Game of ThronesGame of Thrones Season Finale Review: Sitting on the ThroneGame of Thrones - RSS 2.0
It all goes back to King's Landing, doesn't it? The Lannisters are in a shitty situation, for being on top. Tywin rules the Seven Kingdoms in all but name, yet Cersei is openly defiant at being forced to marry Loras Tyrell. It's not clear why she flip-flopped from her stance before the trial of Tyrion to support her father's decision, but she returns to her strident self. When threatened by her father's words, she stands her ground and defiantly throws her and Jaime's incest in his face. "If you had taken one look at your family, you'd have known," Cersei says, and she's not wrong. For all that Tywin goes on about his family, and the Lannister name, he doesn't know any of them. He is the perfect patriarch: Making decisions on their fate without ever deigning to know their wishes, dreams or desires.
Cersei goes straight to her brother Jaime, perhaps thrilled by her independence from Tywin. She reneges on everything that transpired between them - you know, that whole rape thing in the Sept. Cersei promises to support him, to be with Jaime in King's Landing instead of locked up at Highgarden or Casterly Rock. The two siblings do it on the table of the Kingsgaurd barracks, racking up another "Weird Place to Screw in the Seven Kingdoms" item on their list. Let's see, they've got Top of the Tower in Winterfell, The Funeral Pyre of their Dead Son in the Great Sept and now this? Where do they fuck next? Braavos? Tune into Season Five of Game of Thrones on HBO to find out!
Speaking of Braavos, that's where Arya is going to start her new life. In many ways, the story of Arya and the Hound is the best plot arc in season four. She has been traveling with him for nearly 15 episodes now, after the Hound defeated Beric Dondarrion in season three and took her out from under the Brotherhood's protection. She has learned Sandor Clegane is both more of a villain and a hero than she realized, and there's grudging respect between them. The two were last seen trying to get through the Bloody Gate to deliver Arya to her Aunt Lysa, and the mirth the girl showed when they were told of Lysa's death was spot-on.
Also traveling to the Eyrie are Podrick and Brienne of Tarth. As I predicted, these two storylines intersect in the foothills of the Vale of Arryn. Brienne sees Arya by herself, although the girl does indicate a man is with her doing his morning business, if you know what I mean. Brienne and Arya's conversation is tinted with portent - it was great to see these characters interact when they never do in the books. They chat about named swords, and how the big woman learned how to fight from her father, of all people. It was sweet.
Brienne isn't sure who she's talking to, though, until the Hound stands up. His grisly visage is unforgettable, and she rightly assumes his ward is none other than one of the Stark girls she's sworn to protect. She tells Arya to come with her, but Sandor Clegane will have nothing of it. He recognizes the Lannister gold on Oathkeeper's hilt - it is in the shape of a Lion after all, hard to miss. The two big warriors confront each other, sparring with words before weapons. I was actually surprised that Clegane admitted he was "looking after" Arya now, and he wasn't going to let someone take that from him. What an apt symbol of reluctant fatherhood! The Hound would never say he's responsible or that he's protecting anyone from anything, but he sure as shit won't let anyone take Arya from him. Not after all they've been through.