The only way to describe this episode is that things escalated really fucking quickly. And yet, between the merging of two super characters and a World War Z-esque White Walker battle, the most shocking part of it all was when Arya put on a dress and finally didn’t look like a Charles Dickens street urchin for the first time in four years.
At long last, the first face off between Tyrion and Daenerys and it’s everything we could have hoped for. Obviously, they have a few kinks to work out before their friendship can blossom, like the fact that his family massacred hers.
Daenerys: See the thing is, I fucking hate Lannisters.
Tyrion: We already have so much in common.
Tyrion is trying to convince Daenerys to take him on as an advisor, but he’s a shady asshole so he has to play hard to get while he does it. “It’s too soon to know if you deserve my service,” as if he isn’t an outnumbered, unarmed dwarf in a foreign land. Tyrion Lannister, the originator of fake it till you make it and honorary betch for life.
Daenerys: Chill, you want the job? First test: fix my Jorah problem.
Tyrion: Nothing Jorah has done has given me question to doubt him except for frequenting a brothel with prostitutes that bear a striking resemblance to you, but I digress.
Tyrion finally addresses the elephant in the room and tells Khaleesi that Jorah is full on Lolita over her, and would probably go up against a White Walker if she asked. But he also recognizes that his questionable devotion doesn’t negate the fact that he was informing on Dany to Varys. Trust is the foundation of any solid relationship, even a one-sided, statutory one.
Daenerys: So I should kill him?
Tyrion: Man, I definitely didn’t say that.
Tyrion explains to Daenerys that her number one goal at the moment should be gaining and inspiring supporters, which probably means she shouldn’t kill off the president and founder of her fan club (especially considering how her last execution went). However, she also can’t take him to Westeros because then everyone will know she’s forgiving of betrayal, and also he’s not really popular there either. The only option: banish him again and pray to every God this show has to offer that he’ll catch the fucking hint this time.
Seriously, Jorah’s face when Khaleesi ordered him to be escorted out was so pathetically downtrodden that I wouldn’t have been surprised if “In the Arms of an Angel” started playing and Sarah McLachlan popped out and asked you to sponsor him.
After being exiled for the SECOND time Jorah heads straight back to the slave owner that bought him and begs to be allowed to fight in the great games in front of Khaleesi. Thought process: I will literally fight my way out of this friendzone. Considering the whole grayscale situation, it’s not like he as a whole lot to lose.
Now that the third wheel is gone, Tyrion and Dany sit down for a tea party, except instead of tea Tyrion guzzles wine. Same. He refills his glass no less than four times in this scene because first dates are awkward.
Tyrion throws out a shady daddy remark about Aerys Targaryen like he isn’t the one true king of daddy issues in this show (sorry Jon). Daenerys asks Tyrion why he killed his father and he’s like “lol you need to be a level 10 friend with a dungeon full of wine to unlock my tragic back story.”
Honestly this scene was so perfect that it almost made me forget about the horror of the rest of the episode. Clearly Tyrion manages to prove his worth because Dany decides to keep him on as an advisor, but then she takes his wine away so there are bound to be some philosophical differences down the road.
They finally get down to some real advising and Tyrion straight up tells Daenerys that the support of the common people won’t be enough to take Westeros. He thinks she’d be better off staying on this side of the Narrow Sea, because it’s not like any of the noble families would help her out. The Starks are effectively dead, the Lannisters hate everyone, and in case you hadn’t noticed, Stannis like, really, wants to be king. She might have a shot at the Tyrells, because pretty people always band together, but it wouldn’t be enough.
Unlike the rest of us, Tyrion hasn’t been around to watch Daenerys go full Khaleesi and make wide-reaching, boss ass bitch declarations that defy all logic, usually while her dragons torch people in the background, so maybe he didn’t fully understand what he was getting himself into. Daenerys tells him she’s not trying to stop the wheel of nobility from turning: she’s here to fucking smash it and then let Drogon burn it to a crisp. Mic drop, Khaleesi out.
Cersei is not adapting well to imprisonment. Every couple days some terrifying Sparrow nun comes in and tries to tempt a confession out of her with water, and then beats her with a spoon when she refuses. I realize she has the self-righteous power of God on her side, but this woman clearly doesn’t fully understand who she’s fucking with. Like Cersei may be sentenced to death sometime soon, but she’ll strangle this bitch Rapunzel style before she goes.
Her creepy Maester Qyburn, who may or may not be creating zombies in his spare time, comes to visit. He tells her that her trial is approaching and that the High Sparrow is coming at her with a vastly impressive rap sheet.
Qyburn: They’ve got you down for fornication, treason, incest, and the murder of King Robert.
Cersei/Shaggy: Wasn’t me.
Pycell has summoned her asshole Uncle Kevan to serve as Hand of the King in her absence. Cersei is not pleased but this is the least of the bad news at the moment. There is no word from Jaime, Kevan refuses to visit, and Tommen has locked himself in his room in a wild fit over the loss of the two most
manipulative loving women in his life.
Based on the mass hysteria that the Sparrows have induced on King’s Landing, they probably won’t need a whole lot of substantial evidence to convict Cersei. Let the Westeros Queen Trials begin.
Qyburn: You could just confess to the High Sparrow.
Cersei: Who does he think he is? I like invented him, you know what I mean?
Later, in a moment of absolute desperation, Cersei Lannister slurps water off of the dirty cell floor. This is the greatest recorded fall from grace since Regina George was banished from the Plastic’s table for wearing sweatpants.
It kind of seems like the many faced men are just a crazy spy organization masquerading as a religion (looking at you, Scientology). Arya finally gets her first assignment and it’s to become Lana, an oyster and cockle peddler on the streets of Bravos. As previously mentioned, she wears a dress and that in itself should be enough proof to Jaqen of her dedication to the cause, in case abandoning her homeland and systematically washing dead bodies wasn’t enough.
Her mission is to gather information about “a thin man” who is scamming boat captains out of their life insurance. For some reason this is the business of the Many Faced God and not the Braavosi police force. Jaqen tells her that the endgame is killing the thin man via poison, and Arya is psyched because this child has been fucked up past the point of no return.
The other unnamed girls shows up to bitch, as per usual.
Unnamed Girl: But she’s not ready, what if something happens?
Theon brings Sansa some food in her dungeon/room. To add to the quickly growing list of reasons she hates him, he thwarted her escape by telling Ramsey about the candle in the tower plan.
Sansa: Theon you had literally ONE JOB
Reek: Uh, my name is Reek. But heads up, Theon Greyjoy tried to escape one time and it didn’t really work out for him so I would highly not recommend that route.
Reek tells Sansa that Ramsey literally cut pieces of Theon away until he wasn’t Theon anymore, and Stone Cold Sansa is like “good.” The impending Winter is Palm Springs compared to Sansa’s disdainful cold shoulder.
Theon/Reek finally does something right for the first time in about four years and tells Sansa that Brann and Rickon are still alive. Sansa is once again filled with the glimmering (and probably futile) hope that she will eventually be reunited with someone that she’s related to before they are brutally murdered. On that note, where the actual fuck has Rickon been for the past two years.
Roose is holding a strategy meeting about Stannis’ impending siege, but he and his son have differing opinions on how to approach the situation. Westeros is clearly lacking in a Little League system, and thus Ramsey never learned that a good defense is the best offense.
Stannis: Let’s just let them freeze out there.
Ramsey: WEAK SHIT, DAD.
Ramsey tells his father that all he needs is 20 good men to take down Stannis’ entire army, which you know Roose will give him in the hopes that he gets murdered. Is there a single living father in this show who actually likes their kids?
Gilly is cleaning up Sam’s wounds (does she do anything else?) when Olly shows up with food for them. By their reaction to a knock at the door and the sound of their conversation, the hostility towards them at the Wall hasn’t improved much. Gilly leaves the room to check on baby Sam which means that while these two fucks are holed up in Castle Black, legitimately scared for their lives, they have left their defenseless infant to fend for himself. SOLID PARENTING. Maybe Ghost is just nanny of the year.
Olly is having a moral dilemma over Jon’s decision to ally with the wildlings, which makes sense given his history with them.
Olly: That Tormund guy literally murdered my entire village, including my parents.
Sam: You make a valid point there Olly but WHITE WALKERS.
Sam explains to Olly that sometimes men have to do shitty things for the greater good, and you could actually see him misinterpreting this nugget of wisdom in his tiny brain. This kid is 100% plotting something and will probably murder someone.
Jon and Tormund’s Infinite Playlist
Jon and Tormund arrive in Hardhome on the first stop of their “Let’s GTFO” world tour. They are met by the Lord of Bones, who is compelled to, first and foremost, comment on how pretty Jon is. This is an overly common theme among the wildlings, and I’m pretty sure they are all just harboring a giant crush on him.
Lord of Bones: So Tormund, since when do you fight with crows?
Jon: No it’s cool, we’re allies now.
Lord of Bones: the FUCK.
The Lord of Bones might actually just be a 16-year-old boy, because he makes a joke about Tormund sucking Jon’s dick. Tormund throws down the biggest “NO HOMO” in history and beats his skull in, and then tells the remaining Hardhomers to gather the elders for a meeting.
The aggressive German woman from Pitch Perfect 2 is Karsi, one of the elders of Hardhome, and it made it really difficult to concentrate because I was just waiting for her to break into song and dance the entire time.
Jon attempting to explain the inevitable doom to the wildlings was so heartbreakingly reminiscent of a philanthropy chair standing up in chapter and trying to convince everyone that community service hours mattered that I got PTSD flashbacks. However, unlike in chapter, Jon is almost successful until one of the wildlings realizes that a key character is missing.
Wildling: Uhhh, where’s Manse?
Jon: I put an arrow through his heart
Tormund: WAIT HE LEFT OUT SOME VITAL DETAILS IN THAT BRIEF RETELLING
Tormund manages to subdue the almost riot that Jon’s brevity started and get the elders on board with their plan, but Jon is the ultimate closer with his emotional and compelling argument that literally they will all turn into zombies if they don’t get their shit together. He’s getting really good at inspirational speeches, so maybe if this Lord Commander thing doesn’t work out he can get a job as an underdog football couch at a southern high school.
Tormund: I realize that Jon is a pretty teenager with hair straight out of a Pantene commercial, but he knows what he’s talking about.
Some asshole named Thenns isn’t down, but even his own people don’t like him so whatever. About 5,000 Hardhome wildlings agree to go with Jon and are being loaded into the ships when everything goes straight to hell.
The dogs start going ape shit which is always a telltale sign of imminent doom. An ominous white mist starts spreading down from the mountain, usually a precursor to a White Walker attack. Thenns orders the gates to be shut before more than half of his people can get out, which was definitely necessary but also turned them all into zombies. Cue a horrific battle scene straight out of your nightmares.
Chaos ensues. It’s straight up Titanic as people try to throw themselves into the remaining lifeboats. Zombies are flinging themselves over the gates of Hardhome and murdering everyone. Overall a terrible ending to an otherwise successful negotiation. In a classic Jon Snow move, he refuses to get on the boats until everyone else is safe.
Karsi: WTF you realize that if you die no one at Castle Black will uphold this deal.
Jon: Nah they’re totally honorable guys.
Possibly the creepiest part of this whole battle is the four White Walker leaders on horseback that are overseeing from the cliff above. Like not only do they have uniforms that look like they were professionally made (how? Zombie seamstresses? There’s an outlet store north of the Wall?), but apparently they are capable of strategy and aren’t just the mindless zombie monsters that we thought. Not chill.
Jon and Thenns run back into the meeting hut from earlier to retrieve the dragonglass that had been used to convince the wildlings to go along with the evacuation plan. There they meet one of the King White Walkers and he proceeds to kill Thenns and beat the shit out of Jon.
Bad news: Dragonglass is easily shattered by White Walker weapons
Good news: Valyrian steel isn’t
Jon stabs the White Walker with his Valyrian steel sword and the guy just shatters. One of the four horseman/generals sees this and manages to look even angrier than his natural resting bitch face.
Eventually Jon, Tormund, and company retreat. As their boat floats away the angry White Walker general hops down from his cliff to reanimate all of the dead left behind. Just in case that in itself wasn’t terrifying enough, he makes aggressive eye contact with Jon the entire time. Jon pees. Tormund pees. Wun Wun the giant pees. No one is safe from the terror.
The 30 second long scene of utter silence while all of the newly initiated white walkers turn to stare at the retreating boats was creepier than any zombie apocalypse movie I’ve ever seen. It’s too bad film doesn’t exist here, because this would have made for a fantastic recruitment video for Jon and Tormund’s next stop.
Honestly, it’s been a struggle to not just hand it to him every single week. His wine consumption alone puts him in the running for the 2015 Betch of the Year.
This was a Daario-free episode and that in itself is unacceptable. Thanks, Obama.