WARNING: Spoilers are coming.
It was hard not to be overly excited about the finale for the fourth season of Game of Thrones for a couple of reasons. First of all, “The Watchers on the Wall”, the penultimate episode of the season, wasn’t really a true Game of Thrones episode; it was a sample of what a GoT movie could be like…
The bigger reason to be excited, however, was the fact that all week a certain quote from showrunners David Benioff & D.B. Weiss spread like wildfire (yes, pun intended): “[‘The Children’ is] the best finale we’ve ever done, bar none.”
Was that going to really be the case?
Of course it was, how couldn’t it have been? This episode was jam-packed with plot turns that would usually be on their own as the focal-point of more character-driven episodes. But, somehow, the crescendo of all the storylines preceding “The Children” resolved harmoniously with heroic surprises — from new characters and old — and a litter of untimely deaths scattered throughout…
Great personal, character-centric moments were supported by amazing performances — especially from that of Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage — while a couple more great action sequences were added onto this season’s legacy.
The real story with this particular Thrones season finale was that the inevitable surprises were actually had by all, even the book readers. The biggest outcry was concerning the absence of a certain character (this deacon isn’t trying to be vague at all; I’m shielding myself from book spoilers as well) and the premature death of a couple of others.
To top it all off, Benioff and Weiss left us with the some of the best, most frustrating, cliffhangers of the series so far:
-What’s Arya (Maisie Williams) going to do in Bravos? Is shes going to start her assassin training so she can cross a few more names off that list? And perhaps wind up Link’s replacement in a certain forthcoming Wii U game?
-Is Stannis (Stephen Dillane) going to try and be the saviour of Westeros and go after the White Walkers? Where the hell are the White Walkers? Why was Melisandre (Caribe van Houten) giving Jon Snow (Kit Harington) that look? Could that be a look of a mother seeing not exactly approving of how her estranged son turned out?
-Then there’s the question that’s eating myself up the most: Is there going to be a Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright)-centric, How to Warg Your Dragon episode in the next few seasons? They have to be building him up to control a dragon, right?!
Of course, the number one rule when trying to predict future Game of Thrones events (for non-book readers) still stands: just don’t. If “The Children” — and season four as a whole — is any indication, the journey can be even more fun than the destination.
Until next year, Westeros.