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Lions, Dragons and Wolves - Oh My! 5&A Dime's GoT Review

Jason Huggins

Happy Father's Day, Tywin!

Happy Father's Day, Tywin!

So here we are Game of Thrones fans, the bittersweet days following the season finale are upon us. I feel like "bittersweet" is the most appropriate term, but with more emphasis on the sweet part. Sure, it sucks that we won't have any GoT for awhile - but what a way to go out! This season has been filled with terror, trouble and turmoil for the beloved characters of Westeros - but the season finale wrapped up season four with some revenge, optimism and hope. We'll talk about the finale's big events, and the roller coaster that was GoT Season Four. This is going to be our last GoT Recap for a while, so it's lengthy. Get some coffee and do some stretches, this is going to be a long one.

          I'll start with the easy part : Bran Stark. This season with Bran was like watching Lord of The Rings. All we did was watch him walk through the North, or in his case be dragged through the North by Hodor, looking for the Three Eyed Raven. Bran and his companions definitely ran into some trouble here and there, and there was almost a reunion between Bran and his brother Jon Snow - but mostly we just watched him be dragged around and touch trees. It was definitely badass seeing him warg into Hodor and snap somebody's neck, same for the part where he fought the zombie skeleton dudes in the finale.  He had to watch his friend Jojen die, but all is well that ends well. They finally made it to the Three Eyed Raven and met the "Green Children" who I'm assuming are going to teach Bran some new tricks... With all that said, where is his little brother Rickon? I guess we'll have to wait to find out what happened to him and Osha. 

          Then how about the Mother of Dragons? Some fans were a little bored with Daenerys this season. She definitely had a lot of character growth, but we didn't see the fire-walking, bad guy burning, Khaleesi we all know and love. I feel like that's a good thing though. As with most characters in the GoT universe, Dany is multi-faceted. There's more to her than her breasts and her dragons. We got to see her become a young conqueror, a trait that runs in Targaryen blood, but she eventually opted to conquer and rule instead of conquer and move on as she had been doing. She embraced her role as a queen and ruler, and tried to bring some law and peace into the places she had taken over. She had some cool scenes early in the season, but her parts eventually became a little dry. That changed when she had to banish her close friend and trusted confidant Jorah Mormont. Jorah's indiscretions occurred in the first season, so watching him pay for it now after protecting, counseling, caring and loving Dany was hard. And of course, in a typical GoT twist, Dany finally had a sad ending to a season. She usually goes out in spectacular fashion; whether it's hatching dragons, getting an Unsullied army, or freeing slaves who love her, Daenerys usually comes out on top. Not this time. We had to watch her chain up her beloved "children" as they were getting too unruly and causing her more problems. Her dragons were clearly upset, and the tears running down her face showed the same for her. It was a slow season for her, but still important.

          Stannis Baratheon had a pretty solid season. After losing the battle at Blackwater Bay, returning home and losing soldiers things have been pretty sour for the "One True King". But with the help of his trusted Onion Knight, Davos Seaworth, Stannis climbed back into a position of power. They made their trip to Braavos and secured some money and soldiers to fight against the Lannisters and after seeing visions in the flames they made their way North to help the Night's Watch against the Wildling threat. Seemingly some important and positive plot points for Stannis, but I still feel like the Red Woman Melisandre has a scheme of her own. She seems too devious for things to be cut and dry with her. I feel like she has something up her sleeves, and it may turn into bad news for Stannis, his new army and the Night's Watch. I liked how Stannis' attack was brutal, but he was fair to Mance at Jon Snow's behest. It shows Stannis' true character, he's a little rough around the edges but all in all he's a stand up guy. His respect for Jon Snow as Ned Stark's son was also cool. I'm excited to see how that connection turns out.

          Speaking of the NIght's Watch, did they go through Hell this season or what?! It seemed like every time Jon Snow turned around the Night's Watch was receiving some kind of bad news. They spent most of the season recovering from their losses North of the Wall and prepping for the Wildling invasion. Of course, once the Wildlings did attack the Night's Watch put on a show! They lost some good friends and good men, but they turned back the Wildlings' first invasion attempt. And wouldn't you know when Jon goes to talk terms with Mance Rayder he finds out they don't want to fight at all. They just want somewhere safe to hide from the White Walkers! I feel like that could've been sorted out a long time ago, but some of the older members of the Night's Watch would've never allowed the Wildlings to come through in peace. I hope Jon Snow can step up his mediator abilities and work something out between the Wildlings and Stannis. It would be for the benefit of the realm, for sure. And while were on the subject of Jon Snow, does anyone else feel like he's slowly but surely becoming really important? He's stepped into his role as a warrior and leader, and I feel like Stannis' respect for Jon's deceased father could lead to some sort of alliance between Stannis and Jon. We'll see.

          Besides Jon Snow, this season's most fun character to watch had to be Arya Stark. We've seen Arya come a long way from helpless little girl to coldblooded killer, and she's still learning. This season she spent a lot of time learning from, arguing with and living with The Hound. She started out hating him, grew somewhat fond of him, I would almost say "befriended" him - and then she left him to die. She had tried numerous times to end the life of the man who had killed her friend, but when she finally had the chance she recognized that he didn't deserve the easy way out and she left him to his sure-to-be agonizingly slow death. We had seen Arya do some tough shit before that scene, but that sealed the deal. Arya is no longer playing games. She's on her way to Braavos to link up with her face-changing, assassin friend now. When she gets their I'm sure she has some more learning to do, but I think we've seen the genesis of badass Arya Stark. Let's hope she keeps up the good work!

           Last, but not least, we have everyone's main man Tyrion Lannister. What an ending for him! This whole season has been nothing but shit upon more shit for Tyrion. Stripped of his power last season, imprisoned this season after being accused of his nephew's death AND THEN being sentenced to death after a tragic Trial By Combat; it hasn't been his best year. But as we've seen time and time again, Tyrion knows how to come out on top (with a little help from his guardian angels). When Jaime opened that cell I was stoked! As they made their way out though an overwhelming sense of anxiety got ahold of me. "This is too good to be true", I thought. GoT never ends well and Tyrion has escaped death too many times for it to be this easy. But not only were my negative thoughts left unfulfilled, Tyrion stepped it up a notch by taking his revenge into his own hands (literally). He goes looking for his father and finds... Who else but Shae? (That bitch!) She had lied against him in court and then slept with his father?! Tyrion was stunned to say the least, but then she attacked him and he handled his business. Afterwards, he finds his father and gives GoT viewers an unexpected Father's Day gift (I love irony). Tyrion gets things off his chest and then puts a crossbow bolt into his father's. The man who could supposedly shit gold met his end on the toilet. How fitting? Now we'll see where Tyrion ends up and what he does with his new lease on life. We'll also see what part Varys plays in Tyrion's future since Tyrion's actions kind of forced him to leave Westeros. Will they become unlikely allies? Or will Varys still be a slippery snake using Tyrion to his advantage? Only time will tell...

The season finale was incredible, to say the least. This season didn't follow the "format" that the first three had, so it was bit of a mixed bag in terms of action, drama and intensity. It started out wild with Joffrey's death two episodes in, got more hectic as tensions increased at The Wall, and then ended with a couple of deaths that left us reeling. It was a super sweet episode, but like I said, now we have to deal with the bitter wait until next season gets going.

Who was your favorite character this season? What episode was most intense to you? Let us know in the comments and we'll be back to it next season! Cheers, GoT fans!

- Zach & The 5D Crew