In the season finale of Game of Thrones, Stannis saves the day, Khaleesi puts her babies in a corner and Tyrion gives Tywin a very special Father’s Day gift. Let’s get to it.
Have you had a chance to pick up your jaws after watching last night’s finale? Although I’ve read the books, my jaw dropped, as well, after seeing everything played out on screen. From beginning to end, the finale was chock full of bloody goodness. After the action-packed battle at the Wall last week (which the Night’s Watch fought bravely), Jon Snow set off to meet with the King Beyond the Wall, Mance Rayder to “negotiate.” Surprisingly, Mance takes a meeting with the Crow-turned-Wildling-turned-Crow, even drinking to Ygritte after learning she is dead. Mance explains to Jon that his people want to be protected by the Wall so they can survive. Winter is definitely coming and the Wildlings will be sitting ducks once the White Walkers make an appearance. But Jon has a job to do, and is ready to carry it out. Unfortunately, Mance is no fool, stopping Jon before he can kill him. Before ending Lord Snow’s life, someone yells that riders are coming. Mance thinks it’s a Night’s Watch ambush, but Jon tells him that there are only fifty or so left at Castle Black and they wouldn’t risk an attack. A legion of riders arrive, surrounding Mance’s camp and taking out any Wildings in the way. Knowing he and his men will be slaughtered, Mance commands his men to stand down.
The riders belong to the ever-dour Stannis Baratheon, who rides in with Ser Davos. Stannis introduces himself through the Onion Knight, who tells Mance that he should kneel before a King. Mance didn’t leave the Night’s Watch for nothing, that man isn’t kneeling for anyone. Stannis threatens to kill the Wildlings he’s captured, but then Jon saves the day by introducing himself and mentioning his father, Ned Stark. Stannis asks Jon what his father would have done with the King Beyond the Wall and he answers correctly: his father would have spared Mance and talked to him man-to-man. Jon also gives Stannis a key piece of advice to burn every single corpse before nightfall.
Back at the Wall, the Brothers prepare to say goodbye to their fallen, including Jon’s friends Grenn and Pyp. Jon speaks to Tormund Giantsbane to see if he’d like to say any words to the Wildlings who died at the Wall. Tormund says that the dead can’t hear so there’s no reason to say anything. Tormund asks that Jon not burn Ygritte at the Wall, but in the “real North.” Jon listens and takes Ygritte beyond the Wall. He builds a pyre and sets it on fire, walking away as it burns. He stops for just a moment, shedding tears for his love. At the Wall, Maester Aemon says a few words about the fallen, after which Jon lights the pyre. Through the flames, Jon sees Melisandre staring hard at him. We all know that when she stares at someone like that, bad things tend to happen. What does the Red Woman have planned for Lord Snow?
In Meereen, Dany is visited by a former slave who surprisingly asks that he be made a slave once more. She asks why he would do such a thing, and his answer is very convincing. He tells Dany that, although free, he has no home, no purpose and no respect. His safety is not guaranteed and he is simply too old to change his ways. Dany agrees and tells the man that he may sign a contract with his former master which is to last a year. Ser Barristan warns Khaleesi that the Masters will take advantage of this, as other slaves in the same predicament will ask to return. Another man approaches, very emotional and carrying a bundle. The man reveals the charred remains of his three year-old daughter, who was killed by Dany’s dragon, Drogon.
Visibly shaken by what her dragon has done, Dany, Breaker of Chains, decides to leave the remaining two chained in the catacombs. She tricks her babies underground, using food as a distraction. As they eat, Dany chains collars to her children. As she walks out, the dragons seeing their mother leaving, try to join her. The chains stop them and they cry for their mother (which almost made me cry). As the door to the catacombs closes, Dany looks at her babies, tears streaming down her face.
Bran and his crew are making their way to the weirwood tree seen in his and Jojen’s visions. The snow, wind and cold have taken their toll on Jojen, who is very near death and barely able to stand. Meera pleads with her brother to rest, but Jojen says they must go on. He falls, not able to get back up and his sister pleads with him again. But Jojen reveals that they have found the weirwood tree, after which Bran shouts for everyone to come and look. They have found the tree and it looks just like it did in their visions. Before they can make their way there, a hand pops up out of the snow and ice and grabs Jojen’s leg. Meera tries to help her brother and skeletons start coming out of the snow to attack. Meera does her best to protect her brother, who is too ill to fight. Hodor, scared to death, has two skeletons on his back, one of which is slapping him silly with a weapon. Bran then jumps into Hodor and starts kicking some skeleton ass. As Meera continues fighting, one of the skeletons stabs Jojen repeatedly. Meera kills the skeleton and tries to save her brother. Just then, an explosion comes out of nowhere, sending bones flying. A creepy kid shouts to them, saying they must come with her. Meera wants to bring her brother, but the kid says that he is lost. Jojen tells her to go, and she complies, but not before cutting her brother’s throat to save him from being torn apart by the skeletons. They all run for the cave while Creepy Kid throws bombs at the skeletons as cover. Once they make it into the cave, the skeletons that try to enter break apart, as their magic has no power once they cross. When Brans asks who she is, Creepy Kid reveals that she is one of the Children of the Forest, which no human has seen in thousands of years.
Creepy Kid leads Bran, Hodor and Meera through a series of tunnels until they arrive in an underground room full of roots and dirt. In the center is a man, who seems to be one with the roots. Hodor puts Bran down so he can crawl closer to the man. Bran asks if he is the three‑eyed raven, to which the man says that he is and more. He tells Bran that Jojen knew what would happen to him but traveled anyway. Jojen, because of his greensight, knew that Bran had to go to the weirwood tree in order to fulfill his destiny, even though he would lose his life in the process. Bran asks if the man will help him to walk again. The answer he gives him is not what he wants to hear, but still one of hope. “You will never walk again, but you will fly.”
In King’s Landing, the Mountain is laid low after his fight with Prince Oberyn (I still have not gotten over that loss). The hot Prince wisely used Manticore venom in his spear, which will spread to the Mountain’s heart (if he has one) and kill him. But since he’s so massive, the Mountain is still alive. Maester Qyburn tells Cersei and the grumbling Maester Pycelle that he can try to save him. Maester Pycelle disagrees, saying that the Mountain will definitely die and nothing can be done. Qyburn, who was excommunicated from the Citadel for his methods, urges the Queen Regent to reconsider. But Cersei does what she wants and dismisses Pycelle, telling him to leave immediately. Qyburn warns Cersei that the Mountain will be changed if he survives. I’m sure that doesn’t mean Clegane will be picking daisies and playing with bunnies, only the gods know how he’ll be changed. Cersei allows Qyburn to do his work, leaving him in Pycelle’s laboratory.
Later, Cersei argues with her father, telling him that she will not marry Loras Tyrell no matter what he says. Cersei, feeling her oats now that Tyrion will be dead soon, will do what she wants. Tywin tries to use one of his “smug stories” to prove his point, but Cersei doesn’t want to heart it. She will not under any circumstances marry Loras and move to Highgarden so that Margaery and Tywin can plant their hooks into Tommen. To show her father how serious she really is, Cersei confirms that she has been sleeping with her brother for the past twenty years and that her father’s legacy has been a lie. Unwilling to hide any longer, Cersei chooses to be with her brother no matter what. After her showdown with Tywin, Cersei goes to Jaime and tells him that she has confessed their love to their father. He is surprised, but definitely relieved because now they can be open about their feelings (which makes my stomach queasy).
Brienne and Podrick wake to find their horses have disappeared. As they look around for them, Brienne bumps into Arya, who is practicing her water dance while the Hound is indisposed. The ladies banter briefly about their swordplay, admitting that their fathers never wanted them to learn but caved anyway (thank the gods). When the Hound makes an appearance, Brienne realizes who Arya is and tells her that she swore an oath to her mother to find her. But the Hound interferes, thinking Brienne and Pod are working for the Lannisters. Things get heated between Clegane and Brienne, swords are drawn and so begins one of the best fights on GOT.
Both manage to beat each other bloody and get in some serious kick-to-the-crotch shots, but Brienne prevails, beating the tar out of the Hound with a rock, who falls from a cliff. Afterwards, Brienne and Pod look for Arya, who hides from them both. Our Rebel makes her way to the Hound, who is mortally wounded. He asks her to kill him, then uses the death of the Butcher’s Boy to get a rise out of her, but nothing works. She just stares at him so long, it unnerves the Hound (and the rest of us). Finally, Arya walks over to the Hound, who thinks she will show him mercy after all, but instead takes his sack of silver. She walks away, leaving Clegane to slowly die a horrible death. Our Rebel’s kill list just gets shorter and shorter.
After finding a horse, Arya makes her way to the harbor, where she asks one of the captains to take her to the Wall. But the captain has no desire to go there and instead says that he is going to Braavos. Arya remembers the coin she received from her buddy Jaqen H’ghar, which she’s held on to all this time. When she shows it to the captain and utters the words “Valar Morghulis,” he answers in kind, saying “Valar Dohaeris” and offers her a cabin and safe passage to Braavos. What will happen to Our Rebel now?
In King’s Landing, Tyrion hears someone at his cell door and thinks it’s time for his execution. Instead, his brother Jaime enters so he can help his brother escape. Jaime takes his brother to a secret staircase, which will lead him to Lord Varys and freedom. Before parting, the brothers embrace, with Jaime giving his brother a kiss on the cheek. The love between those two is so nice to see, since Tyrion gets none from anyone else. The brothers say farewell and Tyrion walks over to the staircase. But instead of making the climb, he turns around, going to his father’s chamber. Once there, he hears the voice of his lady love Shae! She calls for Tywin and then uses Tyrion’s former nickname, “My Lion.” Oh no she DIDN’T!
Shae turns and sees Tyrion and the shock on both their faces is just terrible, Tyrion’s especially. Shae reaches for a knife but Tyrion jumps on top of her, wresting it out of her grasp. She slaps him across the face as they tussle for control. Tyrion grabs hold of her chain and squeezes it around her neck. Shae, clearly choking, manages to slap Tyrion again, causing him to fall off the bed. He tightens his hold on the chain, choking the life out of his former love. Once she is dead, Tyrion loosens the chain and quietly says, “I’m sorry.” He sits there for a minute, realizing what he’s done, but then looks up at the crossbow that belonged to the Brat King.
Tyrion takes the crossbow and finds his father, who happens to be sitting on his own throne. Tyrion points the crossbow at Tywin, who doesn’t seem in the least disturbed that his son is there to kill him. “All my life, you’ve wanted me dead,” to which Tywin admits in the affirmative. “Yes, but you refused to die. I respect that. Even admire it. You fight for what’s yours.” Tyrion admits that he killed Shae, to which his father says is no big deal because she’s a whore. Right, because that’s what you say to the distraught son pointing a crossbow at your chest.
Tyrion quietly warns his father not to say that word again. Tywin, still thinking he can regain some control over his son, tries to convince him that he would never have him executed and asks if they can go back to his chambers to talk. When Halfman says that he doesn’t want to go back in there, Tywin makes the mistake of asking his son if he’s afraid of a dead whore. After the slip-up, Tyrion lets an arrow fly, which lands in Tywin’s chest. He is shocked that his son would actually shoot him, but Seven Hells, you call his murdered love a “dead whore,” that’s what happens! Tywin, defiant to the last, tells Tyrion that he is not his son, in which Halfman answers, “I am your son. I have always been your son.” Then he lets another arrow fly, killing the most powerful man in Westeros. Tyrion walks away, dropping the crossbow like a boss.
Halfman makes his way to Varys, who puts him inside a crate and loads him onto a ship out of King’s Landing. When Varys starts walking back to the Keep, the bells begin to toll and he knows something dreadful has happened. Since Varys ain’t no fool, he turns around and gets on the ship, leaving King’s Landing with Tyrion. What will happen to the Lannisters now? How will they survive this new blow to their family? Will Tyrion make it out of King’s Landing alive? And will the King’s Guard be able to keep a straight face when they see Tywin dead on the can? Stay tuned.
Game of Thrones will return in 2015 on HBO. Until then, by the old gods and the new, have a wonderful Summer. And remember kiddies, Winter is coming.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=0345535529,B00C8CQTJY] Powered by Sidelines