By Dragonborn_CT 105 Comments
Oh sorry you were expecting a cohesive opening? Well I expected something less brutal than what I got. I am still at shock at what happened with today's episode and I am having a hard time recaping/reviewing the other things that happened besides the ending. This pic above is pretty much my default expression as I write this review and I barely got any sleep without seeing that image popping up everytime I close my eyes.
But f*ck it lets get this sh*t going...
At the Night's Watch
South of Castle Black, Moletown is attacked by Tormund's wildling band that absolutely wrecks the place in a effort to draw out more Rangers and thin their numbers. Jon and his friends are arguing they should be defending the villages being attacked while Sam is absolutely mortified that he left Gilly and little Sam there to be killed, though his friends assure him that she survived much worse things than these and she will certainly make through that too (true enough, when the Wildlings attack Ygritte finds her but decides to spare both her and her son).
This is something I forgot to address in my reviews... Mance Ryder has an host of 100.000 men, ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND! This is a bigger number than the Lannisters and Tyrells forces combined! It mind-boggingly that the territory between the Lands of Always Winter and the Wall is big enough to contain such ridiculously vast number. The Night's Watch is surely f*cked with an iron rod since they have barely 100 men and enemies surrounding them from both sides. Our heroes know that they are going to certain death and the only thing they ask is that their corpses are burned so that they don't rise as Wights.
In the North
Ramsay Snow dresses Theon in his old armor so that he can arrange the peace terms with the Ironborn occupying Moat Caillin. Theon tries to reason with them, though he is having problems balancing the Reek persona with his old self. The Ironborn commander is still stubborn to keep holding the fort despite his men being besieged from all sides and running out of provisions fast, this changes when his men say "f*ck that noise" and throw an ax in his head. Though Theon assures them that no harm will come to them if they surrender, we are soon treated to the Ironmen corpses flayed and tortured since they feel to Ramsay's trap. With Moat Caillin finally taken, the Boltons are able to reunify their forces and now march to Winterfell and take their place as Wardens of the North.
Heh, I knew these guys were dead meat the second Theon said the Boltons would reward them as he rewarded him. The funny part is that the leader got off an easy death compared to the rest of his men who turned on him and surrendered. Also Ramsay is acknowledged as Roose's legitimate heir and given the Bolton surname just as he wanted for so long, which would have being a heartwarming moment if both characters were not such despicable monsters. Meh, I am still calling him Snow out of spite...
I love how Roose mentions that there has being no word on Locke since he left to hunt Bran and Rickon down and points out he might be dead, yet he then dismiss it, saying he must had succeded in his mission anyway despite no confirmation. I mean, Roose was pretty worried that if the other lords discovered they were still alive, it would have being a matter of time before they come to rally under the Starks' cause. I think that now the way to the North is ensured and Winterfell is his now, he has nothing to worry anymore, but I would hold my breath if I was him...
I am just going to this out of the way before we move on to the big incident that happens with Daenerys and Jorah. There is an obvious build up for a romance between Missandei and Grey Worm and there are two problems I have with them: A. he is a freaking eunuch, which may be pretty difficult to work a romantic relationship around and B. they are such minor, peripheral characters I can't really feel any investiment in their relationship when alpha couples end up so messed up (like we seen with Shae/Tyrion).
Then this part of the episode goes to sh*t when a message is delivered to Barristan the Bold, displaying the Hand of the King from Westeros, which turns out to be the pardon that Jorah received for his work as an spy for Varys (which may have being that letter forged by Tywin in "The First of His Name"). He is called upon Daenerys' throne room to confront her and when he is forced to admit the truth, she comes just short of breathing fire on him (euphemism). Despite he pleading that he loved her , she has absolutely none of it and orders Jorah to leave Meereen at once before breaking dawn or she will have him executed.
Goddamn, Dany... This man may had started out working for your enemy, but he switched teams out of love. He offered advice and counsel, killed for you, tries to reason with you and you decide to tell him to f*ck off? That was a very sh*tty thing to do, but ultimately not without an understandable reason on Dany's part. Though I could argue it would have being not a smart decision to exile him, since he is one of her most loyal and trusted advisors, it has being made repeatedly clear she dimissess advices given by from them and does what as she wills. Ultimately from a personal standpoint, really sh**ty thing to do, Dany. You know that you going to need every loyal subject you can get, but she keeps making one terrible decision after the other...
In the Eyrie
Littlefinger is brought before the Vale lords to be questioned about Lysa's death, with them being right to suspect something is fishy about him. Sansa is called to give her testimony, though to the rest of the council, she is believed to be Baelish's niece Alayne. She quickly reveals the truth about her identity as an Stark and how Littlefinger managed to get her the hell out of King's Landing after Joffrey's death and the last minute saying that Lysa killed herself after Petyr kissed Sansa in the cheek (when that was soooooooooo not the case at all)
I really liked that scene because for a second there, I believed she was about to split the beans and tell absolutely f*cking everything Petyr worked for and she held him right there by the balls. Sansa is an character that ever since the Season 1 finale, she has being in absolute deep sh*t and whenever things looked like they might turn for the better, fate pulls the yank chain and make her life suck still. The Vale Lords claim that they were honorable and they knew her father well, but they are complete strangers and as far as she knows, they would sell her out to Cersei if the opportunity presented itself. Having only Littlefinger to rely on, for once, she is taking a proactive stance and decides to play by Petyr's game and screw around with him (not in that sense, thankfully enough) and even going as changing her outfit to something more... flattering, to represent her turn around as a character.
And we close the Eyrie with Arya and the Hound reaching the Bloody Gate, ready to ransom the poor girl to her aunt... Unfortunately Lysa had died three days ago, which made their entire journey from the start of the season pointless. Arya realized the dramatic irony of this being the second time the person the Hound wants to ransom her to died right before their arrival and/or the fact that her situation (as far as she knows) has gotten a lot worse again (with the wound likely being infected and her protector therefore being in serious danger). I felt more awkward than anything, since this was not the reaction I expected, but since this child had her innocence destroyed inch by inch with every season, I should have known better now.
At King's Landing
After having a very awkward and strange conversation about an long-dead relative obsessed with killing beetles, Tyrion is called upon to witness his trial by combat between Prince Oberyn Martell and Ser Gregor Clegane. This long waited scene delivers in every aspect, such as being faithful to the source material, well-shot and showcasing awesome displays of action.
Firstly lets look at how Gregor did. Despite being toyed around with and ultimately skewered and stabbed multiple times by Oberyn's spear, Gregor was a f*cking tank throughout the fight, hurling blow after blow at his opponent and tossing him around like a rag doll whenever he got his hands on him. While Oberyn was certainly faster and more skilled, Gregor's strength was nearly enough to give him the edge. And of course there's what happened when Oberyn let his guard down after winning the fight....
Secondly Oberyn. Put simply, Oberyn not just won, but DOMINATED the fight against the most feared knight in Westeros, while giving him a speech that could make Inigo Montoya blush. After starting the fight with an almost polite introduction to his opponent, he calmly reminds Gregor of how he raped his sister, murdered her, then killed her children, and as the fight goes on, and as he effortlessly avoids Gregor's blows, using his spear to tear away at Gregor's armour, he keeps repeating "You raped her, you murdered her, you killed her children", at first arrogant but growing increasingly enraged as the fight goes on and he wears Gregor down. Then, after unbalancing Gregor, he rounds on him one last time and furiously roars "YOU RAPED HER! YOU MURDERED HER!" as Gregor lunges at him, only for Oberyn to dodge, rip his spear down the back of Gregor's calf sending him to his knees, and then charge the prone giant with his spear as he screams "YOU KILLED HER CHILDREN!", impaling him through the stomach to the arena floor.
Oberyn then circles Gregor's panting, defeated body, demanding he confess his crime and demanding he reveal it was Tywin who ordered this, standing right above his body as he demands that he say it.... only for Gregor to effortlessly bat the legs from under him with a swipe of his forearm, easily drag Oberyn on top of him so he can smash his face in with a single punch. Then as Oberyn lies beside him coughing up blood and teeth, Gregor just leaps up on top of him, shove his thumbs into Oberyn's eye sockets, and as he slowly crushes the man's skull as he shrieks in agony, Gregor triumphantly growls
Gregor: Elia Martell. I killed her children. THEN I RAPED HER. THEN I SMASHED HER HEAD IN LIKE THIS!!!
Gregor then slams Oberyn's head against the ground so hard it literally explodes in a shower of blood, bone, and brain, before finally succumbing to his wounds and passing out next to him.
I can say with no exageration, this was the most nightmarish and gruesome death I've seen in this series so far - even with such dubious standards Joffrey's poisoning and Talisa's stabbing don't come nowhere near close. Safe to say, I already knew Oberyn was going to die since I had previous knowledge from the source material, but for all my preparation I was still horrified to my f*cking core due to how graphic it was, how exceedingly agonizing it looked having his eyes being gouged before his skull exploding like an watermelon. What made his death even more heartbreaking was due to Oberyn being such likable and sympathetic character that I pretty much enjoyed each of his scenes from the start of the season until now.
The only pleasure I can possibly get with Oberyn's death is that now any chance of the Lannisters forming an alliance with Dorne is ruined. Do you really think Tywin, that the Dornish will allow this without wanting to retaliate when their prince's brains are splattered over the ground? I hope you enjoy your brother's execution, Cersei, cause you ain't going to see your daughter Myrcella anytime soon, since she is pretty much a hostage (you know the same way Sansa was yours for many years). Oh and Clegane confessed he raped Elia Martell and killed her children in front of an audience to hear, including at least a few Dornish. DO YOU ALL HONESTLY THINK YOU CAN KEEP THAT SH*T UNDER THE WRAPS NOW?!?!?! Gods...
To say this episode was good or bad is kinda of an moot point, This is an WTF-level episode the same way as the Rains of Castamere. I will say that, I would sooner watch the Red Wedding over and over again. than Oberyn's death once more. I know that lasted like 20 seconds, but those 20 seconds were more personally agonizing than seeing all the heroic faction of the war getting betrayed and butchered. I might be overreacting right now, I will give this, the duel between the Oberyn and Gregor was sure awesome and delivered in all I expected, I just can't stomach watching the fight's end once again.
Phew... Next episode will be "The Watchers on the Wall" and be prepared, that will be the climatic episode of the season!