After 10 weeks of an amazing second season of Game of Thrones, the final episode, "Valar Morghulis," had the arduous task of trying to wrap up (or leave us wanting more of) every single story line thus far. This was even more painstaking due to the fact that last week focused on just one: The Battle of the Blackwater. But I have to say, this episode was pretty freakin' fantastic.
Jon Snow is still with the wildings north of the Wall; Daenerys still needs to get her dragons; how will Arya fare after having her debt repaid; what is going to happen to Theon at Winterfell? There really is so much going on, and I for one am saddened yet excited to see this final chapter of A Clash of Kings.
So, read on for some massive spoilers, and yet again, I'll try to keep the book/show comparisons to a minimum. Then we can start the countdown to season 3!
Wow, talk about a jam-packed episode! Here I thought they were going to leave Tyrion's fate until the beginning of next season -- he's in the first scene (and with that first shot of his opening eye, I suddenly thought I was rewatching Lost). It seemed that everything Tyrion has worked for has gone to hell, but at least he has Shae.
When Tywin, Tyrion's father, attends a formal ceremony to get credit for winning the battle, Sansa Stark learns she is free of Joffrey as he is now betrothed to Margarey Tyrell, Renly Baratheon's ex-wife, to secure their alliance. She's ecstatic at first, until Petyr Baelish reminds her that Joffrey can still do pretty much whatever he wants with her as the king. No such thing as a happy ending in Game of Thrones!
We also can't count out Melisandre & Stannis Baratheon quite yet. To the North, Theon Greyjoy is betrayed and loses Winterfell, but Bran & Rickon Stark manage to escape as the city burns. Their brother Robb Stark & Lady Talisa get married, but remember, back in the day, Robb was betrothed to one of the Frey's daughters to gain control of a bridge. Oops. Also, Jaqen H'ghar says farewell to Arya, giving her a coin and the phrase "Valar Morghulis" in case she needs to find him again. Then his face magically changes as he saunters off. What's up with that!
As an aside, don't Brienne and Jaime Lannister make the best odd couple ever? They're both badasses in their own, um, special ways. I'd be pretty content with a show featuring just the two of them.
Whew, I told you this was a jam-packed episode.
Anyway, then we catch up with Daenerys in the House of the Undying to get her dragons, which she does successfully, after asking her dragons to burn the crap out of a warlock. (And wow! Drogo cameo FTW.) Finally, let's not forget about Jon Snow. Poor Jon is provoked into killing Qhorin Halfhand, but then gains the trust of the wildings (Dances With Wolves/Avatar/The Last Samurai all come to mind at this point). Ygritte, who like the rest of us can't stop lusting after Jon, takes him to meet the king beyond the Wall.
And then, at the Wall, in the final scene, we get the major tease for next season. Cheerful, fat Samwell, going on about Gilly (still) to his comrades, hears what they were taught to always dread: three long blasts of a horn. What does that mean? The Others are coming! All Sam can do is hide and sob as an army of the undead slowly march on the Wall. And. It's. Over.
All I can say is, those last few minutes made me almost forget what happened the hour before. They had seemed like nothing more than an afterthought in the previous episodes. But now we have zombie kings! Zombie horses! Zombie armies! Looks like this war of Westeros will become far more complex against this seemingly invincible force that soon may threaten them all.
What was your favorite (and least favorite) part of the season finale of Game of Thrones?
Image via HBO