Heh, I guess my worries were unfounded. What the f**k just happened?
To be clear, I know those final fifteen minutes were not in the books. I don't really care. They were simply jaw-dropping. Fans of the show have been clamoring for anything concerning the White Walkers for years now, and they just got their wish. Every single moment during that relentless, brutal, chaotic siege was awesome, as in inspiring awe. Culminating in one of the quietest and most chilling moments in the entire series as the Night's King raised his hands while staring at Jon, and every one of the thousands of Wildlings that were slaughtered in that battle rose up to join the Walkers. I think Westeros is totally boned (pun intended).
There were some major stand out moments during the battle. It was totally eerie and tragic when Karsi saw all those child Walkers and froze, unable to defend herself. I had already started to like her character and it was a shame she died so soon, but we had to have an emotional reaction to all those Wildlings dying, so her death made sense. I also liked how the giant helped Jon and Tormund escape, using a massive log to sweep the chasing Walkers aside, then jogging into the sea literally ripping the undead from his back.
And yet the real stand out moment was the fight between Jon and that White Walker leader with the weapon that could shatter swords. It was the first time we could see the value of Valyrian steel, beyond the superficial when Longclaw successfully blocked the Walker's attack without shattering. That means it is the only kind of weapon beyond the fragile looking dragon glass that can kill a White Walker. Watching Jon shatter the monster, and the reaction from the rest of the Walkers, was both cool and terrifying.
Meanwhile... in the rest of the world
Cersei flipping between offering the world, and making threats in a pathetic attempt to bribe or scare anyone into granting her freedom, was a bit sad. She has realized, far too late, that arming the extreme religious set was a really bad idea. The irony, of course, is she totally deserves to be locked up and charged with those very valid crimes, she is absolutely guilty, and in a way it is nice to see her humiliated like this.
Arya has made a bit of progress in her training under Jaqen H'ghar. I'm not entirely sure what the mission was, but if the many faced god is tasking her with assassinating a man who openly steals from the poor and needy, I think she might be in the right place.
Sansa and poor wretched Reek had the most intense conversation of them all. He is so broken, and so terrified of Ramsay, that she had to force the truth out of him about her brothers. I hope he doesn't tell Ramsay that he told her. My hope is that now that Sansa knows, and the weight of the Stark bloodline is no longer exclusively on her shoulders, she will feel more brazen and willing to do what she needs to do. Namely killing the Boltons, or at least sabotaging their war efforts.
There is another Valyrian steel sword in the north, Oathkeeper. Brienne is near Winterfell after all.
Nothing more about Dorne and Jamie and Bronn's fate. Although we did hear that Tommen is locked himself in his chambers and is refusing to eat. I fear that prophecy about Cersei's children each wearing a crown only to die is going to happen sooner rather than later.
I really liked how Dany put Tyrion in his place by forcing him to put down his wine. I wonder if she will be able to get him to quit his drinking, at least for a while.
Tyrion defended Varys, and even insinuated that Varys might've been the one responsible for Daenerys' survival as a baby.
Fortune's Wheel is a real medieval concept, used throughout the middle ages. The idea that fortune is always turning, and sometimes you are on top and sometimes you are on the bottom, is a neat concept. I love the fact that it is an old one. Of course Dany intends to break the wheel.
Even if we didn't get those final fifteen minutes, this was a solid episode with a lot of important revelations. But we did get that amazing battle, so what would've been a good episode was turned into a great one.
4 out of 4 Spokes in Fortune's Wheel.
Reminder: The comments on these episode reviews are appropriate for newbies. If you haven't read the books, you're safe! If you have read the books and would like to talk about upcoming events, please do so here, in our Season Five book spoiler thread.
J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related. He reviews Arrow and Farscape and cool new movies that strike his fancy.
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