Game of Thrones S02E10: Season 2 Finale Recap & Review (Spoilers)
Game of Thrones S02E10: 'Valar Morghulis' Recap and Review: Game of Thrones Season 2 Finale
Welcome back, Dire Wolf fans. This is it: the Game of Thrones S02 finale. This recap and review will contain season finale spoilers, obviously. "Valar Morghulis" translates to "all men must die", which was pretty much the name of the final episode of House. Anyway, let's get into it.
The Pimp in the Iron Mask
Tyrion Lannister opens his eyes, only to see Grandmaester Pycelle's smirking face. Tyrion is used to opening his eyes to see naked chicks, but, then again, he's most unused to getting slashed in the face by an axe. Will Tyrion be disfigured, the Pimp in the Iron Mask? He tells Podrick (who saved his ass during the battle of Blackwater Bay) to tell Bronn and/or Varys the Spider that he (unlike everyone else who's acted as Hand of the King) isn't dead.
Oh, and Tyrion has been stripped of his duties as Hand of the King. He's holed up in some tiny shithole of a room.
Tywin Lannister: Deuces Are Wild
Horseshit, it's Tywin Lannister. More specifically, we see a horse drop a deuce, and then we see that Tywin Lannister is astride said horse. Season One of Game of Thrones was big on sex and violence. Season 2 is adding poop into the mix.
Joffrey Baratheon is proclaiming Tywin the new Hand of the King, but I can only think of Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" video. Joffrey gives himself lots of titles, but "total fucking cunt" isn't one of them. Why not?
Is it just me, or is Tywin's look toward Cersei Lanniser and her shithead son one of, "I can't believe you two fuckwads are my descendants"?
Tywin doesn't even get off his horse. That's so awesome. Joffrey gives Petyr Baelish Harrenhal in exchange for getting House Tyrell on side. I hope there's a Home Depot nearby, because, as we've seen, Harrenhal is a real fixer-upper. Varys the Spider is all bitchy over this development. I guess Harrenhal is a transitional neighborhood.
Hang on, back to this "Total Eclipse of the Heart" thing. Doesn't Joffrey Baratheon look kind of like Bonnie Tyler?
Margaery Tyrell: Flavor of the Month
Loras Tyrell (whose boyfriend, Renly Baratheon, was killed by Melisandre's dementor love child) is also granted a wish. Okay, this is where it gets gross. Loras wants his sister Margaery to fuck Joffrey, to join Houses Tyrell and Baratheon. Margaery, who wants to be the Queen, remember) is fully on board. I'm like, Nooooope!, but my opinion doesn't count.
Margaery Tyrell is laying it on thick, and we can see that Petyr has been coaching her: he looks so proud. Joffrey, the little prick, is lapping it up. It's like Weird Science: as if a grown woman would ever in a million years fancy this little douche-canoe. Then, Bam!, Cersei throws Sansa Stark under the bus, saying that no daughter of Ned Stark (RIP) should wed her precious little snowflake, especially since Robb Stark is still whipping Lannister ass all up and down Westeros.
Wow, this is a diss of epic proportions. It's visible from space: I'm surprised that we couldn't see it during the opening credits. That's it: Margaery is in, Sansa is out... and this means that it's open season. If they had invented laser sights, we'd see them on poor Sansa's back.
Too bad Sansa doesn't realize this... until Petyr Baelish schools her. Petyr tells Sansa that, just because there won't be wedding bells, doesn't mean that there won't be rape and beatings. He offers to help her get the hell out of Dodge, but, since his driver's license says "Baelish, Petyr", he does it in a creepy fashion: he compares Sansa to Catelyn Stark, after whom he's lusted since forever.
Varys the Spider: 'Be My Bottom Bitch'
Ros is about to entertain a visitor... it's Varys the Spider, who's a gay eunuch, so Ros' taking her top off only entertains the HBO audience. Ros tries to grab Varys' junk... and garbage day has come and gone. He's like, "Told you so."
Varys is acting as a headhunter, recruiting Ros away from Petyr Baelish. "Littlefinger looks at you and sees a collection of profitable holes. I see a potential partner." Did he practice that line in the hallway? He delivered it perfectly.
Brienne of Tarth: Bring the Pain
Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister beach Frodo's canoe and start walking. They're equal heights... when he's standing uphill. Jaime is trying to get under Brienne's skin about her height and virginity. It's working. (Is Jaime Lannister's hair ever not perfect?) They come across three hung bodies: hookers who shagged Lannisters.
Brienne of Tarth means to bury the bodies, but then we hear Northern accents... three of Robb Stark's troops, who laugh when she states her business. This won't end well. Brienne is lying about Jaime's identity: this is some black-ops shit, and she can't have these three goofballs blabbing about it.
One of the troops is smart/dumb enough to corner Brienne and Jaime in their lie, so Brienne drops all three troops in about two seconds. She kills one of them sloooowly. Jaime is like, O_o.
Robb Stark: That Bridge vs Dat Ass
Robb Stark is visiting his mom, Catelyn Stark. She's like, "Really?! You put the wood to Talisa "Dat Ass" Magyr? Walder Frey is going to be pissed off." Robb is like, "Ah luurv her." To be fair, Catelyn is right when she says that true love isn't kindled in an instant, though that doesn't mean that a random arranged marriage is the key to long-term fulfillment. Really, though, Catelyn just wants access to that bridge, and her own judgement has been shithouse recently.
Stannis & Melisandre: "... Well?"
Stannis Baratheon is saying, "Melisaaaaandre... you got some 'splainin' to do!" They're sitting back-to-back, so he can't see her constant blinking when she says that she still sees a Team Sexy Witch Religious Fundamentalism victory ahead. Hang on, Stannis doesn't have a scratch on him, having fought off half of King's Landing only, what, the night before. He's one fierce motherfucker. Witchfucker. Whatever, he's really tough.
Stannis starts choking Melisandre, which may be unwise, considering how homicidal his dementor-son is, but still he's asking, "Where is your god now?" Melisandre answers, "Inside you." He lets her go. Melisandre tells Stannis that the troops will not be home by Christmas, to say the least: the war will last for years, and thousands more will die. Oh, and Stannis will betray everyone and everything he thinks he stands for. But it's all for the greater good (The greater good...).
Melisandre shows Stannis Baratheon something in the fire. Something profound. He sees it. We don't. She's putting the W in TSWRF.
Theon Greyjoy: Motivational Speaker
Theon Greyjoy is surrounded by Stark loyalist troops. He hates whoever is blowing that annoying-ass horn. He mistakenly calls Monk Terence Stamp "Wise Bald Man". How rude. Theon can't send more ravens after he killed them all. I bet he regrets blocking Facebook, too.
Then is recalling the first time he saw Winterfell, the majesty of it. Now he calls it a "frozen pile of shit", which is a bit harsh. Castle Black is kind of a frozen pile of shit, but not Winterfell. Come on. Theon Greyjoy is unearthing all the resentment borne of being raised a prisoner, and then going home to a family of strangers. Monk Terence Stamp is saying, "Stop monologuing and get the hell out of here while you still can.
Theon doesn't want to be "the Greyjoy who ran", even though he's already "the Greyjoy who felt up his sister". Monk Terence Stamp tells Theon to take the Black and disappear, showing him the Season One DVD extra that explains the noble history of the Night's Watch.
Theon takes a pass, deciding to rally the Sea Bitches with what is easily the worst motivational speech ever. Dagmer, first mate of the Sea Bitch, does what you wanted to do: knock Theon the fuck out.
Stabbing Monk Terence Stamp is going too far, though. That's uncool.
The Sea Bitches are like, "Let's go 'ome."
Stand By Your Imp
Varys the Spider is telling Tyrion Lannister what we already suspected: Cersei Lannister told Ser
Mandy Mandon More to kill him. Tyrion is skeptical. I'm not, to be honest.
Tywin took control of the goldcloaks and bought off the hill tribesmen that Tyrion hired back in Season One. Tyrion's badassery will be stricken from King's Landing history, but not from its soldiers' memories. Varys disappears, and won't contact Tyrion for a while.
Shae pops in and the first thing she wants to do is see Tyrion's badass new scar. It's pretty awesome, actually. Shae also calls her client/boyfriend on his shell of sarcasm. Shae wants to get out of King's Landing ASAFP. She wants to go to Pentos, where there's more eating/drinking/fucking, and less stabbing/burning/dying. I, for one, am sold.
Tyrion Lannister will stay, though. He's not only good at deadly political machinations, but he loves his work. Shae vows to stand by her man.
To Have and to Hold (Dat Ass)
Robb Stark and Talisa Magyr are getting married in a secret midnight ceremony, which is how all stable unions start.
Daenerys Targaryen and the Tower from Conan
Team Dragon Mama! Daenerys Targaryen, along with Jorah Mormont and some Dothraki redshirt, approach the House of the Undying. That it looks like the snake tower from Conan the Barbarian should be the first warning sign. Daenerys is really confident in her own magic, despite not having any idea how to use it.
Wait, there's no door to the House of the Undying. Jorah follows Daenerys... she gets out of his line of sight for less than a second, and she's gone. Mindfreak! Mindfreak!
Daenerys is inside the tower now, and following the voices of baby dragons...
Arya Stark, Gendry, and Hot Pie are on the run from Harrenhal, watched by Jaqen "The Hitman" H'gar. Dude's a ninja. Arya wants to reenact scenes from Leon with Jaqen, and asks him to teach him how to kill people. Hey, Arya's a young girl with dark hair. Jaqen sounds sort of French. It could work.
Jaqen says that Arya must follow him to Braavos if she wants to learn the ways of the Force. That's where Arya's awesome "dancing master" is from! Arya wants to go to ninja school, but instead opts to stay in Westeros to sort out her family. Jaqen gives Arya a coin that acts as a sort of Bat-Signal: if she gives the coin to anyone from Braavos and says, "Valar Morghulis", they'll somehow know to summon Jaqen H'gar to come back to Westeros on an ass-kicking odyssey.
Then Jaqen changes his face and says, "Farewell, Arya Stark". Okay, that was pretty cool. Jaqen walks off like a Zartan ninja hitman boss.
Brann Stark: Leaving Home
Brann Stark, Rickon Stark, Hodor, and Osha come out of hiding to find Winterfell abandoned by the Sea Bitches and pretty much trashed. Thankfully the Dire Wolves seem unharmed. Monk Terence Stamp is lying by the big tree, and he tells them to go to The Wall to find Jon Snow.
Monk Terence Stamp doesn't want medicine. He wants Osha to kill him.
The young Starks, along with Osha, Hodor, and their Dire Wolves, head north from a ruined Winterfell.
In the Tower of Mindfreak, Daenerys Targaryen stumbles across a ruined, snowbound King's Landing throne room. She walks out to find herself at what looks like The Wall, and through the falling snow she sees... a Dothraki tent? Inside, there she finds Khal Drogo, who's dead. He's holding their child, who was stillborn.
Daenerys shares a brief moment with her phantom husband before returning to the real world.
Team Dragon Mama: Act Like You Know
In the tower, Daenerys finds her three baby dragons... and Skeleton David Blaine (look, I know we've been using Criss Angel imagery lately, but I've already called this guy Skeleton David Blaine, so that's his name).
SDB takes Daenerys prisoner, so that they can get their power from the dragons, who get their power from Dragon Mama. However, some part of "Team Dragon Mama" must have required further explanation, because SDB is truly surprised when Daenerys tells the dragons to torch his scrawny ass. Guess what; the dragons torch his scrawny ass.
Up in the Frozone, Ygritte is telling Jon Snow that he and Qhorin Halfhand are in for a bit of torture at the hands of Mance Rayder. Jon is provoking her, it's total foreplay. Qhorin attacks Jon, and the Wildlings let them fight. We'll never know if this was Qhorin's hasty plan to get the drop on the Wildlings, since Jon Snow ends up skewering his boss. It may have been Qhorin's hasty plan, though, to get the Wildlings to trust Jon Snow. It worked, so let's give Qhorin the fenifit of the doubt. They burn Qhorin's body to prevent him from coming back as a zombie.
Ygritte, by the way, is well impressed. She shows him the extent of Mance Rayder's army. it's huge.
Team Dragon Mama: Locking Down Qarth
Xaro Xhoan Daxos has just finished some HBO sex with Danerys's handmaiden when Team Dragon Mama busts in. Daenerys, flanked by Jorah Mormont and carrying her baby dragons, is like, "Get dressed. Walk-of-shame time." Daenerys ganks Xaro's key to the vault.
Xaro Xhoan Daxos' vault is actually Al Capone's vault: it's empty. Well, not empty anymore... after Xaro and the traitorous handmaiden are locked inside. So now Team Dragon Mama pretty much owns Qarth.
They'll sell enough swag to buy a ship. Or, no, on second thought... they'll just take everything.
We check back in with the other Night's Watch rangers... and Samwell is still rattling on about Gily, Craster's wife/daughter. Three blasts of the horn... The rangers are like, "Nooooope!" and run for it, leaving Sam on his own. Do three blasts mean White Walkers? Or zombies? Are White Walkers zombies?
Well, these things are definitely motherfucking zombies. Snow zombies, led by a guy who looks like Eddie from the Iron Maiden album covers, and he's on a zombie horse. Most of the zombies are former Wildlings, but some of 'em look like ex-Crows.
Eddie spots Sam, but ignores him. The zombie horde marches towards the faraway cliffs. I can only imagine that they're headed south toward The Wall.
... And that's the end of Game of Thrones Season Two.
Game of Thrones S02E10 Review
Okay, that was not bad. The aftermath of the Blackwater Bay throwdown was handled efficiently, and not without humor. We finally get Tywin Lannister in direct control of his family, and the rest of the Starks out of Winterfell.
The most important part of this episode, for me, was Team Dragon Mama. The Daenerys Targaryen storyline was a highlight of Season One, but was the least interesting part of Season Two. Finally we get some movement, and both the dragons and their mama embrace their ferocity. Now, can they buy a ship with an outboard motor to get them to Westeros early in Season Three?
We finally get to see the White Walkers. Are all of these things White Walkers, or just the zombie leaders?
I give S02E10 four out of a possible five fire-breathing dragons, because of... the fire-breathing dragons. And the zombie horde. And Tyrion's badass scar, as well as his new status as King's Landing outsider. He's still compelled to protect his dysfunctional family, though, which should make for a fascinating Season Three.
I like How Robb Stark is revealing his reckless streak. He's more like Catelyn than he thinks. I also found myself caring what happens to Theon Greyjoy. Mind you, I want it to be something bad, but still.
Arya Stark is sort of in the wind now, hoping to catch up with her brothers. I was hoping she'd go to Ninja School, but you can't always get what you want.
Also, dude changed his face.
Overall, I felt that Season Two was not as snappy as Season One, and had a few episodes that... well, they weren't quite duds, but lacked story advancement. Not good when you only have around 50 minutes a week to lay down a sweeping epic. To be fair, S02E09 should have silenced quite a few critics who want more Young Guns and less Deadwood from their genre entertainment.
Frozen zombies... man, that slaps Max Brooks' Zombie Survival Guide in the face, doesn't it? Though, to be fair, Dead Snow also featured the arctic undead.
Even in this episode, though, while the Brienne-Jaime scene was fun to watch, it didn't really move their storyline along much. They'll either have to fight each other or get to King's Landing for that particular element to get truly interesting.
Team Dragon Mama, while redeeming itself in the final scenes, was the weak link of Season Two.
Season Two MVPs: Tyrion Lannister, Tywin Lannister and Arya Stark. The Tywin-Arya duologues were a highlight for me.
Also, we were promised more Dire Wolves in Season Two and it didn't really happen. Only a small handful of scenes featured the wolves as anything other than background elements. Not good enough for all the Dire Wolf fans out there.
Season Three will adapt the first part of A Storm of Swords (no spoilers; I've not read the books), and its start date is yet to be revealed.
So, what did you think? Did Game of Thrones Season Two deliver the ending you hoped it would?