"Game Of Thrones" season 4 is nearing its end with the airing of episode 9: "The Watchers on the Wall." The entire episode takes place on the Wall and Castle Black as Mance Rayder's Army attacks from north of the Wall and Tormund attacks from the south with Ygritte and the Thenns.
The episode begins with Jon and Sam contemplating the impending attacks and the missed experiences and opportunities in their lives. Meanwhile, Maester Aemon also shares his own experiences on love and loss with Sam Tarly and how being the heir to the Iron Throne affected his life.
Battle of Castle Black
Now long after, the attack begins with Sir Alliser Thorne in charge of the defence from atop the wall. Once the attack from the south becomes apparent, Thorne leave Janos Slynt in charge of the wall where he was tricked into going down to join the battle on the ground leaving Jon Snow in charge of the Wall. Jon commands the Watch to loose arrows and resist the advancing wildling army.
Climbers attempt to scale the wall while the wildlings archers attempt to shoot at the brthers only to find out that their arrows can't reach high enough to reach the top. Only the giants' arrows manage to make it and create some damage.
Both sides show weakness and lack of military skills as both sides show amateur mistakes and blunders but Jon Snow manages to create a semblance of order upon the watch thanks in part to Janos' cowardice and Thorne's inability to command after being hurt from battling Tormund.
Gilly Returns to the wall
Gilly, who survived the wildling attack in Mole's Town finds her way back to Castle Black and in the arms of Sam Tarly who hides her in the larder for safety. He and Sam share a kiss before he leaves her to join his brothers in defending the castle and the wall. She is found by Janos Slynt who inadvertently end sup sharing her sanctuary in his own search for safety from the battle.
Mammoths and Giants
The brothers get their first glimpse of mammoths and giants as Mance's first wave attempts to break the gate. The sheer strength of one giant and one mammoth were enough to breach the outer gate which further reinforces Jon 's earlier appeals to seal and freeze the gate over.
Sam appeals to Jon to help the brothers on the ground who are being overwhelmed and Jon goes down to join the fold. He duels with Styr who he always had friction with even during the time he spent with the wildlings.
Jon and Ygritte reunite
Ygritte spots the battle and poises to loose an arrow at Jon. She had previously called her claim on his life among the wildlings and has now found her chance. When Jon finishes off Styr he sees Ygritte and offers her a smile. The moment was rudely interrupted by an arrow shot at Ygritte by Olly, the mole's town boy wh was released by the wildlings to warn the Watch iof their impending attack. Jon cradles Ygritte in the middle of teh battle while he gives her a final, heart breaking "You know nothing, Jon Snow."
The battle continues
Tormund is captured as the first wave of attack is held off by the Night's Watch. However, it was not without many casualties. A giant managed to break through the outer gate and while he was killed before getting through the inner gate, He took six brothers with him in their attempt to keep the gate sealed.
Jon declares that the victory is short-lived and Mance is only preparing to launch his real attack the following evening. He then steps out north of the Wall to attempt to find Mance and parlay with him to negotiate an end to the attack and prevent more deaths.
EPISODE 10 PREDICTIONS
The season finale will be expected to pick up from the storylines that were left behind in the previous episode since episode 9 focused only entirely on the Wall.
"The Children" could very well introduce Mance Rayder's son who Jon will encounter once he is able to meet Mance face to face again to discuss the battle.
The child would be of great importance once the final wave of attack is thwarted by Stannis, his army and Melisandre. Mance's son, being the heir of "The King Beyond The Wall" which Mance fancies himself to be, would be a person of interest to Melisandre who has a penchant for using royal blood in her spells. This development, while seen in the books may very well not appear in the series entirely as many characters have so far been absent.
Meanwhile, further south, everyone is awaiting the fate of Tyrion Lannister after having been sentenced to death. He will live on, according to the books, "A Song of Ice and Fire," upon which the series is based. It only remains to be seen if the deaths of Tywin Lannister and Shae will be squeezed into this season or will be used to open the next with a bang.
The promo video shows Bran reaching his destination with the Reeds, the God's Wood that his visions were leaidng him to. Arya and the ountain run into some trouble on the road and Cersei speaks to her father about Tyrion's fate.
The final episode would also need to wrap up developments in Daenery's kingdom and Sansa's new life in the Vale. With so much still left to wrap up, it will be a tough call to see which story lines will be left hanging and which will be used to close out the season.