So it was was hard to imagine what could follow such an epic precursor to the finale. What we were treated to were a number of entertaining updates to several of this season's most intense arcs. And, in the end, the stage was set this week on "Mhysa" for a very exciting fourth season.
The Starks are down, but certainly not out of the game. Thanks to Samwell, Bran and his crew's odds of surviving north of the Wall improved dramatically, but the daunting reality that awaits them still looms heavily. With their quest taking a major step toward danger, it was nice to have Hodor provide a little levity. Did seeing the gentle giant amuse himself with his own echo remind anyone else of the scene where Sloth did the same in Goonies?
Back at The Twins, the banquet hall had emptied out, but the floor was still covered in Stark blood as Walder Frey sat at his table and gloated. Apparently he never heard the tale of the Rat Cook, which Bran recounted to his mates. Walder killed not just one, but a host of guests under his own roof. I can only imagine what the gods have in store for him. They most likely won't need to intervene, though, as there won't be any shortage of Northerners looking for revenge... including, Arya, Bran, Jon Snow and Blackfish, who I was happy to learn escaped and was not part of the plot.
Arya and Bran are young still, but growing up fast. Bran reminisced about enjoying scary stories when he was a child, as if it was a lifetime ago. Meanwhile, Arya got blood on her hands for the first time, stabbing one of the men responsible for desecrating her brother's body in what was perhaps the best scene of the episode. Arya looked bent on revenge as she rubbed the coin given to her by Jaqen and muttered "valar morghulis."
Arya wasn't the only sister with vengeance on her mind as Asha Greyjoy put together a crack squad and set off to rescue her little brother. I loved her devotion to family, but there might not be much of Theon left to rescue if Ramsay continues his sadistic ways. The scene of him eating the sausage was so morbid yet amusing at the same time. He is a despicable character, but I could not help but laugh at some of the things he said as he toyed with his captive audience.
I shouldn't make jokes. My mother taught me not to throw stones at cripples. But my father taught me, aim for their head. | permalink
I wonder if his mother feels the same way about her children as Cersei does. The conversations between Tyrion and his sister never fail to deliver and here was no exception. Tyrion learned he was almost sent to "sleep with the fishes" as a newborn and Cersei's son announced his plans to serve up Robb Stark's head to Sansa, moments before challenging his grandfather's legacy to his face. So yes, while it might not be easy to be drunk all the time, I can't blame them for trying.
It was nice to see Tyrion and Sansa getting along better. I agree, for everyone's sake, Shae needs to go - but Tyrion should drink a little more liquid courage and tell her himself.
I myself had to raise a glass to Davos for his great performance this week. He did the right thing by setting Gendry free and delivered some very funny moments while doing so. Cheers to Melisandre also for intervening and convincing Stannis to spare his old friend's life despite his deceit. I loved how Gendry made no excuses for walking straight into her trap. Amidst all these high borns, it was nice to see the two natives of Flea Bottom connect like they did. In setting Gendry free, Davos got to give him the chance to live the life his son never got to.
Ygritte reconnected with Jon Snow just long enough to put three arrows into him. I still think there's hope for these two, but man she looked pissed and deservedly so I guess.
After losing two key players last week, I don't think I could have taken losing Jon or anyone else for that matter. Not this soon at least. So thankfully Jon made it home to his brothers of the Night's Watch. I even felt for Jamie as he returned to his home only to be dismissed as a commoner. The look on Cersei's face when she saw him spoke volumes. The King Slayer is no more. Jamie may not have lost his manhood in quite the same way Theon did, but he won't ever be whole again on the inside or outside.
So many characters have fallen from greatness this season, which is why I think I have enjoyed Khaleesi's rise to power so much. But, man, was my heart pounding as she ventured out into that crowd of people at Yunkai. She is a beacon of light in a world plagued with so much darkness. With the impending evil coming from north of the wall, mankind will need to rely on Dany and others like her to unite the kingdoms against a common but most unusual foe.
Looking ahead, I think the thing I am most looking forward to next season is seeing Joffrey get what he deserves. What did you like most about this season and what do you most hope to see in Season 4?