This Week’s Game of Thrones Awards: Mammoths and Giants and Scythes, Oh My!

stormofswordsSeason 4, Episode 9: The Watchers on the Wall

Greetings, and welcome! My name is Ben and what you have stumbled upon here is the ONLY Game of Thrones recap on the entire internet. From now until the end of the season I will be summarizing every episode, giving out highly prestigious awards, and counting how many times Hodor says “Hodor.”

Before I discuss what happened in the latest episode of Game of Thrones, perhaps I should start by talking about what didn’t happen.

And by that I mean anything relating to the SOUL CRUSHING CLIFFHANGER THAT ENDED THE LAST EPISODE. Seriously, the death of Prince Oberyn was deflating on more than one level:

1. He was an amazing character.

2. Everyone’s favorite character, Tyrion, also appears to be on the verge of death.

Putting this issue off for an entire week seems cruel and unusual, and in my mind took away from my enjoyment of this episode. This would be like if you had an important medical test and instead of giving you the results the doctor just tap-danced and sang show tunes. I realize that the battle at the wall is more important than almost everything else that is currently happening, but this is only the second time the show has adopted this format (only one storyline and setting for the whole episode) and I don’t think they made particularly good use of the hour.

That being said, for as little that actually happened in this episode it did look really cool.

We finally got to gaze upon “The Biggest Fire the North Has Ever Seen,” and it did not disappoint. The giants and mammoths (and giants riding mammoths!) added a nice scope to the battle, as you got the feeling that the wildlings were emptying more of their arsenal than they ever had before. Most of the Crows didn’t even believe in giants, and here they were…marching on their gates. And that huge scythe? Well, that is without a doubt one of the more awe-inspiring set pieces in a large battle that I’ve ever seen.

The build-up to Ygritte’s death is appropriately tense; her hand trembles as she aims the bow at her former lover and current enemy. She is punished for letting the battle become a complicated thing, and of course Jon Snow is not, as he manages to hold her for an extended period of time while she passes away in the middle of a battle. I don’t think there is a character on the show who feels more untouchable than Jon.

It doesn’t change the fact that in the long run, I’m not sure what this episode really means. The Crows are still outnumbered. As Jon says, the Wildlings were testing their defenses and will surely strike again…perhaps with even more creatures that most of the world is convinced don’t exist. Yes, it does end with an important moment: Jon riding off to broker a truce with Mance Rayder. But couldn’t we have accomplished all of this in about twenty minutes? Game of Thrones is a show that always seems to be in such a hurry, packing in the triumphs and failures of so many characters from week to week, that I will admit that it’s nice to stop and spend significant time on a particular story.

I just wish they would have chosen a different one.

Quoteable Quotations

“And then you get to go on aiding me, and I get to go on wishing your wildling whore had finished the job.” – Alliser Thorne,  in the midst of his best dialogue on the show, describing a very cheery victory scenario.

“You know nothing, Jon Snow.” – Ygritte gets to say her famous meme one more time before dying.


The Weekly “We Missed You” award goes to a character that died in the penultimate episode of season one, Eddard Stark. Watching Jon Snow cut through people reminded me of Ned’s training, and the appearance of Ghost made me think of his kindness.

The “Awwww Yeah, Son!” award goes to Sam for FINALLY kissing Gilly.

-This probably won’t be a re-occurring award, but the “White Guy Who Looks Kind of Like Uncle Phil From Fresh Prince” nod goes to the cowardly Janos Slynt. Seriously, just look at that guy.

The “We Probably Took that Guy for Granted” award goes to Pyp. I realized it literally the second we saw his corpse.

The “Biggest Fire the North Has Ever Seen” award goes to…well, that big fire.

Official Hodor Count: 0

The preview for the finale ensures that we will most likely snap the Hodor drought!

On Next Week’s Episode…

We spend the entire hour dealing with Bronn’s bachelor party!

  • Htom_Sirveaux

    I hate to seem like the proverbial Internet pain the whatsis, but…

    “And then you get to go on *hating* me” and Jon Snow is not looking to broker a truce with Mance, he’s looking to eliminate him.

    Also, I think this episode was awesome….

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