Reviews for this show are so much easier when we stay in one place! Remember the Battle of the Blackwater? Well, this is about to be like that, except with less Tyrion wit.
Sam tries to get Jon to explain what sex is like to him. Jon, not being very poetically inclined, doesn’t so a very good job of explaining. He asks if Sam would have had sex with Gilly if he were given the opportunity, despite the vows they took. Sam points out that technically their vows don’t say anything about fucking, just marrying and fathering. Oh Sam, you should’ve been a lawyer. Not that they seem to have those in Westeros.
Ygritte calls out Tormond (who, by the way, I’m pretty sure I assumed was Mance) on his story about fucking a bear. Styr says she’ll never have the... balls (?) to kill Jon, but she promises she will. Gilly escapes in the background.
Sam heads to the library to torture himself with tales of wildling raids, since he still assumes Gilly was killed. Aemon finds him reading and wasting candles, and accuses him of being in love. Aemon reflects on his own love, long ago. He tells Sam that there’s no better time to wallow in the past as when you’re about to die. Cheery ol’ gramps, isn’t he?
On his way upstairs, Sam hears Gilly arguing with Pyp to let her into the castle. He is obviously relieved to see her, and promises to never leave her side again. Before their reunion can get any more emotional, the horns sound. The wildlings are coming.
Alliser Thorne calls Jon a twat. Wouldn’t necessarily disagree with him, though it’s for the wrong reasons. Sam stashes Gilly in the basement and prepares to fight. She begs him to stay, but he says he must help his brothers defend the wall because that’s what men do. He kisses her and it’s kind of sweet.
The war begins! The men atop the wall are faced with 105 wildlings running directly at them. Thorne commands the archers, but is interrupted when Mance’s crew busts in through the south. Some more archery and hand-to-hand combat ensue, until the Slynt is also called to help defend the castle on the ground. Jon Snow’s running shit upstairs now.
Downstairs things are looking pretty dire. Slynt has come down to “help” but instead hides in the larder with Gilly. Ygritte is killing lots of people with her arrows. The Thenns are collecting lots of long pig for dinner. Pyp gets an arrow to the throat.
More fighting. Tormond fights Thorne, who gets injured. Sam manages to kill Styr (I think, Thenns all look alike to me because I’m racist) with his crossbow. When he sees how dire things are becoming, he heads to the top of the wall to ask Jon to come down. Jon, meanwhile, has been fighting mammoths and giants, which are trying to break into the tunnel beneath the wall. He sends six of his men down to block the tunnel as a giant pries his way in.
Jon leaves the top of the Wall to Edd and heads down to Castle Black in the winch. There’s a great panning shot of the destruction in the castle yard. Wildlings are absolutely wrecking the Watch’s shit. Another Thenn attacks Jon –he gets his head smashed into an anvil- but Jon triumphs with the aid of a smith’s hammer. No long pig for him tonight!
Jon looks up to find Ygritte, arrow nocked and aimed. She hesitates before loosing, and gets an arrow through her own heart instead. As she dies, she says they should’ve stayed in the cave.
The Watch manages to eke out a win, even capturing Tormond. Sam is eager to call it a victory, but Jon points out that Mance has more men, more giants, and more mammoths. The wildings will return. He knows the only way to defeat them is to destroy their alliance by killing Mance. To this end, he heads out from the tunnel to confront the wildlings. Without Longclaw or Ghost. To kill the king-beyond-the-wall. Yeah, good luck buddy.
Next week: finale and stuff! I take my qualifying exams! I will either be very relieved or very depressed!