A breathtaking episode eight of “Game of Thrones” complete with lots of action, lots of pieces falling into place, ice zombies, and the return of ‘old blue eyes.’
Find out more after the break!
We open the episode with a very pissed off Dany looking for answers. While Jorah returns to his role as Ser Puppydog Eyes, we get vintage Tyrion offering excellent counsel as to why she should accept him; and why forgiveness of Jorah is her best course. Tyrion’s line about being Hand to a king who liked to torture animals was perfect, and his advice to banish Jorah again was spot on. I don’t know if Jorah saw it that way, but if he really loved her, he’d keep that scaly skin away from our dragon queen.
The better interplay between the Tyrion and Dany happened later, with the cleaned up Tyrion presenting a much more advisorly figure. Dany and Tyrion’s back and forth was almost flirtatious at times, and the chemistry between the two actors is awesome. I hope it’s something we see more of later.
Something else we’ll apparently see more of is Jorah as a pit fighter. All the jokes about Ser Friendzone aside, there’s something a little stalkery about his decision to come back again; and I’m not sure if his agreement to sell himself into slavery, including submitting to flogging if needed, indicates dedication or perhaps signs he’s coming more unhinged. I can’t see how he gets closer to the queen even if he wins it all, but I guess we’ll see how it plays out in the end.
It looks like Cersei is finally getting a little unhinged as well, but being locked in a prison, being urged to confess, and dying of thirst will probably do that to a person. This was probably the weakest part of an otherwise excellent episode, not because of the acting (Lena Headey was once again superb), but because we once again have events happening in hyperdrive.
I think this storyline has lost it’s path a little, and frankly it stems from their decision to veer from the books. In order to work, we need Cersei’s attempt to set up Margaery to be linked more closely to her downfall. (I understand we didn’t have the Kettlebuck’s, but why not use Ser Trent instead?). This plotline needs to have Margaery free, to offer a contrast to Cersei at her lowest, instead you have Tommen curled up in his room (instead of under the new queen’s spell) and Margaery completely forgotten.
Seeing Arya dressed in the new wardrobe that caused such a stir a few months ago was a treat. Jaqar’s description as an insurance broker as essentially a gambler (and one who welches), is pretty accurate today, and I loved it. I worried a little about the grin on Arya’s face as she learned she’d be doing the job (are Faceless Men supposed to enjoy their work?), and am really worried about Jaqar’s ‘we’ll see’ attitude concerning Arya’s readiness. I’m really not sure where this storyline will go, and as good as Masie Williams is, I don’t think she’ll be able to carry selling Cockles o’ Mussells for too long.
Real quick interlude in Winterfell, with an excellent scene between Sansa and Theon. Both were fierce, and Alfie Allen was especially golden with is recitation of the horrors that turned him to Reek; and Sophie Turner’s spiteful reply of “good,” as well as her look of shock when Theon confessed that her brothers were alive, were awesome. I still have no clue where the plot is going, but it’s bound to be an interesting journey.
Also interesting is the Bolton war council. Gotta give it to Ramsay, he’s a sicko psychopath who makes Joffrey look no more threatening then the kid who sits in the corner and pulls the wings off flies, but unlike our departed Brat King, he’s got some serious balls. I’m real curious as to whether the show follows the books here, but I have a feeling we’re going to see some real hack and slash in episode nine.
Nice little scene at Castle Black, as Gilly tends to Sam’s wounds. I’m amazed at how alone Sam and Gilly really are, holed up in the room and gripping swords when Ollie knocks. Sam’s advice for Ollie, while on the mark, makes me wonder if he’s missing something. I know Ollie’s face when Sam told him not to worry, Jon always finds a way back, didn’t seem especially happy. Based on episode nine coming attractions, I think I know why.
So I’m watching “Game of Thrones,” and all of a sudden an episode of “The Walking Dead” breaks out. And oh, what an episode, because Ice Wights ain’t Rick Grimes zombies that can be dispatched with a simple blow to the head. And they’ve got a king, granted one that looks a little different then he did in season four, but a king none-the-less.
The scenes in Hardhome was easily the best part of the episode, and maybe the best part of this entire season. Whether it was the Thenn, first denying the alliance and then sacrificing himself so Jon could get the dragonglass, or the warrior woman saying goodbye to her kids on the boat reminding us what we’re fighting for…
… or Jon’s bloody retreat to the harbor, his agonizing look as he watched the slaughter unfolding on the shore, and the silence as the Night King raised the aquamarine-eyed undead telling us the battle is one that’s uncertain – it really summed up the season, hell the entire series – there is some serious shizz going down and we need to work together to face it.
Other Cool Stuff
So Valyrian Steel kills White Walkers too? Or was it the combination of Jon Snow and the sword that did it? And why did the Night King’s look of appraisal seem so much like Melisandre’s a few episodes back?
I no sooner thought, “hmm, the Lord of the Bones… it will be neat to see how they work him since he wasn’t burned at the stake as Pseudo-Mance” before Tormund went all Al Capone on his skeletal ass… I guess that’s how they’re going to work him in.
How poignant was the Wildling woman’s death? After fighting through all those undead and coming face to face with the starving corpse of the child she lost, she couldn’t raise a sword, even knowing it met her death.
Can giants become ice zombies? I sure hope not.
Next week it looks like we return to Dorne…
…Arya’s lessons continue, Tyrion starts his first shift as advisor, and Jon once again returns to the wall with an army of wildlings, wonder if Ser Alistar will let him in? Find out next week, when “The Dance of Dragons” hits a cable box near you!