In the latest episode of Game of Thrones, Winter has finally come.
In Meereen, Dany sits in the Throne Room as she decides what to do with Jorah and Tyrion. She’s leaning more towards killing them both, but thankfully, Tyrion has a way with words. He convinces her that she needs him as an advisor, if he deems her worthy of his advice. Only Tyrion could say something like that. Dany, intrigued, asks Halfman what she should do with Jorah. Although Tyrion vouches for Jorah’s loyalty and love for his Queen, he advises her not to have him by her side. She banishes him from the city, leading Jorah to return to Yezzan zo Qazzag (Enzo Cilenti) who bought him at auction. Jorah wants to prove his loyalty once again, and asks to fight in the pits when they reopen.
In King’s Landing, Cersei has been brought down low, but is ever defiant. The Faith Militant want her to confess her sins before she can be released. But she refuses to do it, threatening the Septa Unella (Hannah Waddingham) who taunts her with ladles full of water. Later, Qyburn comes to visit her, giving Cersei news of her uncle Kevan Lannister’s arrival at King’s Landing. She asks Qyburn to have either her uncle or King Tommen visit her, but neither will come. Kevan, because he doesn’t want to and Tommen because he’s just a kid and has no idea what to do. Qyburn tells Cersei that there is a way out of her cell, meaning she should confess. But nope, not gonna happen. Cersei will not under any circumstances kneel before the High Sparrow and confess anything. Before he leaves, Qyburn tells Cersei that “the work continues,” meaning his experiments on The Mountain are ongoing. I can’t even imagine what the results will be when Ser Gregor is finally revealed.
Back in Meereen, Dany and Tyrion are sitting together having a bit of wine. Both are still feeling each other out, but learn they have much in common. Tyrion calls them both “two terrible children of two terrible fathers.” Dany, surprised at being called terrible, wonders aloud why Halfman would seek her out if he believes her so. He tells her because Varys believed in her and thought she should sit on the Iron Throne (where is Varys, by the way?). Khaleesi decides that she will not kill Halfman (thank the Seven) and wants him as her advisor. He begins his job by telling her to stay in Meereen and forget about pursing the Iron Throne. Dany wants to know why and he explains that none of the Houses of Westeros would support her, save maybe House Tyrell. Without a rich house to back her, she may as well forget being Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Blah, blah, blah is what Dany hears because she doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the Houses of Westeros. She’ll take the Iron Throne her way. “I’m not going to stop the wheel, I’m going to break the wheel.” With fire and blood, no doubt.
In the House of Black and White, Arya is spinning a tale about a young girl named Lana, who is the Someone Else Jaqen believes she can be. Lana is an oyster merchant with a ready smile and fresh merchandise. She’s stopped by a gambler Jaqen calls the “thin man.” This man likes taking money from people who need it most, one of whom has come to pray to the Many-Faced God. Lana’s job: study the Thin Man until she knows everything about him. Once she does, she is to give him a gift. Jaqen gives her a small bottle of liquid, which is probably the death water doled out to anyone ready to meet the Many-Faced God. But will Arya/Lana be able to carry out her buddy’s plan?
In the North, Theon/Reek brings food to Sansa, who this time is waiting for him. She wants to know why he told Ramsay about her plan to escape and he says he did it to save her. He tells her of what he endured when he tried to escape. Sansa doesn’t care and said if she could be like Ramsay, she would’ve done the same. Theon says that he deserves to be Reek after what he’s done to the Starks. When he mentions Bran and Rickon, he stops himself because he doesn’t want to reveal that the two Stark boys are alive. But Sansa pressures him and he confesses. The hope on her face was palpable and I pray it spurs her on to get the hell out of Winterfell. She tries to find out where her brothers have gone, but Reek has said too much and makes a run for it.
Elsewhere at Winterfell, the Boltons are strategizing about Stannis and his army. Papa Bolton thinks they should wait it out, since Stannis has no clue how to survive in the North. But hothead Ramsay wants to strike now, and requests twenty good men. I hope that cocky little psycho gets what’s coming to him and soon.
At Castle Black, Gilly is tending to Sam after the beatdown he received last week. Samwell is feeling a little shy after breaking his vows and getting his freak on with the young Wildling. They’re interrupted by Olly, Jon’s steward, who brings Sam some food. Gilly leaves the two alone and Olly seeks understanding as to why Jon wants to help save the Wildlings. Sam breaks it down to the young crow and says, “Sometimes a man has to make hard choices, choices that might look wrong to others, but you know are right in the long run.” Whether those words will placate young Olly remains to be seen.
And now comes one of the most intense battle scenes I’ve seen so far on Game of Thrones. Jon, Tormund and the rest are inching their way to Hardhome, where the remaining Wildlings are holed up. The men are met with icy stares and mucho attitude. The Lord of Bones (Ross O’Hennessy) meets them and proceeds to call Tormund out for being a traitor and possibly Jon’s boyfriend. Tormund doesn’t take too kindly to those words and proceeds to beat the crap out of the Lord of Bones. Afterwards, he drops his weapon like a boss and lets everyone know it’s time to meet so they can hear what Jon has to say.
Inside, Tormund and Jon meet with members of several Wildling clans to discuss what’s coming. The Long Winter (you know it’s bad when you have to use capital letters) is on its way and will bring with it the White Walkers aka the Army of the Dead. Jon has seen them and believes they will all die if they don’t stick together. He shows them the dragon glass that Sam used to kill a White Walker, letting the Wildlings know that they will have access to it as well if they join him. Several of the Wildings don’t trust the crows, specifically Karsi (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen), the giant Wun Wun (Ian Whyte), who keeps giving Jon the gas face any chance he gets and Thenn Loboda (Zachary Baharov), who no one seems to like. Karsi wants to know why Tormund thinks they should follow Jon and he answers with the best lines of the night. “He’s prettier than both my daughters, but he knows how to fight. He’s young, but he knows how to lead. He didn’t have to come to Hardhome, he came because he needs us. And we need him.” That’s good enough for most of the Wildings, except Loboda, of course. Damn Thenns!
Jon and his brothers start loading up the Wildlings, with Karsi putting her two daughters on a boat to safety. Things seem to be moving pretty smoothly until a large snow cloud comes out of nowhere. Some of the Wildlings outside of the gate begin to run and Loboda tells everyone to shut it. The poor suckers who were outside of the gate are screaming to be let in, until they aren’t. Loboda looks through a hole in the gate and sees nothing. Suddenly, a bony hand breaks through and the battle between humans and the undead begins. The wights are relentless, climbing over and under and smashing through the gate, killing everyone in sight. The Wildlings who wanted to stay behind start rushing the boats, begging to be let on. Jon stays behind to help hold off the wights along with Karsi. He and some others go back to find the dragonglass but the wights find them there. Luckily Wun Wun is with them and he tosses the wights like flies, stepping on those in his way. A White Walker finds Jon and starts beating him senseless, causing Snow to lose his blade Longclaw. Jon looks like he’s going to lose when he grabs Longclaw and stops the White Walker’s blade. Both have a look of surprise on their faces because that normally doesn’t happen. Jon recovers and smashes the White Walker to bits. Valyrian steel, bitches!!
The Night’s King, the calm ice dude sitting on his horse is watching this with what passes for interest. He makes that screeching noise the White Walkers make and a mountain of wights run off the cliff, falling to the bottom. But since they’re already dead, the fall doesn’t hurt them and they jump up and start running. Meanwhile, Karsi is busy kicking ass until she sees a gang of scary wight children staring at her. She knows she won’t be able to hold them off and they attack. Jon and the rest try to get out of dodge and have to leave the rest of the Wildlings behind. The wights kill everyone, which only means one thing; more wights. The Night’s King walks to the edge of the harbor, looking at Jon. He holds his hands up like to say, “Come at me, Bro,” (which ironically became the meme of the night). He awakens the dead, including Karsi, and Hardhome has become a land of wights. Jon looks at them all and knows that they are truly screwed. How will the Night’s Watch react to Jon’s return? Will they all band together to fight the Army of the Dead or will they leave Jon and the Wildlings beyond the Wall to die?
Game of Thrones airs on Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.