I realize I haven’t talked about Game of Thrones all season here, but I have been watching! It’s been a relatively short season with its ups and downs– we’ve had a few good moments, and a lot of what felt like stalling. Ultimately, I found the finale satisfying, but with plenty of quieter moments. Here’s my assessment of what worked and what maybe didn’t.
Season finales are hard on all of us. George R. R. Martin, like my beloved Joss Whedon, seems to love killing off characters. When I think about season 4 ending, I tend to think of all the characters we’ve lost along the way. After season 3 ended, we were still reeling from The Red Wedding and mourning Catelyn and Robb. This season, I feel like the carnage was more warranted. Let’s be morbid and count down Game of Thrones season 4’s top 3 deaths.
3. Tywin Lannister, on the throne
Can anyone say anything in favor of Tywin Lannister? He was kind enough to Arya when she was a fugitive, yes, and he’s a smart guy. I think that’s where the good ends. Lannisters are not our favorites. Tywin was father to the monster that is Cersei. He is the ultimate puppet-master, even with his own kids. He was also the cruelest (perhaps, save for Cersei) to the only Lannister we do like, Tyrion. Tywin met a fitting end, as his son Tyrion burst in on him while he was “on the throne…” and not the kind that the title of the series refers to. Tywins lifelong cruelty to Tyrion caught up with him. “I am your son;” Tyrion pushed these harsh words in his face as he shot him through with a crossbow. Twice. And he deserved it: a crappy end for a crappy guy.
2. Lysa Arryn, through the Moon Door
I enjoyed this one in particular because of my Tully-love. We knew something was wrong with Lysa from the moment we saw her, when Catelyn paid her a visit early in the series. She never wanted to help her sister. What kind of Tully is that? We learned this season that she killed her own husband, the former Hand of the King, which set off the events of the whole series. This crime was attributed to the Lannisters. That makes Lysa as bad as a Lannister… worse than some of them. This season she was ready and willing to take Sansa’s life— the same jealousy that colored her relationship with Catelyn reflected upon her neice. The Eyrie is a creepy place and Lysa, its unstable keeper. She’s already made her son as nuts as she is. The two favored their home’s Moon Door, and through it, Lysa met a fitting end plunging to her death in a free fall. Gooood riddance!
1. Joffrey Baratheon, at The Purple Wedding
He had it coming. In truth, Joffrey was a great villain. He came in a little, blonde package that in no way indicated the evil within. There are few characters I’ve wished to die the way I did with Joff. His cruelty grew from the first season— it starts small, first turning on Sansa’s his betrothed, but with the death of Ned Stark, he proves that he is a monster. His days as king did terrible things for his ego. As a young boy, he is mad with power. He never treated people well, and as king, he embraced the fact that he really didn’t have to. We saw him grow crueler, more violent, and more heatless— delighted as he was with the deaths of Robb and Catelyn Stark. He made Sansa’s life miserable, and he made many enemies. Drinking a poison cup of wine on his wedding day sealed his fate. Finally, we are rid of the horrible Joffrey Baratheon. Even his almost-wife, Margaery Tyrell, is glad to see him go. Neither his brother Tommen nor his uncle/father Jamie seems too upset. The only one who mourns is Cersei. Everyone else is glad his reign of terror has ended.
Bonus: Which death am I most sad to see this season?
We’re not clear that he’s actually dead, but I think it’s a safe bet. I cried as I watched him beg Arya for death. I didn’t think I was this attached to him! I guess I’m just sad the The Adventures of Arya & The Hound have come to a close… but with Arya setting sail, new adventures are soon to come! Bring it on, season 5! I seriously cannot wait.