Game of Thrones Memory Lane 410: The Children

tyrion

Only 11 days and counting until the Game of Thrones season 6 premiere! We have a guest contributor stepping in today to pay tribute to “The Children,” the staggering finale of season four- please welcome back Greatjon of Slumber!  – Sue the Fury

What every parent realizes eventually – and Game of Thrones drives this point home with full force in season four’s closer, “The Children,” is that they have only so much control over the actions their children take, and the actions others may take against them. And that measure of control, or influence, wanes with each passing year as children age, until, perhaps, having established a strong relationship during their youth, a parent may be able to influence their actions through wise counsel and advice, compared with their younger years, when they can rely on punishment and reward.

So much of “The Children,” then, is tied to this theme – what kind of influence parents are able to exert over their children, and while the title of the episode ostensibly refers to the Children of the Forest, the non-human inhabitants of Westeros from centuries past who make their first appearance far north of the Wall, they refer as much to Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, Cersei Lannister, Jojen Reed, Bran Stark, Arya Stark, and their parents and in some cases, their children, or parents.

The finale doesn’t close with the kind of epic wonder that ended “Fire and Blood” – Jeor Mormont’s rousing speech, Robb Stark accepting the title of “King in the North,” the birth of the dragons – but instead closes with a number of sometimes lovely, sometimes tense moments that essentially re-set the board for coming seasons of Game of Thrones, but also put a stamp on the themes that have driven the story forth until now.

NedIn the world of Game of Thrones, the two fathers whose influence is most heavily felt in the actions of their children are Eddard Stark and Tywin Lannister. The latter symbolically closed the story of the former at the outset of the season, in the wordless cold open where Eddard’s great sword Ice is melted down. Both men had their flaws when it came to their children: Eddard’s sense of honor and duty, forged by years of harsh Northern winters that demanded communal piety, left his children in some respect unprepared for the less forgiving world that lie to the south – and north – of Winterfell. It doomed his eldest son Robb, and his appeal to the better nature of people arguably hamstrung the development of his daughter Sansa and bastard son Jon (his younger daughter Arya seemed born with an innate ruthlessness, oddly enough).

For all of Lord Stark’s flaws, however, he grounded his children, and allowed them to understand how to forge relationships involving at least some measure of trust in a way that Tywin Lannister’s three children never did. For Tywin Lannister, his children were a means to an end – extending a family line that would retain dominion over one of the richest lands in Westeros, and occupy a notable position among royalty for generations to come. But he did so in a most harsh, uncompromising manner, one that drove two of them into each other’s arms and for the third, the unwanted child, to develop an intense dislike of his father, one only matched for his longing for some note of affection, which Tywin only fleetingly offered Tyrion.

Tywin

This episode features the final confrontation between Cersei and Tywin and Tyrion and Tywin. Neither goes well for the old man, who, for all of his pride in the Lannister name, never nurtured emotional ties; in a sense, it’s no wonder that Cersei and Jaime chose each other, if only as a means to protect themselves emotionally from their unforgiving father. Cersei says this much to Jaime, essentially forgiving him for his sexual assault earlier in the season. They say one cannot choose family, but Cersei does. She tells Tywin what his children had done, under his nose, and Charles Dance, being a superb actor, betrays little of his disgust, even though he’s been shaken in a way that he’s never been shaken before. “No…I don’t believe you,” he tells Cersei, but his words come out strained, and as she departs, his hand is shaking as he nervously twitches at this revelation. Lena Headey more than matches Dance in this scene; her Cersei is central to the show’s success, and her acting is thrilling.

It’s natural that Cersei would envelope her children in the kind of smothering love that comes from having been left to her own devices, without a firm, but warm, hand from a parent that Eddard Stark might have provided. So she rails against her father, saying that she won’t marry Loras Tyrell, and leave for Highgarden so that Margaery and Tywin can tear apart her surviving son, King Tommen Baratheon. Instead, she resolves to stay – declaring that she chooses “her brother…her lover,” before finally having sex with Jaime again, this time with full consent.

Cersei

The episode also closes Tyrion’s story with his father. Tywin, when speaking on the privy, after Tyrion has murdered his lover Shae – who Tywin also took into his bed – actually describes Tyrion accurately, after Tyrion asks whether his father really wanted him dead. “But you refused to die. I respect that, even admire it – you fight for what’s yours.” He’s not wrong – but Tyrion learned to fight because his father was an active detriment in his development, not an asset. And, like his sister, it’s no surprise that Tyrion rejects his father, tells him specifically of what his love was – for Shae, a common whore – before killing him in the most undignified fashion.

Tywin Lannister’s legacy, ultimately, was this: his children bore three children of their own, products of incest, and therefore without a legitimate claim to the Iron Throne should anyone truly find the wherewithal to do anything about it. He left the world unloved, having overseen the reign of his abominable grandson, informed of the scandalous relationship that produced Joffrey and his siblings, just days before he was murdered – on a toilet.

Arya

The Stark children, oddly, fair better for once in this episode. While Sansa’s story was closed two episodes previous, Arya finally comes to the end of her time with The Hound after the latter’s fierce battle with Brienne of Tarth in the Vale. With the Hound lying broken, bleeding, and certain to die, Arya, in another step in her cold development, elects not to kill The Hound. Rory McCann in many ways owned this season, and so it’s heartbreaking to see Sandor Clegane go from a resigned expectation that Arya will do the honorable thing and send him on his way, to attempting to provoke a violent response from her by saying awful things about her sister, to eventually his being reduced to begging for Arya to kill him. Arya’s a survivor, in part because she has learned, far from the sight of her dead father and mother, to protect herself.

Jon Snow is learning those same lessons, in an odd enough way. He goes to Mance Rayder’s tent after the battle at Castle Black fully prepared to kill the King-Beyond-the-Wall. He’s there, supposedly, to negotiate terms, and Mance rightfully notes the dishonor in attempting to kill a man who has taken him into his tent and offered him a drink (again, it should be noted, by an oathbreaker himself) – but Jon’s plan was also a sacrificial plan, to hopefully take out the leader of the famously undisciplined Wildlings in an effort to get them to scatter to the winds, and not threaten the Wall anymore. I was a fan of Ciarán Hinds from the beginning back in Season 3 – but Mance’s alternately genial and cunning nature really comes across here in a great scene that manages a salute to Mag the Mighty, the giant, and Grenn, one of several men who took him out defending the gate.

Bran

Further north of the Wall, Bran Stark, also a son of Eddard, finally makes his way to the Weirwood Tree where the Three-Eyed Raven awaits. In doing so, he loses a companion, Jojen Reed, with the others escaping from the terrible skeletal wights that attack them from the Child of the Forest that emerges from the cave. Season six is about to premiere, and we will finally see Bran again, now played, it seems, by former basketball star Bill Walton, or someone perhaps slightly taller.

A recap of this episode would not be complete without a reckoning of the actions of the children of the Mother of Dragons. The scenes in Meereen are brief, but Daenerys Targaryen, Daenerys the Stormborn, the Unburnt, and several other titles faces the reality of her actions, having become “Mhysa” to those slaves she has freed, and realizing that as mother of these freed slaves, she could not anticipate their reactions once having had their cords cut. We’re not likely to see the elderly slave Fennesz again, but his despair at having agreed to leave his home – and the children who love him – forces Dany’s hand, and for her to finally relent in letting him sell himself back to his master for a year.

But his grief his nothing compared to the shepherd who approaches after, only this one isn’t bearing the charred skeleton of a goat, but of a small child, a three-year-old girl burnt by Drogon. It’s now that Dany realizes her children – the dragons – are beyond her control. In our world, we cast downward glances at people who are forced, usually through television interviews, to answer for the actions of adult children who commit horrific crimes. And much as Cersei Lannister bore responsibility for Joffrey Baratheon’s heinousness, she also could not be held entirely accountable for all that he did. With Daenerys, the culpability is much less clear – they are dragons, after all – but she does the only thing she can, which is to chain them. It can’t last.

Daenerys


CRIPPLES, BASTARDS AND UNFINISHED THOUGHTS:

bhThe contrast in appearance and philosophy between Brienne of Tarth and Sandor Clegane could not be clearer. Even after weeks on the road, she’s much cleaner; she has crisp, blond hair, and a clean complexion; the Hound is rougher, with his stringy, dark hair. And their perception of knighthood is just as divergent – Brienne sees honor in an institution that will not accept her, while the Hound rejects knighthood as an abomination, due to the memories he has of his brutal brother, who is celebrated for his brutality. But she’s also naïve in her belief that she can provide some measure of security for Arya; the Hound, for as uncompromising as he is, is more right than he is wrong.

Brienne nearly goes Ned Stark’s route, dying due to her honorable nature in not wanting to kill the Hound, but once he steps up his physical fighting style, she figures things out pretty quick. This one-on-one match is a series highlight, in part because Gwen Christie and Rory McCann are superb at fighting “in character,” but also because this is the rare match where viewers’ loyalties could truly be divided. Having the Hound meet his end due to Brienne – even though, because Westeros is a massive place, it strains credulity that they meet at all – is a far superior outcome than having him weakened by a bunch of redshirts, as in the books.

This episode continues the fine development of Tormund Giantsbane’s character, with Kristofer Hivju particularly poignant in discussing how he knew Ygritte truly loved Jon. “She told you?” “No. She only talked about killing you. That’s how I knew.”

StannisThis may be giving short shrift to Stannis Baratheon here, but the filmmakers do some nice work with effects to show how his troops easily overwhelm the Wildlings. And watching the last poor slob who tries to go after Stannis and Davos on foot, only to get smashed by one of the calvary, is satisfying. (And really, he has only about three minutes of screen time in the episode.)

There was some commentary early on after this episode aired about the “cheesiness” of the skeletal wights, but look again. They’re superbly done – and a clear homage to Ray Harryhausen.

I never did understand the physics of Tyrion’s choking of Shae. She’s lying on her back on the bed. Surely she could have thrown her feet over her head and gotten out of that chokehold.

“I’ll never let Ilyn Payne take your head.” Ilyn Payne, not forgotten! Come back, Wilko Johnson, we’re glad for your recovery from cancer.


departures

Introductions: Braavosi sea captain Ternesio Terys, played by Gary Oliver, perfectly cast; Fennesz; Leaf, the Child of the Forest; the Three-Eyed Raven.

Departures include: Tywin Lannister; Shae; Jojen Reed; Ygritte, Grenn, Pyp, and a few dozen more members of the Night’s Watch (ceremoniously), plus a few hundred members of the Free Folk (unceremoniously); Grand Maester Pycelle’s ownership of his laboratory; a half-dozen skeletal wights; the employment contract of the raven who delivers Tywin Lannister’s letters; Brienne and Pod’s horses (for now), and, temporarily, Bran Stark, Hodor, Meera Reed, Leaf, and the Three-Eyed Raven.

And then there’s Sandor Clegane. As a longtime viewer of Justified, it goes like this: no bullet in his head, and nobody being zipped up into a body bag. So until Raylan Givens shows up to tell me he’s dead in that dulcet Southern accent of his, he’s not truly gone.

Tywin’s Beautiful Death:

tywin death

The season-ending music, titled “The Children”:

115 responses

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    1. 11 days!!!!!!

      This is my favorite season finale of any show of all time. It was a privilege and honor seeing it at the IMAX Experience. What a brilliant finale to cap off a brilliant season.

      Edit: And the “The Children” is one of my favorite pieces of music of all time.

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    2. Great episode, among my top 10 easly.

      Ok let’s say something that is on my mind since I started rewatching S4.

      While watching this season, who is still my favourite, I was having 2 mixed feelings.
      On one hand I loved this season, and the writing was briliant.
      But when I first watched, I could not but feel scared of what will follow. I think I made my opinion on AFFC/ADWD very clear.

      I was dreading to have my hopes and dreams crushed once more. This thought never really left me until EP10,
      But when I saw they didn’t mention Tysha, I was beyond exited! It was clear to me that the writers where sharing some of the same complaints I myself had about the story.
      When I saw LSH wasn’t in the story, I got even MORE exited!!

      That’s when I knew I could rest and enjoy the ride. And S5 didn’t dissapoint me. Does it have it’s low parts? Yes. That’s why it’s my 3rd favourite season, after S4 and S1, preaty tied with S3. But it’s no where near, what I was afraid it would turn out to be.

      This episode gave me confidence for the next season, and I was right, because I enjoyed it greatly!

      A amazing ending to the best season. Hopefully, in couple of months, it won’t be my favourite anymore and S6 will take it’s place!

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    3. Not going to go in great detail, but some of my favourite moments in this EP.

      Tywin’s death is just brilliant.
      Brienne’s fight with the Hound and Arya leaving him is also a great moment!
      Dany locking her dragons is also a strong moment.

      And of course Stannis at the Wall. Here I enjoyed Jon and Mance quite a lot, and good lord that final look Mel gives Jon was amazing.

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    4. When I first saw this episode I was an Unsullied, and I found Tyrion’s decision to go to Tywin’s room weird. I mean, I know that if I was about to be executed next morning my priority Nº1 would be getting the hell out of dodge.
      Later that summer, I read A Storm of Swords, and when I read that chapter I was like “Whoa! That is much more powerful.”
      I disagree with Benioff’s assertion that the only way for it to have an impact on the audience would have been through a flashback. We didn’t have any flashbacks of Lyanna in Season 1, but you could feel the way she influenced other characters’ lives in Cersei’s conversations with Robert and Ned. It all comes down to the script and the acting.
      And if they needed to remind the audience of her (all my Unsullied friends remembered Tyrion’s first wife was raped by Tywin’s soldiers, however), they could have had Varys reminding Tyrion in The Lion and the Rose (something like “Do I have to remind you of what your father did to the last whore you fell in love with?”) or during one of the many Jaime-Tyrion conversations.

      Other thoughts:
      – Arya’s ending music was amazing.
      – I loved Brienne v Hound. How could they do the SFX when the Hound falls off a cliff?
      – Couldn’t they bother asking the Three-eyed raven actor to close an eye? (A thousand eyes and one, remember?)
      – Qyburn and Pycelle are top-notch, as always. (BTW, do you guys know anyone who didn’t notice that the big guy in Mother’s Mercy was the Mountain? My Unsullied cousin noticed it, but her husband didn’t).

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    5. Lol at the employment contract of Tywin’s raven in departures. But Ygritte, Grenn and Pyp died last episode.

      The credits music is breathtaking. And I still miss Tywin.

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    6. My third favorite GOT episode 🙂

      I LOVE THIS ONE
      This article is also very well written.

      I couldn’t believe how bad I felt for the hound. GOT really knows how to mess with your morals and your emotions.

      My favorite scene was with Jon, Mance and Stannis. I love it when they (or anyone) talk about Eddard Stark. <3

      My second favorite was Bran and Co scene. From when the wights arrived till the got to the cave. Poor jojen 🙁

      Everything else, of course, was just gold. Best season finale ever. Even better than Mother's Mercy.

      Reading this is making me want to watch it. I have already done a season 1 to 5 rewatch. But I started season 5 yesterday again, in anticipation of April 24. But I think I am going to go back and watch this. I do need a Bran refresher 🙂

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    7. Talking about the development of Bran’s story through these revisitations, this episode is, I think, a bit of a letdown. Particularly, the reveal of Bloodraven and the Children of the Forest, which is what Bran’s whole storyline has been leading up to since Season 1, is really underwhelming. Why do they even have him do the “thousand eyes and one” line when the guy clearly has two eyes (as does Von Sydow in the promo photos we’ve seen)? Bloodraven and the Children needed to look weirder and more otherworldly.

      Brienne fighting the Hound, leading into the Hound’s final scene with Arya, is probably my favourite scene of the episode.

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    8. Tywin of the Hill,

      I know a few people who did not think that the big person in Mother’s Mercy was the mountain from Season 4.
      One of them even said, when discussing an episode from season 5… there is a scene with Cersei and Qyburn… and my friend goes to me “in that scene, did you notice that the thing in the bed moved/twitched”… I was like “yeah………. that’s the big thing you see in Episode 10 who carries Cersei away after her walk”. Friend goes: “Oh… how do you know?”…. Had to explain everything going back to S4EP08

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    9. Tywin of the Hill,

      You can’t imagine how glad I am she wasn’t in the show.
      Tyrion is very different then in the books, this difference is biggest when his relationship with Tywin is concerned.

      In the books he is resigned and quite hates Tywin and knows that Tywin hates him back greatly.
      In the show it’s very different. Tyrion is still trying to prove to his father and is hurt greatly when Tywin wants to kill him, while in the books he doesn’t really care anymore. That’s why he went to Tywin, for a final answer, I don’t think he was even thinking about what’s best to survive, he just wanted to confront his father, to get a final answer, to confront this man who hated him all his life.
      Not to say that he made his decision to actaully kill him, only after he saw Shae.

      As for Tysha? To me her omission is up there, with LSH, as some of the best decisions ever made.
      When I read the first time, I didn’t think it was ”powerfull” nor was I supprised, or disgusted, as Martin may have intended.

      My reaction was:”yeah, of course she wasn’t a whore…” I saw it coming from the first chapters, and dreaded that I may be right. To me her reveal was one the most corniest and most cliche thing Martin wrote until then.. Sadly he outdid himself couple of chapters later with LSH.

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    10. My favourite episode of the season, and IMO the ending was just perfect for the closure of what is really Act 1 and Arya’s journey symbolising new beginnings and the beautiful music theme to close out the finale.

      Love how the Iron Coin totally owned the Braavosi Captain: “Valar dohaeris. Of course, you shall have a cabin.”

      Wise words of The Hound #673

      “…And your sister. Your pretty sister. I should have taken her. That night the Blackwater burned. I should have fucked her bloody. At least I’d have one happy memory.”

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    11. Tywin of the Hill,

      Answers, not ”a pat on the back”

      To confront his tormentor, this man who tried to kill him his entire life.
      The man who was supposed to protect him and love him.

      What did Tyrion had at that point? Nothing. No future, no prospects, his father wanted to kill him, the women he loved betrayed him.
      So to me that makes more then sense.

      I greatly enjoyed it, more then his hate filled quest to kill Tywin. And I enjoyed it much better that he suffered, and still suffers that he killed Shae. I liked it much better then him killing her in cold blood.

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    12. Sean C.:
      Why do they even have him do the “thousand eyes and one” line when the guy clearly has two eyes (as does Von Sydow in the promo photos we’ve seen)?

      I really don’t understand this criticism.

      Why he has to have one eye? “Thousand eyes and one” is a metaphor. We don’t know that in the books he really has 1000 eyes.

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    13. Love this whole episode – this is what should have won the Emmy! My favorite scene is Jon taking Ygritte to the true north. So Shakespearean, sad and romantic…

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    14. With this in mind, my Season 4 list would have to go:

      1. The Mountain and the Viper
      2. The Lion and the Rose
      3. Mockingbird
      4. Two Swords
      5. First of His Name
      6. The Laws of Gods and Men
      7. The Children
      8. Breaker of Chains
      9. Watchers on the Wall
      10. Oathkeeper

      Strong season (3>1>4>5>2) that suffers from some storylines not having enough to do (King’s Landing benefits the most from splitting A Storm of Swords but others like Daenerys suffer). The finale was extremely well-constructed, even though it felt a bit too stuffed for my taste (I still think Stannis’s arrival should have cut off the previous installment, for example and I’m not fond that Tyrion and Shae didn’t exchange one piece of dialogue before her murder). The ending, however, is perfect and Djawadi did his best musical work yet.

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    15. The far reaching mean of the titles are as much fun to decipher as the music of Ramin Djawadi on the soundtracks before the episodes air. The Children is yet another example of how The Red Woman could mean so many different things for the season opener. Until I have figured out how to block spoilers I am doomed to keep my speculations to myself. However, the episode was the perfect anti-climax to set the characters into uncharted territory. (Daenarys without her dragons in a city she could not hold onto, Arya and Tyrion across the Narrow Sea, Bran into training, and Jon Snow in the company of a king his father died for). Bravo to a fan favorite Season 4.

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    16. Wonderful recap! I always look forward to reading these because, no matter how many times I’ve watched each season, someone else will ultimately see something I missed or catch something I never thought of. This first 40 has been a lot of fun.

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    17. mau,

      Because the “and one” is a reference to his having one eye.

      I’m not at all saying this is something that people watching the show would notice or care about. But changing the character’s physical appearance (in a way that makes him less distinctive, which as I said, I view as a mistake for other reasons) but still having him make a reference from the books that refers to his original appearance just strikes me as pointless.

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    18. Bri,

      Spoilers work this way.

      [ spoiler ] don’t put spaces there, i put them just to show you how, and end the spoiler with [ /spoiler ] again without spaces.

      Like this:

      don’t put spaces there, i put them just to show you how, and end the spoiler with

      again without spaces.

        Quote  Reply

    19. I think that S4 was the best season so far. Everything that was set up from S1 finally paid off. The only exception was the RW that happened season before. That was also something we were waiting from S1.

      S3 ended the conflict between the Lannisters and the Starks and that was the main storyline in the first 3 seasons, but in S4 we are able to see how House Lannister is starting to fall apart.

      Tywin’s death is really game-changing moment for thestory and especially for the Lannisters. I think his death and RW had the most influence on the show.

      S4 ended Arya’s and Tyrion’s stories in Westeros. S4 ended Sansa’s storyline in KL and gave the answer on the first mystery. We find out who killed Jon Arryn.

      S4 ended Dany’ s conqueror arc. She became a ruler.

      Also S4 and Dragonstone’s storyline and put Stannis, Davos and Mel in the North. Brans’ journey finally ended in S4. And the Willdings were finally defeated.

      So many things we waited from S1 or S2 happened this season.

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    20. Akash Singh,

      1. The Lion and the Rose
      2. Two Swords
      3. The Children
      4. First of His Name
      5. The Laws of Gods and Men
      6. Breaker of Chains
      7. The Mountain and the Viper
      8. The Watchers on the Wall
      9. Oathkeeper
      10. Mockingbird

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    21. Stannis’ arrival up North really had me going. I actually believed this would be the turning point in his story where he would prove himself worthy, by helping Jon lead the fight against the WW – and eventually paving the way for daughter Shireen to take the throne. I’m such a dummy. 🙂

      …the two fathers whose influence is most heavily felt in the actions of their children are Eddard Stark and Tywin Lannister.

      I’ve had the weird idea the Stark and Lannister parents ended up with the wrong kids. Tywin might have been a better father for the Stark siblings, teaching them to be more cautious and calculating; the Lannister siblings would have benefited with the Starks’ disciplined tough love and emotional security.

      Speaking of the Lannister siblings, I made the mistake of listening to the DVD commentary for “The Children” by Peter, Lena and Nikolaj. Thanks to them I can’t watch any scenes of this episode now with a straight face because I keep remembering their hilarious comments. 🙂

      Only 11 days left!

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    22. Flora Linden:
      I’ve had the weird idea the Stark and Lannister parents ended up with the wrong kids. Tywin might have been a better father for the Stark siblings, teaching them to be more cautious and calculating; the Lannister siblings would have benefited with the Starks’ disciplined tough love and emotional security.

      Why would Tywin not have wrecked the Stark kids like he did his own children? Well, I guess none of them started out as dwarves or otherwise in a way Tywin would regard as imperfect, so they wouldn’t have gotten the Tyrion treatment; but Jaime and Cersei were both perfectly in line with the Lannister ideal, and look how they turned out.

      Incidentally, while a lot of people view Cersei’s ineptitude as a total disconnect from Tywin, most of her more negative qualities are just exaggerated versions of her father’s (reflexive and excessive brutality, shortsightedness, lack of concern or empathy for anyone outside the family circle), lacking his strengths.

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    23. Amazing write-up, Greatjon of Slumber! 🙂

      I know that there are fans out there for whom “The Children” is a controversial episode. There are a number of reasons for that, at least two of which I’m sure will be discussed extensively in this thread. But I adore it. For me, this hour is a Top 5 episode of the series, the best season finale that Game of Thrones has given us to date, and a tremendous conclusion to my favorite season of the show thus far – which is also in the discussion for my favorite season of any television show, ever. Having the opportunity to see this remarkable piece of art in IMAX alongside another series highlight, “The Watchers on the Wall”, was an amazing experience. The Icelandic vistas that form the backdrop for Brienne’s battle with the Hound looked stunning on the big screen.

      I’d still consider the birth of Dany’s dragons “Fire and Blood” to be the best final scene and shot of any season finale, if not any episode. I’m not sure it will ever be topped. But I love the final shot of Arya sailing off towards the horizon, bound for Braavos and the unknown, as Ramin Djawdi’s beautiful theme “The Children” swells and rises. When the screen cut to black, I felt a level of exhilaration that I had seldom felt before, even after four years of watching this show that I love so dearly. It was exhilaration. It was gratitude. It was awe. It was possibility and – dare I say it – hope for the future. It was Game of Thrones at its very best.

      The only thing that even slightly brought me down was the knowledge of just how long we would have to wait for next season – and preemptive dread of the fiery hell that I knew would be rising up online over the absence of a certain character. So I didn’t do what I had done for every previous episode that season and race to the Internet to jump in to the discussion. I just sat there on my couch as the credits rolled, and kept sitting there as I waited for the encore airing of the episode. I wanted to experience it all again. More than any other episode of Game of Thrones up to that point, I didn’t want this one to end.

      I’ll get into specifics about the episode later, hopefully. That’s enough for now.

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    24. Mihnea,

      I hsd the same concerns, and the same pleasant surprise throughout this season. Before the season I reread the two books (and found it much easier reading this time since I knew so much more about the story from the show) and hoped that they would find a way to meld these stories together. And it worked for me. They took the best of each book and staged a sequence of events that made perfect sense, included some of my favorite moments, and added some that took my breath away. I was sorry that other moments were left out – but it looks like they decided to include those later in season 5 and 6, which now makes sense to me. So yes, very pleased with most of what I saw, and what I didn’t like, I could live with.

      This episode is probably my favorite finale; so many arcs completed not with an ending, but really a new beginning leading into season 5,

      BTW I am absolutely loving these memory pieces, thanks for the great writing and great walks down memory lane! We’ll all be very ready for Season 6, with these past seasons firmly in our heads.

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    25. Chinoiserie: Lol at the employment contract of Tywin’s raven in departures. But Ygritte, Grenn and Pyp died last episode.

      Yes, they did – but we see a shot of their dead bodies in this episode, which is why I referred to a “ceremonious” departure for them this time around, because they were given proper burials.

      Jared,

      Thanks! And nice thoughts, too. The end of this episode is a truly special one, because it leaves us with a note of hope, the first time that was done in the series, after Season 1 (rousing cheers because DRAGONS OMG), Season 2 (OMG WTF ZOMBIES AAAACH), and Season 3 (umm…what?).

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    26. Overall, this is a wonderful episode that is one of my favorites of the whole series.

      But it does bear mentioning that this episode contains what is, in my own opinion, the most glaring and detrimental omission from the books. I refer to the final encounter between Jaime and Tyrion and the omission of the Tysha confession.

      I really believe that there were many reasons to include that confession, and that without it Tyrion’s motive for risking his life to take Tywin’s makes little sense. Tysha was even mentioned, although not by name, in an earlier episode of season 4, so the audience should be aware of her still.

      It remains the only time I’ve said out loud while watching an episode of Thrones that something makes no sense. Tyrion’s decision to kill Tywin needs that impetus, because he has no idea about Tywin’s dalliance with Shae until after he’s already made the decision to kill him.

      And of course, outside of the story considerations, it would have been an amazing scene for Peter and Nikolai to act out.

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    27. Sean C.:
      mau,

      .But changing the character’s physical appearance (in a way that makes him less distinctive, which as I said, I view as a mistake for other reasons) but still having him make a reference from the books that refers to his original appearance just strikes me as pointless.

      The Bloodraven in the book would not be able to walk around with Bran. There is no reason for him to have a branch sticking out of his eye socket in the show.

      “A thousand eyes and one” can just as well mean “A thousand different eyes all connected as one”. It does not have to refer to his physical eyeball.

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    28. HousePotterz,

      I have to disagree. Tyrion doesn’t decide to kill Tywin before he sees Shae.
      Tyrion’s relation with Tywin is very different then in the books.
      That’s why I think he’s decision to confront his father makes sense.

      If Tyrion would have had the same relation with Tywin he had in the books, then I would agree.
      But the way their relationship was portrayed in the show, I think it made perfect sense.
      Won’t go in detail, as I already made my opinion clear couple of posts above.

      I just strongly disagree on this idea that he’s decision didn’t make sense. To me it did, and was a much stronger decision then his hate induced one in the books.

        Quote  Reply

    29. Busmans: The Bloodraven in the book would not be able to walk around with Bran. There is no reason for him to have a branch sticking out of his eye socket in the show.

      They’ll be walking around in visions, but regardless, the branch/eye socket is something I’d consider an acceptable change in an adaptation (apart from the difficulty of rendering that, it might be too distracting). But there’s no reason he couldn’t have an eyepatch, or even a white eye (like what Arya subsequently has) or whatever.

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    30. Sean C.:

      Why would Tywin not have wrecked the Stark kids like he did his own children?

      Maybe, maybe not. The Stark siblings don’t seem to be as inherently needy or all over the place emotionally as their Lannister counterparts. But it’s that whole “nature vs. nurture” thing, I guess. How much is the result of how they’re raised or the core personality they’re born with, regardless of circumstance?

      As Greatjon of Slumber pointed out, Arya demonstrated plenty of ruthlessness. The S2 scenes with her and Tywin show she could hold her own with him.

      We see Jon’s progression to independent leadership, and even Sansa is finally becoming harder in her worldview. Tywin would certainly have disapproved of their decency, but I think they would have been more calculating and flexible in their thinking much sooner with him.

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    31. Lack of Tysha in this episode was baffling.

      Tywin’s death simply doesn’t make as much sense in the TV continuity as a result – or not nearly as much.

      And even putting motivations aside, its absence robs the scene of what was potentially a hammer-blow shock which still has book readers reeling: Tysha was never a whore, and Tywin knew the entire time, even when he was being relatively pleasant to Tyrion; for one brief shining instant we see the real Tywin, how utterly petty he actually is, childish even, despite the fact that in his outward persona he always acts like he only does things for rational albeit ruthless reasons.

      Protest this all you want: the failure of not mentioning Tysha in this …isn’t just going to fade away over time. The fact that people still complain about it.

        Quote  Reply

    32. This episode is simply incredible. It is my favorite non-battle episode, my second favorite of season 4 and my fourth favorite overall. It is one of the few episodes where I found every single scene amazing. And no, from TV perspective I wasn’t bothered by Tysha omission. Like Mihnea said, Tyrion is a different character on TV.

      And I was really sad that one of the best actors (Charles Dance) had to leave the show at this point. Season 4 was really focused on Tywin and this guy is absolutely incredible.

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    33. The Dragon Demands:
      Lack of Tysha in this episode was baffling.

      Tywin’s death simply doesn’t make as much sense in the TV continuity as a result – or not nearly as much.

      And even putting motivations aside, its absence robs the scene of what was potentially a hammer-blow shock which still has book readers reeling:Tysha was never a whore, and Tywin knew the entire time, even when he was being relatively pleasant to Tyrion; for one brief shining instant we see the real Tywin, how utterly petty he actually is, childish even, despite the fact that in his outward persona he always acts like he only does things for rational albeit ruthless reasons.

      Protest this all you want:the failure of not mentioning Tysha in this …isn’t just going to fade away over time.The fact that people still complain about it.

      Yes. We are all aware of your disappointment. In fact, the whole Wikia is full of it. And why exactly did you revert my change, when I removed the reference to the beetle scene on Tysha page (which has absolutely nothing to do with her). You basically called that scene bad and unnecessary.

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    34. The Dragon Demands,

      The scene from the premiere of season 3 where Tyrion asks Tywin for Casterly Rock is all the justification Tyrion needed to kill Tywin. Tywin’s death made perfect sense to the vast majority of the audience, including the Unsullied that I watched it with. The reason I believe you don’t understand the scene is because you’re having trouble separating the book from the show.

      As for Tysha, I was mildly surprised by the revelation, but I didn’t find it particularly shocking. Considering all of the horrible things Tywin has done, such as ransacking cities, organizing mass murders, and sending monsters like Lorch and Clegane to rape and pillage the smallfolk in the Riveerlands, this seemed relatively minor. I agree that her inclusion in the books made Tywin’s death more powerful, but it’s difficult to say how it would have translated on the screen. The show’s version was powerful enough without her, due to great writing and the amazing performances by Dinklage and Dance.

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    35. Deesensfan:
      The Dragon Demands,

      As someone who has no idea who Tysha is…. Tyrion killing Tywin made SO much sense.

      Him being a regular visitor on westeros.org pretty much says everything. I would not even bother with him if I didn’t care for Wikia.

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    36. Sean C.:
      mau,

      Because the “and one” is a reference to his having one eye.

      In the books. It can be used as a metaphor.

      I view as a mistake for other reasons) but still having him make a reference from the books that refers to his original appearance just strikes me as pointless.

      It is not pointless. It sounds mysterious. It sounds good.

      Just like “The Stories from the Thousand and One Nights”.

      Why not only thousand nights? Because this way is sounds better.

        Quote  Reply

    37. Flora Linden,

      I don’t really think Ned’s example ever hindered Jon. I mean, Jon definitely did go through major changes in worldview, but those weren’t specifically connected to Ned. In the show, Robb’s major downfall was marrying Talisa, which was the exact opposite of what Ned’s example would have suggested he do. The girls both got screwed over by Ned’s decisions, though, definitely.

      There’s always a balance of what personality traits are genetic and which are the result of experience, but in terms of things like emotional neediness, that’s pretty clearly nurture, as far as I’m concerned. Ned’s kids are emotionally secure (to the extent they are; Arya and to a lesser extent Jon had some pretty huge insecurities) because they had a loving family. Cersei and Jaime had a cold and unloving man for a dad.

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    38. Lord Parramandas,

      Ah, explains it.
      Does he run the Wikia?

      I just don’t see how it didn’t make sense. S3E01 – the scene with Tywin and Tyrion…. that, on its own, is enough to want to kill your terrible father – adding to that how Tywin wanted him executed. Etc etc….

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    39. This is honestly one of the best episodes ever,most certainly the best season finale to date.The tysha thing is so trivial imo it seemed so unnecessary in the books when i read it i was yelling at jaime to stop talking.And it’s clear in the show that the writers decided to give tysha’s role to shae they really loved each other and she was the most important woman in his life.Her betrayal is what made him kill his father or at least was the last nail in the coffin.

      I think this made it much more powerful to the audience than something that was mentioned twice in the course of the series

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    40. Deesensfan:
      Lord Parramandas,

      Ah, explains it.
      Does he run the Wikia?

      I just don’t see how it didn’t make sense. S4E01 – the scene with Tywin and Tyrion…. that, on its own, is enough to want to kill your terrible father – adding to that how Tywin wanted him executed. Etc etc….

      He runs a Wikia and he does not allow any changes on his contributions (refering them as “administrator level edits”). He threatens with bans every time someone speaks against him and usually, he locks the pages when the new episode airs, so he can edit it himself. He is very critical to Tv show and his contributions are very subjective and harsh. The Wikia is now more about comparison to the books than the TV show itself.

      Just check what he wrote about Tysha on the EPISODE page
      http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/The_Children#Tywin_and_Tyrion.27s_closing_scene

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    41. Complaints about BR’s eyes and how that ” doesn’t make sense” was one of the most irritating arguments from the book purists.

      I can understand some other complaints, but this is pure lack of imagination and nitpick.

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    42. Jenny:
      The tysha thing is so trivial imo it seemed so unnecessary in the books when i read it i was yelling at jaime to stop talking.

      How is that trivial? The Tysha episode is at the core of Book Tyrion’s mental development, everything from his messed up relationships with women to his conviction that he’s unlovable.

      mau,

      I never said it was some sort of continuity problem. It’s just emblematic, to me, of what I view as the mistake of making Bloodraven look so ordinary, which is aggravated by having him reference one of the things the show changed in the process of doing so. Bloodraven is meant to be otherworldly and creepy, and the show’s version is neither.

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    43. Lord Parramandas,

      ahhh okay
      thanks for explaining

      Well you know theres a problem when the author of the books himself has said books and show are different, but some of the fandom chose not to accept that and therefore cannot enjoy the show for what it really is. But that’s like 10% of the fandom, and their own loss.

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    44. Lord Parramandas,

      Ah. Annoying

      Why would they mention/add her in the final scene? I don’t even know who she is? if she is supposed to be his first love – for show watchers only – they only mentioned her like ONE time.

      Tyrion killing Tywin made so much sense in the show, as is. Even before he sees Shae

        Quote  Reply

    45. I personally did not miss Tysha. I think there would have been several problems with introducing it.

      One: Go back and watch “Baelor,” and Shae’s comments show how little sense the actual Tysha story makes. Shae makes the point that a woman does not sleep with a man the same night she is almost gang-raped; so of course she was a prostitute, and Tyrion should have known. The book version of events has it that Tysha really did, in fact, fall in love with him, which is hard for me to believe, which leads me to…

      Two: The love between Tyrion and Tysha would have been difficult to believe, and feel invested in, in a visual medium. Seeing is believing, and we never see their relationship. It would be hard for a few lines from Jaime to make people completely reverse their understanding of what that relationship was. It would have also felt odd for an off-screen romance to be the main catalyst for Tywin’s death. Making it a combination of Shae, the sentencing, and Tywin’s dickishness in general I think makes more sense.

      Three: The actual story behind Tysha is intricate and difficult to remember completely. My parents are Unsullied, and they remember vaguely that Tyrion was married before and Tywin put a squash on it. Jaime’s revelation only makes sense if you remember that he had hired a woman to be a pretend-victim, and that he later confessed to doing it before Tywin forced Tyrion to watch his wife sleep with multiple people. I think those details are essential for the revelation, but are easy to forget and difficult to remind audience members of without a flashback.

      I mostly just don’t think it was necessary, though. The vast majority of Unusllied reactions were perfectly clear on why Tyrion would want to confront his father before leaving (whether it was to kill him or just verbally confront him). The motivations for killing Tywin were already emotionally charged enough (even without Shae’s death). The version that the show has is significantly less confusing but just as gripping as the book version, I think.

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    46. I can understand why D&D cut Tysha. And I really don’t buy an argument that the audience wouldn’t know who she was. I think that was just an excuse, they simply didn’t like it.

      In S5 for example, they used Benjen in Jon’s death scene and no one mentioned Benjen for how long? 3-4 seasons? They were not concerned that the audience would forget him.

      And they used something from S1 as a reason for Cersei’s downfall in S5. Yes, they reminded the audience with one scene in 5×01, but it was very superficial.

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    47. Sean C.,

      Thanks for the reply. I would add that TV Shireen (I don’t know what she’s like in the books) seems to be an exception – she’s a genuinely decent and level-headed personality, considering her upbringing and what she’s been through.

      As for Robb marrying Talisa, I think it had less to do with Ned than with Catelyn. She had disobeyed him and released Jaime on her own for her own purposes. Yes, to get back Arya and Sansa, but it made Robb lose credibility as King. So, when Cat gave him the correct advice regarding Talisa, he was in no mood to listen and obey. It cost both of them, of course.

      Thanks for the convo. 🙂

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    48. Mihnea:
      HousePotterz,

      I have to disagree. Tyrion doesn’t decide to kill Tywin before he sees Shae.
      Tyrion’s relation with Tywin is very different then in the books.
      That’s why I think he’s decision to confront his father makes sense.

      If Tyrion would have had the same relation with Tywin he had in the books, then I would agree.
      But the way their relationship was portrayed in the show, I think it made perfect sense.
      Won’t go in detail, as I already made my opinion clear couple of posts above.

      I just strongly disagree on this idea that he’s decision didn’t make sense. To me it did, and was a much stronger decision then his hate induced one in the books.

      If the conclusion the viewer was supposed to draw was that Tyrion intended initially to confront his father, and then made the decision to murder him after he encountered Shae, than they did a poor job of showing it.

      Let me be clear. I’m as happy as the next guy we didn’t get 50 repetitions of “Where do whores go?” in season 5, but Tysha is THE reason that Tyrion goes to confront Tywin.

      I suppose it comes down to how you view Tyrion’s character. To me, his show version has always been a crafty survivor much less prone to direct or indirect violence than his book counterpart. In that context, the show version of Tyrion seems like he would take this 11th hour rescue and do what he does best: survive. Certainly not go off on some search for closure with the man who sentenced him to die, even if that man is his father. What conclusion could a not-necessarily-violent confrontation have had? Surely it would have ended with his re-imprisonment.

      Then you also have to consider his parting on good terms with Jaime. In the books, he goes off after Tywin with hate in his heart and doesn’t care what repercussions his actions will have for Jaime, because he hates Jaime too for his role in it.

      But in the show version of events, a clever little dwarf who owes his life to the brother who saved him would surely at least be concerned that the confrontation with Tywin he’s about to undertake might result in some bad things happening to said brother…

      All of this could have been alleviated by a more true adaptation, and the reasons I’ve seen for why it was changed don’t convince me it was the right call.

      And in case I’m confused for a book purist, I think the omission of LSH is easily one of the best decisions Dan and Dave have made.

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    49. Sean C.,

      Maybe trivial is not the best world but i was upset cause it ruined the only good relationship he had with a member of his family.Also i still believe it was not necessary in the show,his relationship with women is not nearly as messed up in the show and i think he did believe that shae loved him.It was only after her betryal that he spiraled
      Also tbh i could have done without all the “where do whores go” in the fifth book

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    50. I think they cut Tysha because they want Tyrion’s and Tywin’s last confrontation to be about them, not about some other person.

      I think the perfect thing would have been Shae’s death as a catalyst for Tywin’s death.

      Jaime would inform Tyrion that Shae was forced to testify against him and that after that Tywin’s man raped and murdered her.

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    51. Flora Linden: But it’s that whole “nature vs. nurture” thing, I guess. How much is the result of how they’re raised or the core personality they’re born with, regardless of circumstance?

      As Greatjon of Slumber pointed out, Arya demonstrated plenty of ruthlessness. The S2 scenes with her and Tywin show she could hold her own with him.

      In a way perhaps the Stark kids could have been toughened up by Tywin if they spent like a summer camp with him at Casterly Rock and same with the Lannisters in Winterfell. But any more than that and I’d fear for Tywin doing some lasting damages to the Starks.

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    52. Sean C.: I don’t really think Ned’s example ever hindered Jon. I mean, Jon definitely did go through major changes in worldview, but those weren’t specifically connected to Ned.

      Jon Snow elects to try to save the Wildling population, which the Night’s Watch has been arming itself against for centuries, believing others will see the honorable intention in this and look beyond their pettiness and need to score political points in favor of a larger goal, when it is shown, more often than not, in history, that it takes a threat of a truly global scale for people to come to this kind of common ground. But Ned Stark’s son thought he could accomplish this, because of what he had seen. And he ended up stabbed by 8 of his “brothers” as a result. So yes, he was poorly served, in a sense, by his father. Robb, too, thought he could simply use honorable intentions – even after making a big mistake – to walk away from Walder Frey’s Twins alive.

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    53. Greatjon of Slumber,

      I think that’s kind of dubious. Jon is 100% correct that they need every man they can to fight the White Walkers, and he goes to some lengths to explain this. He knew this would be controversial when he did it. Avoiding the hard calls because it’s risky is not what Westeros needs from the Lord Commander.

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    54. Hodor Targaryen:
      One: Go back and watch “Baelor,” and Shae’s comments show how little sense the actual Tysha story makes. Shae makes the point that a woman does not sleep with a man the same night she is almost gang-raped; so of course she was a prostitute, and Tyrion should have known.

      So, Gilly is a prostitute as well?

      HousePotterz,
      +1,000,000

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    55. HousePotterz,

      If the conclusion the viewer was supposed to draw was that Tyrion intended initially to confront his father, and then made the decision to murder him after he encountered Shae, then they did a poor job of showing it.

      They really didn’t.

      People like you did a poor job of appreciating it, because you’re too obsessed with what happened in the books.

      Let me be clear. I’m as happy as the next guy we didn’t get 50 repetitions of “Where do whores go?” in season 5, but Tysha is THE reason that Tyrion goes to confront Tywin.

      Not in the show she’s not.

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    56. Sean C.:
      Greatjon of Slumber,

      I think that’s kind of dubious.Jon is 100% correct that they need every man they can to fight the White Walkers, and he goes to some lengths to explain this.He knew this would be controversial when he did it.Avoiding the hard calls because it’s risky is not what Westeros needs from the Lord Commander.

      True. But his naïveté is that he thought his brothers in black would agree.

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    57. Greatjon of Slumber:

      In a way perhaps the Stark kids could have been toughened up by Tywin if they spent like a summer camp with him at Casterly Rock and same with the Lannisters in Winterfell. But any more than that and I’d fear for Tywin doing some lasting damages to the Starks.

      That’s actually not a terrible idea. That would give them a taste of the outside world and a bit of experience. But your right – too much exposure to Tywin becomes toxic. 🙂

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    58. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      HousePotterz,

      They really didn’t.

      People like you did a poor job of appreciating it, because you’re too obsessed with what happened in the books.

      I guess you skipped the part where I said that cutting LSH was the best thing the show did. I suppose it’s just easier to disagree with me if you lump me into the book purist category and move on.

      And yes, I know that on the show Tysha is not the reason Tyrion goes to confront Tywin. That was a change in adaptation by the show that is the nature of the adaptation process, but whereas much of the show’s adaptation has been totally understandable, if not necessary, and much to the benefit of the overall story, this particular change was not.

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    59. I was Unsullied when I watched this and also thought it was odd that Tyrion went to confront Tywin instead of immediately escaping. I don’t mind that they cut Tysha, but it did make this scene a little problematic for me.

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    60. HousePotterz,

      But we’re not talking about LSH. We’re talking about this scene in S4 E10 and the issue about Tysha, regarding which you quite blatantly are blinded by what happened in the books.

      99.9% of viewers fully appreciated that scene exactly how it was and understood Tyrion’s motivations perfectly well.

      It’s only a minority of book purists who are still grumblng, nearly two years later, about the fact that the producers chose not to unnecessarily confuse an otherwise straightforward series of events by having Tyrion bring up a character mentioned 30-odd episodes earlier.

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    61. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      HousePotterz,

      But we’re not talking about LSH. We’re talking about this scene in S4 E10 and the issue about Tysha, regarding which you quite blatantly are blinded by what happened in the books.

      99.9% of viewers fully appreciated that scene exactly how it was and understood Tyrion’s motivations perfectly well.

      It’s only a minority of book purists who are still grumblng, nearly two years later, about the fact that the producers chose not to unnecessarily confuse an otherwise straightforward series of events by having Tyrion bring up a character mentioned 30-odd episodes earlier.

      You seem to be reading an awful lot into what I’m saying here. I’d suggest that you read the actual words I’m writing and not introducing some anti-book purist subtext to what I’ve written. If you do that, you will note that I called this episode as a whole fantastic and one of my favorites of the series. I also have applauded several major changes that the show has made in relation to the books. I am simply offering an opinion that is adverse to your own. I am not “blinded” by anything other than my accursed nearsightedness, but yes, I do have an opinion of that sequence of this episode that is colored by having read the books beforehand. This is an adaptation of those books, after all.

      In the books, the actual sequence of events is substantially the same: Tyrion expects to die any moment, Jaime comes in and releases him, Tyrion takes a detour to kill Shae and Tywin before doing the actual escaping. The major difference is that the books give Tyrion one profound reason to want to kill Tywin immediately, and I refer of course to Jaime’s confession about Tysha. Any viewer of the show who has also read the books is going to have some kind of general idea about the circumstances surrounding an event on the show that is affected by what they read. This does not make them a book purist, at least as I understand them. A book purist would find any change from the source material unacceptable simply by the fact that it is a change. If you read what I am saying, that is not where I fall.

      I simply feel that the motivation that Tyrion has in the book is a more convincing motivation to risk his life, his newly granted freedom, literally everything he has, to embark on a confrontation with Tywin and all of the unknowns that come along with that. You need only reference Endophile’s post above that even some Unsullied viewers found his motives on the show a bit weak for such a momentous undertaking.

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    62. Hodor Targaryen,

      I agree with your points. And I also think, as some have said, that Tysha and LSH are some of the corniest, most cliché things Martin ever wrote. I’m glad they were cut. And I hate book 5 Tyrion so much that I’m glad he has a different arch on TV.

      How does killing the father who hated and wanted you dead all your life makes little sense? Honestly, I don’t know any unsullied who thought this was out of character.

      It’s one of my favourite episodes, and I absolutely loved the review. Congratulations on the analysis to Greatjon!

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    63. HousePotterz,

      You don’t appear to “simply feel” that the motivation Tyrion has in the book is a more convincing motivation.

      You stated that it was a “glaring and detrimental omission”; that the scene “makes no sense” otherwise; that Tysha “is THE reason” that Tyrion confronts Tywin; that Tyrion’s decision to kill Tywin “needs that impetus”; and that the producers did a “poor job” of otherwise establishing Tyrion’s motivations.

      That’s more than simply feeling, that’s the language of somebody plainly blinded by a bias.

      The overwhelming majority of people quite blatantly saw no such “glaring and detrimental omission”.

      I guarantee you that I could go out right now and question a few hundred random Game of Thrones viewers, bring up the Tyrion/Tywin death scene, ask them “didn’t you find it odd that Tyrion didn’t confront Tywin about Tysha during that scene?” and it would be a miracle if the response from any more than a handful of them, at best, was anything other than “Who?”.

      Your assessment of the scene and the characters’ motivations is obviously warped by the book material, whereas most viewers have absolutely no such issues.

      Here’s probably a decent gauge of the average fan’s opinion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMoNv6yOSCQ.

      Yep. Just a handful of comments whining about Tysha among the thousands of comments posted. 2055 likes to 35 dislikes. Seems like the scene made sense to most people.

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    64. Busmans,

      He only had one eye when he could walk around. It was taken out during a battle with his half-brother Bittersteel. So even when he was hand of the king and not attached to a tree … he had one eye. The thousand referred to his spies … whether human or otherwise

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    65. mau,

      I agree. That would have been neater … or just that he saw Shae in Tywin’s bedchambers …after he had said he’d kill the next whore he found in Tyrion’s bed … that would have been much better motiviation than something that happened a decade or more ago

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    66. I’m another unsullied who had no problem understanding why Tyrion killed Tywin. Although I should acknowledge, when I heard about the reveal in the books, I didn’t care for it. Let Tysha remain an unfortunate whore, and Jon remain a bastard (I suspect I’m in a smaller minority there).

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    67. So much new stuff posted today, its taken me hours to reach this topic! A great recap by ‘Greatjon of Slumber’.

      For me this was the best finale and Season 4 the best season.

      Tyrion killing his father whilst sitting on the bog was classic. A pity that was the last we will see of Charles Dance. His portrayal of Tywin Lannister was superb. HBO couldn’t have chosen a better actor to play the part.

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    68. Tywin of the Hill,

      I think the difference was his talk with Mance after the battle. Before, he thought that if the Wildlings made it south of the Wall, there would be nothing that would stop them from killing and plundering as they please. But Mance explains later on that he does not want any more bloodshed and all he wants to do is escape the WWs. So Jon changes his stance too.

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    69. On the omission of Tysha I will have only this to say: Next time I read the newspapers and come upon a story where a son murders his father, I will contact the police and ask them whether said father had been guilty of destroying a teen marriage years before and if he had the young bride monstrously raped. I will also ask them if there is a brother involved who belatedly divulged the truth to the killer. If not, I’ll not believe the official version of events, because it is obvious that only in such circumstances can there ever be sufficient motivation for patricide. History tells us that no one ever killed their parents unless precisely such conditions were met.

      Those newspapers articles? Obvious fan fiction, and bad one at that.

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    70. Ramsay's 20th Good Man:

      I guarantee you that I could go out right now and question a few hundred random Game of Thrones viewers, bring up the Tyrion/Tywin death scene, ask them “didn’t you find it odd that Tyrion didn’t confront Tywin about Tysha during that scene?” and it would be a miracle if the response from any more than a handful of them, at best, was anything other than “Who?”.

      And if you asked them “Didn’t you find it odd that Tyrion would risk his newly gained freedom and his life to talk with his father?”, what would they respond?

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    71. HousePotterz,

      I would never call anyone a purist for Tysha. I know very well that the majority off book-fandom disagrees with me.

      Again you are confusing Book Tyrion and Show Tyrion. Tyrion in the show doesn’t go out of anger to Tywin, to kill him, like in the books.
      He goes because he’s life doesn’t really have a meaning anymore, and he wants to confront his father, his tormentor, the man that wanted him death, the man that was supposed to love him.

      I will stress it beyond posible. Tyrion’s relation with Tywin is astronomical different in the show. Tyrion in the show cares about having Tywin’s approvel, while he doesn’t give a fuck in the books. Tywin’s words actaully hurt him, unlike in the books where they just confirm his feelings.
      That is why to me this moment, not only made sense, but I loved it even more then the moment in the books.

      Him seeing Shae, again a stark difference from the books. Look at his eyes, he is clearly beyond hurt, by seeing the love of his life in his fathers bed. That is the final nail. Tyrion doesn’t kill her coldly like he does in the books. It happens in the spur of a moment. Something he regrets deeply.

      I thought in the books it was a lazy, corny and painfully cliche moment. I knew the truth from the first time she was mentioned but hoped I would be wrong.
      Her reveal to me was just painfully bad and is, along with LSH, the only things I dislike about ASOS.
      This is why to me Tysha’s ommision ranks up there with LSH”s as a steller decision.

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    72. Tywin of the Hill,

      They would respond ”No” as around 7 of my friends responded.

      Tyrion doesn’t care about his freedom, what does it bring him anymore? He has no future, at this point, everything was taken from him by his father and the women he loved.

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    73. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      People simply confuse BookTyrion with ShowTyrion.

      YES!! BookTyrion would never heve went to his father just for answers, because he already knows them and suspects them for a long time.

      ShowTyrion is very different! Thankfully.

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    74. Darkrobin,

      In the books.
      In the show it can be just a nice methaphor. Like, he watched them with a thousand eyes, ravens, different animals if posible, Weirwood,…etc But led to the same pair, his.

      It’s a nice line and I don’t see how him having 2 eyes takes away from the moment.

      I will not disscuss if he should have 2 eyes. I’m a rabid opponent to eye-patches and things like this, so my view here is entirely subjective.

      Euron doesn’t have one!!!!!! See, I’m quite subjective on this topic. 😛

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    75. Mihnea,

      I’ve just rewatched the S3E1 scene between Tywin and Tyrion, and he doesn’t seem particularly hurt by Tywin’s words. His face seems more like “I’ve heard this speech a hundred times”. I don’t think he’s as dependent on his father’s approval as you make it out to be.

      Tyrion doesn’t care about his freedom, what does it bring him anymore?

      Freedom brings him freedom. And of course he thinks he has a future. He might feel a little depressive, but he’s no Reek.

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    76. Tywin of the Hill,

      Well here we just have to disagree.
      At that point he doesn’t have a future, he has no prospects in life.

      Let’s just put a end to this. You didn’t see what I saw, I clearly don’t see what you see.

      I’m just glad that the writers share some of the same complains about the story that I did.

      I’m sorry you didn’t get what you wanted. But I did.

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    77. Tywin of the Hill,

      My final point, and comment to you. I already broke my promise not to speak with you after that Stannis mess.

      You are confusing BookTyrion again with ShowTyrion.
      They are very different. Tyrion in the books would take advantege of his escape and not give a fuck of Tywin.

      But in the show he clearly does. He wants answers. He want’s to confront his tormentor. He wants those answers much more then a future without prospects. And is ready to risk his life for them. Then he meats Shae and that’s the final nail in the coffin. Here again we must separate the books from show, as both characters and their relation is very different.

      He was much more broken on the show then in the books.
      He was much more depressed in the show. In the books he doesn’t really care that Tywin wants him dead, nor is he affected by Shae’s testimony. Because he know she is a whore in the books.

      While he loves her in the show. And is broken by her testimony.

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    78. Mihnea,

      This is me. Don’t know why it doesn’t show my name…
      EDIT: Now it does…wierd.

      I also disagree with this idea that he should chose the option that gives him maximum survival chances.
      What if answers are more important to him then drinking himself to death at the end of the world.
      What if him confronting his tormentor, his father, something he never did, is more important to him then a life on the run from Cersei’s hired goons.

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    79. Ramsay's 20th Good Man:
      HousePotterz,

      You don’t appear to “simply feel” that the motivation Tyrion has in the book is a more convincing motivation.

      You stated that it was a “glaring and detrimental omission”; that the scene “makes no sense” otherwise; that Tysha “is THE reason” that Tyrion confronts Tywin; that Tyrion’s decision to kill Tywin “needs that impetus”; and that the producers did a “poor job” of otherwise establishing Tyrion’s motivations.

      That’s more than simply feeling, that’s the language of somebody plainly blinded by a bias.

      The overwhelming majority of people quite blatantly saw no such “glaring and detrimental omission”.

      I guarantee you that I could go out right now and question a few hundred random Game of Thrones viewers, bring up the Tyrion/Tywin death scene, ask them “didn’t you find it odd that Tyrion didn’t confront Tywin about Tysha during that scene?” and it would be a miracle if the response from any more than a handful of them, at best, was anything other than “Who?”.

      Your assessment of the scene and the characters’ motivations is obviously warped by the book material, whereas most viewers have absolutely no such issues.

      Here’s probably a decent gauge of the average fan’s opinion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMoNv6yOSCQ.

      Yep. Just a handful of comments whining about Tysha among the thousands of comments posted. 2055 likes to 35 dislikes. Seems like the scene made sense to most people.

      I see you must have attended the Charlie Sheen School of Internet Argument. All about the winning, duh.

      I suppose I should be pleased that you did use my actual words like I requested, but you used them to construct an argument I have not put forth here. I have no doubt that if you used the same disingenuous methods to conduct your hypothetical survey as you have in debating within this thread, you’d get exactly the results you’re looking for.

      I’m not asking you or anyone else to agree with my opinion, and I’m fine agreeing to disagree on this, but if you can’t understand that by having read A Storm of Swords before watching this scene that I might have some preconceived notions about the how and why of it all, you aren’t worth the words to try and explain it.

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    80. HousePotterz,

      I absolutely understand that you would have preconceived notions about the scene having read A Storm of Swords before watching it. That’s the point. Your analysis of the scene and the motivations of the characters is evidently warped by your preconceptions.

      Which is why your declarations that the scene makes no sense, suffers from glaring omissions and so on are biased and therefore not a fair reflection on it.

      We can agree to disagree, but you shouldn’t expect to go around saying that the scene makes no sense and that the producers did a poor job on elements of it, due to it not matching your book-based preconceptions, without being challenged on it.

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    81. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Then agree to disagree we shall. When you use words like “warped” and “blinded” to describe my opinion on the matter, it’s not hard to infer a negative and even a dismissive attitude in relation to that opinion.

      And for what it’s worth, I had no expectation of not being challenged on my thoughts, but there’s the fair way that Mihnea addressed them, and then there was your approach which I interpreted as very dismissive.

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    82. Tywin of the Hill,

      And if you asked them “Didn’t you find it odd that Tyrion would risk his newly gained freedom and his life to talk with his father?”, what would they respond?

      Some people would probably say yes, mainly under the premise that if they were in his shoes they would want to get the hell out of there. But it doesn’t mean that confronting Tywin about the woman he mentioned 31 episodes previously would be an acceptable or logical motivation for those people either. Most of them would probably find that odd too.

      But most people would probably answer no to the question and offer some variation on what Mihnea has already outlined: that Tyrion wanted one final showdown with Tywin, in what he believed would be his last opportunity to do so, gloves off.

      Others might believe that he was intent on revenge and intended to kill Tywin. Some might conclude that he had suspicions about Tywin and Shae. Some probably believe that he went there to confront Tywin about him using Shae against him, thus negating any need to mention Tysha at all.

      Overall I think it’d be obvious that the vast majority of people were perfectly satisfied with how events played out and their understanding and interpretation of Tyrion’s motivations.

      There simply was no need to shoehorn in references to a minor character, mentioned by name only once, never seen on screen, when you have established all the motivation for Tyrion’s behaviour throughout the rest of the season, and the entire series, perfectly well already.

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    83. Regarding the whole “Tyrion’s murder of Tywin makes no sense without Tysha” debate …

      I asked my Unsullied wife (who is pretty good at picking apart plot threads and character motivation) “So why did Tyrion kill Tywin?”

      She replied “Because Tywin was a dick and was fucking Tyrion’s whore.”

      So she certainly didn’t have any trouble understanding Tyrion’s motivation in that scene. Tysha was not that essential.

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    84. I would go as far as to say that this episode is the objectively best season finale, and very likely will never be topped. The chorus singing the GOT theme at the end as Arya approaches the port on horseback and then sets sail for Braavos is a height which I don’t believe the show can ever achieve again. It plays on repeat in my head and frequently on YouTube.

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    85. Josh L:
      Regarding the whole “Tyrion’s murder of Tywin makes no sense without Tysha” debate …

      I asked my Unsullied wife (who is pretty good at picking apart plot threads and character motivation) “So why did Tyrion kill Tywin?”

      She replied “Because Tywin was a dick and was fucking Tyrion’s whore.”

      So she certainly didn’t have any trouble understanding Tyrion’s motivation in that scene. Tysha was not that essential.

      Okay, but again, Tyrion has no knowledge that Tywin is fucking Shae until AFTER he’s already decided upon a confrontation with him. It can easily be understood as motive for killing Tywin. That isn’t the decision that Tyrion makes that is difficult for some people to understand.

      It’s his decision to go to the Tower of the Hand that is to some folks a questionable one, given his well established position on the show that “death is so final, whereas life…life is full of possibilities.”

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    86. HousePotterz,

      And between then and now, life brought Tyrion down it broke him. His father sentencing him to death, when he knew he was innocent, Shae, the women he loved betrayed him…etc.

      Again, I stress this again. I agree. Tyrion in the books would never have went to his father just for answers, he was very cynical about Tywin and knew well his fathers opinion. One moment that shows this difference, is in S1 when Tywin sends him to KL. Most book-readers where probaly thinking he was having the same thoughts as in the book, just because…well that’s what he thought in the books. But I thinks this is very wrong.

      In the books he knows his father just uses him, because he fears Jaime might die. In the show Tyrion is clearly moved by his words.

      Same with Shae. Her character is also different, so much that Martin himself praised Sibel, and said he wished he wrote a better Shae. In the books, he knows very well, that she doesn’t love him. But he clearly loved her in the show.

      I really think you are angry at the wrong thing. It’s Tyrions characterization that probaly affects you. He is no where near the cynic he is in the books and his relation with Shae and Tywin are greatly different.

      If you say that it’s Tyrions changes that bother you, then fine, I don’t think anyone will say anything against you. Of course as long as you keep it polite and don’t go all ”St.Tyrion”….

      His decision, based on his characterization in the show, throwing away all internal monologue from the books, because they are useless at how much different his relation with Shae/Tywin is, makes, to me and many others, as this thread shows, perfect sense.

      But I agree with you. BookTyrion would never have went to Tywin just to confront him. Once you manage to separate this 2 I think you will enjoy the scenes much more and start to understand them.

      That is how I do it. When I question why a certain character does something, I start questioning why he did that, how he felt during that moment. And judge it based on many things, from the actors face, to even the music.

      But I never add the internal monologue or backstory from the books.
      Just because a character in the books thought about certain things, in a certain way. Even if we may not hear him directly deny those thoughts, it doesn’t mean he thinks them the same way he did in the books.

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    87. I know this is about opinions and that all of us will never agree, but I still think Tyrion risking his life for answers (answers to what, exactly? “Did you wanted me death?” “Yes” “Why?” “‘Because you’re a dwarf and you killed your mother in labour. Also, I needed someone to blame for Joffrey’s murder and I’m a vicious c-word” “Were you going to sentence me to death?” “No, I offered you a deal to take the black” “And before that?” “Yes, I was. Seriously, where have you been the whole series?”) is odd, it doesn’t work for the TV-Tyrion (who’s not as sensitive as people make it out to be) and it doesn’t work in the series, once you consider the power of the survival instinct. I could, however, understand that the revelation of his only friend betraying him and of his whole approach to love being based on a lie would ultimately trump over his survival instinct.
      Again, this is personal opinnion, blah, blah, blah… so please don’t view this as an attack on your opinnions and let’s put aside this subject ’cause I have better things to do.

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    88. Doesn’t anyone think it was incredibly odd that Tywin had Shae in his bed? After all the times they said what he does to whores and how he has never smiled after his wife died?

      There is something fishy going on. In the books Varys takes Tyrion past the secret ladders that lead to Tywin’s chamber. “What’s that? Oh, that’s just some ladder that takes to your father’s chamber, you don’t want to go there. What’s that? You do? Well, luckily you won’t find anything that angers you there. What? Shae is there in your father’s bed? What a coincidence!”

      In my opinion Varys organized the whole thing planting Shae there probably after giving Tywin some laxatives to make sure he stays in the toilet for an hour. The fact that the show never had Varys there affirms this. They have left out some other foreshadowing clues before.

      Am I the only one who thinks this?

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