The “Previously on Game of Thrones” clips at the very start of each episode are always a little bit of a spoiler.
In recapping stuff it tells you which characters and locations you are going to see. Due to this it was clear before last night’s episode even began that there would be no Jamie and no Dorne in episode 8. I had mixed feelings about this. As much as I hate the Sansa/Ramsay storyline I find the Dorne storyline the least interesting of the season. So, on that level I was happy that there was no Dorne. However, I was a tiny bit disappointed because as I’ve mentioned in previous weeks I visited the castle in Seville, Spain in April that was used as the location for the Water Gardens of Dorne (check out my blog on the day I visited that castle: https://jeremyochsgonzales.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/return-to-espana-day-10-seville/). The one thing I like about the scenes set at the Water Gardens is seeing a place I visited in real life on the show.
After the opening credits the episode began in Meereen. I was very happy when Tyrion and Dany met at the end of the previous episode; after being off on her own for so long Dany is finally being linked in with the other storylines of the show. Of course, just because Dany has met Tyrion doesn’t mean she will keep him around. Deciding what to do with Tyrion and Jorah is Dany’s next big decision. She’s made a lot of mistakes since arriving in Meereen. She really can’t afford one in regards to this. I do think that Dany made the right decision. She chooses to keep Tyrion around and has Jorah banished from the city. I think that Tyrion will become Dany’s ultimate advisor.
I especially liked it when he was trying to convince her to not kill him and he told her about how he’s heard the story of her life from a distance. I also liked that Tyrion basically saved Jorah’s life. I think that Dany would have killed Jorah. I think that banishing Jorah was the good middle of the roadway to go. I feel awful for Jorah. With his greyscale spreading he’s running out of time, not matter what happens next.
The episode next briefly checked in with Cersei. There is nothing more to say other than she is wretched and suffering in her cell and I loved every single second of it!
Moving to Bavos, Arya is continuing her training with Jaen H’ghar. She is assuming a new identity. She has invented a narrative for a woman named Lanna who will sell Oysters and Clams. In this new role she will serve the many faced god, but how? I’m not sure but I’m quite interested to find out. I do have to say I’ve been disappointed in the minimal screen time for Arya this season.
Moving back to King’s Landing, Cersei continues to suffer. She finds out that she will go to trial facing charges for fornication, treason and adultery. She is, of course, guilty of all three crimes. I absolutely LOVE that she is being charged with having King Robert killed. She is distraught when she finds out that Tommen has locked himself in his chambers and refuses to eat. I do feel bad for Tommen but like I wrote two weeks ago (see my blog on episode 6: https://jeremyochsgonzales.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/game-of-thrones-season-5-episode-6/) I want Cersei to suffer. I am willing to sacrifice Tommen, Marcela and Jamie so that she ends us with absolutely nothing. Unfortunately, for Tommen he is a weak King who will be torn down along with his mother. When Cersei is told he has a way out of she confesses she refuses. She says she made the High Sparrow and she refuses to bow down and kiss the feet of a man she raised up from nothing. I think that is the most satisfying part of Cersei’s storyline right now. She did it all herself. She gathered the rope, she formed the noose and she stuck her head right into the opening. It’s only now that she’s realizes that she’s doomed that she cries out that the whole thing is unfair. Karma is a bitch you horrid woman.
In Winterfell, Sansa is livid that Theon/Reek told Ramsay about her plan to escape. When she asks him why he told he recounts what Ramsay did her him. An enraged Sansa tells Theon/Reek that it’s good that Ramsay did that to him and she would do the same if she could. I loved the anger from Sansa here. I hate the situation that she’s in but I like it when she fights back instead of just taking what is thrown at her.
The most moving moment of the episode came in this confrontation between Sansa and Theon/Reek and it was when he confessed that he didn’t have Bran and Rickon killed. This brought me to tears. Sansa has been through hell. Let’s not forget that she is the only member of her family who actually saw her father beheaded. She believed that all she had as her half-brother up at the wall but to know her two younger brothers are still alive, or at least have the chance to be alive, have to give her some new hope, not only for them but for herself. Hopefully this news will empower Sansa so that she can find a way to get herself (not be rescued be Brienne or Stannis or Theon/Reek) out of her current nightmare.
The action at Winterfell next checked in with Roose and Ramsay who are planning for when Stannis invades. Father and bastard son have very different approaches on how they should deal with Stannis. Roose wants to play defense while Ramsay wants to go on the attack. I think they will end up going Ramsay’s way and it will be a disaster. At least that’s what I hope. I’m not fan of Stannis but I’ll take Stannis victory in Winterfell if it means the Bolton’s go down.
Back in Meereen, Tyrion and Dany drink and talk. She still hasn’t made up her mind about him. As they talk Tyrion tells Dany that he thinks Varys can be trusted. Tyrion also believes that despite the fact that Varys was a spy for King Robert he was in Dany’s corner all along and that Varys is the reason she wasn’t killed when she was a baby. I actually believe this to be true. I think Varys is much more powerful than anybody comprehends and I hope we haven’t seen the last of him. Dany declares that she will keep Tyrion on as her advisor. I think this is a smart move and I truly believe that Dany needs Tyrion to help her get to her ultimate goal.
Meanwhile Jorah has thrown himself back into the world of the fighting pits. He wants one last chance to prove himself to Dany. And why not? The Greyscale is gonna do him in anyway.
One last check in at King’s Landing shows Cersei lower than ever. Oh, how the mighty have fallen…in fact that horrid woman has fallen so low that she’s been reduced to drinking water off the floor. Lick it up your nasty bitch, lick it up!
Moving north to the Wall, Sam and Gilly have to navigate a little awkward post sex talk. Olly comes in and brings them food. Olly is upset that Jon has gone north of the wall to get the Wildlings but Sam counters that they will need as many men as possible to fight the White Walkers when the time comes….Oh how right he is and how much sooner that is coming than even he can imagine.
North of the Wall, Jon and Tormund meet with the Wildlings. Many of them are upset that Tormund has become allies with Jon. In a nice moment for Jon (and continued better acting from Kit Harrington) Jon addresses the Wildlings. He invokes Mance Rayder’s name. When Jon reveals that he is the one who killed Mance it nearly backfires on him, at least until Tormund vouches for him saying that Jon putting and arrow though Mance’s heart was a mercy killing. A bunch of wildlings refuse to make a deal with Jon but many agree.
I feel like four seasons and seven episodes have been building towards what happened at the end of last night’s episode. We have heard over and over and over that winter is coming. Well, last night winter arrived. As Jon and other members of the Night’s Watch work with the Sildings to board boats that will take them to the Wall and then all hell breaks loose. The army of the dead attack in what I think is one of the, if not THE, most thrilling sequences in the history of the show. As the dead attack you see just what everybody is up against now that winter has come. They keep coming and coming and coming and with each person they kill their numbers grow. Then the White Walkers arrive. Jon battles one and for the first time I actually believed that Jon’s life might be in danger. Jon is able to kill the White Walker, not with the Dragonglass he had with him but with his sword of Valyrian Steel. It was such an exciting scene. The episode ended with Jon escaping into the icy waters as the White Walkers raise the recently dead into their army.
Two weeks ago I was so upset with this show. However, last night’s episode was by FAR the best of the season. The season has been disappointing and very slow to build but things certainly got kicked up a notch last night. I had thought of being done with the show at the end of the season but if the last two episodes of season five are as good as last night’s episode I will definitely be back for season 6.
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