On the season finale, ‘The Children’ can save lives — and end them

June 16, 2014 9:52 AM

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Ten months. That’s a long time to wait until the next episode of “Game of Thrones,” but “The Children,” the fourth season’s finale, was a strong send-off that had a little something for everyone. For those that love the show’s palace intrigue and jockeying for the throne, we saw Stannis Baratheron — who I will continue to kneel down to as the One True King of Westeros — make his presence felt in a major way and were left with a true power vacuum at the episode’s conclusion. For those who like the supernatural stuff, Bran and his crew ran into all kinds of non-human entities, both evil and seemingly helpful. For those that like larger and deeper themes, the titular conceit of “The Children” gave plenty to work with. There was the most literal — those creepy forest dwellers. The pretty literal — the Lannister siblings and their various shocking actions. And the kinda literal — Dany’s misbehaving dragons. And for those sadists who simply like to watch characters we’ve grown to love (and hate, sometimes at the same time) get killed off, this episode ranks right up there with last season’s Red Wedding, as a whopping four major characters (seemingly) drew their last breaths. For a show that toggles between making you wait seemingly forever for a storyline to reach its conclusion and sudden shocking deaths, this final episode of the season found an ideal sweet spot with both catharsis and anticipation. Let’s take one last detailed journey through an episode.

[Note: At this point I will also direct you to the review written by my colleague, Alyssa Rosenberg on her Act Four blog. Alyssa is a book reader, and between the two of us, we more than have you covered. You'll find more of a play-by-play here, she'll do more of the analysis there. Here's her revie...

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