Is it just me, or was this a super anticlimactic finale episode of Game Of Thrones? Particularly after the Red Wedding set the bar so high last week, I was expecting to really be blown out of the water, y’know? But instead it was a pretty standard episode. No nudity, even, and we didn’t really get cliff-hangered at all! I’m confused.
We start out with Tyrion and Sansa, who seem surprisingly well-matched as a couple, considering, as they go strolling through the garden making each other laugh. Two guys make fun of Tyrion for his size and Sansa recommends an old prank that Arya used to play on her, which was putting sheep dung in her mattress and then remaking the bed so she couldn’t figure out where the smell was coming from. Shae is walking slightly behind the couple, clearly suffering through all their niceties with each other, including the fact that Sansa is so sheltered that she still doesn’t know the word ‘shit’. How odd.
Tyrion is called to a small council meeting with Tywin, where he reads correspondence from Walder Frey saying, “Roslin caught a fine fat trout. Her brothers gave her a pair of wolf pelts for her wedding.” This is Walder’s way of alerting the Lannisters that Robb and Catelyn Stark are dead, having been killed at Roslin’s wedding to Edmure. Tyrion is horrified, but Joffrey is delighted, sharing his plan to serve Robb’s head to Sansa at his own wedding feast. Tyrion puts his foot down to that, saying that Sansa is no longer Joffrey’s to torment, and things escalate. Joffrey calls Tyrion a monster, at which point Tyrion warns him to be careful, since monsters are dangerous, and ‘kings are dropping like flies just now’. Joffrey wants Tyrion’s tongue removed for that threat against his person, and Tywin finally sends Joffrey to his room after Joffrey accuses him of ‘hiding under Casterly Rock’ while the war was being won. Once the room is clear, Tyrion confronts Tywin about the Red Wedding, to which Tywin responds, “Why is it worse to kill a dozen men at dinner than a thousand men in battle?” and goes back to his favorite topic of Tyrion needing to get Sansa pregnant for the good of the family. Tyrion wants to know what Tywin has ever done that was for the good of the family and not just his own benefit, and he says not killing Tyrion on the day he was born. Oh, word? Shit’s about to get real. When Tyrion gets back to his bedchamber, he sees Sansa has already heard the news that her family was killed by the Lannisters, and she’s not so jokey or advice-y anymore. Whomp whomp.
Meanwhile, at the Nightfort, Bran Stark, Hodor, and Jojen and Meera Reed are telling scary stories, like the one about the Rat Cook, who killed a king’s son and fed him to him in a pie. He was punished by being transformed into a giant white rat who was always hungry, not because he murdered someone, but because he killed a guest under his own roof.
Speaking of killing guests under their own roof, we go now to the Freys, where the floor is being cleaned. Roose Bolton tells Walder Frey that the Blackfish has escaped, but neither man is that worried about it. They’re laughing about Robb Stark’s death, and it is revealed that it’s Roose’s bastard son Ramsay Snow who is currently torturing Theon Greyjoy. In a cutaway to him, we find that Ramsay finally made good on his promise to cut off Theon’s dick, and is taunting him by eating a pork sausage in front of him as Theon begs to be killed. Ramsay doesn’t want Theon to be called Theon anymore, beating him until he accepts that his new name is ‘Reek’, because he’s nothing but stinking meat.
Back at the Nightfort, everyone wakes up to sounds in the night, which turn out to be made by Gilly and Sam. Jojen warns Bran not to identify himself, but Sam recognizes his direwolf and pledges to help in any way he can. When they announce their intention to go north of the wall, he tries to convince them otherwise, but eventually gives them dragonglass weapons for killing white walkers, and sends them on their way.
On the Iron Islands, Balon Greyjoy opens a letter from Ramsay Snow, instructing him to order the ironbord out of the north. He sends along Theon’s penis (calling it ‘Theon’s favorite toy’ and saying ‘he cried when I took it away’) and says he’ll send more pieces of Theon the longer the men remain deployed. Balon isn’t interested in rescuing Theon, since he disobeyed direct orders, but his daughter and Theon’s sister Asha gets the best ship and fifty of the best men to move against the Dreadfort and bring Theon home.
On Dragonstone, Gendry and Davos are bonding over their shared roots in Flea Bottom. Gendry doesn’t trust the highborn anymore, based on how many times they’ve let him down, but he seems to be opening up to Davos a little bit now that he knows he came from nothing as well. He explains that he trusted Melisandre because he’d never been with a woman and it clouded his judgement, and Davos reveals that everything he’d done in his life to work alongside the highborn, he’d done so his son could have a better life, but he’s dead now, so #yolo, right?
Back in King’s Landing, Varys is complimenting Shae for being such a good influence on Tyrion, but warning her to get herself away from Westeros, because she is a complication, standing between Tyrion and his success. Varys says that Tyrion may be the only man who can save the realm, and asks her to leave for his benefit, although he knows she loves him. Shae throws the money back and says if Tyrion wants her to leave, he can tell her himself.
Time for a quick realtalk with Tyrion and Cersei, who somehow still thinks she won’t have to marry Loras, even though Tyrion had to marry Sansa. She admits she’s not a happy person, and says the only reason she hasn’t thrown herself off a cliff is because of her children; even Joffrey, who’s clearly a baby sociopath.
Arya and The Hound are still roaming around together as well, riding past a campfire where some men are bragging about killing the Starks. Arya slips off the horse and goes to murder one of them real quick, at which point The Hound steps in to defend her from the rest of them, killing everyone. It’s the first man she ever killed, and she stole the knife from his belt. He warns her that the next time she decides to do something like that, she should tell him first. She uses her coin from Jaqen H’gar, whispering ‘Valar Morghulis’.
Further north, Ygritte has found Jon Snow as he flees, and points an arrow at him as he pleads with her, telling him he knows she won’t hurt him. She says her specialty line, “You know nothing Jon Snow”, at which point he says he knows some things, like the fact that he loves her and she loves him. Which…it turns out is a great way to get three arrows shot in your bod as you ride desperately away on a horse. Whoopsies. She real mad. Jon almost dies, but does ultimately show up at Castle Black in one piece, where he is greeted by Pip and Sam.
Sam and Gilly have finally made it back to Castle Black, and are explaining to Maester Aemon what they saw beyond the wall. Thinking Gilly’s baby is Sam’s, Aemon reminds him of the oath he swore, and instructs him to send off all the ravens with messages warning of the white walkers; the Wall wasn’t build to keep out men, but rather wights, and it’s about to be tested.
On Dragonstone again, Ser Davos is using letters to Stannis in order to learn how to read, with some side coaching from Shireen, and he happens to read one from the Night’s Watch warning of the white walkers, when bells summon him to meet with Stannis and Melisandre, who alert him that Robb Stark has died. Even though it’s had the desired outcome, Davos speaks against blood magic, to which Melisandre responds, “A great gift requires a great sacrifice.” Basically she wants to kill Gendry, and Stannis is going along with it. Seeing no moral alternative, Davos decides to free the boy, sending him off to King’s Landing and telling him to keep his head down. When he’s caught, he doesn’t deny his actions, and Stannis sentences him to death. However, since Davos still retains his title of Hand of the King, he takes the opportunity to advise Stannis against it, showing him the letter from the Night’s Watch. Once Melisandre hears its contents, she also advises Stannis not to kill Davos, saying he has a part to play in all of this.
Meanwhile, Jamie and Brienne have made it back to King’s Landing, where Jamie goes unrecognized until he shows up in Cersei’s bedchamber. Heavy breathing and sustained eye contact, but no sexy times, at least until next season. Sorry to disappoint you guys.
And finally, we get our last shot of Daenerys for the season, waiting outside of Yunkai for its citizens to emerge. Finally they come streaming out, and Daenerys gives a moving speech about how she cannot give them their freedom, because it is something they alone can lay claim to. It was actually a pretty great speech, guys. I know I’ve been watching too much Game Of Thrones this season cause it got me a little teary-eyed. It worked for the slaves of Yunkai, too, who start reaching out to Daenerys and calling her ‘Mhysa’, an old Ghiscari word for ‘mother’. She walks out among them and the episode ends with them lifting her up, chanting ‘Mhysa’ while her dragons wheel through the sky overhead. SEe you next year, I guess! Bye losers! Sorry about your anticlimax, bros!