SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t yet seen “The Children,” the season four finale episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones, and don’t want to know what happened, do not continue reading. You have been warned.
Don’t mess with the Children. After a much-too-short fourth season of Game of Thrones filled with a Purple Wedding, bloody battles and expeditions (below and beyond the Wall), the final tenth episode, which aired Sunday, June 15, may have been the most shocking of them all. As promised by showrunners, the 66-minute finale included several surprising deaths and plot twists leaving viewers to speculate the fate of each remaining character. Here, Us Weekly recaps the five biggest moments from Sunday’s episode.
1. Stannis Baratheon Saves the Day
We never thought we’d say this, but it was good to see Stannis Baratheon. Just as the meeting between Jon Snow and Mance Rayder was about to turn bloody, Baratheon and his army flooded Rayder’s camp, murdering any free folk in their way. However, Rayder’s life is spared after Jon Snow intervenes.
“I was this man’s prisoner, once. He could’ve tortured me,” he tells Baratheon. Ned Stark would’ve been proud.
2. Khaleesi Can’t Tame Her Dragons
Should’ve trained her dragons! After learning that one of her fire-breathing pets has inadvertently burned a three-year-old girl, a heavy-hearted Khaleesi decides to ground two of her three “children” (the third, Drogon, has flown the coop). She slips a chain around each and walks solemnly back outside—as the piercing cries echo from below.
3. The Children of the Forest Appear
Holy weirwood… the children of the forest exist!
Bran Stark and his traveling companions, Meera and Jojen Reed, as well as Hodor, finally come across the beautiful weirwood tree, complete with blood red leaves, rooted in the midst of a stunning landscape. As the quartet, exhausted and excited to have finally reached their destination, make their way across an open snow-covered field, a skeletal hand suddenly lifts out of the dirt and grabs onto Jojen’s leg. More terrifying skeletal creatures burst out of the ground with rusty axes and weapons, attacking both Reed siblings.
Jojen dies at the hand of one of the frightening creatures, but the rest of the traveling pack make it to safety, thanks to one eerie-looking girl. Their elvish savior identifies herself as a child of the forest.
Inside, Bran immediately recognizes the man sitting at the roots of the tree as the “Three-Eyed Raven” from his dreams.
“You’ll never walk again,” he tells Bran. “But you will fly.”
4. Arya and Brienne Bond Over Sword Fighting
In a deviation from the book series, Brienne of Tarth has a chance encounter with Arya outside of the Vale, while the two women connect over their swords-womanship (“My father didn’t want me fighting with swords either,” Brienne tells Arya.) The Hound intervenes and Brienne realizes who Arya really is.
“I swore to your mother I would bring you home to her,” Brienne tells a stone-faced Arya.
“Why didn’t you?” Arya spats back.
The Hound and Brienne face off over Arya in an epic sword-turned-punching and kicking fight, and Brienne ultimately succeeds.
Her victory is short-lived as Arya hides until Brienne and Podrick leave, the Hound, on his deathbed, begs Lady Stark to take his life. Arya, staring down at him and stowing away his coins, leaves her hated companion instead.
She eventually turns up meeting a ship’s captain and asks to be taken to the Wall. Instead, he offers to take Arya to Braavos after she reveals the iron coin and utters the phrase, “Valar morgulis.”
5. Tyrion Gets His Revenge
Happy Father’s Day? After Tyrion is saved by his big brother Jaime, he makes his way to his father’s chambers, only to see his love, Shae, on the bed.
“Tywin,” says Shae, rolling over to see Tyrion’s dwarf figure. She grabs a knife, but he gets the better of her, strangling his whore with the gold necklace around her neck.
“I’m sorry,” says Tyrion, as he eyes a crossbow up on his father’s mantle. Dragging it through the castle corridors, Tyrion finds his father—on the porcelain throne.
“All of my life, you’ve wanted me dead,” Tyrion says.
“Yes,” says Tywin, “but you refeused to die. I repect that… You’re a Lannister. You’re my son.”
The Hand of the King might have smoothed over his son… until he let the word “whore” slip. (Oh, crap, he shouldn’t have done that!)
What that, Tyrion shot dear old pop in the chest—and again for good measure—before making his escape. See more pics of the Game of Thrones cast in real life.
Tell Us: What do you think was the most shocking moment from the season finale?
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