Oh my goodness, Game of Thrones. You sordid, twisted lover, you. What’s a girl to do when you open your season finale with such a horrifying scene?! For those of you who would rather read this recap than of get your heart skewered and your brain imprinted with images of misery, the season finale opens up with a nice wholesome scene of the ravaging of the dwindling Stark forces, and a jaded Arya surveying the scene dismally as the Frey men shriek and shout with joy.
Just as you feel the familiar pangs of wanting to jump through your screen and give Arya a massive hug for her losses, things get definitively more disgusting as chants of “Here comes the King of the North, King of the North, King of the North!” intensify and the viewer is treated to what once was Robb Stark, but is now a decapitated head adorning his similarly decapitated direwolf, Grey Wind’s, neck. Immediately you remember that Arya is beside the massive Hound Sandor Clegane on horseback (and thank the lucky stars that she is) as he quickly turns his horse around and averts her broken eyes from a sight that is somehow even worse than watching her father be executed.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: what the fucking fuck, George R. R. Martin? Hell, I get that Robb had to die and that Catelyn had to die because it’s not expected and blah blah, but man, does everything you do have to make your readers/viewers squirm with despair?
A welcome change greets us at that very moment as the scene changes to Tyrion Lannister (one of my personal favorites along with the rest of the world) and poor Sansa Stark. They discuss Tyrion’s fixation with two noble-born men that had just passed and dared laugh at him. Sansa noticed that as soon as they did so he began reciting their names into memory. Innocent Sansa asks if he is going to have them murdered for it, when he explains that he won’t kill them because of course, he’s not Joffrey (thank fucking God, right? I don’t think I could handle another shot-up woman—then again, why am I watching this if that’s the case?!) but that the fear of death is another matter entirely. What comes next literally made me cringe as the whole Tyrion/Sansa/Shae triangle is the most awkward, uncomfortable thing I’ve ever come across in a show (I mean come on, we ALL remember that insanely gawky cloaking ceremony during the Tyrion/Sansa wedding): literally, Sansa manages to say the most childish thing she possibly can at that point, making a suggestion to cut a hole in the aforementioned nobility’s mattress and stuff it with sheep “shift” (which, when queried by an amused Tyrion, Sansa explains is the ‘vulgar word for dung’—Jesus H. Christ, could she be any more like a baby?) as a clever prank to get back at them. Shae and Tyrion both look at her with feigned reverence and poorly hidden laughter, reminiscent of parents listening to a toddler speak. It would have been cute if Sansa WASN’T TYRION’S UNGODLY YOUNG WIFE THAT HE’S SUPPOSED TO FUCK AND IMPREGNATE WHILE HIS TRUE LOVE SHAE HAS TO COME IN POSTFUCK AND CLEAN THE SOILED SHEETS.
… Geooooorrge?!? What the flying rat’s ass, man? Do you literally sit around and think about this shit? If you do, bravo, good sir.
Of course, we are to be carted off to a more comfortable (lolyeahright) occurrence as Big Dick McGee (Podrick Payne) comes running over to let us know a meeting of the small council has been called. As soon as Tyrion walks in everyone starts with their usual shenanigans (OMG guise, letz like totes be mean gurls cuz hes small LOLOLOL) and he is informed that Robb and Catelyn are dead amidst Joffrey hopping about gleefully like a blond-haired fucktart. “Send Lord Frey a message! Thank him for his service, and demand that he send Robb Stark’s head! I’m going to serve it to Sansa at my wedding feast,” said Joffrey, and at that point I think I could summon the image of that kid’s face on demand should I ever need an adrenaline burst of hate to lift a car off my baby or whatever. Thankfully, Tyrion snaps up and lets Joffrey know that shit ain’t cute and threatens to kill him in so many words. Joffrey has his standard bitchfit and Old Man Saggy Balls (Grand Maester Pycelle) starts up with his usual wheezing of how very disrespectful Tyrion was while Joffrey puffs his chest out like a fat turkey and lets everyone know that he is, in fact, king (as if we didn’t know, right?). This of course is very typical until Joffrey decides to fuck with Tywin Lannister, possibly the most terrifying character in the series (readers of the book know the very depths to which this guy gives zero fucks) who promptly tells him to shut the fuck up and go to sleep (literally). That bit was hilarious. The next bit however, is a gut-wrenching, heart-shattering back and forth between Tyrion and Tywin, which ultimately concludes in Tywin confessing that he was the one that gave Walder Frey the go ahead to murder the Starks at the red wedding; he then delivers the blow by also stating that although it may seem that all he ever does is in his favor (an accusation that Tyrion boldly makes during this discussion after being revolted by the concept of murder at a wedding) he did commit an act for the better of his family regardless of what he wanted: instead of tossing Tyrion out into the sea to drown, he kept him and brought him up as his son despite his hate for him, because he is a Lannister.
Ouch. That pain I feel is the gaping hole ripped through my chest where my cardiac organ once resided. Tyrion, I still love you. I can be your Shae, baybeh.
After that we cut to Bran who tells an awful story about how bacon covers up the taste of human flesh in pies that eventually leads up to the fact that the gods curse those who kill guests beneath their own roofs. Das rite, Walder Frey, Bran is making allusions about YOU, homeboy. Finch’s (I mean, Walder Frey’s—get out of my head, Harry Potter!) face swims nastily into view as he gloats over his kills and the backing of Tywin Lannister in his hall. It’s revealed then that the torturer that has been having his way with Theon “I’m a fucktard” Greyjoy is none other than the bastard of Lord Roose Bolton himself, the new controlling party of Winterfell. We switch to Ramsay Bolton (the torturer in question) who (of course) is eating a very dick shaped sausage in front of Theon (guess it’s been confirmed that he’s Dickless Theo from here out) as he wistfully recalls that indeed, Theon had a very large penis. Ramsay’s question of the episode is: “You know how people talk about phantom limbs? I’ve always wondered, do eunichs have a phantom cock?” Shudder. After that, Theon is given the infamous nickname of Reek, and the Theon persona finally dies.
Now back to Bran and his incessant warg-y-ness. The small band of travelers hears a horrible groaning when out through the boards explode Sam and Gilly! Woo, storyline crossing! After seeing the massive Summer, Sam the Wizard quickly makes the connection that Bran is Jon’s brother. “I’ll help you with anything!” proclaims Sam, when Bran is like, “Lolz yea lets go north of the Wallz,” and Sam immediately regrets his decision. They have an exchange about whitewalkers and their existence, and the situation is finally clear for everyone: should the whitewalkers invade south of the Wall, there goes the world as we know it. Sam refuses to go north of the Wall but does give Bran dragon glass—the same substance that helped him kill the first whitewalker in a thousand years.
And now, for the part everyone is talking about: it’s Theon’s dick in a box! The scene cuts to Theon’s father, Balon Greyjoy reading a rather nasty letter from Ramsay while it’s revealed what happened to Theon’s manhood finally—it was severed and shipped to the Iron Islands. Balon reaffirms that he’s the biggest asshole ever and says that he’s not going to risk what he’s won for a son that cannot further the Greyjoy line—after all, he isn’t even a man anymore. Asha Greyjoy, Theon’s sister, is appalled by this and vows to save Theon regarless of her father’s wishes.
We meet up here with poor Gendry (the late Robert Baratheon’s bastard used for his blood by Melisandre—remember the names she mentioned in the episode with the leeches? She said Balon Greyjoy, Joffrey Baratheon, and Robb Stark; i.e. the three false kings. There went one, two to go!) stuck in the dungeons with Davos Seaworth. They muse about being from Fleabottom, when Davos gets Gendry to talk about the power of the pussy—as in, why he ran at Melisandre with such trust—and his being a virgin having a lot to do with it. Davos recounts how his son is dead thanks to him in a similar downward turn of fate and the scene ends.
Back to Shae… Poor thing. We visit the same thing I said before—it SUCKS to be handmaiden to your lover’s wife. She recounts these very difficulties to Varys the eunich who then advises her to leave King’s Landing as it is not her home and she has no future there. He offers her money to leave, but of course an indignant Shae refuses and leaves his bag of diamonds!, saying that Tyrion can leave her himself. We cut the a drunk Tyrion himself who is quickly joined by Cersei. They share a talk about how children bring happiness (no matter how minute of an amount) yet their situations remain bleak.
Arya and the Hound come in now and quickly come upon a band of goons talking about how they killed the Starks during the red wedding. One of them catches Arya’s ear as he talks about how he was the one that affixed the wolf’s head to her older brother’s body. Arya pulls the little girl card magnificently as she approaches the group and talks to the sewer himself. She manages to get him to trust her innocence and place himself in a vulnerable position when BAM! She shanks the ever-living shit out of the dude and the Hound decimates the rest.
We cut to Jon and Ygritte. She’s pissed. He knows nothing. He says he loves her. She shoots him full of arrows. He dies. JUST KIDDING! He rides off with three arrows in him (in non-fatal places of course; she knew she didn’t want to kill him) and Ygritte cries.
Shit now goes down as Sam informs Maester Aemon that the whitewalkers are coming. He sends ravens with the news all throughout the South and we’re taken to Davos (reinstated as the Hand of the King) who intercepts one of these scrolls and immediately reads into the news believing that Melisandre and her religion’s evil is to blame. He makes a point of seeing Stannis and telling him that his plans to kill Gendry are evil and unnecessary, but Stannis disagrees—so of course Davos saves him with a rowboat, and gets massive retribution and sentencing to die—until he informs Stannis of the whitewalkers. At that, even Melisandre freaks out, and Davos is saved by Melisandre’s insistence that he is necessary to the true war in the North. Jon makes it back to Castle Black, and then we cut to Jamie, where he finally reunites with his sister/lover Cercei. His severed hand’s stump hangs between them heavily.
The episode then comes together with the slaves of the city Daenerys just liberated coming together in a throng before her. Missandei (her liberated handmaiden) introduces her as the mother of dragons, the unburned, and whom they should regard in gratitude for their freedom—but Daenerys interrupts. She then tells them that she cannot be responsible for their freedom, that only they are in charge of that aspect, and then they begin chanting a solitary phrase. “What does that mean?” she asks Missandei, and she is told they are chanting Mother at Daenerys. She steps down into the crowd and they carry her, chanting mother the whole way. The episode ends, and I’m left thoroughly wanting.
Good game, HBO; I’ll be back next season.