Game of Thrones

Season 4 Episode 9

The Watchers on the Wall

75
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jun 08, 2014 on HBO
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
235 votes
13

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
The Night's Watch are confronted with the most dangerous challenge to the Wall ever seen.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • awsome one

    8.0
    must watch
  • a lot of battle

    6.0
    I must confess I was a bit bored by this episode. I was waiting for the action to switch to a different place on Westeros and it took my a while to see that we really were stuck with the Night Watch and the battle for a whole episode. I guess I didn't like it much because I get bored with long battles ( the worst thing in the Lord of the Ring films were the endless battles). I was wishing for them to get it over with and just tell me how it all ends. The quiet scenes in between on the other hand were nice, esp the scenes with Sam, who really is such a loyal and moral character and the best of the bunch, but the endless scenes of showing me how to kill someone in battle was just boring for me. I guess some viewers find this exciting, but it is just not my cup of tea. I think this was the worst episode in an otherwise good season and if I got this season on DVD I might just scip this episode and not watch it again.



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  • The Watchers On the Wall (Spoilers Ahead)

    10
    Game of Thrones decided to give us an entire episode devoted to one location, clearly emulating season 2's phenomenal "Blackwater," and even getting that episode's director Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, the Descent) to return to helm the mega-budget combat episode at Castle Black. Spending an entire 50 minutes on the Wall gave us some much needed adrenaline in a side of the land of ice and fire that often feels tertiary in most episodes where the big events are more reserved for King's Landing. Seeing the events come from the page with a slight twist proved effective as the main gate of Castle Black was breached by the Wildlings south of the Wall who Jon had climbed with. Led by the Thenns, Ygritte, and Tormund Giantsbane they seemingly slaughter many a "crow" as they put it. With the logistics of having only 102 Night's Watch and making a mental tally of the remainder after the castle is secured doesn't leave many standing who aren't wounded or incapacitated in some way by episode's end. The true spectacle of the episode comes from the giants on mammoths riding to tear the outer gate of the Wall down to make way for Mance's 100,000. It was also satisfying to see Ser Alliser and Jon come to some sort of agreement over their mutual disdain for one another but they're still united against the threats to the Wall. Seeing Ser Alliser tear down many a Wildling was also satisfying, even going toe to toe with Tormund at one point. Whether his injury was fatal or not remains to be seen but in the books he rises again. Seeing the nobler side of Alliser makes him much more sympathetic while the slimy roach that is Janos Slynt hides away in the corner of the castle with Gilly and Craster Jr. (named Sam? I think so) so he will surely face justice for deserting. I also dig seeing Sam in action and not succumbing to his "I'm so weak and fat" self that he was in Season 1. His character evolution makes sense and has been organically grown since his massive confidence boost of slaying the White Walker last season. Also, nice crossbow shot. Jon had to watch as Ygritte hesitates to shoot him before getting an arrow put through her and she states that they "should've stayed in the cage" because their love was surely doomed given how they were destined to remain loyal to what they truly were. Sad to see her go but it was a very effective moment. Also great big shout out to the dearly departed Grenn and Pyp (one of whom successfully inspired 6 to take on the giant in the tunnel and securing the inner gate of the wall offscreen sadly though). But the Wall stands and Jon now walks outside the gate after giving his sword to Sam to hold onto since he promised Mormont that he wouldn't lose it. Jon's exact plan isn't clear but this isn't how it played out in the book but the surprise visitor to the Wall will be dropping light lightning next time and I couldn't be more excited to see how that plays out. An excellent, combat filled episode that (while not quite the majestic in terms of scale as Blackwater) still held its own with Marshalls stunning use of a 360 shot of total combat and the signature gory battles that GOT is known for. This episode really reinvigorated the Wall as a major plot point and gave us a healthy dose of tragedy, combat, some humor, and of course a giant scything anchor that cut some Wildlings to ribbons. Can't wait for the finale next week (although sadly the ten episode cycle will be over) but it will be nice to see where this and the rest of the remaining threads this season end up.



    Note: How cool was it to see Jon slay seven Wildlings in a row while jumping out of that elevator, and Ghost even got in a throat rip, good dog.moreless
  • Unbelievable!

    9.5
    Just an incredible, incredible episode of television! It was almost total action from start to finish and showed why all of the build-up from the past few seasons has meant something.



    Loved the fight scenes, and the emotional goodbye for Snow and Ygritte.



  • Worst episode so far in 4 seasons

    4.0
    No, I'm not "missing the point". Don't drag out the Prometheus argument: "You didn't like the thing I like, therefore you can't be as smart as me, so you must just be raging because you never "got it" cus I think it's awesome"



    I wouldn't call it BAD. It was still better than watching Youtube videos. (Which, these days, just means watching annoying wannabes talking about stuff that's popular and trying to skim off some of the popularity for themselves)

    But everyone has their favourite characters, locations, story arcs, etc, and the stuff happening at and beyond the wall, for me, ranks barely above the annoying blonde girl and her CGI dragons. I know that eventually the whole show will be about bad CGI dragons and bad CGI wight walkers, but not yet please gods, not yet.

    Still, it always amazes me how the writers of the show consistently correct the poor writing of the books. I think the one and only thing I think that worked better in the books was Ser Barristan's identity in Essos remaining a secret from Dany and Co. For a while.

    If the series were a faithful adaptation of the books, each episode would be a 20 minute description of people eating vaguely medieval sounding food, followed by a 30 minute description of what everyone in the room is wearing.





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Brenock O'Connor

Brenock O'Connor

Olly

Guest Star

Joseph Gatt

Joseph Gatt

Thenn Warg

Guest Star

Ian Whyte

Ian Whyte

Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg

Guest Star

Mark Stanley

Mark Stanley

Grenn

Recurring Role

Peter Vaughan

Peter Vaughan

Maester Aemon

Recurring Role

Owen Teale

Owen Teale

Alliser Thorne

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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