Game of Thrones' penultimate episode of season four, “Watchers on the Wall,” began with Sam (John Bradley) asking Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) about Ygritte (Rose Leslie), who would be charging towards them with the Wildlings before they know it. Sam wants to know what it’s like to love another person – both emotionally and physically. Jon struggles to explain being wrapped up in someone else before the two men of the Night’s Watch get back to business. Jon is taking first watch atop the Wall.

Game Of Thrones Recap

Ygritte, not far from Castle Black, sharpens the arrows she’s preparing to launch into the "Crows." She’s bitter and eager to hunt down the people who took their land. One of her Thenn comrades questions whether or not she has what it takes to finish Jon Snow. Ygritte warns that if any of them try to kill Jon before she gets to put an arrow through him, she’ll have an arrow for them as well.

Master Aemon (Peter Vaughan) walks in on Sam reading up on the Wildlings in the middle of the night. Aemon repeats his warning that, “Love is the death of duty,” which neither Jon nor Sam had heeded. The maester goes on to talk about growing up as Aemon Targaryen, when he fell in love for himself. When Sam goes downstairs, he finds Gilly (Hannah Murray) and her baby outside the gate. Sam promises Gilly that from now on, wherever she goes, he’ll go too.

Wildlings Attack Castle Black

The horn sounds, marking the start of the Wildling’s attack on the Night’s Watch stronghold. Ser Alliser (Owen Teale) admits to Jon that he’d been right to suggest they close the tunnel, but that now it was too late. He goes on to give the rookie a lesson on leadership –the necessity of sorting through all the suggestions made by young arrogant men and never doubting oneself.

As the Wildlings sprint towards the wall and head for the gate, the Night’s Watch fire burning arrows into the crowd and drop small boulders to halt the Wildlings climbing the gates. The Wildlings still manage to climb over the gates and a battle ensues on the castle grounds. Approaching the main gate are giants – one of which rides in on a mammoth. Jon Snow takes command as the enemy begins scaling the ice wall.

While Pyp and Samwell turn their sights on the intruders inside Castle Black, Ygritte places an arrow through Pip’s neck. Outside, meanwhile, the giants hook the mammoth up to the gate of the tunnel, and help it destroy the steel structure. After flaming barrels scare off the mammoth, a giant lifts the gate himself. When Samwell reports to Jon that the Wildlings are over the other gates and that Ser Alliser is down, Jon makes his way into the fray.

Jon Snow Reunites With Ygritte

Before getting on the ground to join the fray, Jon tells Sam to let Ghost out of his pen. Facing off against a Thenn, Jon loses his sword, but finishes him off with a hammer. Then, he finally comes face-to-face with Ygritte. She hesitates with her bow and arrow and a defenseless Jon just smiles at her, but then she gets hit with an arrow from afar. In his arms, Ygritte tells Jon she wishes they’d never left the cave and just before she dies, she says, “You know nothing Jon Snow.”

Inside the castle walls, Jon Snow has taken charge and Tormund Giantsbane has become his captive. Sam returns to Gilly’s side, making good on his promise to stay alive. Though the Night’s Watch is happy to have held off the Wildlings on the first night, there will be another battle. Instead of waiting for it, Jon Snow decides to go in search of Mance Raydar.

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