game of thrones recapping: valar morghulis

Previously on Game of Thrones: Blackwater

It’s here! Forbidden love! Betrayal! Jaw-dropping twists!  The season finale rides the mighty wake of last episode’s epic showdown to every corner of Westeros’ Seven Kingdoms and beyond. Seriously. Practically every character you’ve ever met was featured, however briefly.

The narrative was positively dripping with romance compared to the rest of the season. Robb, against his mother’s wishes, marries Talisa in a very hush-hush ceremony. He promised Walder Frey that he would marry one of the disagreeable man’s many daughters, but Robb is just so smitten with this nurse that he chooses love over honor. Awww… Actually, what moved me more than those two lovebirds was Shae’s surprising declaration of devotion to Tyrion. The former “camp follower” doesn’t seem to care that her brave lion has a scar stretching from temple to jaw, and Tyrion’s heartfelt reaction to this is rather touching.

Yet while Tyrion may have gotten to appreciate the love of a good(ish) woman, he also was one of the characters epically betrayed. His sister indirectly tried to kill him, his father took his job, and his best bud Bronn got fired as head of the goldcloaks. Tyrion’s brief and very witty reign over King’s Landing seems to have ended as quick as it began. Over at Winterfell, Theon is betrayed by his own ironborn in a scene that actually played out quite comically. While trying to prepare his men to fight with a stirring speech, Theon is knocked unconscious by one of his advisors. Apparently, the ironborn want to go home now and stop fighting Theon’s battles. Up further north, Qorin purposefully provokes Jon to fight, and Jon ends up killing him. It’s a form of welcomed betrayal to the wildlings, who now choose to accept Jon as one of their own, but viewers know (and possibly Ygritte as well) that Qorin wanted Jon to kill him specifically so that the Night’s Watch could have an “inside man” within the wildling ranks.

There are also some new alliances that are worthy of note because they will no doubt feature prominently in next season’s arc. Joffrey releases Sansa from the pleasure of marrying him so that he can marry Margaery Tyrell instead. This is done partly to solidify the new Lannister and Tyrell power alliance and partly because Margaery looks a lot more alluring to Joffrey than Sansa, who mainly mopes around all of the time (I wonder why). Also, Varys and I-forgot-her-name, the friendly and frequently appearing prostitute, form an understanding. I think the understanding is that I-forgot-her-name will report back on the men she sleeps with, which sounds…helpful, I guess.

And now onward to the literally jaw-dropping segments of last night’s finale! Jaqen, Arya’s friend who likes to talk about himself in third person and preach Red God rhetoric, is a Faceless Man! What is that? I’m not sure, but it involves a creepy magic trick in which Jaqen looks away, and when he turns around he has a different face (Get it? He literally dropped his jaw! Ahaha…) Over at Qorth, Dany goes through some trippy rooms of the House of the Undying, finds her dragons, and then gets the little monsters to burn alive the bald man who wanted to keep them all there. And Dany, she who does not possess a gentle spirit, isn’t done. She realizes her friends Xaro Xhoan Daxos and Doreah, the former prostitute, were in cahoots, and she leaves them to die in a sealed vault. Remember: don’t mess with the Mother of Dragons.

The last scene of the finale is bone-chilling. After hearing three blasts of the Night’s Watch horn (one blast signals rangers returning, two wildings, and three the mysterious others), Sam falls behind his other brothers and is left alone as the first zombie-like creatures lurk across the icy plains. I can’t really “recap” this scene very well. It’s better to just watch it.

Thoughts

Season 3 of Game of Thrones will (probably) return Spring 2013! Customarily, I feel like this would be a good time for me to make my predictions for next season, but since I already read the books, that might be a bit strange. So instead, I’ll plug the books! The first five books of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (upon which the Game of Thrones show is based) are all available! I cannot stress how phenomenal a job the show producers have done in adapting it for television, but there really is nothing like actually reading the stories, especially from the characters’ point of view.

Or, you know, you could just wait for Season 3 — which unfortunately is a long, long way away.

Valor morghulis—All men must die.
Valor why-does-Game-of-Thrones-only-have-10-episodes-per-season-and-only-air-once-a-year—All men must wait.

Or something like that. Till next season!

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Missing in action: Yara

Body count: 5 -> Maester Luwin, Qorin Halfhand, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, Doreah, Creepy Bald Man

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Quotes

Petyr: “Look around. We’re all liars here, and every one of them is better than you.”

Tyrion: “I’m a monster as well as a dwarf. You should charge me double.”

Theon: “Send more ravens.”
Maester Luwin: “You killed all the ravens.”

Theon: “Do you know what it’s like to be told how lucky you are to be someone’s prisoner?”

 

Hayley has other interests besides just nerdy TV shows. She also is a big fan of thinking. She ponders the great mysteries of life, like how more of her time can be devoted to watching those nerdy TV shows.

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