The Children (Game of Thrones)
|Game of Thrones episode|
|Episode no.||Season 4|
|Directed by||Alex Graves|
|Written by||David Benioff|
D. B. Weiss
|Featured music||Ramin Djawadi|
|Cinematography by||Anette Haellmigk|
|Editing by||Tim Porter|
|Original air date||June 15, 2014|
|Running time||65 minutes|
"The Children" is the fourth season finale of HBO's fantasy television series Game of Thrones, and the 40th overall. The tenth and final episode of the fourth season, the episode was written by series co-creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, and directed by Alex Graves.
"The Children" was praised for the handling of the deaths of Shae and Tywin Lannister, Bran reaching the Heart Tree and the fight scene between Brienne and Sandor "The Hound" Clegane.
Daenerys receives a suplicant who wants to be sold back into slavery because he feels his life as a slave was better than as a freedman. She allows the man to a temporary contract of service with his former master. The next supplicant is a grieving father carrying the charred bones of his 3 year old daughter, who was killed by Drogon. Drogon has not returned but Daenerys, guilt-ridden, heartbroken and left with no other choice, chains her two other dragons Rhaegal and Viserion underneath the Great Pyramid as a precaution, crying all the while.
Beyond the Wall
Jon meets Mance Rayder and tells him that he wants to discuss an end to their conflict, but Rayder quickly realizes that Jon means to assassinate him. They are interrupted by a massive cavalry charge led by Stannis and Davos that overruns the wildling encampment. Mance surrenders and Stannis takes him captive, on Jon's suggestion. A mass cremation is held for the slain brothers; Melisandre looks intriguingly at Jon over the flames. At Tormund's urging, Jon later privately cremates Ygritte north of the Wall.
As Bran's group reach the Heart Tree, they are attacked by wights. Jojen is killed, but Hodor, Meera and Bran are saved by a Child of the Forest. The Child leads them to meet an old man, the “Three Eyed Raven“, who tells Bran that while he will never be able to walk again, he will "fly".
In King's Landing
Gregor lies dying from Oberyn's poisoned spear, but Qyburn says that he can save him and Cersei ousts Pycelle from his laboratory and gives Clegane's care over to Qyburn. Cersei tells Tywin that, if forced to marry Loras, she will admit her incest with Jaime and that her children are the issue of such.
In the dungeons, Tyrion awaits his execution, but Jaime helps him escape. Tyrion, before escaping, sneaks into the Tower of the Hand. He strangles Shae after finding her in Tywin's bed, then confronts Tywin as he sits on the privy, and shoots him with a crossbow when he repeatedly dismisses Shae as a whore and disavows Tyrion as his son. Tyrion then escapes on a ship bound for Essos with help from Varys, who boards with him after Tywin's death is discovered.
In the Vale
Brienne and Podrick find Sandor and Arya. Brienne recognizes Arya and tells her about her oath to Catelyn, but Arya rebuffs her and Sandor is unconvinced of her loyalties. After a duel that ends in a brutal fistfight, Brienne knocks Sandor off a cliff and unsuccessfully searches for Arya. After they leave, a wounded Sandor pleads Arya to kill him but Arya takes his money and leaves Sandor to die and boards a ship to Braavos, buying passage by showing the captain the coin Jaqen gave her. The season ends with Arya aboard the ship, sailing out of Westeros.
The episode was written by series co-creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, This episode contains content from two of George Martin's novels, A Storm of Swords, chapters Jon X, part of Jon XI, Jaime IX, Tyrion XI, and Arya XIII, and A Dance with Dragons, chapters Daenerys I, Daenerys II, and Bran II.
"The Children" was watched by 7.09 million Americans during its premiere hour, a 32% increase from the previous season finale. In the United Kingdom, the episode was viewed by 1.850 million viewers, making it the highest-rated broadcast that week. It also received 0.085 million timeshift viewers.
The episode received universal acclaim. All 35 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes were positive, with an average score of 9.5 out of 10. The site's consensus reading, "Capping off the best season of Game of Thrones to date, "The Children" provides enough satisfying plot developments for a finale, while its twists and turns leave you wanting more."
IGN writer Matt Fowler called it a "strong seasonal send-off with tons of violent twists, and turns." Sean T. Collins of Rolling Stone wrote, "Sometimes Game of Thrones is a widescreen epic fantasy, other times it's a small-scale study of violent lives. At its best – and "The Children" is certainly this show at its wide and wild best – Game of Thrones is all of these things, simultaneously." TVLine named Rory McCann and Gwendoline Christie the "Performers of the Week" for their physical acting in their fight sequence, and wrote that it "was one of the finest examples of the form in recent TV history – absolutely too epic to ignore."
Omission of Lady Stoneheart
After the episode premiered, some fans of the novel series voiced their displeasure over the omission of Lady Stoneheart, a character from the end of A Storm of Swords. This was in part fueled by a photo posted to Instagram two months earlier by actress Lena Headey that many fans assumed was a confirmation of the character's inclusion in the finale. A day later, director Alex Graves stated that the character was never planned to appear in the fourth season, and that he did not know whether she would appear in the fifth.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, actress Michelle Fairley stated that the character may not ever be included in the TV series, though she did not give a definite confirmation either way.
Awards and nominations
|2014||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series||David Benioff and D.B. Weiss||Nominated|
|Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards||Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series||Jane Walker and Barrie Gower||Won|
|Outstanding Special and Visual Effects||Joe Bauer, Joern Grosshans, Steve Kullback, Adam Chazen, Eric Carney,
Sabrina Gerhardt, Matthew Rouleau, Thomas H. Schelesny, and Robert Simon
|Hollywood Professional Alliance||Outstanding Sound||Tim Kimmel, Onnalee Blank, Mathew Waters, Paula Fairfield, Brad Katona and Jed M. Dodge||Nominated|
|Outstanding Visual Effects||Joe Bauer, Sven Martin, Jörn Grosshans, Thomas Schelesny and Matthew Rouleau||Won|
|IGN Awards||Best TV Episode||Nominated|
|IGN People's Choice Awards||Best TV Episode||Nominated|
|2015||Cinema Audio Society Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing – Television Series – One Hour||Ronan Hill, Richard Dyer, Onnalee Blank, Mathew Waters, Brett Voss||Won|
|American Society of Cinematographers||Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Regular Series||Anette Haellmigk||Nominated|
|Directors Guild of America Award||Dramatic Series||Alex Graves||Nominated|
|Golden Reel Award||Best Sound Editing in Television, Short Form: FX/Foley||Won|
|Best Sound Editing in Television, Short Form: Dialogue / ADR||Nominated|
|Visual Effects Society||Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Photoreal/Live Action Broadcast Program||Won|
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- Fowler, Matt (June 15, 2014). "Game of Thrones: "The Children" Review". IGN. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
- Collins, Sean T. (June 16, 2014). "'Game of Thrones' Season Finale Recap: Suffer the Children". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
- "Performers of the Week: Rory McCann and Gwendoline Christie". TVLine. June 21, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
- Silman, Anna (June 16, 2014). "Book Fans Angered by Huge Game of Thrones Finale Omission". Vulture.com. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
- Gupta, Prachi (June 16, 2014). ""Game of Thrones" director explains the Lady Stoneheart situation". Salon.com. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
- Schwartz, Terri (June 16, 2014). ""Game of Thrones": Was Lena Headey's Lady Stoneheart Instagram a drunk tease?". Zap2it. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
- Hibberd, James (June 15, 2014). "'Game of Thrones' finale: No Lady Stoneheart! And why that's a good thing (book spoiler)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
- Swift, Andy (June 16, 2014). "Game of Thrones: The Story Behind 4 Finale Deaths and a "missing" lady". tvline.com. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
- Steiner, Amanda Michelle (June 16, 2014). ""Game of Thrones" Director: Why Lady Stoneheart Was Cut From Finale". hollywoodlife.com. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
- Graham, Daniella (June 17, 2014). "Will Lady Stoneheart ever appear in Game Of Thrones?". metro.co.uk. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
- Hibberd, James (June 25, 2014). "Michelle Fairley talks '24' shock, Lady Stoneheart chatter". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
- 'Game of Thrones' Season 4 finale breaks illegal download records. June 17, 2014
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