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The greatest fire the North has ever seen is somehow still smaller than the fireworks on the Blackwater Bay.
In this week’s installment of “Winter Was Here,” the Game of Thrones rewatch podcast collaboration between The Hollywood Reporter and Post Show Recaps, we reach the second big battle of the HBO series: “The Watchers on the Wall,” season four’s penultimate installment, centered entirely on the climactic battle between the Night’s Watch and the Free Folk bearing down upon the great Wall of Westeros.
“Watchers on the Wall,” like season two’s “Blackwater,” comes from director Neil Marshall, who narrows the scope of the sprawling series’ story while expanding the scale of violence in grand fashion. It was an episode so massive that it warranted an Imax release in 2015, with viewers invited to see Jon Snow (Kit Harington) battle it out with the Magnar of Thenn (Yuri Kolokolnikov) on the biggest screen possible.
The collision of wall watchers and wildlings alike yields an array of highlights, including but not limited to:
• Jon versus Styr, with anvils and hammers along for the ride;
• Owen Teale as Alliser Thorne, in what’s easily the weary Night’s Watch veteran’s finest hour;
• Dominic Carter as Janos Slynt, the Paul Reiser to “Watchers on the Wall’s” Aliens;
• the shocking demises of both Pyp and Grenn (Josef Altin and Mark Stanley, respectively), still alive through five editions of George R.R. Martin’s novel series;
• the tragic death of Ygritte (Rose Leslie), and all the potential that died along with her;
• the absolutely nonsensical scythe that sweeps across the Wall, satisfying the book-reading crowd who lamented the loss of “the chain” in the show’s depiction of the Battle of the Blackwater;
• and more!
Listen to the podcast conversation in the player below.
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