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TV Review: This Week on Game of Thrones (S4 Episode 10/ June 15, 2014)

06.15.2014

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EPISODE 10: The Children

THE PLOT : The long summer is at an end, winter truly is coming and with it the cold winds of war as five self proclaimed Kings claim dominance over Westeros, but there can be only one winner when you play the game of thrones.

THE LOWDOWN: (The following column contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so I don't recommend reading this if you haven't watched this episode). Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have been making bold promises that tonight’s finale would be one to top them all. Did it? Yes and no. There’s no fault whatsoever with what we got on screen—the performances were Oscar worthy, and the dramatic tension hit home like a lightning storm. If there’s anything to complain about, it will be voiced by fans of the books as many of the arcs we visited tonight felt more like fleeting moments due to the overlap of STORM OF SWORDS and FEAST FOR CROWS so all characters remain on the show. Don’t get me wrong, some major shit hit the fan (Bran had a big night), but some moments felt a little lacking (Daenerys makes a trip to the catacombs). And of course, that scene I was hinting at in last week’s Extra Tidbit, sadly didn’t happen. These are small complaints in light of what was truthfully a decent ending to the season. It wasn’t epic, it wasn’t spectacular, but it was still pretty damn good.

I loved Jon’s sit down with Mance. The King Beyond the Wall has honor, and I like that. They toast to Ygritte, and speak like men. Stannis’ entrance was fantastic, well shot and presented in a way that made you feel it in your blood when he, and Davos come riding out of the smoke. One grouping of characters I really enjoyed in the books was Jon Snow, Stannis and Melisandre. They’re an interesting mix that add some real intrigue to The Wall. Not sure what to make of The Mountain and Doctor Frankenstein, but I’m sure that’ll end up being fun down the road. Non-book readers must have lost their minds when Cersi began ranting to her father about family, and “the truth.” The look on Tywin’s face when she tell him his legacy is a lie was priceless. Almost as priceless as the “oh shit” look on Jamie’s face when she tells him what she’s done. Of course, he’s a little preoccupied by the fact that she’s now telling him everything he wants to hear and acting accordingly.

I remember the dead kid scene from the book, but I can’t remember is if it’s a trick to get Daenerys to doubt her dragons or not. Either way, she had to be on screen tonight, but didn’t have much to do unfortunately—that said, it was still a better scene for her than that in the finale “Mysa.” Bran’s arc goes into hyperdrive tonight once they reach the mysterious tree. I don’t remember any of that from the book, but it was cool. The skeletons, a little chick throwing fireballs, and the three eyed raven/old dude under the tree. Sure, it feels like they answered a question with five more (and I hated losing Jojen), but that was most excitement we’ve had with Bran…well, ever. Looking forward to seeing where that road leads. Brienne and Pod catching up with Arya and The Hound was a fantastic scene. Everything felt innocent at first, small talk and pleasantries until The Hound comes out and Pod recognizes him. Poor Brienne, you could see the frustration in her eyes as she tried to convince Arya she was on her side, yet everything The Hound pointed out was equally true. The fight was great, but I feel for him, he of all people would take getting beat down and killed by woman particularly hard. The parting moments between Arya and The Hound were heartbreaking. On the one hand, it became even clearer tonight that The Hound cared about Arya, whereas she saw him as a means to an end. Seeing her present the coin, speak the words (Valar Morghulis) and board that ship for Bravos put a huge smile on my face.

GAME OF THRONES SEASON FOUR's finale covered a lot of ground, so much so, that I feel it would have been better stretched out over two episodes, but hey, you win some, and you lose some. And as the night came to a close, we were treated to the real moment everyone was waiting for: the fate of Tyrion Lannister. I knew it was coming, but I reveled in how well the scenario played out. The scene with Shae was perfect, as was his confrontation with his father. I wasn’t sure if they were actually going to do the whole “he’s sitting on the can” bit, but they did. I was sad to not hear him say the line about shitting gold though, but then again, a line like that could have easily killed the tension and ruined the moment. If memory serves, Tyrion had more than a little to say to Varys on his way out, so again, sucks we missed out on that, but all in all I’m pleased with the way they handled everything and look forward to seeing how things play out next season—especially considering, for most characters, we’ll be crossing into DANCE WITH DRAGONS territory now. See you next season folks.

SEX/NUDITY: No sexytime, but Shae’s murder was definitely a crime of passion. And I don’t want to think of Tywin on the can as a form of “nudity.”

VIOLENCE: There’s a rumble between Stannis’ men and the Wildlings, we get charred kid bones, crazy skeleton stabbings, fireballs, sword fights, a strangulation and Tywin has a rougher late night dump than he anticipated.

SHARPEST QUIP: : I loved hearing Arya say “Valar Morghulis,” as well as Tyrion’s “I’m sorry,” but my favorite was Mance telling Jon he wasn’t trying to poison him with a drink. Mance: “Of all the ways I’d kill you, poison would be the last.”

MOST EPIC SCENE: It’s a tough call really, the Stannis entrance was awesome, as was Bran’s adventure at the base of the tree, but as far as epic goes, I have to give it to Tyrion’s pre-escape journey to tie up “loose ends.” That you did, my friend. That you did.

FINAL VERDICT :

TELL US WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF THIS EPISODE BELOW!

Extra Tidbit: Great season, but she's going to be a long wait till next March/April.
Source: JoBlo.com

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+0
2:14PM on 06/16/2014
I can't complain. Then again, I didn't read the books, so everything was pretty satisfying for me. It didn't reach the depths of epic that I thought it could have. But I did enjoy the finale. Seeing Tyrion kill his father was satisfying, though seeing him kill Shae was a bit heartbreaking. I enjoyed watching Brienne kick the Hounds ass. Good riddance. Overall, it was very satisfying, but it does feel like there is more that needs to be covered in the next season to wrap some things up. It's
I can't complain. Then again, I didn't read the books, so everything was pretty satisfying for me. It didn't reach the depths of epic that I thought it could have. But I did enjoy the finale. Seeing Tyrion kill his father was satisfying, though seeing him kill Shae was a bit heartbreaking. I enjoyed watching Brienne kick the Hounds ass. Good riddance. Overall, it was very satisfying, but it does feel like there is more that needs to be covered in the next season to wrap some things up. It's going to be a very long year waiting.
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11:35AM on 06/16/2014

*SPOILERS* (I'm p*ssed)

D&D really screwed the pooch in a lot of ways in this finale. No Val! No Horn! No LSH! But worst of all IMHO (although the lack of LSH really is neck and neck) is that they completely changed the Tyrion/Jaime relationship by leaving out the revelation that Tyrion's first wife Tysha really was just a common girl who really did love Tyrion, and that Jamie was complicit in leading Tyrion to believe that she had been a whore whom he paid to make Tyrion a man. THAT is what Tyrion was so upset
D&D really screwed the pooch in a lot of ways in this finale. No Val! No Horn! No LSH! But worst of all IMHO (although the lack of LSH really is neck and neck) is that they completely changed the Tyrion/Jaime relationship by leaving out the revelation that Tyrion's first wife Tysha really was just a common girl who really did love Tyrion, and that Jamie was complicit in leading Tyrion to believe that she had been a whore whom he paid to make Tyrion a man. THAT is what Tyrion was so upset about while confronting Tywin, not Shae. And that was the whole reason he chose to go into the tower of the hand instead of escaping sooner. D&D totally dropped the ball, and I fear for this series now. How difficult a decision could it have been to not include LSH in the last 5 minutes, and had the whole internet going crazy today?? Instead, they p*ssed of a majority of their fan base by p*ssing on book readers. End of rant. I feel better.
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1:15PM on 06/16/2014
I was mostly disappointed in their lack of including the "Tysha" reasoning (as I alluded to below). Because, as it stood, Tyrion just decided to go back into the castle for no good reason. My wife (who hasn't read the books) was saying "why isn't he just leaving? Is he going to go kill Cersei?" (Which would make sense from the context of the show -- why would he suddenly be so pissed to risk facing his father? The Tysha explanation explains that -- Shae, who already screwed him over and he had
I was mostly disappointed in their lack of including the "Tysha" reasoning (as I alluded to below). Because, as it stood, Tyrion just decided to go back into the castle for no good reason. My wife (who hasn't read the books) was saying "why isn't he just leaving? Is he going to go kill Cersei?" (Which would make sense from the context of the show -- why would he suddenly be so pissed to risk facing his father? The Tysha explanation explains that -- Shae, who already screwed him over and he had no way of knowing about being in his father's bed, does not)

If they didn't have time to add enough to this episode, they could have left out the Crasters Keep nonsense from earlier in the season (which was clearly just padding) and split this episode into two.

My problem with this season is they seem to be in "add stuff" mode -- they keep adding these "go nowhere" stories that just end up with everyone back in the same place they were. Jon/Bran at Craster's Keep. Asha finding Theon. These were just padding that affected nothing (except for having a "oh, they were so close to finding each other!" feeling), so we ended up with a final episode that felt REALLY rushed.

And I would have loved to have seen Lady Stoneheart as the last frame. THAT would have had people talking. As it is, it was probably the least exciting season finale
2:05PM on 06/16/2014
But you also have to consider what they have time to include and what they have to cut. If you look at it from my perspective, someone who hasn't read the book, that tidbit makes no difference. It is important in the book, but as far the show goes, the motivations and such are completely different. I will never understand this screwed over feeling that people get when something gets adapted. It's there in the book. It's not like it's been erased from the literature. So, in that version of the
But you also have to consider what they have time to include and what they have to cut. If you look at it from my perspective, someone who hasn't read the book, that tidbit makes no difference. It is important in the book, but as far the show goes, the motivations and such are completely different. I will never understand this screwed over feeling that people get when something gets adapted. It's there in the book. It's not like it's been erased from the literature. So, in that version of the story, that part of it exists. It's just not there in the show. Does that make the show any less great? No, it really doesn't. So, the show isn't screwed over at all. In fact, it's better than ever.
2:44PM on 06/16/2014
@Freeden -- You're assuming the issues are simply because of "it's different from the book". They aren't.

The issue is that they seem to be doing stuff "just because" that make no sense in the context of the show.

Why didn't Arya go with Brienne in the context of the show? She clearly hated the Hound, so not going with Brienne and instead heading to Bravos made zero sense (except that it had to follow the plotline of the book)

That, at least, can be explained away by saying "she
@Freeden -- You're assuming the issues are simply because of "it's different from the book". They aren't.

The issue is that they seem to be doing stuff "just because" that make no sense in the context of the show.

Why didn't Arya go with Brienne in the context of the show? She clearly hated the Hound, so not going with Brienne and instead heading to Bravos made zero sense (except that it had to follow the plotline of the book)

That, at least, can be explained away by saying "she thought that Brienne worked with the Lannisters"

But why did Tyrion go back into the castle instead of just escaping? He had no way to know that Shae was there. And he had never shown enough anger at his father to bother risking death. My wife, who had never read the books, thought he was going to go kill Cersei (which would have made a ton of sense in the context of the show). Without the information provided by Jamie in the book, Tyrion going back into the building after his father with no weapon makes no sense (except it had to continue events as laid out in the book).

Are we supposed to believe he wandered up there, saw Shae, THEN got pissed at his father and grabbed the crossbow? Why go up there to begin with, then? Did he want a hug?

This isn't an issue of "they didn't include this scene or character" (such as Lady Stoneheart, which would have been cool, but isn't crucial to the series yet). This was "they have people do stuff that makes no sense just to follow the plot of the book without providing information that made it make sense in the book to begin with".

7:34PM on 06/16/2014
Well said JimBobJones. My wife also made the comment that she thought Tyrion was going to kill Cercei. It changed the whole story to exclude the Tysha revelation.

Freeden, the problem with your assumption that the "tidbit" (revelation) about Tywin having had Tyrion's first wife gang raped by his guards (and then Tyrion), and then having Jamie lying to him all those years about her being a whore whom he paid, is this: When you last see Tyrion and Jamie together on the show, how do they
Well said JimBobJones. My wife also made the comment that she thought Tyrion was going to kill Cercei. It changed the whole story to exclude the Tysha revelation.

Freeden, the problem with your assumption that the "tidbit" (revelation) about Tywin having had Tyrion's first wife gang raped by his guards (and then Tyrion), and then having Jamie lying to him all those years about her being a whore whom he paid, is this: When you last see Tyrion and Jamie together on the show, how do they behave? They HUG EACH OTHER! So how will you be able to explain in the coming seasons why Tyrion hates Jamie? You won't be able to now, because that scene was cut. It was also one of the most riveting scenes in the novel, and I was very much looking forward to seeing those actors bring it to life. It was a HUGE mistake IMO not to incluse it.
+0
10:06AM on 06/16/2014

Meh....

There was obviously a ton of really good stuff on the show, but the moments that really mattered (i.e. Tyrion's scene, The Hound, & the "big battle") were really flat. Maybe it was because of the time between these scenes (Tyrion's would have had more impact the week after the stunning fight), and maybe it was because they were cut to the bone to accommodate so much happening at once.....honestly I don't know. I know that nothing in the show hit me as a "FINALLY!" moment. It was just sort
There was obviously a ton of really good stuff on the show, but the moments that really mattered (i.e. Tyrion's scene, The Hound, & the "big battle") were really flat. Maybe it was because of the time between these scenes (Tyrion's would have had more impact the week after the stunning fight), and maybe it was because they were cut to the bone to accommodate so much happening at once.....honestly I don't know. I know that nothing in the show hit me as a "FINALLY!" moment. It was just sort of, "Okay, that's tied up now" kind of thing.

I'm beginning to think it's just not going to get any better than this. Other than Dinklage's great scenes and the occasional high moments, there's just a lot of a writer trying to convince you his story is compelling by killing off (or otherwise torturing) characters you're rooting for. The loose ends don't ever actually get resolved, or it happens long after you stop really caring. It's a good show, but other than in brief spots, will never be a great one.
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10:59AM on 06/16/2014
You know I was actually thinking the same thing while watching this season finale. I wonder if GOT has finale jumped the shark... The episode was good but for some reason it felt really flat during times when there should have been, as you say, a "finally moment". It left me wondering if this show has hit its peak as well...
You know I was actually thinking the same thing while watching this season finale. I wonder if GOT has finale jumped the shark... The episode was good but for some reason it felt really flat during times when there should have been, as you say, a "finally moment". It left me wondering if this show has hit its peak as well...
6:48PM on 06/16/2014
I remember getting hooked on the show when Tyrion saved the city from the invasion. I didn't even know what was going on but Dinklage was BRILLIANT as a guy who was scared witless (and completely disrespected by everyone), yet stood up and saved them all (then was immediately dismissed again). His trial was equally brilliant. I have really enjoyed Arya and The Hound and liked the idea they were slowly building an unlikely relationship.

There have been a handful of truly great moments in
I remember getting hooked on the show when Tyrion saved the city from the invasion. I didn't even know what was going on but Dinklage was BRILLIANT as a guy who was scared witless (and completely disrespected by everyone), yet stood up and saved them all (then was immediately dismissed again). His trial was equally brilliant. I have really enjoyed Arya and The Hound and liked the idea they were slowly building an unlikely relationship.

There have been a handful of truly great moments in the show, but a lot more of "okay" moments (and some really bad moments like the stupid plot line with Ramsay & Reek). But Arya simply walking away from The Hound as he lay dying was just stupid. You don't even know why because she just stared at him until she left. Why didn't she at least talk to Brienne? Here is a woman sent by her mother to protect her and instead she decides to walk into the wilderness by herself with no money? Really???

It's so frustrating because the great moments make you absolutely love the show. But I'm pretty sure this is all it's ever going to be.
+3
9:33AM on 06/16/2014

Great episode

Tyrion's and Arya's final scenes were a great punctuation to a terrific season. However, I feel the Brienne and Hound fight was one of the best, most brutal fight scenes I've seen in a long time. A throw down if there ever was one.
Tyrion's and Arya's final scenes were a great punctuation to a terrific season. However, I feel the Brienne and Hound fight was one of the best, most brutal fight scenes I've seen in a long time. A throw down if there ever was one.
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4:58AM on 06/16/2014
Tywin's death was the first one I saw coming since the series started. A really great season overall even though my favorite characters(Ygritte, Theon, Jorah, Littlefinger and Stannis) took a beating this year or were hardly in it. I like the setup for next season with where all the players ended up though.
Tywin's death was the first one I saw coming since the series started. A really great season overall even though my favorite characters(Ygritte, Theon, Jorah, Littlefinger and Stannis) took a beating this year or were hardly in it. I like the setup for next season with where all the players ended up though.
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4:21AM on 06/16/2014

A bit disappointed in Tyrion's escape

I'm not disappointed that he escaped and killed Shae and his father -- that's all how it should be.
I am disappointed, however, that Jamie didn't bring up the reason WHY he was helping him escape. I'll spoil if anyone is interested, since I truly don't think it makes a difference to the story (and since Jamie and Tyrion are likely never to see each other again, there's no reason it would come back up)
I'm not disappointed that he escaped and killed Shae and his father -- that's all how it should be.
I am disappointed, however, that Jamie didn't bring up the reason WHY he was helping him escape. I'll spoil if anyone is interested, since I truly don't think it makes a difference to the story (and since Jamie and Tyrion are likely never to see each other again, there's no reason it would come back up)
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8:03AM on 06/16/2014
ok?
ok?
11:40AM on 06/16/2014
Agreed, except that it really does make a huge difference in Tyrion's motivation to take what's left of his family down. The show left Jamie and Tyrion's relationship as loving, and that will be hard to explain when Tyrion starts acting against them. and no LSH reveal. WTF!
Agreed, except that it really does make a huge difference in Tyrion's motivation to take what's left of his family down. The show left Jamie and Tyrion's relationship as loving, and that will be hard to explain when Tyrion starts acting against them. and no LSH reveal. WTF!
+1
2:08AM on 06/16/2014
Awesome episode and the fight between hound and brienne was so awesome. The swordplay and the camera was....just great. Also loved Bran getting to the tree already (doesn't have until book 5).
What I absolutely hated and bummed me out was no Lady Stoneheart. Thought she'd be the end for sure...bah
Was also waiting for Tyrion to say the his version of the Lannister moto.
Awesome episode and the fight between hound and brienne was so awesome. The swordplay and the camera was....just great. Also loved Bran getting to the tree already (doesn't have until book 5).
What I absolutely hated and bummed me out was no Lady Stoneheart. Thought she'd be the end for sure...bah
Was also waiting for Tyrion to say the his version of the Lannister moto.
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10:50AM on 06/16/2014
I know!!!! I wanted to see Lady Stoneheart so bad!!! Hopefully next year =(
I know!!!! I wanted to see Lady Stoneheart so bad!!! Hopefully next year =(
12:44AM on 06/16/2014
It might not have topped them all, but it was epic. Sad to see the Hound go but very proud for Brienne. It would have been cool to see Arya have both of those giants behind her, and it didn't seem so logic of her to go off on her own in that brutal world...but the Valar Morghulis thing might become very interesting.
It might not have topped them all, but it was epic. Sad to see the Hound go but very proud for Brienne. It would have been cool to see Arya have both of those giants behind her, and it didn't seem so logic of her to go off on her own in that brutal world...but the Valar Morghulis thing might become very interesting.
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1:23PM on 06/16/2014
And that's the problem with adding stuff just to add it.

Brienne never met Arya in the books, and certainly didn't fight the Hound. His neck injury got infected, and Arya left him (asking him to kill her, as he did in the show) under a tree. So there was never a question of "why would she not go with Brienne, because it doesn't make sense?"

The problem is, they need to get back to "status quo" -- too much in the main storyline requires Arya to go to Bravos. But they also wanted yet
And that's the problem with adding stuff just to add it.

Brienne never met Arya in the books, and certainly didn't fight the Hound. His neck injury got infected, and Arya left him (asking him to kill her, as he did in the show) under a tree. So there was never a question of "why would she not go with Brienne, because it doesn't make sense?"

The problem is, they need to get back to "status quo" -- too much in the main storyline requires Arya to go to Bravos. But they also wanted yet another "so close" moment (like they did with Jon/Bran at Crasters and Arya/Sansa at the Eeyrie) so they added this awesome fight scene, but some clunky storytelling to go along with it.
2:18PM on 06/16/2014
But it does make sense she wouldn't go with Brienne. I haven't read the books, but I never once questioned why she wouldn't go. Arya has changed immensely, and I simply gather she trusts very few people very little. Considering pretty much her entire family is dead and there's really no safe place for her to go, it makes sense she wouldn't let Brienne drag her away when there's really no place to take her back to. I am sure there have been plenty of changes made from the books, but as someone
But it does make sense she wouldn't go with Brienne. I haven't read the books, but I never once questioned why she wouldn't go. Arya has changed immensely, and I simply gather she trusts very few people very little. Considering pretty much her entire family is dead and there's really no safe place for her to go, it makes sense she wouldn't let Brienne drag her away when there's really no place to take her back to. I am sure there have been plenty of changes made from the books, but as someone who hasn't read them, I can't find fault in the logic of things they may have changed. Everything has been pretty smooth so far.
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