close menu

GAME OF THRONES Recap: The Watchers on The Wall Had Themselves a Giant-Filled Fight


If they were boys before tonight, they were all men by the end of it, as the Night’s Watch battled it out all night long to make sure they stayed on top. And while that all may sound like the beginning of a terrible-but-exciting, Jon Snow-starring pornography of many a gal (and guy)’s dreams, it’s actually exactly what went down. On Sunday night’s penultimate episode of Game of Thrones‘ fourth season, the long-awaited Battle of Castle Black was upon us, and those watchers had a lot more to do than just stare into the blackness.

After seeing so little of The Wall this season, we were gifted with an entirely impressive, visually insane, and expansive episode set in Castle Black as the boys got pummeled from all angles. They were really takin’ it like some champs. They were getting beat on in the front and in the back. Taken equally by surprise and as expected. (Sorry, this is getting really sexual, isn’t it?) The battle raged all around and Neil Marshall’s directing really amplified that as we soared over battles and up and down the wall. Ultimately, they kept the Wildlings at bay. For now.

First thing’s first: let’s get that big death out of the way, eh? Yes, even after last week, Benioff and Weiss have served up another fan favorite on a plate made of tombstone: Ygritte is dead. Shot in the chest by a wee lad named Olly (remember the kid who came to warn Castle Black of the Thenns? That one.) right as Jon Snow managed to escape and kill the Magnar of Thenn. He’d even managed to crack a genuinely-excited-to-see-her smile, that old grumplestiltskin. But of course that meant his love would die, and in such bittersweet fashion to boot: because he wasn’t sure when/if he’d ever see her, and Ygritte certainly never saw that smile coming. Ahh, young love: it’s always lost in an instant, innit?

We even lost a couple of our favorite Night’s Watchers — including Pyp (shot through the head by Ygritte) and Grenn (taken down in the tunnel below The Wall while valiantly killing a literal giant). No! Yes. Even Alliser Thorne, acting Lord Commander is maybe dead and gone; it’s true. The gods both old and new are cruel.


But this episode was bound to have a few deaths. And sure, we were all very likely to fall in love with that goddamn stoic dreamboat Jonnyboy Snow all over again for a multitude of smolder-y reasons, but did anyone expect Samwell Tarly to steal the show? Because we thought he certainly did, and it caught us by surprise (make no mistake, though: we love us some Tarly).

From the first minute of the episode, the bromance was on strong, and Samwell was the more pragmatic one, particularly when the discussion turned to sex stuff. (Not matter what Realm you live in, boys will be boys, my friends.) Perma-honorable Snow, who long felt so ashamed by “breaking his vows” when he slept with Ygritte, apparently didn’t have all that much to worry about, thanks to Samwell, finder of loopholes. Since technically he did not take a wife or father a child, he’s not broken them at all. On a technicality, there’s nothing they can’t do when it comes to sex stuff (of all kinds!) as long as it doesn’t end with a baby.

Samwell also helped us to learn a bit more about Maester Aemon, who — if you didn’t remember or realize it by now — was once a princely Targaryen and heir to the Iron Throne. (Something tells us that he would’ve made a better king than that Mad one.) His love affair with a mysterious woman down in King’s Landing was hinted at with pitch-perfect aplomb: just in time for Gilly to arrive at Castle Black and for Samwell to get his kiss on. Awww! These two crazy kids better make it work. After all, he’s “not nothing anymore.”

I couldn’t have been the only one hooting and hollering at my television, “Go, Samwell, Go!” could I?

In the end, they’ve held the Wildlings back, at least for another day, But goddamn that Jon Snow: he’s off to find and kill Mance Rayder — without his beloved sword Longclaw! And while he’s never looked like such a MAYUN before this moemnt — cranking that brood shit up to eleven. No maybe even twelve — we can’t help but worry about his fate. This is Game of Thrones after all.

Stuff and Things and Other Loose Ends
– Major points to Ghost for ripping the shit out of some necks in that episode. I mean damn, right?
– Tormond Giantsbane has been captured. But will he stay tied up for long?
– The giants and the wooly mammoths looked like creatures from a Jim Henson, acid-laced nightterror of the highest order.
– Is there a name for that crazy-giant swinging contraption that took everyone out so epically?
– Because holy cats that thing.
– Do we hate Olly or do we love Olly or do we just pity him?
– How bad is Samwell going to feel about that, considering he was the one who told Olly to fight?
– Most Gruesome Death Award goes to, hands-down, when the Night’s Watchman got shot into the air and off the top of The Wall onto a giant bloody spike (who puts spikes in the middle of the ground for no reason?) by the giant’s arrow. YIKES.

Do we think Jon Snow will actually be able to kill Mance Rayder? Let us know what you think in the comments (or on Twitter)!

How Much Turkey Would You Need to Eat to Get Knocked Out by Tryptophan Alone?

How Much Turkey Would You Need to Eat to Get Knocked Out by Tryptophan Alone?



Peter Jackson Filmed Part of RETURN OF THE KING on a Mine Field

Peter Jackson Filmed Part of RETURN OF THE KING on a Mine Field



  1. Ramzy says:

    Stannis is going to show up and help the Night’s Watch fuck the wildlings up. Also, Mance doesn’t want to rule, he and his people are running away from something. What could it be?

  2. Bran says:

    So the nerdist is employing 15 year old girls to write there reviews. Haaaaaaaack

  3. Anon says:

    It’s my first time reading one of these recaps.  Are they always written by and/or targetted toward teenage girls? 

  4. Rich says:

    It wasn’t a giant spike that the Nights Watchman landed on when he flew off the wall.  It was in fact the arrow that the giant shot and impaled him with.   Flew up to the top of the wall, impacted him, and it and he were carried down to the other side. 

  5. Trevor says:

    You can’t really hate Olly. I’m surprised no one has mentioned it already, but if you’ll remember, Ygritte was that one who shot his father with the arrow that began the whole slaughter of his village.

  6. RRandRT says:

    Question:  Why don’t the wildlings just climb another part of the wall?  Is the entire stretch fortified like that?  With scythes and stuff?

    • Sam says:

      Because that is the only place for free passage, the gate, also castle black is the one force stopping them, there also are other castles as stating in the first season but castle black is the biggest. Take down castle black, control the wall. 

    • lepinkainen says:

      Not every single one of the 100000 wildlings is able to climb the wall.

  7. havaharhar says:

    *picture above
    The real Anakin Skywalker!

  8. Letter P says:

    I enjoy these recaps. They’re excited and they read straight how I’m feeling after each week. It isn’t like I need the information I did just watch it. So its more to share in how awesome GoT is with fellow viewers. Also is that thing called the Scythe? I think its called the Scythe, guys. Scythe. 

  9. t4 says:

    “Is there a name for that crazy-giant swinging contraption that took everyone out so epically?” Yes, its called the scythe, and was referred to, by name, about 2 or 3 times in the episode (and no, I didnt need to read the books to know that). But the idea that the person writing the recap actually paid attention to the show might be a bit much.

  10. Jessica says:

    This episode was disapointing, maybe because I am so used to having everyone I love die in almost every episode ever, but it was boring, the fight scenes were predictable, and the story was lacking. I was literally drawn more to looking at cat photos on my phone than watching this episode. There were a few scenes that I did enjoy, Sam finally getting some sense, Ginger dying, (hated her, but not as much as I hates Caitlyn and cheered when she died) Sycth, and just having giants in an episode. I was really looking forward to what happens to Tyrion.

  11. Jessica says:

    I’m sure this has probably been mentioned before, but in the ‘Stuff and things and other loose ends” the last thing you talk about is the guy being thrown down from the wall and landing on a spike. You were incorrect on this, a giant shot him with his bow and arrow, that “spike” you thought was there on the ground, was in fact the arrow.

  12. Chris says:

    What I want to know is: Of course Ghost went with Jon Snow to kill Mance, yes?!

  13. the swinging blade they call the Scythe….was awesome…..just awesome!!

    I would have liked a little more battle on the wildling side of the wall….Show the giant in the tunnel fighting the watchers. Wildlings didn’t seem very organized on their side of wall.

    John Snow’s quest  to kill the wildling leader is a bold move.
    the young stark with his group where are they?? 
    where do the white walkers and the white walker king come into play….didnt see any white walkers in the wildling group on either side.
    great episode….this has been one hell of a season… I cant imagine what the next will  be like.

    • The White Walkers are not in league with The Wildlings. In fact, the whole trip down South is so The Wildlings can get away from the White Walkers. They are as scared of the White Walkers as the people of Westeros are.

  14. Negative Batman,as much as I hate to argue the point, I have to give the MOST GRUESOMEDEATH AWARD to the pink mist that was the wildlings that were attempting to climb the wall, only to be mushed by “THE SCYTH”

  15. Squirrel says:

    Wait… you honestly think the dude who was killed by the giant’s arrow fell onto a spike? IT WAS THE FUCKING ARROW ITSELF!! The dude’s a giant! You think he’s going to use a wooden arrow? He shoots metal arrows, said arrow killed the Night’s Watchman, he flew through the air, and traveled down below, where the metal arrow stuck in the ground.
    I mean, damn… I thought I had a bad attention span.

  16. Sheri says:

    That camera shot that went for about 30 seconds, sweeping over the battle was fucking inspired. I got chills, I got disoriented, I got vertigo, I loved it.

  17. Sheri says:

    The “giant spike” was the arrow

  18. Clueless Neophyte says:

    The wildling that got stomped by the runaway mammoth was pretty rad, too.

    I think they called that swinging thing “the scythe”, which seems super-appropriate.  I especially like the idea that they can “reload” the thing & swing it again & again.

    Re giant’s arrow death:  I didn’t think he landed on a spike–I though that was just the arrow itself.

  19. Derek says:

    You should’ve taken more time to wipe yourself and maybe shower before posting this. Second week in a row the Nerdist recap has fallen far short of site-worthiness. 

  20. Justin says:

    Fun article, but Jon didn’t lose Longclaw. He has it with him when he heads out to kill Mance

  21. Darkmynkee says:

    Yep it was a scythe. Awesome weapon. I feel bad for poor little Olly 🙁 He was just trying to help

  22. Beth says:

    We don’t hate Olly. He saved Jon Snow’s life! Ygritte might have been surprised by that disarming smile (he looked SO much like Ned there!) but she would have shot him for sure once she got her bearings back. Sam won’t have any pity either. He’s a man now too, in more ways than one. I’m sure he’ll have an inkling of sorrow that it had to end this way for her, but he knows who the enemy is. He’d have killed her himself if he’d seen that arrow trained on his buddy. 

  23. joey says:

    I’ll be honest. I was REALLY looking forward to seeing the turtles… this whole season has been disapointing (coming from someone who reads the books)

  24. The giant spike in the middle was the arrow. It lifted the guy off the wall, and landed on the ground.

  25. smartbunny says:

    I swear I heard a few Wilhelm Screams in this ep. Maybe the dude that flew a million feet in the air?

  26. Shannon says:

    It was the scythe, and what a way to protect the wall.