09 June 2013

Mhysa

Well folks, we made it. Another season draws to a close. Hopefully not too many of you were turned off of the show by the Red Wedding last week. Tonight, we learn the meaning of Mhysa. The word itself is Old Ghiscari for 'Mother', and in the books refers to a certain mother of Dragons. The title is bestowed upon her by the freed slaves of Yunkai. So we can expect to see that tonight. But what else can we expect? Several episodes this season have featured multiple meanings for their titles, and I personally believe that tonight will be another such. Theres been a ton of speculation about whether a certain character will appear tonight, and my vote is yes. I know that we didn't see her in book until the end, but the event happened three days after the Red Wedding. A related question to this, of course, is whether we'll see the Wolf Dream that finds her. I'd love to see a Stark child that isn't Bran warg, and Arya is either second or third most powerful amongst them, Jon Snow being the other, though the show has missed his abilities completely. While the Brotherhood could certainly stumble upon the requisite corpse without Nymeria, it'd be way cooler with her included. So we shall see.

Previously, on Game of Thrones:
Dany threatens Yunkai, then Jorah reports her victory. Jaime frees Brienne. Theon loses his little Kraken. Sam and Gilly make for the Night Fort, Tyrion and Sansa talk about their love life, and Jon Snow shows his true color. And it's Black. Bran wargs, and direwolves tear shit up, then Jon gets a face full of angry eagle. Bran and Rickon split up. Stannis drops the leeches into the fire, and Rob bites it hard. The Hound Ko's Arya, and Catelyn dies screaming. About what you expect. There are a few consequences of the Red Wedding still for us too see. Those of you who only watch the show were spared the terrible book version of Arya and the Hounds final interaction. One more speculation for tonight. Much to my dismay, a certain character with icy cold hands will be left out of this episode, possibly the series as a whole. But again, we shall see.

And we begin at the Twins. Roose Bolton looks out over the ramparts to see the dirty work being done. The Stark army burns down as the Freys and Boltons tear into them. And then we've got some Freys walking out chanting. What are they carrying? Oh shit.....thats Robb...and Grey Wind...Wow...thats brutal to let Arya see that.

Sansa and Tyrion are walking through the gardens. Its a seemingly normal interaction. This is a rather pleasant talk. And there's Pod. Looks like the Lannisters are about to learn some news. Joff seems rather happy. A little too happy. What a dick. Great interaction there. And Varys is enjoying this. Cersei is realizing now that she has no control over the lunatic. Oh, Joff. Yelling at your uncle is one thing. Yelling at Grandpappy, not a good idea. You might get the Rains of Castamere played as your lullaby. Even little shithead King's have a bedtime it seems. Oh Tyrion. You always make me laugh. Tywin is a scary man. "I'm in this world a little while longer." Just a little eh? Oh Tywin. And he ends with the zinger. Tywin is all about the family. It's a true statement, but he just goes about it in a slightly different way than someone would expect. And the shoe drops. Tywin has never forgive Tyrion for being born a dwarf, but more importantly for the fact that his mother, the one person Tywin ever loved, died in child birth. And now Tyrion has to deliver the news. Or did someone already tell her? Yup, she knows. But how?

Ah, the Nightfort. Largest castle on the wall. Abandoned for over 100 years. Rumored to be haunted, and home of the Rat Cook. The Rat Cook, interestingly enough, once broke Guest Right. The Gods turned him into a giant rat. One can only hope Walder Frey has a similar fate coming. The kitchen well goes quite deep, as Hodor finds out. But what else do we know about the Night Fort? We know that a certain Black Brother is making his way there, seeking a secret passage below. And now Bran tells the story I just mentioned. This deals not only with Guest Right, but foreshadows a certain pie the Manderly's love so much.

And now we get a conversation between Lord Walder and the Roose. Hah! Blackfish escaped! Excellent. This is a strange conversation. I'm almost expecting Roose to kill Frey here. No love between him and, well, anyone else. And the suprise drops. Oh that was a GREAT TRANSITION. Oh my god. Please tell me thats not Theons kraken he's eating. Oh lord. This show is almost making me like Ramsay. Lord this wrong but I'm laughing. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree here. Theon begs for death, but Ramsay's not done playing with his pet yet. I wonder if Alfie Allen read this far ahead when he signed up for the role. Wonder if he knew the torture was in his future. No, Theon isn't his name anymore. Theon still showing some balls for a man who doesn't have any. Yes, Reek. Reek, reek, it rhymes with meek.

Lets take a trip back to the Nightfort. Bran's hearing things. Could be the Night Cook coming back? There be ghost in this fortress. Oh my god, its a monster! Oh, just kidding. It's only Sam! And Gilly. Shame we didn't get the interaction between Summer and Samwell. Jojen's got some pretty specific insight to this. Also some pretty pessimistic thoughts on the matter. So who can stop them then Jojen? Maybe three dragons?

Meanwhile, on Pyke. Asha/Yara returns to Balon, and he gets a letter sealed with the Bolton Sigil. An ultimatum from Ramsay Snow. And a box. Oh, Asha, don't open that box. The patented Bolton Dick in a box. Interesting that Ramsay hasn't been legitimized yet. Asha is not pleased with her father here. Luckily, their disagreement won't last long. That was an interesting pause on the man with the scratched up eye there. Another Greyjoy perhaps? This is pretty badass. It'll never work, cause, you know, geography, but a great sentiment.

Samwell shares the obsidian with the Reeds. Good to know he's got more. Oh, noone has, eh Meera? How about Sam the motherfucking SLAYER! God I hope we see the gate. But of course we won't. God damnit. And so Bran is off to the North.

Stuck in jail? Davos can help! I love me some Davos Seaworth. Good personal interaction between two men born in the same terrible place. Davos wins the "who grew up in a shittier neighborhood" contest. Literally. I know GRRM has said many times there are shades of grey to every character, but Davos is one of the greatest men in the realm. Davos is one of several characters who seem to be losing sons in the tv adaptation. He's got five or six in the books, and one of the three who was at Blackwater survived. Well, I guess he can't help. Just wanted a chat.

Varys meeting with Shae now. I'm not really sure where this scene is going. Varys has already proven to be working against Littlefinger's plot to get Sansa out, but why would he meet with Sansa. Varys  continuuing the emphasis on family. He's trying to get Shae out of the city? WTF? I really don't know where this is going? Varys is trying to help Tyrion? This does play in his "for the realm" bit, but, I'm not really sure where this is going. Is Shae taking this as Tyrion sending a message? Ok, think i see where this is going now. Might be a nice setup for next seasons dramatic tweest.

Tyrion wants Pod to go drink for drink with him? Thats a terrible idea. And enter Cersei. This can't go well. Cersei still scheming to get out of her own marriage. Thats actually a pretty decent point for Cersei. Were Sansa to have a child, she'd at least have someone she truly loved, someone to be family. We're getting the emotional Cersei here tonight. She laments for the innocent babe Joffrey was, but I don't think thats all she's here to say. Or that is. Weird

And now we've got Arya and the Hound. A few of the Freys are mocking Catelyn openly. Revealing the identity of Cat's killer. Black Walder, the worst of the Freys. Arya pulls out the Iron Coin and gets all stabby. And then the Hound lays the smack down. Three Freys are no match for Sandor Clegane. And she stole the knife from the Hound. Hah. Excellent. This is, I hope, just a foreshadowing of a future stabbing event. Ok, I've got to rant for a second here. Yes, in the tv show, this is the first "man" she's killed. (She stabbed a boy in the stables of King's Landing. But its not supposed to be. She's supposed to have killed a guard to escape Harrenhal. And the Hound lays the foundation for the future adventures of Arya and Sandor. To be continued next season.

Jon's looking pretty grim. OH MY GOD. Ygritte? What? Why? No. No. No. She should not be here. How did she get away from Tormund. How did she catch him on foot when he's RIDING A HORSE. Oh, you really do know nothing Jon Snow. Why would you say that? You just told her what you are, but you know that being what you are, you can't love her. In the shoulder? Really? Ok, theres the leg shot. Damn. Three arrows. And I thought I'd had some bad breakups.

Oh Sam, you really didn't just say that to Maester Aemon, did you? You don't say "I know how this must look to a BLIND MAN. Not for many years, but he once was. Interestingly enough, they renounce all titles except Maester. Theres an unneccesary e in there. No, his name is not Sam. He cannot have a name until his second name day. Well said Samwell. Well said indeed. 500? I thought it was 300. Might just be my mistake. This time, Samwell, don't forget to attach the letters. I know you sent the Ravens from the fist, even if the god damn show fucked it up.

God damn that was one fast Raven. Davos continues to progress in his learnings. Oh, well, guess that wasn't THE letter. But soon I hope. Oh Shireen. No creepy songs today please. I love that Davos dismisses the name-day invitation instantly. King Stannis does not party. Ah, good, Davos is the Hand again. That is the letter. The bells ring out, but why? What is Melisandre burning now? Are they ringing for Robb? Are they really going to leave out Stannis' line about the Red Wedding being Frey's work? Thats upsetting. He's much more of a fanatic than in the books. Show me my Mannis. Show me the one true king. The King I can follow. The King who cares! Great juxtaposition for this shot, the angel and the devil on the King's shoulders.  If only Davos knew a smuggler. Oh, right. Definitely a different approach than having Sallador Saan smuggle Edric to Braavos. Haha. Well spoken Ser.

And Jon made it back! Oh hey, look, its Pyp. Shortest scene ever.

Meanwhile, Jame Lannister isback in King's Landing. At least I assume it's Kings Landing. He seems to have lost his Bolton escort. This is so very, very wrong. So wrong. No sex in the sept, no Loras confronting Brienne. Wow, really Cersei? Just gonna stare at him, after all this?

Davos faces the music for his crimes now. Well played indeed Ser Davos. Now Stannis, become the King who cares. Become the King you were meant to be. And Lady Melisandre, this is your time. This is your god's war. Yes! And the Lady Melisandre supports the Onion Knight. Yes, he has a part to play. The part of rescuing Lord Rickon Stark from Skagos. ANd when I say rescuing, of course, I mean carrying his army back. Holy crap Stannis smiled. And Davos gets the death glare from Melly. That scene was all sorts of wrong, but at least they're going to the right location.

And finally we see the Mhysa. She's standing on a rock outside Yunkai, with all her advisors. Barristan still not wearing armor. Interesting choice. And oh man what a muddled mass. The freed slaves of Yunkai. The Unsullied adopt a defenseive position, and we heard a Dragon yell, but don't see it. Interesting. This has been a big episode for titles. King Stannis used his full one, and now Dany finally gets most of her true style. All these slaves need to know at least. And now, the following of House Targaryen grows. Ah, there are the Dragons. Man, they are well behaved today. Just sitting still, listening to mommy. That won't last. Interesting choice to place them out like that. She probably should have added "don't eat the nice people" to that command. Man, spotting the Targaryen is not hard in this crowd. Barristan sems to think he's made the right choice. A queen he can follow. Excellent use of the vocal music here, especially playing the theme underneath. Thats alot of slaves.

Ok, I really hope they're about to pull a Marvel on us. No way they can end it like that. I wonder what they're saying, but its sung to the theme song music here. Still a bit of time on the DVR bar here....intersting. I'll buy the soundtrack just for this song. Ok, I was gonna buy it for "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" anyway, and maybe get that sick instrumental version of Castamere from last episode. Wow. Fuck you HBO. They're really ending it that way. You've got to be kidding me. So you make the time slot for the episode an hour and 10 minutes so we can get an extra ten minutes of commericals for your other shows? Fuck that noise.

I'm really, really, upset we didnt' see anything at all relating to Lady Stoneheart here. She is the ultimate "Mhysa" character. There is noone, and I mean noone, in all of GRRM's writing who is more defined by being a mother than Catelyn Stark. You show us Robb's fate, you show us the wrap up at the Twins, but leave out her "Tully Funeral" and Lord Berric finding the body? Thats just wrong. Should have been part of the wrap up for that arc. It has no place in a season premiere, and certainly won't be part of episode two next season, so we're going to have to wait quite some time for this. Don't get me wrong, I didn't want to see the full on Lady Stoneheart effect, but it would have been great to see Nymeria, and have Arya know her mother's fate, and Berric and the Brotherhood coming across a corpse in the river.

But I digress. There was mostly good this episode. Some bad. Some things I just for the life of me don't understand why they did it. But honestly, this season was the redemption for this show. I decided at the end of Season two, atrocity that it was, to give the show one more year, one more try. And I wasn't disapointed.

And now, a little feature I'm borrowing from the Talking Dead. Lets take a moment to think back on those (important ones anyway) we've lost this season:

Hoster Tully: Died without ever being seen on screen alive. But, on the upside, Robb and Catelyn finally decided to show up at Riverrun. Better late than never.

Craster: He may have been a bastard, and he may have given his sons to the Others, but he was, for his part, a friend to the Watch.

Lord Commander Jeor Mormont: Affectionately known as the Old Bear, the 997th Lord Commadner of the Night's Watch was killed by his own men, a horrible way to go. Sadly, we never heard his dying wish, that his son Jorah follow in his stead and take the black. And now his watch has ended.

The Lannister Boys: Two young squires, murdered by Rickard Karstark. Which of course led to

Rickard Karstark: You knew things were going to go downhill for the King in the North when he was forced to execute one of his own Bannermen for killing Lannisters. But Karstark deserved his sentence, and true to his father, Robb carried out the punishment himself.

Vargo Hoat: Killed by omission. We will now never have the glory of trying to understand 'kingthlayerth' or Jaime's classic "maybe I just wanted to hear him say 'Thappireth'.

Berric Dondarrion: We've lost count of how many times. 5? 6? Only R'hllor knows. Most recently died at the sword of Sandor Clegane during a trial by combat, giving House Clegane a clean sweep vs House Dondarrion
Queen Talisa Stark: The Lady of Winterfell, though she never saw its walls. I'll admit, I hated her, and hated her change in the story (and still kind of do), but to find out I was wrong, and she truly loved Robb, was a nice twist to the terrible events of the Red Wedding. Telling us she wanted to name her child Eddard before she died just twisted the knife a little more.

Wendel Manderly: The physical stand-in for all the bannermen unseen on tv. The SmallJon, Dacey Mormont, and more. The North Remembers, and so will your father.

The 6th? 8th? Who cares, I've lost count, Lady Frey: Replacing the fool Aegon Frey for Catelyn's final attempt to save Robb, and an effective one at that.

Grey Wind: Robb Stark's loyal direwolf. Grey Wind joins his sister Lady in death. He was Robb Stark's most loyal and true friend.

Catelyn Tully*: Ned Stark's widow. A heartbreaking death, even for those who never really liked her, myself included. There is just no word to describe what she lived through. When Catelyn died, she believed she had one living child remaining, though at least the show spared her the knowledge of Sansa's marriage. Her boys were dead at the hands of the ward she watcher her husband raise, her younger daughter missing, and in the final moments of her life, she watched as her son's own Bannerman stabbed him through the heart.

Robb Stark: The King in the North, aka The Young Wolf. Robb Stark won every battle, but lost the war. HIs streak of victories on the battlefield was tempered only by his streak of defeats on the home front. His blunders away from the fight cost him his home, his kingdom, and his life.
Honorable Mention:
Jaime Lannister's Sword Hand: Who is Ser Jaime now? Was he just a sword hand? Or more? We'll find out soon, I feel, even though he's NOT supposed to be back in King's Landing yet.

'Little Theon' aka 'The Kraken': There are very few people in the world who deserve to have their dick cut off. Theon Greyjoy is probably one of them.


Well, thats it for Game of Thrones till next may. Season 4 will continue the story of 'A Storm of Swords', GRRM's 3rd book. I feel they may have to introduce a little of the next book for some characters, but there is alot of action to come next season. At least two massive battles at the wall, a wedding in King's Landing,  a trial in King's landing, and the best one vs one fight of the series, except for the ending. We'll also find out if Tywin Lannister does in fact, shit gold. The Wall needs a new Lord Commander to go with the King they're about to get. There are two deaths next season that will make you hurt, but one that will make you cheer with glee, and another that will probably shock the hell out of you.

Until then, read the books. For the first time, or the tenth. And I'll keep you posted as I hear casting rumors. Goodnight all. The North Remembers, and so shall we.
- The Penguin

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