Monday, June 9, 2014

Game of Thrones Recap: Episode 4.9

Welcome to my Game of Thrones Recap. I love the Song of Ice and Fire series, and I'm loving (for the most part) how HBO is handling turning it into a live action series. In these posts, I recap the most recent and discuss what I thought of it, how it relates to the book, etc. Warning: This post is pretty much 100% spoilers, so read at your own risk!

Episode 4.9: The Watchers on the Wall

So this is the penultimate episode of the season! (It always goes so dang fast!) Jon Snow's story line has stalled a lot this season. We've actually seen a lot of him, but he hasn't done much. He keeps trying to convince the leadership of the Night's Watch (Sir Alastir and his lackey Sir Slynt) that Castle Black is going to be in big trouble when the wildlings arrive, but so far his arguments have fallen on deaf ears.

"Yup, we're screwed..." Source
We start out with Jon and Sam up on top of the wall, looking down. They have a funny conversation about sex. Sam wants to know what it's like, but Jon gets frustrated trying to describe it, and complains that he's not a "bloody poet." Sam turns lawyer while analyzing the oaths of the Night's Watch, and how they specifically forbid sex. Just marriage and children. It's a humorous moment between these two friends in the shadow of the battle hanging over them.

Tormund, Ygritte, and the other Thenns are waiting in the shadow of the Wall for Mance and the bulk of his army to show up. They argue and trade insults, Ygritte insisting that she and no one else get to kill Jon Snow.

"I get to kill Jon Snow! Me!" (Source)
Sam goes and talks to Meister Aemon in the library, and we get some more very human conversation. Aemon reveals to Sam who he really is (a Targaryen) which he previously told Jon, and tells Sam of a love affair he had in his youth. Aemon is fully aware, and has been for some time, that Sam is in love with Gilly. Shortly thereafter, Gilly returns to the Wall, and Sam promises he will never leave her again. This isn't exactly how it all happened in the books, but it's the basic gist.

Mance's army finally arrives, burning a huge chunk of the forest near the Wall, and Jon and his fellows of the Night Watch begin preparing for battle. Sam hides Gilly deep in the castle, and tells her he has to go help fight. She begs him to stay and live, but Sam has found both his honor and his courage by now. He promises to survive for her, but he must be a man and join the fight to hold Castle Black. He's come a long way from the coward who couldn't hold onto a practice sword when he first arrived.

Battle commences, and it's super-intense. This is not your average battle--not two armies clashing in a field. Rather, we have the top of the wall, the holdings at the base, the tunnel, and the face of the wall itself where wildlings are trying to scale. I thought they did an awesome job, not only making this battle epic, but also realistic-seeming.

"We are NOT the same ones from LOTR!" Source
Both Alastair and Slynt end up down below, fighting. Alastair bites it, but Slynt runs away and ends up hiding inside with Gilly. Probably my favorite fantastical element was the giants and their mammoths trying to pull down the gate that leads to the tunnel. They hooked themselves up to it like, almost like you would use a truck and winch to pull something off it's hinges. It was seriously epic and cool.

One of them gets into the tunnel, where Jon has sent Grenn and some men to hold the tunnel against the enemies. This was a seriously awesome moment. The men are afraid--this is a true, fierce, huge, pissed-off giant--and when Grenn sees that some of them may run, he starts reciting the now-well-known oaths of the Night's Watch. The oath gives them courage, and they stand fast, despite the tide of monster-destruction bull dozing toward them. Later, when Jon and Sam enter the tunnel, they find that Grenn and his friends have indeed held the tunnel. The giant lies slain. But all of the men that stood against him, Grenn included, have paid with their lives. *heart hurts*

Samwell, of course, is a BAMF. He goes around killing wildings and monsters with a crossbow, of all things. Eventually Jon sends him to free Ghost, who quickly starts tearing people to shreds. Gotta love those direwolves. 

Jon eventually fights the great big Thenn guy. You know, the bald one with the nasty-looking scars? That's Jon's epic showdown. He gets pretty whooped, too (Pretty face meet anvil, anyone?) but eventually smashes the dude's head with a hammer. 

"Oh this sucks." Source
Then he and Ygritte see one another. (Though it didn't happen this way in the book, you knew this reunion would be tragic, right?) He sees her, and smiles at seeing her, which makes her hesitate in killing him. Before she can follow through, another Night's Watchman kills her with an arrow. Jon catches her and they have a tragic, reminiscent moment. She utters a final, "You know nothing, Jon Snow," before quietly vacating the world.

The battle is then, it seems, over, though the war is far from it. After assuring Sam that the wildlings will come again, and soon, he determines to go find Mance. Sam, after unsuccessfully trying to talk Jon out of it, sees him off.

"Nom, nom..." Source
A really wonderful battle episode. Most of Jon's besties, including Grenn and Pyp (who incidentally was killed by Ygritte) are killed, which means he'll have less support than ever. As a penultimate episode, I thought this one was really great. They did such a good job and finally, Jon got to have lots of lines and battle sequences. Win-win!

P.S. I forgot to mention: Sam and Gilly have their first kiss. Had to throw that in. See pic at right for details. :D

What did everyone else think of this episode?


  1. I absolutely loved this episode!!! I haven't read the books, so when Ygritte died I totally didn't see it coming! Oh it was such an emotional moment!!!
    Great Recap!! :)

    1. Thanks Aneta! I really loved it too. Thanks so much for stopping by! :D