1. I knew Tyrion wouldn't die and Jaime would be the one to save him (I've read only the first novel, so this was all prediction based on watching the series - I said this in previous reviews). What I didn't see was that Tyrion would kill Tywin, which certainly provides a service to Cersei. King's Landing without Tywin, though, will leave it less able to defend itself when Daenerys finally arrives. Nonetheless, Tyrion - who may be on his way to meeting up with Daenerys now - was right to kill Tywin. I didn't believe a word Tywin was saying at the end, either.
2. Daenerys, though, is having problems with her uncontrollable dragons. This is an important development. If she can't control them, how can she effectively deploy them in battle?
3. Arya may be on her way to joining Daenerys, too. After wandering around with the Hound for who remembers how many seasons, she's off on her own. And the land across the sea is a good place for her to be - not only safe from her enemies - who would be, who, Stanislaw and Cersei? - but in a strong place to influence events if Daenerys takes her in. And when you add Tyrion into this mix, you get some even more interesting possibilities.
4. Speaking of Stanislaw, he's finally put to some good, surprising use after his defeat at King's Landing at Tyrion's hands. Having him and his troops beat Mance Rayder, with the defenses at Castle Black all but exhausted, was a smart move in this complex game of chess that is Game of Thrones. His command of the north may well provide the best defense of Westeros in the ultimate battle with Daenerys.
5. Bran also had a significant episode, which ends for him in a significant position of power. Exactly how this will figure in battles ahead remains to be seen.
6. And I was glad to see John Snow surviving, at least for now. The first part of this season finale was in effect the end of the single-story episode we saw last week, which was also one of the best episodes in the series.
Looking forward to more next year!
See also Games of Thrones Season 4 Premiere: Salient Points ... Game of Thrones 4.2: Whodunnit? ... Game of Thrones 4.3: Who Will Save Tyrion ...Game of Thrones 4.4: Glimpse of the Ultimate Battle ... Game of Thrones 4.6: Tyrion on Trial ... Game of Thrones 4.8: Beetles and Battle ... Game of Thrones 4.9: The Fight for Castle Black
And see also Game of Thrones Back in Play for Season 2 ... Game of Thrones 2.2: Cersei vs. Tyrion
And see also A Game of Thrones: My 1996 Review of the First Novel ... Game of Thrones Begins Greatly on HBO ... Game of Thrones 1.2: Prince, Wolf, Bastard, Dwarf ... Games of Thrones 1.3: Genuine Demons ... Game of Thrones 1.4: Broken Things ... Game of Thrones 1.5: Ned Under Seige ... Game of Thrones 1.6: Molten Ever After ... Games of Thrones 1.7: Swiveling Pieces ... Game of Thrones 1.8: Star Wars of the Realms ... Game of Thrones 1.9: Is Ned Really Dead? ... Game of Thrones 1.10 Meets True Blood
And here's a Spanish article in Semana, the leading news magazine in Colombia, in which I'm quoted about explicit sex on television, including on Game of Thrones.
And see "'Game of Thrones': Why the Buzz is So Big" article in The Christian Science Monitor, 8 April 2014, with my quotes.
Also: CNN article, "How 'Game of Thrones' Is Like America," with quote from me
"I was here, in Carthage, three months from now."