Game of Thrones 5.8 – Hardhome

Remember how in the very first episode we saw that scary ice man with the blue eyes? And then remember when everyone kept saying that Winter Is Coming? And then, then you guys? You remember how those creepy ice dudes showed up on horses and Samwell wet his pants? And then killed one? And then, like, we’ve been wandering in the desert for forty years? So “winter is coming” and “white walkers” are coming?

Frankly, I don’t think they exist. I don't think they exist

~*The Audience The Last Fifteen Minutes*~



We open with a moment I’ve been waiting for SEASONS to happen: Tyrion and Daenerys Targaryen. I do love that she’s clever enough to spar with him, even if this moment wasn’t as… rich and fraught with tension as it could have been. (Eh, they can’t all be Lady Olenna) She brings up an excellent point, though: why should she bring the greatest Lannister murderer in living history into her service?

Whoa, hold up. Tyrion didn’t say she deserved him. (Ooooh.) And she doesn’t really know what she’s doing, does she?

Dany: Uh, I have a massive army and dragons, so…
Tyrion: Killing and politics don’t always go together. And wow, Targaryens go hard always, huh?
Dany: Want to see hard? Give me a reason why I shouldn’t kill Jorah.
Tyrion: Here are several? He’s like, completely obsessed with you succeeding? Totes in love with you, and is actually honorable because, and here’s the thing: you made him so.
Dany: Fine. I won’t kill him. Just toss him beyond the wall. Be sure he steps through the place where Daario pissed, pls.

Got Jorah Dany 1

[heart breaks] I guess I’ll just… go then? [slowly turns as The Smiths play]

GoT Jorah Dany 2

DO THAT. GO. I don’t care. PFFT. [cannot swallow past the hot lump in her throat of UNSHED TEARS]

A nurse/nun walks into Cersei’s cell, whispering to confess while beating her about the head. It’s pretty awesome, ngl.

Arya continues her training, and here’s what I think is going on: when she tells a story, she’s telling the story of an actual person who came to the House of Black and White. She’s warging (for lack of a better term) into their previous existence or into the spirit/trace their existence left in those places, which is how she’s able to take on their face/visage/persona now. So when she gets a detail wrong, Jaqen smacks her for the “lie.” Okay, I literally just wrote this while watching, let’s see if everyone jumps down my throat for getting it wrong! ;)


Arya Stark Jaqen H'ghar

QUESTION: are the people of the village seeing the person she’s supposed to be? Or Arya’s face? I’m guessing the first, which makes me happy that we get Maisie on our screen instead of random actresses.

I love getting to know more about the Many-Faced God, that Arya is being given her first “job,” and that ultimately it doesn’t matter to Him/Her/It if she doesn’t succeed. The Many-Faced God will know. (And I’m assuming that knowing things is the real power here since it didn’t seem important for her to solve this on her own? Then again it’s a show, so they have to condense things instead of a million training montages.)

Maester Qyburn is allowed to visit Cersei.

Maester Creepy: Well, it’s not good.
Cersei: Give it to me, I can take it.
MC: Incest, fornication, Incest, lies, Incest, and murdering King Robert. Oh, and an extra charge of Incest because there was a LOT of it.
MC: …right. So, the Faith Militant are pretty set on how they see guilt. Also, Uncle Kevan is new Hand of King, wants nothing to do with you, and your son, the King, is starving himself, refuses to let Ser Pounce make biscuits in his lap because it’s too close to food.
Cersei: …I now regret this decision to arm fanatics, but damn if I’ll apologize for it.
MC: Welp. You’re fucked. Farewell, Your Grace!

Cersei Lannister in prison

“So… when does the handmaiden come to give me a facial and a blow out? The service here is DREADFUL, ONE STAR ON YELP.”

Back at Hell Hall, aka Winterfell, Reek brings tea to Sansa, and really tries to explain that there is no Dana, only Zuul. Except for how he lets slip that Theon didn’t actually kill Bran and Rikkon, and then Reek freaks and runs out of the room. Now Sansa and Ramsay are the only ones who know this, huh? SANSA. SANSA YOUR SIBLINGS ARE ALMOST ALL ALIVE. Robb is totally dead, though, and I still ache over that, but the rest are alive! WEST’ROS IS ALIIIIIVE! WITH THE HIDDEN STARK KIDS…. [/Sound of Music]

Roose allows Ramsay into the War Room, and I gotta be real: I think Roose is hoping Ramsay dies. Roose is all, “So I played a lot of Stratego and Risk as a kid, and all we need to do is wait out Stannis. Seriously. That’s literally all we need to do.” And Ramsay tosses out a “pussy” cough, and says to give him 20 men and he’ll defeat the entire army. Uh, choking on your own hubris says what?

Ramsay: What?
Me: [snickers]

Tyrion finally gets some wine while talking to Daenerys, calling them two terrible children of two terrible fathers.

Tyrion: UH. THE DEAD MASTERS WOULD DISAGREE?! Also, care if I top this off…? [refills wine]
Dany: Still not sure why I shouldn’t kill you. I mean, you trust Varys, to whom Jorah was selling secrets about me.
Tyrion: [drains glass, refills] Funny thing about Varys; he actually believes in you 5000%.
Dany: …and why is that funny?
Tyrion: Good point. But I will say he’s the only person in this entire world whom I actually trust.
Dany: Hm. So let’s establish a Happy Hour and I let you live.
Tyrion: [drains another glass, refills] …give an Imp a moment to think on it?
Dany: No.
Tyrion: Okay, so! Let’s put the pieces on the board. Here’s everyone on your side. [no gamepieces] You see where I’m going here?
Dany: [flips table]
Tyrion: …interesting strategy.

Meanwhile, back in the slave pits, Jorah returns to the man who bought him, throatily says something that made me need to get a Plan B pill, I hit replay, and hear him say something else that made me pass out. I hit replay a third time (THE MAN HAS A DELICIOUS VOICE, OKAY? Welcome to the world of what turns ladies on, AKA THIS LADY AKA MEEEEEE.) and hear him say in husky, dulcet tones that he will fight for the guy in order to land in front of the queen, because that’s all he wants: to look at her beautiful face.

Ultimate Nice Guy Achievement: Unlocked! Trophy Awarded: Infinite Hat Tip! (Every M’lady uttered increases your damage resistance by 3%)

Once again the nun comes in to demand that Cersei confesses, and pours water on the ground instead of letting her drink it, but the jokes on you, because Cersei’s been debased enough to lick it off the ground like a dog, HA. Sucks to be you, Nun!<– is how I imagine Cersei pictures this playing out in her head.

A little H/C in the form of Gilly doctoring up Sam after his being attacked. Little Olly comes by with grub, asking why Jon Snow is helping the muh-fuhs what kilt his mum and da? Sam explains that there are good and bad in all people, and sometimes you must make decisions that others don’t agree with, but that you know are right, and I’m assuming at this point that Olly is deciding to kill Sam. THIS SHOW HAS TAUGHT ME, OKAY? I am Reek: prepared to go to the Bad Place instantly.

Speaking of Jon, we cut to him and Gjördkr the Bær Fuçkër rowing to the shores of Dawnstar. I mean, Hardhome. (Sorry, but if Bethesda isn’t filled with massive GRRM fans, I’ll eat my shoes.) Jon is well-armed with Stannis’ fleet, and the Wildlings know it. But he’s not there to fight them. He’s there to let Gjördkr the Bær Fuçkër run the show. Jon’s just here to back him up.

Gjödkr meets up with the Lord Of Bones, and it breaks down to this:

LoB: You suckin’ that Crow’s D?
Gjordkr: [beats him to death] Take me to your leaders.
Wildlings: …uh, yeah. Sure. Damn.

SERIOUSLY, THOUGH. THAT TOWN IS SO ELDER SCROLLS, I CAN’T EVEN. Even the building design, the details on the eaves, you guys!!

Wildlings: [re: Jon] Yeah, let’s kill him.
Jon Snow: Welp, then you won’t get help, because I’m here to save your asses.
Wildlings: Uh, you killed Mance? And you’re a Crow? So…
Wildlings: …is there a pamphlet or newsletter to which we could subscribe?
Gjordkr: I can’t believe you assholes think I would bring a traitor here.
Thenns: Eh, piss off
Lady Wildling: I am basically the only one with sense, and I’m saying I’ll throw my lot in with this pretty baby boy with windswept hair, how you doing?
Giant: HODOR. I mean, HMM.
Thenns: I’m with the giant. [spits on Jon]

So basically only the smart Wildlings join Jon, climbing aboard row boats, no Gendry sighted. Lady Wildling leader loads her babies on a ship and tries not to let her heart break. MEANWHILE, DOGS BEGIN BARKING. Note to anyone reading this: when a dog begins panicked barking, run like hell. YEAH, I KNOW, sometimes they fart themselves awake and start barking. BUT IN A WAR SITUATION: RUN.

The crowd starts to panic, and Asshole Thenn orders the gates shut, locking out thousands who pound against the door to open it. And then… nothing. Shit. SHIT SHIT SHIT. Everyone who can reach a boat races to it, threatening to swamp them as more bodies begin to attack the gate, Draugrs and White Walkers alike. Those left in the inn, the Giant and a few of Jon’s men like Edd, are now under attack, literally under–the undead are coming through the roof. The dead are coming over, under and through and now we see, now we get what Winter Is Coming TRULY means.

It just. keeps. coming.

It’s absolute pandemonium as people are diving into the water, desperate to get away from the undead. They’re fast, unstoppable, and did I mention undead? Like, you can put an arrow through their face, slice off a limb, doesn’t matter. They KEEP COMING.

We can see beyond the wall that there are thousands waiting to come through. Ha, um, hey, I guess this is why they built a wall of ice 700 feet high and forty bazillion miles long, then, huh? JEEEZ.

Jon fights as many off at the almost destroyed gate as they squeeze through. Holy shit, this is brutal. The Thenn and Lady Wildling are at his side, fighting, but Jon sees the four horsemen of the apocalypse—Fancy Leveled Up White Walkers—standing on the cliff overhead and watching everything. Jon remembers: DRAGON GLASS! And I’m thinking that a more seasoned leader would realize that these NEW leaders are Velociraptors testing the fence for weakness. This is just a TASTE, bro.

The undead attack the Giant, and it’s amazing because he just pulls them off and stomps on them (his coat has a 50% frost resistance). Yeah, if I wanted someone on my side, it’s a freaking Giant. (They’re worth more than their toes and mammoth cheese!)

And from within, we see the man we caught sight of in Season 2, the White Walker Leader!! Jon searches for dragon glass, lost in the pandemonium, as the White Walker takes out everyone to get to Jon, knocking aside Jon’s Valyrian steel blade. (Note: if a show keeps pointing out something specific, like a Valyrian steel blade, no one’s made them in a thousand years, etc., PAY ATTENTION. So who has them now? Brienne has Jaime’s, who has Joffrey’s?)

Jon keeps fighting, canny and young, but the wind gets knocked out of him, giving the White Walker Leader? King? (IDK, he seems Kingly) the advantage. Jon finds his sword, but falls, the WWK on his ass with this shockingly high DMR ice blade, but OHO!! LOOK AT THAT! Valyrian steel can destroy them! [looks at you all] And it turns out he’s just a Major or so, because we see one of the real leaders–one of the four horsemen–watching, taking this in. Welp, strategy #1: get the sword with the white wolf handle.

Back at their wall, the Wildlings seem to be turning the tide, taking out the Draugrs and Walkers, but Lady Wildling catches her breath and sees the worst thing ever: children Draugrs and Walkers. SHIT. We’ve established that she’s a mom, and moms don’t kill other kids, even when it’s Josh, the shit bully across the street who picks on the weak as well as his nose and smells like Mountain Dew and FAILURE, YEAH, I CALLED YOUR SON A FAILURE BECAUSE HE’S A BUTT FACE BULLY, KAREN, CONTROL YOUR DAMN SON.

Children White Walkers Game of Thrones

Someone get that kid a PB&J, STAT. (holy cheez whiz, this is so cool looking. SO COOL. And also so very very terrible.)

Sorry. Anyway, she can’t just kill children (um, since when? Olly asks) and they all attack at once, taking her down. GOD DAMMIT, I WAS EXCITED FOR A LADY WILDLING LEADER AGAIN.

Edd (it’s Edd, right?) finds Jon, gives him the “we’re going to die here!” speech, and it isn’t until the Four Horsemen give a signal, lemming-ing-the other Draugr/Walkers that we didn’t know even existed right the fuck over a cliff face,  landing in an ocean of bones and terror and NOT DYING, that we can really appreciate the whole “winter is coming=you’re going to die” thing.

But like, hang on. Time out. What the hell is in it for these Walkers? Like, when you take over a country, it’s for your benefit. You take over their resources, people, water, what have you. More food, more oil and more power to have healthy citizens (in a sense). These folks are dead. So what the hell resources are they after? Like, what’s the endgame? Just that they’ve won? (OMG, if this is a book thing/you know the actual answer DO NOT TELL ME.)

The wall/gate comes crashing down, Gjördkr yells at the Giant—who is named WUN WUN, I shit you not, is Lavender Brown naming giants??!—to run to the sea. I guess the dead don’t float? Water is their weakness? IDK. But with a giant at their back, Jon, Edd and Gjödrkr stand something of a chance oh god GO FASTER PLEASE. YOU CAN DO THIS!

…except for how as they row off, the 4 Horseman Leader (Night King, we learn in credits!) stalks out to the pier, locks eyes with Jon, and gives the “How you like me now?” stance, cranking the speakers to 11, and instantly transforming every damn dead person (and wow, there are a lot!) into one of his people. That’s a hell of a recruitment tactic.

White Walker Leader Hardhome

GAH, Lady Wildling is among them!

GoT Lady Wildling Turnt

NOOOO I LIKED YOU AND WAS HAPPY and oh right I see what I did there.

The entire shoreline is fifty-deep with new recruits, thousands and thousands of them standing silent vigil, waiting for their leader’s command, and Jon visibly trembles as they continue rowing away.

Winter. Has. Come.

Jon Snow Hardhome


Guys, not going to lie, I thought we’d get this as a season finale. We get this 5.8?? When x.9 is traditionally the “oh shit!” episode?! It looks like we’re going to get a Jon Snow/Lord Butthurt showdown next week, Jorah either finally sways Dany to the “Be Worshipped” side or to his brutal…

death. WAIT. DID I SEE–

MOTHER. FUCKER. I know Jorah is problematic, okay? I KNOW. But son of a BITCH, if he dies I am going to LOSE IT. You think I lost it with Oberyn?? Hahaha, that’s a lie because nothing hurt like that and nothing ever will again because I am now broken inside. But I might make whiney sad noises, okay?

GUYS. Hold me.

But Cersei: prison of her own making, totally unable to see that her White Lady Privilege ain’t going to help her (I MADE him! I won’t bow), totally unable to see that the tree that won’t bend snaps in half. Tyrion: sighing and thinking, “I came all this way for this?” or no? Jon: pissed himself or no?

THE WHITE WALKERS I HAVE WAITED FOR THEIR ARMY SINCE DAY ONE AND I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. My brain is on permanent capslock. Also, ha, Mastodon’s Brent Hinds was a Wildling. APPROPRIATE.

Mastodon Brent Hinds WIldling

Brent Hinds on the right! Hee.

TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS. <– told you I was on perma-capslock (And I really need Dany to remember she has FREAKING DRAGONS.)

But please leave book discussion out of the boards. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. Every week someone wants to tell me how it really is in the book and I AM ASKING YOU NOT TO DO THE THING. Please? And thank you!

Click here for 5.9 The Dance of Dragons!

Please like & share:
  • Perfect use of the ROUS gif! Yes, indeed. Winter is… Here. Can’t wait to read the rest.

    • HAHAHAHA, I feel like you’ve been hitting the F5 button a bit this morning… (I approve 9000%)

      • Was I that obvious? Maybe just a bit. Like a few. Or forty. I’m still processing everything that happened last night. But if anyone claims they didn’t react like you did to the FROZEN ARMY OF THE UNDEAD spilling into that camp, they’re lying. And indeed… THAT there kids is why you build a magical 700ft tall, thousabd-mile long ice wall.


          Oh man, that fight is up there with the Wildling’s battle at the Wall last season with the giant DRAAAAAAAAG to knock the climbers off, the mastodons, etc. This was EPIC.

  • Zack

    Okay, so.

    Just FYI I love you for your Elder Scrolls references always.

    So. Best. Episode. Ever. Right?!

    I mean it was just chock full of momentous happenings. I’ve been waiting for Tyrion/Dany to chat forever! And Tyrion dropping some srs truth bombs.

    And SANSA. SANSA HAS A FAMILY AGAIN! eeeeeeee If that doesn’t give her some major willpower/resolve/superpowers I will be shocked. She’s gonna concoct some plan to get to her brothers, you know it. Can’t. Fucking. Wait.

    And Cersei drinking floor water is one of the greatest moments of TV history. Muahahaha.

    And yeah. Thrones has had some major action before (notably the Blackwater and the thing at the Wall last year) but for my money this was the baddest-ass Big Action Scene on GoT (and, therefore, on TV in general) yet. I literally “HOLY SHIT!”ted at the TV at the reveal that Valyrian steel has dragonglass in it. Awesome!

    lol, any time a parent has a tearful goodbye with their wee moppets on this show, and assures them they will see them soon…nope nope nope.

    • ELDER SCROLLS, AM I RIGHT?!??! Like, the detailing on the rooftops is TOTALLY Skyrim. [fist bump]

      The tension was so much greater in this battle than in any prior, which is saying something. This is an End Times war, not the routine transfer of power between factions, right?

      WAIT. Valyrian steel has dragonglass in it?! Or is it just Valyrian steel’s inherent property will also kill them? I didn’t pick up on it being imbued with the DG is all. (Ha, add a Soul Trap to that blade and rename it Ice-suckle. I AM A BAD PERSON WHO SAYS BAD THINGS SRY.)

      • Zack

        Great point. Maybe it’s not dragonglass, but the fact that it was forged with dragon fire….the properties of dragon fire kind of seeping into the weapons forged with it, because the Valyrians (Targaryans invading from Valyria etc) were all about their dragons and surely forged their blades in dragon flame. Anyway, it’s a good sign that when Dany flies to the rescue, her babies will make short work of the undead army.

        And do you know how much I’ve dreamed and hoped that the Elder Scrolls team would do a game in the Thrones show/books universe?!?! It seems like a perfect match.

      • Lisa

        I… Don’t remember. I know when Tywin had Brienne’s sword made they told us that V steel is very old and very rare and that there was only one metal worker left who could work with it but that he couldn’t make it. I don remember being told what’s in it. I just think Brienne better hang onto that sword!!

        • Eddie H

          At this point anyone with a Valyrian steel sword is a very valuable person.

        • Fluffinmyturnups

          Hello all,

          OR Brienne gets killed off and someone else gets her sword

          (i love Brienne so hope not – but lets face it somebody we really like is going to die in episode 9 or 10)

  • Julie Martin

    GAHHRRAAWWMK! $@#/%× fffzzzzzrr%r. No, cat didn’t stand on keyboard. That was pretty much the noises coming out of my face for like 30 minutes straight. Those zombies are so nimble, and quick, and OHSWEETGODDESS I really want Dany to send her dragons to burn them all to a crisp. Don’t get me wrong, her banter with Tyrion over delicious wine is the stuff of my dreams, but I have some advice. Want the lords, ladies, smallfolk, cats and dogs to back you as their Queen? Get on a boat ASAP and saven them all from ice zombies. It is such a persuasive argument. It is a “cake or death?” decision for allll the people. Why yes, we would like you and your zombie-roasting kiddos to be our supreme leaders, kind lady, funny you should ask!

    • Unpredictable movement, especially when it is SWIFT unpredictable movement is my #1 fear. Like, when you see something that shouldn’t be able to zip about and then it DOES and it’s IN YOUR FACE, pardon me while I swallow my tongue, forever trapped in a frozen scream. (See: Zelda in Pet Cemetery or grasshoppers: my garden.)

      That the WW could haul ass… AHHHHHH!!! So wonderfully terrifying!! AND YES, your thoughts on how Dany can Win And Influence People by burninating the WW’s with her dragons is SOUND ADVICE.

      • Amy Wilder

        Please feel free to use the word burninating AT ANY TIME in future recpas or daily life!!

        • Julie Martin

          There is a new craze sweeping the nation, and the kids are callin it Burnination!

      • Fluffinmyturnups

        Dragons burning Zombies sounds TOO easy…

        There must be some twist like dragons catch flu when they go to cold places and then mummy has to take them home and give them hot lemon and honey drinks

    • Lyanna Mormont

      So… who’s going to tell Dany that ice zombies are attacking Her Kingdom? Who would she believe such a tale from? Is there anyone? (You’d think the fact that she’s the Mother of Dragons would make her more likely to believe in magical creatures, but… I’m not sure.)

      • Julie Martin

        Well, if things escalate quickly, I believe word will get around. Otherwise, I nominate Varys. He is supposed to have spies everywhere. This would be valuable information to pass along.

        • Lyanna Mormont

          But Dany doesn’t trust Varys.

          • Julie Martin

            It is OK, we have Tyrion there to butter her up for Varys now :-) In my head, this all makes sense.

  • Eddie H

    OOOOOOHHH SHIT! What a long build up (almost 5 whole seasons) that was to get to this point. Those fuckers in the south who still laugh off the existence of the white walkers better hope the North can hold. They are 0% prepared for this. Also I bet 1 million dollars that Ser Alliser next week is gonna accuse Jon of making it all up just so he can sneak the wildlings he loves so much through their wall.
    My favorite part of this episode (and what a great episode it was) was the exchange between Tyrion and Dany. It is very clear to me that she needs Tyrion. I could watch a 2 hour marathon of nothing but Tyrion sitting and chatting with anyone. Dinklage is the very best actor. Lots and lots of respect.
    So back to the walkers, random thought. If dragon glass can kill them and Valyrian steel can kill them (which it was mentioned before was formed will dragon fire) does that mean that dragon fire itself should be able to kill them? It seems to be the theme running with any weapon that you can use on them. It’s like they’re so sensitive to dragon fire that anything that’s ever been touched by it can snuff them. Hey! I know where some dragons are!

    • Ready for Ser Alliser to be torn apart by WUN WUN, not gonna lie. OOOOH, HIS FACE WHEN HE SEES THE GIANT WITH JON ON HIS SHOULDER! <– A Girl can dream
      I'm with you re: Tyrion and anyone. He is such a delight in all things, and the character is so clever, but not in a cruel way, so it's very refreshing. :D

      I'm pretty sure they've been leading up to a battle of Dragons v White Walkers since the beginning, and I cannot WAIT. COME ON, DANY. WISE UP.

    • Julie Martin

      Yes to the dragons! Although it seems like any fire does the trick, at least on the re-animated (not sure about the Walkers). My guess is that through its magics, dragon fire leaves its essence in things it has forged. I do not know. But I do know that I want the 3 surly dragon teens to go north immediately. Also, do we think the undead taste good?

      • Eddie H

        All the walkers get BURNINATED!!!

      • Lyanna Mormont

        Tastes like chicken, I hear. Maybe we can sic the Hound on them?

        (He’s not dead we didn’t see a body he’s not dead he’s NOT DEAD!)

      • Anthony Gitto

        In tonight’s episode it showed fires going out as the White Walker got near in the InnHouse. I would guess something like the changing air pressure from the extreme cold coming off of them tends to blow it out… but it actually affecting them? I would think that they wouldn’t walk into a burning house if that was the case…

        • Julie Martin

          I am with you, Anthony. While we’ve seen the re-animated dead get done in by plain old fire in the past (think Jon’s early experience), I don’t remember seeing the white walkers (the people who appear to be higher on the magic food chain) get destroyed by fire, and the scenes in the last episode reinforced that sense of confusion for me. Although perhaps a direct hit from a fireball would be different. Either way, I imagine dragon fire will melt everyone and everything. This is what I’m pinning all my hopes on. I like dragons :-)

          • Eddie H

            There is specific book knowledge I could share on that but even though it’s not necessarily spoilery it’s not spelled out in the show so it’s not for this forum.

            • Julie Martin

              Dang! I am a reader but it has been a while. Clearly I must re-read!

            • Anthony Gitto

              I am a book reader as well and also agree that it should not be shared here.

  • I feel like the show has gone out of its way to establish a hierarchy of undead:
    King White Walker
    White Walker Generals/Lieutenants
    General blue-eyed reanimated undead
    Army of darkness/ Harryhausen-style undead

    That Craster baby got turned into a Gen/Lt. By the KWW, right?

    I’m very much liking this. Creepy as anything.

    • Yeah, I feel like your breakdown is 150% accurate.


    • Lyanna Mormont

      The “king” also seems to be their shaman/mage/priest, since he’s the only one we’ve seen transform people. He iced the baby last season, and he raised the dead in this episode. Is he the only one who can, the only one who’s allowed to, or was it just that he was making a point by showing his power? (White Walker politics. Oh ye gods.)

      Are there female White Walkers? Cause I don’t think we’ve seen any. Do they even HAVE different sexes? Can they produce new WWs by themselves, or only by turning human babies? Perhaps that’s why they’re coming south – their old ones are dying off, and the only way they can continue to exist as a people is by getting their hands on human kids to recruit…

      Someone stop me before I REALLY creep myself out.

      • Fluffinmyturnups

        i dunno, do we really want boorish Danaerys Targaryen to beat the White Walkers? They are way cooler…
        (see what i did there)

      • These are all GREAT questions. Part of me hopes to find out, but the other part likes that we just don’t know. And I’m not sure if the WWs need a “reason” to come south, but it would provide them with motivation. I’m always conflicted about an EVIL needing motivation for their actions. Most villains need some sort of motivation, but I almost see the WWs and their army as the physical manifestation of winter and death. No other reasons are really necessary. But I do like your line of questions and where it leads. Very creepy indeed.

  • JP

    This was a fantastic episode. I love every second of it and was just grinning like an idiot for the last 15 minutes. I’ve been looking forward to this episode ever since I learned what its title would be, but was shocked by the full on intervention of the Walkers. I was very worried about Edd “Yes My Name’s Edd” Tollett. I’m a big fan of the kind of tertiary characters that are just around all of the time but aren’t the focus of any of the plots, like Grenn & Pyp or Ed & Larry on the West Wing. Plus I have a huge soft spot for Edd as a book reader. Creepy, scary, and sad. Loved it. I apologize for all of the times I made fun of Kit Harrington in the past, because he’s been nailing it this season.

    Cersei, probably only in jail for a couple of hours at this point, learns not to put your trust in religious zealots. They are true to their beliefs Cersei, they’re not going to be grateful to you for putting them in charge…it was clearly the Will of the Gods that opened the door.

    Arya seems to have learned how to be someone else, though I hope she’s a little more careful about that poison when compared to that vinegar or else there’d be a bunch of dead people on those docks.

    And I think the Winterfell scenes this week were top notch.

    I always enjoy coming here for your recaps because I can feel the excitement through my computer screen. When I finished this episode, after a lot of THIS IS AMAZING thoughts I started thinking that I can’t wait for Hey Don’t Judge Me tomorrow. Your screencaps and comments are always perfectly selected.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Did you see the state of Cersei’s lips? That was far more than a couple of hours. And a day or two without water… it does things to you.

      (Not to mention she’s probably also suffering from withdrawal, without her wine.)

      • JP

        I know, but I like to make jokes about her and Margaery completely falling apart after half an hour in a cell. First scene: It’s been a couple hours, and she’s going stir crazy. Second scene: It’s been about a work day and her wine withdrawal is so bad she’s drinking water off the floor.

        But, yeah, I noticed how chapped her lips looked on my tv. Looks pretty rough. Based on on the North scenes in relation to everything else, its probably been closer to a week, maybe two.

      • Eddie H

        She’s totally suffering from no wine.

    • …shedding a tear over you wondering just how hard I was going to be flailing over here after the episode aired. :D


  • Art

    This was easily the best episode of the season for me. As to Arya, I don’t think that she has changed faces. That is likely the last part of her training when she truly is “no one.” I think that the lying game is teaching her to be able to convince others that she is who she appears to be. At this stage she she is just playing the role of oyster shucker and getting info for Jaqen.

    I knew Lady Wilding was doomed the minute she dropped off her little ones. Damn! I liked her.

    • Julie Martin

      Poor Lady Wildling. I shared your sense of doom. Although in retrospect, we should have realized that when she told her kids she would be following right behind them, that it was true but that she would be undead while doing the following. Nooooo!

      • Eddie H

        Classic mistake.

      • Lyanna Mormont

        Either she was going to die, or the kids were. (Overturned boat in the chaos when everybody was trying to get in one… I was seriously afraid it would happen.)

      • HeySwanSong

        “Don’t worry kids, its my last day til retirement so we’ll have lots of time to spend together. Now please get on this boat I’ve named the SS Momma’sGonnaLiveForever.”

  • garfieldhatesmondays

    I don’t think Arya changed her face yet. When Jaquen said she wasn’t ready to be “no one”, but she was ready to be “someone else”, I took that to mean she can wear a new costume and pretend to be a different person, but doesn’t get to change her face until she completes her training.

    • Oh, that’s a great point and seems likely. Hmm.

  • ….SERIOUSLY??? o__0

    • Lyanna Mormont


      There was a bet involving football teams. If GRRM lost, he was going to put the other guy in his books. He lost. The other guy was put in the books… but so was a stand-in for GRRM’s favorite player from his favorite team, and when the two faced off, guess who won?

  • JCDavis

    Laura, Laura, Laura. SO on point again with this review. Two points that weren’t already made. Stratego and Risk shout outs? Like, so totally there gf. And the Teresa from RHWoNJ flipping the table by Danys? LOL. I got the picture right away. Also the Lavender mention was seriously a perfect place for that reference. That is why I love your blog so. It makes me smile and laugh and think and post. The best combination since Denny’s introduced the “do it yourself Grand Slam”.

    I have a bad feeling for Jorah. I am reminded of how the good guys usually aren’t rewarded in the world of Game of Thrones. *sigh* I hope I am wrong. It wouldn’t be up there with Oberyn….what could? But it would be UP there. I am thrilled to see Little Christina Agulara and Tyrion finally meet up. I have HIGH hopes for this union *stares down D & D*

    Sansa didn’t have to see the WoZ to get her courage medal after all. I was concerned about that and again, great foreshadowing here. Now if that fuckwit asshat of a wasted space on the planet gets his, life will be good, all will be just about right with the world.

    There is no human breathing today that is giggling more than I am for the plight of one “I thought I could have my *let them eat cake* and eat it too life”. Yeah, as history serves, she was beheaded too you little piece of “The pus that infects the mucus that cruds up the fungus that feeds on the pond scum”. Wish I could have called that my own….but alas. Dreaming of the delicious horridness that is about to befall Cersie helps me get through my 10 hour work day, is there anything better than that?
    And finally, I swear if Jon Snow doesn’t have a Belgarion slaying Torak moment in this show I am going to lose it. But in the meantime, maybe best episode ever of Game of Thrones. Or right up there with the other shockers that kept you right on the edge of your seat too absorbed to even eat the popcorn that was still hot and buttery!!
    You keep doing you!!

    • ….Denny’s has a Do It Yourself Grandslam? This is bigger news than the 15% reduction in product for Eggs Over My-Hammy! (lol)

      And I realized that I missed a golden opportunity to work in Oregon Trail, come on, me! ;)

      IF JORAH DIES, I RIOT. Mostly by myself, and it will involve a lot of ineffectual crying in my closet, BUT STILL. (Ha, I don’t think they’ll kill him. He’s our connection to the spread of Greyscale, so he’ll be around until the bitter end, methinks.)


      • JCDavis

        Eggs over My-Hammy….over the moon? ;) I do admit there is a Denny’s on my way home and a few times a month I stop and pick up breakfast for supper….and *whisper mode* now that I can shop the seniors menu, life is pretty good. :P

        With how the writers and show runners are really going off book now, I don’t think we should be surprised to have many of our predictions not validated. For me that is like getting the compass in the Cracker Jack box. Love it. So with regards to Jorah…I just don’t know any more. I have to think there is a point other than grudge holding that Danys keeps sending him away and he keeps coming back. Could be greyscale…..or maybe not?

        And the “you are just the mother of the king” Cersie, I have a feeling that she won’t die in that cell but I get the happy shakes just designing in my head all that could happen. LOL I know, I am sick!! Admittedly and unabashedly sick.

        Oregon Trail preciousssss? Was it raw? Was it wriggling?

      • JCDavis

        Pssssst…..thanks for the love and the pin it post. You have so many deserving loyal fans who write uncommonly well. So it is a privilege and I am humbled.

        • I try to feature posts that I think will garner some of the best discussions, have many interesting topics, you know? SO THANK YOU FOR CONTRIBUTING! <3

  • mrspidey80

    Well, one of your theories in this post is right on the money. Won’t tell which one, though…
    Also, Skyrim references galore! I heartily approve.
    As for who knows about Bran and Rickon: Roose knows too as does Jon.


    • Fluffinmyturnups

      i dont think anyone knows where Rickon is?

      • OOOH, EXCELLENT POINT!! He’s with Tonks!

        • JCDavis

          I hope not, Tonks is currently pushin’ up daisies. :o

      • Lyanna Mormont

        All we know is where they said they were going when they split from Bran and co… two seasons ago.

  • Raja

    I don’t want to spoil it for you ( in case the show goes there) but Wun Wun isn’t even his full name.

    • Lemme guess: WUN WUN Mergatroiyd, VII of the Ice Falls Mergatroiyds? NAILED IT.


  • Lyanna Mormont

    That ending literally left me breathless. Yes, literally. Sat there staring at the screen for several long moments before I remembered that breathing is generally considered to be a good thing. Just – wow.

    Soooo. Tyrion evaluates Dany, Dany evaluates Tyrion. And part of Tyrion’s test is to have him pass judgement on Jorah. Well, he did tell her not to kill the guy. But really, why didn’t he advise her to use Jorah’s devotion, even if she couldn’t have him next to her? Surely there’s some important mission she could send him on, so Jorah could at least feel he was serving his Khaleesi. Waste of a resource!

    I may not be Cersei’s biggest fan this season – so many stupid decisions – but I certainly don’t want her in the situation she’s in now. It may not have gone very far yet, but they’re starting on all the classic techniques for breaking someone down. And depriving her of water in order to coerce a confession out of her definitely doesn’t endear the Faith to me. (Great work on her oh-so-dry lips, btw.) Cersei Lannister licking water off a dirty floor does not give me pleasure. It’s painful to see.

    But what did Qyburn mean with “The work proceeds?” Was it just a front for the Septa guarding Cersei, or was he trying to send Cersei a message? He seemed to put a bit of emphasis on it…

    And so begins Arya’s impersonation of Molly Malone. I took this more as a training phase, learning to get into character, but not yet with a new face. (I’d expect the show to make it very clear if she was wearing someone else’s face, not just hint at the possibility.) You can’t just rely on the mask if you’re going to take on a new personality, everything else needs to change too, so you need to practice those other things first without the crutch of the mask. Or so I interpreted it.

    Sansa flips out at Reek, and he bursts out with his big secret. So last episode she learned Jon is Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, and now she knows Bran and Rickon are alive. (Or at least they were when Theon was in charge of Winterfell, which was after all a while ago, but I doubt that’s keeping Sansa from getting her hopes up.) She is NOT all alone in the world… just all alone in Winterfell. But hey, if Ramsay takes twenty men out to fight Stannis, at best he dies gorily, and at the very least it will buy Sansa time to come up with something. (And she gets to sleep alone at night.)

    Yeah, when Sam said that about difficult decisions, I definitely don’t think Olly took the same thing away from it that Sam did. Now I’m worried.

    And then. Fully half the episode devoted to Hardhome. (Not much difficulty in interpreting the episode title here, huh?) And woooow. Wow. So much. The wildling bickering, the uneasy alliance, the giant in the corner, the dragonglass, the dislike of the Thenns that apparently everyone can agree on. (I thought everyone hated the cave people?) And that’s just for starters. Also, I kinda want to see those giant ice spiders.

    Everybody felt them coming. I guess with an army of the dead, you don’t need surprise on your side. They just kept coming, and coming, and coming. Hacking them apart seems to be the only thing that worked. I was half waiting for Jon to remember that he once defeated one with fire… but I guess setting fire to those storming the wall would burn down the wall, and then there’s nothing to hold back the next rank.

    I was terribly afraid we were going to lose Tormund. I didn’t think he’d get away from the wall area in time. He’d’ve been going out in style, sure, but I’d rather keep him around. It was Female Wildling Leader who bit it instead, though. (Oh crap, those children were CREEPY. And heartbreaking. And I kinda wondered if maybe she knew one of them from Before.) When she kissed her children goodbye, I knew either she was going to die or they were. Especially when the panic broke out and everybody tried to climb aboard those boats at the same time, I thought one of them was going to capsize and her children would drown.

    Speaking of boats – major, major credit to the oarsmen of that last boat, waiting at the dock in the midst of all that chaos and terror until the Lord Commander and the last few men with him made it aboard. That must’ve been absolutely terrifying, but they stuck it out.

    Wow. What a way to end an episode. Just… wow.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Forgot to say: one of the saddest things in an episode full of many sad things was Tyrion saying that Varys is the only person he trusts, aside from his brother… and then remembering how Jaime told Bronn that if he meets Tyrion again he’ll kill him.

    • Anthony Gitto

      Tyrion didn’t advise to let him go immediately, he just said you can’t have him at your side when you go to Westeros. Dany made the decision to let him go now. I agree that it’s a waste and I hope that he gets another chance. Maybe he could be left in charge when she leaves?

      What I worry about now that Sansa knows her brothers are alive… Is that any one particular dark day from here on out she could decide that since she’s not the last surviving Stark so she can check out, and leave it to her brothers. I KNOW! Terrible thought, but that was what went through my brain.

      ICE SPIDERS! I am soooooo glad they brought them up

      • I AM GOING TO LOSE MY SHIT OVER ICE SPIDERS. Just so you know.

        I WILL DO THIS. GAH.

    • Lisa

      I can’t seem to forget that Cersei was more than gleeful to sentence Ned and Tyrion to the black cells and she actively worked to land Loras and Margery in this exact same situation. (That and she plotted the death of her husband, allowed her son Joffrey to torture people and kittens, and doesn’t blink at innocent dwarves having their heads chopped off in her vendetta against Tyrion).

      I’ve seen enough GoT to know that GRRM makes me regret any wish for someone to suffer by taking the suffering wayyyyyyyyyyyy too far. But we aren’t there yet with Cersei. To this point she is only feeling a fraction of the pain she’s dished out and was actively smug when she visited to gloat at Margery suffering this fate.

  • debijl

    Anything that gives me lots of Wildling’s is OK by me….especially lots of Tormund. YUM!
    Laura, where would you live in this fictional world if you had the choice?
    The Wildlings fit with my libertarian sensibilities, but the lack of showers and comfy beds are problematic :). So I guess it would be Dorne for me.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Dorne sounds good to me too. Or perhaps The Reach – growing up with the Tyrells seems like it could be fun. I could sit at Lady Olenna’s feet all day!

    • Anthony Gitto

      I’m a Stark at heart, so Winterfell for sure…. though it is less desireable than others. If I take my heart out of it:

      Braavos seems like one of the better places to be so far… it seems a diverse city with no slavery, takes swordplay to an art form, allows many gods, has the best bank AND assassins in the world? The only negative is the dueling Bravos.

      In Westeros itself… Oldtown was mentioned as a place of higher learning, so likely a good place to live.

      • debijl

        I am team Stark all the way, but the current residents of Winterfell are a bit to stabby for my tastes. :) I do plan to make a visit there when the Starks rise again! ( that is going to happen, right? )

    • Eddie H

      Hooray for Libertarianism!

    • mrspidey80

      Summer Isles all the way. No winter ever and you can pretty much have sex all day.

    • Prolly with the Tyrells. I’m a fan of tea and cakes. :D

  • debijl

    Lena Headey is giving the performance of the year! She is killing it.
    My fan-wank is Sansa teaming up with Brienne (and Pod, if he lives) to look for the boys.
    (My Arya fanwank consists of her eventually finding the worlds most gorgeous blacksmith again and them living happily ever after in the free cities but since this show doesn’t let me have nice things, it is best if I don’t think about it….)

    • GENDRY WHEREFORE ART THOU, GENDRY?! Your wish is my wish, as well.

  • AndyStreet

    That was epic!

    I love the fact that the White Walker king guy already has more personality than two out of three Sand Snakes with his smug taunting. An immediately brilliant villain.

    And Laura, I love your enthusiasm every week. It’s like getting to watch it all over again!

    • I loved loved LOVED the Ice King (Night King? CTRL + I Darth Maul?) cool (hurr) confidence as he strode out onto the pier giving Jon a little taste of what’s to come. HOOOOOOLY SCHNIKIES.

      I am just so damn grateful you guys let me flail at you. :D

  • Jay

    The sparrow nuns are WORKING those outfits.

  • Moriah Gemel

    Is it just me or is anything dragon related what kills the WW? Isn’t Valyrian steel steel that’s been dragon-ified or something? IDK, I may be making things up.

    SO HERE FOR ALL THE SKYRIM REFERENCES BTW. A+. It does look just like Dawnstar right, down to the fucking piers. I mean, just add a Dark Door and we’re home, right? I definitely think inspiration has been drawn from and to both sides, Bethesda and the showrunners, because we’re in beyond-book territory here.

    Here is where I admit that I am batshit terrified of corpses? When they walk? Like ten times more. But for some reason these particular ones don’t bug me as much, maybe because they do look exactly like draugrs and I totally have slain thousands of those bitches in my spare time (*huffs nails, polishes on shoulder*). So if the design stays the same and is more desiccated-husk than meat-popsicle I think I’ll be okay.

    I cannot wait to see what happens with Ramsay. I am sickly fascinated by him, I wonder if he can pull off whatever the hell he’s gonna pull off. I don’t want him to, I want him to fail, but that’s part of the fascination methinks? Like, I need to see this play out.

    Actually I need to see everything. Next week plskthnx?

    • Eddie H

      Ha! Just waiting now to see a dragon shit on one and see what happens.

      • The Westeros version of a pigeon shitting on your car is a Dragon perched on your tower? :D

    • The corpses/Draugrs/WWs were so freaking amazing. I watched the fight again last night and the one scrambling under the gate before the Thenn crushes its head? GAH!!!!

    • Lyanna Mormont

      I noticed nobody on Team Ice Cold tried to get into the water. Do undead not know how to swim? Or is moving water anathema to White Walkers? The Wall ends at the sea on both sides, after all, so there’s gotta be some reason why they’re not simply building boats or swimming or walking along the bottom of the sea or something…

      Am I overthinking again?

      • That’s what I was thinking, too

      • Anthony Gitto

        I’ve been assuming that the Drowned God (worshipped by Iron men) is real also and protects his domain…. I mean, R’hllor (the Lord of Light) has to be real and providing visions, The Old Gods (Gods of Stone Earth and Tree) that the North worships have to be real for the same reason, this Great Other God of the White Walkers (Ice and Death) is Obv real as well, why wouldn’t a WaterOcean God be real? We’ve also heard of a Storm God, though have no proof yet he’s real… the Many faced God and the Seven appear to be conglomeration Gods with the Seven yet to prove they have any real power either. The books don’t even offer additional insight on what Gods are real or not!

        • Lyanna Mormont

          I, on the other hand, don’t see any proof that any of those gods exist. MAGIC exists, and people attribute it to various gods, but does that necessarily mean they’re right?

          • Anthony Gitto

            That’s a difficult thing to argue against. I highly doubt this type of series would stoop to showing actual Gods overseeing mortals like the GreekRoman Gods (at least I hope not… that would be very disappointing,) so your argument cannot be dis-proven.

            The impression that I have gotten from the folklore and histories discussed in the show, Magic USED to be prevalent in this world and disappeared or has been waning since around the time of the last Dragons. Now that Dragons exist again certain magic is getting stronger (Thoros admitted that he doesn’t do anything special or different from what he had done before to bring Beric back to life) Now we cannot attribute all magic to the Dragons like in some fantasy series, because the White Walkers were obviously in action before Dany stepped into the fire with the eggs.

            I choose to believe that the Magic comes from the source or sources of these deities we hear so much about. they had hit a stalemate and once the Great Other started moving again R’hllor had to bring Dragons back to balance the scales.

  • Anthony Gitto

    Notice how Sansa has changed her approach? She if fully dressed, generally composed and forceful to the beaten dog that is TheonReek. Because of this she makes headway and gets information she wouldn’t have otherwise.

    Tyrion and Daenerys
    “Why would you travel to the far side of the world to meet someone terrible?”

    “To see if you were the right kind of terrible”

    “What kind is that?”

    “The kind that prevents your people from being even more so” LOVE

    The Army of the Dead’s recruiting numbers.

    The Wildling army doesn’t get a specific number to my knowledge in the Show… many many thousands… Let’s settle at 50,000 (I have seen others come to this conclusion. The book gives a more specific number which I am not including here in my calculations in respect to Laura)

    Lets say they lost 5 thousand during the battle of Castle Black. That cuts us down to approx 45,000 give or take a thousand.

    Jon says 5,000 are with them…. of which, there were still a large amount waiting to get to the boats when the Army of the Dead arrived. Lets say that he got half to the boats safely.

    That means the Army of the dead just got 42,500 additional members in a few hours. Yikes!

    The Wall’s chances
    I saw speculation if the wall was high enough… which is understandable after seeing them climb and run and jump. However, don’t forget that the wall was supposedly built with magic, and likely has similiar power over the dead as the Weirwood caves of the Three Eyed Raven (which removed the animation of the Wights)

    • Ooh, that’s an excellent point re: magic.

  • Deceptively Calm Scientist

    As thrilling as that Hardhome sequence was, the ending was just plain stupid. A gazillionty wights/walkers/whatever reach the shore and…STOP. Because they hate getting wet, like most cats? In that case, building the Wall was a bit of a mistake, a nice big moat would have sufficed.

    It’s just lazy plotting to get a cool closing shot. And it was cool, no doubt about it. But still.

    Dany + Tyrion = not as interesting as I had hoped. Postponing judgment on that one for the moment.

    Sansa: still a victim, but now a victim with, what, a comforting thought?

    Cersei: Very uninteresting. Although I loved Qyburn, as always. Anton Lesser is fabulous.

    I’m just not feeling it at the moment. The thrills were definitely thrilling but it’s all oddly..flat to me.

    • Eddie H

      It was a bit of a wtf moment when it went to the side shot and you saw they were only 10 feet off the dock.

      • Deceptively Calm Scientist

        Exactly. “Shit! A whole two feet of water! Somehow they know of our secret weakness. Back North!”

    • BOOOOO. =P I loved it all. AND HERE IS WHY: (I put this in the recap, but that was a lot of word vomit, I know).

      The Ice/Night King basically sent his people/the undead for a skirmish to test the fences, to look for weakness. Surely he knows what will kill his own people, which is why he was so ready to get boots on the ground in front of Jon, who has a Valyrian steel blade.

      We still don’t know enough of their mythology to know why they stopped at the water. Maybe they can’t swim, maybe they’re tethered to the Ice King once reanimated, both of which I assumed as a non-book reader.

      Interesting that you loved Qyburn when the actor had two lines, but eh, to each his own. I don’t come at this to look for things to pick apart, though, so we just have different viewing styles. To each his own!

      • Deceptively Calm Scientist


        • william harvey

          seasons in westeros can take place for several years. remember…Winter Is Coming. WW can only go south in winter when the temperature reach the coldest. i think they cannot stand the heat. so they wait till winter.

          • Deceptively Calm Scientist

            Could be. There are so many unknowns about the WW: Why THIS winter? I vaguely remember that they haven’t been seen in thousands (?) of years.
            And don’t get me started on what a year on Westeros is, anyway.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Heh, I just commented on the water thing above. I drew the conclusion that the White Walkers for whatever reason can’t or won’t cross the water. And perhaps they’re mentally controlling the wights which is why they didn’t either?

      (Maybe they’re allergic to salt, or something. Who knows.)

      • Deceptively Calm Scientist

        I still say digging a moat from sea to sea would have been quite effective at stopping them then, particularly since climbing the Wall seems doable for the Undead. “Aaaagh! I slipped, I’m falling to my d…oh wait”

        • Lyanna Mormont

          A moat can be bridged. The sea, not so much.

          And no dissing the Magic Wall! The magic is what really keeps the White Walkers out, as I’ve understood it. Getting an army of wights across wouldn’t do them much good if they were still stuck on the other side themselves. (Or so I assume. It kinda depends on just what their purpose is, if there is one other than claiming the land for themselves.) Would they even be able to power an army of wights from the other side of the Wall? We’ve only seen them do it with two (I think). Maybe those two took all the power they had.

          • Deceptively Calm Scientist

            Good questions. I guess we simply don’t know at this point.
            The salt water thing just struck we as faintly reminiscent of Wonder Wart-Ho, the Superman parody, whose man weakness is that mysterious substance that robs him of his powers: wood. (steel and Portland cement have similar effects)

            • Eddie H

              Salt can dissolve ice, though. Maybe that has something to do with it.

              • Deceptively Calm Scientist

                Are you saying the White Walkers are basically to be treated in the same way as snails in your garden? That takes away a little of their impressiveness.
                Come to think of it, at least one wight was able to make it past the wall (under it) and function perfectly well when he attacked Commander Mormont.

                • {Guys, this is getting kind of snippy}

                  I assumed as a non-book reader that they can only cross ICE, not water. once it freezes, they can. It’s pretty old school mythos for evil things not being able to cross moving water, water == symbolism of purity, cleansing, etc. Ice == death, stagnation, so on.

                  • Deceptively Calm Scientist

                    I think you’re approaching this as a fantasy reader where you just have to assume some things as true without thinking about it. I just don’t like things that fall from the sky to further the plot. And there are so many instances of really shitty plotting lately. For example, remember when Mance and Jon were talking after the battle at Castle Black? Mance told Jon that, at that very moment, 400 of his best fighters were climbing the Wall a few miles away. What happened to those guys? Stannis had his cavalry charge right up the Wall? There could be reasonable explanations (e.g. they were surprised by Stannis too, maybe even archered right off the Wall) but just omitting any further mention of them is bad writing. Then there are the Sand Snakes and their hilarious capers (one reviewer put it something like this: “just as Jaime and Bronn are talking to Myrcella, a clown car drives up and the Sand Snakes fall out”), Tyrion walking into the ONE BAR in Volantis where Jorah is waiting (a repeat offense – Tyrion has really terrible luck with walking into bars/brothels), Dany’s intelligence mysteriously evaporating for most of the season… there’s just so much. I’m still watching the show but compared to actual well-written shows, its ass is showing, no matter how many brilliant set-pieces like the battle at Hardhome they drape over the plot holes. And gosh, Hardhome had ANOTHER bit of extremely fortuitous timing, didn’t it?

                    • Yeah, I’m really not enjoying this conversation at all. It feels like you’re sneering at me and at the show, and I just don’t have the energy for that. Sorry you’re so disappointed with so many things on GOT this season. I’m enjoying it overall. This level of nitpick isn’t anything I’m interested in. Maybe you’ll get another taker on it? But I’m out.

                    • Deceptively Calm Scientist

                      I’m not sure why you feel I’m sneering at YOU. If you enjoy it, fine, different strokes for different folks. I think fantasy can be well-plotted, without gaping plot holes or fortuitous coincidences and without frequent please to suspend your disbelief. I don’t think season of 5 of GoT is well-plotted, overall. If you do and you enjoy it, good for you. I would hope that we can simply disagree about the show, but after having been accused of sneering, nitpicking and looking for things to pock apart, I guess not. Ciao.

      • william harvey

        seasons in westeros can take place for several years. remember…Winter
        Is Coming. WW can only go south in winter when the temperature reachest the
        coldest. i think they cannot stand the heat. so they wait till winter.

    • Deceptively Calm Scientist


  • Lee No

    “the Giant—who is named WUN WUN, I shit you not, is Lavender Brown naming giants??!” hahaha I love you :D (plus, Elder Scrolls references!)

    That was an awesome battle – so tense!
    King Darth Maul looks kinda weak (physically), maybe he’s just a mage, or he should wear more flattering armour. On the other hand, even double lightsabers aren’t heavy.

    Is Ramsay planning to assassinate Stannis? Hopefully he just kills Selyse instead, that would be kind of awkward for the viewers: Eeeer, thank you, I guess, we still hate you?

    I share your thoughts on Jorah: “I have a baaad feeling about this…”

    • The battle was edge-of your seat intense! The only other scene that matched it for me was when Grenn and the other Night’s Watchmen were repeating their vows in the tunnel as the Giant King bore down on them. AHHHHHH!

      • Fluffinmyturnups


  • Pingback: Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 8 "Hardhome" - Written Recap Round-Up | Watchers on the Wall | A Game of Thrones Community for Breaking News, Casting, and Commentary()

  • Arkash

    Roose Bolton is totally aware Bran and Rickon are alive as well ! ;)


    • HeySwanSong

      Also Sam and Jon know, because Sam met Bran and co. when he was on his way back to the Wall with Gillyflower.

  • Fluffinmyturnups

    Some of us are trying to work out why Jon Snow is going to have to take the Wildings thro the Castle Black gate. Why cant the boats drop them off on the south side of the east coast below the wall?

    • What if the wall extends across the ocean via magic? Once you go north, there’s only one way back? Or because they want the shelter of Castle Black? I thought they’d be joining Stannis, sailing all the way down, but I guess that won’t work. Or what if this is the most direct way to Winterfell? Hmm.

      • Fluffinmyturnups

        it seems weak and illogical. the tv people have created this plot thread i do believe (im not a book reader)
        Stannis’ ship deposited his troops north of the wall so why cant the go back the other way?

        ALSO it ties in with Stannis saying he has to go on to Winterfell and cant go back to Castle Black and spend all winter there
        WHY cant Stannis just go back to his ships and go back down south? he shouldnt really be trapped in the north

        to be honest i think the tv people are having to create plot ahead of Martin. but they are being lazy and not too careful in their plot devices. unless reasons are presented soon i think we can conclude they are writing things too hastily without thinking them out

        for the first 3 or 4 seasons there were no real plot holes because Martin worked it all out carefully

        there is a big danger that if the tv writers rush on ahead there will be more of these inconsistencies

        • That is going to be a longer post on the adaption process (spoiler free):

          The show was fast forwarding through a lot of tedious stuff in books for which I’m eternally thankful. The books are well though out and have almost no plot holes but the last two novels also have thousands of separate storylines and characters with (almost) no payoff. The show has honestly more plot holes (Jon coming back through the Wall is probably one of them) but it also made many changes and shortcuts to improve the storyflow: if the show adapted everything from AFFC/ADWD Dany and Tyrion would not meet until the end of season 6 and the show did not cut anything interesting or particullary worthwile *hides from angry YG/JC fans* (using abbreviations to protect the Unsullied). Instead we would have whole chapters that contain only of someone running in circles, counting supplies or watching turtles. Don’t missund me, I like those books they really needed an editor who wasn’t afraid to cut something and they still wouldn’t make for great TV.<

          Anyway, I suppose the show will catch up to the books by episode 10 of this season (we already got some spoilers for the books) and with GRRM's writing pace. it's highly unlikely he will finish his books for the start of season 6. In fact, the show already outpaced him – the scripts for S& are almost finished and casting has begun.

          • Fluffinmyturnups

            i also think they are being a bit neglectful in maintaining sympathetic characters in all the locations

            do we really care about anybody that much in King’s Landing or Dorne?

            For me only really Bronn. Jaime is fairly sympathetic but i dont care for him as much as Tyrion or the Starks or even Jorah.

            Dont care for Myrcella, Margaery or Loras or Tommen.

  • MaxwellJames

    I will confess – after the past few episodes I had been feeling down about GoT. And I still have some significant concerns about the series’ overall direction.

    But I finally watched Hardhome just now (thanks to work & travel & crap) and HOLY SHIT THAT WAS INCREDIBLE!

    • I’m with you, Maxwell. It’s been a beatdown. And while there’s no need to rehash the same arguments over and over, I’ll just say that I’ve had to recalibrate my thoughts on just how clever this show is ultimately. Don’t get me wrong, this is still excellent television and I’m in it for the long haul, but some of the stutter-steps they’ve taken have dulled the shine, so to speak.

      HAVING SAID THAT, HARDHOME WAS SO DAMN GOOD. I know there’s still a LOT of story to tell, so I’m not going to get hung up on not knowing the mythos in total because HOLY SHIT THAT WAS INCREDIBLE!!