Giants, Mammoths, and Lover’s Quarrels
As we near the end of the fourth season, Game of Thrones finally gives us the battle between the Wildlings and the men of the Night’s Watch that’s been building over the past several seasons. Directed by Neil Marshall who also directed the epic battle in season 2′s “Blackwater,” “The Watchers on the Wall” gave us a break from all of the other stories and delivered a very divisive action-packed episode. Looking around the Internet, many viewers didn’t see the point in giving this fight the whole hour, while others were thrilled to watch an epic battle. No matter how you may feel about the episode, it seems we all are dreading next week’s finale. The penultimate episode focused on the brotherhood of the Night’s Watch, two love stories, and the deaths of some characters we’ve known since season 1. So let’s begin!
“Love is the death of duty.”
The episode began with Sam wanting Jon to tell him what sex was like, and Jon waxing poetic. This conversation was both sweet and foreshadowing to these two friends resolving their love lives. While Jon was of the belief that he was never meant to have Ygritte, Sam’s feelings for Gilly have grown so strong that even Maester Aemon can see it. In a surprising turn, Aemon doesn’t lecture Sam, but instead tells Sam of his first time. Later, Gilly returns to Castle Black and into Sam’s arms, while Jon watches Ygritte die from an arrow to the back.
All of this talk of love may have seemed out of place for a battle, but it served to develop Sam’s character more from being a sniveling coward to a man rushing into battle to honor his vows. Though I love him, Jon was mostly just Jon this episode, but it was Sam who was the most changed. No longer was he frightened of his own shadow, but Sam managed to save many lives, and even remembered to let Ghost out to claim a few victories of his own. Not even watching Pyp dying in his arms was enough to send Sam back in hiding with Gilly. Sam really stepped up, and hopefully this is a trend that will continue going forward. (Cont…)