Wednesday, June 22, 2011
So this is it, the season finale. I can't believe how fast time has flown! This is such a bittersweet moment for me. I always knew the day would come--and quickly with a 10-episode season at that!--but this is what I've been dreading since April. The day Game of Thrones would come to an end for the year.
The title of this final episode is "Fire and Blood" with good reason. But to speak more on that would give certain things away, so for now I'll keep a lid on it and await to see if HBO can pull off greatness here. You'll be getting my honest reactions as they occur throughout the episode, along with some clarifications and background info gleaned from the books when I deem it necessary.
So, won't you join me as a I settle in for what promises to be a night of television I'll likely won't forget for some time? But before you do, please take a moment to check out my previous episode reactions by clicking their appropriate links below:
Episode 1: "Winter is Coming."
Episode 2: "The Kingsroad."
Episode 3: "Lord Snow."
Episode 4: "Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things."
Episode 5: "The Wolf and the Lion."
Episode 6: "A Golden Crown."
Episode 7: "You Win or You Die."
Episode 8: "The Pointy End."
Episode 9: "Baelor."
And now, lets us begin . . . the end.*
*(Until season 2 next Spring, that is.)
FIRE AND BLOOD
HBO's recap of last week's showing tells us all we need to know to setup this last and final episode of the season:
Robb Stark thoroughly routes Tywin's hosts, feigning with a token force while diverting the majority of his men toward breaking through Jaime Lannister's lines and capturing the Kingslayer himself.
Daenerys' pleads with the "witch" she saved from being brutalized to use her dark magic and bring Khal Drogo back from the brink of death. Drogo's khalasar do not take kindly to this and threaten to abandon her and her unborn child. Daenerys goes into premature labor.
At King's Landing, Ned confesses to treason even though he was in the right. He realizes the lives of his two daughters are worth not saving face. Cersei has promised to let him leave the capital with his family so long as he continues past Winterfell and take the black at the Wall. But in a stunning reversal, newly crowned King Joffrey takes matters into his own hands and orders the beheading of Ned Stark.
Yoren--a man of the Night's Watch and sworn brother to Benjen Stark--intercepts Arya before she reveals herself to the king and his men. He forces her to look away as Ser Ilyn Payne executes her father before a public throng at the steps of Baelor's Sept.
Wow, the sight of Ned being beheaded is just as brutal now, in retrospect, as it was last week. It kills me to have to see it again. Fuck!
The title roll this time reverts to where it was in episode two. No more Eyrie, and no more Twins. Music still rocks, though.
The writing credit for the finale, naturally, go to the showrunners--David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. They're the main guys responsible for making this show happen, and it's only fitting that they close the season off proper. They've been doing the Lannister's share of writing for most of the episodes, anyway.
Alan Taylor once again gets the director's credit. I liked what he did last episode, so I'm happy to have him at the helm for the final one.
And now . . . the Game is afoot!
Oh, damn. I wasn't expecting the episode to pick up mere seconds after the ending scene of the previous one. Ned's own "great sword"--Ice--was used to behead him, and it's dripping red with his blood. We see Ser Ilyn picking up the head in the out-of-focus background. Which is good, because I don't think I can take any more of this.
Sansa faints as they drag around Ned's headless body, which is probably for the better. I've been pretty harsh on her all this time, but I think from now on the poor girl deserves our sympathy. She never meant for it to go this far. I mean, come one--that's her FATHER!
Luckily Arya has good ol' Yoren watching her back. He's pretty rough with her, but it's for her own good. He drags her away from the crowds and into a side alley, where he pulls out a dagger and calls her "boy".
Arya: "I'm not a boy!"
Yoren: "You're not a smart boy, is that what you're trying to say?"
Arya finally gets what he's driving at. She allows him to start butchering her hair, chopping off each lengthy lock in hasty fashion. Seems Yoren has in mind to disguise her as a common orphan boy, a role Arya had no problem playing ever since escaping from the Red Keep. But Yoren has a plan on how to keep her safe and get her out of King's Landing.
Yoren: "North, boy. We're going North."
YEAH!!! I love this. Some of you might not remember this guy, but he's one of the few rangers with special dispensation to wander the Seven Kingdoms. Something that would be a punishable offense for any other Night's Watchmen. His job is to recruit from the dungeons, gutters, and general cesspools of the realm, seeking out new fodder for the Wall.
As such, Arya will easily blend in with all the other dirty little ragamuffins he's bringing back North with him. If she can play her part right.
And speaking of the North . . .
We're back at Winterfell! God, I just love that landscape shot of Winterfell from a distance! I wish I was a Stark.
Well, actually, maybe not considering all the shit they've just been put through and will be put through again during the course of this series.
Uh-oh. Bran's having his three-eyed crow dream again. As with the previous dreams, the crow seems to be leading him deeper and deeper into the crypt below Winterfell.
The next morning, Bran asks Osha the wildling to take him into the crypts since Hodor is being a big chicken-shit about setting foot down there. Osha is clearly uncomfortable at the prospect herself, but she decides to help a cripple out.
I'm loving the camaraderie between these two, which is just as it should be as per the books.
OH SNAP! That direwolf scared the piss out of me! I can't fucking believe it--it's SHAGGYDOG! It's about damn time! It took until the very last episode for them to FINALLY show us Rickon's own wolf, whom he affectionately named "Shaggydog" as only a 6-year old would.
Whoa, creepy huh? Seems like both Bran and Rickon had the same exact dream--that of their father being down in the crypt. As before, Rickon seems to know way more than a little boy should. He's being all cryptic and shit about it, though. Arrrrgh! (Get it . . . cryptic?)
When Bran exits the gloomy subterranean passage out into daylight again, it's to find Maester Luwin waiting for him with some bad news just delivered from King's Landing.
Oh, damn. Sorry, little dude. But if it's any consolation, all of fandom is right there with you in mourning.
That little shit Joffrey has gots to DIE!!!
At Robb's camp not far from Riverrun, Catelyn Stark walks stiffly through a line of bowing bannermen showing their respects. She's become truly Northern, though, and puts on a brave face long enough to exit the camp and enter the woods where she can let her grief overcome her.
This is a really touching scene, and says so much about the strength of this woman. Such awesome acting!
Cat comes across her son expressing his grief in his own way--by giving a poor, hapless tree the death of a thousand cuts! Whoa! I can't help but feel sorry for that sword!
LOL @ Cat! She just echoed my own sentiments.
"Robb! You've ruined your sword!"
Aww, such a touching scene between mother and son. It makes what happened to Ned even more heartbreaking, seeing how it affects those who loved him most.
Damn, I love this show!
Robb promises he's going to kill them all.
Cat: "My boy . . . they have your sisters. We have to get the girls back. And then we will KILL THEM ALL!"
Yeah. You're damn right, mama Stark!
Ugh. Didn't much care for this scene. It doesn't match up with the books, and I'm not quite sure what was being accomplished with the way they chose to mix things up here.
Marillion is that wandering minstrel who was at the Inn when Catelyn had Tyrion the dwarf arrested. He was also there when the party got attacked by the mountain clans on their way through the Vale and to the Eyrie. I have no idea how he got back to King's Landing, why he's even there in the first place, nor why his tongue got forcibly removed by Ser Ilyn for singing a bawdy song about Robert's death.
It was funny, though. The song. Implicates the Lannisters in a bad way, and perhaps sets up the legitimacy of Stannis's and Renly's separate claims to the Iron Throne, since this shows that the common folk are perhaps not all too fond of the golden-haired lions of Casterly Rock.
Ick! Joffrey--that prick!--asks Sansa to walk with him. He has something interesting he wants to show her.
Joffrey: ". . . and as soon as you've had your blood, I'll put a son in you. Mother says that shouldn't be long."
Um, no thanks. Sheesh, what a charmer this boy is! And your mother was talking about your weiner, jackass!
Ugh! The bastard brings her to where her father's head, and those of all the members of the Stark household, are on display atop pikes. He wants to teach her a lesson about what happens to traitors.
Now that's just wrong, man! What the fuck?
Oh, that Joffrey is such a bitch-ass punk! He has to have his lackey, Meryn Trant of the Kingsguard, give Sansa two quick but vicious slaps to keep her in her place.
YEAH! This girl has some spine after all! She tried to do exactly what I was yelling at the tv screen for her to do--push that punk ass off the ledge!
Oh, nice! Sandor Clegane, aka The Hound, intercepts her at the last moment, and covers up her attempt by making a show of wiping the blood at the corner of her mouth with a handkerchief.
I love it! See, what you need to realize if you haven't already (the clues were there before now) is that the Hound doesn't like to see innocents get pushed around for too long. Especially not Sansa, whom he actually has started to feel sorry for. Remember, he was brutalized himself at the hands of someone he trusted--his older brother, Gregor, aka The Mountain.
Keep this in mind for later . . .
Oh, HELLS to the YEAH!!! I thought this scene would come much later in the order of things this episode. But I'll take it!
The Greatjon basically says fuck giving his loyalty to Stannis or Renly for the Iron Throne. The only king he will serve is from the North. He lays down his sword at Robb's feet and proclaims him the King of the North. Just as in olden times before the Targaryens showed up, when Westeros had several kings dividing the lands between them.
Others take up the call, including Theon Greyjoy, Robb's best bud. Pretty soon the whole camp is chanting it:
THE KING IN THE NORTH! THE KING IN THE NORTH! THE KING IN THE NORTH!!!
Now this has become a true Game of Thrones, people! You see the significance of the show's title now? I hope so.
Wow--GOOSEBUMPS! This was taken straight from the book, and every bit as awesome still.
Hmm, I don't recall this scene between Cat and Jaime being in the first book. But I might be wrong.
She slaps the shit out of him with a fucking BRICK! LOL -- you show him your PIMP HAND there, mama Stark!
She threatens to send his head to his sister in retaliation for what happened to Ned. But Cat knows he's worth more alive. She's not stupid.
Jaime: "If your gods are real, and if they're just . . . why is the world so full of injustice?"
Cat: "Because of men like you!"
Jaime: "There are no men like me. Only me."
Damn, that was deep. And, unfortunately, I happen to agree with Jaime. He's a prick, but he's a smart prick. I also like his self-deprecation here. It sets up the beginning of what I feel is one of the greatest character arcs in all of literature.
Yup, you read me right. I said ALL of literature!
Again, you'll just have to wait and see what I mean in future episodes . . .
Ugh! This scene was quite unnecessary. And rather premature, seeing as we don't find out Cersei is sleeping with Robert's squire, Lancel Lannister, until the second or third book (I always forget which one). And--damnit woman! He's your fucking cousin!
Then again, this is the woman who's been sleeping with her twin brother all these years and even had three children by him. A cousin is actually a step toward normal for her.
Damn, she really does think her family is hot shit, doesn't she? *shudder*
Tywin Lannister just got the news that the Northmen have his son. He's livid, but he's also old school in that he doesn't show it except to order all his imbecile advisors out of his tent. All save Tyrion, where we learn that for once his father is actually proud to call him son.
Seems after all these years it's finally dawning on Tywin just how cunning and scheming his dwarf of a son truly is. He's pissed that Cersei allowed that idiot Joffrey to jeopardize all their plans by killing Ned, thereby antagonizing a large contingent of Westeros into rebellion.
Tywin: "You will go to King's Landing."
Tyrion: "And do what?"
Tywin: "Rule! You will serve as Hand of the King in my stead. You will bring that boy king to heel and his mother too, if needs be."
Tyrion is clear flabbergasted. LOL! Look at that look on his face! He can't believe his father is actually expressing confidence and pride in him, but most of all he's amazed to be treated as a son. Something so simple as that, and yet it makes a HUGE difference.
Wow, this scene is just ACES!
But of course, Tywin had to throw one more line in there just in case we were thinking he's not really an asshole after all.
Tywin: "Oh, one more thing. You will not take that whore to court."
Yup, you just know Tyrion is thinking back on Tysha now. The subject of that sad little story he told Bronn and Shae in last week's episode. He can't forgive what his father did even after all these years.
Across the Narrow Sea, things are not looking good for Daenerys. They're still camped along that precarious spot atop some desolate ridge, but it seems most of Drogo's khalasar has vanished. Only Daenerys' own sworn servants and bodyguards have remained behind. Oh, and some of the slaves from the village they recently raided--including Snooki's moms, Mirri Maz Duur. The witch that was supposed to save Drogo.
Ah man, this is so heartbreaking. Ser Jorah just informed a waking Dany that she lost her baby! The child had been stillborn and deformed, all scaly and leathery like some misshapen bat.
Um, dude, the word you're looking for is DRAGON!!!
There's more bad news. Drogo is healed from his wound, but he's pretty much a vegetable now. He doesn't speak and hardly moves. All he does is sit under the sun and stare out across the land, dazed and confused. It seems the spell kept him alive, but ripped away all that was Drogo in the process. He's really just a zombie now.
It's about time Dany learned the truth about MMD. The bitch -- er, I mean WITCH never intended to save her Sun and Stars. She wanted Drogo to feel empty and a shell of himself, exactly like she's been feeling ever since the Khal's men brutalized her and destroyed her temple.
I remember being so devastated when reading this in the book for the first time. I wonder how newcomers are taking to this revelation. I know Drogo was many people's favorite character. Or, at least, one of their favorites.
Yeah, things don't look good now at all.
Life is pretty damn harsh in this world, ain't it? As you've probably learned by now, this series does not follow predictable paths. You thought Ned would triumph over the evil Lannisters? Wrong! You thought Drogo would lead his horsemen across the sea and sack Westeros? Wrong again.
But, damn if this isn't what makes the series so freaking exciting!
Forrest Gump enters the scene and says to Dany: "Life is like a box a chocolates, child. You never know what you're gonna get."
She promptly has him tied to a horse and made to run naked behind it.
At the Wall, Jon Snow has just learned the news about his pops. Despite Maester Aemon's talking-to last episode, Jon is deciding to put family before his duty. Precisely what his oath at the heart tree with Sam said he ought not to do.
Uh-oh, this can't end well. If he's caught south of the Wall, he will be executed!
Poor Sam, he's trying to keep his best bud from doing something rash. And what does he get for his trouble? Hoof tattoos all across his face!
LOL @ Jon's direwolf belatedly running out the front gate in his master's wake. Go, Ghost, Go!
Yes! I get a Shae sighting. As I mentioned last week, I just love this actress. She totally ROCKS my WORLD!
Damn, she 's even hotter pissed off. The current subject of her ire? Why, the same as always -- Tyrion! Specifically, she's more upset at his father's decree that he wasn't allowed to take her to court when the dwarf assumes the mantle of the King's Hand.
Don't worry, darling. You should know enough about Tyrion to know that he doesn't obey rules--he breaks them!
Tyrion: "I believe the ladies at court could learn a great deal from a girl like you. Why don't you come with me? Be the Hand's Lady."
Shae gets this sly look on her face and proceeds to show Tyrion her deepest . . . er, gratitude.
So, looks like Jon's daring midnight escape from Castle Black didn't last very long, did it? His friends come after him to put some sense into his head.
At first I didn't know who was chasing Jon through the woods. That is until that bumbling hopeless case, Sam, got himself clotheslined on a tree branch. LOL! Only Sam . . .
Whoa! That was so cool! Sam, Pyp, and Grenn surround Jon and start reciting the Night's Watch oath to him in unison. Jon is humbled by the words and you can see in his eyes that he knows he cannot abandon his friends and his duty.
Yet another scene giving me goosebumps tonight!
Oh christ, no! Damn! I knew this scene was going to come eventually tonight, but I don't think I'm prepared for it.
Oh well . . .
Dany realizes there is no hope for her Sun and Stars. She tries one last attempt to bring him back, but the Khal is unresponsive.
With no other recourse, she takes matters into her own hands and ends the mighty warrior's life . . . with a pillow to the face?
What a fucked up way to go after going through life undefeated.
R.I.P. Khal Drogo. You might have accomplished great things in this world . . .
Okay, this gets the award for most bizarre scene EVAR on Game of Thrones! It's another sexposition scene--ye gods!--although, not quite. This one's post-coital -- but it's between Ros, the hardest working whore now in all of King's Landing, and . . . Grand Maester Pycelle? Of all people!
Wowza! Who knew the old geezer had it in him?
Ick! There's something off-putting about Ros washing away at her lady parts, bare ass turned to the camera, as the old man drones on and on about all the King's he's served under in his time. There seems to be a lesson here, but the old man keeps going off on tangents. Ros hears enough and puts on a skimpy little number and beats it out of there.
LOL! You know, I never would have guessed that Grand Maester P was playing at the feeble old man all this time. He does some quick calisthenics, demonstrating to all of us that he's really a spry chicken. Then he throws on his heavy robe and Maester's chain, and stoops his shoulders before leaving for council business.
That sly devil! Guess you only survive in the King's court by making yourself appear less of a threat than others. I wonder if this guy watches Survivor.
Great! We get another "dueling spymasters" scene between Littlefinger and The Spider before the Iron Throne. Hey, haven't we seen this before?
They each get off some pretty cool jabs at each other, but ultimately this adds up to just some unnecessary dick-measuring, for which purpose I have no idea. The two men certainly never interacted this much in the book. But, then again, they didn't have their own POV chapters in the first novel, either. So who's to say these little games of will weren't going on behind the scenes anyway?
Yay, we get to see Arya again! She's sporting a cute little pixie cut now courtesy of Yoren, which to me isn't much of a disguise considering she's still wearing the same clothes everyone at the Red Keep recognizes. Not to mention Needle is strapped to her side, which I imagine would raise red flags to any City Watchmen or Kingsguard . . . but whatever.
In the squalid, retched alleyways of Flea Bottom, Yoren of the Night's Watch tutors Arya in her new identity.
"You're Arry now, hear me? Arry the orphan boy. No one asks an orphan too many questions, cuz nobody gives three shits."
Yoren goes on to explain the importance of maintaining her disguise as an orphan boy amidst the rough crowd he's going to be taking back to the Wall as new recruits.
"Half of 'em would turn you over to the king quick as spit for a pardon. And the other half would do the same, except they'd rape ya first! So keep to yourself, and when you piss do it in the woods--ALONE!"
Wow. Arya's come a long way since stealing arrow shots from her brother Bran back at Winterfell, eh?
Whoa! Yoren points out three guys in a cage, which to us who have read the books is a HUGE moment! Holy shit, I don't believe it!
See, let me just interject here for a moment. There's this really cool Braavosi character in the books who helps Arya out big time at a later point. He goes by the name of Jaqen H'ghar. For various reasons, many fans have gotten it into their heads that Jaqen may in fact be Syrio Forel in disguise! There's a reason why this could be plausible, which I won't go into now. Arya never picks up on it in the books, although she does wonder at one point. But Jaqen is supposed to come from an ancient Braavosi order who's members are known for their supernatural ability to disguise themselves.
It's possible--just MAYBE--that Jaqen might be Syrio. I bring this up because I find it interesting that Jaqen is the one guy in the cage who is covered up with a cowl and robe. We never see his face! In the books, however, he is not covered up.
Is this the showrunners messing with us book fans? Or is this foreshadowing?
Time will tell.
Anyway, Arya runs afoul of some other little boys being sent to the Wall. These kids are as rotten as rotten can get! In the book (this scene is taken from the second novel, btw), the skinny one is named Lommy Greenhands. His arms aren't green here in the show, but they're supposed to be! He gets them from being a dyer's apprentice. The fat one who gives Arya a particularly hard time is, of course, HOT PIE! Oh my god, it's him!
Hot damn, they nailed him perfectly!
After standing about as much of the bullying as she can, Arya shows them the fear of god by pulling Needle on Hot Pie.
"I already killed one fat boy . . . I'm good at killing fat boys. I like killing fat boys!"
Everybody in Flea Bottom pause and look around to see if Prince Markie Dee, Kool Rock-Ski, and Buff Love come beat-boxing their way onto the scene--but nope, nothing. The Fat Boys will live on FOR-EVAH!!!
Oh shit! Looks who's here to help Arya out. Why, it's GENDRY!!!
Do any of you remember Gendry from an earlier episode? He's the armorer's apprentice from the Street of Steel who Ned came to visit. If you recall, Ned discovered what Jon Arryn already knew about the boy--he's really King Robert's bastard son, and potential heir to the throne. Too bad he doesn't know this. I love that he's carrying his iconic horned helm from the books--the helm he made himself and refused to hand over to Ned.
Hmm, it seems his employer kicked him out. Presumably this is because Robert died and the money flow going to the armorer to look after the boy thus died with him. Anyway, Gendry has Arry's back, so that makes him cool in my book. He immediately sets off on Hot Pie.
Gendry: "Oh you like picking on the little ones, do you? You know I've been hammering an anvil these past ten years--when I hit that steel it sings! You're gonna sing when I hit you?"
LOL! Between Arya and Gendry, I think Hot Pie just shitted like ten pounds away into his trousers.
Yoren gathers all the recruits and delivers one of the coolest lines in this entire episode:
"Come on, you sorry sons of whores! It's a thousand leagues from here to the Wall, and WINTER IS COMING!"
Speaking of the Wall . . .
The morning after Jon's short-lived escape attempt, Commander Mormont lets slip at breakfast that he's wise to what Jon's been up to.
Jon looks about to piss himself!
Lord Mormont: "Don't look so terrified. If we beheaded everyone that ran away for the night, only ghosts would guard the Wall."
It would have been cool if Jon's direwolf, Ghost, looked up at that and said: "One already does, thank you very much!"
Still, that was a very awesome line. The Mormonts, whether at the Wall or across the Narrow Sea, kick ass on this show!
Lord Jeor reveals to Jon that the rangers are reporting rumors of a large amassing of wildlings beyond the Wall. And more and more blue-eyed corpses are being discovered closer to the Wall each day. Their brothers over at Eastwatch were wise enough to burn them on sight, however.
The Commander has a plan. Rather than sit behind the Wall waiting for trouble to come to them, the Night's Watch are going to launch a preemptive strike into the heart of wildling territory.
The troops are gathering. This is it, folks! Jon is finally going to venture out into the true wilderness and perhaps find out what the hell happened to his uncle Benjen.
Mormont: "So I'll only ask you once, Lord Snow. Are you a brother of the Night's Watch? Or a bastard boy who wants to play at war?"
Are you excited? Because if you're not, you just might be a wight yourself. In which case, watch yourself. Jon's coming to BURN that ass!
Oh. My. GAWD! The scene I've been waiting all season for. This is it, people. After this, the first book in the series ends. Wisely, the showrunners knew they, too, would have to end this spectacular season on the same note.
Oooh, I so can't wait. They better not fuck this up, I SWEAR to the Old Gods!
Dany has Khal Drogo's body placed on a funeral bier, along with the three petrified dragon's eggs. She grants all the slaves who have remained with her their freedom, and asks that they stay and fight alongside her anyway. Some leave, but a good number remain.
Ser Jorah Mormont begs for Dany not to do what she's about to do. But, no, the Dragon does not fear fire. The Targaryen house motto is "Fire and Blood," after all. There's a reason for that.
That horrid witch woman, Mirri Maz Duur is brought out and tied to the bier. She laughs and proclaims that they will not hear her scream.
Dany: "I will!"
She kisses Jorah tenderly on the cheek, then sets the pyre ablaze. As the fires gets really high and toasty, sure enough MMD's chants turn into shrill shrieks of pain.
Good. She deserves worse!
Just as the pyre is at its most intense, Dany steps forward and through the wall of flames. The remaining slaves and horsemen kneel at the sight of their khaleesi engulfed in her fiery doom. Little do they realize that a dragon does not fear fire.
HBO almost gave me a heart attack! The scene just faded away like as if the credits were about to roll. But, nope--we're BACK!
Hot damn! They had me worried there for a sec. They could NOT end this season without the most pivotal cliffhanger moment of them all . . .
For, the next morning we find Ser Jorah walking through the ashes left behind by the funeral fires. And in the very center of those ashes, a certain silver-haired figure glances up, completely nude save for the strange creature nuzzling at her bare breasts.
Daenerys Stormborn, of the House Targaryen and Mother of Dragons, rises from the ashes like the fabled phoenix. We see the creature in her arms is a baby dragon--and there, another one! Climbing over her shoulder. And at her feet, a third little drake clawing up her fleshy thigh!
Jorah drops to his knees and proclaims: "Blood of my blood!" It's what bloodriders say to their new Khal. The others at camp do the same.
Dany looks out over their bowed backs. She stands there like a goddess reborn, looking down at her worshipers and decrying the dawning of a new era. An era when dragons return and lay waste to all the enemies who dare oppose their mother.
She will name them Rhaegal, Drogon, and Viserion after her older brother who died before she was born, her husband, and her crazy-eyed other brother. I think the one on her leg is Viserion, and the one at her breast is Drogon. The one on her shoulder has to be Rhaegal, the boldest of the bunch. He spreads his wings proudly and screeches his arrival to the world.
And for the first time in hundreds of years, the night comes alive with the music of dragons!
I mean, honestly, what more can be said? Although I know it was telegraphed to the seven hells and back, and everyone knew it was coming, that closing scene was just BAD ASS!
DRAGONS people! Can you believe it? There are DRAGONS back in the world again! And they all belong to Daenerys!
Also, things are ramping up pretty big time on all other fronts. Robb is proclaimed the King in the North. Arya's on her way home. Tyrion's coming to King's Landing to lay down the pimp hand and set things straight. And the Night's Watch is on the march behind the Wall!
To say the deck is set heavily in favor of a second season like you'll never forget is a severe understatement. I wish I could just hibernate now and wake up in April of 2012, this way it will be like I'm getting my fix right away with no withdrawal months in between.
On the bright side, next April is only less than 10 months away--not even a full year! And somewhere in that time we'll get the Blu-rays of season one.
So, what did you guys think? Was it all that and a bag of chips? Or did the season fall short of your expectations?
More importantly, for those of you who have never read the books: are you thinking of starting now? Is it because you just HAVE to know what happens next?
I can understand that. I just ask that, if you go this route, you start with the first book in the series--A Game of Thrones--and not jump immediately to A Clash of Kings. Even though season 1 ended exactly where the first novel left off--and the season as a whole stayed pretty damn close to the book--there is still quite a lot you missed out on, especially the little nuances that flesh out the characters and their backgrounds. Fans are still pissing mad that they left out the "Tower of Joy" flashback/dream Ned had in the book.
Also, too bad you guys can't get your hands on the first edition of the book. I picked it up way back in '96 or '97 based solely on the very cool artwork on the front, which depicts Jon Snow and Ghost riding beyond the Wall. Check out Longclaw strapped to his side!
Unfortunately, the new editions of A Game of Thrones all have the HBO promo artwork on the cover. Doesn't quite have the same punch for me.
But others might wish to remain fresh and unspoiled for the next season. This is fine, too. I'm this way with True Blood. I've never read the books, and I have no plan to. That's a show I'm more than happy to watch in complete innocence of what might be coming next. And besides, they don't stick as closely to the Sookie Stackhouse books with True Blood as they do with Game of Thrones. At least from what my wife tells me.
Well, if you're of a mind to do so, please sound off in the comments section below. And thank you all so much for sticking with this series of blog entries through thick and thin. I hope it was as fun for you to read as it was for me to write.
Till next year.
And, yes . . . Winter is STILL coming!