Game Of Thrones S04E09 – The Watchers On The Wall

So, here we are, the ninth episode of Game Of Thrones. Episode 9 is generally where people get their minds blown, both viewers and characters: ___________ in Season 1 (you should know who I mean, I did this for the Facebook people who can see the first couple of lines; don’t tell me I don’t try to spoil shit from y’all, even though it goes against my entire spoiler philosophy), the Battle of Blackwater in Season 2, the Red Wedding in Season 3. Season 4’s offering is “The Watchers On The Wall”, the battle between the Night’s Watch and Mance Rayder’s crew, and it is the first episode since “Blackwater”  where they only focus on one storyline. It is directed by Neil Marshall, who also did the “Blackwater” joint, and if there is one thing this guy knows how to do, it is direct massive fight scenes. So, we know people will die, but will we care? Should we care? Let’s go…….

-It was weird not seeing Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey’s names to begin the opening sequence. They really could have just left it at the Wall as well, no need for everything else, but it’s already paid for, so might as well.

-Sam tries to pick Jon’s brain about what it is like to be in love, or be loved back, and with the “red hair”, he obviously meant Ygritte. The Jon/Ygritte reunion is the only thing I’m looking forward to. She shot the shit outta him, man. But shoutout to Sam for finding loopholes in the Night’s Watch manifesto; they can’t take a wife, but they can do other stuff. A handjob never hurt no one, hasn’t it?

-The wildlings and the cannibals are chillin’ just outside of the Wall, with one of the cannibals communicating with an owl on top of said wall. The main cannibal starts to get on Ygritte, saying she won’t have the heart to kill Jon Snow, then she tells everyone that she got him and an arrow for anyone who tries to get in the way. Gotta admire her heart, though.

-Sam is found in the library by Maester Aemon, and I keep forgetting about his pedigree. Outside of Daenerys, Aemon is the last living Targaryen, but he threw his lineage in the bushes to join the Night’s Watch, which probably saved his life since the rest of his family was killed. I wonder if he’ll stay alive long enough to meet his great-niece Dany, who could probably use some of his cool-headed advice.

-After learning that Aemon could have been a playa back in the day, Sam finds Gilly at the doors of Castle Black, and you get the idea that Sam would have really fucked that dude up if he wouldn’t have opened the door. Or at least he would have tried. Then they hear that sound Gilly heard before shit got real last week (or a similar sound, hell, they all mean the same thing): DEM BOYS COMIN’.

-That is one big-ass fire. Mance Rayder did say he would light one when dem boys comin’. He was not playin’.

-Allister finally decides to admit to Jon that, MAYBE, they should have listened to him and blocked off the tunnel when they had the chance. Ol’ “hindsight is 20/20” ass….too busy being an arrogant prick, which he still is by the end of his little speech.

-Sam takes Gilly to some room where she’ll be safe, and she doesn’t seem to understand that he has to go and help his boys. She has NO confidence in his fighting abilities, but don’t forget, he killed a White Walker. Then he slips her the tongue, and after that, Sam is ready to go outchea in these streets and kill everything. He even promises Gilly that he won’t die, because that is an easy promise to make in Game Of Thrones.

-Sam also has to keep Pyp calm because he is freakin’ out about never being in a battle, and it seems like this is Sam’s episode to step up and prove his manhood, which he has been trying to do since we met him. All of a sudden, Sam is ’bout that life, and I am completely okay with that.

-The shot from the Wall to the advancing wildling/cannibal army was great, and then you get GIANTS ON WOOLLY MAMMOTHS. Visually, this is as incredible as any scenes we’ve ever seen in Game Of Thrones.

-Allister tries to rally the troops, and one of them drops a barrel before the instructions are given. I think this was done to highlight the idea that the Night’s Watch aren’t really a trained group of fighters, these are just dudes who were criminals or banished for some reason, and they’re kinda fucked in terms of this battle. Allister decides to go down and join the fight at the south gate, and we also realize that these archers aren’t going to let go of their arrows until they’re told.

-Meanwhile, Ygritte is straight wreckin’ shop at the south gate with her arrows. Pyp can’t hit anything with his arrows. More on these two later.

-Say what you want about Allister being a dick, but he gets all kinds of busy on the battlefield.

-Janos Slynt basically tells the Night’s Watch that they ain’t shit, and he tries to give some orders, but he isn’t ’bout this life in the slightest. He gets sent downstairs on a lie and now Jon has to lead the troops at the top, which is a much better idea. But the archers at the top are holding their own, taking out wildlings who are attempting to climb the Wall, which is also visually stunning. One wildling tries to shoot up at the top of the Wall and fails miserably, so a Giant gets down on a knee and shows him how to do it. Giants, b……GIANTS.

-SO MUCH KILLING GOING ON. Seriously, people are dying everywhere on both sides. Ygritte seems like she is in a video game. Janos is runnin’ on some bitchmade shit and looks for somewhere to hide. He finds the room that Gilly is in.

-Pyp finally manages to hit someone with an arrow….and then catches one of Ygritte’s arrows through the neck. Yeah, that was bound to happen.

-The Giant takes the Woolly Mammoth to the door, and they proceed with a plan to take down the tunnel which Jon recommended they seal. The plan: punch a hole in the door, get some hooks on that bitch, hook them up to the mammoth and pull like shit. Those are all technical terms. Jon tells Grenn to take five men down to that gate and protect it. FIVE? ARE YOU SERIOUS?

-Allister meets up with one of the main wildlings, I think he was always the one tryna tell Ygritte that Jon Snow wasn’t shit. Anyway, they have a solid battle and Allister gets the worst of it, then he gets dragged off-screen. The wildling’s name is Tormund, says Wiki. I really don’t have time for all these names.

-Sam is killin’ cannibals (Thenns, as it were, but y’all know who I mean) en route to Jon, and he runs into a child, Ollie, who we have seen before but I’m not sure from when. He is a mess because he has seen far too much killing for a child to see, and Sam tells him to get a weapon. Meanwhile, the boys up top drop some flaming barrels on the mammoth at the gate to halt that plan. They also manage to kill a Giant, which pisses off another Giant, who says fuck it and decides to straight up lift the door to the tunnel.

-Jon passes off the top of the Wall to some dude whose name I should remember, but I just told you how I feel about names. He tells Sam to go let Ghost loose to get his wolf on, and Jon decides to enter the battle.

-Grenn and his five dudes are watching this Giant open the door and they’re like, “how in the fuck are we supposed to stop this?”. One guy tries to run, but Grenn stops him and starts reciting the Night’s Watch vows while this Giant starts to run towards them. Another visually exceptional shot as they switch to Jon giving Sam the go-ahead to get Ghost.

-Jon obviously starts kicking ass since he is the closest thing Game Of Thrones has left to a hero. Then we get a truly amazing one-track shot that takes us through all of the killing from Jon to Ygritte, which is where this battle is going to end up at. Come on, you knew it was coming, right? By the way, I’m not sure if “one-track shot” is the technical term, but again, I trust you know what I’m sayin’.

-Jon and the main Thenn (his name is Styr? I thought Styx for some reason) and they get to fighting. Ygritte spots this, and Jon is gettin’ his ass KICKED by Styr, but Jon gets him with a hammer after spitting blood in his face. While I’m not the biggest Jon Snow fan in the world, he might have the best kills of the season between this and shoving the sword through the back of the head of that Karl asshole.

-Jon then turns around to see Ygritte, who has him dead to rights if she would just pull the bow. But she hesitates and catches an arrow from the Ollie kid, and what did we learn last week with Oberyn? When you have a chance to kill someone on Game Of Thrones, you do it. Jon and Ygritte have a moment, and she repeats the “you know nothing, Jon Snow” line before she dies. Is no one noticing this in the middle of a big-ass bloody war? No? Okay then.

-At the top of the Wall, an order is given to drop some unholy hell on mufuckas. This was probably my favorite scene of the episode. There is a massive blade hiding in the Wall, and then a drop is cut, it basically sweeps through everyone trying to climb up the side of said Wall. In an episode full of cool things, this was the coolest. After that, the wildling/cannibal army is like, you know what? We’re good for the night.

-Jon gives the order for his men to take Thormund, put him in chains and they’ll question him later. They really should kill him. This will come back to bite them. What did I JUST say two points ago?

-The gathering of the bodies begins, and Sam goes to show Gilly he is alright, then he gets excited because they held the Wall, but Jon scales that back. Jon comes up with a plan: go find Mance and kill him because without his leadership, the group of wildlings will scatter. This sounds like a terrible plan, which Jon acknowledges, but then he asks Sam: “What’s your plan?”. He has a point.

-They stumble upon Grenn and his dead crew, but they did manage to kill the Giant to keep him from getting through the tunnel. Well done, boys. They were never gon’ come out of that alive, but they did what they needed to do.

-Jon wanders out into the wilderness to start his Mance-finding mission, but he gives his sword to Sam. So, how exactly does he plan to do this with no weapon and thousands of wildlings and cannibals and Giants and Mammoths? We probably won’t see until next season.

-Seriously though, what happened to Allister?

So, Episode 9 was entertaining when it came to visual effects and it was just cool to look at. But I was never a Jon Snow fan and the whole Castle Black storyline never excited me, so it was a little underwhelming in that respect; that said, it is important to the story as a whole and I guess it was a nice change of pace since we’re used to the “good guys” always dying in Game Of Thrones. Overall, it was a fine episode, but not spectacular. Still, “fine” for this show blows most of the others out of the water.

Next week, we get the finale, which I expect to be a game-changer. We will probably deal with the Lannisters, and figure out what’s good with Tyrion. Littlefinger and Sansa might start to get their Bonnie and Clyde on, and are Arya and the Hound going to enter the Vale, where the sisters will meet again? I assume we’ll see Bran chasing this damn raven, and Dany probably has a city to sack, so we gotta see dem dragons again, right? Come on, HBO, give us an extra 10 minutes next week? Game Of Thrones deserves it. Buckle up, folks: the finale is going to shake shit up.

 

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