Valar morgulis. Lesson’s learned from the fathers in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones Season 4 Finale

A Father’s Day Special

Tywin Lannister

HBO’s Game of Thrones – Tywin Lannister

Over 9.3 million people tuned in this Father’s Day to the Game of Thrones Season 4 Finale with the Episode named ‘The Children’. In this episode, we tie up a few loose ends and begin new chapters.  The Children are an old race of people who lived in Westeros before the first men settled the land.  The Episode refers to them, and we get our first introduction to them when one rescue’s Bran and the gang from the White Walkers.  However, the episode also focuses in on several of the children in the Story – Bran, Arya, Daenerys, Jon, Tyrion, Cersie, and Jamie.  But, every child of course has a father, and being that the episode aired on father’s day it’s apropos to view this from the life lessons our father’s teach us.

Sarah Davies wrote ‘A tribute to Dad: 5 lessons we’ve learned from our fathers’ for The Digital Universe. Let’s look at these lessons from the eyes of the children of Westeros.

1) We are all a little Jacked up

In this episode Cersie visits with her father Tywin Lannister and discusses her betrothal to the gallant ‘Knight of Flowers’ Loras Tyrell. Refusing to marry him, Cersie tells her father ‘I don’t care’ when he points out that the merger between the families is crucial to the future of the family. She further points out that she is willing to ‘burn the house to the ground’ before she will leave the side of her second son king, Tommen. When Tywin threatens to drag her to the sept to complete the nuptials, she lets it all loose as she lets him know that she can and will keep her word and that Tommen has no claim to the throne because all the ugly rumors about her and Jaime are true – a fact that apparently Tywin flat out refused even though he should have been able to see the truth before the rumors even began.

2) The space between us matters most

Daenerys, who is just a child herself, finds herself being a father figure to her people. When a slave comes to her asking to be returned to the servitude of his previous master as an instructor to his children, she abides but notes that it should be a contract between the two that will last no longer than a year. This allows the slave the concept of fair trade for services – but is one that he will likely not take heed. The next supplicant brings her the charred remains of a child who had been burned by the black dragon Drogon. She then decides to put her dragons in a fierce timeout – chaining the green and gold dragons in a dungeon and locking them away in the dark.

3) Live in the Now

After the battle last week at castle black, Jon Snow heads north to meet with Mance Raydor. His options are slim – he must come to an agreement with Mance or break the wildling leadership by killing him. Mance asserts that he is only looking to keep his people safe and that safety only resides on the south side of the wall these days. Jon is about to make his move, when Stannis and all of his troops arrive (presumably from the far side of the wall via the sea). Mance quickly surrenders – claiming that he wants his people to live. Stannis recognizes the solemn black coat in the group and Jon identifies himself as Ned Stark’s son – a claim that still holds some value for Stannis. Jon suggests taking Mance prisoner and burning all the dead bodies.   Jon is learning to make quick decisions based on the information available to him, and unlike his father he has managed to do it in a way that allows him to keep his head.

4) Become the Change

We find our favorite imp Tyrion still locked up in the castles jails awaiting execution.   Jaime upsets the plans to see the imp dead and once again Tyrion escapes death. Jaime leads him through the castle tunnels telling him that Varys (and his freedom) are on the other side of the door at the top of the stair. Tyrion has seen the light though, and in an act that lets us know he has finally given up on being a valued member of the Lannister family, he sneaks into his father’s chambers hoping to ambush him in his sleep. Tywin isn’t in the bed though – instead Tyrion finds Shae – the whore he had loved and married in secret. You can clearly see the pain in Tyrion’s face and as Shae grabs a knife to attack him, he fights, and ultimately strangles the life out of her. He finds the crossbow that Joffery had used to torment Sansa and finds his father sitting in the privy. They have words, and when Tywin calls Shae a whore, Tyrion threatens to shoot him if he calls her that again. Clearly not hearing, or believing that his son’s family loyalty will keep him safe Tywin finds himself with a bolt through his chest. And thus ends the tyrannical reign of Tywin Lannister as we leave him dead and bloody with his pants down in the crapper. Shortly after Varys packs Tyrion into a shipping container and has him loaded onto a ship. When the Bells start to toll (presumably for Tywin) Varys seems to give up on his part of playing the game and climbs aboard the ship alongside Tyrion.

5) Finding Personal Peace

Last week the Hound finally arrived at the Eyrie with Arya, only to find that her Aunt Lysa was dead. Since her ‘Dancing Lessons’ we have found Arya internalizing all the lessons she learned from Syrio Forel and this week epitomizes the lessons and we see a glimpse of who Arya is going to become. In this final episode, Brienne of Tarth finds Arya practicing her sword movements and they have a touching conversation on what it is like to be a woman who is more interested in swords than in dolls. The conversation is ruined when Brienne realizes that she is talking to Arya Stark and then finds out she is being ‘escorted’ by The Hound. Fighting and Mayhem ensue with Brienne and The Hound Duking it out over who is the better Knight – and Brienne pushes him over a cliff. Arya climbs down into the valley where the Hound lays broken and bleeding and listens to him as he goads her into killing him. She doesn’t fall of it – just lets him plead for death. In the end she takes his gold and walks away – all with the emotional flourish of a water dancer. At the end of the episode we see her on a ship with the wind in her hair as she moves on to the next step of her journey (which is my favorite of them all). Valar morgulis.


Now we must wait for Season five. Its only 42 weeks away. Le Sigh.


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