Instant reaction post: “Game of Thrones” S4, Ep10 ‘The Children’

Tyrion Lannister in 'The Children'
Tyrion Lannister in a murderous rage in ‘The Children’

We have reached the end of the season, and therefore the last of my Game of Thrones instant reaction posts till next year. I had high hopes for this finale, which it mostly delivered. Without further ado, let’s begin.
Jon actually gets as far as Mance Rayder’s camp without being shot on sight. And they toast to Ygritte and Grenn (and Mag the Mighty). Good, because last week’s goodbyes wasn’t enough acknowledgement of their bravery and the viewers’ love for them (excluding Mag the Mighty).
Stannis and Ser Davos Seaworth arrive in a deus ex machina moment! How did they hear news of the attack anyway, and what changed Stannis’ mind? The last we saw them they were going to conquer King’s Landing. (Or did I misremember again?)
Ser Davos Seaworth and Stannis Baratheon in 'The Children'
Ser Davos Seaworth and Stannis Baratheon in ‘The Children’

I know Cersei doesn’t care about people unless they serve her purpose (or they’re family that she has “chosen”), but why didn’t she at least ask “how” the Mountain would be changed? For all she knows he could turn into Frankenstein’s monster.
Still, I’m amazed that Cersei is willing to spill the big incestuous secret to keep her son safe. Even more so that Tywin Lannister, who seems to know everything, doesn’t know/refuses to believe that most open secret of all.
Cersei’s “I don’t care” mirrors Jaime’s “I don’t care” when practically raping her beside Joffrey’s body. Is that the TV writers’ way of saying that the earlier scene was meant to be “consensual”? Because it’s too late to be effective.
In an earlier episode, the charred bones was a goat, now it’s a child. Dany looks so heartbroken over locking up her unruly dragons that I feel sorry that she has to do it — though I still resent her for casting Ser Jorah aside so unforgivingly. (I wonder about the wisdom of chaining up the dragons though; won’t that result in pissed-off dragons when they are eventually let out?)
Goodbye Ygritte. :'( It looked like Jon specially dressed her in a gown for her funeral pyre, in a final grand gesture to their epic love affair.
Jon Snow in 'The Children'
Jon Snow says goodbye to Ygritte in ‘The Children’

Surprisingly, that mythical place that Bran has been travelling to for the past two seasons actually is mythical in *every* sense of the word, with creepy little children and animated skeletons! I didn’t realise that Jojen Reed would die here. :S But on another note, it must be a relief for Kristian Nairn (Hodor) to play scenes where Bran takes over his mind, so he can look alert for once.
Hodor in 'The Children'
Hodor fights off skeletons in ‘The Children’

What a punny name, the “Bloody Gate”.
The fight between Brienne and the Hound is set against such a gorgeous backdrop, but it’s so brutal! Why must it be two of our favourite characters doing such horrible things to each other! :’-O I don’t think they even meet in the books!
And Arya doesn’t kill the Hound even though he begs for death and purposefully riles her up, and eventually leaves him calling desperately after her. Sadly, you don’t know whether she pities him or just doesn’t care anymore. It’s not the way I would have wished for them to part, especially when right before the fight, he finally admits that he *is* keeping her safe.
The Hound and Arya in "The Children"
The Hound and Arya, together for the last time, in ‘The Children’

Once again, oh Tyrion and Shae! :'( Another doomed epic romance (in the show at least) rides out its conclusion. Then killing his father in the privy in cold blood. It might have been shocking, but it was the only way the confrontation could have gone once it is clear that he has snapped.
And off Arya goes, leaving behind everything she has ever known to explore uncharted lands.
WAIT SOMETHING VERY VITAL TO THE STORYLINE IS MISSING FROM THIS EPISODE. I thought there was another shocker that was going to be introduced as a cliffhanger!
Arya leaves for Braavos in 'The Children'
Arya leaves for Braavos in ‘The Children’

Thus another great season comes to an end, with questionable moments, shocking developments, and farewells to fan favourites (Oberyn!!). In short, the earth is round. At least one good thing came out of this season — Joffrey is gone for good.