If our editor is set in her opinion and unwavering, this is my last recap of HBO’s Game of Thrones. I understand her revulsion and unwillingness to be a part of the media machinery that makes this show culturally relevant. And I’m not staying up past midnight slapping my Chromebook around for my own health. So seriously, folks, this is your last chance to impress me. Give me a finale that redeems this shitstorm of rape, torture, and NITB horseshit spoilerism.
Let us begin.
Mel tries to sell a sunny morning as the Red God’s will. Stannis’ frostbitten lieutenants have other news. Another 50% reduction in force has peaced out, taking the remaining horses with them. And Selyse, who used her other dead children as pickled conversation pieces, has done a Judas over Shireen. And, since it all comes in threes, Mel has done a runner.
Stannis, having no other options, doubles down. Form up and let’s fucking march.
A bit further north, Jon and Sam are supping ale and discussing the endless army of the dead massing at Hardhome. They touch on the fact that Valyrian steel is also effective against the ice zombies, and take note that this is on a level with unicorns as a defensive strategy. Furthermore, Jon has broken with 8 millennia of the history of the Watch in order to save the lives of a mob of wildlings. Whatever they are drinking isn’t strong enough.
Sam’s notion is to do more research, way far south of here with Gilly in tow. Sam has the only working brain in this entire show. (I’d take Dolorous Edd as a wartime consigliere, frankly, and if anyone can find a solve for this mess in a library, it’s Sam.)
And the siege of Winterfell… Um. Is 500 frozen pikemen in the distance actually a siege? This is barely a peaceful protest.
Sansa and her pilfered awl have popped the lock on her rapechamber, and she’s gone walkabout. I’d have hung on to that awl.
Second working brain on this show: Pod, who may have been the first to spot Stannis’ Hapless Attempt. He drops the firewood and bunnies and runs straight for Brienne. Good lad.
Regarding the “Siege of Winterfell”: Even Sansa knows what… holy shit, is that three divisions of cavalry… I mean… I was not serious last week about rooting for the Boltons, I swear.
We are spared the sight of Stannis’ loyal soldiers being run down like roadkill. Stannis, already wounded, defends himself against the trash sent out to gut the wounded, but takes a nasty leg wound. And finds himself facing the righteous sword of Brienne. Brienne, after all her mourning over Renly, gets her Inigo Montoya moment, and Stannis, to his credit, stares down his fate without lies or excuses.
Barry the Bastard, flush with victory over a force that couldn’t have done much besides freeze to death half a mile away, stabs a dying man in the kidney and rides off to put his murder-boner to use. You charmer.
Sansa is wandering the battlements, hoping for god knows what, and gets braced by her second-tier tormentor. Sansa stands her ground, and somehow inspires what’s left of Theon to chuck the pointy-nosed little shit of the wall. And what’s left of the two of them takes their chances jumping into the snowpack on the other side.
In the warmer climes of Braavos, Ser Short Eyes is auditioning tweens for his repellent amusements. Bachelorette #3 doesn’t scream on command, which earns her the honor of his undivided attention. Is she Ginger Bitchface from Project Mayhem? Only briefly. Then she is Arya’s Righteous Wrath, applying shank to eyeball.
Arya gets her Inigo Montoya moment, and she savors it like the fury she is.
Back at Project Mayhem, she is so busted. Jaquen and Bitchface put her through a proper mindfuck, and in the end she is left blind. Fuck not with Project Mayhem.
On the glorious shoreline of Dorne, Jaime and Myrcella and her oily prick of a prince are off to the festering shithole that is King’s Landing. (Bronn gets sent home with a big hit of dirty talk and a nibble from his Glorious Bastard.) (This has to have been Bronn’s crappiest visit to Dorne by a mile.)
Safely on board, Jaime tries his best to handle an awkward talk with his, well, daughter. It turns out that a few years in Dorne has set her up with a broader perspective on such matters, and she is able to genuinely appreciate Jaime as a loving father. And we see, for a fleeting second, Jaime free of the shame and secrecy that define him, simply holding his child for the first time in her life.
Really, how fucking good is Dornish wine? It must be like drinking a chocolate cherry orgasm, because I don’t know how anybody can drink anything produced by those poison-happy fucks.
And in the sunlit hell that is Mereen, Dany’s brain trust has made it from the fighting pits to her throne room, where they are loafing like drunks on a stoop. There is the expected bickering, and Daario the Sleaze emerges as the voice of reason. So, Daario and Jorah are the away team, and the city will be in the hands of… Oh dear.
It could be worse. At least Varys finally caught up. We get a few fine seconds of my favorite double act on the show, then it’s off north as the dragon flies, where Dany is looking a bit scruffy, and Drogon is miserably licking his wounds. Dany means well, but she’s a terrible mom with a hurt and sullen teen to manage. What to do but go for a wander? And who should she find but a wheeling horde of Dothraki? Is she going to be treated as a Khaleesi, or is she going to be gang-raped for a week? We’ll find out next season, I suppose.
And we get a solid ten minutes of Cersei being ritually humiliated and degraded onscreen. Most of which is her trudging stark naked through a screaming mob having shit thrown at her.
The worst part? Take a moment and think about how many people jerked off to this. You’re welcome.
What’s the payoff? Qyburn of all people gets to be the sympathetic soul with the blanket. And what ever he did to the Mountain gets to bear Cersei off to the showers.
(Pycelle jerked off to this. You can’t see his hands.)
Back at the blue hell that is Castle Black, Davos is hectoring Jon to no avail. And Mel rides in, full of silent lies of omission. You can see Davos’ soul dying in his face.
Later, Lord Commander Snow is reading dispatches, and clearly seeing no good news, when he is lured out to his ritual assassination. Do we see him die? Did we see Stannis die? Do I give a fuck?
I don’t. Fuck this show. Fuck the show runners, fuck the writers, and fuck GRRM. Thank you for the attempt to make a television show out of this mess, but we all have to agree that it’s a botch. Anybody needs me, I’ll be watching True Detective on demand.