Game of Thrones: ‘Mother’s Mercy’ Season Finale Review

Snow Angel

Snow Angel

“If I am going to die, let it happen while there is still some of me left.” -Sansa Stark

The season finale of Game of Thrones has come and gone and the Internet is officially broken. Was there really any doubt that shit was going to hit the fan? And now we are left with numerous questions about pretty much every single character in the show. While some of the scenes in the finale, titled Mother’s Mercy, were directly from the books, we also had some interesting twists and turns that left readers of A Song of Ice and Fire scratching their heads. I’m still quite shocked at a number of events that took place in the finale but it certainly did not disappoint in any way.

And this is probably the most devastating and game changing finale we have seen in Game of Thrones history. Characters were killed off left and right and the finale left me wondering if some of these characters are actually dead. I will try to speculate some of my own ideas regarding what is going to happen next season but I think we all just need to take a deep breath right now because everything that happened in this episode has made things in Westeros look very bleak.

Hopefully you have a Valyrian sword by your side for this recap now that all the dragonglass is gone…oh, and some tissues. My recap is below…Enjoy!

A Whoopin’ At Winterfell

The finale begins just outside of Winterfell where it appears the snow is finally melting, leaving the door open for Stannis to make his attack on the Bolton’s and Winterfell. But wait, it appears the only good thing to come out of Shireen’s death was melting snow. And I am shocked.

Not only does it appear that Shireen’s death was all for nothing last week, it also appears that Melisandre better get her ass back to the drawing board because Stannis is clearly not the one she was seeing in her fires.


Great, the snow is melting and spring is coming! Oh wait, that was the only good thing that came of Stannis’s sacrifice last week and wow, that is some depressing stuff right there. Important to note as well, Melisandre tells Stannis that she has seen Bolton banners burning, however it is fairly obvious that this will not be because of Stannis Baratheon. Keep in mind, Melisandre can only see certain things in her fires. She doesn’t necessarily know when or how these events will take place and her blindness regarding Stannis is made clear during the finale. It all falls into place with this dudes bad news:

We're Fucked M'Lord

And Melisandre’s reaction is…not good:

Oh Shit

Apparently nearly half of Stannis’s army has deserted his cause. And they took ALL of the horses. This is not good. Oh and it gets worse…much worse.

Leaving Us Hanging

Queen Selyse, ravaged by the pain of her decision to burn her own daughter at the stake, takes her own life and it is disturbing in every way. This was probably a foreshadowing of how this episode left us all hanging in the end and things could not be worse for King Stannis. No horses, half his army is gone and his daughter and wife have been killed…all because of his own hubris.

And to top it all off, Melisandre is all like peace the F out after she realizes what is about to happen. Still, this doesn’t stop Stannis from marching on Winterfell anyways.

Death March

I was thrilled to see this all play out as we get no details regarding Winterfell in the last book. That said, the results of what was supposed to be an epic battle in the snow turned out to be a slaughter and this I did not expect. While it has always been pretty obvious that Stannis is not Azor Ahai reborn, as Melisandre has always seemed to think, I certainly was not expecting the Bolton’s to make easy work of Stannis’s army.

And so much is going on. First, we see Sansa use that corkscrew to break out of her quarters and try to escape from the clutches of Ramsay Bolton while he is out doing his war thing.

Prison Break

And Pod and Brienne, who have done absolutely nothing all season, finally jump back into our story when Podrick sees Stannis’s army marching towards Winterfell.

Finally something to do

So they head off right AFTER Sansa lights the candle in the tower and apparently no one has any good luck on this show.

Candle in the Wind

At this point, I’m thinking the North shows up to help Stannis. Or Brienne and Pod do something epic to ensure a Stannis victory. But nope. This is Game of Thrones after all, a series where pretty much everyone is meant to die.

And if you thought this was going to happen, good for you because I would have never predicted this. Stannis, clearly, is the worst when it comes to battles. First, he loses the Battle of the Blackwater and if that wasn’t enough, he gets his ass kicked at Winterfell. This was not even close folks. Melisandre, time to go study up on your interpretation skills because you definitely got this one wrong.

Stannis Charges to his death

So it is pretty clear that this is an outright slaughter. Stannis’s entire army has fallen and Stannis himself has been severely injured. Somehow, though, he manages to stay alive even after these two Bolton clowns try to finish him off:

Stannis kills two Boltons

But look who decides to finally show up.

Do Your Duty

Brienne of Tarth! And she is still bitter about Renly’s death. But they totally left us hanging here. Did she really end up killing Stannis? There is no way of knowing and I get the feeling that we have not seen the last of Stannis Baratheon. Of course, absolutely none of this happened in the books so there is going to be mad speculation as to whether Stannis is dead or alive for the next 10 months. But after everything Stannis went through this season, I can’t imagine Brienne would just murder him in cold blood. Have we seen the last of Stannis? We will, unfortunately, have to wait until April 2016 to find out. Damn you Game of Thrones.

War. What is it good for.

Back to Winterfell, where Sansa is desperately trying to escape before Ramsay returns from the slaughter but she is not getting very far.

Straight as an arrow

She is met by Theon/Reek and Myranda, who is apparently still not cool with Ramsay’s new wife. But it was only a matter of time before Reek finally got his shit together and did something about it.

Myranda gets thrown off tower by Theon

Welcome back, Theon Greyjoy. It appears Myranda has fallen and she can’t get up. Epic stuff. And finally, with Ramsay and his army returning to the castle after making quick work of Stannis, there is only one direction to go for Sansa and Theon and that is down.

Extreme Sports

It seems pretty obvious to me that these two are surviving that insane jump off the castle walls. This was inevitable and it is good to see Sansa finally getting the fuck out of there and Theon finally doing something to help the situation. But now where do these two go? Ramsay is going to be pissed when he finds out Sansa AND Theon have escaped. It looks like we’re going to have a long winter ahead of us before we find out 🙁

The Braavosi Butcher

Back in Braavos, we get an absolutely epic and brutal scene involving Arya, who is now able to disguise herself using the faces from the House of Black and White. And honestly, this murder was so brutal I had to look away. First, Meryn Trant, the biggest sleazeball in the seven kingdoms, is having what he apparently calls fun.

Whipping Girl

Then it is revealed that the last girl is, in fact, Arya in disguise. Did anyone really have any doubts?

Face Off

Arya gets right to it by stabbing Meryn directly in the eye with her dagger.

This was brutal. Not saying that Meryn Trant didn’t deserve this fate, but geez that was beyond violent watching Arya go bat shit crazy, ninja style, on Meryn. Look away if you are in any way squeamish from blood. Or stabbings. Or getting stabbed in both eyes. Or having your throat slit. Yup, this happened.

Sight for Sore Eyes

Assassin's Creed

Arya is one cold-blooded killer. The one thing I really love about her is that she is the complete opposite of every single one of her siblings. She means business and I would absolutely hate to be anyone on her list right about now.

This murder, however, also had consequences for Arya. She was supposed to be taking out the Thin Man and Jaqen is pissed with the fact that she went out and killed someone she had no business killing. He tells her that a debt is owed for stealing from the Many-Faced God and only death can pay for life. Jaqen drinks some kind of poison but, as it turns out, it wasn’t Jaqen after all.

Face Plant

It was just no one. More riddles. Then this:

Blind Spot

Yup, Arya’s blind! Wait, WTF!?!? This was all rather confusing but it looks as though next season we will be joining a now blind Arya who has some lessons to learn in the art of face changing. And following instructions. Let’s just all turn a blind eye for now.

Flaming Lips

Back at Dorne, Jaime and the rest are getting ready to set sail back to King’s Landing but not before the Sand Snakes and Prince Doran say their goodbyes. Now, I’m not usually one to pass judgment but this was a strange way of saying goodbye:

The Kiss of Death

Ellaria Sand plants one right on the lips for Princess Myrcella and I knew this was going to be a bad omen as soon as it happened. Plus, Jaime and Myrcella shared a heartwarming moment aboard the ship and we all know what happens to anyone who shares a heartwarming moment on this show. Just ask Stannis.

Incest is Best

And obviously as soon as this beautiful moment occurs…

Nosebleed Seats

…this happens. Because this is the Game of Thrones and as soon as you even ATTEMPT to be understanding, happy or loving…you die. Then we find out what actually happened.

Spitting Anti-Venom

Poisonous lipstick. So while the entire Dornish plot was pretty terrible this season, this was a great way to finish the season off for the Sand Snakes. And this should have major consequences for a number of reasons. First, Myrcella is a Lannister and people in King’s Landing are going to be super angry about this entire incident. Further, the Sand Snakes are not exactly working with Prince Doran so this was a move that went behind the old cripple’s backs and it ultimately puts Trystane in a very difficult situation. And I have to ask, why in the hell didn’t Doran send someone with Trystane in the first place. Terrible decision all around.

So this is obviously not the last we are going to see from the Sand Snakes and if I’m a betting man, King’s Landing and the Lannisters are going to be really, really ticked off with the Dornish in Season 6.

Changing of the Guard

In Meereen, Dany’s absence has caused some major changes. And look who is left in charge…

The New Rulers of Meereen

Ummm….I think this is probably a terrible decision. Grey Worm is an unsullied warrior with no balls and Missandei is a translator. So what the hell, might as well just throw them in charge of a city under attack. Sorry, but that is dumb. It really makes no sense and obviously the show should have never killed off Barristan the Bold since he would have made a much better temporary ruler.

So Jorah and Daario head out to go find Dany, leaving Tyrion behind with No Nuts and Lost In Translation. But an old friend shows up and I am thrilled about it. And so should you:
Spider Webs

Varys makes his return. It is somewhat of a crazy event as none of this happened in the books but I am excited to learn more about what Varys has planned for Westeros. I get the feeling that he has something up his very big sleeves.

Really though, not much to say about Meereen at this point. With Dany’s departure, it looks as though we are going to have some new power dynamics in the East. I’m also curious about Jorah and Daario’s excellent adventure. What will await them as they look for Dany? Apparently we’re going to have to wait 10 months to find out.

Later Gator

At the very least though, we did get to find out what happened to Dany. Drogon has taken her to the middle of nowhere and is pretty tired from all the spears he had thrown his way and the flying.


Dany goes off to look for something…anything…but what she comes across is probably more than she could have ever imagined.

The Dance of Dothraki

I loved every minute of this scene, mainly because this is exactly where the last book left off. Everything is now caught up and George R. R. Martin better release The Winds of Winter before next season or I swear to the seven I’m going to write the damn thing myself. That said, Drogon has taken Dany back to the Dothraki Sea and the former tribes she left behind appear to be back in the mix. Smart move taking that ring off too! I can’t imagine Dany is in trouble here either as the Dothraki should still look to her as their Khaleesi. Is she ever going to make it to King’s Landing though?

Shame of Thrones

Ah yes, the moment we have all been waiting for. Cersei has had enough of prison life so she finally confesses her sins to the High Sparrow. The only problem with this, however, is that she only confesses for her incestuous relationship with her cousin Lancel. She plainly lies to the High Sparrow regarding her relationship with brother Jaime which only means one thing: A trial is coming. The High Sparrow also grants her permission to return to the Red Keep but first, a haircut:


And this wouldn’t be King’s Landing without a good, ole fashioned walk of shame. Much like the previous High Septon, Cersei has to walk her naked butt all the way through the streets of King’s Landing and even though she appears to look strong…

Lets Do This

…she ends up covered in blood and tears. Oh, and rotten garbage and vegetables being thrown at her from pretty much every smallfolk in King’s Landing. This is what happens when you go on a power trip and don’t give two shits about the people you are ruling. I guess the High Sparrow was right about them being the 99% and apparently no one in King’s Landing has any shame:

Mardi Gras

Pants on the Ground

That guy is definitely looking like a fool but Cersei has clearly gotten the worst of this walk.

Shame of Thrones

This entire scene was absolutely perfect in every way. Cersei is finally getting what she deserves and I don’t think I feel bad for her one bit. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it comes in the shape of the 8-foot tall FrankenMountain:

Night of the Living Dead

Yup, looks like Qyburn has brought the Mountain back to life. This can only mean one thing. Next season, I am willing to bet we are going to be spending a lot of time at Cersei’s trial, as well as Margaery and Loras, and I get the feeling that things will not be looking good for her in terms of the evidence. Everyone seems to know about her and Jaime and the conclusion of all of this simply HAS to be a trial-by-combat, with Ser Zombie as her champion. The only remaining question is who he will be facing off against.

One other thing worth noting. There is still a ton of wildfire under the city and after what Cersei endured here from her own people, I can only imagine that she will literally burn the city to the ground if things don’t go her way. Can you imagine watching King’s Landing burn to the ground at the hands of Cersei? Anything is possible at this point but that is one theory that I kinda hope comes to light. May the lord have mercy on all of our souls!

For The Watch

And finally, the scene that broke the Internet. But first, we get a nice, heartwarming scene between Sam and Jon Snow and it appears we may be going to a new city next season. This was not how it happened in the books. In fact, it was the complete opposite because Sam is a huge coward in the books. So instead of having Jon send Sam and Gilly away to Oldtown, it appears that Sam is the one making the decision on screen to become a Maester. I’m all for the change.

So Jon and Sam fist bump after its revealed that Sam got laid for once and apparently his nickname, Sam the Slayer, has a brand new meaning.

Sam the Slayer

The Night’s Watch is also not so great at keeping their vows. I guess it only makes sense that Jon can’t really scold Sam for this seeing as he broke the vows himself with Ygritte. So might as well congratulate Sam as it appears that the end of the world is working out well for him.

A Toast to Getting Laid

Sam, Gilly and the babe head out on there way and I’m finally excited to see a new locale next season. Also, giving Sam and Gilly something to do is probably for the better seeing as they hadn’t really accomplished much this season besides losing their virginity.

Off to Oldtown

Some quick background info on Oldtown which is sounding more and more awesome by the minute. It is known for its Citadel, home of the order or Maesters. The city is stunningly beautiful and features many rivers and canals that crisscross its cobbled streets. It also is home of the tallest structure in Westeros, the Hightower. A massive lighthouse which extends approximately 800 feet into the sky and is topped by a huge beacon which can be seen for many miles out to sea. I’m thrilled for this inclusion and cannot wait to see Oldtown during the opening intro next season.

Melisandre also makes her way back to The Wall after the slaughter at Winterfell and her silence says it all. Stannis and everyone else have been doomed. She obviously can’t interpret her fires properly. And the look on her face is exactly how everyone watching probably looked last night, especially after the final scene.

False Fires

Jon abruptly gets a message from Olly that they have somehow managed to find his Uncle Benjen, getting everyone’s hopes up. And this can only mean one thing.


Yup, George R. R. Martin is a traitor!!! Continuously, we get our hopes up that something GOOD will actually happen and every time we do, our hope is destroyed instantly. Jon’s fate was sealed as soon as he made peace with the Wildlings and even after reading this in the books, it was still very difficult to watch:

For the Watch

Everyone takes turns stabbing Jon in the gut, including Alliser Thorne and Bowen Marsh. But the final blow comes from Olly. What a jerk.

The Final Blow

And then, this:

You Know Nothing Jon Snow

No. I cannot deal with this. Even though I saw this coming, I cannot believe this is the last we have seen of Jon Snow. And this is when things are really going to get interesting so let the speculation begin. For one, with Melisandre returning to Castle Black, I think it is probable that she will be able to bring Jon back to life. Thoros and the Brotherhood Without Banners were able to do this with Dondarrion and I see no reason why the red priestess won’t be able to perform the same magic. We all know that Azor Ahai will be reborn and even Aemon told Jon to kill the boy. Well, the boy is dead and I truly believe the man will be born next season. Further, we know the Boltons are going down at some point because Melisandre saw their banners burning in her fire. She was obviously incorrect, however, in thinking it was Stannis that was going to be the one to make that happen. I firmly believe Jon will be reborn and will make his way south to deal with Winterfell. Still though, the theme of this entire episode of basically tragedy and I think we all need a break.

With that, another excellent season of Game of Thrones has ended with more death and depression than ever before so let us all be hopeful that next season will breathe a little hope into Westeros.

Also, a big thank you to all of my loyal readers. Just please, no backstabbing!  I hope you enjoyed my recaps as much as I enjoyed writing them. And now, Season 5’s watch has ended.