Thursday, June 04, 2015

Game of Thrones (S5E08): "Hardhome"

Episode 8 of Season 5 of HBO's Game Of Thrones is titled "Hardhome." Hardhome is the name of the location of a wildling settlement north of The Wall near the sea where Jon Snow goes to convince them to come with him to live south of The Wall in order to spare them from becoming part of the White Walkers army of the un-dead.

This episode clarifies some issues which are central to the entire television series. The events at Hardhome provide the audience a revelation of exactly what it means that "Winter is Coming": undead zombies animated by incredibly powerful, magical beings who want to annihilate all life.

Also in the episode, there is an exchange between Daenerys Targaryen and Tyrion Lannister which hints at the end of the show:
'Lannister, Targaryaen, Baratheon, Stark, Tyrell...' Daenerys sighed, almost bored. 'They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that one's on top. Then on and on it spins. Crushing those beneath on the ground.' 
It was a defiant speech/statement of intent, which clearly left Tyrion impressed – to a point. 
'It's a beautiful dream – stopping the wheel,' he allowed. 'You're not the first person who has dreamt it.' 
But if he meant it as a gesture of support or unity, she couldn't let it pass without correcting him. 
'I'm not going to stop the wheel,' she stated typically simply. 'I'm going to break the wheel.'
(Hat/tip to the Daily Mail for the transcript.)

There are other things in the episode besides the events at Hardhome and the verbal gymnastics of Tyrion and Dany. For example, despite the obvious value of his gift, Jorah Mormont was exiled (again!) and we got another look at Cersei in prison. In Braavos, Arya was given a job assignment (i.e. a target to be assassinated) for her to complete on her path to become a servant of the Many-Faced God. In Winterfell, Sansa learned that her brothers Rickon and Brandon were not killed by Theon Greyjoy after all and her husband Ramsay Bolton made plans to take the battle to Stannis Barratheon's forces while they are struggling with the Northern cold weather. It's amazing to think that there are only two more episodes of this season left.

The highlights of this episode were:
  • The best line of the episode was "A ruler who kills those devoted to her is not a ruler who inspires devotion." (told by Tyrion Lannister to Daenerys Targaryen). 
  • The second best line of the episode was "Fuck the dragon glass, we're all gonna die here!" with "I fucking hate Thenns" close behind.
  • The desperation inherent in Cersei's attempt to suck up water from the ground of the floor of her cell after the Silent Sister has deliberately drizzled there as punishment for her prisoner's defiance and refusal to confess.
  • The giant Wun Wun smashing wights by stomping on them with his feet and also clearing the path behind him by using a huge flaming log as a broom to sweep away the thronging hordes.
  • The sheer magnitude and scale of the battle at Hardhome was thrilling, even if things went so quickly it was hard at times to follow the action.
The parts of the episode I could have done without:
  •  None! One of the best episodes of the entire series. 
Grade: 10/10.

1 comment:

mistress maddie said...

Hi Professah! I came over from I Should be Laughing and wanted to commend you on your wonderful and comprehensive recaps!!!! I have been enjoying them so, and feel as though I was watching it. I Unfortunely don't have HBO. So at the urging of a co-worker, who knew I would enjoy this show, I watched it here on Comacast who for a week ran a week called Watch-a-ton, where subscribers could watch the reruns at no charge. So this year a watched all four seasons up to the current. WOW! Great and addictive show, so of course now I want more! And your recaps have been very entertaining, and will wet my appetite till I watch it.


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