Game of Thrones: The Northerners will never forget

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And neither will I.

This was just terrible.

The first season ended with first dragons appearing after couple of hundreds of years. The second season ended with White Walkers walking again after 8000 years. Third season ended with… what exactly? Daenerys on Woodstock?! Broadway musical as a fellow reader noted? The birth of a messiah? Whatever it was, it was cheesy, lame, forced and definitely not worthy of the very last shot. The joke is on me. I should’ve known better after I had learned they are only doing the first half of the book. I should’ve known better after I have listened to the soundtrack. I should’ve known better. But I didn’t and I didn’t listen to my gut; instead I wanted them to top the last week’s episode. But how could they?! Furthermore, I felt how disrupting the book’s continuity in such a way – by showing the Red Wedding and literally nothing that follows – would be a crime, committed against the nonreaders. I even talked about this earlier with a group of GoT enthusiasts where I made a comment how literally everything BUT Daenerys surrounded by Yunkai slaves shouting “Mother” would be better to end with, even Hodor, simply saying “Hodor”. But no, they went with a cliché, they went with Daenerys. And it was just terrible.

However, turning the blind eye at the ending for a brief moment would show us that the episode itself was not as bad. Still, it was the worst finale to date.

VALAR MORGHULIS LANNISTERS

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To say how the opening scene was grim would be an understatement. As the Stark bannermen are being relentlessly slaughtered outside of the Twins, the Hound and a newly awakened Arya come across a chilling scene — a group of Frey’s bannerman are parading around with Robb’s mutilated body on a stick whilst chanting “King of the North”. Horrifying! How horrifying, how mutilated, you ask? Well, they sew the head of his direwolf, Grey Wind onto his body. Oh, and Arya saw the whole thing. The look in her eyes just broke my heart. Must she watch her entire family be killed at the hands of the Lannisters? Oh well, Valar Morghulis. The future doesn’t look bright.

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In fact, when she and the Hound encounter a group of smug Frey men talking about how hard was to sew the wolf’s head onto Robb’s body, Arya, upon overhearing this, immediately went to the dark place, switching into an assassin mode. She takes her first man down with a knife she stole from the Hound. “Valar Morghulis” she whispers as she looks down at the coin Jaqen gave her. By the look in her eyes and whispered words we know this is just the beginning. The Hound takes on the rest of the Frey’s party. “Next time you are about to do something like that, tell me first” he says as they continue on their merry way. What a pair. Especially now that Arya seems to have embraced the murderous future that both Jaqen and Melisandre have predicted for her. And if anyone in Westeros can teach her the ways of the killer it is the Hound. What a pair! Better than Tyrion and Bronn I would say, but not better than Jaime and Brienne who are back at the King’s Landing. Although that was perhaps my favorite scene of the episode, it was a mistake time-wise. Without spoiling it for you I will move on.

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Side note: We saw Arya stab a boy during her escape from the palace in season 1, but she is technically being accurate when she tells the Hound that this is the first “man” she’s killed. Braavos has never been closer.

THE SMALL COUNCIL

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…. was the best part of the episode. Still, it felt like a build up for things to come.

As for Joffrey…Off with his head!

AT THE WALL

After Bran shares a ghost story about Night Fort’s Rat Cook, a nice foreshadowing moment, he meets Sam and Gilly who creepily climb out of the well. But, like so much of this finale, this is just more setup, something that in this instance shouldn’t have happened. Sam helps Bran get past the wall, and then makes it to Castle Black. Except we DIDN’T SEE ANY OF IT!

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Why…it will forever be beyond me. Leaving one of the most shocking moments out of the book really outraged me. Bran and his gang didn’t just happen to go on their marry way through the wall because fyi that is not possible. If it were, then Jon Snow and his group of Wildlings wouldn’t have to climb the f-ing Wall, now would they?! If the Wall was so easily crossed then we would have White Walkers in Winterfell instead of Ironborn or Boltons. The Wall is magical. Yes, you heard right. And it is precisely this magic what prevents the nonhuman from going over it, through it, around it or below it. As for human, they are not restricted in such a way, they can either go over it, anywhere and at any point, just like Jon did, climbing. Or they can go through the door built by the Night’s Watch as we have seen few times already. However, Bran wants to avoid of being seen which brings us to the third possibility, and the most shocking one – the Black Door. The Black Door is located below the Nightfort, and if memory serves you right it is a door Sam talked about last time we’ve seen him, a hidden gate as old as the Wall itself. It is set deep in a wall of the well at the center of the kitchen and is made of white weirwood with a face on it. The face is old, pale, shrunken, and wrinkled with white eyes. It glows. When someone approaches the Black Gate, the eyes open. They are white and blind, and then the door asks, “Who are you?” A man of the Night’s Watch is the only one who can go through or help someone go through as in the case of Sam and Bran. The man of the Night’s Watch must repeat a part of his vow,”I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers. I am the shield that guards the realms of men.” The door would then open, saying, “Then pass“, and its lips would open wider and wider until nothing remains but a great gaping mouth in a ring of wrinkles. This is how Bran went through the Wall. And now perhaps the most important part – how did Sam know the exact location of these doors? From the old books at the Castle Black? Probably. Because someone guided him to the gates? Most likely.

His name is Coldhands. And he happens to be one of the most intriguing entities of this saga. He looks like a Wight but he is dressed in the black of the Night’s Watch.  His hands are black and as cold as ice, and he rides a great elk. A flock of ravens flies under his command. He does not breathe. He is dead but still alive and his eyes are black in contrast of the light blue eyes of Wights and the Others. After the Wights attacked Gilly and Sam upon leaving Craster’s keep, the Coldhands who took them under his protection and brought them back to the Wall safe and sound saved them. He then showed them the Black Gate but he could not enter, due to its magic. However, he asked them to bring him Bran Stark, so he would guide him and his friends to the last Greenseer beyond the Wall. Why none of this was shown is really beyond me. This is the first time I am greatly disappointed with the series. Leaving a crucial information like this…. to what end?

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Soon after, back at Castle Black, Sam is reunited with Jon Snow, who makes it there despite Ygritte hitting him with few arrows. Jon will live don’t worry, however, they all know they’re far from safe, and they send out all of their ravens, calling for help. “The night is gathering,” Sam says. “It’s coming for all of us.”

NOW WE KNOW WHY DAVOS LEARNED TO READ

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We spent at least half an hour with Davos this season bearing witness to his newfound skill. Why? Well, the gift of reading happened to save his life once he read the letter sent by the Night’s Watch. The Walkers are walking and they are coming for all of us. Instead of going south to King’s Landing again, Stannis will march North instead and Melisandre will meet Jon Snow. Something to look forward, that is, if they don’t decide to push this little gathering into the season five because you know, it is a long way up. R’hllor only knows how much time it will take them and what can happen along the way. I mean just look at what is happening to Daenerys. She keeps running in circles for three seasons now. Someone better provide her with a compass. Westeros is, well like the name says, West. Regardless…

CROWD SURFING DAENERYS

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In the final scene, we see that Daenerys has “freed” yet another city. They adore her. How could they not! She is the Mother or “mhysa”… As if the entire world already doesn’t know that. The dragons fly (with the hope the Stark children will warg her children and finally make some use of them). Yep, not much happening here yet again, and just like that the season is over.

Things I loved:

-Varys. Loved Varys! – both at the Small Council with his facial expressions during the Joffrey – Tyrion facedown, and later on with Shae. Just brilliant! Also loved the fact he sees and openly speaks about Tyrion as possibly the only man who could keep the realm together…

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-Shae foreshadowing

-The entire Small Council scene and how Tyrion defended his wife, Sansa Stark: “She is no longer your to torment!”

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-Davos sneaking Gendry out of the Dragonstone: “Can you swim?” “No” “Don’t fall out! (of the boat)”

– Someone finally acknowledging how the War of Five Kings means nothing with more pressing things coming from the North.

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– Blackfish escaped!

– Jaime Lannister’s look on the face when he realizes Cersie will have problem with him being a cripple. The sooner he takes his pink glasses of, the better!
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– Hodors delight upon learning that Sam knows his name. Hodor!

– Ygritte shooting Jon Snow, not once but three times, was the most romantic thing I have seen on TV in a long time, if not ever.

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Things I hated:

– The lack of Coldhands…this broke my heart really.

– Theon’s captor is finally identified as Roose Bolton’s bastard Ramsay, though there had been hints of this throughout the season. However, this revelation does little to justify either the vale of mystery of the previous episodes, or the amount of time we’ve spent watching Ramsay torture and mutilate Theon. Dislike.

– Poor Sansa. Here I go again. But isn’t she? After that brief moment of joy and laughter in the gardens where it seemed like they were both making peace with the situation they’ve found themselves in, the news of the Red Wedding came – her husband’s family orchestrated the savage slaughter of both, her mother and her older brother. I imagine it will take an incredibly long amount of time before she is even remotely comfortable around him again.

-The ending … for the obvious reasons but also… Daenerys tells the former slaves of Yunkai that their freedom wasn’t hers to give, but theirs to take — and yet they respond to this suggestion by using their word for mother to cheer for their liberator. And then a disturbing thing happens. Although she is a selfless leader, or atleast that is how her entourage sees her, there is this moment when we finally see just how much pleasure she’s taking from the worshipful reaction she’s getting. Not so selfless after all. I have been troubled with her decisions and her reactions for quite some time now, but I always though I am just overreacting because her storyline bores me to death, however, after this episode I have every reason to be troubled. Anyone on the Iron Throne but her, as far as I am concerned.

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My vote goes to dwarfs, cripples and bastards!

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There’s no question in my mind that season three has been the best so far, but “Mhysa” was a let down. This is what happens when you have expectations. Or read.  Unlike the game changers at the end of season one – the birth of the first dragons in ages – and season two – the Night’s Watch encountering an army of White Walkers, the season three ending was a setup for season four, which is not fine because season four won’t air for another 10 months or so. Why not end it with the Red Wedding instead? It would have had fans talking for weeks, and then the season wouldn’t have ended on this wishy-washy note. Mhysa! Mhysa! Mhysa! Just no.

Best quotes all spoken by grand Tyrion Lannister:

– “She is no longer yours to torment”

– “Oh the monster…Perhaps you should speak to me more softly then. Monsters are dangerous and just now kings are dying like flies”

– “The Northerners will never forget” and their names are Arya Stark, Sansa Stark, Jon Snow…just to name few…

Valar Morghulis Lannisters…for the night is dark and full of terrors.

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Text written by: Monika Ponjavic

4/5

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4 thoughts on “Game of Thrones: The Northerners will never forget

  1. Enjoyed reading this, very excellent stuff, thankyou .

  2. Jasmina says:

    Agree!!! 🙂

    Mommy Daenerys, as a cliffhanger…not!
    Lame 😦
    A bit like Angelina Jolie looking all pretty and loved in some refugee camp…or something else…noble deed but the whole display of worship a bit strange and inappropriate.

    And to add something that’s been bothering me since the ”Red Wedding”… I’ve been annoyed by the actors who were having an issue with the death of their characters…I do not know who they were… I would be deeply ashamed to display a shock upon reading the script – thus admitting that I was portraying a beloved character from the series based on the books I’ve never red… or is it just me? 😉

  3. rrmckelvey says:

    Great review!! And I agree about the ending: I really feel that these episodes should have been Stark-centric and that the ending with Dany cheapened the emotional impact of the Red Wedding and its consequences.

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