Game Of Thrones Recap - S4E9 - The Watchers On The Wall
What an absolute dynamite bean cranking mega episode. So many epic moments and some surprisingly strong thematic undercurrents as well.
Joffrey Swag - This was the first episode since the start of the show where "the one true swag king" wasn't mentioned nor considered by his biggest fan (that would be me).
Direwolf Badassery - 100 points. Ghost ripped a guys face off and you saw all of it. His introduction was dope as well.
1. Tonight's episode was directed by Neil Marshall who directed the season two episode "Blackwater" and is quickly become the shows go-to guy for epic battle episodes. I hope he doesn't get pigeon-holed though because his movies are pretty great as well. Check out The Descent if you want a good scare.
2. With the entire episode dedicated to The Wall, for the first time on the show you really got a sense of the variety of the characters in The Night's Watch. I've always liked what good friends to Grenn, Pyp, and Sam have been to Jon, but tonight I loved how they got their own character beats.
3. The Night's Watch oath always gets me fired up. I thought it got me pumped up in season when Jon and his buddies make their vows, but that was nothing compared to Green and gang screaming it while holding the gate against that giant.
4. In addition to the epic kills tonight's episode had a lot to say about the nature of love, courage, fear, and leadership. Let's talk about love first. It opened with Jon describing physical love to Sam, who followed that up with physical and emotional love with that old rascal Maester Aemon and we ended up with some real deal romantic love with Ygritte dying in Jon's Arms after she couldn't kill him. True love is so much deeper than anything physical. It's the kind that endures, the kind that locks you in a cellar to keep you safe, until you get back.
5. When that Giant used that bow and arrow my draw dropped to the floor. Also Tormund is a such a beast, his fighting style is brutal. I hope his capture is a sign that he will continue to be on the show.
6. I called that the Thenn were pretty much only on the show to die horrible deaths at the hands of our heroes and I wasn't wrong. Hammer to head, crossbow to the eye, and more.
7. Finally Jon Snow fulfilled his own destiny, not just of being a leader of men, but of being a total badass and wrecking some real bad guys, not just some Night's Watch maniacs at Crastor's Keep. Also I LOVED the imagery of him stepping out into the cold white snowy abyss at the end. Now he is in his rightful place, the boss of the Night's Watch.
8. Sam's speech about not even thinking about how he conquered his fear in the moment and how he "felt nothing at all" was a beautiful way to reflect on the unlimited potential we all have within ourselves to be brave and to be great. Many times in this episode we saw that - Pyp & Sam conquering their fears to fight, Grenn making a stand to hold the gate, Alliser rallying the troops even though he knew he messed up, and finally the little boy avenging the death of his family by killing Ygritte.
9. One thing that struck me as strange with this episode was the lack of the Wildling leader Mance Rayder. Shouldn't he have been at the battle?
10. The icing on the cake of the whole battle was that giant blender snow death mine of metal that was unleashed on the side of the wall at the end of the affair. Absolutely insane and I loved it.
Finally next week. Still lots of questions to be answered.