Welcome to "Game of Moans," the weekly recap of "Game of Thrones" Season 4 that highlights all the moan-worthy, gasp-filled, OMG moments that litter the Seven Kingdoms. In other words, you can get a traditional recap anywhere, so here's all the sex, bloodshed, and WTF moments (the good stuff) that went down this week:
(Spoiler alert for "GoT" Season 4, Episode 10 "The Children." Warning: Some images below show very graphic violence.)
June 15's "Game of Thrones" Season 4 finale was a pretty fantastic finale, and definitely the most thrilling, death-filled one yet. I don't read the books so I can't speak to any of those people's quarrels with the episode, but overall it was entertaining for the whole extended 66 minutes and managed to (pretty much) catch us up with every character. I'd have to say, it is the best finale of the series yet.
The Incestuous Moan
Cersei kissing Jaime was pretty gross and hard to watch, although it lasted rather shortly -- thank you writers and director so much for not showing us the sex scene. At least it wasn't rape this time though, right? Then again, consensual incest isn't too much easier to handle.
The Hodor FTW Moan
As soon as Bran, Hodor, Jojen, Meera and Summer arrive at the weirwood heart tree, which shines gloriously in the sun, everything feels like it's finally going to be okay. But guys, come on, remember what show it is we're watching. Things suddenly turned C-R-A-Z-Y as skeleton hands started popping out of the ground and attacking Bran and Co. But once again, Hodor had his second shining moment to save the day (yes, I know it was really Bran, but shh, give Hodor a chance). Watching him demolish those skeletons, along with his last killing, was one of the most fantastic moments of the whole season. Summer also helped save the day too, so let's not forget to give the beloved direwolf some credit.
The Best-GoT-Fight-EVER Moan
Yes, this was the best fight I have ever had the pleasure (and emotional strain) of viewing in "Game of Thrones." Watching two of the biggest and baddest badasses on the series duke it out, who are two of my favorite characters, was incredible (and very sweat-inducing). Brienne and The Hound both equally beat the crap out of each other, and both got in some painful-looking crotch kicks/punches on the other. I really thought this was going to be Brienne's last episode for a terrifying moment, but the woman prevailed. She fights from a place of honor, he fights from a place of anger, so it only makes sense who's champion in the end. I will miss The Hound though, and his hilarious ability to swear every other word.
The Heartbreaking Moan
What's worse than being publicly betrayed by the love of your life in a way that will sentence you to death? Walking in on her in your father's bed -- the same father who had your first wife gang-raped, oh and also the same father who hates you and wants you dead. That is a pretty horrible thing to see, and I honestly don't blame Tyrion for his reaction. He's had the worst time out of anyone this season, and you could tell that it broke his heart just as much to kill Shae with his bare hands.
The Happy-Father's-Day Moan
Hey dad, Happy Father's Day. Sorry to interrupt you on the toilet, but here are some crossbow bolts to the chest! What an incredibly well-deserved way to die. I have nothing but a slow-clap for Sir Tyrion.
- That overhead shot of Stannis' army infiltrating the forest from either side was gorgeous and so well done. Alex Graves just may be my favorite "GoT" director.
- What kind of crazy Frankenstein stuff is going on with The Mountain? Is he going to wake up with even more ridiculous strength?
- The scene between Cersei and Tywin is definitely one of the best of this season, and some of Lena Headey's best acting. The look on her face right as she tells Tywin (or more so questions his knowledge) about Jaime should be printed and framed. Fantastic.
- Hey dragons, we know it's barbecuing season, but come on, leave the kids alone. (For real though, Dany locking them up was so, so sad.)
- Once again, RIP Ygritte.
- Is it just me, or does that weirwood heart tree look like Grandmother Willow?
- RIP Jojen Reed. He knew he was sacrificing himself and that makes me love him even more. Poor Thomas Brodie-Sangster; he got his heart stabbed out by young love and now a knife.
- Who are The Children?! I want to know more!
- Yay character crossovers this episode! First Stanis and Jon Snow, and now Brienne and Arya!
- "Safety, where the f*ck's that?" Truth, The Hound, such truth.
- Arya is truly dead inside. Leaving The Hound to suffer was beyond heartless. Afterall, he did fight to the death for her and look after her all this time.
- Aw that hug and cheek kiss between Jaime and Tyrion was beautiful.
- Arya going to Braavos, where she's always been meant to go.
- Side thought: Where the heck is Gendry? I assume drowned, but still.
- Hey HBO, can we have 66-minute episodes more often? Please, and thanks!
- Ladies and gentleman, that's a wrap. See ya next season, and Valar Morghulis!
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this recap mistakenly identified The Mountain as The Hound. We also mistook a crossbow bolt for an arrow.