Game of Thrones Review: The Stark Reality

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Last week's "The Rains of Castamere" was easily the most discussed episode of Game of Thrones Season 3.

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.

Dany on the Finale

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? 


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (249 Votes)

when is the fourth season going to be out


Dany's story is boring. Well, she is boring too. Mother Theresa move along. I think Davos and Thoros are two of my favorite newer characters. I'd like to see more of Jamie and Brienne. She has helped him be a better man. Also love Arya and the Hound. I like Tywin's character in the show. He needs to spank Joffery. The season's need to be more than 10 episodes so they don't have to skimp on story lines.


Glad the sister stood up to him, but it might be too late for that ! Ramsay is a proper crazy guy. The show doesn't even do him "justice". Sure I laughed when at the same quote but still, it's disgusting...
That Frey, well, The Rat Cook curse ain't gonna cut it for him. He went even farther than that.


Man I loved EVERYTHING about this finale...except the ending : Dany. That scene felt like it didn't belong.
Davos, gosh I love the man ! It was really nice to see him and Gendry kinda bond. I hope the guy makes it though.
Arya, her future is definitely dark ! Wow, but after seeing your brother's body like that, who wouldn't go crazy.
Really enjoyed Sansa and Tyrion together. But the news about her family's fate kinda ruined that... I'm sure Joffrey couldn't wait to let her know. Freaking pig !
LOVED how Tywin put him in his place ! But the man is still despicable ! He does not waste a chance to get back at poor Tyrion !
Never understood how Sam could leave the blade after killing the wight walker, well now I get it ! He had more !!! He's finally home, so is Jon. Ygritte and him are sooo over !
Jamie finally got home too. But it felt weird...and uncomfortable... Can't wait to see him clean and shaven !
The Greyjoys... man that father is on the same level as Tywin ! Glad the sister stood up to him, but it might be too late for that !


I think the reason for the long break between seasons is to allow GRRM to write his books to prevent tv series catching up to the books.


After the last week intense episode finally kept things in even balance with all the major character updates. Love the Tyrion's reactions when Joffrey goes off with Tywin. Man that was an intense scene but watching Tyrion made it really fun.
Great Scenes with Dany as in the books she is facing a really hard time for her troubles. She comes off much better on tv.
Since I already read all the books the speculations made in the review from non-book reader perspective is enjoyable to read. Looking forward for the second part.


I liked how the finale subtly hinted at what is to come for many characters, Arya in particular. With such a long wait to see the new season, I’m glad I can always re-watch the third season again with my DISH Hopper. With my late work shift at DISH, I always record seasons of shows to make sure I don’t fall behind. It’s great that with 2,000 hours of storage space, I can keep some of my favorite seasons, and not run out of space for other shows.

C f ohara

@Richard you are right. I forgot about Arya killing the stable boy, but you have to admit this was different. She was defending herself against the stable boy and it was more of an accident. Her stabbing the soldier in the finale was more cold blooded. And I think you'd agree ordering people killed is different than looking them in the eye as you do it. But again, you are right and she even hinted at it when she answered Sandor that yes it was the first "man" she ever killed. Her latest murder marked a change though didn't it? We saw the first glimpse of what Melisandre saw when she looked into Arya's eyes. A killer through and through.

C f ohara

@nik I write these reviews. My name and picture are on them as opposed to you who essentially posts as anon. It seems like I missed "everything of importance" on the show? Really?
I do agree with your comment about Robb. He certainly put his own interests ahead of his family's and his people. There can be honor in war though. "Messy, unfair and bloody" does not make it dishonorable. There is honor in fighting for what you believe in. The difference with the Red Wedding was that the Stark's were brought there under false pretense. They were deceived and betrayed. That was not honorable. Soldiers marching into battle know what is on the line. Tywin is shrewd but I wouldn't go so far as to say he took the "moral high ground."


I thought this was a great episode, since there are so many storylines and characters to at least give an update. The letter for Greyjoy was great. The review mentioned Arya's hand finally getting dirty?? She killed a stableboy escaping Kings landing and basically ordered the execution of at least 4 others at Harrenhal. She is a killer, make no mistake of that. The show alters her story the most from the books, but brings it back in really good ways.

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Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 10 Quotes

It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it, if it were easy.

Tyrion Lannister

I shouldnt make jokes. My mother taught me not to throw stones at cripples. But my father taught me, aim for their head.

Ramsay Bolton