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Watching the eighth episode of Game of Thrones, ‘Hardhome’, one gets a real sense that the entire season has been building towards this climactic ending. We get some big moments from all of the key players, the Dorne action has (thankfully) been left (for now) and we get a battle to rival ‘Blackwater’ – and it isn’t even episode nine yet!
As always, our top OMG moments are below, in no particular order.
Wildlings vs. White Walkers
For those who have claimed the fighting scenes in Season 5 have been rushed and stunted (I count myself amongst these grumblers), such qualms cannot be said for the epic battle that ensures at the close of episode eight.
This is our first glimpse of the White Walkers since they turned one of Craster’s children into one of their own, as a storm of wights attack the wildings who are camped up at Hardhome. From the moment the icy clouds start rolling you know that something epic is about to happen, and the ensuring fight did not disappoint. We were shown shots of White Walkers and wights joining the fray, but we still haven’t learned anything new about them, other than some observe the fight rather than participate.
The fight was definitely better than that which occurred during ‘The Watchers on the Wall’; it was executed brilliantly. It was entirely believable and captivating, but a sense of dread stole across the entire setting. For, as much as Jon survived and seemingly won the battle as he escaped, not all is as it seems.
The final shot of hundreds of corpses reanimating was like something out of a horror movie. I only hope the battle to occur in episode 9 is as thrilling, if not more.
Nor did Dany and Tyrion’s meeting disappoint. I have a feeling Jorah will die protecting Dany during the next episode; he has been banished twice, and I don’t think there is much more than can be done with him. He is struck with Greyscale and Dany wants nothing to do with him – let him die with dignity, I say.
Dany and Tyrion’s conversation was gripping, perfectly showing that sometimes Game of Thrones works best when the characters are battling with words. Varys was brought up, as was Robert, Tywin and Aerys – reminding the viewer how much has changed since the beginning of Game of Thrones. The talk of Varys has once more made me wonder whether he is the ultimate game player. I hope he returns soon.
Later still, Dany’s declaration that she intends to destroy the powerful houses of Westeros was stunning to behold. I always love a good Dany speech, but unfortunately I highly doubt Dany will be able to rid the world of all Lannister’s, Stark’s, Baratheon’s and Tyrell’s.
A broken Cersei
The destruction of Cersei is one that the majority have been waiting for, but for me it is horrific to see Cersei crying and drinking water off the ground. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a long time coming, but it isn’t nice to see. Unfortunately, it’s only going to get worse.
I had predicted Cersei’s penance would occur in episode 9 – just because of what occurs with Dany, I think having the two most powerful women fractured in the same episode would have been a huge talking point – but now I hope that isn’t the case.
Cersei’s storyline in A Dance With Dragons is stunning. Her destruction is Martin’s greatest penmanship, and so I don’t want to see this rushed in the show. So I think we need to see Cersei become even more deranged. Keep her penance for episode 10.
Lana the poisoner
I am so disappointed that whilst Arya became someone new, she didn’t become someone new. Maisie Williams is brilliant, as always, but I would have preferred to see somebody else take on the role of Lana; that is, after all, what the Faceless Men are all about. Three different actors have portrayed Jaqen, so why not have someone else take on Arya’s role?
In the grand scheme of things, killing the gambler will likely have little significance, so it begs the question why this was included when so many other plots have been dropped?
All of this said, I did love the little smirk that Arya adopted when she was given the poison by Jaqen. She is becoming quite the assassin.
Bran and Rickon… remember them?
The sooner Sansa kills Theon/Reek and Ramsay, the better. I simple abide them both now. Then is beyond redemption.
But his admission that Bran and Rickon are both, in fact, alive, will undoubtedly give Sansa hope. She is no longer the last surviving Stark, as she had believed for so long.
I loved watching her lay into Theon and I can only hope that she uses more than words to attack him the next time they share a scene. Last week she did pick up a weapon, I’m sure. So it’s about time she wielded it.