While not as exciting as the previous episode, this Game of Thrones finale delivered. Lots of sad, funny, and fist-pump inspiring moments. The end made me teary-eyed. Let’s jump into the recap….
The After Party
Roose Bolton looks down on the carnage that has resulted from The Red Wedding. The fight isn’t as one-sided as it was last week – we see the north men fighting back – but they’re obviously losing. The Hound has Arya slumped in his lap on a horse. He smartly grabs a Frey banner so as not to get caught up in the fighting.
As Arya comes to, she sees Frey’s men marching and chanting “Here comes the King in the North” as Robb’s body is atop a horse. His head is missing and has been replaced with Grey Wind’s head. The Hound rides off as Stark banners burn.
Getting To Know You
We’re treated to a nice scene of Tyrion and Sansa taking a walk, laughing, and getting along. You know this won’t last long. Stark happiness never does. Of course, Pod shows up and delivers the news that Tywin has called a small council meeting.
Joffrey Is Feeling Himself
The council meeting has obviously already started because everyone knows the news that Tyrion is about to learn via a cryptic letter from Walder Frey: Robb and Catelyn Stark are dead. Joffrey is positively giddy. He wants Robb’s head sent to him so he can serve it to Sansa at his wedding feast. Everyone shuts that idea down as sick, stupid,and just plain douchey. Cersei tries to apologize for Joffrey, saying he was just kidding. Joffrey doubles down. Tyrion tells him Sansa is no longer his to torment. When Joffrey calls Tyrion a monster, Tyrion reminds him that he is a monster and kings are dying like flies lately. You can practically see the steam rise from Joffrey’s evil little head.
He explodes on everyone, including Tywin, accusing his grandfather of hiding at Casterly Rock while Robert Baratheon won the war. Tywin shuts him down with a long stare and suggests that Joffrey might want to take his tired, cranky ass to bed. But it’s still light outside! Tywin also suggests that Maester Pycelle give Joffrey the Westerosi equivalent of Benadryl to sleep.
When everyone leaves, Tyrion expresses his disapproval over the events of The Red Wedding and warns that the North will never forget. Tywin justifies his actions, admitting that he backed Walder Frey and that’s what gave him and Roose Boltons the balls to turn on Robb. He says that killing a dozen people at dinner is more noble than allowing 10,000 to die in war. He totally turned that around and tried to justify the massacre, but Tyrion isn’t buying it. Tywin once again warns Tyrion that he must get Sansa pregnant to secure their hold over the north. Until their son is of age, Roose Bolton has been named Warden of the North.
Tywin says that the house that puts family first will always win over the house that fancies the whims of its sons and daughter – obviously meaning that he doesn’t care what makes Cersei and Tyrion happy, they will marry and bear children with whomever he chooses if it makes the Lannisters stronger. Tyrion points out it’s easy for Tywin to take that attitude when he’s the one making the decisions and demands to know when Tywin ever had to make a sacrifice for family. Tywin says he did so the day Tyrion was born. He wanted to drown him, but didn’t because Tyrion is a Lannister. Whoa.
Tyrion returns to his quarters where he finds Sansa has been crying. She knows her mother and brother are dead.
Bran, Hodor, and the Reeds make camp for the night in an abandoned castle along The Wall. Bran tells the story of a cook at that castle who killed a king’s son when the king was visiting and then served the king the son in a meal. Bran says the cook’s real crime was murdering a guest under his roof. It’s just not done in Westeros; the gods cannot forget that. Speaking of which…
Frey Boasts Over Breakfast and Blood
While Walder Frey enjoys breakfast, his servants clean up the blood on the floor of the banquet hall. He and Roost Bolton pat each other on the back for the massacre. Walder Frey now owns The Twins and Riverrun. We learn that Edmure spent his wedding night in a dungeon and Blackfish Tully escaped. Now that Roose is Warden of the North, Walder asks whether or not he’ll move to Winterfell. Roose says not yet since it’s in ruins. Then Walder wants to know what really happened at Winterfell. Roose admits that he sent his bastard to deliver Robb Stark’s terms to the Iron Born: give up Theon and he’ll pardon them all and let them go home to Pyke. They turned over Theon to his bastard, but instead of giving him to Robb (who they were already planning to betray), his bastard did things his own way. Cut to…
Theon’s tormentor, now identified as Ramsay Snow, Roose’s bastard, is enjoy a sausage covered in sauce. He taunts Theon for a moment, making him think he’s eating Theon’s penis which was cut off a few episodes ago. Thankfully, it’s just pork sausage. Whew! Theon begs to be killed, but Ramsay says they still need Theon. However, he gives Theon a new name: Reek.
Sam Meets Bran
While Bran and crew sleep, Sam and Gilly arrive. Bran lets slip that his brother is in The Night’s Watch and Sam figures out that his brother is Jon Snow. He offers to do anything in his power to help Bran because of his allegiance to Jon. Bran asks for help getting to the other side of The Wall. Sam ain’t about that life.
You’ve Got Mail
Balon Greyjoy receives a letter from Ramsay Snow, ordering him to call all of his men home or he’ll flay them like the 20 men he found at Winterfell – so, now we know what happened to them as well. As Balon reads, Yara opens a box, also from Ramsay, and it holds Theon’s penis. Balon is not going to give in. He doesn’t care what happens to Theon. Well, Yara is like fuck that. She says she’s going to take their fastest ship, their 50 best killers, and she’s going to storm the Dreadfort and get her brother back.
Before Sam parts ways with Bran and crew, he gives them the black weapons he found at The Fists of the First Men, the only thing known to kill White Walkers. He warns them that it’s very dangerous – and kinda crazy – to go out there, and once again tries to convince them to go with him to Castle Black instead, but Bran is adamant that he must go find that damn three-eyed raven.
I’m Just Like You… Only, Not Locked Up
Davos pays Gendry a visit in his cell. They bond over the fact that Davos is also from Flea Bottom. Davos wants to know why Gendry was in such a hurry to trust Melisandre. He says he’d never been with a woman and there she was: big words and no clothes. If Melisandre was high born, I bet that would be her house motto. Anyway, this is a great convo where Davos explains why he decided to serve Stannis – to give his son a better life.
Shine Bright Like a Diamond
Varys meets with Shae and tells her that she’s a good influence on Tyrion, and he knows they truly love each other, but she should leave. Tyrion is one of the few people who can do good for the realm, but Shae puts him in danger. He gives her a satchel of diamonds and advises her to sale to another city and start a new life. She tosses his diamonds back and says if Tyrion wants her gone, he can tell her himself. Yeah, Varys! Shae isn’t some whore you can just buy off!
Lannister Sibling Bonding That Doesn’t Involve Nudity
Cersei visits Tyrion, who is totally wasted. She says she’s not going to marry Loras and advises Tyrion to hurry up and get Sansa pregnant so she can have something happy to focus on. She reminisces over baby Joffrey and how sweet he was before he grew up to be a total asshole. When Tyrion asks how long this all can go on, Cersei responds, “Until we’ve dealt with all of our enemies.” Tyrion points out that every time they deal with one enemy, they create two more. Aaaand….
The Hound and Arya ride by four Frey men who are sitting around a fire on the side of the road. One is making fun of the scream Catelyn made before she died and then claims to be one of the men who sewed Grey Wind’s head on Robb’s body. Arya hops down off the horse and approaches the men. She asks if she can sit by the fire with them and eat. They tell her to fuck off, but she gets a better reception when she offers up the coin Jaqen gave her in the season two finale. When one of the Freys tries to take it from her, she drops it on purpose. He bends to retrieve it and Arya pulls a knife and stabs him numerous times in the neck. When the other men react, The Hound steps in and dispatches of the three quite easily. He takes Arya’s knife (which she admits she snagged from him, obviously looking for a chance to use it on him) and tells her that the next time she’s going to do something like that, she needs to tell him first. I love this team! When he asks her if that’s the first man she has killed she says, “The first man.” (We know she’s killed a boy before.) Since they’re there, The Hound makes himself comfortable around the fire to finish the dead men’s food. Arya picks up her coin and says, “Valar morghulis.”
They Are Never, Ever, Ever Getting Back Together
Jon Snow is cleaning his face wounds in a small pond when he senses someone is behind him. It’s Ygritte and she already has an arrow aimed at him. He tells her she knew who he was and it’s time for him to go home. He knows that they love each other, but he has to go home. Each word seems to break Ygritte’s heart even more. As he turns to get on his horse, she shoots an arrow into his back. She gets two more into him as he rides off. She watches him go in tears.
The Kid Is Not My Son
Sam and Gilly finally arrive at Castle Black. Sam tries to convince Maester Aemon that Gilly’s baby ain’t his. When she tells the old man the baby’s name is Sam, that doesn’t really help Sam’s case. He allows Gilly to stay to help with cooking and cleaning – you know, woman’s work – and tells Sam to write 44 letters. He needs to make sure their last 44 ravens are fed and ready to fly with the messages in the morning.
You’ve Got Mail, Again
Davos is reading the mail at Dragonstone, because that’s what Hands of the King do. He opens the letter from The Wall. Maester Aemon has written all the Lords of Westeros – or at the very least, 44 of them – pleading for assistance at The Wall because the White Walkers are coming. The bells begin to ring, which causes Davos to go see Stannis. He learns that Robb Stark is dead. Melisandre doesn’t take credit for it, but implies it is because of the leech burning ceremony. This convinces Stannis that Gendry must burn, despite Davos’ pleas to the contrary.
Davos, the most treasonous bastard in Westeros, frees Gendry, gives him a boat and tells him to set sail for Kings Landing. The gold cloaks don’t know his face and he’ll be safer there than anywhere else Melisandre might find him.
The Bastard Returns
Jon Snow arrives at Castle Black, seriously injured. Sam and Pip are happy to see him and bring him inside.
The Dark Knight Returns
Jaime arrives in Kings Landing and immediately goes to see Cersei. She’s happy to see him until she notices he’s missing a hand.
Poor Stannis. You can literally see his headache as Davos admits to setting Gendry free. He has no choice but to sentence Davos to death. Davos advises him against that. Hahahaha! He produces the letter from The Night’s Watch. Melisandre burns the letter and looks into the flames. She says The War of Five Kings means nothing now. The true war lies to the North where Stannis is needed. He’s the only one who can stop the White Walkers. He still wants Davos dead until Melisandre convinces him that Davos will have a part to play. Stannis chuckles and tells Davos that he has been saved by the fire god he likes to mock so much. He’s in his army now.
Daenerys and her people wait outside the gates of Yunkai. She wonders if the slaves will greet her as a liberator and accept her as their new queen. They finally open the gates and stand before her. She tells them that their freedom wasn’t hers to give, but theirs to take. The crowd begins to chant, “Mhysa, mhysa, mhysa,” which Missandei says means “mother.” Daenerys orders her dragons to fly and then approaches the former slaves. They lift her on their shoulders, all chanting, and looking for an opportunity to touch her. Jorah, Barristan, Daario, and Missandei look on in wonder.