SIONL: Game of Thrones Episode: Hardhome

I haven’t done one of these before, but it is going to be something that I do a lot of in the future, because this episode was so awesome, and I have no one to jam with about how awesome this was.  I am going to be spoiling the living SHIT out of this episode, so consider yourself warned, if you haven’t seen it.  If you haven’t – see it!  Do it now!  This season has been a little slow, but man did that slow have an awesome pay-off for this episode.  All of the dramatic tension that this season had led to this one episode, and oh my god!  It was so worth it!

To start with, seeing Tyrion and Daenerys just sitting and talking.  Tyrion was giving her some tough lessons in running a kingdom.  He made a good point about how she is trying her best to be some kind of person of the people.  But it isn’t working.  Her armies are crumbling as the Sons of the Harpy are picking away at them.  She’s re-opened the Fighting Pits, and that is a good step, but the reality is that she is going to have to do some real negotiating with the wealthy, if she is going to help raise her army and retake Westeros.  Though, as Tyrion pointed out, should she really do that?  The families that she will need don’t care about her.  Her dragons can make them cooperate, to a point.  The reality is that she has to learn the politics of it.  And, for the first time, I think I saw some genuine humility in Dany, when Tyrion explained that the politics of running a kingdom is something that he knows how to do.  She is beginning to understand the limits of her experience.  That makes this all more interesting, for sure.

Next up, there was Arya beginning her first assignment.  The way that they had her describing her character in the third person, while we saw her character interacting in the real world was cool.  Also, it was a cute look.  For real, I like what they did with her hair.  And now you may all make jokes about how gay that makes me sound.  It’s okay, I’m with you.  It does.  But I’m bi, so I can make statements like that.  I have the half-gay pass.  In any case, the scenes with her were awesome.  It has also shown that she has been given her first task, to kill a man.  That may not sound that profound, but the whole reason that Arya went to the House of Black and White was to learn the ways of an assassin.  At long last, she is.  That’s pretty freakin’ cool.  I can’t wait to see how the next job turns out.

But, the big part of this story was, as the episode was named, Jon Snow’s journey to Hardhome.  In the span of ten minutes, it goes from very hopeful, to going to total shit, in the coolest scene in this entire series so far.  In the most awesome battle sequence, they have a bunch of twists.  First, the Night King is back.  They’ve given him a better look, and this dude is imposing as fuck!  Not only that, but he can raise the dead in an instant.  Which is bad, because….

The army of the dead arrives at Hardhome.  Just as they are loading up on Jon’s ships, the army of the dead arrives.  This battle sequence was fucking intense!  It shows where the budget for this episode went.  No complaints on my end!  It was so cool!  Getting to see a giant rip dead people in half was just sick.  And crush them underfoot.  I am so glad that a giant is going back to the Wall with Jon.  That makes me 9 kinds of happy.  Plus, Tormund shows his loyalty to Jon.  These two have formed a bond together.  It isn’t great, but it is enough to make their partnership feel legit.  Awesome levels?  Very high!

Next twist – valyrian steel can deflect White Walker weapons!  I love the look on the Walker’s face as it sees that Jon’s sword can fight on its level.  It was the ultimate “oh shit!” look that I’ve seen in a while.  Watching Jon then subsequently smash it into a million fucking pieces was the coolest thing that I have ever seen in this entire series.  Or, at the very least, the most badass.  Jon Snow’s level of badassery has risen by metrics I can’t calculate.  My math skills aren’t that good.  I’ve liked his character for a long time, and while he had a slow start, it’s clear that his skills as a leader are going to come back.  They lost their dragonglass daggers, but Stannis said that Dragonstone has plenty of that to spare, so I’m not worried.  They’ll get more in time for when the Army of the Dead arrives at the Wall.

Which brings me to the last point in this episode – the Night King has a Jones for Snow.  At the end, the two of them stare at each other, for quite some time.  As I watched that scene, it made me think back to the interaction between Harbinger and Commander Shepard in the Arrival DLC of Mass Effect 2.  I think that this guy sees Snow as a threat.  He just pwned a White Walker.  That’s the best way I can describe it – pwnage.  Watching him strike that fucker and it being totally obliterated was the greatest thing ever.  This guy saw it too, and it knows that Snow is not going to up and leave.  Winter is coming, and the two will meet again.  Emergency Awesome postulated that it saw something like what Melisandre saw in him, but I got a feeling that this was more a challenge.  Like when Sovereign and Shepard talked in Mass Effect.  It wanted him to know what it could do, and it added thousands of people to the Arm of the Dead.

This episode was awesome on 100 different levels.  From Tyrion and Dany having a cordial and fun discussion, to Jon Snow being involved in the most intense battle I’ve seen in the series thus far.  Everything led to this.  It got pretty fucking crazy, and what’s more, I am glad to see that it did.  This season is finally heating up, and it can only get better from here.  Oh, and I can’t help but be pleased to watch a smug bitch like Cersei sucking up water from the floor, becoming desperate.  I love this show!

Let me know what you all thought in the Comments.  I look forward to our discussion.

Until next time, a quote,

“When I served as Hand of the King, I did quite well with the matter, considering the King I served preferred torturing animals to leading his people.”  -Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones

Peace out,

Maverick

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