Saturday, July 13, 2024

Game of Thrones 4×10 Rewatch: The Shark Jump

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Welp, it’s been a long and mostly frustrating journey, but we have finally reached the end of our rewatch project, The Wars to Come. That’s right, the Game of Thrones season 4 finale truly marked the end-point of the show’s “good years,” as you’ll soon see when we proceed to break down the writing of Emmy winners David Benioff and Dan Weiss (D&D). Last week, we were left frustrated with an overly long half-battle, while this week, Kylie, Julia, Musa, and Jess are here to discuss “The Children.”

Episode Recap

The Wall is hardly free from danger, as Jon walks out to “treat” with Mance (hoping to really kill him). He is received into Mance’s tent, though Mance quickly pieces together why Jon truly came. Before anything can be done, a distant horn blows: it’s Stannis and an army of sellswords! They rush into the woods where the wildlings are camped, trapping them in a pincer movement. Mance surrenders. Jon introduces himself to Stannis, and at Stannis’s urging him, offers him the advice to take Mance as a prisoner rather than kill him.

Later, a mass-funeral is held for the fallen brothers in the Castle Black courtyard. Jon talks to Tormund inside later, who tells him that Ygritte should be given a funeral too, in “the real North.” Jon follows through on this, and walks away from her burning corpse sadly.

Quite a bit further north, Bran and his traveling companions reach their destination: the heart tree. As they approach, wights pop out from under the snow and attack them. Jojen is killed, and though Bran skinchanges into Hodor, he is unable to fight them all off. However a Child of the Forest comes to their rescue, flinging fireballs at the army of the wights. Meera, Bran, and Hodor all manage to escape into the cave, where the wights are incapable of entering.

There, they find an old man sitting against the tree roots. He tells Bran he’s been watching him, and that though he’ll never walk again, he’ll learn to fly.

Across the narrow sea, Dany continues to receive the citizens of Meereen. One is a former slave who asks that he be allowed to sell himself back into slavery, since the conditions for the freedmen are not fantastic, and as a slave he had a safety. Dany reluctantly agrees to let him, saying he must write a contract with his former master, though Barristan points out this will largely be taken advantage of. The next citizen brings the charred bones of his 3-year-old daughter, explaining that Drogon killed her. Dany decides to lock her dragons up beneath a pyramid, though Drogon is not able to be caught. She tearfully chains up Rhaegal and Viserion before shutting them in.

In the Vale, Pod improperly secured the horses, forcing him and Brienne to continue on foot. They happen across Arya and Sandor. At first, Arya and Brienne seem to bond, but Sandor quickly points out that Brienne must be paid by the Lannisters. This makes Arya distrustful of Brienne, even though Brienne mentions her vow to Cat. Brienne and Sandor end up fighting, and Brienne wins, leaving Sandor nearly dead.

However during the scuffle, Pod lost track of Arya, so the two head off in search of her. Arya waits for them to pass before finding Sandor. He asks her to kill him, and tries to goad her into it, but she takes his money and leaves him to die. Arya later rides a horse to a harbor, where she finds a ship captained by a Braavosi headed home. She hands him the coin that Jaqen had given her, and tells him “Valar Morghulis,” prompting the captain to offer her a cabin.

Finally, in King’s Landing, Pycelle tells Cersei that he is unable to save Gregor, who is suffering from an infection caused by the poison Oberyn used on his spear. Qyburn, however, indicates that he may be able to help, resulting in Cersei dismissing Pycelle from his own laboratory. Qyburn says the process may change Gregor.

Cersei and Tywin speak, with Tywin once again trying to press her wedding to Loras. She confesses to her incestuous relationship with Jaime, and tells him that she will tell everyone unless he drops this marriage idea. Tywin is left speechless. Cersei then goes to the White Tower to tell Jaime what happened, and how she loves him. He eagerly reciprocates, and the two proceed to have sex.

Later, Jaime frees Tyrion and helps him escape through underground tunnels, explaining that Varys has agreed to help too and is waiting for him at the other end. They embrace, though rather than continuing to the end of the tunnel, Tyrion turns to go to the Tower of the Hand. There, he finds Shae in Tywin’s bed. She tries to reach for a knife to attack him, but Tyrion is able to strangle her to death first.

He takes a crossbow and seeks out his father, sitting on the toilet. Tywin tries to get Tyrion to talk to him in a more proper setting, and insists that he would have never truly let Tyrion die. He reiterates that Tyrion is his son. Tyrion is distressed about Shae and tells his father he loves her. Tywin calls her a “whore” after Tyrion asks him not to, so Tyrion shoots him. Tywin declares “you are no son of mine” before Tyrion shoots him once more, killing him.

Tyrion finds Varys, who puts him on a ship to Essos. As Varys looks back towards the Red Keep, bells ring indicating that Tywin was found dead. Varys turns and boards the ship as well.

Initial, quick reaction

Kylie: I can’t remember which, but after one of these scenes I thought up some witty one-liner I planned on putting here. Then the show continued to get everything completely backwards for another 20 minutes, and I lost any capacity to be funny.

Back when Julia and I wrote our first retrospectives of Season 5, we found it so revelatory that everything was a near-perfect thematic opposite to the books for each plotline. Well, it shouldn’t have been a shock really. It began here, and with gusto. What an absolutely atrocious episode.

Julia: Wow, here it is, the episode that birthed a thousand book snobs. I don’t think I have a single good thing to say about it. Pycelle having a hissy fit was moderately funny?

This episode would be extremely comfortable in the latter half of the show, otherwise known as Classic Unabashed Book Snob Territory. Contradictory characterization, thoughtless world building, eye-rolling retcons, shoe-horned actions sequences, infuriating adaptational decisions, this episode has it all. Except for anachronistically groomed naked sex workers, I guess. Just wait a few episodes.

Musa: I do remember this being the first episode where I had a massive “What the f-ck was that?” reaction to the way most everything progressed and how certain plotlines were resolved. There’s no beating around the bush here, everything bad I have to say about the show can in some way, shape, or form be brought back around to the moment they dropped the Tysha reveal. Something I’m positive we’ll be getting into with great gusto here.

Jess: Yeah this rewatch really confirmed how obvious it was we were going to get a season like season 5. There were maybe still a few small moments that worked, but overall it made me frustrated. This episode really cemented the direction they decided to take these characters in for the future and how little respect they have for their audiences.


Kylie: I actually found Dany chaining up the dragons to be a really effective scene. I was sad for them, and for her, but it was seeded fine, and it makes total sense as a decision. It also made me pause the episode so I could hug Trys and tell him that I wouldn’t lock him up. Why this was chosen to be the culminating moment for her character this season is beyond me, but in isolation it’s fine.

It’s very hard to pick a lowlight here. I think I yelled at my screen the most during the Cersei/Tywin exchange? I definitely found my viewing experience to be the worst with the Brienne/Sandor duel. However, the Tyrion sequence played out so badly, so lacking in motivation, and so antithetical to the books, that I’ve got to choose it. We’ll get into it more later, I know, but the Tysha drop coupled with Shae reaching for a knife to kill him is just…how do you mess up this badly?

Jess: My highlight is also Meereen. I thought it was done for the most part pretty well, despite a lack of lead up and follow through, but in this singular episode I think they managed to tell a decent story. Emilia Clarke had some actual acting to chew on and the sound design for those dragon cries were spot on.

Lowlight…where to begin? I think Im gonna have to concur and also say the Tysha drop. It frustrates me to no end, not to mention fails to make the scene make sense/have the same impact the scene they are adapting does. Why does he decide to risk his life to try and kill Tywin after a nice goodbye with Jaime? Where does that split-second decision come from?

A close second for me is most definitely the horrible Child of the Forest fireballs and Skeletor wights. What an awful way to adapt that scene.

Julia: The music was nice?

No seriously, I’m having trouble thinking of one thing I like. The stuff in Meereen was probably objectively the best, and the discussion of the transition to this totally new economy includes a little bit of, gasp, nuance, so I have to go with that.

And a lowlight… oh, Mother have mercy. I think we would all pick the Tysha drop and Shae shot first if we could, but in the interests of diversity, I’ll pick something else.

I’m not going to pick the Sandor and Brienne fight, but only because the background scenery was lovely and I have a casual interest in geology. The scene after, with Arya and Sandor, though. Not only was it way too long, like everything with these two, but it really put everything that bugs me about show!Arya into focus. As far as I can tell, the only real difference between this Arya and the one who threatens to peel off her sister’s skin and wear it is that this one moves her face more.


Musa: Right, I will right say off the bat that I did actually like the scene with Jon and Mance in the beginning where they toast the memory of their fallen comrades. I liked it better in the books where it was between Jon and Tormund, but considering Tormund is Beardy on the show, I suppose this works well as a substitute. I like the emphasis on Grenn’s lowborn status juxtaposed to his victory against the king of the giants in death; he worked as a pretty decent substitute for Donal Noye in that regard.

I’m sorry, I know we’re trying to keep things interesting and diverse here, but the Tysha drop is seriously my biggest pet peeve of the entire series. They COULD have done it, and it would have been AMAZING, but they chose not to because they couldn’t bear to have Tyrion have even the slightest blemish on his character. The whole thing is a travesty of misunderstanding character motivations and actions to the degree that it ends up ruining the story of my favorite character in the entire series. Tywin and Cersei’s scene is a close second for me though, because it emphasizes everything I dislike about the way they write dialogue: characters talk at each other until one of them claims victory over the conversation and leaves.

Quality of writing

Musa: It’s bad. It was bad, you guys. It was really, really bad.

Julia: My favorite detail was Beardy starting the conversation saying that funeral rites aren’t important and then ending it by saying it’s crucial that Ygritte be burned North of the Wall. Because the dead can’t hear you, but they have GPS, I suppose.

Jess: Oh my god, I forgot about that!

Musa: I also loved how it’s considered imperative that Ygritte be burned in “the real North.” Y’know, that place the wildlings have actively been trying to get away from.

Kylie: Up there is also Tywin saying, “You’re my son” twice, in rapid succession, before concluding on, “You’re no son of mine.”

But…you JUST said…

Musa: It contrived reasons for Tywin to say the word “whore” in order for it to still be the trigger that makes Tyrion shoot him. I also ended up forgetting about the whole scene with Cersei, Pycelle, and Qyburn. This is pretty much all the set-up we get for Qyburn turning the Mountain into Cersei’s champion. And they kind of skipped out on pretty much everything creepy and unsettling about Qyburn in the way they chose to go about it.

Julia: And I wonder what the professor in their university creative writing class would think of the line, “the power that moved them is powerless here.”

Our 8th grade book report (on themes)

Musa: I know we’re all making it very clear that we hate this episode, but I honestly think the closest this episode has to a theme is Love™ and its consequences. Tyrion kills Shae, the woman he was actually in a real loving relationship with. Cersei comes clean to Tywin about his legacy being a lie out of love for her children and then goes and kisses Jaime’s goddamn golden hand out of love. Jon burns the woman he loved on her funeral pyre, signifying loss of love etc. Best, I got.

Kylie: It’s fairly consistent, and about as present as anything else. Given the title of the episode, I was trying to consider parent/child relationships too. There’s Arya with her protector, Cersei and Tyrion both with Tywin, and Dany and her dragons. Also the very literal child of the forest, though I hardly want to count her. Love seems more comprehensive though, since the events at the Wall and far north of it don’t tie back to children really at all.

Julia: There might also be something about, like, people solving a particular long standing issue (that is, they resolve a plotline) only to discover that it doesn’t make all their problems in life disappear as they hoped. Jon finally saw the great northern army defeated, but he lost the love of his life and who knows about this king guy. Bran has found the one-eyed-raven [sic] but he was told he’ll never walk again and now he’s stuck in a cave. Dany conquered Meereen and freed all the slaves, and that turned to shit and her dragons are eating people. Arya crossed someone off her list, but, like, she’ll eventually feel conflicted about it. Carol and Larry seem to think that not having to keep their secret anymore is the best thing ever, but they’re sweet summer children. Tywin, too, though he was on top of the world before Cersei dropped that bomb on him. Tyrion has escaped death once again and killed his abuser, but he doesn’t seem very happy.

Musa: I’d agree with most of that, except for the fact that Carol and Larry never actually face consequences for their secret being out in the open. They might have things happen to them that are bad, but not anything that has to do with the fact that they’re brother and sister who are f*cking.

Kylie: Though I guess it’s its own resolution if we treat their relationship turmoil this season as a “long-standing issue”? And of course by that I mean that time Jaime raped her and it went entirely unexamined.

Musa: That’s because nothing outside of that scene itself even so much as hinted at anything untoward about that encounter. Neither of them ever bring it up again. Actually, outside of when they actually have sex, Jaime and Cersei never seem to ever address their relationship at all in the show. They’re either acting as brother and sister or they’re talking about their kids right up until they start making out.

Jess: I’d agree with Julia and say that it’s probably one of the best themes we’ve come across in these episodes. It actually covers most plotlines and would cover Carol and Larry’s if the show followed through on anything ever. Talking about it like this out of context is ever the more frustrating because it could be quite a powerfully thematic episode, if only the execution were there.

The Butterfly Effect

Kylie: This episode makes it very hard to tell where the butterfly effect ends and the terrible adaptational choices begin. It’s all kind of smashed together in a “well, the set-up really couldn’t have let itself play out any other way.”

I guess one of the bigger changes made a few seasons back that had an extreme impact here was Tyrion and Shae’s relationship. They were earnestly in love, and there was a conscious decision to make her the emphasized, significant woman in his life. We spoke about how her trial actions were therefore jarring and unmotivated, and then…we get her trying to kill Tyrion here? Which is the result of another butterfly effect in their continual white-washing of Tyrion’s character?

Julia: And looking to the future, Carol choo-choo-choosing Larry is going to make his character go in loops-de-loops until the end of season 7. And for Tyrion, the Tysha drop turned him into an entirely different character.

Jess: The Tysha drop is particularly awful because it takes away any character journey/growth/motivation for Tyrion as a character in future seasons. The Carol and Larry thing is almost funny because we know they end up doing this plotline every season, but it also pisses me off because of the big middle finger to book fans that sex scene in the White Tower was.

Musa: Pretty much everything tangentially to do with Tyrion can be brought back to the white-washing of his character. It’s pretty easy to see that what they do to Tyrion has far reaching effects on several other characters. Shae is just one example; there’s also Jaime, Cersei, Tywin, Sansa, and Varys just to name a few. Saint Tyrion’s existence means that none of those characters can ever really have the kind of dynamics they have in the books and this further impacts their overall characters.

Kylie: Oh, poor Varys. To their credit, I think D&D already planned to use him and not Illyrio as Tyrion’s guide in Season 5, but the way he’s just like, “yup guess I’m going to Essos now” in what’s basically a comedic moment put any hammer in the coffin of his book characteristics. That and him volunteering to help Larry because everyone loves Tyrion.

For a completely different butterfly effect, we’ve got Arya overstaying her welcome in Westeros and having nothing to do this entire season. How did everyone love the culmination of that arc?

Musa: Oh I absolutely LOVED how dragged out Arya’s plotline was this season. It was SO Necessary for her to be meandering around with the Hound killing random dudes every episode. So much character development.

Julia: Speaking of dragged out, there was also Dany’s plotline. She took the city in, what, episode 3 and then just sat there occasionally having sex with Daario until a dragon misbehaved.

Musa: Wheel-spinning has always sort of been a feature of the show. In the books, characters can and do disappear for long stretches, but when we do catch up with them, there has been time passing in between their last chapter and the current one. In the show, because of actors having contracts and the difference in medium itself, you can’t really get away with that in the same way. The consequence is that very little actually happens sometimes where the next significant part of a specific character’s story needs to take place in the last episode for the sake of a dramatic conclusion.

Kylie: It also just paints such a sloppy and surface-level picture of Meereen. She made the decision to sit and rule mid-season, and in the process, an entrenched system was overthrown. We saw a few polite meetings where some of the aftermath was brought before her, but this was really the best conclusion they could think of for her? Dany locking up her dragons was considered more dramatic than, idk, anything else that happens? The bloody flux, Quaithe’s second warning, Xaro Xhoan Daxos (or maybe that spice merchant since they offed him) coming back and Dany refusing his offer prompting a declaration of war, or perhaps even a Dornish prince in disguise??

They chose to “adapt” maybe 1/16 of what’s actually in those chapters, and yet still they couldn’t manage to settle on something particularly dramatic for her.

I mean, sad for us though.

Musa: It’s especially egregious considering the fact that that particular scene happens in the first Dany chapter of ADWD, and is definitely in no way any kind of climax to anything, and is instead supposed to be the set up of Dany’s arc in that book. They created an ending out of a beginning so to speak.

Jess: Which wouldn’t necessarily be an issue if they structured this season to end that way for Dany’s character to have an arc. But it wasn’t.

Kylie: Seriously. Closest thing she had was learning the relative uses and dangers of a dragon. I guess it’s like she’s a new parent?

Remember adaptation?

Musa: I’m really itching to talk about the Tysha Drop here, but first I think we really need to address the Jaime and Cersei White Sword Tower sex scene adaptation-wise. Mostly it being the complete and total opposite of what happens in the books. This is supposed to be the point where their relationship truly begins to unravel and they start becoming disillusioned with each other. The scene is supposed to be about Cersei trying to seduce Jaime into agreeing to kill Tyrion and Jaime’s decision to push himself away from Cersei because he’s trying to be something other than who he has been his entire life. Here though, he’s just Larry, the befuddled knight who would do anything for Carol and loves having sex in sacred places.

Kylie: I love that it begins with him being mad at her for getting Tyrion a death sentence, and then she’s just like, “Yeah yeah shut up and listen to THIS.” It was like the hot gossip, and he happened to be horny or something.

Musa: So much of what Jaime does on the show comes down to him just happening to be horny at any given time.

Julia: He really didn’t feel very much like a point of view character this season at all. I suppose the exception is at the beginning when Joff was making fun of him for being old and he gave Brienne the sword. But this episode his actions are more or less incoherent. He randomly pops up to save Tyrion, which I guess is seeded because they’ve been bonding in prison, but that was after a huge deal was made of him making up with Cersei and doubling down on all the taboo aspects of their relationship. It makes no sense that both of these things happened.

I guess the problem is Carol confessing to Tywin makes no sense no matter how you look at it.

Musa: Except that brings us back to the writers really wanting Cersei to win.

Kylie: Alright then, let’s dig into the Tysha Drop. I guess they felt the audience might not have remembered her, or would have found it confusing. Perhaps they also felt it would have minimized what he ~just went through~ with Shae flipping on him at the trial.

Julia: This is the same issue we had in the trial episode when he told all the denizens of Carol’s Landing that they’re the worst. We see all these flashes of book!Tyrion’s spitefulness but it’s totally incongruent with everything else.

Kylie: In the end, what it did was make everything lack motivation. Why did Tyrion go up to the tower this time? He was just mad that he was put on trial and decided it was good unfinished business? Why did he actually shoot Tywin, now that I think about it? I mean, don’t get me wrong: the guy is an ableist prick who was fine sentencing him to die. But Tyrion had that escape; why go out of his way? Because he disapproved of Tywin’s whorephobia?

Julia: And how on earth did he know about the super secret tunnels to the Tower of the Hand?

Jess: Yeah, I mean going up was practically a death sentence. He had no idea Tywin would be so out of commission and he had no weapon. That kind of choice takes a specifically strong motivation but they never got Tyrion’s mindset to the place the Tysha reveal would for that decision to make sense. The decision to go up to the tower is nonexistent. It just happens on the show.

Musa: Personally, I take a much more cynical view of the whole thing. They dropped Tysha because they didn’t want Tyrion and Jaime to part on bad terms, which was a significant aspect of the reveal in the books and their subsequent arcs. That’s literally all there is to it. D&D like Tyrion and they like Jaime and they wanted them to have a nice bro-hug™ before going their separate ways.

Killing Tywin, though, is definitely left mostly unmotivated here. Near as I can tell, Tyrion is just mad at him for having sex with his girlfriend who he also just murdered. Why he came up there in the first place? No idea. I see no other unfinished business between him and Tywin except that the show wants to contrive a way of checklisting off Tyrion murdering Tywin while he’s on the privy.

Julia: I think I agree with you, Musa. They had plenty of time to remind us about Tysha. Who they’ve mentioned at least once a season from the beginning, by the way. They could have even talked about that instead of those stupid beetles.

To think, what could have been…

Musa: Now THAT would have been something. It would also seed Jaime deciding to reveal the whole facade to Tyrion by having Tyrion bring up the time Jaime set him up with his first sex worker and the horrible thing Tywin did. You could have dramatic close-ups and shot-reverse shots of Jaime and Tyrion both reflecting on the experience from their own perspective. Then the reveal would have some serious punch in this last episode. But I guess it was really important for us to know about cousin Orson and that one maester that apparently molested Jaime as a child?

Kylie: They could have named the drunken septon that married Tyrion and Tysha “Orson” if they were that desperate to get in their digs.

Want to talk about Jon’s adaptation here? Clearly they didn’t have the time to elect him Lord Commander since we had to conclude that ~epic battle~ sequence first (a bad call, that). But his final scene of the season implies that his story this year was all about tragically losing someone he loves? Duty being the death of love again? It’s a valid focal point, I guess, but it comes at the cost of developing Jon as a leader in any palpable way.

Musa: I mean, you guys did point out last week that Edd got as much, if not more, development as a leader as Jon supposedly did. It’s not like that aspect was the thing being focused on anyway. It was about Jon as an action-hero. And yeah, the whole lost love thing is present, but is nowhere near as poignant here as it was in the books. The whole conflict in Jon’s arc is him coming to realize just how much the fight with the wildlings is irrelevant unnecessary but he still needs to fight it, even if it costs him the love of his life. The tragedy is much more prescient in the book’s version of events. Here, the only thing I saw was Kit Harrington looking vaguely sad and/or angrily constipated. Y’know, like he always does.

Carol Watch: who is Cersei this week?

Kylie: Honestly, what the hell were they doing here?

I mean, it’s Carol. It’s obviously Carol. Only she would make Tywin think there was anything behind the whole, “I’ll out myself as having committed high treason and my children being illegitimate claimants” thing. According to D&D, this is truly supposed to be a great “win” for her, and Tywin is powerless to do anything.

Julia: I suppose that would f-ck him over, but I real have no idea what’s going on in Carol’s head. She worried about Tommen being exploited so… does she think she can talk the Faith into a doctrine of Lannister Exceptionalism? She’s a Super Mom, but she ain’t no Alysanne. I would say that’s dumb enough for Cersei to do, but there’s no way she would have kissed Larry’s golden hand.

Musa: I don’t think the writer’s put that much thought into it, Julia. They knew Tywin was going to die at the end of the episode, so the point is pretty much moot anyway. Cersei doesn’t have to do anything because the narrative says so.

Kylie: But no, really, why the hell were they all about rekindling the Cersei/Jaime relationship to the point where she’s kissing his golden hand, and he’s shoving the White Book aside so they can f-ck on the table in the White Tower?

Musa: This is where they really got invested in the whole twincest romance as an earnest thing. It definitely starts here, with Jaime literally shoving the symbolic representation of honor for Kingsguard knights off the table so he can sex Cersei up.

Exposition Imposition: good or clunky?

Julia: Um, we found out Grenn came from a farm.

Musa: Honestly, I’d say that was one of Kit Harrington’s best line deliveries.

Kylie: We also learned that Selwyn of Tarth personally trained his daughter how to fight.

Julia: Selwyn the Soccer Dad headcanon confirmed!

Musa: Isn’t that just canon anyway? Aside from the fact that in the books he gets her an actual Master-at-arms instead of handling it himself?

Jess: Yeah, not much expositing here because we really didn’t learn much. It would have been interesting to see how badly they handled a Tysha Drop in dialogue though.

Kylie: Oh god, maybe it’s a good thing we were saved from that fate.

How was the pacing?

Kylie: Well, we had the last 10 minutes of a battle plunked down at the beginning, having all the tension cut, which was then followed by 50 minutes of methodically making the opposite point of all character arcs in A Storm of Swords. So it felt long, folks.

Musa: There is absolutely no reason why the stuff north of the Wall needed to be in this episode instead of the last one. It’s actually really confusing considering how hastily it wraps up the remainder of Jon’s story for the season in a rush to get to the King’s Landing stuff.

Come again?

Julia: This season was full of episodes that were a struggle to get through, but this one seemed especially onerous. Fifteen minutes in I already felt like I’d been there for a year. The only thing that could have made it worse was Pornish brothel content. Thank the Mother for small mercies.

Musa: I guess we’re technically thanking the Mountain that Rides for that one.

Jess: I agree, this one made me sluggish. I actually rewatched it/had it on in the background a few weeks ago so rewatching it again made it feel even slower. It was hard to get through, especially the hound/Brienne/Arya stuff that seemed to last forever.

Let’s talk about sex, baby

Kylie: I think it was just the Larrol sex this week.

Musa: My only thoughts on the sex scene itself was laughing in my head when I saw the golden hand kissing and remembered A Feast for Crows where Gatehouse Ami Frey strokes Jaime’s golden hand while he wonders about whether she actually thinks he can feel that.

Julia: Oh, Gatehouse Ami. Imagine what they would have done with her.

There was also Tywin being outed as a patron of sex work. And, given the fact that Shae was calling him by his first name, he may have gotten overly familiar with them too.

Musa: Book!Tywin would never abide a sex worker calling him by his first name.

In memoriam…Tywin Lannister, Shae, and Jojen Reed

Kylie: God, this assortment of names. I’ll be honest, Jojen’s death was really hilarious with how they filmed the stabbing.

Poor Shae’s show-characterization was just so ruined by this season, even as annoying as we found her. So of course she was just a pissed ex-girlfriend who…reached for a knife in her final scene.

Julia: I suppose you can argue that she can tell he was murderous, but the only way she would know that is by reading the script. (And let’s not even talk about how he kept apologizing because poor guy had no choice. I might barf.)

Jess: It is a shame to see Charles Dance go because he’s so good, but he did dodge the bullet of the later seasons.

Kylie: Not to mention the Cersei scene would have ruined any dynamic moving forward.

Musa: Goodbye Charles Dance, I would have loved to see you actually play Tywin Lannister. Sayonara Shae, you were simultaneously more of a character and somehow even less compelling for it. Adios Jojen, you were barely noticeable. Ciao Hezzea, you didn’t even get a name on this show.

And with those parting words of farewell, we bid this retrospective Adieu.

Kylie: Ha. I can think of no better ending to this rewatch, frankly.

Well guys, this is it. And seriously: are we overstating how bad this episode was? Is it just our book snobbery clouding our eyes?

Please let us know below, and thank you so much for following along this whole time. We’re going to be doing one last podcast next week that covers Season 4 before truly putting a nail in the project, but it has been equal parts illuminating and frustrating. Until then, we wish you good fortune in The Wars to Come.

Images courtesy of HBO

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The Last Alchemist challenges players to create the right alchemical properties to cure a man's illness and save the day too.