Oberyn recaps “Hardhome”-episode 8, season 5 of Game of Thrones

Here we are again, looking over all that is occurring in Westerss and Essos. Strange how many lost their lives, their families fighting for the Iron Throne. They’re gone, but it’s still here, ugly and uncomfortable. Why does no one make a throne of cock or tits? That would be something worth fighting for or at least resting against all day.

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Anyway…Tyrion has made his way (by hook and crook) to Meereen and is before Daenerys (along with Jorah). Finally, I have been waiting to see these two meet and talk. They banter back and forth a bit, with her asking why she shouldn’t kill him and he noting that he’s a great Lannister killer (Ah, Tywin).

As a test, Daenerys asks what should be done Jorah. Tyrion weighs the pros and cons of what he’s done and wisely notes that she can’t kill people who are devoted to her, which Jorah undoubtedly is. But she can’t him by her side if she wishes to take Westeros. Betrayers as advisors are not very uplifting, eh?

So instead of having Jorah killed, he’s merely escorted out of the city, yet again. But the look on Daenerys face as she orders this! She clearly wants to find a reason to forgive Jorah, but she’s still so hurt by his betrayal. Tyrion could convince her, but he does not. Perhaps he wants Daenerys attention kept on him, to in grain himself further to her trust, with no distractions from old friends?

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In King’s Landing, Cersei is chained to a wall in the dungeon. She looks a mess, with dirty hair and clothes. that is shame for a queen, but she has only herself to blame!

A Septa enters and offers food and water if she confesses her sins. Cersei has no intention of doing that. So the Septa hits her with a spoon and then leaves. The religious types are always so violent!

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Meanwhile in Braavos, Arya plays the game of faces with Jaqen, er, the man with no name. She is busy reciting her new role as Lana the oyster seller, and recalling her route through the city. Jaqen instructs her to take a different route and report what she sees. What should she look for? Jaqen merely shrugs. A mysterious man, but an excellent trainer. I like that Arya is finally doing something concrete, while taking steps to become her own sort of warrior.

So off Arya goes to the docks, selling her wares. She comes across a thin man who runs insurance scams on ship captains. She reports this information back to Jaqen, who orders her to keep an eye on him, and when the time is right, to give him a special gift of poison. The no named girl doesn’t think Arya is ready. Maybe she is, maybe she isn’t, notes Jaqen. This many faced god and his disciples have a certain carefree attitude I like. If only there was more wine!

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Back in Kings Landing, Qyburn visits Cersei in the cell and informs her of what’s going on in the city. The trial will involve all of her crimes (incest, murder etc), which she insists are all lies. Ha! If anything, the trial won’t cover everything she’s done! Pycelle has summoned Kevan Lannister to act as Hand of th King, while Tommen is distraught and refuses all food and visitors. Qyburn counsels that she could confess, but Cersei is too proud for that. After all, she made the septon powerful, she won’t bow to him! Even chained to a wall, she refuses to learn. What is with the Lannisters, too much inbreeding?!

Later, the Septa returns and again encourages Cersei to confess. Cersei tries to bargain, tries to threaten but none of it works. That’s the danger of the believers, they can’t be bought or swayed usually. The Septa pours a ladle full of water on the floor and leaves. Cersei is reduced to licking it off the floor and weeping. Damn it, even I have some pity for her now. If only the Septa hit her with the spoon again while Cersei threatened, then there would be no pity for a Lannister!

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In Winterfell, Reek takes food to Sansa in her prison/room. He finds her sitting there with her red hair and a fiery look that could kill. Real life is a hard way to learn, pain is your master, Sansa. If only there was someone to place a weapon in her hand! She confronts him about his betrayal of her with the candle and broken tower. He snivels and talks of his torture and what it’s done to him. Sansa has no pity and angrily proclaims she would gladly do the same to him at this point. Who can blame her? Then Theon mistakenly confesses that Bran and Rickon were not burned as everyone thought. Hmm, maybe there’s still a bit of Theon in there somewhere? Sansa’s eyes appear thoughtful at the news, clearly she’s forming ideas.

Elsewhere in Winterfell, Roose Bolton is busy taking stock of his situation and the coming battle with Stannis. He’s safely behind strong walls, with plenty of food and Northern men, while Stannis is trudging through snow. Ramsay thinks they should move fast and strike before Stannis gets there, to show that the Boltons are a powerful force that doesn’t have to stay behind walls. Roose is doubtful, but Ramsay, mad Ramsay, says he only needs 20 good men. This is good news for Sansa, as he won’t be abusing her and it’ll hopefully give her time to plan something.

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Back in Meereen, Tyrion and Daenerys have retired to private room, one with wine. Ah, now that’s how things should be! She wonders if he’s decided to come into her service yet. He wonders if she’s decided yet to have him killed. Ha! They are truly equals, even if she is a Queen.

Then they talk of their fathers, one brilliant who wanted to kill his son and the other insane and wanting to kill anyone. Something for them to bond over, terrible fathers!

After a bit more talk, Daenerys decides she’ll take him on as an advisor. The first thing Tyrion suggests is to leave Westeros be, for her to concentrate on Essos and all the good she can do there. Interesting idea, but she’ll have none of it. She’s determined to rule over Westeros and regain what she deems was her birthright.

The now freed Jorah goes back to his slaver, asking to fight. He’s still devoted to Daenerys, of course, and believes that proving himself in the pits will somehow win her favor. I do not claim that it makes sense, his devotion borders on strange obsession at times. He really should get laid. Man, woman, it doesn’t matter, the man needs to have some joy in his life. Especially with that nasty grayscale infection. Hmm, if he’s truly devoted to Daenerys, shouldn’t he stay far away from her? What did I say about obsession?

At the Wall, Gilly tends to Sam’s wounds. They’re both a bit scared of repercussions of the sweet sex they engaged in, a pity to fear such things. What a world, when people have to worry about making each other happy. Ollie enters with a question for Sam, so Gilly leaves.

Ollie wonders how Jon can try to work with the Wildings, when they killed so many, including Ollie’s entire village. Sam tries to convince him it’s for the greater good, that they’ll need every body they can find against the White Walkers. Ollie isn’t so sure. He’s still a boy and feeling rage about the murder of his parents. Perhaps he should dress up a bat and avenge them?

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Speaking of Jon, he arrives at Hardhome, a w town north of the Wall. A few members of the Night’s Watch are with him, along with that big bushy red-head mound of a wilding, Tormund. Jon’s goal is convince the Wildings to join forces with the Watch to fight the Walkers.

They meet with the Lord of Bones and try to convince him of their mission. The Lord of Bones asks if Tormund and Jon talk a lot and when they’re done does Tormund kneel and suck on Jon’s….Tormund punches and then beats him to death or close to it. I guess that’s a no. But if Tormund and Jon did do that, it would certainly alleviate all the tension between them.

No matter, everyone meets with the Wilding elders, none of whom look very old. But the talks don’t go well. Especially when Wildings find out Jon killed Mance. That it was a mercy killing matters little, Crows and Free Folk have been at each other throats for centuries.

Tormund says joining forces is the only way they’ll all survive. So some Wildings agree to join up. But the Fens, they aren’t so keen. Fucking Fens, everyone hates them. But Jon leaves some dragon glass, telling them it can be used to kill Walkers.

So it goes. Some are staying behind, while others head to the docks to row out to the ships. Jon is worried about so many being left behind, but Tormund notes there’s little food or game, so he figures the others will come around soon enough.
Then the wind picks up, dogs begin barking and dark clouds come down from the mountains. It’s no secret what that means. White Walkers are coming, along with their army of the dead. Some Wildings manage to escape back to their fenced camp. Other are left behind. They yell and beg to be let in, then they fall silent. This is bad, really bad.

Half skeletons, rotting blue-eyed bodies, they come, flinging themselves against the camp’s walls. Chaos breaks out at the docks as previously unconvinced Widlings storm the boats. Some people just need a bit convincing I suppose.

Jon leads a mixed group of Wildings and Night’s Watch to save those still left at the camp. It’s magnificent charge, him and others charging into the camp, Jon’s dark locks flowing in the cold breeze, ready to face the army of the dead. He’s a very good swordsman, it’s a joy to watch his form.

As the battle rages inside the camp, on the hill above it sit several figures on horseback. They watch as the wights slowly break through the walls and begin tearing everything up.

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A White Walker appears in the camp and the elder Fen attempts to hold him off as Jon searches for dragon glass. Jon only manages to find a beating at the hands of the Walker. He loses his Valyrian steel sword and grabs a nearby one. The Walker shatters it to ice and hits Jon with broad staff. It’s looking pretty bad, Jon is limping from the blow and struggling to stay alive. He finds his sword and brings to bear against a death strike from the Walker. The sword doesn’t shatter! Both Jon and the Walker look surprised. But this means it’s a new fight now, as Jon gets his second win and manages to swiftly kill the Walker.

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The battle continues throughout the camp, as Wildings fight the army of wights, but it’s no use. All the Wildings slowly fall as Jon and a few make it to the docks, along with a single giant. As they row away, a single Walker, with a crown on his head, walks onto the dock and raises his arms. Slowly all the dead Wildings rise as wights, with blue eyes. Jon locks eyes with the Walker King for a moment and then turns away and sinks down into the boat.

I think if I will need several bottles of wine and twice as many bodies to sleep well tonight. Things are not going well at all.

Musings over wine…

Do giants succumb to the wounds of White Walkers? Did that giant look sluggish as he escaped into the sea?

Speaking of hidden disease, how long does it take for Greyscale to spread? Will Jorah infect others in the meantime?

Ah, do we not delight in the meeting of Tyrion and Dany? Finally can we hope Dany will mature with some good advice? Or is she too stubborn? Will Varys ever come to join the party? Would he like to watch?

Will we ever get a Stark Children family reunion? I do hope so, now that training is taking hold of so many of them… I look forward to a rise against those dishonorable Stark enemies.

Wise words, ‘when belief enters, reason leaves’. Perhaps Cersai shouldn’t have believed in her family name quite so much. With one little drop of poison one can start such a complex and wonderful alchemical reaction…