Game of Thrones: ‘Hardhome’ Review

Hardhome Run

Hardhome Run

Daenerys: “Lannister, Targaryen, Baratheon, Stark, Tyrell. They’re all just spokes on a wheel. This ones on top than that ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground.”
Tyrion: It’s a beautiful dream…stopping the wheel. You’re not the first person whose ever dreamt it.
Daenerys: I’m not going to stop the wheel. I’m going to break the wheel!

Winter is here. Hands down the episode of the season so far, we finally get to see the White Walkers in action and it’s going to be a Long Night in Westeros. I have zero complaints about this episode of Game of Thrones, it had everything. And I have to say, for whatever reason, I even felt just a little sorry for Cersei Lannister. That is not an easy accomplishment so big congrats to Lena Headey for playing the SHIT out of Cersei, she has done an unbelievable job. Oh, and did I also mention ICE SPIDERS! Ok, so the 8-legged icy freaks didn’t make an actual appearance but at least they were mentioned, sending me hope that we may actually see them in the future.

Further, Tyrion and Daenerys are together at last and it was a sight to behold. There conversation was picture perfect and the Spokes on a Wheel monologue by Daenerys was flawless. Can it really get any better than this with only two episodes to go.

Check your home for ice spiders before reading this recap though. Enjoy!

The Hand of the Queen

Into Your Service

Our episode begins in Meereen with Dany finally speaking with Tyrion and Jorah. And man, Jorah clearly hasn’t had a good day in a long time. First he gets exiled, then he gets Greyscale.

I loved what Tyrion had to say though with respect to Jorah. He has a way with words and the first advise for Dany regarding Jorah was brilliant. He defends Jorah’s devotion to the Mother of Dragons, but the biggest moment was when Tyrion says: “He did not trust that you would be wise enough to forgive him.” Wise words. Everything that comes out of the Imp’s mouth is genius. He is well spoken and offers some great advice. When Jorah was banished again for the second time, I couldn’t help but feel bad for the guy. He has been doing everything for Dany, even if he did supposedly betray her in the beginning. And now hes only got one place to go and that is back to the Fighting Pits.

Banishment Sucks

If I had to take a guess, since Jorah has Greyscale and is headed back to the fighting pits, something big is going to happen and he is going to die defending Dany, giving him the redemption he so badly needs. But I see no possible way Jorah is going to make it out of this season alive.

Dany and Tyrion finally meet for the first time and it was a pleasure to behold. We are now heading into new territory and no one can know for sure what is going to happen in Meereen since Dany and Tyrion have yet to meet in the books so watching every conversation between these two was pleasing in so many ways!

The Dwarf and the Dragon

So Dany officially makes Tyrion one of her advisers. Having already killed his father, Tywin, at the end of last season it would only make sense for Dany to have someone like Tyrion in her council. He knows the ins and outs of King’s Landing but the big question is whether Dany will ever make it to Westeros. She better or else!

Also, the speech about breaking the wheel was absolutely satisfying. Dany means business so one can only hope that she will finally get on one of her dragons and head West! Even more fascinating is the fact that she has NO idea about what is going on in the North with the White Walkers. Hell, no one really knows except the Night’s Watch and the Wildlings. Questions remain as to how Dany is going to play a part in all of this but I think we’re all hoping her dragons will be a major factor when Winter is in full swing.

I am going to fuck that wheel up

Jail Bird

I Will Not Kneel

Back in King’s Landing, things appear to be getting worse for Cersei. Much worse. But please, more spoon swatting! That will always bring a smile to my face.

Cersei Gets Wacked

And look at this reaction:

The Night Is Dark and Full of Errors

Qyburn pays Cersei a visit to explain that she is in big shit. She’s been charged with fornication, treason, incest and the murder of King Robert Baratheon. And honestly, she is going to have her hands full getting out of this one, especially considering the faith does not adhere to the same standards of proof than the Crown. So clearly giving the High Sparrow all of this power was a terrible idea on Cersei’s part.

Another important note is that Uncle Kevan is back but refuses to speak with Cersei and Tommen is starving himself now that both his wife and mother are locked away in the dungeons. Grow some balls, Tommen! You’re the KING! Of course, this leaves Cersei with no one except Qyburn and his monster.

No One Likes You

Now, if I had to make a prediction here my guess is that we are headed to another Trial By Combat. Cersei is not going to be able to defend herself against Lancel and these very serious charges which means the only possible way out of this is going to be to put this into the hands of a champion. But after sending Jaime and the rest of the Kingsguard away, there is really only one person left to be her champ! And that is obviously going to be The Mountain, in zombified form. The Walking Dead meets Game of Thrones. The big question will remain though,  who will end up facing off against Gregor…I’m guessing that will be none other than his little bro, The Hound. This simply needs to happen, period!

So it looks like Cersei is finally getting a taste of her own medicine! Praise the Seven.

Grounded

Oysters, Clams and Cockles

Arya’s story is finally picking up some steam. While her story in Braavos has been a bit slow at times, it definitely picked up this week with Arya finally getting her first mission…selling oysters, clams and cockles at the canals. For book readers, this was a great little shout-out and I absolutely loved seeing Arya as Lana the orphan girl.

Makeover

While Jaqen is still speaking in riddles, he at least sends Arya to check something out. And while nothing really happened per se, we at least know that Arya has been tasked with killing the ‘Thin Man’ who is clearly evil in every regard. A living, breathing cockle if you will:

You Are What You Eat

Arya witnesses a father arguing with the Thin Man and he’s taken away but at this point we really don’t know what is going on until Jaqen explains the operation. Basically, the Thin Man is a gambler who wages that his sailor’s ship will make it to its destination. And it’s a terrible deal for the captain who can only win the bet if he loses his life. The problem, however, is that when the gambler loses his bet, he decides he doesn’t have to pay, leaving the family with nothing. And the only recourse in this case…is praying to the Many-Faced God. So Arya has her first mission and the Thin Man is probably not going to be running this operation for much longer!

One Mans Oyster Is A Little Girls Poison

Also, when is Mace Tyrell and Meryn Trant going to arrive in Braavos? We know Cersei sent them to deal with the Iron Bank and one can only hope that this arrival will coincide with Arya’s story at the House of Black and White. Arya is most definitely going to be tempted into killing Meryn, as he is one of the people on her hit list, so shit may hit the fan in Braavos before the season wraps up.

The Truth Is Out There

Explain Yourself

Back in Winterfell, Sansa confronts Theon/Reek as to why he ratted her out to Ramsay. Theon is a broken man and is clearly scared out of his wits. I would be to if I have been flayed and dismembered. But the one awesome part of this entire conversation was with respect to Theon finally confessing to Sansa that her brothers Bran and Rickon are, in fact, still alive.

Secrets Revealed

This is a game changer. While Theon has no clue where the boys are, at least Sansa now knows her brothers live. And I get the feeling that this was the one thing she needed to finally start her transition to take her revenge on the Boltons.

Meanwhile, Roose and Ramsay are making plans for the arrival of Stannis and his army. Winter is definitely on its way and Roose wants to let Stannis and his men freeze and starve outside the walls of Winterfell.

The War Room

But Ramsay disagrees. And the plot thickens. He asks Roose for 20 good men. So it looks like Ramsay and a small army of men are going to be gunning for Stannis. So many questions…is Reek going to be going with them? And what does Ramsay have planned for Stannis? We better get answers before the season ends.

A Feast For The Crows

There’s No Place Like Hardhome

Home, Sweet Hardhome

And now for the main fucking event! First, absolutely NONE of this occurred in the books and I had no idea what was going to go down but the entire scene was set up so perfectly that I was on the edge of my seat for the entire last half of the episode.

Tormund and Jon arrive at Hardhome to meet the Wildlings. They are greeted by Rattleshirt, the Lord of Bones but as it turns out he wasn’t much of a threat.

The Lord of Snow Cones

Tormund ends up making an example out of him to make a point. Rather than continue to bitch about the men in black, they need to come together to fight a bigger threat. So the Lord of Snow Cones ends up dead very quickly:

Bonehead

So Jon has some words with the Wildlings and it is a damn good thing he brought Tormund with him. Giantsbane defends Jon Snow and without him, there is no possible way Jon would have been ever to sway the Wildlings to his side. So off they go to sail back to The Wall with a brand new army of Wildlings at their side. But not before the most epic thing possible happens. The entire set up was so intense and this fight had it all.

Here are the highlights:

White Walkers finally decided to show up…

This Guy

They kill a Thenn which is probably for the best since, like Tormund, I fucking hate Thenn’s:

Thenn Dies By White Walker

Longclaw comes to the rescue:

Jon Kills White Walker

Even Andre the Giant was doing his part:

Giant Throwing Zombies

Including this:

giant-stomp

Oh and some undead cliff diving too:

Zombie Apocalypse

Epicness all around, the last half of this episode was simply amazeballs in every way. If you had told me that the Wildlings and Jon Snow were going to be attacked by an army of undead and White Walkers, I would have never believed you. None of this has happened in the books and The Night’s King has yet to make an appearance so this was beyond exhilarating. I mean, we had Jon kill a White Walker using Mormont’s sword, Longclaw. We had a giant fighting off undead left and right. We had a freakin’ zombie army jumping off a cliff. And we had this:

Children of the Dead

Yup, if you guessed little children zombies, give yourself a pat on the back. The biggest and most disastrous aspect of this battle though was at the end when all of the dead came back to life to join the White Walkers.

The Walking Dead

Now, that’s some kind of awesome sorcery right there and if I’m the Night’s Watch or the Wildlings, I’d say the smartest thing for them to do is join forces because WINTER IS FUCKING HERE TO STAY!

Also, the Night’s King is one evil looking dude and finally the threat is real. Winter is here and everyone should be very, very afraid.

Behind Blue Eyes

This episode was 5 stars, 10/10 and gets nothing but love from me. I don’t even know how the final two episodes can top the events of Hardhome but I’ll be watching intently. Hardhome definitely hit a HOME RUN!

Next Week

Oh yes, get ready for more FIGHTING in the great pit of Daznak. I’ll be heading to Meereen for some color commentary next week, especially for the main event which should feature Jorah ‘Greyscale’ Mormont in some shape or form. Also making an appearance…well, you’ll just have to wait and see. Check out the preview for The Dance of Dragons below: