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The Best Game of Thrones Season 4 Finale Reader Comments

Another season of Game of Thrones has ended and, as usual, you had plenty to say. This week, you took to the comments of Nina Shen Rastogi's recap to defend Daenerys, debate the ethics of Bran warging into Hodor, and analyze how the Lannister dynamic diverged from the books.

You had mixed feelings about the aggressively fantastical Bran scenes ...

“Missed opportunity to create a truly gnarly three-eyed crow. He's not supposed to look like Gandalf!” —Commenter Miss_Priss

“Was not pleased at how low rent they portrayed Brynden. What should have been a man absorbed by the weirwood was nothing but a guy having a nice little sit amongst the roots.” —Commenter ksider

“I don't like that they introduced the Child of the Forest looking like a character from Legend of Zelda. It seemed aesthetically and logistically (magic fireballs?) not in keeping with the rest of the show.” —Commenter TrumpetStrumpet

“Since there are so many references to mystical, fantastical elements; I found it satisfying to finally see some of it in action. I'd rather see a slightly cartoonish representation than sit through hour after hour of allusions to that whole other realm.” —Commenter mewmew 

How to Train Your Dragon featuring Bran Stark.....coming soon. OR else his entire story line will be a huge disappointment.” —Commenter wand3rful

“I think people are upset about the uber-fantasy elements finally, really showing their face tonight. This upset is masked and couched in complaints like this. You want it to be more than just a fantasy series. You may not want it to be a fantasy series at all. But it is. A very good one, but it's Swords and Sorcery/Dungeons and Dragons all the way.” —Commenter holbee

“I resent every moment the GoT spends on Bran. It completely ends whatever momentum an episode has.” —Commenter allinthegame

... and thought it was wrong for Bran to warg into Hodor ...

“I think any time you are subverting another human's free will (such as it is, in Hodor's case) and using them as an unknowing (and seemingly unwilling, based on Hodor's reaction to having killed Locke) weapon that's creepy.  Enslavement through mind control, not cool.” —Commenter ochospantalones

“Hodor's also a gentle figure who'd never hurt anybody so warging into Hodor to hurt people is even worse” —Commenter Tecumseh

You weighed the emotional impact of Dany chaining up her dragons  ...

“I agree with you. For whatever reason Dany locking up the dragons did not have the emotional weight that they were trying for. Having not read the books I assume that moment landed better there purely because the books can expand on her relationship with the dragons which the show cannot do based on how much it costs to animate them” —Commenter johnnyb0731 

“It really does seem like the dragons are an afterthought with her, because she's been so focused on ruling Mereen. When you have episode after episode a few seasons ago where she's running around yelling about her dragons and then she gets them back and is all "eh, whatever, things to do now!" it really loses its impact. But apparently we needed an epic CGI fight with the skeletons from Sinbad instead.” —Commenter pennywise

“OK, I had to stop reading Nina's recap (who, whether I agree with her position or not, are always well written) just to state this, b/c I disagree so strongly: the hardest scene I think I've ever had to watch (yet) on GoT was last night watching Dany chain up her two dragons. Seriously, I found it diiiiifffficult. To have this woman stand for freedom so much force herself to lock up her own dragons--just for being themselves--was truly heartwrenching. (I know! CGI dragons?!! I don't get it either). And that it supersedes Oberyn's death scene is saying a lot.” —Commenter DaleCooper4ever

“felt the same way when reading the recap - I almost cried when watching the dragon lock-up! I thought the actress who plays Dany did an excellent job portraying the emotions she was going through, and this season has really shown the difficulties she's had as the dragons grow up.” —Commenter almostcrime

“I was thinking it was more along the lines of whether or not you have children. The dragons are her babies, and they are the only children she will ever have. Imagine being as alone as she is, no family and few true friends, and to have to lock away the only things you love. That scene absolutely broke my heart.” —Commenter NorthernLass 

“I disagree re: Dany's dragons. I definitely felt for her; think back to season two when they were stolen in Qarth and she spent two episodes freaking the f**k out, demanding her children, willing to die before she let them go. How else are they supposed to develop their relationship? I think she imparted much sorrow in her long walk thru the catacombs to put chains around them, esp when you parallel that with her feelings about slavery.” —Commenter YouandWhoseArmy

“I guess I differ from a lot of people that I was a lot more moved by Danaerys having to chain up her dragons than I was by Jojen's death. For me, the "Supernatural Kids Wandering Around in the Snow" storyline was never compelling or interesting. There are perhaps too many peripheral characters for me to care about Jojen ... Then again, if Jojen wasn't played by the Super Annoying Pretentious Kid from Love Actually maybe I would have liked him more.” —Commenter alan3 

You were fans of Arya/Maisie Williams, obviously ...

“There has been little mention in recaps or talkbacks today on how Maisie Williams killed her scenes tonight. From her stillness to her line readings...KILLED it. Every scene.” —Commenter holbee

“The way she looks at The Hound while he's begging her to off him. Good stuff!” —Commenter mare1313 

“I'm not a book reader and (hilariously) the first few comments I read with people referring to "Stoneheart" or whoever, I thought they were talking about the "new" Arya.” —Commenter DaleCooper4ever

“On a totally shallow note, I thought Arya looked very pretty this episode. The haircut has changed a little, right?” —Commenter katheli

 ... and nobody missed Reek, obviously  ...

 “Two seasons now and the Reek story line has taken us exactly nowhere. Precious screen time is spent with the sadistic Boltons and yet Bran, who we are to understand hold the keys to ... something ... was probably given a total of 5 whole minutes until the finale.  Other than those sour grapes, I was fairly thrilled.” —Commenter PierresRobe

You debated the cost of having so many narrative threads  ...

“My problem with this GoT narrative is that its own complexity gets in the way. We don't spend enough time with anyone to get bonded. Tyrion maybe an exception, Jon Snow. The first 6 episodes of True Detective are the best I've seen precisely because we get to know these two detectives of binary opposition. The revelations are put into perspective when Marty surrenders to Cole saying "Now I'm begging you to shut up."” —Commenter HHHHHHHHHHHHH

“GRRM set out to write a series that couldn't be turned into films for just that very reason. Personally - I'm glad they're doing it - albeit via TV series - anyway. It helps to have read the books beforehand. Then you'll have the added knowledge and attachment to the characters to make the series so much better.” —Commenter vinegarstrokes

 ... and discussed how the Lannister family dynamic differed from the books ...

I know the book readers are all upset that Tyrion and Jaime's farewell was changed but I think this is an adaptation choice that makes a lot of sense.  It's one of those things where what works on the page would have looked ridiculous on screen,  Jamie is trying to save his brother's life, he's rushing him through these tunnels to safety, not planning to even stop to say goodbye.  And then he drops everything to monologue about something that happened 20 years ago?  That would have been silly.  It also doesn't fit with Jaime as he's been characterized in the show.  He loves his brother, but he's not really a talker or a deep-thinker.  He's more goal-oriented than sentimental.” —Commenter ochospantalones

“Ah, I completely forgot about that exchange. I think there could have been a way to work it in - say in one of their exchanges while Tyrion is still imprisoned, instead of that ridiculous beetle-crushing cousin story. Because this is something that Tyrion is ruminating on for the rest of the next two books....But what was a bigger change to me was the connection between Jaime and Cersei, and the omission of what Tyrion tells Jaime about her and the other men she's been with. This is a big part of his motivation for deciding to free Tyrion, because freeing Tyrion is ultimately a betrayal of Cersei.” —Commenter LauraBee

“It has always driven me crazy that Tyrion tells Jaime that he poisoned Joffrey even though he didn't. I vastly preferred this exchange. And I don't recall that Tysha has been mentioned much at all; I think she's largely been omitted for the sake of time. And considering we never meet Tysha in the books, I'm okay with that... My guess for the Cersei-Jaime thing is that as soon as Tywin is dead (now), Cersei will turn from him again because she won't need his alliance against their father.” —Commenter sambodia7

Finally, you applauded Varys for a very badass farewell  ...

“Loved that Dr. Frankenstein  stuff with Qyburn and the Mountain. Cannot wait to see what becomes of it, and of Cersei's intense interest in seeing him made whole again. And when Varys hears the bells and just turns around and makes his exit- we remember what he said about hearing the bells at the Blackwater battle- what a fine moment! The look on his face… That entire finale was a great hour or so of TV ( except for those silly sword fighting skeletons)” —Commenter Cags

“Varys with a classic "BRB Never"... I laughed.” —Commenter LH29