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Game of Thrones 2×10: Valid Annoyance

Welcome to the Season 2 finale in The Wars to Come, our rewatch project going back through Benioff and Weiss (D&D)’s outstanding drama on HBO so that we can understand how it came to be what it is. Last week, George R.R. Martin demonstrated everything this show could have been, while this week, D&D take back the pen in “Valar Morghulis,” and it shows. Kylie, Julia, and Musa break it down, but first for anyone who didn’t get the chance to watch, a recap.

Episode Recap

Following Stannis’s stunning defeat at Blackwater Bay, the Baratheon King has retreated to Dragonstone, where he has a minor crisis of faith. When Melisandre tries to tell him he’s the chosen one, he chokes her, and wonders how he could have killed his brother for this. However, the red priestess has him gaze into the flames, where he sees something that restores his faith.

Meanwhile in King’s Landing, the aftermath is dealt with as well. Joffrey recognizes Tywin as the “Savior of King’s Landing,” and formally names him Hand of the King. Then in a courtly charade, Joffrey is “convinced” to set aside Sansa as his betrothed in favor of marrying Margaery Tyrell, who has “remained pure” despite her marriage to Renly. Varys, meanwhile, makes moves to steal Ros from Littlefinger’s service, since he thinks her talents are being wasted.

Tyrion is not present for any of this, though, since his injury has left him holed up in recovery. He learns that he’s been put in different chambers now that he’s no longer the Hand. Varys visits him and confirms that Cersei had been the one who ordered Moore to kill Tyrion. Tyrion tries to ask Pod to find Bronn and bring Gold Cloaks for protection, but he learns his father has already replaced Bronn and sent the hill tribes away. Shae arrives, telling Tyrion she doesn’t care about his scar, and that they should run away to Pentos together. But despite everything, Tyrion realizes he wants to stay and keep playing the game.

In the Westerlands, Robb tells Cat that he wants to marry Talisa, and explains what had happened between them. Cat urges Robb not to break his vow, but Robb points out Cat is the last person who can speak about making reckless decisions. He marries Talisa soon after.

Cat’s reckless decision, meanwhile, hits a snag when Brienne and Jaime come across the body of three hanged tavern wenches. Brienne tries to bury them, but the three Northmen who had killed them appear, questioning them. When the realize who Jaime is, a fight ensues, and Brienne kills them all.

Over in the riverlands, Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie spot Jaqen H’ghar. He tells Arya that he could teach her to kill as he does, but she tells him that she must find her family first. He then gives her a coin and tells her that she can present it to any Braavosi and say “Valar Morghulis.” As he leaves, he turns back to reveal that he has changed his face.

Up in Winterfell, the Bolton forces surrounded the castle, and let those inside know it by continually blowing a horn. A very distressed Theon realizes no back-up is coming. Maester Luwin urges him to flee north and take the Black, but Theon insists he needs to see this through. He gives a rousing battle speech to his fellow Ironborn, before Dagmer knocks him unconscious and stabs Luwin, as they plan to turn Theon over to the Boltons in exchange for their lives. Bran, Rickon, Osha, and Hodor emerge from the crypts later to find Winterfell looted and burned, and Luwin dying under the Heart Tree. He tells them they must go north to Jon, and Osha mercy-kills him.

A bit further north, beyond The Wall, Qhorin manages to steal a sword from a wildling, and charges at Jon with it, to try and make it seem as though Jon really did defect. Jon is given a sword to fight him with, and kills Qhorin when he gets the opportunity. The wildlings free Jon, and Ygritte shows him the incredibly large wildling camp they’re approaching, where they’ll find Mance Rayder.

Elsewhere, Sam, Grenn, and Edd are shocked to hear three horns blowing: White Walkers. Grenn and Edd sprint away, but Sam falls behind, as the slow-moving army of the dead approaches. He finds a rock to hide behind, while the massive army surrounds him.

Finally, on the other side of the world, Dany arrives at the House of the Undying. She finds her way inside the architecture, with Jorah and Kovarro left outside. She then encounters a series of visions: of the Iron Throne covered in snow, and then of her old tent in the snow beyond The Wall. Inside the tent is Drogo and a baby—likely her unborn son Rhaego. However, Dany realizes this is just a vision, and leaves so she can pursue her dragons, who are still screaming. She finds them chained up, and Pyat Pree appears to chain her with them. But Dany commands them to burn Pyat Pree, who they kill, before super-heating and breaking their chains. They all head back to Xaro Xhoan Daxos’s home to find him in bed with Doreah. They steal his necklace to open his vault, only to find it empty. Despite their protests, Dany locks the pair inside the vault, before looting his home to find enough goods to buy them a ship.

Initial, quick reaction

Musa: How the hell did Sam escape that White Walker? Seriously, that’s a question that’s literally NEVER answered.

Overall this episode was pretty much just okay. Game of Thrones had already cemented the idea of a big climactic 9th episode acting as climax to the season with the 10th episode being a sort of epilogue to the season’s events. And that’s largely what this episode was. An epilogue to the season’s arcs. Robb and Talisa get married, Arya parts ways with Jaqen, Dany enters and leaves the House of the Undying, Tyrion and Shae have one of their moments, etc.

Kylie: Yeah, it was really strange that the White Walker just didn’t care about Sam at all. I guess he has bigger fish to fry, but I also know that is the one that comes for Sam and Gilly later.

I agree with Musa 100%. This episode was kind of a “welp, we’re definitely back to D&D.” I’d say what Martin did last week actually made the King’s Landing scenes more effective than I had felt them to be for the first 8 episodes of the season, but there was so much that was kind of “meh” or even frustrating. It’s a stronger episode in the context of Season 2, but with this season in the rearview mirror now, I’m realizing that doesn’t mean a ton.

Julia: The White Walker just kind of saying “yo” to Sam was really weird. Like, he had a javelin, just reach over slightly and stab the dude. I thought you hated everything with hot blood running through its veins.

With one exception, Winterfell, this episode was just a series of anticlimaxes. It was just, “okay, I guess that’s how that turned out then.”

Also a question never answered: Jon kills Qhorin, clearly in self-defense rather than through any choice that he made vis-a-vis his vows, and this somehow convinces them that he defected? Why?

Musa: He somehow seems to have absorbed Qhorin’s full plan via osmosis when he stabbed him. It’s SCIENCE Julia!

Kylie: I mean, would someone committed to the Night’s Watch kill a brother charging at them? Checkmate.

Highlights/lowlights

Musa: Everything about Alfie Allen is my highlight. I love his conversation with Luwin; emphasizing Theon’s struggle with putting the Starks and Winterfell on a pedestal while simultaneously lamenting his status as a prisoner and living his entire life being told how good he has it to be someone’s prisoner. The writers actually seemed to understand what Theon’s arc was all about at some point. I also really have a soft-spot for his battle speech before being knocked unconscious. As Dagmar puts it: “It was a good speech.”

My lowlight has to be the Robb and Talisa wedding stuff. It’s all so…….underwhelming. There’s really nothing to it. This is the moment that signals the point where Robb’s campaign goes completely topside, and there’s nothing…

Julia: My highlight was definitely whatever the hell Marg was wearing in the throne room scene while her brother was talking about how virginal she was. Poor NatDo must have been so cold. Just imagine the nippilitis.

More seriously, I must once again sing the praises of Bran’s Winterfell plot, and especially Maester Luwin. He’s a giant cinnamon roll covered in icing. The kind that’s 3,000 calories all by itself, even without the dipping sauce. The scene in the godswood actually made me cry. With tears. That was a first for this rewatch. And I forgot how good the kid playing Rickon was, I can’t believe they wasted him like that.

Also, shoutout to the Ned Stark cosplayer that Brienne and Jaime came across.

A lowlight is harder. The House of the Undying was so disappointing. I remember being almost shaken with disappointment when I first saw it, especially considering we just came off “Blackwater.” I just plaintively said “but… those visions were very important…” That and the fact they skipped Ned’s fever dream really should have been my first clue that D&D didn’t value the same things in this series as I did.

Kylie: I know I’ve been choosing this too much, but I have to agree on the highlight being Theon. There was weight in those scenes, damnit. That it’s all later resolved with Jon of all people forgiving Theon and telling him how to feel…ugh. At least we had this.

My lowlight has to be Qarth, I’m sorry. Once again, it brings everything to a grinding halt. What’s more is that the resolution doesn’t really have much to do with what could laughably be referred to as Dany’s arc up to this point. The thinnest thread she had was her conception of herself, and her reasons for wanting to go home. At least, that’s what she was debating with the Spice King, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, and Jorah at a point, right? I guess here she was “choosing” to be the mother of dragons by going towards their screams over the Drogo vision, but was there any indication she was having trouble processing that reality before this? Instead it’s like, “Oh I just learned my dragons really leveled up this year.”

Quality of writing

Kylie: D&D were definitely back. You can tell, because there’s basically no book dialogue in this episode at all, even in places where it’d have made perfect sense. The best written scene was the courtly charade in King’s Landing, which I think captured it well. At least, that’s up until Littlefinger just popped out and told Sansa she was a bad liar. But then we had things like Drogo and Dany’s scene in the tent where Griffin actually laughed out loud and said, “Wow, great dialogue.”

Julia: Yeah, everyone was crapping on Cat and Sansa, someone told Tyrion how brilliant he is, we learned that Varys is a eunuch, people say crude things to Brienne, then she murders effortlessly, mystical or magical elements are botched.

Of course D&D are back.

The Theon scenes, though. They may have been some of D&D’s best work. They’re still very them, with Theon conveniently explaining the theme and that random slap-stick with the knock on the noggin, but like Musa said, it’s like they actually got what his theme was supposed to be there. Weird.

Musa: The Dany stuff just really hammers in the fact that the writers really don’t really care at all about symbolism or foreshadowing of any explicit meaningful way. It’d distract too much from the shocky-shocks, after all. The whole thing seems so tacked on; Dany walks into the HotU, Jorah randomly keeps yelling khaleesi, she walks around a bunch, and then she finds her dragons and they burn the one Qartheen Warlock the show had for some reason….. Actually, why IS there only one Qartheen Warlock? Is that even Pyat Pree? Did they ever actually say his name? In any case, Dany walks out and indulges in some really shamelessly cruel torture and then leaves with a whole lot of loot. Does Qarth have like….citizens or subjects or anything of the sort? It doesn’t really seem to be the case, does it?

Julia: They were at that one garden party giving her tourism advice.

Jorah shouting, “Walt!” “Khaleesi!!!” might be another highlight.

Musa: Every time I’m reminded of the fact that most show only watchers know Dany as khaleesi, I die a little inside.

Kylie: Wait a minute, wait a minute. Was Dany’s arc this year actually just her coming around on Jorah’s stupid boat idea?

Musa: Oh My God…….

Julia: Just… I trust Kylie to find a gif that expresses my feelings about that.

Kylie: Naturally.

Our 8th grade book report (on themes)

Julia: Actions have consequences? Like, Tyrion fought in a battle and he’s wounded, Tywin and the Tyrells won the battle so now they get to clean up, Stannis lost, so now he has to deal with that. Jon is still dealing with the decision he made to have mercy with Ygritte, Robb had sex so now he has to tie the knot. Doreah and XXD have to pay for what they did. It kind of works. The title kind of goes with it too? A little?

Kylie: I feel like I’ve argued this before, but isn’t this just…what a plot is? I know on this show things don’t necessarily follow what preceded it anymore, but at this point people dealing with the things they did should be a given.

Now that I was nice and unhelpful, I can go on to say I can’t exactly think of a more cohesive theme than that. I guess, committing to your sense of identity? Tyrion realizes he wants to be a player no matter what (and won’t run off with Shae), Jon commits to the Night’s Watch by killing his quasi-idol, Robb commits to Talisa since he’s so in love, Dany commits to being the ‘Mother of Dragons’ by rejecting Drogo, Arya commits to her family (agghhgghh), Stannis commits to being the warrior of the Lord of Light, and Theon commits to his cause, to his certain doom. Hey, that almost sounds like a thing there!

Julia: It does! Full marks!

Musa: I’d say it’s pretty cohesive as a theme, apart from the fact we’re given no indication that Qhorin was in anyway some kind of hero or idol to Jon. We don’t know thing one about the guy and he and Jon barely have three full scenes together.

Kylie: Yeah, that was definitely book knowledge seeping in. He killed the guy he didn’t want to kill and somewhat respected as a ranger? Less punchy, for sure.

Musa: He killed a guy who was kind of rude to him in their shared interactions prior to getting captured. Even less punchy.

Cracks in the plaster (the bullshit to come)

Musa: Robb marrying for love alludes to how D&D think Robert’s Rebellion was “built on a lie.” The scene of Robb’s marriage to Talisa even mirrors the flashback to Rhaegar and Lyanna’s marriage as seen in season 7.

Kylie: Which is…both a misunderstanding of Robb’s arc from the books and Robert’s Rebellion. I’d say another crack that can be spotted there too is the way Cat and Robb argue each other. Suddenly it’s framed that Cat’s only opposition to him breaking his vow is that she had arranged it? Right…

Dany and her crew gleefully locking XXD and Doreah in the vault is really the beginning of the altar of worship D&D build for revenge. It’s framed as badass and fist-pumping, when really it’s disturbing. Ditto for Brienne drawing out the last death, because the Northerners told her they killed one of the tavern wenches slowly.

Julia: I guess we’ll talk about this more in the adaptation section, but a king insisting on marrying for love like this… just not how it works. Especially given that in this very same episode we saw that courtly farce in King’s Landing. It’s not really a crack in the plaster though, since I don’t recall this idiocy about marrying for love ever coming up again.

But the way Cat was framed as “impulsive” is very suggestive of how Sansa will eventually be treated. Like, it’s clear her thought process was “huh, Jaime Lannister, an extreme important prisoner, is gonna get murdered and there is nothing I can do about it. That would have unfortunate political consequences. I seem to recall a trusted old friend saying something about maybe trading him for my daughters. I should try that, instead of him getting killed and us not gaining anything.” The show actually goes some way to make her actions less dependent on emotions than they were in the books, and this is still the feedback she gets? Ugh! And you were damn grateful for that bridge at the time, Robb! They basically chose to actually write Catelyn in character and then have their preferred protagonist tell her she’s dumb.

Musa: I would add in that the continuing adventures of Jon Snow, idiot extraordinaire™ reach their climax for this season where he just stumbles into the Halfhand’s plan about infiltrating the wildlings. He accidentally kills him because he’s an idiot who didn’t realize what he was doing until it was done. And everyone’s suddenly impressed at how good he fights. Jon gains ground with the wildlings cause he used a sword good. If that’s not a crack that’s going to become one of the biggest chasms of the series as a whole, I don’t know what is.

Julia: I’m also going to make an argument for the scene with Doreah killing Irri being cut as a crack. I strongly suspect they cut it for the same reason they cut that Loras and Marg scene, to preserve the surprise of her betrayal for this episode. (I guess it’s possible they cut it because it was a cringe-worthy scene, but if they cut all of those this show would have Steven Universe length episode.) But, like, you kind of needed that scene so that your main character doesn’t look like a monster for locking her into a vault to starve to death. From what we see, there’s no reason to believe that Doreah had any choice in anything that happened. Like, she’s been a sex slave her whole life, you know. But what’s making sense from any perspective compared to a minor shock that added nothing?

Musa: I’ll be honest, the first time I saw this season, I’d forgotten who the hell Doreah was when she suddenly showed up in XXD’s bed there. I was more hung up on the fact that he wasn’t gay, like in the books.

Kylie: They made so many questionable changes here, though the “preserving the shock” nature of the writing is apparent. I think that’s honestly the Achilles heel of this show. D&D seem to think that payoffs can’t be satisfying unless people didn’t see them coming. After all, that’s why Ned’s death was affecting…and that’s why there were Red Wedding reaction videos. So they do more and more things, and make more and more changes for shocks. We’ll see it next year with the “let’s storm Casterly Rock” plan (?), and eventually we’ll get to the point where characters say one thing and seem to be feeling a certain way, only to do the exact opposite in the next scene (Stannis and his touching scene with Shireen, Ellaria and her nice scene with Jaime, and so on).

Musa: And thus, Game of Thrones becomes unworthy of Watsonian Analysis.

Remember adaptation?

Musa: There’s a lot more that needs to be said about Robb marrying for love in place of the book plot where he marries to preserve the honor of a girl he “de-flowered.” His conversation with Catelyn is really something that emphasizes his perceived stupidity in the show. He (and the writers) are of the opinion that Robb shouldn’t marry a girl “just for a bridge” (the broader implications of a marriage alliance seem lost on both him and them) and should instead marry for love i.e. because a “Not Like Other Girls” woman makes him feel funny in his breeches. Catelyn even tries to explain how love can blossom in arranged marriages, but Robb is dead set against the idea because love outside of the context he (and presumably the Western, 21st century audience) knows of is unfathomable.

I also really hate the marriage ceremony in the show. Wrapping a bandage around the couple’s hands and saying the names of the gods is much less….epic than the cloak exchange stuff in the books. Not to mention it makes the marriage seem more egalitarian than it’s actually supposed to be. The entire point of the cloak exchange in the books is that the woman is literally being traded into a new family as part of a political alliance!

Kylie: They also have the cloak thing with Tyrion and Sansa, so it’s odd that they didn’t incorporate it here. I guess Talisa is so not like other girls that she won’t kneel, unlike that passive idiot Sansa.

God, poor Sansa this episode. Littlefinger basically sashays up to her and tells her she’s bad liar. It’s pretty clear she had no arc at all this season (other than a one episode arc of becoming incredibly disillusioned with Cersei), but then for him to shit all over what it was supposed to be with her armor of courtesy? Really felt like a slap in the face there. This is just not a good show to watch as a fan of Sansa.

Also, I imagine fans of Stannis aren’t exactly enthused either. Why the hell would anyone root for this guy? I guess his choking of Mel was a crisis of faith, and she solidified it, but his faith itself is painted as delusional and disturbed.

Julia: Not to mention how they’re totally changed the nature of Tyrion and Shae’s relationship. “F-ck money?” Seriously? And the best/worst thing is that I think whatever they turned this relationship into had a chance of being compelling? I can’t believe I’m saying that. Anyway, nah, they threw that away too. I guess we’ll talk about the implications to death when we get to season 4. But I think it’s safe to say that Saint Tyrion is fully formed, if he hasn’t been for a while already. He’s the bestest at politics and would never delude himself about the nature of his relationship with his live-in sex worker.

One thing I did appreciate: At least Pycelle made a vague reference to the High Septon as existing and being the religious authority in the throne room scene, rather than hilariously just performing religious functions himself.

Musa: Excuse me, Shae is clearly his actual real life girlfriend. Wherever did you get the idea that she was a sex worker? They’re obviously for real in love, obviously. Also they only really had the cloak exchange for Sansa and Tyrion because they wanted above all else to have the stuff with Sansa kneeling for Tyrion in the show. That’s literally the only reason as far as I’m concerned.

Carol Watch: who is Cersei this week?

Musa: She’s not really in this episode much, and what bits she does have are from the book, so I suppose she’s Cersei this week?

Julia: She gave Sansa a stink eye, so I guess.

Also, like, Varys insists to Tyrion that it was Cersei who ordered Mandon Moore to kill him, but we later find out it was Joffery. What are we to make of that?

Kylie: That D&D became more enamored of Lena Headey in between Seasons 2 and 3? Honestly, that retcon never adds up, though that may be a better talking point for Season 3. I’m just glad to know that Varys protects those in his employ and would never think to allow them to be physically harmed.

Julia: I bet the insurance is good too. With dental and extended parental leave.

Musa: Yeah, the Ros stuff really leaves a bad taste in your mouth when you realize the fact that working for Varys is what gets her the gruesome end that Varys was specifically promising to protect her against in the end.

Julia: That even without considering the adaptational issues of Varys the Serial Child Mutilator being portrayed as so good to work for.

Musa: What are you talking about Julia? Mutilation? Varys would NEVER do such a thing! He’s all about giving children candy to make them spies.

Julia: That’s Qyburn, dear. All the sugar plums from Dorne.

Kylie: The whole thing kind of makes Varys seem daft, though. What talents of Ros’s are being wasted that we’ve seen? Her nice tour-guide abilities at the beginning of the season? Ugh, let me just re-watch Max’s arc in Black Sails.

Exposition Imposition: good or clunky?

Kylie: I’m trying to think of the exposition we got. People caught Tyrion up on the events, but since he had been out of the loop, that felt very natural to me. Then we had Luwin and Theon’s conversation, which somewhat exposited about Theon’s past and his experiences more. Those were very character-driven, however. I think this episode was mostly good in this department? The most awkward moment I can recall is Mel and Stannis recapping the season for us.

Musa: Melisandre telling Stannis that he is the chosen one is framed as her leading him on, which kind of goes counter to the whole notion that she really does believe all the stuff she says. Also Stannis looks into the flames, same as in the book, but do we ever really find out what he saw in there?

Julia: Does Marg telling us about where her Joffrey related tinglies come from count as exposition?

Kylie: Definitely, definitely not.

How was the pacing?

Kylie: I think it was fine for the most part. It did feel like a longer episode, but we had to keep plotline hopping, so none of it felt too bad.

Musa: It’s one of those things where it’s pretty much just okay by virtue of the fact that you don’t notice it at all. There was this one thing where the scenes transitioned into each other cleverly. They did this a couple of times, but the one example coming to mind was the Tyrion and Shae scene where they profess their love and Shae says, “I am yours and you are mine,” leading directly into the Robb and Talisa marriage where those words are part of their wedding vows. I guess it was supposed to both tie the scenes together in a cohesive way and also indicate that Shae and Tyrion are as committed as a married couple? Actually, those exact words sort of become a thing with couples in the series. Ygritte will say it at least twice to Jon, Osha says she used to have a boyfriend and describes their relationship in those words, and then season 7 ends with Lyanna and Rhaegar’s marriage where once again, “I am his/hers and he/she is mine” are part of the marriage vows. Is this significant? In any way?

Julia: I can’t even remember if it’s from the books. I don’t know, D&D latch onto phrases they like; people being described as “good at killing,” “the wars to come,” “break the wheel.”

Kylie: They also do this weird thing where they repeat words a bunch in one scene to seem clever, but the dialogue has fortunately not gotten that clunky quite yet.

Let’s talk about sex, baby

Musa: I don’t know where else this would go, but I think we need to address the problem of Brienne and D&D’s fixation on women enacting out violence on men the way men usually enact violence on women. It’s the sort of thing that’s really prevalent throughout the series with the female characters, but nowhere is it more stark than with Brienne who’s entire character IS a woman being violent towards men. And it starts right here, with her “rape killing” the northmen she and Jaime encounter. The way the scene is shot and the way Brienne acts it out makes it very clear she’s killing these men in a highly sexualized manner. It’s really unsettling and kind of disturbing. I don’t know what else to say except that I wanted to bring it to everyone’s attention.

What do you guys think? Is there some actual commentary to be had about the nature of violence? Or did the writers just think it was badass to have a woman enact such intensely gendered and sexualized violence? Have I said the word violence enough in this paragraph? Do I need an editor? I think I really do.

Kylie: I was disturbed by it for sure, not just because it’s in clear contrast to how Brienne would behave in the books. It’s again, this idea that revenge is great and “just” or something. These men clearly killed one of the women in a sexualized way, so it becomes empowering when women do it back to men (in this case, Brienne driving a sword very slowly into his groin). Because that’s what makes women on top on this show! Fulfilling D&D’s incredibly toxically masculine mold of strength. It’s definitely not as bad here as it will become, but you can see it starting here.

I should also note that the other side of the coin is Margaery’s ridiculous, ridiculous cleavage dress and overtly sexual performance in the throne room. If a woman isn’t violent like a man, she’s a skilled seductress who can control men and should be viewed as a serious threat in their capacity to do so. It’s like D&D saw what Martin wrote for Cersei last week, and took it at face value. It is also deeply sexist, and will get dialed up to about eleven in the later seasons.

“It took root…til the break of dawn.”

Musa: Performing maidenhood is supposed to be a key feature in the King’s Landing plotline of the books. There’s so much actual intrigue woven into the performance of court dynamics in the series that it’s fascinating to unravel the way character’s actually feel about things based on their outward performance. In the show, however, everyone just seems to behave as if, because they know all this courtly performance is bullshit, they’re smarter than everyone else by not playing along with it.

Julia: What are we supposed to do with the juxtaposition of the cynical fake-love marriage, and Robb and Talisa’s earnest love marriage? Is it just more of Starks’ genre unsavviness getting them killed?

Kylie: Maybe in this case it’s supposed to be making us sympathize with the Starks. They’re still vaguely the good guys at this point, and I think it’s supposed to be like, “yes, this is why we cheer for them!” Cause…love is good. And we don’t choose whom we love.

In memoriam…Maester Luwin, 3 Northmen, Pyat Pree, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, Doreah

Musa: Farewell Maester Luwin, those three northmen Brienne gratuitously killed, and presumably every single Ironborn who betrayed Theon (we heard some of their names but none of them were really characters aside from maybe Dagmar).

Kylie: Did they die, or did they get to go off since they turned in Theon? That might be a vague cliffhanger.

Julia: Robb did say they should go free, but it was Ramsay outside the gates, so who knows.

Kylie: Maester Luwin’s death was legitimately touching, I thought. But honestly, it was the Qarth deaths that I reacted to the most. It just was so uncomfortable to me, the way Dany was so callous about everything. Pyat Pree you could argue was necessary, but at least just execute Xaro Xhoan Daxos. Or maybe like…turn him into the authorities? Does the greatest city in the world have a police force? Ugh.

Musa: Yeah, I was basing the fact that Ironborn are probably dead on how we know that it’s Ramsay outside Winterfell’s gates. It’d be pretty much in character for him to kill everyone anyway even after promising them safe passage. He does it again with the Moat Cailin guys after all. We also get confirmation next season that Ramsay was “that f-cking horn-blower” so there’s that…. It’s stuff like XXD and Doreah being condemned to slow starvation in a dark confined space with their arms bound up behind them that rings true of Season 7 Cheryl doing the same thing. One of these people is supposed to be the good guy.

Julia: Oh wow, Musa, excellent point. Also excellent point earlier about what the hell was up with PP in the first place. His death was more underwhelming than anything. Like, all the hype and build-up and she just sets him on fire?

Kylie: Now that all of the Thirteen are dead, is there…a back up plan for Qarth? Did a council page witness the events or something? Will there be a hastily established democracy in six months?

Julia: I’d sooner watch that than season 7 again.

Kylie: Wow, well on that note, we’re gonna have to end things here.

What did everyone else think of the Season 2 finale of Game of Thrones? Was this season really that uneven? Watching back, is it exciting to be going on to Season 3? Are we overstating the good qualities of the Winterfell plotline? Let us know. Then next week, we’ll chat on our podcast about this season in retrospect, to be back the week after with even more Wars to Come.


Images courtesy of HBO

Author

  • Kylie

    Kylie is a Managing Editor at The Fandomentals on a mission to slay all the tropes. She has a penchant for complex familial dynamics and is easily pleased when authors include in-depth business details.

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Analysis

Hello and welcome to another installment of A Song of Pins and Needles, where you, the lucky reader, get to watch me torture myself...

Music

Fraxiom’s dancefloor-ready experimental pop has soared to national attention over the past few months, most notably through the Gupi collaboration “Thos Moser.” The joyous...

Film

Mulan is at times stirring, and almost always entertaining. It’s not as humorous or as zippily paced, as the 1998 version, but that’s by...