And with that we end another season of Game of Thrones. The finale “Mhysa” wasn’t one of its best outings of the season, but a solid finish to what has I think been the best season of the show so far. There were a ton of storylines touched on tonight, so I’ll try my best to cover them all.
The show opens with what might be my least favorite part of the books. I hate the part where they put Grey Wind’s head on Robb’s body. Imagining that always bothered the shit out of me. I think it seemed worse in my mind, but it did make me sad when I saw it in the show still. Arya having to see it was a real bummer too. We also get to see a bit of the madness happening outside of The Twins as Robb’s army takes a beating. A conversation between Roose Bolton and Walder Frey is notable for a few reasons. It shows how these two are just about the worst. It reveals that Cat’s Uncle Brynden “The Blackfish” Tully seems to have escaped (what a good time he chose to take a leak last week!). And it finally reveals the identity of who has been torturing Theon for those who did not put the pieces together yet: it is Ramsay Snow, Roose Bolton’s bastard son. With that reveal (Ramsay’s scene this week really helped to emphasize what a screwed up individual he is) and The Red Wedding, The Boltons are really climbing The Worst Family in Westeros Power Rankings in a hurry.
The best thing to come out of the Riverlands this week was definitely Arya getting a little piece of revenge on a Frey man. Arya gets her first big kill here and it is something that should have come sooner I believe. Sure, she killed the kid in King’s Landing, but this was a whole different deal and I hope it is a step towards Arya becoming the badass we’ve all wanted her to be since we saw her taking dancing lessons with Syrio Forel back in King’s Landing. Of course, seeing The Hound take out some more Freys without breaking a sweat didn’t hurt. I think Arya’s kill here is a good way to cap her season and I’m excited to see what her and The Hound get up to next season.
There were some good scenes up North. Bran and company have reached the Night Fort at The Wall. There are some fun moments here including Hodor yelling down a well and Bran telling a story of the Rat Cook which tied in nicely with The Red Wedding. When the group hears someone climbing up the well, they prepare for the worst, but it is good old Samwell Tarly. Sam recognizes Bran as Jon’s brother (partly due to the giant direwolf indicator). He helps them head north beyond the wall and even gives them some dragonglass before sending them on their way. Sam and Gilly… and baby Sam… also stop by to talk to Master Aemon, but the big scene of the night finds Jon returning to Castle Black. Unfortunately he’s in bad shape after an encounter with Ygritte. I love these two together, so their scene was a tough one, but I think it leaves things in a better place than last week’s from a closure standpoint.
We are treated to another small council scene this week which are always quality affairs. Joffrey’s once again being a total punk and Tyrion and Tywin both put him in his place a bit though Joff actually shoots a good line at Tywin too. Dance and Dinklage are both great in this scene, but credit to Gleeson for nailing the bit as Joff giddily hops into the room with the news of Robb’s death. He was every bit the ass he was supposed to be there. There are a smattering of other scenes throughout the capital too. Jaime, Brienne and Qyburn have arrived back in the city and I liked the Jaime/Cersei reunion scene however brief. I’m looking forward to seeing Jaime meet back up with his father next season. Tyrion’s scenes with Sansa and Cersei were both a bit of fun for different reasons. I liked Sansa’s story about Arya’s old pranks which was a nice lighter moment for a character that has been going through the ringer a bit this season.
While I’m not a big Stannis or Melisandre fan, I always find myself rooting for Davos. Him freeing Gendry was fantastic and I thought his advice to him about not falling out of the boat was hilarious. I just love him as Stannis’ good conscience of sorts. They also receive news about the bad things going on up at The Wall and we will have to wait until next year to see if those at Dragonstone respond.
The season finishes with a scene involving Daenerys. When all the slaves come out to see her, they chant “Mhysa” or mother in Ghiscari and she heads out into the crowd and is lifted on the shoulders of those she liberated. I hope everyone savors this because it is rare with Dany scenes but… I didn’t really like this scene a whole lot. It felt like a really odd one to end the season on for one, but even the whole hold Dany up and twirl her around bit came off a little cheesy to me. And it certainly lacks the punch of the Astapor freeing scene. I think it would have maybe went a little better paired with a more fleshed out taking of the city from last episode. Or it would have went down a bit better if it wasn’t the final scene. The first two seasons both left off on pretty cool cliffhangers (dragons in Season 1 and the White Walkers in the second season), so this one falls a little flat by comparison. I’d say this might be a side effect of splitting a book in half, but I actually had a pretty cool cliffhanger in mind that would have worked well at the end. At least Emilia looked beautiful (that smile!) and there were dragons I suppose.
A few more things:
- Yara and Balon get news of Theon being tortured at the Dreadfort and Yara decides to take her best men and go get him back. Should be interesting to see where this goes next season.
- The ladies are still loving Pod apparently. Hilarious!
- The music this episode was incredible.
- Best scene of the season for me was still Dany freeing the slaves in Astapor. Amazing!
And that will do it for this season of Game of Thrones. I don’t think I liked this finale as much as the previous two season finales, but this was a spectacular season overall. I think it had some issues with juggling all the characters at times and some of the storylines really didn’t go over too well for me (like Theon’s), but those are minor issues in an otherwise really well-done season. If the source material is anything to go on, Season 4 should be even better.
I really enjoyed reviewing the show this year. It is the first season of TV I have actually pulled off doing a review for every episode here on the blog which feels like a success! I’ll probably try it with another show at some point soon, but I will definitely be doing them for this show again next season. And I’d like to thank all of you who came along for the ride whether it was reading them or commenting here and on Twitter. It made the reviews a lot more fun to write knowing I’d be able to interact with other viewers the way that I have.
Anyway, let me know what you thought of the Game of Thrones season finale or season as a whole in the comments below. And again thanks for reading! It’s been a blast this season!