I try not to be a book purist when it comes to my favorites being adapted to film. I tried not to roll my eyes at all the changes they made to Harry Potter. I sat patiently while they shortened a tv interview in We Need To Talk About Kevin. When it comes to Game of Thrones, I expect changes. Especially now that we're getting into book 4-5. However there are some things I can't let go of, because I think they help the story for the better. I had three problems with The Children, but I'm going to try not to turn this into a gigantic bitch fest. (but at this point, I'm a professional hater so it's probably going to happen anyways) But I liked most of the episode, I swear.
Jon head out to treat with Mance, whom we haven't seen since early season 3. They chat, Mance talks about how the giant they killed came from an old family. "Grenn came from a farm" Jon deadpans. They toast to Ygritte, and to their lost, and Mance lays down his terms. He wants Jon to let his people through the wall, they both know winter is coming and they want to hide behind too. Suddenly, we hear battle horns. We get a beautiful shot overhead of an army charging.
STANNIS STANNIS STANNIS
Mance stands down, Stannis and Davos ride up like the bosses they are, but Mance won't kneel. Jon reveals himself to Stannis, and tells him Ned Stark was his father. Stannis acknowledges that he was an honorable man, and takes Mance and his people prisoner.
Later, we see the Night's Watch lay their fallen to rest, Melisandre is there eye fucking Jon. Later, he sets a pyre for Ygritte beyond the wall.
Kings Landing - The Cersei Chronicles.
Cersei is with Grand Maester Pycelle and Qyburn, they're working on The Mountain who still isn't dead. Oberyn poisoned his spear to ensure a slow painful death. Qyburn wants to experiment on him, so Cersei kicks Pycelle out of his lab. If I didn't hate Pycelle so much, I'd feel bad.
Then we see her tell Tywin she won't marry Loras Tyrell, that she will do anything to protect her son, oh, and they're bastard children. Tywin refuses to believe this. At first, I was annoyed that Cersei even admitted all of this, but in a way, I can see that they're trying to show just how bat shit crazy she can be. It's the next scene I hated.
Problem #1: Cersei visits Jaime in his tower and seduces him. She kisses him, tells him she wants him, insults Tyrion, KISSES HIS GOLDEN HAND THAT SHE'S SUPPOSED TO DESPISE. Then Jaime fucks her. WHAT?! Why is Jaime regressing? He should already be rejecting Cersei by now. Plus transition-wise, it doesn't make sense for when we see Jaime later.
Beyond the Wall
Bran and co finally get to the Godswood Jojen has been seeing. Only they get attacked by Wights (the risen bodies of the undead, not to be confused with those creepy ass white walkers we're used to seeing) Summer, Meera, and Bran warging into Hodor fight them off. Meera turns her back on Jojen only to see him getting stabbed to death. He tells them to make a run for it. Suddenly, The children of the forest appear and
throw some Pokemon fire balls at the Wights to save them. When they get inside the cave, the Wights can't follow. They finally meet the three eyed crow, who has manifested himself into an old man. Bran goes all Harry Potter and says "I didn't want anyone to die for me" and asks if he is going to help him walk again. "You will never walk again, Brandon, but you will fly." I'm glad they kept that line in there. It was one of my favorites from the book
The Vale of Arryn
Brienne and Pod wake up, they've lost their horses since Pod can't tie a knot. Brienne runs across Arya, and they have a sweet moment talking about how their fathers wouldn't let them fight. Of course that sweetness is ruined when The Hound shows up, Podrick recognizes him, and Arya refuses to go with Brienne. Brienne and The Hound have an epic fight that involved cuntpunts, ears being bitten off, and rock head bashing. It was intense. Arya hides from Brienne after it's over, and when The Hound asks her to give him the mercy of a quick death, she takes his gold and leaves.
Dany is still in her throne room when a man brings the bones of his three year old daughter that Drogon torched. Drogon is nowhere to be found. Jorah's words echoing in her head about not being able to control them, she chains Viseron and Rhaegal in a pit. I almost cried, I got way too emotional over a couple of dragons.
Kings Landing - Tyrion's cell
Tyrion is lying in his cell awaiting his death, when suddenly his door opens. It's Jaime, he's freeing him with the help of Varys. I guess all Jaime needed was a good fuck to get this plan into motion? Jaime tells Tyrion to go through the door, and Varys will be there, they hug and part. Enter Problem #2: There was no mention of Tysha, Tyrion's previous wife who he thought was actually a whore Jaime paid. Now, I know plenty of Unsullied assholes wrote this off as book readers being picky, but this particular conversation is what changes Tyrion from here on out, and is the major catalyst for him going to Tywin's chambers instead of straight to Varys. Tyrion finds Shae in Tywin's bed, she reaches for a knife, and he strangles her. No dialogue. He then walks down to Tywin's privy, cross bow in hand, and aims at him. Tywin attempts to talk him out of it. He lies to Tyrion, says he admires him for not dying and said that he was never going to let them kill Tyrion. Tyrion then turns the conversation to Shae when it should've been Tysha. It just doesn't have the same emotional punch. It's not like Tysha was completely unknown to Unsullied either, they talked about her in season 1. Tyrion tells Tywin "I've always been your son" and puts two arrows in him.
When he finally gets to Varys, he asks "what have you done?" Tyrion is silent. As he's loading him up in a crate on a ship, Varys is about to head back to the Red Keep when the dreaded bells start winning. In what was probably my favorite moment of the episode, Varys turns the fuck around and gets on that boat with Tyrion.
Speaking of boats, Arya also gets on one in the Saltpans, one heading for Braavos. She gives then captain the coin Jaqen gave her in season 2, and says "Valor Morghulis." As the music was playing in this scene, I started getting nervous. "No, they can't end it here" I kept telling myself. But they did. Problem #3 and MAJOR BOOK SPOILERS
No. Fucking. Lady Stoneheart. They only needed an extra 20 seconds for this scene, that's all they needed, and they left her out! They threw away a chance to truly shock the audience, and HBO LOVES SHOCKING PEOPLE. They get shock boners all the time, and they didn't use her. Even Alex Graves, the director of this episode was disappointed. He wanted her in there. I can't fathom why they didn't include this quick and extremely fucked up scene. This is actually overshadowing the rest of the episode for me. I wanted that so badly, and I thought for sure we'd get it. D&D better have a damn good explanation for this one. (and yes, I feel that I'm owed that, at least)
Thanks for reading my Game of Thrones recaps! As always, click the gifs to be redirected to their makers. I'll be recapping True Blood when it starts up in two weeks.