So we’ve had our fun with the last two seasons of the best kills on Game of Thrones. So let’s just get a bit more ridiculous and proceed with another list: The Game of Thrones Top Ten Slaps to the Face List! What’s that you say? Not enough slaps to make up a whole list? I beg to differ Ser! On with the list!
Oh boy oh boy! It’s hard to believe there are only three episodes left of this season especially as things are really heating up. Actually heating up quite literally in Daenerys’ case. People should know by now that if you mess with the momma, you mess with her dragons. Also a good lesson, never find yourself in a bear pit with Jaime Lannister, especially if you are the bear. All that led to this week’s promo:
Arya, Arya, Arya. It seems like just yesterday she was getting her hair chopped off in an alleyway and here she is with a rock and knowing exactly what to do with it. So proud.
On to the bonus features!
As I was perusing the internet, wondering what fun things to find for this week’s “promo and stuff”, it occurred to me that I had never once searched for Game of Thrones themed items on etsy. Of course this needed to be remedied immediately and oh how happy I am!
People! Have you been spending all this time eating plain ol’ boring cookies? Well no longer do you have to suffer so! For here we have perhaps the greatest piece of plastic ever molded into the likeness of Tyrion Lannister himself. Your cookie dough won’t know what hit ’em.
My husband lost his wedding ring years ago and if I thought he’d wear one again, I’d order these in a heartbeat. Stamped with the “moon of my life” and “my sun and stars” pet names Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen had for each other, these rings are just too cute.
Stop the presses. STOP THE PRESSES! I need this. Of course I’ll go buy the pattern and likely never get around to actually stitching it but how awesome would this be on a pillow? Or go for the gusto and hang it on your wall, front and center so everyone who comes over has to marvel at its wonder.
Speaking of putting something on your wall…
I implore someone to please purchase this, put it on your wall, and then take a picture and send it to me because I need to see the real life application of this beauty. Just imagine how jealous your friends will all be of you and your “wall of Jon Snow”. I see no downsides here so someone please, make this happen.
Well that about does it for me. Make sure you check out this week’s Game of Thrones review with episode seven “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” and I’ll be back next week for a new promo!
Once again, If you’ve not read the books, STOP READING HERE! Major spoilers abound.
Episode 8: The Prince Of Winterfell
This episode pays off the one of the main changes from the books, and effectively gives Ros The Wonder Whore a reason to have been around, other than her breasts, instead of the whole Alayaya/other whore/switcharoo, we get basically the same outcome, only with Cersei thinking Tyrion’s prostitute lover is Ros. Cersei holds her at ransom, to ensure Joffreys safety against Tyrion, because she think’s he’s plotting to kill him. This, readers will note, is foreshadowing to what happens to Tyrion in Book 3, and probably foreshadows Ros’s execution to be in Season 4, (revenge by Cersei), when we finally, finally, get to see Joffrey die.
The scene between Davos and Stannis isn’t quite different, as much as it is the second half of an earlier conversation they had in the series, that was split up into two different parts. This conversation in the book to me, defined Stannis to a T. He’s the kind of guy who would thank you, and honor you with knighthood for smuggling in food to save all the lives of the people during a siege, and then turn back around and punish you for smuggling. He is bound by duty to punish you, but will lessen it by only taking the tips of your fingers, rather than the whole hand, in recognition of the good you’ve done. He’s the creepy older uncle type who sits in his castle all day playing building models, and his brother is the young, cool, hipster guy who throws awesome parties. Unfortunately, it’s Stannis’ duty to be King, and he’ll take what is his by right, because it’s his duty. It’s prevalent in the series, but not as concrete.
Arya actually makes a pretty brilliant turn, and picks a different name at first from her third name in the novel. She thinks to name Tywin, but can’t find Jaqen and loses her chance. I can’t remember her third name in the book being anybody BUT Jaqen, since she required his help to escape. In the book, she pretends to be delivering a message, and even stabs a guard in the throat herself to get out. I was sad to see this scene missing, because it was a pretty awesome moment in the book.
Again, almost everything with Robb in this is new, since he wasn’t even a POV character in the book, but the basic reason for Catelyn stupidly letting Jaime go stays the same. Robb’s urges getting the better of him and having sex with Talisa are there, and we see his the beginning of his downfall, the second he drops her robe and lets the name “Frey” disappear from his duty, and his honor dies, like his poor dad did, only way more sexy and with 100% less beheadings.
Over the wall, the scene between Qhorin and Jon discussing him defecting is abridged, and ends up having pretty much the same outcome, as we’ll see later in the show, but one of the bigger differences, is Sam and Grenn finding the dragon glass weapons, along with the Horn Of Winter, which Mance Rayder had in the books, and we haven’t seen or heard about yet in the show at all. I’m assuming it’s the Horn Of Winter, unless the show is double faking us out, and making multiple horns, and the future series will have horns that have weird horny effects, and everybody starts getting really horny and… Sorry. I’m getting off topic. The point is, the little changes here, are gonna be a big deal later. The last change I noticed, was Asha actually showing some affection and love for Theon, which was a great difference from how she treats him in the book. It was a great scene, and added to their respective character depth.
Episode 9: Blackwater.
This episode is mostly the same as the chapters from the book, only with its perspectives changed around, and previous details that were changed, adhered to in turn. There was no chain to trap Stannis’ fleet, and Stannis’ fleet was MUCH smaller than the literal half page of named ships in the book. They seemed to purposely leave Davos’ fate ambiguous, along with his son, who we know dies in the book. Tyrion is still attacked by Ser Mandon, but no real context is given to who he is, and one could easily miss the fact that he was betrayed.The other rather significant change is the far less literal depiction of Ser Loras showing up in Renly’s armor. In the book, this was taken as Renly literally rising from the dead to fight and defeat him, and may not even have been Ser Loras in the armor, The entire vanguard in the book was supposed to be led by “Renlys’ ghost”, but has been changed to Tywin and his alliance with Ser Loras winning the war by coming in and taking them from the back. Stannis does notice Renly’s armor, but it’s a very subtle scene that lets the viewer decide it’s meaning, until it’s shown to just be Loras a few minutes later. A definite downgrade, as Renly’s ghost was a huge WTF moment for me as a reader.
Episode 10: Valar Morghulis.
Hoo boy. Where to begin? I guess I can first start by saying, that there’s officially no Ser Dontos pretending to be the rescuing knight for Sansa. In the book, she believes Ser Dontos is her ticket out of the hellhole she’s in, and is the reason she keeps refusing offers to get out from others. In the show now, they’ve seemingly cut him out entirely, and just gone straight to Lord Baelish up and telling her he’ll get her home. If this means we’ll get to the Lysa/Arryn/Baelish murder plot reveal sooner, remains to be seen, but it was definitely a revelation for me in book 3, where we find out almost everything was Lord Baelish’s machinations. So this change, while small, may lead to yet another future change, that will be big. Joffrey deciding to wed Margaery Tyrell, in the manner he chooses, is also a change, as that wedding doesn’t really come into play at all until book 3, and I’m hazy as to whether it was first planned in CoK, or A Storm of Swords, but either way it’s different. The scene with Varys turning Ros into one of his “little birds”, so to speak, will assuredly pay off with some kind of new scene in the future, since it’s not in the books at all. Ros is a character that is simultaneously frustrating and intriguing, because she personifies the changes in the story, in a way, and just like the changes, I sometimes hate her, and other times find her great. What we can all agree on, is she has great breasts, and ultimately, great breasts make anything easier to accept.
In the book, Shae genuinely seems to care for Tyrion, which makes it such a shock when she is forced to betray him so terribly later on. The show did a lousy job showing this, right up until this added scene, with her telling him to leave all the BS behind, and go with her to live together. It’s very well acted, and genuinely tugs at the heartstrings to see such a big man, (in spirit), come to tears with emotion.
Over in Stannis’ camp, he starts to really wig out and choke the hell out of Lady Melisandre. This never happened in the book, since by this point, she has him totally around her finger. In the show though, he’s clearly questioning his judgment and trust of this woman, but she turns him once and for all, making him gaze into the fire, to see the visions she sees, cementing him as a R’hollor zealot. In the book, he’s been far gone for far longer. Back to Robb’s story, the main change of his continues, with his love for Talisa being proclaimed to his mother. She has a great dialogue that actually makes a solid argument for arranged marriage, but he’s not having it. In the books, if I remember correctly, I believe it’s at this point where he just drops Jeyne Westerling on her, revealing that he plans to break his deal with the Freys. Then again, this could be in Book 3, but regardless, he’s sealed his fate, and marries Talisa.
Theon’s story continues, showing new scenes between him and Maester Luwin, expressing great doubt over his decisions, and truly questioning everything he’s done to come to this point, where he’s facing almost certain defeat and death. It goes a long way towards making him a much more tragic character, rather than the lying, backstabbing bastard he was in the book. His speech and the subsequent interruption, beating and blackbagging by his own men is all new, since the book just shows the battle with Roose Bolton’s bastard attacking and allegedly killing Theon. Soon after, there’s a new scene showing Maester Luwin’s death, and he officially gives them their mission to go north, rather than the Reeds, like in the book.
Now, nearly everything about Daenerys’ scenes in the show at this point are different. Everything. Xaro Xoan Daxos didn’t have an empty vault, he didn’t turn Doreah heel, he didn’t get Amontillado’d by Dany as punishment. Her entire scenes inside the House Of The Undying where totally and absolutely different, in many ways. In the book, this is a much stranger scene, where she enters willingly after having drunk a potion made by Pyat Pree. She is given instructions to only take doors to the right, and only take stairs up. During her exploration, she sees many doors on the left, showing many prophetic visions of the past, future and things that couldn’t be. She eventually reaches the right door, and makes her way out, and all the readers collectively wonder what the hell they just read, until all of its prophetic meaning becomes obvious in later novels.
Here’s where they made one of the biggest changes in the whole series, and in my opinion one of the best. In the book, the House of the Undying is almost certainly illusory. It’s a trick, and while the prophecies it shows of the Red Wedding come true, the things happening in it, aren’t “Real” for lack of a better term. By not including these prophecies, the show runners have given us NEW, more subtle, and nearly fourth wall breaking prophecies to decipher. Fourth wall breaking, in that they’re for book readers and show watching alike, to both decipher. In particular, Dany entering the Iron Throne room, now broken and covered in snow, reeks of symbolic meaning that wasn’t in the book. Does this mean Winterfell will be breached by the icy threats north of the wall? Does it spell doom for Westeros, since this would mean that Jon and Nights Watch have failed their duty? This is further compounded, by showing her leave the room, exiting The Wall itself! Is it her fate to go north? What will she find there? The questions abound, but none of these changes and the new questions they raise rival the last big change, where Dany is reunited with Khal Drogo.
Aside from being one of the most emotionally impacting scenes in the show, it’s also one of the most curious. They both embrace each other, and both openly question what they are experiencing. As the viewer, we’re left to interpret this scenes’ “trueness”, and wonder if Dany really is speaking to Drogo here? I personally like the idea that this literally is a real section of the afterlife, and she literally is speaking to Khal Drogo’s spirit, who has spat upon his journey into the Night Lands, and has been waiting for her since. Also with him, is their unborn child, adding further question as to what exactly this place is, and the nature of it being an elaborate illusion, or an actual gateway into the afterlife.
It’s a scene akin to the buddhist belief in the Bardo, a word that translates to “intermediate state”, and is a religious concept, where one exists between the two states of existence, being after death and before rebirth. In this state, one’s consciousness isn’t connected with their physical body, and they see and experience a variety of phenomena, memories, and symbolic hallucinations. The show creates the possibility that Dany has entered this state via the House of The Undying, and is effectively getting her rebirth, prematurely via Drogo’s choice to wait for her, making this scene, and their love, truly unique and something revelatory in its importance for the show, and the finality of death therein.
Of course, I could be looking too much into it. I guess what I’m saying is, I really liked this change. A lot.
The last change, is the manner in which the Whitewalkers attack the Wall. Sam wasn’t there to see them, and the scene of him, Edd and Grenn hearing the horns and running in terror is taken from the prologue of the third book, only the book had three entirely new characters instead. It’s a change that left everybody clenching their teeth, ready for the REAL war to go down, and ended the season pretty perfectly, and I think, better than the book ended, which I don’t even remember.
That being said, the amount of changes the story has seen, while being seemingly minimal, are overall adding up. This is a going to be a continuing effect as the series goes on, as changes build upon more changes, and spiral either somehow back into the story we know, or diverge entirely into new things. I honestly can’t decide if it’s something I dread or look forward to, but it’s there, it’s happening, and we’ll have to accept it. That being said, I am optimistic, as the show in and of itself, is still excellent, and consistent within its own storytelling and development. Sometimes, change is good.
The first difference I noticed from this episode was the new scene where Tyrion decides getting Joffrey some action could perhaps “cure” him of his awfulness. Of course we get to see Joffrey unleash his inner Patrick Bateman, and force the two unfortunate prostitutes to beat each other at crossbow-point. It’s a scene that is there to really drive home how utterly psychotic Joffrey is, but unnecessary ultimately, as everyone already hates the crap out of him. A big change comes, as Robb Stark meets and speaks with a field nurse who calls herself Talisa. This character is replacing the role of Jeyne Westerling, who in the book, Robb meets after being injured in battle, and she tends to his wounds. My guess is they wanted Robb to have a romance that wasn’t as suddenly introduced as it was in the novel, and to give some foreshadowing to the dire consequences he faces for this romance later in the series.
Truer words, Bronn. Truer words.
Next comes the biggest change in the show yet, where Arya, Gendry and Hotpie are taken to Harrenhal, and Gendry is nearly tortured by The Tickler for information. This is ended by the arrival of Tywin Lannister, who immediately recognizes her as a girl and makes her his cupbearer! The books had a long sequence of chapters with her serving as a cook, a washing maid, and finding herself adding more names to her long list of vengeance. In my opinion it was a welcome change, as the interaction between her and Tywin were very interesting and captivating. Being a book reader, those scenes were tense because they were new to me too.
When Daenerys gets to Qarth, the entire way she gets in is different in the show. In the book, she simply enters the city, as her scouts have gotten her appropriate permission previously. The three who would have her audience are Pyat Pree and Xaro Xoan Daxos. She visits Daxos’ palace, and Pyat Pree says the House of The Undying will welcome her. Much different from the show, where they nearly leave her to die outside of Qarth, until Daxos takes a personal interest and invokes a blood oath to let her in. Another difference, is Lord Baelish showing up to speak with Catelyn, lies about the Lannisters having Sansa and Arya captive and ready to trade for Jaime. He then presents Catelyn with Eddard Starks remains. This is pretty huge, as one of the big debates in the book fandom is what the fate of Eddard’s remains happens to be, and whether or not it is as significant as we think. The show however, seems to think he’s dead and gone, barring those remains actually being Neds’, and just another lie from someone as untrustworthy as Lord Baelish.
The last big change is the order in which we see the shadow babies presented. In the novel, Renly is killed, mysteriously by a shadow, and no explanation is given, other than it resembling Stannis. The scene with Davos taking Melisandre to the castle to birth it, is much later in the book. The shadow singlehandedly ends a siege overnight by slaying all the besieged, giving Stannis much more militaristic might nearly overnight. After two shadow babies being seen, Davos notes that Stannis looks visibly aged, by at least a decade, and it is implied that Melisandre is using his life force to make the dark things. The show has none of these details, and I feel, lessened the shock of Renlys’ death.
Episode 5: The Ghost of Harrenhal.
This episode is almost entirely scenes from the book, recreated with tweaks here and there. It touches on the subplot of Kings Landing starting to become restless from hunger, and gets to Tyrions plan using the wildfire. A notable change I could see was that he hasn’t commissioned all the cities’ blacksmiths to being making large chain links for him, which he’d later use at the battle of Blackwater. Here they seem content to only use the wildfire. The main new addition of course, is the scenes with Arya and Tywin playing mental chess. Accordingly, since Arya isn’t doing all of the different duties she had in the books, her first name from Jaqen is different, and has her first name be The Tickler. It’s a bit sad, as her stabbing the Tickler to death over and over again in the third book was a pretty great scene, but i’m sure they’ll keep it, or incorporate it in some way.
Episode 6: The Old Gods And The New.
In the books at this point, Jojen and Meeren Reed have been coaching Bran on his dreams, their meanings, and his latent abilities as a skin changer. They then bust him out of Winterfell, away from Theon and his iron men, by using Winterfell’s tunnels. The show has a similar thing to this, only with Osha seducing Theon, and lets Hodor escape with Bran and Rickon. Robb meets up with Talisa again, and plans his revenge with Roose Bolton to capture and execute Theon, while promising amnesty to all other Iron Men who give up. The scene with Ygritte was mostly how I remember it in the books, although the sexual teasing was a bit more exaggerated, with the scene of them having to huddle together for warmth. Sansa’s attack is actually shown in the show, in the book we simply see The Hound return with her as the riot begins, and she has a few bruises, rather than the truly vile attempt to rape her we see in the show. In both it is The Hound who rescues her. Another added scene with Arya and Tywin, this time she’s privy to a tactical discussion between Tywin and Lord Baelish, and it sets up an interesting plot thread of Lord Baelish possibly noting that ‘Arry’ is actually Arya. Of course, this being a new scene, it’s all speculation. Arya overhearing the war plans Tywin was making, manages to steal some war orders on paper, but is found out by Ser Amory Lorch. This leads to Arya’s second new name from Jaqen, and ends with a hilarious moment where Ser Amory literally drops dead at the door of Tywin’s room.
Message for you ser!
Then we come to the biggest change in Daenerys story yet, the kidnapping of her dragons. This straight up didn’t happen in the books, and it’s purpose in the show was to me, at the time, entirely unknown.
Episode 7: A Man Without Honor.
Sansa wakes up having had her first period, as she does in the novel, only now she has Shae there to sympathize with her, and even hunt down and threaten one of the handmaidens who had seen Sansa in such a state. It seemed as if her flowering was going to be kept secret, until The house appears, and has seen the bloody sheets they were trying to hide. In the book, Shae isn’t there at all, so all of this interaction was new. Another great new scene was yet another discussion between Arya and Tywin, and they discuss the legacy and conquest of Aegon The Conqueror. Tywin figures out Arya is lying about her past, and we’re all left to wonder just how much he does or doesn’t know, or is even letting on. The Harrenhal scenes between these two are very clearly a brilliant new addition, and i’m glad to see them every episode they’re in. The last big change is this episode, is the almost entirely new scenes of Daenerys in Qarth. Pyat Pree assassinates the Thirteen, leaving Xaro Xoan Daxo’s now the king of Qarth, and informs Dany her dragons are in the House of The Undying. In the book, Daxos’ wishes to wed Dany, initially to help her reclaim her throne, but it turns out to be that he plans to exploit some Qartheen marriage right, that the bride must give her newlywed husband a gift, and ti turns out Daxos was really after her dragons, (at least one) the whole time. In the book, Dany willingly enters the House of The Undying, as she is invited peacefully. These changes I initially had problems with, but only because the chapter where Dany goes to the House is such a great chapter, and I couldn’t wait to see it portrayed.
This scene was a great example of something happening onscreen that happened in the book, adapted even better than I thought possible. My mom literally started shouting at the screen and yelling “No! They can’t do that! NO!”, which was a far cry from my reaction when reading that chapter: “Oh. Bummer.”
The episode opens with an interesting scene showing Tyrion recovering from his battle wound to the face. After some passive aggressive words exchanged between him and Maester Pycelle, Pycelle leaves Tyrion a golden coin, claiming it’s for “his trouble”, in a very clear insult typical of the shifty Maester. It was an interesting exchange and builds upon the very shaky relationship the two have with eachother. We’re then taken to the royal throne room, with Joffrey proclaiming Tywin, his grandfather the newly appointed Hand of The King, and giving Lord Baelish aka Littlefinger, dominion over castle Harrenhal. After some quick words about the Tyrell’s assistance in the battle of Blackwater, Joffrey mulls over wedding Margaery Tyrell, claiming some BS about keeping “holy vows” to Sansa. It takes the words of Maester Pycelle, the people in the throne room, and Margaery herself insisting Sansa is not fit to be wed, for him to finally agree to relinquish his vows to Sansa. Of course, nobody is happier about this than Sansa, who walks away, and for the first time in a while, begins to smile. It’s interrupted of course, by Lord Baelish, who tells her of his love and fondness for her mother Catelyn, and claims he can help her escape this place and get home. Sansa tries to lie and claim this is her home, but L to the B sees right through it, and calls her on it.
Oh thank the Seven I-Oh crap.
Next is a scene with Ros the Wonder Whore, who gives us our mandatory T&A for the episode, and takes in a guest who turns out to be Varys, The Spider. She tries to make advances on him, thinking him another client and ends up discovering his identity by feeling his package. Or lack thereof. Ahem. Varys is there to get information on Lord Baelish, and recruits her as one of his “little birds.” Many threads are being tied up for the next season this episode, and we switch scenes yet again to Brienne and Jaime, who are now travelling together, as they come across three hanging bodies. Quickly they are approached by three goons, who start asking questions about the identity of Brienne’s captive. Soon one recognizes the Jaime as the Kingslayer, and raises his steel against Brienne. An insanely poor choice on his part, as she quickly dispatches two, and stabs the last in the groin, very sloooowwly sliding the sword deeper into him, as every male watching the show groans in pain. Another scene shift, and Robb is arguing with his mother about upholding his promise to marry one of the Frey women, as he promised in season 1. A few quick words, and we cut to Stannis Baratheon, pondering his defeat with Melisandre in tow. They argue over the point of their loss, until her words anger him, and begins to start choking her, claiming her to give him proof of her god’s will, questioning his own decisions. She tells him that he is her god, and has him look into the flames burning in their hearth. She asks him if he sees himself in the flames, as her king. Eventually, he does.
Back to Theon, and we get him pondering what to do in his predicament with holding Winterfell. With Robbs bannermen, led by Roose Bolton’s bastard, he faces almost certain death with his measly twenty Iron Men. Maester Luwin advises him to retreat, head north to the wall and take the black. Theon decides he’s too far gone, and begins rallying his men with a stirring speech. His battle cry is interrupted however, by the lance of one of his own men, and they black bag him, and carry him off,, but not before stabbing Maester Luwin in the gut with a spear, leaving him for dead. Returning to Tyrion in his room, we find him conversing with Varys. Varys informs Tyrion of the dire circumstances he is in, as all who were loyal to him previously are either paid off, relieved of duty, or in the case of Varys, abandoning him. There is one exception, and Shae comes into the room, and reminds Tyrion of how much she loves him, and accepts him, injury, dwarfism and all completely. They share a tender embrace. It’s a touching moment, and really shows the real connection the two share, as respective outcasts of their own worlds. We cut to Robb Stark and Jeyne Westerling Talisa getting married, like idiot fools, Freys be damned.
That’s it Shae, lick that scar.
Finally we see Daenarys, who is outside the House Of The Undying, ready to claim her dragons. She approaches the House, which is actually a tower, and mystically enters, unseen by Jorah who was just behind her. Upon entering, she finds herself in the dark and follows the sounds of her dragons screeching for her. We cut yet again (a LOT of story is covered in this episode), this time to Arya. She is travelling with Hot Pie and Gendry, when she spots Jaqen H’Ghar watching them. She confronts him, and asks him questions about himself, and he reveals that he is a “Faceless Man” from Braavos. He tells her he can take her there, and teach her in the ways of killing, like him. She reluctantly denies his proposal, saying she must find her family. Jaqen laments her decision, but offers her a coin, saying if she ever needs his help, she must only present it to any Braavosi man, and say the words “Valar Morghulis.” He then tells her Jaqen is dead, and literally changes his face, and bids her farewell. Jaqen is a mysterious one indeed.
See what I did there?
We cut to Bran, being held by Hodor, walking through the smoldering remains of Winterfell. They find Maester Luwin bleeding out, sitting under a godswood. He tells them to journey north, to find Jon Snow, as he is the only relative of theirs they know the exact location of, as anywhere in the south is too dangerous. He tells Osha to protect them, and asks for a mercy killing. She provides it for him, and Osha, Bran, Hodor, Rickon and their direwolves begin the trek north. Back to Dany, we see her walking through hallways, still following the cries of her dragons, until she walks into a room with many doors. She enters one and finds inside is an ashy, lifeless version of the Iron Throne room in ruins. She follows the sound of her dragons still, and ventures “outside” into a snowy wasteland, with only a hut off in the distance. Inside the hut sits… Khal Drogo. Holding their unborn child. They speak to each other, each questioning if what they see and experience is real. It’s absolutely heartbreaking, and if you didn’t at least well up a little bit after they kiss, you’re dead inside. Dead.
I cried like a little bitch.
She leaves the hut, and is back in the room with many doors. This time, her dragons are chained to a pedestal. Pyat Pree appears, and using his strange illusive powers, chains her to the wall, meaning to keep her and her dragons as prisoners. Dany, in a moment of pure badassness, orders her dragons to burn him alive with a single word: “Dracarys.” The dragons promptly scorch him, and the chains binding them fall to dust, revealing themselves for the illusions they were. I’m running out of ways to say a scene changes, but it does, again. This time to Jon and Qhorin, who are bound and are being led by the wildlings. Qhorin follows through with his plan to make Jon look as if he is no longer loyal to the Night’s Watch, and begins dueling him. Jon defends himself, and ends up killing Qhorin, and gaining the trust of the wildlings in turn. Ygritte looks at Jon, and leads him to meet the King Beyond The Wall, while Qhorin’s body is burnt by the wildlings to keep him from coming back.
Back to Daenarys, her blood rider takes the key off a sleeping Xaro Xoan Daxo’s neck, and uses it to open his famed vault. They open it, and reveal that nothing was inside it the entire time, as he was simply using her to become king of Qarth all along. She thanks him for the lesson he has taught her, and locks him and her former hand maiden (who was sleeping with him), inside the vault. They then proceed to loot Daxo’s house, in true Dothraki fashion. Hell hath no fury like a scorned Targaryen.
The last scene, shows Samwell, Dolorous Edd and Brenn digging up different kinds of poo to burn, in order to keep warm. They then hear a blast of the foghorn from the wall. One for riders returning. Then they hear another. Two for wildlings attacking. Finally, a third blast. Whitewalkers. Edd and Brenn run off in terror, leaving behind the portly and slow Samwell. He cries after them, but becomes enveloped in an ethereal snow that comes seemingly from nowhere. He runs to take cover behind a rock, and slowly approaching, we see the first of many, many wights (zombies). He whimpers as an undead horse clops up besides him, and gazes upwards to see a full-fledged Whitewalker. It eyes him, and raises its spear, and lets loose an inhuman and terrifying howl, as thousands of wights, and dozens more Whitewalkers follow, all leading towards the Wall.
Holy crap. So yeah, a pretty packed episode, that did as well as it could with as many characters and stories it had to juggle. The additions to the story were welcome, and the story certainly seems to be ramping up in an extremely exciting way. I’m sure many viewers will have questions left unanswered, but so did many readers who had to wait for book three. This is how you do a “The shit is hitting the fan ’cause ZOMBIES” ending perfectly. Take note Walking Dead writers, all you have to do is make your show and it’s characters interesting and likeable, and you can have season endings that actually have an impact. Only a year until season 3 folks!
What a long week it was waiting for another episode of what is now my favorite ongoing show. A Game of Thrones started right where the last episode left off: Daenerys is now wife and “Khalessee” to Khal Drogo, and Bran is now unconscious indefinitely due to a nasty fall he took from last episode.