Episode 48: "Hardhome"
So Tyrion and Mormont are before Daenerys in her throne room. She is not happy with either of them and is skeptical of Tyrion. Tyrion tries to convince her to not kill him, so she asks him as a test what to do with Mormont, who betrayed her. Tyrion suggest that she not kill him, but mentions that she can't trust him, either, so she throws Mormont out of the city. Mormont looks at the spreading scales on his left wrist.
Of course, Mormont, because he's contracted Stalker Syndrome in addition to the dragon pox, won't just go to the place where the Stone Men live. Instead, he returns to his former master and says he will fight for his queen.
In a place much colder, Winterfell has a disappointed, bitter Sansa lambaste Reek for ratting her out. She asks why he did it, and he replies because Ramsay tortured him. She then lashes at him for betraying HeartRobb and killing her brothers, only for him to confess that he didn't kill Bran and Baby Stark, but can say no more. In the same fort, Ramsay thinks he can go up against Stannis with 20 good men. Daddy Bolton approves.
We also get fan service where Incest Queen is defiant as a nun pressed her to confess. Her one supporting councilman sees her and no one else she knows visits. Her own son, the king, is refusing to eat and won't leave his room.
Yet a decent part of the episode is devoted to Arya. Now Arya, who has been taught how to lie effectively, is being sent out on an undercover mission where she poses as a fish-selling girl. Unfortunately, due to the way Red Sparrow gives the orders (she addresses her in the third person as "a girl"), I have no idea what is going on.
But the meat of this episode is up North, as FINALLY we are shown why Jon Snow's plot is of any importance. Heck, Jon Snow finally himself becomes interesting here
Jon Snow and Wild Man arrive on shore of a Wildling village, but one of the greeters, a man in bones who I'm calling Dry Bones dismisses them, so Wild Man takes his staff and beats him with it. So Dry Bones collapses
There are a bunch of Wildling elders, including a giant (I guess giants still live), who listen to the proposal, which is to grant them safety south of the wall in exchange for their help when the White Walkers ride in. He gives them dragonglass to defense themselves. Most realize they need to get out of town, but another bald, scarred guy says no.
Still, people start evacuating the village and taking rowboats to Stannis's ships when all of a sudden, the dogs start barking and the sky grows white. The undead are coming. It is reminiscent of the Evil Dead series where you don't necessarily see the evil, but see it's effects. The leaders shut the front gate leading to the village, trapping the victims inside.
Meanwhile on the top of the mountain there are four figures on horseback, conjuring Four Horsemen imagery.
Pale Rider and Old Blue Eyes are BACK! Again, neither had been seen since, oh fourteen episodes ago.
Words cannot describe this scene. Seriously, this scene was everything the "Defend the Wall" episode (The Watchers on the Wall) should have been.
The giant starts swinging a flaming club and knocking off undead and literally walks into the seas. The undead literally pour off the sides of the cliff to face our heroes.
But Jon Snow, for the first time in this series actually does something to make an audience member root for him. He knows that the dragonglass shards were left behind the gate, so he tries to go get them, but who stops him? The Pale Rider, who now has a nice suit of black armor with an insignia. Seriously, the Undead have their own sigil. This time, he isn't holding back and he fights Jon Snow and nearly bests him...except Jon Snow blocks his attack with his Valyrian steel sword and then shatters the Pale Rider.
He then retreats, but Ol' Blue Eyes decides to show the losers that he's in charge. As the people sail away he goes to the front to the corpses that litter the shore then instantly raises them as blue-eyed children of the dead.
My only gripe is that this didn't happen sooner.
- We finally get confirmation that the blue-eyed corpses, the Walkers, and the skeletal undead are actually on the same team. I had actually thought the latter were separate.
- Valyrian steel is yet another weakness of the Walkers. Incest Charming had a Valyrian steel sword. He's also a lead character...he's going to be needed. Just when I thought we were rid of him. No Dornish Paradise for him.
- Then again Sergeant Calhoun will also have a role. This is going to be one of these cheesy "we have to work together" deals. If only it meant Incest Queen would rot in jail.