Violet recaps Season 4 Episode 9 of Game of Thrones, titled The Watchers on the Wall, where we finally get to see what we’ve been waiting for all season – the Wildling attack on the Wall! Following the recap, both Violet and Josh share their thoughts about the episode.
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Game of Thrones, Season 4 Episode 9: The Watchers on the Wall Recap Overview
- While the Wildlings south of the Wall wait for the signal to attack, Gilly runs to Castle Black. Sam lets her in, kisses her, and gives her a hiding spot just before the attack begins.
- Ygritte and the Wildlings south of the Wall attack Castle Black while most of the Night’s Watch is preoccupied at the top of the Wall fending off the attack of 100,000 Wildlings from the north.
- When Ser Alliser gets word of the southern attack, he goes down to help fight with the men, leaving Janos Slynt in charge up top. Alliser is later injured in a swordfight.
- Janos is called down to help with the fight at the foot of the Wall, but runs to Gilly’s hiding spot instead, leaving Jon Snow in charge on top of the Wall.
- Pip is killed by an arrow, and Sam goes to the top of the Wall to ask Jon for help. Jon sends Grenn and a few men to help hold the inner gate, and Jon goes down to help in the fight. He and Ygritte spot each other for a moment, but she is killed by young Ollie’s arrow, and dies in Jon’s arms.
- The Night’s Watch manages to fend of the Wildling attack for the night, but Jon decides to go north of the Wall to seek out Mance Rayder and kill him.
Sam has Jon Snow tell him what it’s like being with a woman. The Wildlings and Thenns south of the Wall wait for the signal to attack. Maester Aemon finds Sam in the library and calls him out on being in love with Gilly. He also reveals that his last name is Targaryen, and he could have been King many years ago.
Gilly shows up at the Wall, and Sam has Pip open the gate to let her in, against orders. He tells her that from now on, wherever she goes, he goes too. Just then, the horn sounds, and the Thenn who was in the body of an owl at the Wall tells the Wildings south of the Wall that it’s time.
The Night’s Watch get their supplies ready for the impending attack of 100,000 Wildings from the North. Ser Alliser regrets not having sealed the tunnel when they had the chance. Sam brings Gilly to a safe place to ride out the attack. He kisses her, and promises her he won’t die. Ygritte spies on the foot of the Wall, and reports back that most everyone is up on top of the Wall, so they head towards the Wall to attack.
While most of the Night’s Watch is occupied with shooting flaming arrows toward the North, Ygritte and the others attack with their own arrows from the South. Sam and Pip try to hold off the southern gate attackers. Ser Alliser goes down to help fend off the attack on the Southern Gate, leaving Janos Slynt in charge. The Wildlings make it through into Castle Black, and Ser Alliser leads the swordfight against them. Jon Snow finds himself in command of the archers at the top of the Wall when Janos is called to help below, and Wildlings begin to climb up the side of the Wall.
When Janos goes down below, he finds a hiding spot – which turns out to be where Gilly is also hiding. Ygritte shoots Pip in the neck. Meanwhile, giants and a woolly mammoth work on pulling off the North gate. Jon commands Grenn to take a few men down to hold the inner gate. Down below, Alliser gets injured in a swordfight and is dragged off by his men. Pip dies, and Sam finds the courage to shoot someone in the head. He then orders the young boy, Ollie, to get him to the top, and tells him to find a weapon and fight the Wildlings.
When Sam tells Jon what is going on down below, Jon goes down to help, and leaves Edd in charge up top. Grenn and his men recite the Night’s Watch vow as a giant makes it through the North Gate and runs at them to get through the inner gate. Jon joins in the Castle Black fight, and Sam lets Ghost out to help with the fight.
Jon has a close call with a Thenn, but buries a hammer in his head. For a moment, Jon and Ygritte see each other, but Ollie hits Ygritte with an arrow through the back. Jon holds Ygritte in his arms as she dies. On the North side, the Night’s Watch breaks some ice off the Wall and sends several climbers to their death. It seems that the Wildling attack is done for the night. Tormund ends up being the last surviving Wildling in the attack on the Southern gate, and they take him in for questioning. Sam goes back for Gilly, and finds Janos there too.
Jon tells Sam that Mance Rayder was merely testing their defenses, and that they’ll just keep attacking every night, and that the Night’s Watch will never win. Jon’s plan is to go out and find Mance Rayder so he can kill him, because the Wildings won’t know what to do without their leader. When Jon and Sam go down to the gate, they find Grenn and the others all dead, though they did manage to hold the gate. Jon Snow then leaves out of the North gate.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 4 Episode 9 of Game of Thrones: The Watchers on the Wall
Interestingly, this episode focused only on what was going on at the Wall! I never expected that to happen, considering how many different storylines we have going on, and especially since many of them seem to have progressed quite a bit in the previous episode. However, if you think about it, the Wall storyline has not gotten very much airtime all season, so perhaps a dedicated episode was owed to it.
Gilly once again proves that she’s a survivor, being able to sneak past the Wildlings and make it to the protection of Castle Black. Sam amusingly finds a loophole in the Night’s Watch vows which could allow him to be with Gilly after all, and once she comes back to him, he makes sure to take advantage of that. Well, not full advantage, but just kissing her (a long time coming), and declaring his devotion to her. Not that he really had time to take full advantage, there is a big battle going on at the Wall, after all.
One interesting thing that is revealed this episode is that Maester Aemon is a Targaryen, and that he could have been King, but instead joined the Night’s Watch. It makes you wonder how things could have been different had he become King.
The battle itself didn’t seem all that exciting. It was supposed to be a battle against 100,000 Wildlings, but we only saw a small sample of that number. What was going on at the foot of the Wall was more exciting that what was going on up top. It was so tragic that Ygritte and Jon shared only a glance before she was struck with the fatal blow, ironically shot by the child from the village that she and the Wildlings slaughtered earlier this season. I knew it was coming, but it didn’t make it any less sad.
There’s a whole lot of other significant events that are supposed to happen at the Wall by the end of the third book, upon which this season is based. However, at this rate, it doesn’t seem like they’re going to get to everything, especially since next episode we have all of the other storylines coming back in.
I have a feeling I know exactly what cliffhanger this season will end on, which was something that I had expected to happen several episodes ago, sadly enough, but the season has found a way to drag it out until now. Let’s just say, some stuff is about to go down in King’s Landing. Some things have been changed around for other storylines, and I’m curious to see if they take a completely different path from the books, or if it’s going to get back on track.
Unlike the Season 3 finale, which ended rather calmly compared Episode 9 of that season, I’m pretty sure the Season 4 finale is going to be quite eventful. Hang on to your hats and prepare for another shocker or two.
Josh’s Thoughts: Game of Thrones, Season 4 Episode 9: The Watchers on the Wall
This episode, unlike almost any other centered only on Castle Black which, I understand was to make that battle feel more epic, but I found myself feeling a bit lackluster about the episode as a whole. I enjoy the back and forth many characters have and seeing how it interacts with other people that seemingly have nothing to do with the people talk (for example, when Tywin discusses Jorah and how to handle him, and then we see the repercussions of Jorah being banished by Khaleesi). This episode for the most part seemed more action focused than story focused.
There were definitely some really cool scenes. One that comes to mind specifically is the camera panning across the battle in one big arch, and we see different areas of the battle all at once. That scene was pretty awesome to watch. But coming from epic fantasy movies like Lord of the Rings, Braveheart or other big budget films, the fight scenes didn’t seem quite as entertaining. I understand it is comparing apples and oranges, considering the budget differences, but I think I would have had a quicker Castle Black battle and moved on with the story rather than spending the entire episode on it.
Ygritte’s storyline with Jon Snow was not something that I enjoyed too much either I am sad to say. I guess I have a hard time fathoming loving someone but at the same time attempting to kill that person and their entire village. I personally feel like it would be one or the other. The interesting part of Ygritte’s scene was her final look at Jon Snow before she is killed by the young kid. I really wanted to know what she was thinking. She didn’t seem to have a look of murderous intent when she died.
So we now know that Jon Snow is going after Mance Rayder. I have a feeling that while he will find Mance Rayder, and he may likely accomplish his mission of assassinating him, I think it might be at a great cost. I think it could be a detrimental injury to him. I hope he survives though, as I really like Jon Snow, and Game of Thrones really enjoys killing characters that I like.
As for the finale, unfortunately I have been spoiled on a big part of what happens, or at least what happens in the books, so there is not much that I can say about what I think will happen. It will be interesting to see how what I know is carried out in the show, however. The makers of Game of Thrones have promised a very exciting finale. Let us hope that it lives up to their expectation!
Scenes from Game of Thrones, Season 4 Episode 10: The Children
Here are scenes from the season finale of Game of Thrones, titled The Children: