A strong ending to a strong season of Game of Thrones. From the great speech, to the stunning justice given out by Mother of Dragons, this served us nicely, while leaving us counting the days until the show's triumphant return.
It's very rare that you can call a series "epic" anymore, but it fits here. So would "dense," "smart," "addictive" and And the best of Game of Thrones could be ahead of it, which is inspiring and impressive.
In season two's last episode, King's Landing gets a thorough update that includes a new Hand of the King, a new Queen for Joffrey, and a new alliance for Sansa. On much bigger scale, however, are Daenerys' dragons making for fiery tumult in the city of Qarth, Samwell Tarly encountering well-disposed white walkers on his little nature hike, and just by the way, Winterfell burning down. Now that explains the additional ten minutes for "Valar Morghulis".
Things are quickly back to normal for most of King's Landing's residents and Joffrey is all love, peace and harmony when naming his gramps Tywin the new Hand of the King who is as cool about that as his horse is about defecating right in the Red Keep. Right afterwards, Ser Loras Tyrell had the impudence to propose his ambitious sister Margaery to the King and that unpredictable tike just dropped Sansa and decided to wed Renly's widow. You know, that reckless "whatever" attitude young people have nowadays. Sansa, apparently not that overwhelmed by The Hound's offer to take her back to Winterfell in "Blackwater", now has the next guy volunteering for a ride to her home Petyr Baelish, new Lord of Harrenhal (oh right, Joffrey disposed that as well). I'm not entirely sure how the girl is going to decide since Littlefinger does seem a bit creepy when he's subliminally incorporating his lusting for her mother every time he talks to Sansa.
In less splendid chambers, Tyrion wakes up with nah, you didn't expect that Grand Maester Pycelle standing in front of his bed. That mendacious old fellow whose talking pace is about one word every five seconds is feeling really great when fooling Tyrion in the same way Tyrion fooled him earlier this season. Varys and Shae too get to spend time with the scarred imp, who is understandably not too happy about his current situation. I'm still not sure if I should buy the emotions between Peter Dinklage and Sibel Kekilli though, that just doesn't really seem genuine to me.
In entirely unrelated business, the episode's gibberish title is thankfully defined it's a phrase that the faceless joker Jaqen H'ghar made up just for kicks so Arya could find him. I've loved every single interaction between Maisie Williams and Tom Wlaschiha and their farewell in this episode (or is it?) is outstanding. That's not applicable for Jaqen's new face, however. Couldn't that guy find anything more attractive in Harrenhal's second-face-shop? It was definitely a great effect, though.
Stannis Baratheon hasn't finished cursing everything there is since his last scene in "Blackwater" and now sees the Red Priestess Melisandre as the culprit. The two share not only some interesting dialog but also fully clothed S&M fun on the most dangerous level. Once that's done, Stannis finds new inspiration in the flames and it seems as if the grouchy claimant to the throne isn't done with fighting yet.
Now to the absolutely stunning stuff "Valar Morghulis" had in store: at first there's little Theon getting angry about his unwinnable position, but then he regains his self-confidence in a war speech that I actually found not bad, only to be betrayed by his own men. Well, that really wasn't the best season for Theon. Same goes for Bran and Rickon who relinquish their hideout, only to discover that their actual home is not really there anymore. So are the Greyjoy troops, miraculously gone with the wind, and Maester Luwin, suffering from a fatal wound in the Godswood. And even though he was never a very big character, Luwin's passing is extraordinarily touching and I feel that I'll miss his wise monologues in future seasons.
The best parts are saved up for the final quarter of an hour, namely the Daenerys and Jon Snow storylines. Say what you will about their scenes in season two so far (I personally reckon them to be outstanding), but how everything turns out for them in this episode is undeniably perfect. Daenerys gets more screen time than ever as she is put into a dream-like state in Pyat Pree's House of the Undying and enters three jaw-dropping venues. As Jason Momoa returns with their son, a new apex is reached in terms of how awesome a scene can be while still having subtitles, and her reconnoitering a snowy version of the Throne Room had visuals too amazing to describe in words. But no, best part of the episode is still not reached and the Khaleesi is back to the real world and meets the aforementioned scary warlock who is, to his detriment, unaware of the fact that dragons can spit fire and dies one off the greatest deaths in the series. You go, Daenerys' dragons! Not enough of them still, and after the bogus King of Qarth whose name is clearly too long to write out gets locked up for death in his own, sadly empty, treasury together with Doreah (her dishonesty is only a surprise if you haven't watched the Blu-Ray Easter Eggs), the Mother of Dragons walks off with her three children (her words, not mine) on her shoulders, which is almost too cool to watch, seriously.
But no, the episode's apex is still not reached and it also isn't Jon Snow killing Qhorin Halfhand (say wat) in the show's most touching, yet also most flawless swordfight. The first view of Mance Rayder's abode comes quite close to the top on my "The 50 best things in Valar Morghulis" list, but it really is the final shot that makes "Valar Morghulis" the second best Game of Thrones episode until that point (I ultimately prefer "Winter Is Coming" even though not a single person on Earth agrees with me). The White Walkers approaching the Fist of the First Men is mind-blowingly good and one of the best zombie scenes in TV and also movie history. Left-alone Sam (he is quite a klutz, admittedly) seeing all of this in indescribable awe enhances the intensity additionally and then he sees him: the White Walker on a dead horse (a White Warmblood, right?), which is the shot that spread all over the internet. Understandably, considering it's just freaking awesome. So is most of the rest of this episode. It's not perfect, but it's damn close to it and it did a fantastic job in making me excited for season number three.
...won't you spare Winterfall another year. But what is this, that Sam can see with ice cold hands taking hold of him. When summer is gone and winter takes hold, who will have mercy on Daenery's soul.
Oh, Valar morghulis, death is thy name. It doesn't respect anyone, it doesn't even respect horses. Death can be as cold as the white walkers, it could be as merciful as maester Luwin's, it could even be a gift - like Jaqen would put it - a gift Osha has learnt to give, a gift Jaqen taught Arya to wish, a wish Jon offers to the Half Hand, a gift as cruel as Theon & Joffrey can be.
For the Undying, Death is nothing but the first step into another journey, as Khal Drogo tries to explain Daenery holding their son in his arms. A journey some must make together, a journey sometimes we must make alone. Until the sun rises in the west and sets in the east, Daenerys, mother of Dragons, sets on a journey of her own, one that may take a long, long while to reunite her with her sun and stars. For there's only one thing we say to death on this show and that is: "Not Today".
I am enjoying the tv series and looking forward to season 3, but...
Having read the books, I am dissapointed when the tv series does not keep true to it. The fall of Winterfell just didn't make sense, maybe it will be explained in season 3 hopefully, but it made it look like the Ironborn surrendered and then the north men came in and ransacked Winterfell or did the Ironborn burn it as they left (not a good move if you're surrendering). And now the whole Reek story line is in danger of being lost, and this was more plausable and really could have been included easily in a few minutes of footage. Although funny I would have left out Theons speech and kept the original version.
The Daenerys storyline I just find a bit confusing, this is not how I remember it from the Books, and its getting a bit long winded.
Jon Snow and Qhorin Halfhand it took 3 or 4 scenes to try explain what Qhorin was intending, and was done a lot better in the book (Jon if we're taken by the wildlings do whatever it takes to convince them you're a turncloak, that's an order).
And yes I aggree 10 episodes is too few to try and cram it all in.
But I wont complain too much or like all the other good shows the next season will get cancelled. Keep the episodes coming!
Valar Morghulis was a superb season two finale of Game of Thrones though I feel some parts could have been better. I really enjoyed watching because the episode covered the story lines of almost all the characters in some way. Certain scenes definitely made me feel and there were some great character moments through out. I loved how Jaime and Brienne interacted and she showed him just how bad a$$ she can be! Arya received an interesting offer from
Jaqen H'ghar. Jon Snow fights for his life and prepares to meet the King beyond the wall, and those scenes were great. Rob makes some hasty decisions not knowing his home has been burnt to a crisp while Bran and his brother suffer another loss. Tyrion had a great scene as Lord Varys bids him farewell and give him some bad news. Shea really made the day better and I was tingling with emotion when she declared herself to him. Stannis confronts Melisandre and they have rekindled their connection after looking into the flames. The best parts for me, as always, were the scenes with Daeneryus. It was awesome how she entered the tower by herself and went through the enchantments laid out by the Warlocks of the House of Undying. There was a ton of symbology and magic. I loved how confident she is and when she finally found her Dragons it was the best thing ever! I can't go on enough about how awesome it was when she talked with them and they planned their escape together. She also reestablished fear for those who would betray or use her. Sam gets left behind and witnesses the White Walkers and their undead army marching towards the wall. It was so scary when it looked at him, but decided he wasn't a threat and kept moving. It's scream was eerie and makes me want more. This episode really covered whats happening in the world. I loved how it all tied together as well. The small details really made this episode fantastic! I look forward to the next season!!!!!!!!! I can't get enough!
This is the first episode I have reviewed after reading the books. And tbh, while the show usually is just as good, if not better, as the source material, this episode really falls hard. Several great moments from the books are just not here, or rushed:
1. Theon's loss of Winterfell (was very clumsy)
2. Winterfell Burning (who did it? why didn't Luwin explain? Why skip Bran's line at the end?)
3. House of Undying (Warlocks intentions were unclear. Zaro's vault was obvious.)
4. Jon's storyline. (they RUINED the Qhorin storyline. And besides, new viewers had no clue what was happening.
As always, there were many good moments (Tyrion was brilliant, as usual) but overall it wasn't a great episode.
Heh, do you remember when baby Dragons were our biggest WTF moment on this show? Or that one time when a red-head gave birth to a shadow demon thingy? I really shouldn't be shocked at this stage in the game, however, having not read the books, when a weird-ass snow creature that looks like Gandalf on his worst day, pretty much ever, leads a horde of zombies to battle, it sort of it gives moment for pause.
I mean, considering how swiftly characters move around on this show, the white walkers should be at King's Landing before you can spit. And given that this show looks absolutely stunning at any given moment, I'm all kinds of super excited for season three. I'm not sure how these undead, abominable snowmen will wager against Dany and her super cute, but totally willing to burn you alive, (sort of) offspring, but that fact that it's a likely showdown is just all kinds of geeky fun.
Outside of all of the crazy, we still had - NO, WAIT! And then there was what's-his-face! Who could change his facial form. I mean, what? And he has a magical coin! I can sort of see why season 1 was so tame, until the very last episode. Cos if they had waved magical coins, fire gods and frost giants at casual, non-genre folk, I doubt they'd have nabbed as many viewers.
But we're literally in it too deep now. So they could throw leprechauns and sock monsters our way all they want. (Actually, no leprechauns.)
As for the rest of the episode, it was packed with events that will make all of the human drama just as compelling as the supernatural stuff next year. But, then again, who am I kidding? Cos them dragons be badass.
Although, I have to admit, that there weren't as many emotional hooks for a finale. (Or maybe I'm just cold-hearted.) Tyrion's teary back and forth with his misses was touching, and I absolutely LOVED seeing Drogo again (and that stunning image of Dany walking through a decimated King's Landing), and I felt pretty terrible for Sansa's new role next season, but this finale lacked a certain emotional edge. But then maybe I'm full of shit? Maester Luwin bit the dust, taking a spear to the gut (suck it, Oblivion!) and Brienne's scene s were just all kinds of awesome. And the very hint of Arya becoming even more of a badass is just too good.
I think I'm just a little fuzzy on the details of this episode cosI just saw frosty the effin' snowman ride a zombie-horse like nobodies business.
was good. couldve been better if this were 12 episodes so u wouldnt have 2 omit/change much d story line. where are d frogmen? dat was it 4 d battle in kings landing? just lyk last season at d freys? theon just went down dat way? & u had those white walkers now walk slow but in pilot episode we thought they were like the Predators! U ok w/ diss Mr.Martin?!
A lot of ground had to be covered in this episode due to the singular focus of last week's epic episode but luckily it was extended offering this week. Tyrion awakens to find himself maimed from the battle and has been removed as the King's Hand with Tywin taking his slot and taking the credit for the victory. Oh and Pycelle's visiting of Tyrion was cold as ice as he gave him the coin and didn't even feign senility like he normally does. Shae and Varys visit him and console him but he is told that can't be seen with Varys in public anymore but that his legacy of leading the battle will be remembered. Shae says that they should go to Pentos and run away but Tyrion confesses that outsmarting people in this climate is the only thing he's ever excelled at and that makes him happy. In court Margaery Tyrell and Loras are given rewards for their saving of King's Landing. Margaery asks to be queen but Joffrey says that he took the sacred vow to marry Sansa but Pycelle says that Ned Stark's betrayal unsealed the vow according to holy septon so the two are to be wed and Sansa is out of that regard. Littlefinger approaches her and tells her that she is not out of the woods and can still be Joffrey's mistress with bastards fathered in her and rapes and all sorts of violence and he vows to get her home because a liar as bad as her couldn't survive the climate of King's Landing. Daenerys goes to the House of the Undying with Jorah and one of bloodriders and when they circle the pyramid she vanishes within while Jorah calls out her name confused as to what's happening. She grabs a torch and walks through an illusionary wonderland where she encounters Drogo and her son Rhaego and they have a heartfelt scene about what they mean to each other. But she ultimately hears her dragons calling to her and leaves and encounters Pyat Pree in a chamber with the dragons bound in chains. He claims that since the red comet his magic is stronger than ever when he is near the dragons and they are stronger with him so his magic will be most powerful with her locked up with them. Just when he is about to chain her up till the end of time she tells her dragons "Drakaris" which is the fire word is old Valyrian those that don't know and Pyat Pree is burned to a crisp but this was iffy because wouldn't he be like "what's she saying?" Maybe he could've at least suspected that she was planning on making the dragons use their fire in some way but instead he just looked dumbfounded until he was extra crispy. I saw how they minimalized the scope of the scene from the books but the Undying of Qarth was supposed to be ancient sorcerers who resided in the House of the Undying and showed Daenerys visions. The real scene stealer was when her and her khalasar visit Xaro in his bed with Doreah (still alive) who had been sleeping with the enemy. They take his necklace and with Jorah holding them at sword-point Dany opens the vault where all of his supposed riches are. The vault is empty just like all of his promises to her had truly been. Clearly there had been an alliance made between Pyat Pree and Xaro to make him rich and King of Qarth with the dragons and whatnot. But just like they wanted to in the first place they take all of the gold and jewelry from Xaro's estate (after having locked him and Doreah in the unbreakable-into vault much to my satisfaction) and say that it is enough to buy a small ship meaning it's time to leave Qarth and venture to Westeros. Jaime and Brienne run across three hookers who had serviced Lannister soldiers and are hanging by trees. Brienne says that she'll stop to bury them but she is interrupted by the three northmen who did the foul deed and when one gets a little too inquisitive of Jaime's identity and name Brienne kills them all and kills the last one slowly and painfully. I hope we get to see more of Brienne and Jaime his cattiness and her sympathy for violence against women creates a great dynamic between them especially how honor bound and by the book she is to Jaime's couldn't-care-less attitude. Robb marries the woman he had sex with after Catelyn warned him about his oath to marry a daughter of Walder Frey and that he is not a man you want to cross. The fallout will surely been seen next spring since you don't just back out of letting a lesser family marry into a kingly family like that without significant repercussions. What's interesting is that Robb and her wedding ceremony takes place with the vows of the Seven and not the Old Gods like his father's which is contrary to what you think he would want to do with his wedding since he is the King In the North. Being youthful and reckless is a bad combination Robb, dangit. Jon is being transported to see Mance Rayder in his camp along with Quorhin Halfhand but before they can get there to establish Jon's cover to join the Wildlings Quorhin breaks free of his bonds and attacks Jon calling him a traitor and a bastard. The wildlings say to let the two of them fight and Jon is given a sword and they have a rather entertaining back and forth with Quorhin taunting him all the way. He leaves himself open after a swing (and the real sell is Jon's hesitation before plunging the sword up into Quorhin's body) that was his tell that he didn't want to do it but had too. Quorhin's last words served as a reminder of Jon's loyalites as he says the Night's Watch words: "We are the watchers on the Wall." Seeing Mance Rayder's camp on the horizon along with the impending White Walker attack with a zombie horse none the less was really well staged and gave us a climactic bit to end on until next fall. Arya gets a visit from Jaqen after having escaped Harrenhal. He tells her he is a Faceless Man of Braavos (mentioned in Season 1 by Littlefinger when Robert wants to hire and assassin to kill Daenerys and Viserys Targaryen). He says that he can come with her but she says that she has to find Robb, Catelyn, and even Sansa. He gives her a coin and a phrase to say to any Braavosi should she ever choose to come to Braavos and learn the trade "Valar Morghulis." He changes his face into another form entirely and leaves. But the winning scene for me was Stannis brooding over his defeat and chastising Melisandre, even going so far as to choke her and ask, "Where is your God now?" Her showing him the flames and making him understand that to take the Iron Throne he will have to betray everything and everyone he knows and sacrifice thousands of lives to get the crown even though the majority of his military power is dead and only a small fraction remains, him having clearly escaped last week. Stannis is a hard guy, but his admission of guilt for killing Renly, his own brother, and not having won the throne even made the deed so much more dreadful in his eyes because he did it to win the throne and now he doesn't even have the ends to justify the means he took. The conflict will clearly continue with Stannis seeking the throne. A lot to look forward to next season and Sam is finally thrown to the wolves (pun intended) to the white walkers and hopefully the battle at the fist of the first men will be epic or at least touched upon a little bit. Also, I wanna see Bronn again and see what became of him rather than just mentioning him as being replaced as commander of the city watch. The good news is that with the next two seasons being the third book a lot less will be left out of the saga and us book readers will feel less crammed by the confines of ten episode for nine hundred pages of raw material and an excess of characters to focus on story wise. Can't wait till next April, but True Blood starts next week so there's plenty more HBO to savor until then.
At the start of this season, I had my doubts about where this show would go. As the season went on and continued to veer away from the story structure of the books, my doubts only increased. However, after watching this episode, I have been fully reassured that the series will never steer to far out of sight of George R. R. Martin's original pipe dream, and that almost all changes in the future will be tasteful and plot-sensitive.
Although I was somewhat troubled by the series' decision to kill off Pyat Pree (In the books Daenerys kills off the rest of the warlocks but leaves Pyat, who swears revenge against her), I loved Ian Hanmore's portrayal of the character, who seems creepier and more cognizant then ever. This episode also gives us a far more vivid glimpse of the powers of illusion one achieves after consumption of the warlock's elixir, the foul Shade of the Evening.
Then there's Xaro. Good old clever, scheming, infamously ambitious Xaro. Throughout the series, he has only strayed further and further from the gay, clever pretty boy Martin portrays in the books. Instead, he is a buff giant of a Summer Islander who loves women and steals the throne of Qarth (!!!) from the hands of the Thirteen. Ultimately, however, the character is still the same ruthless bastard. At his essence, Xaro Xoan Daxos is nothing more then a king sitting on a towering throne of illusion, and he teaches Daenerys a priceless lesson: bluffing and deciet can get you a throne, but only with fear can you keep it.
Qarth itself has been greatly changed by the television series, simplified and compounded into a neat little representation of the complicated mess it is in the books. Instead of three governing bodies, there is one. The House of the Undying is (apparently) ruled only by Pyat and his illusions, assumedly because Pyat, who is every bit as ambitious as Xaro, killed the true Undying long ago. Although the city of Qarth falls decidedly flat, Pyat and Xaro give us a good glimpse of what Martin intended the city to represent: a thriving metropolis built on lies and deceit. Qarth is like Xaro's vault: impenetrable, mysterious and intimidating, yet filled with hot air.
At last, we have arrived at the final scene, and oh what a scene it was! At last, after all this anticipation, we get to see a -HOLY SH*T! IS THAT A WHITE WALKER?? JESUS F*CKING CHRIST THAT THING LOOKS LIKE A MUTANT FROST TROLL ON ACID.
Everything about these walking extensions of the Great Other are terrifying. For starters, despite their name, these f*ckers don't walk. They ride solemn white zombie steeds and howl at their wight thralls like a Nazgl on crack. For me, at least, this scene was the crowning moment of the entire episode. When the WW gazes at Sam, his undead mount's mouth churning mechanically with the vestiges of death and the mangled corpses of long-dead wildlings shuffling about him, I felt as if his foul gaze would freeze time itself.
When I looked into that abomination's cold blue eyes, I knew that this episode offers something A Clash of Kings never did: within that gaze, I saw a glimpse at the Great Other himself, the single hivemind which drives the Armies of Night and Winter against the Red God R'hllor and his champions of Light.
With this final climactic close, the second season of this remarkable show comes to an abrupt and lamentable end, but I cannot tell you how much I await next spring. I can tell that the writers of the show worked hard with Martin to tackle the book series' incredibly intricate plot, some of which seemed simply impossible to interpret into a visual media. From here on, however, the series only gets murkier. Plots are woven into plots are woven into plots and then fray apart like torn embroidery. Crazy events crucial to the story line occur at every corner of Westeros, Essos, and ultimately even Sothoryos simultaneously. Main characters die at the blink of an eye to be replaced by new characters who themselves die at the blink of an eye, until the cast swells beyond sense or reason.
How will the show accomplish the feats of the book series? Can we even fathom the possibility that such a complicated plot can be put on the big screen without becoming condensed? Although we must wait many years to find out the answers to these questions, one thing is for certain: seeing Daenerys shitting her guts out into the Dothraki Sea while hallucinating that her dead brother is trying to kill her will make for one hilarious scene.
If Blackwater was amazing, this one surpass that and set the pace for next season. Fire from the sea and dead walker from the north, wonder where geoffrey gonna run this time. Cerci will regret taking side of margaery. Feeling sorry for tyrion after all the work he did and took a mean scar on the face, finds himself without allies. we should give theon a break, all he wanted to prove himself but kept doing things, he wasn't suppose to do. Danries finally acted like khalessi and was badass in this episode. Hopefully, Jon story will pick up next season with all the white walker ready for battle. Wonder what stannis saw in the fire, this is one thing stopping me to read book. Dont want to spoil the fun and mix book with TV. All in all wonderful episode and seriously producer should extend the episode in each season.
This was, as the title says, a great wrap up. It let you know how people stand and gives the idea of what will happen in the next season. If anything I would say that this is a great bonus as the previous episode was truly what the second season was building towards. And then to see the absolute ending with Sam... That will have me wondering all summer long. Overall I enjoyed this and am glad to say that this is hands down the best show on television at present.
NO SPOILERS AHEAD. What a perfect way to finish a season right? Those who watched it will understand the title.This episode was amazing from beggining to end. It can't get better than this. I haven't read the books so every scene is a mistery to me and that's what makes it so much more excting in my opinion. I'll read the books one day though. Can't wait for Season 3! Winter is Coming!
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