Game of Thrones spectacular second season came to a close tonight with Valar Morghulis (translated to "all men must die" in High Valyrian). After last week's sensational Blackwater, would we have a great end of the season episode, or a (somewhat understandable) letdown?
Warning: IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN TONIGHT'S EPISODE AND DONT WANT TO HAVE IT RUINED FOR YOU DO NOT HIT THE JUMP OR READ BELOW THE FIRST PICTURE, BECAUSE IT'S ALL 100% SPOILERS!
Final Warning: Heavy Spoilers Below. That's pretty much all it is.
Question: What could possibly get me even more excited for a third season of HBO's Game of Thrones, one that already is pretty much guaranteed dragons, buckets of blood, sorcery, and amazing drama?
How about......... ZOMBIES (well, sort of!)!
The big payoff at the end of the episode had the Night Watchmen's odd lot of Sam, Grenn, and Edd, after hearing the three-note horn, fleeing for their lives. Sam fell and got left behind and could do nothing but hide behind a rock. What he saw was mind blowing, as he could only cower at the sight of the massive army of White Walkers, covered in a stormy blanket of snow, as they marched south towards the wall. They were lead by this scary looking fella:
Winter is coming indeed.
There were other big moments too.
The opening of the episode had everybody's favorite character, Tyrion Lannister, his face scarred from the assassination attempt on his life during the Battle of Blackwater Bay, told he is no longer the King's Hand, which now belongs to Lord Tywin. All of his power has been taken away, except for his squire, Podrick, and his consort, Shae. Lord Varys even stopped by to tell that Tyrion's own sister Cersei Lannister had organized the attempt on his life. Was he surprised? Not really. But rather than take an offer to flee by Shae, he decides to stay in King's Landing because he's finally found something he enjoyed and was good at.
Sansa, poor Sansa. During the previous episode's battle The Hound offered her an invitiation to flee north to Winterfell, which she replied something along the lines of "I belong in King's Landing". Really? Do you? Well, at least she now doesn't have the obligation to marry the biggest douche in Westeros, King Joffrey. It was so slyly decided by his counsel of Cersei and the slimy Grand Master Pycelle that Edward Stark's treason was good enough for the Gods to allow him to reject his oath to her. Now Joffrey plans to take Lady Margaery, former beard of Renly Baratheon, as his queen.
Renly's brother, Stannis, meanwhile is back at his home with the read headed witch, looking into fire. He'll be back somehow.
Speaking of Winterfell, you know, the place that was built to defend against White Walkers, is pretty much burnt to the ground, thanks to Theon Greyjoy. His case reminds me of the closing lines of the movie Blow, where Johnny Depp (as George Jung) says:
"And now, there's almost not enough to stay alive. But I force a smile, knowing that my ambition far exceeded my talent. There are no more white horses or pretty ladies at my door."
What happened to Theon is a little unclear to me, as his men, after receiving a rousing speech by their leader beckoning them to their glorious deaths, knocked him over the head and put a bag on his head. They also stabbed stabbed poor old Maester Luwin as a going away present. I'm sure Rob Stark is going to love hearing about that one.
Speaking of Rob Stark, the King of the North, he has a queen now, as he married Lady Talisa in secret, against the wishes of his mother and the nasty Walder Frey, Lord of the Crossing, who was promised that Rob would marry one of his daughters.
Getting deeper into the Wildlings world is Jon Snow. His mentor Qhorin hatched a great plan for Snow to kill....Qhorin so it looked like Snow had gone full traitor and is ready to meet the King Beyond the Wall, Mance Rayder, a former Night's Watchmen himself. We even got a glance at just how massive his army is.
Arya, who escaped from Harrenhal with Gendry and the obese kid, ran into Jaquen, who assisted them in their escape by executing the guards and turning them into puppets. Jaquen revealed himself to be a shapeshifter of sorts. I hope we run into him again.
Lastly we have Daenerys Targaryen, who took a giant step forward and slayed the alopecia stricken warlock who had kidnapped her dragons, all after seeing visions of Khal Drogo and her deceased baby. She did this by commanding her little hydras to torch him while they were all in chains. I can't wait to see those things get big.
Overall this episode gets a big A+. Spectacular. Riveting. All the praise for this show is very, very well deserved.
Here is a behind the scenes look at the Valar Morghulis.