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10 Things We Learned From The Season Finale Of "Game Of Thrones": Spoiler Whore and Book Reader Edition

By Joanna Robinson | TV Reviews | June 13, 2013 | Comments ()


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Author’s Note: Hey folks! We’re back with a book spoiler-heavy “Game Of Thrones” rundown. If you’re looking for eloquent or sophisticated analysis, I suggest you head on over to TK’s superlative Monday recap. This post serves mainly as an outlet for all your pent-up frustrations at having to tip-toe around your book knowledge lest you spoil a “Game Of Thrones” newbie. So, in case it isn’t clear, IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED BY BOOK KNOWLEDGE OR SOME INSIDER SHOW INFO, GET OUT OF HERE. SERIOUSLY, WHAT IN THE SEVEN ‘ELLS ARE YOU DOING HERE? LEAVE OR I’LL SEND YOU TO BED WITHOUT SUPPER.
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Are they gone? Phew. Anything goes in the comments, folks. We’re hoping this will help curb some of your urges to spoil in the regular recap. Have at it!—JR

1. Strongest Character Moment: A lot of us Book Readers were frustrated when Arya escaped Harrenhal last season without getting her hands bloody. That transformative moment came for her here in this episode. After we saw her harden at the sight of her brother’s body being paraded around, this seemed like a logical moment to meet the more violent side of Arya Stark. I think they did a good job building up her anger and resentment this season and the contrast between the hopeful Arya of last week and the ruthless one we saw this week. Also, speaking of that sequence with the Grey Wind and Robb, I didn’t think they’d have the guts to show it. Absolutely sickening puppetry. I’ve got a thing about puppets.
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2. Best Performance: This wordless moment from the dazzling Sophie Turner. Heart wrenching. Initially I wasn’t sure if this young actress was up for all the torments that are in store for Sansa, but she’s proved time and time again that she is one of the strongest members in the cast. I will be distressed, however, if/when they dye her hair black. Turner’s ginger hair is just stunning.
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3. Biggest WTF Are You Doing In This Episode Moment? Oh, Yara. I like this actress. I like the idea of another strong, militaristic lady character. But any and all fleshing out of Theon’s plotline is rubbing me the wrong way. Sure it’s cannon that Asha Yara makes an attempt to find Theon before the Kingsmoot, but I don’t really need to see her do it. It also was an odd narrative choice to not check in with the Ironborn all season and then expect us to care/remember them. I was sort of hoping they’d bump Balon off in this episode so we could be done with him. Maybe they needed us to hate him a bit more first?
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4. Character Assassination: Not to be all negativity, but I’m also not sure I like what they’ve done with Stannis. The rigid morality triangle between “evil” Melisandre, “good” Davos and “neutral” Stannis is not the dynamic I remember from the book. Stannis had his own reserve of moral strength.
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5. Something I Actually Liked!: Loved, in fact. I loved the bits with Bran, Hodor and the Reeds. Bran’s re-telling of the Rat Cook story gives me hope that eventually we’ll get Meera telling the story of the Knight Of The Laughing Tree. When I first watched the episode, I couldn’t believe the ridiculous “something scary is coming” noises they were trying to attribute to Sam, but it’s a dead-on rip from the book so I suppose I have to be okay with it.
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I also think this is one of the most beautiful shots we’ve ever had from the TV series and if the episode had ended here, I would have been quite pleased. Bran, Hodor and The Reeds are not the most compelling or popular characters so I understand ending with the crowd-pleasing Dany, but, well, we’ll get to that. Did I miss Coldhands? I suppose so, but the showrunners have always been judicious about exactly how many new characters they introduce in a season and I’m guessing they had already hit their limit. It’s fine that we’ll meet him next year.
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6. Favorite New Character: Speaking of new characters, the most dynamic has to be Iwan Rheon’s Ramsay Snow. Ahhhhh, isn’t it a relief to say that aloud to your non-book reader friends? RAMSAY SNOW. YOU KNEW NOTHING ALL SEASON, IT WAS SNOW. Anyway, we get why the reveal was held back. We get why, ultimately, Show Watchers would be disappointed by the reveal, but we cannot, for a second, fault Rheon. Remember when Joffrey was the sickest puppy in Westeros? No longer. I could have done without the bit with the sausage, but Rheon’s face is priceless.
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Additionally, and I mentioned this many times on the “Cast Of Kings” podcast, how sick do you have to be to get a DECORATIVE box for your penis-o-gram? Like, did he commission someone to carve a kraken just for extra horrific funsies? It would appear so. Nasty.
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7. Best Scene: Lifted almost word for word from the book, the Small Council scene was extraordinarily well done and helps put the pieces in motion for next year’s Purple Wedding/murder trial plot. We’ve got Tyrion’s death threat and Tywin officially all out of f*cks to give. Magnificent. Also, enough can’t be said about Jack Gleeson’s tantrums. I’ll miss them when he leaves us next year.
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8. Worst Scene: Some folks have theorized that the reason for this horrible scene was to give Shae a better motivation to hop into Tywin’s bed. I don’t get that. I don’t get what they’re doing with this miserable depiction. Varys was, as always, solid, but if this was some sort of an attempt to provide us with a better sense of the lower classes and their struggle then, well, I find myself not caring. I’m sorry.
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9. Ygrittes, I’ve Had A Few: I hated this stupid scene. How, exactly, is it that Ygritte shook Tormund loose and caught up to Jon? Rose Leslie was lovely as always, though, and I know many of you were upset to not see her knock a few arrows into that bastard, Jon Snow last week. So there you have it. I’m really very very worried about Kit Harrington’s ability to further take up the hero mantle and morph into the Lord Commander over the next season. I also think the showrunners are overestimating our ability to care about the Battle of Castle Black. But we shall see.
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10. Ugh. This: No I did not get a racist/white savior vibe off this scene in the book but the visual of it made my skin crawl. I realize I may be over-sensitive, but I think it was problematic. Many Book Readers have mentioned that because Dany’s role as “conqueror” and “savior” goes south so quickly, this fleeting and mistaken sense of victory and divinity is actually useful in demonstrating her fool-hardy approach. Lift her up to watch her fall. I can kind of buy that. I still think the scene landed with a thud and I still cannot fathom why they didn’t end with Lady Stoneheart. LADY STONEHEART. It would have been amazing.
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Best Line
Because “The North Remembers” is one of the most haunting, mellifluous phrases of the entire book series. This line from Tyrion evokes both the Manderlys and pies (as did Bran’s story of the Rat Cook) and I cannot wait for some sweet, gravy-filled revenge.
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Best Random Image Of The Week
There are a lot of enjoyable random images here, but I subsequently found this one which warms my cockles.
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Joanna Robinson is the God of Snits and Whine. She apologizes for the lateness of this post. You can scold her on Twitter if she’s not too busy podcasting about “Game Of Thrones” or generally mucking about. Send a raven, won’t you?




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