Tales From Westeros – Mother’s Mercy
Hello all and apologies for the wait. And thus, another season has come and gone like the Dornish wind, as it howled on its way out. Before I get into things, I’d like to say I appreciate the opportunity to have reviewed these last few episodes for you lovely evil geeks, and you can look forward to some fan theories and character pieces that will keep you full up on Westerosi goodness during this hiatus. Now, on with the review.
A general statement for the end of this season can go somewhere along the lines of turning your tv off in stunned confusion, going into the liquor cabinet and pouring yourself a stiff one while you think about what you just saw. At least that’s what I did. I had tried to be finale festive with some red wine, but after the credits rolled I needed my feelings gone faster. Then I went to Disney for a week. It really did the trick let me tell you. I’m of course talking about the death of one of the most beloved characters on the show: Jon Snow, or Ned Stark’s Bastard, Lord Snow, the Pretty Crow, and a myriad of other things he’s been called. This death comes as a shock to most Game of Thrones fans, as Jon has been around since season 1 and has survived nearly un-survivable things, namely White Walkers and Wights and a really REALLY angry redheaded ex-girlfriend with a killer bow shot. Jon and Sam had a beautiful scene together where Sam gets permission from Jon to leave the wall and go to the Citadel in Oldtown to become a maester, as he feels he’d be of more use to Jon that way. Jon pulls that whole “I need you” bit and Sam presses, saying Gilly and the baby aren’t safe here. He lets on that he and Gilly had done the horizontal mambo after his botched rescue attempt, and Jon remarks that he’s glad the end of the world is working out for someone. It was as close as we’ll get to a bro fist bump between the two on this show and I savored every moment of it. Sam ditches, with Gilly and Baby Sam in tow, off to maester summer camp. Later in the episode, Jon gets called on by Olly, claiming that one of the wildlings he let through knows where his uncle, Benjen Stark is. Now, if we go back to Season 1, Benjen Stark is Ned’s younger brother who visits when there’s a feast for Robert’s arrival at Winterfell, he takes Jon to the Wall, goes ranging north and hasn’t been seen since. A lot of fans have speculated that he is the walker dressed in Night’s Watch garb in the books known as Coldhands, but the theory has since been denied by good old GRRM. Jon leaps at the notion, making his way to the courtyard where a bunch of brothers are crowded around. Like a fourteen year old girl at a Panic at the Disco concert, Jon pushes his way through and is met by a sign that reads “TRAITOR” in big red Scooby Doo letters. He turns and is stabbed by Allister Thorne, the biggest douche on the Wall, and several other brothers who each offer the same justification for their blade, “For the Watch.” Jon suffers multiple stabs before falling to his knees. Olly walks forward, tearing up and tentative. Jon calls out to him, but Olly stabs him anyway. “For the Watch.” Jon falls back, eyes unmoving and the screen goes black. Hngh. It was a hard one to watch, guys. Jon has been a fan favorite and a personal favorite, being a selfless hero who has done nothing but the honorable thing, much like his “father” (quotations will be explained in a theory article), except for that time he betrayed the Watch to then betray the wildings. Dick move bro. But that aside, he’s Jon Snow, however much I might have loved Robb and Ned, he was a big part of watching Game of Thrones for me. There are whispers in the kingdom that this may not be the last of Jon Snow, but I’ll talk about that in another piece. For now, for all intents and purposes, another Stark has fallen.
Now, for no less horrific-ness, onto Dorne. Doran and Ellaria, with Sand Snakes in tow, are seeing Jaime, Bronn, Myrcella and Trystane off on the docks before they head back to King’s Landing. Myrcella is accosted by Ellaria who offers her a goodbye kiss on the lips that might have just been a tad too friendly. I mean, we know Ellaria swings that way, but something just doesn’t feel right to me. Bronn and Nymeria have an exchange in which he tells her he’d visit but he has someone to marry back home, and she offers “You want the good girl but you need the bad pussy.” I think that sentence might be by far one of the strangest in Game of Thrones so far, maybe because “bad pussy” sounds like lyrics to a Kendrick Lamar song that have been just dropped into a mythical medieval time period. Either way, the ship sets sail and Jaime and Myrcella have a chat. Jaime forgoes the chopping off of Myrcella’s hand and the promise to rule the galaxy as father and daughter before attempting to tell her he’s her father. Myrcella drops the bomb that she knows about him and Cersei before holding him close in their first embrace as father and daughter. But in true Game of Thrones fashion, as they separate, her nose begins bleeding and she collapses, Jaime pleading with her. We pan back over to Ellaria, whose nose has also begun bleeding before she drinks a vial of antidote and wipes off some lipstick. It would seem Ellaria’s Angelina Jolie in Gia-like kiss with Myrcella earlier was to poison her. Ellaria tosses the handkerchief like a mic drop and the Sand Snakes strut away like some sort of dress wearing knife gang. It’s really sad. Jaime never got to tell Joffrey he was his father, and now Myrcella knows and was even able to tell him how she was happy that he was her father before dying (presumably, but probably) in his arms. Jaime was able to be a father for all of a few seconds. And now only Tommen remains to tell. All I can say is that Cersei will probably not be expecting Mrycella’s return to King’s Landing in such a…..not alive fashion. And could possibly lead to some conflict with Dorne. Maybe Prince Trystane’s life is in danger now that Mrycella has been killed. We will have to see.
In the North, Stannis has possibly the shittiest morning of all shitty mornings. Stannis’s army has had more deserters and now remains weak in number. As well, a scout tells him that his wife is in the woods. Stannis finds her hanging from a tree, supposedly in response to the grief over Shireen’s burning. (Happy Father’s Day!) Stannis orders her cut down and the siege of Winterfell is to begin. Stannis’s forces march and then….well….nothing. HBO cut out a potentially awesome battle scene to show Stannis’s forces a wreck and the Mannis himself limping away after suffering some injuries. Dick move HBO. He manages to pick off two others who attempt to finish him off and manages to limp to a tree stump to rest. Brienne approaches him and tells her whole story about Renly and the shadow with his face on it and how she has to kill him. Stannis admits to killing his brother with Melisandre’s demon vagina shadow. Brienne gives Stannis his last rites and asks him for his last words. Stannis offers her. “Go on. Do you duty.” Brienne winds up and it cuts suddenly. Now, I’m going to offer one of two possible explanations and talk about them. One, that Stannis is dead and Brienne beheaded him and with the look of Gwendolyn Christie’s arms, probably cut the tree behind him in half. Now, if this is the case, Stannis has really had enough. Everything seems to have gone wrong for the Mannis and he gave it all in a last ditch effort to take Winterfell. He’s really had it with living and would probably be more content to die for a reason than to be slaughtered or flayed. As he is described by the Night’s Watch master at arms Donal Noye in the books “Stannis is pure iron, black and hard and strong, yes, but brittle, the way iron gets. He’ll break before he bends.” Stannis is unwilling to surrender and would rather die than give up, and he sees Brienne’s killing as answering for something and dying with honor. That’s the Mannis I know. Or knew. Sniff sniff. The other explanation, being the fact that we didn’t see it happen as we did with Jon or Myrcella, it could be that Brienne didn’t kill Stannis. Perhaps Podrick came in and talked her out of it? Maybe she couldn’t bring herself to do it? Who knows? I mean, I personally would like to hold out hope that the Mannis isn’t dead, but if so, he was one of my favorites. Even with the whole child burning thing.
In Winterfell, Sansa tries to make a break for it and is stopped by Ramsay’s fan girl Myranda with an arrow nocked and ready, flanked by Reek. She makes all sorts of threats about Sansa’s lady parts on Ramsay’s behalf and Sansa says if she’s going to die, she’d rather die with some dignity left. When it seems like all is lost, Theon takes over for a moment, throwing Myranda over the railing of the ramparts with a splat into the courtyard below. It was like Darth Vader and Palpatine in Return of the Jedi, only a bit more satisfying. Theon then tells Sansa that they have to move and takes her hand, leading her up to a ledge. They look down at the drop, at each other, and leap together. Here’s another one with two possible outcomes. One, that Theon and Sansa, both sick and tired of Ramsay’s shit decide to end it all together, a sortve reunification from their youth, or they both survive the fall and are now on the run. Either way, I can’t wait to know what happens to them.
In Mereen, Dany is still off dragon riding and to keep things short and succinct, Jorah and Daario are going off to try to find her. This should lead to some interesting exchanges and another of the coolest duos we’ve seen on this show, which is full of them. I mean, Tyrion and Bronn, Brienne and Pod, Arya and the Hound, Bronn and Jaime, Jaime and Brienne, Jorah and Tyrion, the list goes on. In the meantime, Mereen is to be ruled by Tyrion, Missandei, and Grey Worm, who was too weak to go find Dany with J Bear and Daario. Varys also makes an appearance and will use his spy network to help run Mereen. I’m super excited for the implications of both of these decisions as it’ll lead to the one thing we haven’t really seen Tyrion do yet: rule. In the literal, not being awesome way.
Dany finds herself and a recovering Drogon in the middle of nowhere and goes on a walk. Thankfully HBO saved us the scene in the books in which Dany has some severe explosive diarrhea after dismounting Drogon. I’m serious, google it. No sooner does she do so than an entire Dothraki kahl is on her. Dany drops her ring before they gain on her and begin circling her like an equestrian bat mitzvah. I didn’t know what the ring drop meant until I watched the behind the scenes and Benioff said it was supposed to be like a breadcrumb for someone to help find her or something. I dunno. All I know is Dany’s past is catching up to her and I’m excited to see what the Dothraki have in store. I recognize that I’ve been ending mostly with how excited I am, I’m just really hyped for next season, you guys, I’m sorry.
Meanwhile, in Braavos, Meryn Trant is enjoying the company of some three highly under aged girls and is whipping them mercilessly. Dick move, Trant. One of the girls doesn’t whimper when struck and Trant keeps giving her stroke after stroke until his switch breaks. He bids the other two leave, which they do gladly. The girl parts her hair and looks up at Trant before being nailed in the gut by a Street Fighter low punch from this pugilist pedo. To Trant’s horror, the girl pulls off her face like she’s been discovered at the end of a Scooby Doo episode to reveal everyone’s favorite homicidal maniac, Arya Stark! She leaps, stabbing Trant in both his eyes and stuffing a rag in his mouth so he wouldn’t scream. A desperate Trant tries to fight back but a few stabs to the chest and the ball is back in Arya’s court. Arya circles Meryn, telling him about her list as he whimpers. She stabs him again, clearly enjoying this. She reveals her real name to Trant, and asks him if he knows who he is. Arya replies for him telling him “You’re no one, you’re nothing”, before slitting his throat. The use of one’s real name is a big Faceless Man no-no, as well as killing someone you were not assigned to kill, so it left me to wonder what was in store. When Arya attempts to return the face she used to the Hall of Faces, Jaquen and that blonde girl who is always with him bust her. Jaquen says that she stole from the Many Faced God and now a debt is owed to their multi-faceted deity. Being restrained and pulling out a bottle of poison makes you think that Arya might die, but instead Jaquen drinks the vial, claiming “only death can pay for life” and falls. This is a phrase we heard in Season 1 with Dany and the witch who was supposed to save Drogo’s life and instead killed her unborn baby to pay for making Drogo a vegetable before Dany mercy killed him by suffocating him. Arya rushes to his side, pleading with him not to die. Now….now is when shit gets weird. Blonde girl starts asking why she’s crying. Arya replies that he was her friend. Girl replies that he was no one, but not in blonde girl voice. In Jaquen’s voice. Arya turns. Jaquen in blonde girl’s clothes. Arya asks who the dead person is, and he replies with no one. Arya starts tearing different faces off of this person like a magician with scarves at a shitty carnival until she sees her own face. She begins screaming and her eyes glaze over, and she screams that she can’t see. That’s it. I kind of don’t know how to make heads or tails of this one guys, it’s pretty strange. But I guess Arya will be blind next season? That’ll be….interesting?
Anyway, in another richly awaited scene from this season, Cersei is prepared by the sisters of the Seven and is washed and has her long blonde hair shorn a la Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta. Or Anne Hathaway in Les Mis. Take your pick. She strips down on the steps of the Sept of Baelor and bares herself to begin her walk of shame. Literally, a sister follows her tolling a bell and screaming “Shame!” It was pretty crazy. Everything started out pretty calm but soon it was a pretty crazy scene. People were shouting and hurling names like “brother fucker” at her and literally hurling rotten food and shit at her. Cersei falls once but as is shown multiple times throughout her walk, she sees the Red Keep and is motivated to keep going. Why? Because Tommen is there. Her son and reason for living. I loved the unspoken motivation of those shots during a pretty down scene. Cersei makes it to the red keep, covered in shit and feet bleeding. She sees her uncle Kevan, Grand Maester Pycelle and pretty much everyone she knows and breaks down in tears. Her yes man Qyburn comes in and covers her, holding her. Then, Cersei gets a pretty big gift. Qyburn presents to her “Ser Robert Strong”, a massive kings guard who according to Qyburn has taken a “holy vow of silence” and “will not speak until all his Grace’s enemies are dead and evil has been driven from the realm”. The towering knight picks up Cersei and carries her away. If it’s not obvious by the bloodshot eyes and purple skin, this “Ser Robert Strong” is actually the reanimated corpse of the Mountain, Gregor Clegane, brought back by necromancy by Qyburn’s hand. Cersei has just gained a powerful new ally, and with her trial looming, a possible champion. But more on that in my upcoming article on Clegane bowl, get hype and stay tuned.
All in all, I think this was a pretty amazing season of Game of Thrones, I laughed and I cried. A lot. And there’s only more to come. In….April. Oh man. It’s going to be a long hiatus, y’all.
Thanks for reading. Berate me in the comments. Valar Morghulis.
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Posted on June 30, 2015, in Geekology, Tales from Westeros, TV and tagged Daenerys Targaryen, Game of Thrones, HBO, Jon Snow, Lannister, Tales from Westeros, the house of black and white, TV, Tyrion Lannister, Westeros, White Walkers. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.