This week’s Game of Thrones Hardhome episode could have easily been named “Hopeless,” due to what we witnessed from the White Walkers and their fearsome leader, the Night King. Dude has some mad skills. He is the Bear Bryant of Westeros. He can take his’n and beat your’n, or take your’n and beat his’n….literally. Not sure how you defeat an army with the ability to get up from death and steal your guys as well.
We see Jorah is no closer to forgiveness from Daenerys. He and Tyrion appear before her to state their case. Actually it’s just Tyrion who gets to talk at all. Girl holds a grudge now! Tyrion sees how she does not trust Jorah so he visually distances himself from the guy as he steps closer to Dany. He tells her that be believes Jorah would die for her and thinks he is in love with her as well. Tyrion ultimately advises the Mother of Dragons that she cannot have Ser Jorah by her side though. Jorah is removed from the city and he heads back to the fighting pits to try and get in front of Dany once again by winning the big tournament. We shall see if devolving into a stone man with greyscale makes him a more vicious fighter or gets him killed. I hope for the former. Jorah has been one of my favorite characters in his underdog role. He stuck with Dany when she had nothing, then just when she was gaining power, he gets exiled because of his past deeds.
We get to see Cersei rotting away in her cell making idle threats to her female jailer. The threats are not very impressive this week as the Queen Mother is dirty and very common looking on the floor of the jail. I am really starting to feel sorry for Cersei. That’s a joke. She deserves much worse and I hope she gets all that is coming her way.
Cersei is later visited by her mad scientist buddy Qyburn. He tells her of Tommen’s fear to even leave his room to eat and how her uncle Kevin will not visit her either. He advises her to confess so she will be released possibly, but her pride isn’t going to allow that. Qyburn tells Cersei on his way out that “the work continues,” so I assume he means the repair of Ser Gregor. Perhaps the “Mountain” will be unleashed on the High Sparrow and company at some point. That would be most entertaining.
Arya continues to move forward in her plans to be a real assassin. At this rate most of her enemies may be dead from old age or the White Walkers though. She needs to step it up a bit, but her first real target is an shady insurance guy who fails to pay off when a sailor meets his death on a voyage. Everyone hates insurance salesmen and the shady part is a given, so I hope his death is not so quick.
Sansa feels the need to ask Reek why he told Ramsay of her plans to call for help. It should be obvious that he is a sniveling shell of a man that is terrified to disobey his owner, Ramsay. During the exchange Reek confesses that he did not kill her two younger brothers. It was “only” two farm boys. That doesn’t make Reek into a better person, but it just gives Sansa a glimmer of hope…until the next awful thing that happens to her that is.
Roose Bolton is content to let Stannis’ army freeze, but Ramsay wants to take the offensive and says he only needs 20 men. This boy is foolish and wants to impress his daddy. I have no idea what kind of damage he can do with just 20 guys, unless he thinks he can get to Stannis himself.
There’s a great scene between Tyrion and Dany as they sip wine and discuss terrible family stories. Dany is not happy about Varys being the one who talked Tyrion into seeking her out. He was the spy master that kept tabs on her also. Tyrion says he suspects Varys may have had a hand in keeping the Targaryen alive as a child though. We hear the fantastic wheel speech that was previewed before the season. Daenerys intends to break the wheel that contains the spokes of all the powerful families. Again, this hints at a new system that isn’t just person after person scrambling to get on the Iron Throne. Tyrion suggests the Throne isn’t necessarily the main goal either, pointing out how many lives she has improved in the regions she has conquered already.
Another shot of Cersei in jail, sipping water off the nasty floor! Sympathy check….still none here.
The major scene of the night was akin to the Wildlings assault on The Wall, although it wasn’t as long obviously. Jon Snow and Tormund arrive at Hardhome where the Wildlings are camped. The initial meeting with one of the elders goes Ok, if you consider a deadly beating a good start to an peace treaty meeting. Tormund knows better how to handle the Wildlings since he is one of them though, so the beating lead to a more peaceful meeting with all the elders. Eventually the elders agree to join with Snow in a temporary unification to fight off these White Walkers that Snow tells them about. This is not a friendship. That is made crystal clear.
After the agreement they are ready to set sail for The Wall to pass through the tunnel. That’s when all hell broke loose. White Walkers poured over the mountain slamming themselves in to the Wildlings’ fortress. Full blown panic hit as the Free Folk scampered into any and all available boats. It was clearly time to get the hell out of Dodge. There were so many zombified soldiers that it was a useless fight, although entertaining to watch. We got to enjoy the giant, who survived The Wall battle, mashing the Walkers in thunderous fashion. The big guy knows how to kill.
The fight between Jon Snow and one of the leaders of the White Walkers was cool. Snow got treated like a lil bastard and nearly had his chest caved in at one point. He finally managed some success when he got hold of a sword made of Valyrian Steel, which didn’t get disintegrated like normal weapons by these Walkers. Jon destroyed his opponent with the sword that is apparently as good as dragon glass. It’s a good thing too since the glass was left behind in the ruckus. Not that a little bag of dragon glass would have helped against the thousands of undead soldiers they were up against.
Eventually another round of Walkers stream off the mountain to attack. They are akin to fire ants with their shear numbers. Jon and company retreat to the last boat wisely. I guess the White Walkers can’t swim since they do not follow. The giant survived as he walked out into the sea as well, but he is going to need a bigger boat at some point.
Jon watches the shore from his boat and sees just what they are up against. You can see the dismay all over the Lord Commander’s face. How can you defeat such a foe? The Night King, leader of the Walkers and basically a blue eyed devil, raises his arms to raise the dead. A simple motion that revives not only his fallen soldiers, but the enemy’s dead as well. An opponent that increases his numbers with your dead soldiers is quite a quandary indeed. You can hardly kill his guys and he can “recruit” your people once they are slaughtered. In future battles with these creatures it would be pointless to kill them with anything other than fire, Valyrian Steel, or dragon glass. The best tactic would be to keep a sea between yourself and these ruthless White Walkers.
This episode was probably the best of the season. Next week’s preview looked like it may rival it. With only two episodes left this season, better prepare yourself for a long offseason. Damn these ten episodes go by fast every year!