In this week’s Game of Thrones podcast, John and Nina wonder how anyone could consider ‘The Watchers on the Wall’ a filler episode, much less find it boring or not like it. The Battle at Castle Black was a long time (nearly two seasons) coming, and it delivered. We saw a bunch of rapists, thieves, and ninth-born sons honor their vows to protect a realm that seems to have forgotten about them. Jon Snow becomes the leader we’ve always known he could be, and Sam finally asserts himself. Even the abrasive Alliser Thorne becomes someone you root for. Of course, facing off against giants, mammoth, wildlings, and Thenns means casualties and we lose a few members of the Night’s Watch who we’ve come to love: Pyp and Grenn.
Neil Marshall did an excellent job directing his second episode (his first was season two’s ‘Blackwater’), managing to capture the sheer scale of the battle in scenes that were, sometimes, breathtaking.