This one was a doozy. It's the episode I've been dreading ever since day one of this show's airing. It's the point when, in the books, I almost gave up reading the whole damn series. And even more than a decade later, I still get uneasy thinking about what happened. To be honest, it's probably also why I haven't re-read these books in all this time. Some things are just too traumatic to live through again, even if it is all just fiction. And fantasy fiction at that!
But before we get to all of that, some quick thoughts on what transpired before the Lannisters--as they are wont to do--paid their debts back to Robb Stark and Company:
I absolutely loved Bran "warg"-ing into Hodor to shut the big oaf up, and then into his direwolf, Summer, to come to the rescue of Jon Snow. Fantastic! And it's about damn time they made it clear to those non-book readers just what the hell is up with Bran and his wolf dreams. Yes, like Orell the Wildling, Bran can also project his mind into animals. But unlike Orell or any other warg beyond the Wall, Bran can also project into a human being's mind as well. Uh, I don't recall this being an impossibility for other wargs in the books. As I recall, it is difficult to do, but not impossible. It's just something that most wargs know not to do, because the practice has some potentially horrendous risks.
Rickon Stark's parting was well overdue, and yet wonderfully acted. That scene almost made me cry. I don't know about Osha taking him to Last Hearth---home of Jon Umber, aka "The Greatjon". That particular detail was different in the book. But I think the end results will be the same. Rickon doesn't get a whole lot of mention in the book series, which is a shame.
The excursion into Yunkai by perhaps the most kick-ass variation of the Three Stooges ever was a big highlight of this episode. Not only was the action edge-of-your-seat worthy, but the choreography was superb! I loved watching Daario and Ser Jorah lay waste to wave after wave of guards coming at them, but the best was Grey Worm. Oh man, this guy was AMAZING! He truly made the Unsullied proud on that night. You know, for a group of ball-less wonders, they actually do live up to their fearsome reputations, eh?
I'm really enjoying how well the Arya and Hound scenes are being portrayed. Very, very close to the books for now. And while Sandor Clegane does have a point about the young lass needing to grow a pair if she is to survive in this harsh world, Arya was quick to demonstrate why she's not the shrinking violet her sister was. Knocking out that poor pork peddler a second time seriously impressed the Hound. And when the right time came, he conked her on the head in kind so as to perhaps save her from the fate her oldest brother was having dished out to him at the Twins.
Speaking of which ...
|"The Lannisters send their regards."|
*sigh* It is with such heavy heart that I had to sit through this scene. The entire episode my stomach was turning into knots, knowing what was to come. I kept checking the clock to see how much of the episode was still left, because I just knew they were going to save it for the very end before the credits roll. But when the melody to that now infamous Lannister song, "The Rains of Castamere," finally started to play in the banquet hall, I was a nervous mess! Which is strange since I knew damn well what was about to transpire. And yet ...
Anyway, I won't rehash the whole ordeal. If you saw it, you know what happened. And you also know how depressing it was. Oh, and Lord Roose Bolton is an asshole! As is Lord Frey, but that comes as no surprise.
However, since I'm not a mind reader, I would like to read your thoughts in the comments below. After all, this is why the post is called a "discussion."
So, go on. Discuss! How did this episode hit ya? Square in the nuts, or be ye cold and merciless like the Unsullied? The comments section is also the place to ask all your questions, and I will do my best to answer them. This is a very pivotal moment in the entire series, so I wouldn't be surprised if some of my readers have a lot to get off their chests.
Have at it, then!
P.S. -- Here's a consolation video the folks over at The Second City put together for those book readers and show watchers alike who may have just come to the disturbing realization that George R. R. Martin is one sick and cruel bastard!
They're equal parts wrong and right. But I won't tell you which is which. I can be cruel too, see? Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! (Don't worry, there really are no spoilers if you've watched the show up to last night's episode.)