Season Finale time! And don’t complain about being underwhelmed. You just experienced the Red Wedding- give yourself a break for fuck’s sake. Let’s begin.
Just because the Red Wedding hasn’t traumatised you enough, we’re treated to a bit of the aftermath as Sandor and Arya escape. They see Grey Wind’s head mounted atop Robb’s body. It’s pretty gnarly.
Tyrion and Sansa are almost getting along! It’s very sweet. Sansa also hasn’t properly learned the word “shit” yet. Tyrion is called to Small Counsel, where Pycelle is a dick to him and he learns of the Frey’s betrayal. Joffery is brandishing about his power, which Tyrion is just straight up done with. Tyrion threatens him and the rest of the counsel teams up against him – except Tywin, who basically sends Joff to bed. Also, if I could silence someone with a glance the way Charles Dance can, I would probably be in charge of the universe now. While he and Tyrion discuss where real power lies and the virtues of murder in regards to ending a war, I marvel at how he somehow reminds me of the dad/Van Pelt in Jumanji. Then they move to exciting topics like raping Sansa! Tywin admits to wanting to drown Tyrion when he was born. Meanwhile, Sansa heard the news about her brother from someone before Tyrion gets back, and all of their good rapport is destroyed.
Bran and his merry band of travellers (now sans Osha and Rickon) camp out in one of the Night’s Watch’s abandoned castles, the Nightfort. Bran tells the story of the Rat King, who served a king his son in a pie. His punishment, to be turned into a rat who eats his young, was not for murder so much as for the far more heinous crime of violating guest right.
…Cue Walder Frey! He gloats to Roose Bolton whilst the clean-up from the wedding carries on. Frey asks about Theon and the Greyjoy attack on Winterfell. Bolton explains that his bastard Ramsey interceded when Theon was supposed to be delivered to Robb after the Greyjoys gave him up.
…Cue Ramsey! Commenting on the satisfactory size of Theon’s dick whilst munching on sausage. Mmmhm, phallic foods! Ramsey then speculates about the psychological repercussions of his castration vis-à-vis phantom cock syndrome. He names Theon “Reek” and tortures him until he disavows his lordship and claims the insulting name as his own. Getting the Roots vibe, anyone? (Disclaimer: I have not actually seen or read Roots.)
Back at the Nightfort, Bran and his compatriots are startled by Sam and Gilly’s arrival. (Looks like no Coldhands for us book readers; non-readers who hear about this just… just don’t even worry about it.) After some suspicions all around, Sam asks them to join him to find Jon; however Jojen asks about the White Walkers, and says that Bran is the only one who can stop them, provided he gets north of the Wall.
Balon Greyjoy receives a threatening and vulgar letter from Ramsey Bolton about vacating Winterfell. Bonus: Theon’s Dick in a Box! (I, like the rest of the internet, just couldn’t let that one slip by.) Balon isn’t about to do anything to help his son, but Asha/Yara rounds up her fastest ship and the best fighters to go get him from Dreadfort. She’s awfully protective of him here, which isn’t so much a thing in the books if you’re wondering.
Sam gives his Dragonglass weapons to Bran and the Reeds. They set out under the Wall and North.
At Storm’s End, Davos tries to bond with Gendry, explaining that he’s still from the ‘hood.
Varys and Shae talk. We learn that Shae’s mother whored her out by age nine. Yay paedophilia! Shae loves both Sansa and Tyrion, though obviously in different ways. Varys bribes Shae with a pile of diamonds to leave. He says this is necessary because he believes Tyrion is one of the few forces of good in the realm. She does not go.
Meanwhile, Tyrion says some truly inspiring words. “It’s not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy.” Cercei barges in and sends Podrick off. They have a heart-to-heart about how children can make women happy (duh). God, I love drunk Lannister heart-to-hearts!
Arya and Clegane pass some men gloating about stapling the wolf’s head on Robb’s body. Arya jumps off Stranger and brutally stabs the man gloating with a knife she stole from the Hound. He jumps in and kills the rest of the men for her. Go team outcasts! He’s not even man she did it, just mad she didn’t give warning.
Jon Snuuuh is trying to wash his wounds when Ygritte sneaks up on him, arrow drawn. He says he still loves her, but he must do his duty. She shoots him a few times, just to scare non-book readers after last week.
Sam and Gilly show up to Maester Aemon. Sam denies the child is his, even though Gilly has apparently decided to name it Sam. Aemon sets him to write letters of what’s happened up North.
Imagine fast-forwarding here a few weeks. Davos is still practicing learning to read. He picks up a letter- it’s Sam’s letter from the Night’s Watch. The bells begin to toll, and he goes to Stannis saying that Mellisandre’s blood magic is some bullshit. Stannis gives us the history of the Targaryon take-over, which involved dragons, which are magic and ergo evil. Davos continues to defend Gendry’s life but Mellisandre demands his sacrifice. Stannis agrees with Mellisandre (c’mon man, bros before hoes) and Davos intervenes by breaking Gendry out on a boat. Not that he’s ever been on one or anything.
Jon survives his arrows to the knee and what have you. He has a very touching reunion with Sam. It’s rather Lord of the Rings.
Jaime and Brienne arrive in King’s Landing, where Jaime is promptly treated like shit. He shows up in Cercei’s room and they stare lustily at each other and then whatever happens next is a little open-ended.
Stannis face-palms at Davos’s betrayal. Davos maintains that killing a random boy is wrong but Stannis sentences him to death. Davos pulls out the letter from Sam, which is basically his pocket aces (I’m learning poker, guys!) Mellisandre casts the letter into the fire and Sees that indeed they must head North to fight the White Walkers and eternal Cold or whatever. Religion is really convenient like that, right guys? It does save Davos’s life, so he can’t really complain. Stannis appreciates the irony.
Daenerys awaits her new followers, the freed slaves from the fallen city. I think we’re supposed to feel tense and apprehensive awaiting their response to her setting them free, but I’m just kind of bored. No surprise – they accept her, calling her “mother.” She crowd surfs while her dragons fly above the crowd. Also, she’s very white and all the slaves definitely aren’t and so maybe this is racist? I'd call for discussion but this is the internet so better not.
Well, there you have it, another season of Game of Thrones come and gone. The Red Wedding was obviously our big build for this season, and based on the YouTube videos and angry Facebook statuses I saw, it caught a lot of people off guard. But if you think that was the only major shocker/death of Storm of Swords, you haven’t figured out how GRRM works yet. So whatever, discuss among yourselves your feelings or whatever. I’ll be over here not writing any television reviews until September. Don’t miss me.