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GateWorld
March 31st, 2013, 12:38 PM
<DIV ALIGN="center"><TABLE WIDTH="450" BORDER="0" CELLSPACING="0" CELLPADDING="7"><TR><TD STYLE="border: none;"><DIV ALIGN="left"><FONT FACE="Verdana, Arial, san-serif" SIZE="2" COLOR="#000000"><A HREF="http://www.scifistream.com/game-of-thrones/s3/mhysa/"><IMG SRC="http://www.scifistream.com/wp-content/uploads/mhysa-160x120.jpg" WIDTH="160" HEIGHT="120" ALIGN="right" HSPACE="10" VSPACE="2" BORDER="0" STYLE="border: 1px black solid;" ALT="Visit the Episode Guide"></A><FONT SIZE="1" COLOR="#888888">GAME OF THRONES - SEASON THREE</FONT>
<FONT SIZE="4"><A HREF="http://www.scifistream.com/game-of-thrones/s3/mhysa/" STYLE="text-decoration: none">MHYSA</A></FONT>
<FONT SIZE="1">EPISODE NUMBER - 310</FONT>
<DIV STYLE="margin-top:10px; padding:0;">The Greyjoys learn of Theon's fate, while Bran and his companions find an ally at the Wall. Davos attempts to prevent the execution of an innocent man, Ygritte catches up with Jon, and Sam delivers vital information to Castle Black. Meanwhile, Daenerys waits to see if the slaves of Yunkai will welcome her as a liberator.</DIV>
<FONT SIZE="1"><B><A HREF="http://www.scifistream.com/game-of-thrones/s3/mhysa/">VISIT THE EPISODE GUIDE >></A></B></FONT></FONT></DIV></TD></TR></TABLE></DIV>

Skydiver
June 9th, 2013, 07:17 PM
A pretty good episode...but honestly, largely set up for the future season. It felt less like things happening as putting people and characters in place for season four.

Cold Fuzz
June 9th, 2013, 08:25 PM
A pretty good episode...but honestly, largely set up for the future season. It felt less like things happening as putting people and characters in place for season four.

It did feel like a setup for season 4. The chapter depicting the meeting of Small Council was right near the halfway point in A Storm of Swords—just right, I think. The way the narrative was setup for this episode, I got the feeling of a Stannis/Daenerys alliance in the future. Nothing overt, but just the way the scenes were setup. Very interesting development if that is indeed what the producers are going for.

There's an interesting thread running through many of the show's characters. Those who favor the kind of social justice many in our time would find honorable—the Starks, Stannis, the Brotherhood Without Banners, Dany, and even Varys and Tyrion to a a certain extent—are the ones who have experienced the most adversity. The ones that could be classified as not following some kind of social justice—Littlefinger, the other Lannisters, and especially the Freys and Boltons—are the ones prospering the most. The ascendance of such people seems to herald the rise of the Others/White Walkers.

Gen. Chris
June 10th, 2013, 12:25 AM
Not as good as I was expecting, but I enjoyed it.


Spoilers for the books

I was hoping the season was going to end with Bran and company running into Coldhands. But I suppose it's way too early for that. Still, it would have been a nice tease for the next season...

Also, they did not even introduce him with Sam, but I guess that isn't a completely necessary plot point.

Cold Fuzz
June 10th, 2013, 12:43 AM
Not as good as I was expecting, but I enjoyed it.


Spoilers for the books

I was hoping the season was going to end with Bran and company running into Coldhands. But I suppose it's way too early for that. Still, it would have been a nice tease for the next season...

Also, they did not even introduce him with Sam, but I guess that isn't a completely necessary plot point.

I think with Coldhands, that will be handled at the opening of season 4. The producers wouldn't introduce a recurring character like Coldhands at the very last episode of the season.

Brother Freyr
June 10th, 2013, 02:14 AM
Last episode was the climax. This week was the denouement, offering hope and homecomings in contrast to the grief of the Starks. The themes were home and family. Some enjoyed literal homecomings. Others chose what home meant to them. Jaime returned to Cersei. Jon returned to Castle Black. Sam & Gilly reached safety. Gendry headed back to King's Landing. Shae was offered passage to her native continent but chose to stay with Tyrion. Jon and Ygritte chose their allegiances, to their people instead of each other. A part of Theon came home -- ick -- and Asha marshalled forces to rescue him.

The Starks grieved, but much hope was offered: Asha sought Theon, Stanis decided to defend against the White Walkers, and the slaves of Yunkai claimed Daenerys for their mother - mhysa - as her dragon children flew above. Wow, that final scene was almost as powerful as the final scene of the first season. It was emotionally satisfying, conveying power, love, and hope.

The episode struck a perfect, bitersweet emotional tone to follow last week's horror and to precede the long wait for season four. I am amazed.

Skydiver
June 10th, 2013, 04:30 AM
It also set Arya on her path. She's a bit like Dexter....sees a bit too much death and her innocence has long since faded and she's ready for some vengeance. I liked the Hound's 'tell me what you're doing next time' instead of chiding her. He knows what it feels like to be the victim of others and want revenge. the sad thing is, if Arya knew that Jon, Sansa, Bran and Rickon were still alive it may stay a bit of her vengeance.

In his life he was only allowed so much until he got older (I'm remembering that he wasn't allowed to strike out against his tormenter until he was older, but could be remembering wrong)

I like that Sam knows that Bran is alive - they may not have been formally introduced but Sam knows who he is....like he said, who else has a direwolf as a guardian?

I like the sansa/tyrion relationship. THey seem to be finding some equilibrium. She's learning the power she has as his wife, and protection she has as his wife. Any barrier between her and Joffrey is a good thing. Speaking of Joff, dude's just gets nuttier and nuttier doesn't he? I almost sensed an adult alliance between Varys, Cersei, Tyrion and Tywin, control the violent little bastich. 'my people are mine to torment', scary.

And poor Tyrion. Just when he thinks he has a moment of shared camaraderie with his dad, he gets slapped down. Varys did have a point though, manipulative as he can be, Tyrion is the one of the lannisters that stands a chance of reconciling the war. Maybe Jamie, but too soon to tell on that, but Tyrion has the attitude and mix of strength and compassion to heal and gain respect rather than just bully and step on.

fems
June 10th, 2013, 05:52 AM
Great episode! Too bad it was the season finale (how long until the next season premieres?) but at least I still have the books to read and I must say this was probably a better ending than the last episode... not sure I could have survived such a tragic ending.

The scene with Bolton and Frey was creepy and I kept expecting Bolton to double-cross Frey too but I guess he's fine with just waiting for the man to die. The fight between Stark bannermen and the Freys/Boltons beneath the castle was nicely done and the part where Arya saw Grey Wind's head (was it over Robb's head or not? I couldn't tell) as the men chanted "king of the north" was just heartbreaking. Poor girl. I do wonder if all the North men will just yield or flee the scene or if they'll be looking for vengeance after this betrayal from the Freys and Boltons (and Lannisters)? Thought it was a good move to have Bran tell the story of the cook of the Night's Watch and why the gods had killed them, as it truly showed how wrong the murders on Robb, Catelyn and their people was in the eyes of the people/highborn.

It was also nice to see Sam and Gilly (and Sam) join Bran and the others, and I'm sure it'll be nice for Jon to learn Bran is in fact alive, assuming he survives all those arrows Ygritte gave him. Perhaps that'll make the pieces of the puzzle fall into place for Jon as well, after seeing the direwolves of his brothers protect him in the previous episode.

One thing I found odd about this all is how Bran, Rickon and the others apparently saw Jon and the wildlings in the previous episode at a point either farther from the Wall (which doesn't make much sense since the wildlings and Jon just climbed over it) or just farther from Castle Black and now Bran and the others had presumably gotten closer to the Wall and met up with Sam who'd just come through the Wall, but then Sam got back to Castle Black before Jon did?! Not to mention that Sam was on foot, is rather fat and probably doesn't walk as fast as the average person/man of the Night's Watch and would be slowed down by Gilly and her baby, and Jon was on a horse! Jon should have been able to reach Castle Black much sooner but I guess TPTB wanted him to meet up with Ygritte (who apparently lost whathisname from the previous episode) to show they both chose their people over their feelings/lust for each other. Perhaps it would have been wiser to have the Jon/Ygritte scene before Sam/Bran.

Absolutely loved the scene with the small council and I have to say, it's hard to believe the guy playing Joffrey is actually 21 years old because he really does look and sound/act like a petulant and cruel fourteen-year-old boy. Great actor to be able to make so many people hate him so much. I also wonder if Tyrion's words about the North never forgetting what happened to the Starks (Robb and Catelyn to be precise) are somehow foreboding, or if it was merely to let Tywin make his point.

I can't help but think Tyrion actually liked or at least respected the Starks, Winterfell and their ways from what he'd seen when he first visited the place and the Wall. He seems to be the only one who might understand how their way is different from the rest of the Seven Kingdoms and how important the Night's Watch/Wall is. That might make his marriage to Sansa even more interesting, especially if they take their 'rightful' place in the North/Winterfell again soon. Of course, they'll have to somehow deal with Bolton's men/bastard there unless he's willing to give up his claim to Winterfell (which he boosted of to Frey) or perhaps that's where Yara comes in.

It wasn't at all surprising to see Balon Greyjoy's reaction to the news about Theon, but Yara's actions were! Perhaps Balon's apparent approval of her plan even more so, considering his earlier words. It will be interesting to see how Ironborn will deal with the Flayed Men. I can't recall whether Theon and the bastard are actually at the Dreadfort but I kinda hope Yara's men will kill everyone there and burn the place to the ground so that Roose has nothing to return to. Not because I care about Theon (pah, hope he dies) but because of what Theon, the Ironborn and Bolton's Bastard did to Winterfell and its people.

One thing that I'm looking forward to is seeing whether the Bastard will tell his father or others about Theon's little secret; that he never killed Rickon and Bran, meaning Sansa isn't the heir to Winterfell at all.

The scene between Tywin and Tyrion once again served to remind us what an ******* Tywin really is and if I were Tyrion, I'd take my new bride and go to Winterfell and rebuild the place and crown myself King of the North, just to spite Tywin. Can't believe Tyrion still craves his father's approval in some ways after the way the man has treated him all his life. The conversation between Tyrion and Cersei was nice and it always surprises me how Cersei can go from hell ***** to honest and a kinda broken woman - it only ever seems to happen when she's alone with Tyrion.

The whole thing with Stannis I find kind of boring, both in the books and the show but I do like Gendry and Davos and how the latter helped the former to escape. Plus, I think they might be the only ones who will take the threat of the White Walkers/Others seriously, because I can see Tywin Lanniser just shrug it off or thinking the wildlings/WW can destroy any rebellion in the North for him and then just magically disappear or swear fealty to Joffrey. It's kind of sad to see Tywin being so short-sighted sometimes (like his reaction to what Frey did to the Starks and the consequences of it) because while I hate what he does, he does seem to be a good military strategist and at least keeps Joff in line. Tywin seemed smarter back when Arya was working for him, now he just seems focused on keeping King's landing in order and ruling the Seven Kingdoms from the castle rather than fighting actual battles.

Anyway, back to Stannis: I thought it was odd how Melissandre quickly changed her tune after reading the message (she did seem shocked) and staring into the flames. Wouldn't her God have warned her about the White Walkers, the dead and wildling army before Stannis started to join in the game of thrones? Or perhaps she simply wasn't looking for it? :rolleyes: I'm also a bit disappointed in Stannis, like Davos, because of how he was portrayed as being a good warrior/commander and now he's basically taking the coward's way out by using Melissandre's dark magic or whatever you want to call it to get rid of his opponents.

Wished we had seen more of Jaime and Brienne but I will certainly be looking forward to what kind of reception Jaime will get from both Cersei and Tywin now that he's lost his right hand. It's not like he was ever good for anything else. Also can't help but wonder what will happen to Brienne now because she might actually be the only friend Jaime has left, as they seemed to have become sort-of friends during their journey.

It was great to see Arya take revenge on the Frey men who were boasting about her mother's death and Grey Wind. I've been reading the books and am about 350 pages into the third, so I'd read about how she showed the coin, dropped it and then slit the throat of a soldier at Harrenhal (I think it was?) when escaping Bolton's place. It was nice to see them use that moment in the show too but have it elsewhere since the thing with Bolton never happened in the show and instead she was Tywin's serving girl. Hope the Hound will continue to protect Arya and maybe even take her to where she needs to go to become a Faceless Man. He seemed kinda impressed with her actions and attitude as of late and I think he might also have some sympathy for everything she's gone through lately... and it's not like he's got anywhere to be since he deserted the King/King's Landing.

Oh and I really liked how she whispered valar morghulis after killing the Frey man and until I read the books, I hadn't made the connection with what Missandei (slave girl) said to Dany after her 'deal' at Astapor and it meaning "all men must die".

Speaking of Dany, the ending was awesome. All the former slaves calling her mysha was great, although I can't help but wonder if those people (and even the Unsullied) would truly be able to choose their own freedom because to me it just seems like they're trading one master for another. Just because Dany gives them the choice whether to wander around aimlessly for the rest of their lives (because would they really know how to take care of themselves and their family without their masters and the little food/money etc they'd get from them?) or join her cause, doesn't mean they are capable of making an informed decision. Anyway, all that aside, I'm glad it's going so well for her because now I'm rooting for Danaerys Stormborn to take the Seven Kingdoms and for Arya to get her revenge.

The final scene with the camera zooming out and showing all those slaves and the little bright glimpse of Dany's hair in the middle and the dragons flying around was nicely done.

fems
June 10th, 2013, 06:02 AM
Oh and I have a question for the book readers:

I'm on page 411 (out of 1095) of A Storm of Swords and some of the events there we've just seen in the last few episodes so I was wondering if anyone could tell me how much farther I can read without spoiling it for myself? At first I figured the third book would be safe but now I'm not so sure and maybe I should stop halfway through until the next season premieres?

magictrick
June 10th, 2013, 08:17 AM
Oh and I have a question for the book readers:

I'm on page 411 (out of 1095) of A Storm of Swords and some of the events there we've just seen in the last few episodes so I was wondering if anyone could tell me how much farther I can read without spoiling it for myself? At first I figured the third book would be safe but now I'm not so sure and maybe I should stop halfway through until the next season premieres?

Which scene are you referring to? I believe the small council meeting scene in Mhysa is pretty much near the halfway point of the book. You could choose to stop there to avoid any further spoilers. Though can you really stop reading at this point? :D

On another note, I think I'm seeing a trend in season finales thus far (apart from them setting up for the next season). It seems that the final scene has always involved Dany and her dragons.

Gen. Chris
June 10th, 2013, 10:26 AM
Which scene are you referring to? I believe the small council meeting scene in Mhysa is pretty much near the halfway point of the book. You could choose to stop there to avoid any further spoilers. Though can you really stop reading at this point? :D

On another note, I think I'm seeing a trend in season finales thus far (apart from them setting up for the next season). It seems that the final scene has always involved Dany and her dragons.

Not season 2 though. Though she was close. That honor belongs to that crap ton of wights and Walkers bearing down on The Fist.

magictrick
June 10th, 2013, 11:12 AM
Not season 2 though. Though she was close. That honor belongs to that crap ton of wights and Walkers bearing down on The Fist.

Oh yes that's right - and it was a pretty epic way to conclude that season.

fems
June 10th, 2013, 11:24 AM
Which scene are you referring to? I believe the small council meeting scene in Mhysa is pretty much near the halfway point of the book. You could choose to stop there to avoid any further spoilers. Though can you really stop reading at this point? :D

On another note, I think I'm seeing a trend in season finales thus far (apart from them setting up for the next season). It seems that the final scene has always involved Dany and her dragons.

I'm not yet at the small council meeting in the book but other events (like the Sansa/Tyrion wedding) have just occurred and since the order of some events (like Bran and Rickon splitting up) are different in the books and some things appear to take place under slightly different circumstances (Arya killing her first man), I just wanted to make sure I wouldn't read too far. Not sure I can stop myself though! :P Not if I have to wait until 2014 for next season...

OT:
I've started watching The Fall today and I must say it's very weird to see Ser Barristan in a suit and hear Roose Bolton talking about cell phones and cell tower triangulation! :P Don't think there's one actor from GoT (except for Carice van Houten) that I've seen in other shows before, so it's kind of odd.

lopo30
June 10th, 2013, 12:41 PM
i will watch it to the end anyways but man how i hate to see this shows season finals with some nice thing to hope to see next season

second season ends with greepy ice dude that we see only 1 time and it's for a less then 1 minute in the full season 3 ... well there was one episode where you saw few seconds of few gigants but well that was it

third season is showing the build up of a army and ends with showing it but i doubt we see anything of that more then few minutes in next season or in any other

and now 10 months break for the show or something like that
and well they lose viewers to after the twist of ninth episode :D what i really liked (a bit of action AT LAST in all this drama! and i dont really care who dies)

DigiFluid
June 10th, 2013, 05:59 PM
io9 posted a great breakdown (http://io9.com/did-game-of-thrones-finally-explain-where-power-really-512351788) on this episode today:


Did Game of Thrones finally explain where power really comes from?

On one level, last night's Game of Thrones was about parents and their damaged sons. (Along with the age-old maxim, "You broke it, you bought it.") But really, it was about offering one plausible answer to the question the show has been asking from the beginning: Where does power come from? Who really has it, and why?

Spoilers ahead...

That question about the sources of power is at the epicenter of the show because it comes straight from the source material, George R.R. Martin's books. It's spelled out, in particular, in the riddle that Varys poses to Tyrion, about the swordsman who has to choose between killing for money, loyalty to the crown or religion.

In last night's season finale, we get a kind of answer, direct from Tywin Lannister, the man who more or less rules Westeros at this point. He tells Tyrion that power comes from putting your family's interests before your own, in essence. The (noble) family that acts as a unit, wins. "You really think a crown gives you power?" he asks. "The House that puts family first will always defeat the House that puts the whims of its sons and daughters first."

This comes right after a crackling, brilliant confrontation between Tywin and his grandson, King Joffrey, in which Joffrey tries to throw his weight around and finds that his nominal title as the king doesn't add up to as much as Tywin's position as patriarch of the Lannister family. "Any man who must say 'I am the King' is no true king," says Tywin. (And in Joffrey's world, being King means that "everyone is mine to torment.")

And the rest of the episode shows the fates of various families, along with hints of how they did or did not apply Tywin's principle of "putting family first." And yes, that includes rather a lot of fathers dealing with their damaged (or dead) sons.

But maybe there's more to the wielding of power than just having your family's best interests solely at heart (and thus having the strength of your family behind you)? Varys offers a slightly more nuanced version of Tywin's lesson, when he explains to Shae why he still believes that Tyrion is one of the few people who can make Westeros a better place. Tyrion has the Lannister name, but he also has the will and the mind for it. And the ability to make Westeros better.

But Varys also believes that Tywin's insistence on the importance of family, above all else, does hold sway after all. "We break bread with [the Westerosi lords], but that doesn't make us family," Varys warns Shae. "Here only the family name matters." But Shae doesn't listen to Varys' explanation of why she can't be part of Tyrion's family, and why she's only endangering the man she loves — she refuses Varys' bribe to get out of dodge, and instead she's going to stick around and probably be a major problem for Tyrion.

But like I mentioned before, there's definitely a thread running through this episode of parents and their damaged sons (and one daughter). Tywin spends a lot of time letting Tyrion know what a disappointment he still is, while the whole episode we know that Tywin's son Jaime is on his way back, with his sword hand missing.

Jaime's return is the other shoe that everybody's waiting to see drop, not least because Cersei expects her brother to put a stop to her wedding to Loras Tyrell. He's also the brother against which Tyrion is implicitly compared whenever Tywin finds him wanting — but the Jaime who returns home is damaged in ways that go far beyond a missing hand, as Cersei can see at a glance. Jaime barely even tries to assert himself when the commoners mistake him for one of them and hurl insults at him, after all he's been through.

Likewise, Theon Greyjoy has lost his "favorite toy" and a finger or two, but that's the least of his damage. He's been psychologically battered to the point where his identity is moldable — and it's not just his first name that his captor, the bastard Ramsay Snow, takes away. It's his family name, too. He loses the Greyjoy name and becomes "Reek," a sniveling wretch — like Shae and Varys, he only has one name now.

What makes this even worse is that just as Theon is being coerced to renounce his family name, his father is more or less disowning him. Because Theon didn't obey orders, and arguably did not put his family ahead of his own selfish desire to prove himself as a true Ironborn. And now he's missing the vital part he needs to further the Greyjoy bloodline, which means in turn his ability to serve the family's interests has been drastically diminished. "I will not give up the lands I have seized, the strongholds I have taken," says Balon Greyjoy, putting the stress firmly on "I."

And yet, Theon's sister Yara decides to go against her father's wishes and gather the 50 best killers on the IronIslands to rescue her little brother. Which of them is putting family first, in this instance? Yara puts her decision purely in terms of family, because "he's still a Greyjoy" in her mind — and yet, her actions may not actually make the family better off, in the long term.

Ser Davos Seaworth has lost his son, in the battle of the Blackwater, but his son looms large in his mind this episode, as he bonds with King Robert's bastard son Gendry over growing up with a river of **** going past their front door. Davos clearly sees something of his son in Gendry, another good lad who's gotten mixed up in the affairs of high-borns. Davos confesses the only reason he accepted the knighthood and position at King Stannis' side was so his son could have a better life, and then his son died in the King's service.

Gendry is due to be burnt alive by the King and his Red Priestess, Melisandre. And after Davos rescues Gendry and sends him away in a boat, giving him a rather hilarious and cursory rowing and navigation lesson, Davos gives Stannis a last warning about the White Walkers before his imminent execution. And instead of telling Stannis the truth — that it was Stannis' daughter Shireen who taught Davos to read — he claims it was his late son who taught him, so he could be of better service.

Is Davos lying to Stannis to honor his dead son, by ascribing a good deed to him? Or, perhaps more likely, is he lying because he believes Stannis has no love for his flesh-and-blood and will just be mortified to hear that Davos has been consorting with his scarred daughter? Of course, we know that Stannis does love Shireen — but we also know he seldom goes to visit her.

And meanwhile, Stannis was willing to burn his nephew (although not one who deserves the Baratheon name, because of his bastard status.) Whenever Stannis talks about his obligations, it's never to his wife and daughter — it's to the realm, which he sees himself as father to. The realm has been bleeding, and he has to serve up justice for that. Even though Tywin would tell Stannis there's no point in talking about your Kingship, when you're not right with your family.

And then there's Cersei, who's long since given up pretending that her son Joffrey is a good person, or a good King. In one of the episode's several great scenes, she tells Tyrion that her children are the only reason she hasn't thrown herself off the Red Keep, even Joffrey. When Joffrey was a baby, he brought her a joy and serenity that even the older Joffrey himself can't erase. She's tried to put her family first, but she disagrees with Tywin about the family's best interests — to her, the alliance with the Tyrells is dangerous because her family could be absorbed by theirs, rather than the other way around.

She believes in a very brutal form of putting family first — as she told Joffrey back in season one, anyone who isn't us is our enemy. And as she tells Tyrion this time around, you kill all your enemies, no matter how long that might take.

DigiFluid
June 10th, 2013, 06:00 PM
There are also two chosen families at the heart of this episode, which spends a lot of time exploring what holds them together, and whether they actually have what it takes to prosper.

The Night's Watch replaces your family when you take your vows, so that all your former titles are allegiances are swept away, as Maester Aemon reminds Samwell Tarly. But does that mean the Night's Watch has no loyalty to anyone who's not a Crow, or does it mean equal loyalty to any and all, since the Crows are sworn to protect everybody?

Samwell wants to be generous with the family aspect of the Night's Watch, extending it like a big cloak to everyone who comes within reach. When he comes across Bran Stark, plus Hodor, Jojen and Meera, he tells them that Jon Snow has saved his life and if Bran is Jon's brother, then he's Sam's brother too. Meaning that Bran is an honorary Crow, or maybe that Sam is an honorary Stark.

Also, Samwell never quite apologizes for bringing Gilly and her baby to Castle Black, where no girls are supposed to be allowed. When Maester Aemon asks Samwell if he remembers his oath — meaning all the stuff about giving up all attachments — he points out that the oath says "realms" of men, meaning that the Night's Watch are protecting everybody against the snow zombies, not just the people South of the Wall. To the extent that the Night's Watch has obligations beyond taking care of its own, they extend to the Wildlings too — which is a radical notion.

Meanwhile, Jon Snow finally lays it all out there to Ygritte: he loves her, she loves him, but he has to "go home" to his real family. She gambled, a few episodes back, that his loyalty to his woman would supercede his ties to the Night's Watch, and he basically throws that back at her, saying that he does love her, but his brothers absolutely come first. He also believes that her love will prevent her from trying to hurt him, which shows once and for all that he really does know nothing — she does what anyone in love would do: she fills him full of arrows, but deliberately doesn't shoot his horse.

And meanwhile, Daenerys watches her family of former slaves and outcasts grow massively, as all the freed slaves of Yunkai swarm out of the gates. She tells them that she did not give them their freedom, but that they have to take it, and then they all start shouting "Mhysa," which means "Mother." (It's unfortunate that it sounds like "meesa," as in "meesa so happy.") Daenerys winds up body-surfing on a crowd of ex-slaves, carried along by their love and gratitude and their willingness not to cry for Argentina.

So the Night's Watch are bound together by a simple vow, and by an ideology of self-abnegation for the protection of the realm(s), which Samwell thinks can be expanded to include certain outsiders, on a case by case basis. (And we'll see if he's right, I guess.) But what holds Daenerys' new family together? Judging from her speech to her people, it's pure individualism — they are joined together in the act of seizing their freedom, which is something that you can only do for yourself, alone.

In other words, yes, Daenerys does basically stand towards the crowd getting them to chant, "We are all individuals." I have a feeling we're going to see how this might backfire for her, and how inspiring such a cult following among people of a very different culture could turn out to be problematic.

The saddest thing in the episode is probably the scene, early on, when Tyrion and Sansa seem to be on the verge of becoming their own family — they're bonding over wanting to get back at Ser Eldrick Sarsfield and Lord Desmond Crakehall, who were laughing at them in public. Tyrion offers Sansa something that the two of them have in common: they're both laughed at and despised, for different reasons. They're almost a matched pair, despite their obvious differences — and it's adorable that Sansa thinks the vulgar word for "dung" is "shift." But it's all ruined, as soon as Sansa finds out about her brother and mother. She can't follow Cersei's advice and just devote herself to some new babies, because she already has a family, and they've been massacred.

Both Tywin and Stannis make basically the same argument — it's better to slaughter a handful of Starks at a wedding feast, or sacrifice one bastard boy, than to condemn tens of thousands to die on the battlefield. Committing an atrocity to guests under your roof, or using blood magic, is practically an act of mercy.

It sounds good on paper, except that we've spent too much time getting to know poor Gendry. And we see too much of the aftermath of the Red Wedding, where the Stark encampment is in flames and the remaining Stark soldiers are being put to the sword. And Robb Stark's body has been defiled, with an animal head crudely sewn onto his shoulders.

Arya Stark, who already witnessed the beheading of her father Ned Stark, sees a lot of this stuff first hand, and later when she hears a camp of men gloating about it all, she can't help making a pitstop to murder one of them, with Sandor Clegane reluctantly helping her. Sandor notably doesn't tell her not to endanger them with small acts of revenge again — instead he just instructs her to tell him in advance, next time. Because he knows what it's like to have no family and nobody to lean on.

But Arya has one thing Sandor doesn't: a coin from the isles of Braavos, which entitles her to passage to the land of awesome mystical assassins. As she picks it up, she mouths the words that will buy her free passage from any Braavosi: "Valar morghulis," all men must die.

The other person in this episode who doesn't have a family name, of course, is Ramsay Snow, who's revealed as the guy who's been torturing Theon, one way or another, all season. Ramsay is the bastard son of Roose Bolton, lord of the Dreadfort, who stabbed Robb Stark last week. And like Jon Snow and Gendry, Ramsay's bastard status entitles him to absolutely nothing. He doesn't get the family name, or the titles, or any respect.

But unlike those others, Ramsay turned his lack of family name into a source of power — he kept Theon guessing about his identity, and where his loyalties lay, while he was laying the groundwork to take away Theon's own family name. Ramsay was sent to capture Theon and bring him to Robb Stark, but he doesn't give a crap about Robb Stark. He wants Theon for himself, either out of pure sadism or because Theon can help with some power play that also includes his letter to Balon Greyjoy. Given that Ramsay is a cunning manipulator, that letter to Balon probably isn't intended to get Balon to surrender at all — it's intended to goad Balon into taking rash action in the name of protecting his flesh and blood.

That's what makes Ramsay Snow such a uniquely dangerous person — he has no family name of his own, and like his father he seems to have pretty much no loyalty to anyone. But he understands how families and family allegiances work, well enough to manipulate them to his own ends. Because if Tywin believes that the ultimate source of power is loyalty to your own family, Ramsay seems to believe the opposite: you get power by manipulating the family ties of others.

Original source link (http://io9.com/did-game-of-thrones-finally-explain-where-power-really-512351788)




Absolutely spot-on analysis, IMO.

Cold Fuzz
June 11th, 2013, 01:25 AM
There are a couple of wonderful moments I caught on a re-watch of the episode, and both were astounding visuals in my opinion.

The first was the Nightfort, when Jojen's sister and Summer were scouting ahead and then rejoined Bran and Hodor. Even though the visual with the Nightfort was very brief, it was beautifully rendered, with the majesty of the Wall looming in the foreground. It was a shame we couldn't get more time with an external visual of the Nightfort.

The other wonderful visual moment was when Yara (Asha) Greyjoy defied Balon's wishes. We see her striding across the deck of her ship, bristling with grim determination. Pyke and the Iron Islands are in the background, with the brilliant sky and the ocean water gleaming. Absolutely stunning visual there, especially when combined with the stirring Ironborn musical theme.

boo1234
June 11th, 2013, 09:46 AM
I really enjoyed the finale even though it was mostly just set up. My favorite scene had to be the small council where Joffrey was sent to bed and the awkward looks Varys and company were exchanging as Joffrey had his temper tantrum.

Pym
June 14th, 2013, 06:22 PM
Arya has been unleashed. I have been waiting for that.
I like the fact Theons sister has gone to get him back. Although I've never liked him I do feel sorry for him now.
I also liked the sending Joffrey to bed scene.
Did Cersei reject Jaimee? It looksa s if she is going to.

Skydiver
June 14th, 2013, 06:39 PM
We don't know how Cersei is going to treat Jamie, at least not from what we saw. I saw it as a combo of 'omg, you're here...wow you look like crud and....umm....what the heck happened to you?????? Where's your hand????'

she was in shock and didn't respond.

What happens between them is part of the cliffie for the next season