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Something else nobody has brought up: what's with the Mountain? At first the way the guy was talking, I thought it was going to be a repeat of what happened to Dany's husband. But maybe there's something else going on. "He'll be changed." What does that mean?

He won't be weaker... pretty sure someone brought up the possibility of a mega-mountain in this thread already. Unfortunately the chances of there being an Optimus Hound to fight him seem very slim.

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So, we know Arya is heading to Braavos which is oe of the free cities, and Tyrion to the free cities, right? do they cross paths and trade Sansa stories.

Or did I misunderstand that, and the captain is taking her north?

I took it as going to Bravos, but I'm not sure they said specifically.

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It's been a hell of a 4 season run, I put it up against the first 4 seasons of any show. The last 3 episodes might be the best 3 hours in the show's run. I've been on the edge of my seat since Viper v Mountain.

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So, we know Arya is heading to Braavos which is oe of the free cities, and Tyrion to the free cities, right? do they cross paths and trade Sansa stories.

Or did I misunderstand that, and the captain is taking her north?

Arya wanted to go North to the Wall but the captain was sailing to Braavos. That's why she took out the coin and said "Valar Morghulis", like Jaqen H'ghar told her.

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So, we know Arya is heading to Braavos which is oe of the free cities, and Tyrion to the free cities, right? do they cross paths and trade Sansa stories.

Or did I misunderstand that, and the captain is taking her north?
Arya wanted to go North to the Wall but the captain was sailing to Braavos. That's why she took out the coin and said "Valar Morghulis", like Jaqen H'ghar told her.

Yeah, they're headed north. The coin/phrase was to convince the guy, who thereafter immediately became compliant.

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So we Richard around with Stanus for two whole seasons. Last we saw him before his trip to the Iron bank he was most concerned about his crown. And now he just shows up on the other side of the wall?

I kind of always feared the moment when GOT would turn into LOTR, I hope that didnt just happen with Bran seeing the wizard of Oz.

I knew Varys was going to help the Imp - give me some love on that prediction.

Not sure Im a big fan of how the whole situation ended with the Imp. I never really expected the Imp to be able to Grand Theft Auto his way around Kings Landing like that. Plus Shea showing up in Tywins bed like that?....

I can understand the Hound having to go. But that fight just seemed way too forced. You would think that would have been talked out.

Yeah, how did Stannis get through the wall? Did the Night Watch let him through?

im pretty sure you can sail around the wall, with boats

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So, we know Arya is heading to Braavos which is oe of the free cities, and Tyrion to the free cities, right? do they cross paths and trade Sansa stories.

Or did I misunderstand that, and the captain is taking her north?
Arya wanted to go North to the Wall but the captain was sailing to Braavos. That's why she took out the coin and said "Valar Morghulis", like Jaqen H'ghar told her.
Yeah, they're headed north. The coin/phrase was to convince the guy, who thereafter immediately became compliant.
Pretty sure the faceless man in the preview said if Arya presented the coin to a Bravosi, he would take her back to Braavos

Eta: his exact quote "if ever comes the day you must find me again.."

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I have to agree with the previous post of I'd like anyone to compare this with 4 seasons of another show. The red wedding took a lot of the shock out of the show considering you are now prepared at any moment for anything to happen. Yet I still cringed when Oberyn got his head popped like a zit. This was the first season watching it by individual episodes instead of all at once. I like it better having all them back to back and look forward to revisiting them all again.

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Seppy:

In previous seasons, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have tended to use the finales in the same way that "The Sopranos" and "The Wire" so often did: as a time for reflection after the climactic events of the different episodes 9, and as a preview of what's to come in the following season.

"The Children" didn't work quite like that, in part because "The Watchers on the Wall" wasn't a climax of the season in the way that "Baelor," "Blackwater" and "The Rains of Castamere" were. It was exciting action, but it resolved exactly nothing (other than the Jon Snow/Ygritte romance), and left most matters up to "The Children" to either dispense with or push forward into season 5. As such, it was a finale with many big denouements — too many, arguably, given the need to squeeze them all into a single episode, even a slightly longer one than normal. Some had the desired emotional impact, but others simply got lost in the trans-continental shuffle.

Stannis appearing out of nowhere to rout the wildling army, for instance, arguably would have been better served as the conclusion to "The Watchers on the Wall" than as the first major movement of "The Children." It allowed the Jon/Mance scene to play out at greater length (in the process giving Ciaran Hinds something to do in his first appearance in nearly two years), but the notion of the cavalry riding to the rescue immediately after Jon's fatalistic reaction to the battle would have seemed more dramatic than this. Alex Graves, as he so often does on this show, worked wonders with the battle choreography (the overhead shot of the wildlings fighting chaotically while Stannis' men rode and fought in perfect precision neatly told the story of the entire battle in just a few seconds), but the overall effect was muted. There's also the matter of the show trying to keep Stannis' desire to go to the Wall a secret so it feels surprising here, which meant that most of his scenes this season undid the strong work from the season 3 finale where Stannis seemed like the one powerful man in the Seven Kingdoms who understood what was really important. Having him spend most of this season pouting some more about his birthright, the Lannisters, etc. may have rendered the rescue more surprising, but it also rendered Stannis more annoying in the process, and he's a character the show can't really afford to do that with.

The Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, Knitter of Sweater-Vests having to become the one who chains her own dragons is the biggest sign yet that Dany wasn't prepared for the burdens of ruling Meereen. But the moment didn't feel so much like the conclusion of the latest stage of that story as simply the last thing she does before the new season begins. It's a tricky thing, trying to juggle stories that are moving at different paces, and trying to build these climactic moments into the end of each season (or, for George R.R. Martin, each book), even as many of these characters have years' more story worth telling. But the writers have usually done well at that, and "The Children" felt muddled in that area in a way the show hasn't in the past at season's end.

In some cases, of course, the creative team is stuck with the impact of a decision they made earlier in the season, not realizing how it would play with the audience and influence all that followed. It's one thing if different members of the team publicly disagree about the intention of the Jaime/Cersei rape scene in the aftermath of their son's murder, but when the characters appeared together again in "Oath Keeper," neither acted as if that was what happened — we were meant to view Jaime's actions not as a massive reversal of course on his road to redemption, but as just one more kink in an unholy sexual alliance. But if you're an audience member who viewed that event as something more — something that Cersei would perhaps pretend to forgive, all while silently seething and plotting her vengeance — then the Cersei/Jaime scenes in "The Children" made clear that Benioff and Weiss did not share that viewpoint. The Cersei who is willing to finally turn against her father for the sake of her love for Jaime — who looks joyful as she tells her brother that she chooses him over any other option — is not someone who has ever viewed herself as her brother's victim. And that is problematic at a minimum, as well as wildly distracting from the story that the show's writers are actually trying to tell.

And the amount of time devoted to Lannister family dysfunction — some intended in the text, some accidental — has meant that other characters in this sprawling narrative get shorter shrift. This was an issue last week when so much of the drama at Castle Black involved a bunch of non-characters defined solely by their friendship with or dislike of Jon Snow, and it was an issue tonight when Jojen Reed died trying to get Bran to the three-eyed raven (or his Gandalf-looking human incarnation, played by Struan Rodger). Because of the brevity and scarcity of Bran scenes across the last few seasons, the Reed siblings have always come across as more plot device than people we are meant to understand or care about, but the lack of emotion from his death spoke to the underfed nature of this storyline in general. It was exciting to see them fighting zombie skeletons in the snow (with Bran once again turning Hodor from ineffectual simpleton into gigantic fighting machine), but on the whole this entire trip has felt like exactly what Benioff and Weiss have told me they are trying to avoid: a journey from Point A to Point B on the map, rather than something with actual character stakes to keep things interesting until people get to where the story needs them to be.

Still, there were two big moments in "The Children" that landed exactly as designed: the deaths of Tywin Lannister and the Hound.

Tyrion taking a detour from his escape to settle all family business with Tywin is a huge moment in the series' power scheme. In a way, he accomplishes what Jon Snow was hoping to with Mance, wiping out the charismatic old soldier holding various alliances together through sheer force of will, though we'll see how well Cersei and Jaime do running things, and how quickly the Tyrells are able to exert influence over Tommen. But that, of course, is not what Tyrion is interested in, and that's what makes the scene so effective. It's not just that it's our last chance to watch Peter Dinklage and Charles Dance work together, but that Tyrion has literally been waiting his whole life to finally have power over this man, and that he has been pushed so much by the cruelty and manipulations of his father and sister that he would feel the need to end Tywin's life. Shae's testimony during the trial broke something inside Tyrion, and finding her in his father's bed only made his homicidal urges louder and clearer. It's a great scene because Tywin assumes it will be like every other scene he's ever had with his unwanted younger son, with Tyrion being disrespectful but ultimately bowing to his father's will, even as we know from having seen Tyrion's reaction to strangling Shae that this will not be like the other times. He has been pushed too far, and he is a man who will absolutely keep his promise to shoot Tywin if he uses the word "whore" again. If you are rooting against the Lannisters in general, it's a satisfying moment, but if you are interested in Tyrion in particular, it's all the more effective.

Politically, the Hound's death is of far smaller import, but it affected me even more deeply. First, the Hound/Brienne battle was everything I might have hoped for from the moment I learned that both sets of characters were heading for the Eyrie. The Hound isn't at optimal fighting strength (in the same way Jaime wasn't when he dueled Brienne early last season), but his willingness to fight dirty — and her ability to match him ugly move for ugly move (including playing Mike Tyson to his Evander Holyfield and biting the Hound's ear off) — made it an impressively brutal piece of fight choreography, enhanced by the sweeping, green and seemingly peaceful setting on which it took place. As nasty HBO drama brawls go, it wasn't quite at the level of Dan Dority vs. the Captain, but it was still tremendous in its own right.

And the Hound's defeat at Brienne's hands set up two marvelous Arya character beats in short order. First, she refuses to go along with Brienne, which dashed some additional dreams of mine but also feels like exactly the decision Arya would make after spending too much time in the custody of tall and deadly nanny types. (Also, the Hound has a point: if Brienne actually believes there is a safe place to take Ned Stark's youngest daughter, she's probably not up for the task.) Second, she watches impassively as the Hound pleads with her to show him the same compassion he gave the dying man a few episodes back, then simply takes his money pouch and leaves him to die in slow and agonizing fashion. It's a powerful culmination of everything these two have been through together — and argued about — over the last season and a half (even bringing back old problems between them like the murder of the butcher's boy), brought home by two great performances by Maisie Williams and Rory McCann. It's a conclusion of this stage of Arya's character arc while also advancing the larger arc of her turning into the kind of cold and cruel person who would leave even a cold killer like the Hound to this fate.

It was the sort of moment the show reached for elsewhere in the finale but couldn't quite pull off.

Some other thoughts:

* We certainly will have some interesting things brewing next season to the east, as it appears Arya, Tyrion and Varys (who got on the ship as soon as he realized the meaning of those bells and how badly he would suffer for his role in the escape) are all heading somewhere or other on Essos.

* The Mountain isn't dead just yet, but the defrocked maester's words to Cersei suggest an unsettling transformation is in store in the event he pulls through. Shame the Hound won't get closure with his brother, but the Tyrion/Tywin encounters tend to be the exception in this universe, rather than the rule.

* Melisandre doesn't really do anything in the episode, but she sure seems interested in Jon Snow as the two get a look at each other through the flames that are consuming the dead rangers.

* Dance also had an excellent moment in the earlier Tywin/Cersei scene when she forces him to realize that all the rumors about her and Jaime are true. Very little can hurt the old man, but that did, and I was glad we got to see that moment before Tywin died.

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Seppy:

In previous seasons, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have tended to use the finales in the same way that "The Sopranos" and "The Wire" so often did: as a time for reflection after the climactic events of the different episodes 9, and as a preview of what's to come in the following season.

I do like reading these bud, but holy hell does this guy whine about everything. I guarantee if they had the Stannis scene at the end of episode 9 this guy would have been freaking out about how it was the same exact thing as blackwater and just terrible.

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I don't mind seeing Tywin die, or Shae die, but I'm sad to see the Hound die. One of my favorite characters.

Did the Hound die though? They never showed him dying. Yes he was seriously injured and hurt but they never actually showed him breathing his last breath.

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I don't mind seeing Tywin die, or Shae die, but I'm sad to see the Hound die. One of my favorite characters.

Did the Hound die though? They never showed him dying. Yes he was seriously injured and hurt but they never actually showed him breathing his last breath.

He's dead. You see that leg wound? He's in the middle of nowhere, he can't walk. He is dead. This season, GoT has killed off 3 of the great villeins in TV history. None of their deaths made the world a better place either. This show has the bleakest world outlook. Heroes, villeins, they all die leaving little behind but misery for those that live on. The Hounds death might have been one of the few deaths that wasn't a tragedy in some way. He seemed to always accept the world and himself, he didn't expect anything but hell so he gave it every chance he got. His death was just the inevitable end that he always knew was waiting him.

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so 2 other quick notes:

1) i was warming up to the Hound too, but i think he was a goner no matter what happened. i think they hinted last week that he got a nasty infection from that guy who bit him and he was hurting from that anyway

2)and what the hell was Jon Snow's plan? if Stannis didn't come he was pretty much dead because of how he looked at that knife right? So was that his big strategic plan to defend the kingdoms against this huge wildling army? I understand his options were limited, but i think Snow will not win any strategy battles soon

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I don't mind seeing Tywin die, or Shae die, but I'm sad to see the Hound die. One of my favorite characters.

Did the Hound die though? They never showed him dying. Yes he was seriously injured and hurt but they never actually showed him breathing his last breath.

He's dead. You see that leg wound? He's in the middle of nowhere, he can't walk. He is dead. This season, GoT has killed off 3 of the great villeins in TV history. None of their deaths made the world a better place either. This show has the bleakest world outlook. Heroes, villeins, they all die leaving little behind but misery for those that live on. The Hounds death might have been one of the few deaths that wasn't a tragedy in some way. He seemed to always accept the world and himself, he didn't expect anything but hell so he gave it every chance he got. His death was just the inevitable end that he always knew was waiting him.

I will believe it when I see him take his last breath. Who's to say someone doesn't come along?

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Great great episode. Called it on Stannis coming to the rescue but he did so with no magic. Tyrion's revenge was appropriate though I wouldnt count Tywin as being dead quite yet as there appears to be a new maester in town with a few tricks up his sleeve. The Brienne and Hound battle was epic. Aryas reaction afterwards even better. The skeleton creatures were awesome. I think Arya is headed to the wall. The mention of Bravos merely got her an in. The 3yr old killed by the dragon was rough. What did she expect though with her children? I wonder if we ever see Tyrion again and in what circumstance?

Edited by NetnautX
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Really glad Tywin wasn't standing there when Tyrion finished killing Shae.

GRRM hates weddings, babies and Father's Day.

I can't believe Cersei and Jamie ####### next to the smashed Red Dornishman got cut. Maybe next season we'll get a Billy Madison like flashback to how happy Cersei was when the Mountain blowed up his head.

I guess she'll be kindof meh her dad is dead so she'll just drink some wine and find someone new to menace.

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We know from the books that Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) faces a new life on the island of Bravos, where she sells seashells under another identity, and that Tyrion mingles with the White Walkers, who are in disguise as ordinary human beings.

:shock:

http://nypost.com/2014/06/16/thrones-cast-dishes-on-mind-blowing-finale/

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"Say 'whore' again. Say 'whore' again, I dare you, I double dare you mellonfarmer, say 'whore' one more Goshdarn time!"

(fbg language clean)

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So, we know Arya is heading to Braavos which is oe of the free cities, and Tyrion to the free cities, right? do they cross paths and trade Sansa stories.

Or did I misunderstand that, and the captain is taking her north?
Arya wanted to go North to the Wall but the captain was sailing to Braavos. That's why she took out the coin and said "Valar Morghulis", like Jaqen H'ghar told her.
Yeah, they're headed north. The coin/phrase was to convince the guy, who thereafter immediately became compliant.
Pretty sure the faceless man in the preview said if Arya presented the coin to a Bravosi, he would take her back to Braavos

Eta: his exact quote "if ever comes the day you must find me again.."

Realizing that there is no safe place for her left in Westeros. She is going to Braavos to find the faceless man to help her train to kill the people on her list.

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so 2 other quick notes:

1) i was warming up to the Hound too, but i think he was a goner no matter what happened. i think they hinted last week that he got a nasty infection from that guy who bit him and he was hurting from that anyway

2)and what the hell was Jon Snow's plan? if Stannis didn't come he was pretty much dead because of how he looked at that knife right? So was that his big strategic plan to defend the kingdoms against this huge wildling army? I understand his options were limited, but i think Snow will not win any strategy battles soon

Manse was holding the wildling army together. Without him, they fall apart. Snow was going to sacrifice himself to kill Manse and thus, safe his crow-mates in the process. A honorable thing to do.

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so 2 other quick notes:

1) i was warming up to the Hound too, but i think he was a goner no matter what happened. i think they hinted last week that he got a nasty infection from that guy who bit him and he was hurting from that anyway

2)and what the hell was Jon Snow's plan? if Stannis didn't come he was pretty much dead because of how he looked at that knife right? So was that his big strategic plan to defend the kingdoms against this huge wildling army? I understand his options were limited, but i think Snow will not win any strategy battles soon

Manse was holding the wildling army together. Without him, they fall apart. Snow was going to sacrifice himself to kill Manse and thus, safe his crow-mates in the process. A honorable thing to do.

He knows nothing.

Mance gave him a peace offering that he barely gave any consideration, regardless if Mance was FOS or not.

Ned too was an honorable fool and look where that got him.

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I know that everyone loves Tyrion (and I think his acting is excellent). I wasn't overly impressed with the whole Tyrion scene. From his interaction with his brother to Shae to killing his father, I thought it could have been done so much better. Dinklage didn't seem to have his A game.

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so 2 other quick notes:

1) i was warming up to the Hound too, but i think he was a goner no matter what happened. i think they hinted last week that he got a nasty infection from that guy who bit him and he was hurting from that anyway

2)and what the hell was Jon Snow's plan? if Stannis didn't come he was pretty much dead because of how he looked at that knife right? So was that his big strategic plan to defend the kingdoms against this huge wildling army? I understand his options were limited, but i think Snow will not win any strategy battles soon

It's amazing how people don't pick up on things that are laid out before them. Snow left the wall knowing it was a suicide mission. He explained that last week. When he looked at the knife, Mance told Snow he knew he was fast enough to kill him but Mance's men would kill him too. If Mance died the wildlings would break apart. That was Snow's strategy--give his life for the kingdom.

Edited by Christo
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I know that everyone loves Tyrion (and I think his acting is excellent). I wasn't overly impressed with the whole Tyrion scene. From his interaction with his brother to Shae to killing his father, I thought it could have been done so much better. Dinklage didn't seem to have his A game.

People in here are strange.

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I don't mind seeing Tywin die, or Shae die, but I'm sad to see the Hound die. One of my favorite characters.

Did the Hound die though? They never showed him dying. Yes he was seriously injured and hurt but they never actually showed him breathing his last breath.

He's dead. You see that leg wound? He's in the middle of nowhere, he can't walk. He is dead. This season, GoT has killed off 3 of the great villeins in TV history. None of their deaths made the world a better place either. This show has the bleakest world outlook. Heroes, villeins, they all die leaving little behind but misery for those that live on. The Hounds death might have been one of the few deaths that wasn't a tragedy in some way. He seemed to always accept the world and himself, he didn't expect anything but hell so he gave it every chance he got. His death was just the inevitable end that he always knew was waiting him.

I will believe it when I see him take his last breath. Who's to say someone doesn't come along?

Someone? The Hound explained who he would need--a maester. Are there a lot of maester's roaming around the countryside?

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Awesome sauce. My thoughts:

1) Loved the Tyrion denoument. It's only as I reflect on it today, though, that I think "Why didn't he go after Cersei too, while he was offing those that have hurt him?" Still great.

2) I thought it was very obvious that the tolling bells meant that Tywin was dead, and the acting job by Varys, where you can actually see him realizing it, and that there is nothing left for him in King's Landing was fantastic.

3) I also thought it was very obvious that the ship's captain agreed to take Arya north when he saw the coin and heard the words. Sometimes I wonder what show some of you guys are watching.

4) Also obvious, Dany did not leave the dragons to die. The poster that said she has made them slaves was spot on.

5) I yelled at my TV the whole time during the Tyrion escape. First it was "Take that you dirty whore!" followed by "Now go kill your Dad!", ultimately ending with "Kill him! Kill him!!!" the whole time during that bathroom encounter. So good.

6) First time in 4 years of season finales that "bad people" have died as opposed to "good people", and the first time that a finale didn't come up everything Dany.

7) Magic children shooting lightning bolts at wights? Awesome.

8) HODOR KICKS ###!!!!!!

9) It took me a couple of hours to be able to go to sleep after all that.

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3) I also thought it was very obvious that the ship's captain agreed to take Arya north when he saw the coin and heard the words. Sometimes I wonder what show some of you guys are watching.

FWIW, Sepinwall, who spends his entire life watching/digesting.reviewing television, thinks they're going to Bravos, it's not near as cut and dry as you make it out to be.

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It would have been really powerful to have Tyrion kill Cersei and Jaime find her realizing he was responsible because he freed Tyrion. Tyrion hates Cersei but he loves his brother so there is no way he'd do that. Unless they had another bizarre twist and had Cersei in bed in place of Shae.

End result is Cersei owes Tyrion for getting rid of the old man.

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3) I also thought it was very obvious that the ship's captain agreed to take Arya north when he saw the coin and heard the words. Sometimes I wonder what show some of you guys are watching.

FWIW, Sepinwall, who spends his entire life watching/digesting.reviewing television, thinks they're going to Bravos, it's not near as cut and dry as you make it out to be.

Oh, admittedly I could be wrong. That was just how I took it. You're right. I did think those other points were fairly obvious, though.

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