Yasss. This is what we're talking about, Game of Thrones. After suffering through a few episodes that ranged from middling to quite objectionable, we got an hour of TV that was as riveting during its quiet moments as it was during the big action set piece at the end.
And...hmmm...who was missing from this episode? Oh, yeah. The shitty Sand Snakes and all of those idiots with no coherent plan in Dorne. Coincidence? That's just "Joincidence" with a C.
The title of this episode was "Hardhome," which obviously refers to the place where Jon Snow is headed to pick up Tormond's wildling buddies, but it also can be thought of as "hard home," as in sometimes where you live pretty much kind of sucks. Let's check in with everybody.
Daenerys and Tyrion: My fingers could hardly keep up with all the fabulous one-liners Tyrion kept dropping in his conversations with Queen Dany. He is so sure of himself and so deftly points out the fact that Dany is basically a Sand Snake when it comes to plan-having, as in she has no plan. She just thinks she can waltz over to Westeros, having never been there before, a place where the last remaining member of her clan (that we know of) has just died (RIP, Maester Aemon) and expect everyone to just welcome her with open arms. He asks her who's going to support her when she shows up in King's Landing (her hard home) with an army and a bunch of money and some dragons. She says that the common people will support her. But Tyrion asks her what that has gotten her so far. Without the support of the elite, she has nothing. The Lannisters, Starks, Baratheons, and Tyrells won't support her.
She laughs when he starts talking about this idea of all the prominent houses in Westeros fighting to be on top, like they're competing to be America's Next Top Model. They're like spokes on a wheel. Someone's down and someone's up. Tyrion thinks she wants to stop the wheel. She doesn't. She wants to blow it up. Which, really, is the first time we've heard an actual endgame talked about on this show. Because what is the end? Dany (or whoever) taking the throne isn't the end. The end is when all these families can stop bickering and fighting and clawing their way to the top. The end, perhaps, is when there is no throne (which is probably not how Dany intended it, but is probably what is best for the people of Westeros).
Jorah: Jorah's home is so hard he doesn't even have one. Dany has kicked him out of her camp, which makes sense. At least he's not dead. Yet. The greyscale is still slinking its way up his arm. He, not content to just go off and be a free man, decides to reenlist with the fighter-buyign dude. He wants to fight for the queen. He will see her again if it's the last thing he does. It might just be.
Arya: She's living in a hard home where she gets slapped if her lies aren't convincing enough. She has now become "Lana the girl who sells oysters by the seashore." What she is is an assassin in training, and she's going to make her bones on this crooked gambler guy. The waif has CONCERNS that Arya's not ready for this task, but Jaqen is all, "Whatevs. She is or she isn't."
Cersei: She's currently in the hardest home she's ever lived in, a jail cell. Master Qyburn comes in and tries to convince her to just confess and get it over with, get out of there, but she won't do it. She's convinced that someone, somehow is going to save her, whether that might be Tommen or Jaime or who knows. Right now Jaime is dealing with the stupid Sand Snakes and sad (Dolorous?) Tommen has locked himself in his tower while his wife is in the black cells.
Sansa: Her home really sucks right now, obviously. But it got a little less sucky today when she got Reek to spill some information -- He didn't actually kill her little brothers. He killed a couple randos (who cares about them!). She now knows that Bran and Rickon may be out there somewhere alive. Yay, Rickon!
Also in Winterfell, Roose wants to ride out the winter, letting Stannis come to him, if he can make it that far. Ramsay is not willing to sit back and wait. He wants to take twenty of his best men to Stannis's camp and give them the old Bolton hello. (Which is a lot like a regular hello, except with more skin being peeled off.)
Jon: Seriously. The Wall/Night's Watch stuff has been so good this season. Unless it's Sam and Gilly being boring on screen, I'm here for everything happening in the vicinity of Jon Snow. Today he and Tormond Giantsbane (and Dolorous Edd, can't forget him) have boarded some boats for Hardhome. They need to convince the wildlings to come with them back to the Wall, for their own protection and for the protection of the realm. The crows are ALMOST too late. In fact, they basically are to late. They get there and have to convince the elders that this is a good idea, which of course takes a while; and then, just as everyone's boarding the boats, an avalanche comes down and with it come the dead people.
Game of Thrones became an episode of The Walking Dead there for a while, what with arrows flying into zombie heads and all that. A mother puts her kids on a boat to safety. A Thenn is kind of a dick about everything. The show does a very good job of characterizing a few of these people in such a short time. The mother wants to save what's left of her family. She wants to make sure Jon Snow gets back to the Wall, because if he doesn't, who will ensure that her kids are safe? The Thenn was very much against following the crows, but he helps fight and ends up dying at the hand of a white walker in spectacular fashion.
So, yeah. The white walkers. First of all, I was very concerned that Dolorous Edd got dead in that hut with the giant. But he didn't! Dolorous Edd lives to be sad another day! Second, Jon did a big thing in his speech where he passed around dragonglass daggers as a way to entice people to follow him. As far as he (or anyone) knew up to this point, obsidian is the only way to kill a white walker. But then Jon gets hit in the chest and is forced to improv a fight with one of the white walkers, using only his (valyrian steel) sword. That thing shatters the white walker like glass. So there are two things that can kill a white walker that we know of at this point.
Other Stuff (So much stuff; I'll cover more of it tomorrow in my winners and losers post:
- Olly is still pissed that Jon is bringing the wildlings back to the wall, which who cares what Olly thinks and also, suck it up and be a man, Olly.
- I kind of want to go back and just list all the awesome things Tyrion said during this episode.
- Arya is Lana and her first customer of the day is always Lara. So confusing! It's Asha/Osha all over again.
- Oh, yeah. Kevan Lannister is now Tommen's Hand. And he will not see Cersei.
What did you think?
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