved the exchange about Ned, as well. I love it when Ned is mentioned(and it's SO often! )

      Now about the Hound/Brienne fight. I liked the scene. I think Sandor probably would have killed her if he hadn't been weakened from that wound on his neck(since Arya said when they were at the Bloody Gate that he is moving slower and slower. He almost had her. Personally I think a couple of the punches he landed - when he is as huge as he is - likely would have knocked her right out. However. Still a great fight, and I love Brienne and knew the Hound had to wind up in that position somehow, so I was fine with it. I was very pleased that they left his fate kind of up in the air, like they did in the book. BOOK SPOILERS
      I am firmly in the camp of the Gravedigger being Sandor, and just "the Hound" being dead. I reaaaallly hope the show is going to bring Rory back at some point, I really hope Sandor has a role in the one of the last books. I still feel like he is bound to meet up with Sansa at that point. Maybe he can be her sworn bodyguard.

      I haven't read the part where Arya goes to Braavos, so to me that was exciting. Maybe this will be one situation where Braavos on the show will be more interesting than the book. I love Arya's arc, I think it has been really well done! The Hound's last scene with her was kind of heartbreaking, with her just staring at him...and he admitted that he has basically turned into her protector. (I'm a Sandor fan, as you can tell..)

      So yes, I liked the finale, but I recognize that there were some things seriously lacking. BOOK SPOILERS
      I'm seriously wondering if they are even going to do Lady Stoneheart. I read a interview with one of the writers I think it was, where he kind of made her seem like a unnecessary character, a "zombie that kills people." I HATE IT when the show people don't seem to grasp the ripple effect not including certain things will have.

      Oh! And SHOW SPOILER about a character returning:
      I read that the actor that plays Jaqen is coming back for next season!
      I have loved you. - Ser Jorah Mormont


      • #4
        Regarding that last spoiler, I think
        the actor is going to play the Kindly Man, with "Jaqen" face for Arya's sake - which was never the real face of the Faceless Man Arya knew, anyway. The real "Jaqen" that Arya knew had already changed face and identity and is somewhere in Westeros, preparing for his next assignment.

        I completely disagree about the possibility of Arya going with Brienne, that would ruin both their stories. It's like Ned surviving, or Drogo surviving, or something like that. Arya needs to go where she's going and get to that part of her story, which may be less relatable and fun, but is a necessary (though sad and dark) turn in her development. Brienne can't succeed in her task. (And really, show!Brienne is acting so stupid that she doesn't even deserve to.)

        I always firmly believed Sandor was not dead and that
        he was the Gravedigger
        and I'm also among those who believe we will see him again. This finale cemented that for me, with leaving his fate as uncertain as it was in A Storm of Swords. The show never fails to take a chance to kill characters who will play no further important role in the series, even if they are alive in the books (Irri, and this season Pyp, Grenn and Jojen). He's also conveniently in the Vale... hmmm. And, to my pleasant surprise, they included a Sansa mention in his final speech, and yeah, went there with including that pretty infamous line. I wish they had also included the line "I stood there in my white cloak and let them beat her" which really shows how much he cared for her and felt guilty for not protecting her. Of course, in the book,
        Sansa was the reason why he got emotional and drunk and got wounded in the fight with Gregor's men as a result - because he had just learned that Sansa had been forced to marry Tyrion, and some of his final outbursts were about his despair over Sansa being married to and presumably raped by Tyrion (as far as Sandor believed)
        . I never expected that to happen in the show after how they showed the fight in the inn, and Sandor hasn't learned about this in the show, so I was surprised they had him mention her at all - I think it confirms that they aren't giving up on that storyline, no matter how much they downplayed it in seasons 1 and 2 and ignored it since.

        The finale also confirmed
        Ser Robert Strong = unGregor.
        That scene with Qyburn/Dr Frankenstein and Cersei was suitably creepy.

        Alex Graves talks absolute nonsense in that interview.
        LS is not a "zombie" and she doesn't just "kill people", she is a version of Catelyn who is completely, tragically devoted for revenge for the RW and the fate of her family.
        Maybe we will see this character next season, when David Bradley is returning as Walder Frey (he has confirmed it).

        I agree with the problems you all had with this finale. The lack of
        Tysha reveal
        was actually worse than the lack of that other thing, which may still happen in season 5. Come on, D&D, if you can have
        resurrected Beric and unGregor in your show, surely you can have UnCat?

        I'm also not too crazy about the look they gave the Three-Eyed Raven. He should
        be an albino with one eye and branches growing through him, really ghostly and skeletal and ancient.
        In the show, he just looks like a nice old man with two eyes. How does the line "a thousand eyes and a one" even make sense in that context?

        My favorite to least favorite parts of the finale are in this order:

        - everything at the Wall with Jon, Mance (who was finally great and close to book!Mance), Stannis, Tormund etc.
        - Sandor, Arya, Brienne etc. - especially parts with Sandor and Arya, and Arya sailing away
        - Dany's scenes
        - non-Tyrion scenes in King's Landing
        - Bran's scenes (slightly disappointing visually)
        - Tyrion's scenes - sadly the weakest part of the finale, where I would have expected them to be the strongest, since this is one of the most shocking and emotional moments in the book. It spoiled the rest of the finale.
        You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.


        • #5
          I did not expect this at all. I'd hoped Jon would broker a peace and let the Wildings beyond the wall. I did not expect Stannis to come riding up to save the day.

          Dany keeping her dragons in the catacombs was just really upsetting. As with everything she does, I understand why she does it, but it's an awful punishment for the animals and she will have to bear the guilt. They way the tried to follow her out was actually really upsetting.

          The Bran scenes were totally unexpected. The White Walkers were so scary and I thought Bran was lost. No idea what was going on at all, except Bran will be able to fly?

          Oh no, I don't want The Hound and Brienne to fight. I don't want either to die. It was brutal. So very sad to see The Hound like that. I am hopeful he gets rescued somehow.

          Shay and Tywin! Well that explains a lot. I didn't see that coming at all. More violence I could have done without seeing. I knew Tyrion killed his father while he was on the toilet, but I've never actually seen the scene. Poor Tyrion. I think killing Tywin has probably save Cersei a lot of trouble too, because I am sure Tywin had something horrible planned for her too.

          Thank the lord for Varys. I knew he would do the right thing. I am looking forward to seeing the adventures of Varys and Tyrion in Season 5.