Reek just had to go screw up Sansa’s escape plans last week. He’s simply too broken to see a way out from under Ramsay’s penis chopping thumb. This week he does manage to give her a glimmer of hope by letting it slip than he did not actually murder Bran and Rickon, he just slaughtered two other innocent children! Huzzah! You just know that as soon as Sansa sees Brienne again she’s going to task her with finding her brothers. Poor Brienne, just thrown with Stark task after Stark task.
As Sansa is finding a reason to go on, the Boltons are plotting how best to defend Winterfell. Roose wants to stand pat and use Winterfell’s defenses to their advantage. Ramsay, in typical Ramsay fashion, wants to go on the offensive. 20 good men + Ramsay sneaking up on Stannis’ camp? What are you up to you old, young bastard?
Holy Cells, Cersei!
When last we left Cersei, she was thrown into a cell after her cousin snitched about their incestuous affair. So much snitchin’ goin’ down on GoT but so little stitches being given out. It’s a damn shame.
Now Cersei’s a prisoner of the High Sparrow with very few options. It doesn’t look like Tommen is going to grow a pair and order the City Watch to bust her and Margaery out. She’s certainly not going to confess and risk losing everything she’s worked so hard to attain. I bet her good buddy Maester Frankenstein is going to have The Mountain bust in Kool-Aid Man style and save her.
H’ghar the Horrible
Arya is about to take off the kid’s gloves. Jaqen H’ghar is planning some elaborate Ocean’s 11-type shit for her first assassination. She’s got her mark, she’s got her oysters, she’s got her (vanilla-flavored?) poison. She just has to pull the trigger. We’ve seen Arya cut down men to save her own life. We’ve seen her kill for revenge. But can she kill someone as a cold-blooded assassin? She’ll probably do just fine. It’s not like Jaqen H’ghar cares. He’s only here to serve Death.
Tyrion has rambled his way through Essos and now has his audience with THE Daenerys Targaryen. Tyrion has been looking for a reason to feel inspired. Cruddy King after cruddy King has left Westeros in shambles and fear. Dany claims she can do things differently. Tyrion is impressed by Dany. He wants to believe that she can do things differently. Can she really?
Tyrion and Dany need to give each other a push to move forward. She rightfully tells him to cut down on his wine drinking (awwww). Tyrion is there to be one of the few people in her life that isn’t just a yes man. It looks like these two crazy kids just might be able to get on each other’s tempo.
Oh yeah, Ser Jorah is going to be a full fledged gladiator now. Get ready for one giant “KHALEESI!!!” as he dies of greyscale.
The Wight Stuff
Hot damn, was that some exciting stuff! I’ve often wondered just how big of a threat the White Walkers and their army of Wights really are; this episode showed it. Those fuckers would tear up the zombies over on The Walking Dead. The show keeps upping the ante on its action sequences. It’s come a long way from barely being able to show the Battle of the Blackwater and skipping over the Night’s Watch fleeing the White Walkers at the Fist of the First Men.
The tension in Hardhome is thick from the start. As soon as Tormund Giantsbane arrives back in the far north surrounded by men of the Night’s Watch, the Wildlings know something is up. Rattleshirt won’t stand for this. Not on his watch! Tormund isn’t wasting any time, however, and beats the man covered in the bones of others to death with his own weapon.
Jon and Tormund eventually convince half of the Wildlings to go back with them. Naturally, as they’re preparing to leave, SHIT. GOES. DOWN.
An entire swarm of Wights bear down on the Wildling camp in horrific fashion. Freshly frozen corpses, skeleton people, and even eerie young children kill everything in their way. This is as intense of a sequence as there’s ever been on Game of Thrones. It’s bad enough when ice zombies are bursting through the fortified walls of Hardhome before Jon notices the four horsemen of the Wightpocalypse. Oh, things were bad before? You know nothing, Jon Snow.
One of the big bads descends to kill Jon once and for all. Cold surrounds it. Its weapon shatters anything it comes into contact with. How the hell do you stop something like that? Valyrian steel, baby. Ice might be sadly out of commision, but Longclaw is around to shatter White Walkers into a million pieces. Say, you know who else has a Valyrian steel blade in the North? Brienne of Tarth! I wonder if Joffrey was buried with his…
The excitement ends with the Night’s King presenting his fresh army of corpses to Jon and the fleeing Wildlings. It’s a very cocky, “come at me, bro” kind of pose. Even immortal ice creatures can be dicks.
The battle for Hardhome is Game of Thrones at its very best: balls to the wall, thrilling television. It’s why so many people watch this show. I was beginning to feel a little meh about season 5 overall when this hit me like a battering ram. Jon’s fight with the White Walker was spectacular. Wun Wun the Giant shedding wights and beating them off with a flaming tree is some of the best CGI work the GoT team has done yet. Damn, I might go watch it again later today.
Most importantly, Dolorous Edd made it out alive. Nothing can stop Dolorous Edd.