Game of Thrones 2.10 – Valar Morghulis

You can cut the sexual tension with a knife, am I right?

Previously!

Big shocker: I was satisfied by the season finale. And by satisfied I mean lots of flailing and shouting OH MY GOD and pausing and rewatching specific moments. And I’m really wishing I learned how to bend time so it could go ahead and be season three already. I can’t even begin with how much there was in this episode. Wait, yes I can. Make with the clicking and let’s get to revisiting and analyzing!

Close up on an eye trying to focus, and I’m having Lost flashbacks. There’s even the sound of a girl screaming—wait, that’s just a horse whinnying. It’s Tyrion, and he wakes up to the grinning and hateful face of Grand Maester Flash (Pycelle), who looks well pleased by the turn of events.

Tyrion immediately calls for the faithful Podrick (he of the chest spearing life-saving loyalty) to round up Uncle Fester (Varys) and Bronn and tell them that he is very much alive and well. Oh, no need, Pycelle says, still grinning. He tells Tyrion that Stannis suffered a “stunning defeat” at the hands of his dad, Tywin. And they all felt it best that Tyrion recover in some shitty quarters, what with him being hated by his family and all. By the way, Tyrion, you’re no longer the Hand of the King.

In a pretty awesome, yet douchey move, Pycelle flicks a coin onto Tyrion’s prone body. “For your troubles.” Hey, just like Tyrion did for Pycelle’s whore when that little chess move happened. Sick burn.

Close up on a horse taking a dump just outside of the Throne Room (this show pulls no punches), and it’s Tywin astride a gorgeous beast, because Tywin knows how to make an entrance. He goes before the court (on his friggin’ horse) and accepts the honorific bestowed upon him by his grandson, King Weaselteat.

Tywin is declared the Savior of the City and the new Hand of the King. He turns his horse and strides from the Throne Room. The man has style, even if he is a bad, bad man. Next up is Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger (it’s not that little) who is praised for uniting the houses of Lannister and Tyrell for the good of the Kingdom; his reward is Harrenhall. Be sure to send a crew round to clean up all of the dead bodies. And all of the burned buildings. And woebegone people who do nothing but sit in cages. But hey, once you do that it should make a lovely vacation spot!

Varys is decidedly grossed out by all of this.

Next up is Loras, who is told that he can have anything he wants (“Hey, how about my murdered lover back? Can you get on that, please?”) and he tells Weaselteat that his sister never had sex with King Renly (“that was my job, hey-o!”) so…

Are they asking for the King to grace her M’Lady Bidness with his Royal Sceptre? Oh, they want them to marry. You know, to join the two houses. And Margaery is all with the cleavage and simpering and how she fell in love with Joffrey from afar (you’d have to) and it’s freaking hilarious how Joffrey tries to not look horny at the word “Innocent.” Cersei steals looks over at Sansa throughout all of this, and I can’t tell if she enjoys hurting Sansa or if she’s actually trying to be kind.

(Think of all of the comments she’s made about knowing her son is a complete wonk.)

Margaery lays it on thick with words like “root” and “deep” and “inside me” and it’s pretty clear that she’s been to one of Cersei’s Slumber Party “How To Be A Queen” Seminars. Joffrey would just love to scratch that itch for her, make no mistake, but he made a vow to that stupid girl over there and it’s just awful, isn’t it?

Oh, Cersei has an answer to this dilemma, never you fear. The Council decided that it wouldn’t be wise to marry a woman whose dad was beheaded for treason and whose brother is presently trying to kill him with an army and all of that, so it’s in the kingdom’s best interest for him to not marry Sansa. But…the vow! Heavy sigh…

Pycelle jumps in (and is Sansa a little hurt? A little upset at being tossed aside? It’s not easy to get a bead on her) and says that Robert made the pact with Ned Stark before the Starks revealed their “falseness,” so that frees Joffrey from having to marry Sansa. Oh, goodie! Because in the last three minutes he has just fallen deeply and irrevocably in love with Margaery, so wedding it shall be, huzzah!

So…are they going to kill Sansa? Because that would be the kingly move, even if I don’t want her to be dead. Cersei flashes her a look that I would swear was one of “You owe me.” Like she knows she just did a kindness to Sansa. Sansa walks off and once it’s safe, she laughs. Free at last, free at last, thank the Old Gods I am—

“Not so fast,” simpers Littlefinger. “You haven’t forgotten that Joffrey is a bit of a shit, have you? Because boys like that are the kind that pull wings from flies to pass the time. Oh, you’re the fly in this scenario, and your freedom is your wing. Wings. Work with me. What I’m saying is that Joffrey might rape you and beat you, but I see how much like your mother you are and I like that. Oh, she was like a sister to me, and remember how sisters are treated in Westeros! So you’re probably not safe from my It’s-Not-Actually-Little-That’s-Just-A-Nick-Name-Finger. By which I mean I can maybe help you escape.”

Sansa? And I mean this with all sincerity, you are an idiot for not running with The Hound when you had the chance. Hindsight, twenty-twenty, I know.

Ros puts a little pancake under her eye to hide the bruise (Joffrey  –>flies –> wings –> Ros) when Varys skittles in. She’s not sure who he is at first until she slides her hand to his giblets and realizes she just made a full circle to the other leg. No giblets, sweetie. Oh, shit. It’s the Lord of Whispers. But he’s not here to be evil, we think, he’s here because he sees her real value and would very much like to partner with her.

Who better to partner with than a whore who can hear anything and everything valuable? Varys? I think you are one of the most fascinating people on the show. You just never know his motivations—well, aside from self-preservation. He’s self-serving, true, but there’s a weird sort of loyalty to King’s Landing in all of it, as well. (Which is probably tied to his self-preservation.)

On the river, Brienne hauls Jaime onto shore where he continually tries to rile her while also making sexual advances—that he knows she won’t take him up on. I think he loves having an actual sister to pester (and not the way he “pestered” Cersei. I’m just saying. There’s a lot of incest in Westeros.) They see three women hanging with an ominous note indicating they screwed the Lannisters. The Stark fighters did this.

Three men approach them, and immediately crack up at her being a woman dressed like a knight. And you know, fuck you guys. Brienne has been twittered about being a woman in a man’s world, and not accepted there. Then she’s mocked for being a virgin and not being a woman in that world. So she’s nothing in everyone’s eyes. It’s about to get awesome, though.

One of the men says something about how two of the women died quickly, with a big ol’ hint of rape and torture for the third. Another man seems to think that Jaime isn’t a thief like Brienne said, but that he’s actually Jaime Lannister. A bit of a tense back and forth when it’s push come to shove time.

And Brienne shoves Jaime out of harm’s way, slices the one guy’s throat, pulls his sword and cuts the throat of a second man with both weapons. The third man lies on the ground, terrified. Hey, remember that whole “Two died slow, ahem?” Yeah. She slooooowly stabs him with her sword and how you like that unwanted penetration, asshole? Oh, you can’t answer because you’re dead.

She turns to Jaime, who has blood splattered on his face as well as a whole new respect for Brienne. He marvels that she just killed Stark men. Once again, “I don’t serve the Starks. I serve Lady Catelyn.” That’s something Jaime can respect —he doesn’t serve anyone but himself and his sister, after all. She continues on taking him to King’s Landing, as promised.

Speaking of Lady Cat, Robb Stark and his mother are having an argument about Robb not wanting to marry one of the bedraggled incest children of Lord Filch (Frey) because he’s in love with Talisa. Aww. Except Catelyn doesn’t care, because honor, blah blah, love built stone by stone not bone by bone in the forest, and you know what? Robb doesn’t care, Cateyln. As far as he’s concerned, his one surviving parent doesn’t get to say anything about being reckless. Damn.

At Stannis’ camp (with the awesome ocean view and cool map table) he’s beyond livid with Fire Crotch Mage. Where is his victory? Where is his crown? She simpers and coos and tries to explain that these things happen, and this was just a battle in a great war and he shuts that up with a good old choke to her throat meat. He cries out, “Where’s your god, now?” as his hands tighten on her porcelain skin and she croaks out that He’s inside Stannis.

Well, that got his attention. But still…he murdered his brother, and for what? (I love that he acknowledged that with some pain. Okay, Stannis, I don’t completely hate you now.) For what? For this—she points him to the flames so he can see. (I can only hear Ralph Fiennes, “DO YOU SEE?” when I hear those words) and something in the flames fills him with awe. What?! What’s in the box? I mean, flame?! (Lies, says I. You can’t trust a witch! Especially not ones who give birth to shadow and smoke and kill brothers.)

In Winterfell, Theon sulks in his chambers as someone continually blares a horn, and let’s just take a moment to laugh at Theon’s reactions every single time he was interrupted by a blast. Oh, Theon, I have grown to absolutely adore you on my screen as we learn more and more about you. He has a moment where you can see just how hopeless his life is when he says, “Yes, yes, I should be so grateful to how kind my captors were to me. I should be happy that my jailer made me more confused about who to be loyal to, so that when I did get home on my own, my own father hated me. So I have no one. Yes, let me thank the Starks for that.”

While taking counsel from Maester Luwin, Luwin breaks it down for him plainly. His father isn’t coming. His sister isn’t coming. He has 20 men, there are 500 northerners outside the walls (remember this) and they’re surrounded. It’s over. His advice? RUN.

Ha, where? Home? How the hell can he get past the 500 men (remember that) outside? Say he did get past the lines—what then? Go home and be a coward in the eyes of his family? He can’t win here. Luwin says that he could help Theon escape, there are built-in hidden passageways for starters. And he shouldn’t go to Pyke, he should go to the Wall—he will be beyond the reach of the law and will have a chance to make amends for his bad decisions.

“I’ve known you many years, Theon Greyjoy. You’re not the man you’re pretending to be,” Luwin finishes.

“You may be right, but I’ve come too far to pretend to be anything else.” Oh, Theon. You’re such a broken bird looking up at your nest and no way to get there.

He goes outside and gives a pretty bad ass speech to his remaining men, about how they’ll be sung about for centuries, how women will scream their name when they climax, how he’ll make a bronze statue of any man who kills that god-forsaken whoremonger of a horn player. He’s finally a real leader and the men cheer everything he says. Until Dick Cheney (Dagmer Cleftjaw) conks him on the head and knocks him out.

“Good speech, let’s all acknowledge that, but fuck me, that went on a bit, aye? Let’s get him home.” They cover his head with a cloak and drag him off. As Luwin races over to see what’s going on, he gets a spear through the gut for his trouble. NO, NOT LUWIN! God, Cheney is a dick.

Back in King’s Landing, Varys meets with Tyrion and says that Ser Mandon was hired by Cersei to kill him on the battlefield. (Oh, Podrick, you good boy.) Tyrion wants Bronn to get four of the best Goldcloaks to stand guard and—

“Well, that’s going to be difficult since they’re all faithful to your sister and/or your father, depending. So you’re screwed. But I really enjoyed working with you?” Varys then sends in Shae and tells Tyrion that he’ll always know the real hero of that battle. It’s not much, but it means a lot to Tyrion. Varys leaves with Podrick.

Shae straight away is at Tyrion’s side calling him her love. Shae is good people, guys. Tyrion is sure that he’s a monster. A monster and a dwarf, so she should just hurry up with the leaving him, because he didn’t pay her enough for—

“Fuck your money.” She’s not there for his money, she loves him. She wants them to run away together, because let’s face it—Cersei is going to want to do a better job next time. Except Tyrion doesn’t want to leave. He loves outthinking and outsmarting everyone. He’s really good at it. She pulls the bandage off his face, and he expects her to run fleeing, but this is Shae. She loves him.

“You have a shit memory. I am yours and you are mine,” she says and she takes him in her arms. He shakes and cries, and let’s just give it up for Peter Dinklage being awesome. I love these two and how they found each other by virtue of similar personalities. They’re a perfect match.

Speaking of matching…Robb and Talisa have a private marriage ceremony with some pretty wonky vows (Crones? Strangers? Not very romantic, what about some one-in-a-million kind of talk?) and they’re bound for eternity. In your face, Argus Filch-Frey. You and your ugly daughter-wives.

Down in Qarth, Jorah, Daenerys, and her loyal Dothraki dude walk up to the House of the Undying and there’s no door. Well, no wonder he’s aching for visitors! So…what, they Rapunzel up there? Dany starts walking around it as Jorah walks behind enjoying the view. She gets ahead of him and out of his eyesight and then…she’s gone. He shouts up to the heavens, “KHALEESI!” and all of the birds in the sky instantly become pregnant. (The man sounds like sex, that’s what I’m getting at.)

She’s inside a dark room, and shouts out loud that they can’t frighten her. What, are they scared of a little girl? And then she hears her dragons crying out. She races off toward the sound.

Outside of Harrenhall, Arya, Gendry, and Cartman are discovered by Jaqen, high overhead on a precipice. The guy is good, he’s a Ranger of the highest magnitude, like d20 with a massive Charisma bonus. He offers for her to come with him to learn how to “take a name” (aka be the second greatest assassin who ever lived). She must come with him to Braavos (aww, where her Inigo Montoya was from!) but she can’t go to Braavos. She has to find her family.

Well..if she ever needs him, she just needs to find someone from Braavos and give them a special coin (no, it’s not for buying things, it’s more of a token for a gumball machine, but inside the plastic container isn’t a bouncy ball or stickers, it’s MAGIC.) She needs to give that coin to a Braavosian and say the magic words—

“A la peanut butter sandwiches!”

A girl mustn’t say that, a girl must say: “Valar Morghulis.” So say it. She does. He turns away, asks her to say it one more time to make sure, and when he turns back, HEY NEW FACE WHAT. Jaqen is dead. Long live Valar Morghulis, I suppose? Arya? Maybe sew that coin into your britches, or something. I think you don’t want to lose it.

Siiiigh. I’ll miss this face. A girl likes to look at it sometimes.

NOW WAIT A MINUTE. If Jaqen can change his face, who’s to say who he’s BEEN? Oh, that’s a neat little plot twist…  (I’m holding out for him being Inigo Montoya. What do we say to death?  Not today!)

Tonks (Osha) leads Bran and Rickon into Winterfell, and it’s all burned with dead bodies everywhere. I guess Dick Cheney and his pals had one last bonfire before dragging Theon out? Their direwolves whimper and leave the square as they all head to one of the magic face trees. Luwin is there, and he’s so close to death that he doesn’t hurt anymore. Oh, Luwin.

The boys are sad (duh) but he says that they need to be smart and leave, because the bad men might come back. SO LET’S TALK FOR A MINUTE. Because Theon had 20 men, there were 500 men loyal to the Starks who had surrounded Winterfell, why are the boys in danger?! Luwin wants them to go to Jon at the Wall (well, that’s going to be pointless) instead of finding their brother Robb and their mother. Continuity errors trouble me, sorry.

The boys are led away by Hodor and Luwin tells Tonks in an impassioned voice that she has to protect them. She planned on it, thankfully. And then he asks for a mercy kill from her blade, because sitting here waiting for death is pretty awful. We get the impression that she’s good enough to do it, and understands that it is a kindness. Farewell, Luwin, you were a good character.

Daenerys walks further into the House of the Undying until she gets to a round room with several doors (and I can’t help it, but it’s very Order of the Phoenix. Or OotP is like this?) She hears her dragons, pushes through a door, and finds herself in a ruin of the Throne Room, covered with heavy snow. (Winter is coming, Dany. Are you ready?) Just before she touches the throne, she hears her dragons again, and walks out of the Throne Room and out through a huge gate into the ice land Hoth. (It looks like The Wall.)

But there’s a shack in the blizzard and inside is oh my god, Khal Drogo, the baddest mofo who ever died of tetanus. And he has their baby—who is wearing a toupee, and I didn’t know they made those for babies—and his smoldering love for her and it’s about all she can take. Moon of my heart! Love of my life! They had a real love, built stone by stone (horse heart by golden-headed brother, actually) and it’s painful to see them interact and not know if it’s real or not.

She seems to make a decision after hearing her dragons again. She kisses him, walks out, and finds herself in that original round room with her three babies. And they’re chained to a center stand. Blue Lips shows up and is all creepy and “Your babies missed you!” and this is why you don’t build houses without doors, Blue Lips. You don’t learn how to socialize properly.

He explains (while replicating himself) that when the dragons showed up, he found actual power himself. (I like how all of the magic in the world is tied to the dragons. Or they’re tied to the magic? I don’t know; it’s cool.) And the dragons are stronger with her around, so how about they just chain her up in this tower to live forever and make the dragons (and his magic) stronger?

How about she looks over her shoulder at her babies (who are all lined up, waiting for her to speak) and she says, “Drakaris.” One of the wee dragons coughs out smoke, much to Blue Lips’ chagrin. HEY THAT WAS JUST A THROAT CLEARING, BECAUSE WHOOSH goes the dragon fire, and then all three are blowing it around Dany’s body (she’s not hurt in the slightest) and Blue Lips is instantly consumed by dragon fire. Pretty sweet way to go out, you know, the first person to die from dragon fire in hundreds of years? (I bet he wouldn’t think so.)

The dragons look up at her waiting for praise. Did we do good, Mama? YES. The chains are completely gone and they’re all free.

Way north of the Wall, Jon and Qhorin are being led by the Wildlings as Ygritte continues to smack Jon on the head with her sword. Qhorin decides enough is enough and attacks Jon to keep up the pretense that Jon has gone over to the dark side. The wildlings let them at it and give Jon a sword. But Jon can’t bring himself to kill Halfhand, you know? It’s one of his buddies.

So Qhorin helps him out by calling Ned a traitor and Jon’s mother a whore. SWORD THROUGH THE GUTS, OUCH. Jon looks horrified, even more so when Qhorin leans forward and says with his dying breath, “We are the Watchers on the Wall.” Damn, that was some dedication to an oath, right there.

Ygritte, looking stunned (and maybe a little sad? Shocked? Impressed?) says, “You can tell Mance that’s the man that killed Qhorin Halfhand.” Looks like the ruse worked. Even though it also looks like it’s tearing Jon up inside. (Like he needed more to brood about.) They burn the body, because that’s not one they want coming back (foreshadow!) and Ygritte shows him the valley below where the King-beyond-the-Wall is. Time to meet him.

In a totally amazing scene, Dany and her men find Xaro in bed with Dorreah (Dorreah! Perfect that she’s in a hive of traitorous scum and villainy) and they take his key. Time for a trip to Gringotts to see what’s in the vault! Big ol’ goose egg. No, not a golden egg, zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada y pues nada. Well, that stings a bit. But Dany is a smart girl and thanks him for the lesson: no one is to be trusted, got it.

She has Xaro and Dorreah placed inside the empty tomb to die, and isn’t that harsh! She strolls away with her dragons on her arms to loot Xaro’s apartment. It may not be a lot, but it’s enough to buy a ship—a small ship, Jorah corrects with a smile. You can tell he’s never been more turned on than he is at the moment. She walks out of the chambers with her babies cooing in her arms. Dragons! Yay!

Back beyond the Wall, Red Leader Porkins (Samwell) is going on about how amazing Gilly is for still smiling while being sexed by her dad, still managing to skip to her lou after biting off corns from the soles of her gnarled and twisted feet, and—

Holy crap, that was a horn! Yay, Jon’s back! Now they can—

Holy crapola, that was a second horn. Wildlings! Draw your swords, mates, and—

Jesus. Fucking. Oh my god. A third horn. That means… RUN!

Porkins is petrified and stands there as a storm approaches. Then he sees bodies walking in the storm. Shit. He flounders to a rock, and he could totally pull a Samwise Gamgee here with that cloak and blend in with the rocks, except for how the bodies pass him—zombies! Wight Walkers! White Walkers? Predator crossed with the Fremen? THEY ARE SCARY, OKAY?—and one of them looks right at him.

AHHHH!! ZOMBIE GRANDPA CRO-MAGNON!! AND HE HAS A GLASS SWORD. Or it’s an icicle? It looks like it would hurt to be stabbed, and that’s the important thing.

Oh, buddy, you are doomed. That red shirt meant something, it was just a matter of when. And these zombies have zombie horses! And zombie otters! And zombie mosquitoes! There is nowhere to turn without the zombie horde surrounding poor little Porkins.

I told you to stay on target. Hats off, guys, and let’s play Taps for our red shirt. And just how am I expected to wait until next spring?!

 

…y’all are going to make me break my self-imposed “No books until the series is finished” rule, aren’t you? NO! I WILL STAY STRONG!

CLICK HERE to carry on to Season 3 Ep 1: Valar Dohaeris 

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  • Elsweyr

    Going to be such a long wait, sigh.

    For a relatively minor character, Maester Luwin’s death hit me almost as hard as Ned’s. I actually got a little misty-eyed. That was one excellent actor, he was like a favorite grandfather or something.

    I was completely surprised by Drogo, and actually cheered aloud when he came onscreen. Dany got some nice closure, and if that is the afterlife waiting for her someday well there are worse things. Gorgeous and haunting shot of the ruined and snow-covered Throne Room.

    • I just want all of it NOW. I’m greedy, what can I say? :)

      Luwin was a wonderful character – such a source of strength and calm when everything went to hell in Winterfell. And to have him gone and see the place burning? Sad faces all around. I think everyone is so wonderfully cast, I must say.

      I cheered, too! God, I loved Khal Drogo. As I’m not a book reader, I had no idea what to expect about him and was SHOCKED when he died. Oh, that hit me right in the feels. I like that what we saw could be her afterlife – I’d like that for her, too.

      I can’t help but think there’s some significance to the Throne Room being burned (and then covered by winter.) It could be foreshadowing, it could be a hint at danger to come (the place burns by her dragon fire, but the North marches on and Winter Comes.) I love how many ways the story can be interpreted just from the imagery.

  • Lisa

    I hadn’t ever thought it through when reading the book that Luwin instructed Bran AWAY from the Boltons.

    Hmm… Luwin is just smarter than most Starks, I guess (Bran and Arya excepted. They’re the smart Starks).

    • I have no idea who the Boltons are, so I hope the show tells me in Season Three! :D

      I think Robb’s pretty smart – he’s led some pretty successful battles against a war lord (Tywin). And Sansa’s pretty canny, too. She’s just subtle.

      • Lisa

        Lord Bolton is the guy with Robb who keeps telling him that he’d send his bastard over to Winterfell. I didn’t realize that they hadn’t said his name out loud, so I guess so far he’s just been “that guy”? :)

        • Lisa

          Gods there are a lot of names to keep straight with “Game of Thrones!” :D

        • They probably said his name once, but he didn’t strike me as anyone to really pay attention to? And now I know that I need to! OMG, SO EXCITED FOR S3.

          *cries*

  • Sue

    Oh, she was like a sister to me, and remember how sisters are treated in Westeros! Nice one. Although I think I might have snickered harder at: And Margaery is all with the cleavage and simpering and how she fell in love with Joffrey from afar (you’d have to) ahahaha, Weaselteat.

    This ep was so amazing, I have nothing coherent to offer. I did ask Eddie about the whole vanishing 500 men (he’s read the books) and he was all, “Yeah, it’s pretty much book canon.” So color me confused.

    DRAGONS! Yeah, I’d say they’re stronger with Dany around, Magic Man. Smirk.

    Re: baby wigs — all I could think of looking at that wee one was Suzanne buying Charlene a baby wig on “Designing Women” because she was horrified by Charlene’s bald baby. So they exist (at least in fictional Atlanta).

    I was hitting refresh for this recap at 6:30 this morning (heh), how ever will I wait for another season?? You done good with these. *buys you a margarita for your troubles*

    • Didn’t you get the impression that if Margaery got right up to Weaselteat she’s shudder and say, “Nope, don’t want to be Queen that badly. Can’t bear the thought of that pinched face looking up my naked body.”

      WHERE DID 500 MEN RUN OFF TO? Maybe a portal opened up and they’re the new legion of Dothraki that materialized with Dany later in the ep. :D

      Thanks, Sue! Oh, it was a late night last night after this aired, and then I had to watch AGAIN to make sure I didn’t miss any major moments. So glad you enjoyed these! (Because I know you’ll always get my references, hurr.) <3

  • Quidam

    I like how your opinion has changed of capt Cupcake from episode 1 to now, and glad your husband didnt spoil it. With that said I would recomend you stay strong and NOT read the books. I love the books and suffers from too high of expectation (self inflicted) thats impossible for the show too match. I still love the show too because neither the book or show is perfect but both are far superior than rest of the garbage out there.

    • Ha, my husband knows that to spoil me is to write his epitaph. :D I really enjoyed Capt Cupcake, for all the creepiness he exuded in the beginning, and LOVE that he became such a great character to play off of Arya on my screen. This show (and the story) just haven’t disappointed yet, I have to say.

      I’m so glad you’re cheering me on to stay away from the books! I love to have a closed canon for a huge series like this, and I REALLY want to keep the two media separate. I know how easy it is to fall into “But in the book…”

      “both are far superior than the rest of the garbage out there” HEAR, HEAR! This show is a feast – visually, audibly, and imaginatively. I love it.

  • Maxwell James

    Continuity errors trouble me, sorry.

    No apologies needed! I love the show and all, but that was a major, major goof on their parts. Suffice to say that there is a VERY GOOD REASON Luwin actually told them to get the hell out of Dodge. I’m sure it just got edited out by accident…

    who is wearing a toupee, and I didn’t know they made those for babies

    Hah, doncha know, all undefeated Dothraki warlord babies are born with a full length topknot.

    OK, here’s the thing about Stannis (not a spoiler, just a thought-out opinion). Stannis is actually really awesome, despite being all puritanical and humorless and whatnot. But the key to understanding his awesomeness is that the dude is, in D&D terms, the very epitomy of Lawful Neutral.

    • I said in another comment that maybe most of the 500 scooted off to become the new Dothraki with Dany? (Because her people, save Dorreah, were all killed so…) Oooh, you’re the second person that has given me the HEED LUWIN’S WARNING head’s up, so I’m excited to see where that goes in the next season!

      Hahahaha, full length topknot? That has to be murder to deliver…

      OKAY SEE LAWFUL NEUTRAL I UNDERSTAND. Okay. Last night was the FIRST time I saw him and thought, “Nope, not a total wanker.” Not that I was all Team Renly, he just had more charisma where Stannis was so staid and puritanical (excellent descriptor for him) that I couldn’t find a way to enjoy him. I love my characters flawed and broken with glimmers of goodness underneath. (And love it even more when they can’t be good.)

      • Maxwell James

        Hahahaha, full length topknot? That has to be murder to deliver…

        I hear the procedure involves a horse…

        Show Stannis started to win me over with the grammar nazihood. But he really got going when he LED HIS OWN DAMN MEN INTO BATTLE. Without a helmet, natch!

        On Robb’s weird vows: see this (Not spoilery, just an HBO extra).

        On the books: Personally, I’m unsure what to recommend. If you start to read them, you will not be able to stop, and then you will be very mad indeed when you get to join the rest of us waiting for the next one. Which is, I assure you, a great deal worse than waiting for the TV show.

        On the other hand: the books are so damn good. Especially the first three. Considering they start at 800 pages and get longer from there, the momentum is ridiculous. And while I do love the show and all, and in some subtle ways it actually improves on the books – in others it just can’t measure up. Especially when considering budget limitations, etc., etc.

        • HAHA! better a horse than some melted necklaces, if you catch my drift.

          I have to say, the battle last episode was pretty freakin’ epic. And you HAVE to love a leader that, you know, leads. Literally and figuratively. And they had to pull him off more people to get him away to safety! He would have kept slashing and hacking away until he couldn’t lift his arm. (And then he would have resorted to some head butting. He strikes me as the type.)

          See, you are saying my biggest fear here: once you start, you won’t be able to stop. And I won’t! I already laugh at my husband with his agony over needing the next book, and he didn’t start reading them until last year. I can’t IMAGINE how awful it must be to be waiting over a decade. (The Dark Tower series almost killed me. Especially when I thought King would die before finishing Book 5 – 7. I’m awful inside, I fully admit it.)

          I think I want to keep the books pure so that when I read them, I can appreciate the show a bit more, and how restrained they had to be (budget, etc.). Books are always going to be more because the reader finishes painting the picture. The faces of characters, the roll of the land, the smell of the place. Then you add in the exposition and POV and it’s a completely unique (and personal) experience.

          GAH. HBO, work faster! (I guess I should say the same to GRRM, too, right?)

        • Lisa

          Somewhere I saw someone note that Robb/What’sherface’s vow (sans the gods part) was the same line that Shae and Tyrion say to each other.

    • Lisa

      I’m just going to fanwank that there’s more war to the South and thus reaching Robb would mean crossing thru enemy territory while going to the Wall would mean trekking only though Stark lands.

  • Katy

    RE: Robb’s weird vows: those are the names of the 7 gods that Cat (and probably her children) worships. (Not Ned’s old Gods)

    Dear God, I want to have Jorah’s babies. But Drogo! I was unspoiled for DROGO! (I’d forgotten what happened in the book.) And I was so happy to see the burning happen (it’s a little more dramatic in the book) but I did like how they did this on the screen.

    It’s Jamie and Brienne’s roadtrip! (And in answer to the question under their picture, yes you can. They’re one of the more popular fanfic pairings.)

    I totally called that the White/Wight walkers would be the last scene. I had to remind my husband that, yes, it was too early for a preview of next season.

    There is so much that happens in book 3, I’m wondering if they’ll split it into two seasons. I can handle more GoT in my life.

    • I assumed the vows and names meant something, but if they don’t explicitly say what we’re seeing on screen, then how do us non-readers know? I ain’t bovvered. ;)

      KHAL DROGO oh my god, I ached when I saw him and then saw Daenerys’ reaction to him. All of my creys…

      I would happily watch a spin off of Jaime and Brienne snarking on one another, traveling the countryside. She’d be the long suffering straight (wo)man and he’d be the sarcastic malcontent. Yes, please!

      I read today that Book 3 will be split into two seasons, so hopefully that will make everyone happy to have that many more episodes to enjoy. I know it’ll make me happy!

  • Gail

    This was the Crying Episode for me! Shae and Tyrion’s Moment? Crying. Maester Luwin dying? Crying. Drogo and the baby? CRYING. This episode pulled none of the emotional punches. *hearts*

    I love Pycelle. Seeing him stand straight and tall speaking normally is always interesting, especially when you see him in the next scene with the old feeble geezer facade in place.

    Dany’s adventure in the House of the Undying disappointed me, because I was expecting something slightly epic. However, I forgive them because 1) their epic budget was pretty much exhausted in the previous episode, 2) I really enjoyed that scene in the throne room – and btw I interpreted the snow as ash, as in maybe after having taken over King’s Landing with dragonfire? And 3) Drogo and the baby and the Sun and Stars and Moon of My Life and excuse me, *cries*

    I love this show and I am already missing it. Bring on next year!

    • How freaking sweet are Shae and Tyrion?? I just adore them (and how they adore each other.) DROGO. I just… I can’t. I can’t even. I HAVE LOST THE ABILITY TO EVEN.

      Pycelle grosses me out (in the best ways, of course, because I want no one to leave the screen. LUWIN! *cries more*

      Oooh, I like the idea of that having been ash, not snow. It looked snowy to me, but hey – I’m just sitting here with popcorn soaking it all in. It was pretty epic to me, but I didn’t have anything to go off of.

      HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR?! I…gah. I have NEEDS.

  • harmonyfb

    …y’all are going to make me break my self-imposed “No books until the series is finished” rule, aren’t you?

    Dear gods, I hope so, because it’s killing me to keep this stuff to myself! ;)

    • NOPE! It’s been decided, I’m holding off until there’s a closed canon. ;)

      SO HA – Still a spoiler free viewer! Heh.

  • Elsweyr

    To trail on the Stannis talk above (without spoiling him etc.) he’s a character that show-only fans would have a hard time appreciating at this point. He and Jaime are my two examples of “cut this guy some serious slack, you’ll see the internal motivations reasons later” characters in the story.

    Heh, the Lawful Neutral thing is pretty spot-on tho. With a Lawful Evil-ish witch on one side and a Chaotic Good-ish Onion Knight on the other.

    • I could tell there was more to Jaime than just the straight dialog he delivered – his character allows him to play a bit with that. Stannis was such a hard-liner from the beginning that it was hard to see any depth or layers to him. I’m VERY PLEASED to see him fleshed out more. (I mean, I don’t dislike anyone on this show. So I don’t want to give the impression that I hated Stannis – I just wasn’t rooting for him. :D)

      LOL at Chaotic Good-ish Onion Knight.

  • I swore that I would only read each book after the corresponding season had finished…and I broke about six months in and read them all voraciously.

    • See, I think I would do the SAME THING. If you couldn’t restrain yourself, how can I? GAH. Write faster, GRRM! And HBO, chop chop!

  • Aaron L

    Hi Laura
    I just want to say how much Ive enjoyed your comments to each episode. They make me LOL every one of them.
    I was going to tell you that you should read the first two books now that you’ve seen the first two seasons, but if you dont have control not to read 3-5 then I dont blame you one bit. I wont spoil anything (I HATE PEOPLE WHO SPOIL) but there is so much more depth and scenarios that you think about while reading these books, so many HUH moments, and trying to guess and figure out WTF is going on. But like I said if you cant keep control, and only read the first 2 then
    DONT do it ;)Keep up the good work

    • Hey! How awesome to hear, thank you! I’m glad you found the site and enjoyed it.

      And I just think that I would have a fundamental ACHE to get started on the books and make myself wait. I don’t think I have the midichloriens, man. (I love that you hate people who spoil! GAH.) I can only imagine from the size of the books (and the passion they engender) how freaking phenomenal they must be. That’s kind of why I want to hold off with the books – to savor them and not be forced to wait. It has to be sheer torture for those of you that have been along for the ride from the beginning.

      Thank you for your vote on this – I love how excited people are about the books AND the show. It’s such damn satisfying as a fantasy/sf girl to have such a gorgeous production on my screen as well as amazing books in the genre that are intelligent and well-thought out. (And it’s KILLING ME to wait, ahahaha.)

  • Aaron L

    Not that I dont like the show… Because I DO !! Its Spectacular !

  • Aaron L

    You can thank Maxwell for posting it on WIC.net, that led me here a while ago and I have come to enjoy your reviews the MOST out of all of them just because of your wit, passion, and love for the series. I have to admit though the wit is what is the icing on the cake ;) VERY FUNNY! Yes, I wish i could go back in time and not read all of them so fast, especially because i read the first 3 so quickly (because they are SO GOOD), then waited 5 years for the 4th one, then another 5 years for the 5th one now who knows how long for the next ones AHHHHHHHH its excruciating

    • Ha, I do thank Maxwell! He’s been an amazing support and I love it when people come over from WIC.net! (Sometimes the threads there get way too heated for me. I just want to love the show, you know? Or talk shop without getting ugly?) And thank you, by the way. I’m so glad I can get you to laugh regularly!

      See, that is EXACTLY what I am afraid of – that long wait. And there are…two more books left to come? I just don’t think I’m strong enough to hang on. Ha, like, what, I’m going to jump off a bridge? YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. ;D Waiting is just agony.

  • Barnswallowkate

    My only complaint about this episode is that it wasn’t 8 hours long! Have we started a countdown to next season??

    I loved the cut from Shae & Tyrion’s “I am yours and you are mine” scene to Robb & Talisa saying that in their vows. Shae & Tyrion are married in their hearts and it’s SO CUTE TO ME.

    Your “you’d have to love Joffrey from afar” joke killed me. I am starting to feel so bad for that actor though! I bet he’s really nice but now millions of people hate his face!

    I thought Sansa was pretending to be upset to be dumped because it’s part of that “I love the king” story she has to tell to survive. I think I also saw her hoping for freedom but trying to tamp that down until she was officially cast off. I kind of love her/her actress.

    I also thought Cersei was totally trying to do her a favor but since I also kind of love her/Lena Headley I might be seeing better intentions than were really there.

    Dany’s vision (?) of the snowy throne room was so cool and I completely agree with your interpretation of it upthread. The books/show spends so much time on political intrigue and war that it’s easy to ignore it when the Starks are all “No seriously, winter is coming, why won’t you assholes listen.” I swear after thousands of pages of story the series is just going to end with windblown snow covering the whole world and GRRM will laugh and laugh.

    I also intended to read each book after each season aired but once I started I blew through them in a few weeks. I watched the first season without reading the books and it was a bit more fun, so I agree with your plan not to read the books until after the show is done!

  • Miss H.

    I made my BF shout my name in the style of Ser Jorah’s “KHALEESI!” but no one, not even a bird become pregnant. Seriously hahaha. HAHAHA. Why I laughed so hard at that sentence….no idea. It was just so damn funny :P Again, brilliant recap. Thank you :)

    I am not a book reader …at least not until GoT TV series started. Well into midseason, I picked up Book 1 and started reading. Couldnt stop. Was telling myself that I would ‘only’ read as much as to keep pace with the then showing Season 1 on TV… obviously, I didnt lol. I hated and thanked myself both at the same time for ‘spoiling’ it for myself (dont get me wrong, it was really awesome to be able to experience so much more by reading the book/s).

    This time round, I managed to wait till Season 2 finished showing before reading all of Book 2. Teehee. I really salute your determination to hold off ALL books until GRRM finishes writing this epic tale :)

    This…this Book 3 to be filmed into 2 seasons?! what? How am I gonna be able to stop reading Book 3 midway when Season 3 finishes?!!! >_> As for myself…I cant wait for another TV season of GoT so I can read another book… or, uh…read another book to ‘prepare’ for the next TV season of GoT … *blabbles incoherently*

  • Okay, last week’s episode was definitely the ‘real’ season finale, but this week beautifully tied up some very necessary strings. I <3 this show. It is so well written and wonderfully acted.

    I think Cersei is both toying with Sansa because she loves to play cat and mouse and helping her out...with strings. I do think in a strange way, Cersei cares for Sansa...if Cersei could actually care for anyone. She was playing the mentor to her (and maybe a bit of a dementor as well). haha

    Jaime only serves himself and his sister.

    You mean Jaime SERVICES his sister! ba-da-dum. Haha. I’m here all week. (or would that be weak)

    I thought this season ending was a very good bookend to Season 1’s opening. Begin with Wight Walkers/End with Wight Walkers. Season 3: Get your coats on and wrap your shoes in bread bags because WINTER IS HERE BITCHES!

    Great recap as always.

  • Will Brosch

    I love your reviews Laura, they’re little moments of brilliant comedy on a usually very dark and serious topic.

    Absolutely amazing episode!!! I loved every moment. And, cried several at moments (Dany leaves Drogo “when the sun rises in the west…” and When Tyrion cries (Peter Dinklage is a hero)), which is… embarrassing for a guy. lol

    I thought that the greyjoys were selling out Theon to the northmen rather than taking home. Remember what Rob said a few weeks back “all the ironmen are free to go home, all with the exception of Theon Greyjoy!” Also, my book reader friend hinted in a conversation that the Bastard Bolton guy, leading the northern army was not a nice man. Well his words were – “If you think Joffreys an evil prick, wait till you meet Ramsay Snow!” lol.
    Anyway, so I thought, maybe he burned Winterfell. I don’t see how the Greyjoy’s could have done it when surrounded. Its a suspicious theory but if the bastard is anything like his father, then it may be true, remember his words to Rob “a naked man has few secrets, but a flayed man has none.” That scene was definitely confusing though.

    Keep up the great reviews, that last scene was so awesome. How am i going to wait an entire year for season 3????? ;P

    • Aww, thanks so much, Will! I’m happy to hear you’ve been laughing. Mission accomplished!

      Anyone that wasn’t moved by Tyrion’s overwhelming relief that Shae really DOES love him is most likely a robot and should be covered in high-powered magnets immediately. Peter Dinklage has just sold that character part and parcel from Day One, and it’s a JOY to watch. (And we ladies like a man that can shed a tear! And hey – we’ll just add that moment to ones like in “Rudy” “Gladiator” and “Field of Dreams” = the times when men can cry without shame. ;)

      Oh, that’s interesting about Theon being sold out! I wonder about that, though, seeing as they covered his face with a hood – all the better to slip him past some guards? (And I thought they might be using some of the secret passageways, which would necessitate the killing of Luwin (cry) – he serves Winterfell, and whoever came in after the Iron Born would be told where they’d gone, after all.)

      One thing I do know is that the opener for Season 3 is possibly going to require a defibrillator on site for me. A WHOLE YEAR? A pox on all of their houses! Wait, noooooo!

  • Sally R

    How much did I love the finale? There aren’t words. God. Everything was just so perfect, but Tyrion and Arya’s storylines probably touched me the most. Arya including Sansa on her “must find” list made me smile. And Shae’s “you have a shit memory” line killed me. Love her and Tyrion together. (Also… super relieved he wasn’t dead. I thought he’d make it but I wasn’t certain.)

    How pissed is mama Catelyn gonna be about Rob getting married? Ahahaha!

    I’m delighted to be reading the books now. I’m about 3/4 way through Book 1. After book 2 I might wait for season three and stick to reading after watching, but I don’t know. We’ll see how that goes. I do recommend reading at some point though because there are some interesting details that I don’t think we really got (or maybe I just didn’t pick up on them) in the show. Little things that add depth to characters and events. I’ve enjoyed sharing little tidbits with Chris while we watch, but nothing spoilery (esp. since I’m behind the show anyway).

  • Elcazavampiros

    Awesome recap! Loved the finale.

    I, unlike you, have little willpower and am now 1/2 way through book 4.

  • I’ve rewatched the season finale like… three times now. Its still amazing. I still say Brienne is one of my favorites. I’m still really excited about next season. There are so many things in the books I’m looking forward to seeing in the show. In particular, more Brienne/Jaime interaction. I could almost just watch a show about the two of them. With liberal helpings of Tyrion, because YES!

  • Athena

    I think Ygritte just looked completely turned on and just wanted to have her way with him right there instead of waiting for next season.

    • Well, you can’t blame a girl, can you? :)

  • Athena

    No you certainly can’t Laura. She had a look that said ”Kiss me”.