Game of Thrones S04 E10: “The Children” (OMGoT)


(previous: “The Watchers on the Wall”)

I watched much of this episode with my hand clamped over my mouth and “This cannot be happening!” running through my head. I may have gasped out loud more than once… and even Game of Thrones doesn’t usually make me do that.

I mean, Cersei did not just tell Dad about her and Jaime, did she?


And how is it possible that he did not already know this? He strikes me as a man who is as far from self-deluded as it is possible to be.

Well, he struck me. Tywin is no more. Killed on the toilet, like how Roger Murtagh did not want to go:


Could not have happened to a more deserving son of a bitch. Yay, Tyrion!

But wait… Was this really necessary?


I know Shae betrayed you and all, but this is not a woman with a lot of options in her life. Did you have to kill her? Look, it’s your brother Jaime whom we’re supposed to be wondering whether he’s a good guy or a villain.

Speaking of…


“I’m Jaime Lannister. I’m here to rescue you.”

(I found myself making a lot of snarky remarks along with this episode, just as a way to keep my sanity. Way too much awful shit happening here to deal with without a coping mechanism.)

And an actual moment of actual affection that has nothing to do with scorekeeping or manipulation or anything other than love.



Internet, please animate this. Oh, it’s already happened:

(That’s from Giphy.)

Could Jaime and Tyrion be the only two people in Westeros — or, at least, among those we’ve met — who love each other without any conditions or qualifiers? I think they might be.

I was as surprised as Jon Snow and the King of the Wildings when that horse-mounted army showed up north of the Wall. I presume Stannis just sailed into a harbor north of the Wall… but then, why can’t the people in the north just do the same thing, and sail south of the Wall, if they need to get south before Winter arrives? It’s not like — as we see very plainly in that battle scene set mostly in a forest — that there are no trees to build boats. How many thousands of years do they need to develop boatbuilding and marinecraft?

Did. Not. See. Coming:


I think until they actually drew their swords, I did not see this coming. And then it was all I could do to not shout at the screen. Cuz I was really worried about Brienne here. And then:


Not lamented. Though I did feel a little sorry for the Hound when Arya refused to put him out of his misery. He is not going to have a good death… though I suppose that was Arya’s plan all along. (Or maybe he’ll survive and show up again! Seems unlikely, though.)

So, now that Arya is following Brienne back to the Eyrie, will she be reunited with Sansa next season? Will the sisters even recognize each other anymore — not physically, but emotionally — with all the changes they’ve been through? Or will something else continue to keep them apart?

Oh, wait, that’s right: Arya ignored the Hound’s advice to join Brienne and instead is going on a long trip.


I’m not sure I understand the significance of the iron coin she showed the ship’s captain that made him suddenly cater to her. Does it represent the power of the Iron Throne somehow? I can’t imagine what else it could mean, but where did the Hound get it? (I presume it was in the bag of coins Arya took from the Hound.) It seems like a powerful token for even Joffrey’s former bodyguard to have. Or did Arya steal it from somewhere? Has this iron coin appeared before and I’ve forgotten it?

Do I want to know what the Dr. Mengele of King’s Landing is doing with the Mountain?


I don’t think so. Hey, maybe it’s just a blood transfusion, and with some rest and recuperation the Mountain will be back to his raping, head-squashing ways in no time. King’s Landing health care FTW!

(I had thought this stuff with the Mountain on the edge of death was going to be a way for Tyrion to get out of his death sentence. You know, if the Mountain dies, that’s counted at least as a tie for Tyrion’s champion in the trial by combat. But now that Tyrion is off on his own long voyage, I guess it’s all moot.)

Poor Daenerys is not having much fun these days. Not so good to be the queen when the slaves you freed wanna go back into slavery and your not-housetrained dragon is crisping little girls:


(One of the most pitiable moments in the entire run of the show so far.)

Also quite sad: chaining up the dragons in the basement.


And they’re not even the ones that have been misbehaving! Kudos to Daenerys, though, for taking responsibility when she could have gotten all regal and declared herself above her law. A dragon is forever, not just for Christmas!



But then, he’d completed his mission to get Bran to the land of creepy children and old men in trees that’s all sort of Dark Crystal meets Ray Harryhausen in The Fountain:





And here I thought this show couldn’t get any weirder.

Onward to next season! In 2015! Too far away!

(next: ????)

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Clay Taylor
Wed, Jun 18, 2014 6:53pm

The coin showed up two seasons ago.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Clay Taylor
Wed, Jun 18, 2014 7:41pm

Ah, right. My brain is full of too much crap to remember all this stuff. Thanks.

reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Jun 18, 2014 7:47pm

Do you get to see the “Previously on” clips before the opening credits? I might’ve forgotten too if they hadn’t shown this scene. It’s a lot to ask people to remember a brief conversation from a couple seasons ago.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Bluejay
Wed, Jun 18, 2014 9:10pm

No, I don’t see those. That would have helped. :->

reply to  Bluejay
Thu, Jun 19, 2014 12:09am

Yeah, they don’t show those with the episode on HBOGo, which is kind of annoying, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Wed, Jun 18, 2014 6:54pm

Has this iron coin appeared before and I’ve forgotten it?

That’s the coin that Whatsisname Face-Changer gave Arya before they parted ways, for her to give to anyone from Braavos (along with the password “Valar Morghulis”), guaranteeing that they’ll aid her.

Could Jaime and Tyrion be the only two people in Westeros — or, at least, among those we’ve met — who love each other without any conditions or qualifiers?

Well, I think there’s more, but a lot of them are dead by now. :-)

reply to  Bluejay
Wed, Jun 18, 2014 6:59pm

Also: I guess my new strategy didn’t work out.

Umm… Go Hot Pie!

reply to  Bluejay
Thu, Jun 19, 2014 2:02pm

Oh, wait! I’ve remembered two who are still alive!

And they were all so YOUNG. Ah, the good old days.

Wed, Jun 18, 2014 7:00pm

Arya’s coin was given to her by the assassin that helped her in Harrenhall, telling her something along the lines of, “If you ever need to find me again, find any man from Braavos, show this to them, and say ‘Valar Morghulis.'” =)

Wed, Jun 18, 2014 11:55pm

Everybody’s assuming Qyburn is going to turn the Mountain into a Frankenstein, but maybe he’ll actually become *not* a monster, but a cultured, sophisticated… man about town!

I’m not quite sure how I feel about Bran being firmly in a land of Traditional Fantasy Nonsense now, complete with a Weird Old Mystical Dude who thoughtfully surrounded his lair with Evil Ice Skeleton Minefields. (He couldn’t be bothered to do some fireball minefield-clearing?)

(I really, REALLY hope Bran’s not going to be stuck listening to Weird Old Mystical Dude yammering on in an unhelpfully cryptic fashion all next season.)

I wonder, does Dany have a How To Train Your Dragon handbook? Actually a mostly-serious question. Her ancestors obviously managed it, somehow, but was that all written down or passed down to her as family lore? Is she following such knowledge now, or improvising? (Also, I’m guessing her ancestors very likely didn’t give a crap if their dragons ate the occasional peasant for lunch.)

reply to  David_Conner
Thu, Jun 19, 2014 1:38am

maybe he’ll actually become *not* a monster, but a cultured, sophisticated… man about town!

“The name is Clegane. Gregor Clegane. I raped her. I murdered her. I killed her children. Then I had a Vesper martini.”

reply to  Bluejay
Thu, Jun 19, 2014 2:54am

maybe he’ll actually become *not* a monster, but a cultured, sophisticated… man about town!

“I’m going to elevate your social status.”

“Yes, elevate me!”


I haven’t seen season four yet. I’m assuming the whole finale was just one long performance of “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”

reply to  Danielm80
Thu, Jun 19, 2014 12:53pm

I’m assuming the whole finale was just one long performance of “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”

reply to  David_Conner
Thu, Jun 19, 2014 12:28pm

The Evil Ice Skeleton Minefields are not the work of the Children Of The Forrest, but have most probably been arranged by their mortal enemies the White Walkers.

These skeletons (if you look carefully you’ll see that there are also non-skeletons in the mix) are Wights: The dead resurrected by the White Walkers to serve as their armies.

Since the Wights are mobile it’s highly likely that this batch had only recently arrived, because I don’t think the COTF want to have them hanging around their home.

Thu, Jun 19, 2014 12:59am

Oooo, Thing That Aren’t In the Books. Yet. I actually had to turn the sound down for the dragons in the basement. Couldn’t even watch it. So. Sad.

That scene with Brienne and the Hound – far harsher than in the books! But the end remained the same.

reply to  I_Sell_Books
Fri, Jun 20, 2014 4:06am

I thought having the Hound and Brienne meet up at all was dumb (as was revealing who Arya was at the Bloody Gate), but the fight was well executed in the moment, and the death(?) of the Hound was better, actually, here than what happened in the book. Of course, Show Hound is way, way more likable, and way less harsh and unpleasant than Book Hound

Fri, Jun 20, 2014 4:03am

The writers ran into a wall with Shae, because they annihilated the actual story and character, but wanted to put this plot point in, so just did it anyway. Book Shae was a mercenary from the beginning (and this is made clear); Tyrion did love her, but convinced himself that she loved him back. She didn’t, and jumped ship as soon as it was profitable. She’s not a villain or anything, but it’s not some weird lover’s tiff. The fact that they didn’t have her say ANYTHING was crazy, and made it seem very different and rather confusing. Also, the lack of a certain plot point, which had Tyrion and Jaimie part on rather different terms, makes Tyrion’s mission to find his father (and inadvertently Shae) highly illogical and out of place. Suffice to say, in the book, he had a much, much, MUCH better reason to do what he did.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Chris
Fri, Jun 20, 2014 5:31am

Yes, the showrunners went to some effort to make Shae more sympathetic, even heroic, I assume in an effort to make her betrayal at the trial more shocking. But it also made that same betrayal, and Tyrion’s murdering her, make no sense at all. Perhaps keeping her silent was meant to signal that she thought she deserved to die for what she’d done? But even that is out of character.

reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Fri, Jun 20, 2014 10:59am

In a way, I think by making her stereotypical, and rather anachronistic, Hollywood character, they actually damaged her agency, and basically explained her actions as “women be crazy.” Show Shae is supposed to be all savvy and street smart, but she’s so damned stupid that she can’t understand how much danger she’s in? Her turning on him was completely unexplained. They could have thrown something in there with her trying to explain that they had threatened her or something (like Book Shae), but they didn’t even do that. Without the information that Jaimie gives him, Tyrion has no real motive to be hunting these people down. And they even further screwed with it by making it almost self defense. She attacked with the knife before anything else could happen. I had resisted what a lot of people say about Tyrion being whitewashed, but I’m finally with them on it. His murder of Shae is supposed to be a horrible thing done in grief, horror, and guilt over [book spoiler] (and with a reasonable degree of pure vengeance, too)

Frankly, I knew this was coming about 2 seasons ago. I had MAJOR problems with how they presented Shae, and they wrote a romance that had no place in the narrative. It was an infatuation, not some deep connection between them. They made a similar mistake with Robb and Talisa (which I won’t get into here, because holy crap)

reply to  Chris
Mon, Jun 30, 2014 11:05pm

The changes were necessary because they just didn’t work in the book. As a reader, I certainly didn’t care about [book spoiler person] who never appears in the book or TV show. I was indifferent to Tyrion’s grief over [book spoiler] as he responds to it by killing his ex-girlfriend. It kind of read like we were supposed to view Shae as a disposable sex worker with no value while [book spoiler person] was worth so much more. I hated this. The way the show did it was not perfect, but it was better. Better still would have been to have had Tywin execute Shae like he’d threatened to, and Tyrion kill Tywin in revenge. But I don’t think they wanted Tyrion to be at all a blameless hero in this, just less of a bastard than he ends up being in the books.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Chris
Tue, Jul 01, 2014 4:18pm

The Talisa/Jeyne change is a real head-scratcher. The only reasoning behind it I can see is that they thought the idea of having a pregnant woman’s womb cut open would be awesomeful.

Fri, Jun 20, 2014 4:08am

Also, in case you’re curious, she says as the password (well, sort of, it’s a traditional Valyrian greeting/response) “Valar Morghulis”, “All Men Must Die”. And he responds “Valar Dohaeris”, “All Men Must Serve”