Unsullied Recap, Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 8: Hardhome

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Spoiler note: The discussion in this post is primarily for non-book readers (book fans can discuss the show-only here). We ask that all Sullied book-readers refrain from posting spoilers in the comments here, veiled or otherwise. No spoilers, at all! This show is best viewed without knowing all the surprises beforehand or afterwards, so please be respectful of your fellow fans. Thank you!

Welcome all ye fair Crows to the Wall of the interwebs.

A man goes by Oz and you have once again found the unofficial unadulterated Unsullied Recap.

Up until this point, the Season has been somewhat painfully predictable and arguably slow at times. That all changed last night. A man knows not what this Season’s epic 9 will bring, but an epic 8 was just recorded, and the market price for Valyrian steel just skyrocketed…

Quite happy you have chosen to join us here at our frozen monstrosity of electronic ice and rock, and equally happy we did not decide to call this monstrosity “Watchers at the Hardhome.”

For reasons unbeknownst to the non-book reader army, we were treated to what can only be described as a battle that was as unrelenting as it was unexpected.

To put it plainly, winter is apparently here.

Let’s attempt to break it down as best we can…

Wax Museum

The opening shot seriously looked like Madame Tussauds had ordered a rendition of Dany and Missandei to add to the collection. At the same time, a storm system was moving through my small neck of the woods and I mistook the stillness for a slight windy condition signal loss thanks to the good ol’ reliability of DirecTV.

5

But finally, Jorah spoke. Or at least, he attempted to do so.

The Tyrion/Dany dialogue seems to have been worth the wait. Tyrion attempts to prove his worth to Dany, not to mention showing that he really is a Lannister. In process, Dany seeks his first round of advice on exactly what she should do with Jorah.

The situation seemed to be looking up for Jorah to be readmitted to the friend zone thanks to the well-spoken Tyrion. But in the apparent pursuit of gaining her trust and proving that heeding his advice would be in her best interest, Tyrion eventually states that Jorah should not be by her side.

On the road again…

Having limited options and with greyscale on the spread, Jorah returns to the merchant who purchased him from the pirate requesting entrance to the fighting pits. And his wish was granted…

Cersei

Confessions of Cersei, Take 1

“Confess”

“Shove it up your ass.”

*Spoon slap*

To be continued…

Getting to Know You

Meanwhile, Tyrion and Dany continue to develop their relationship while having cocktails and discussing their dysfunctional families and the commonalities of their fathers.

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Tyrion brings up his sister having her husband killed in mention of Dany’s plan to marry Hizdhar so Boring in yet another hint that there is something about the Hiz that we don’t yet know. Not that Tyrion would know, but the correlation will surely lead to something.

The conversation moves on to the missing Varys with Tyrion explaining to Dany that while Varys did spy on her, he was only doing what he had to do to survive. Tyrion then throws out the possibility of staying put and doing more good over in Essos.

And the long awaited “wheel” proclamation ensues.

Learning to Lie

In her continuing studies course at Many Faced Gods Tech, No One has transformed into someone else. First alternate personification: Lanna Del Arya, oyster, clam and cockle broker but more importantly, a Jaqen approved portrayal.

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Jaqen instructs Lanna to take the right turn instead of the left and to get to know the gambling thin man to ultimately present him with a gift. The grin from Arya as she exits the building seemed to infer that she is finally enjoying her assignments. And she should be awarded extra credit for her oyster shucking abilities.

When Jaqen instructed Lanna to take the right turn, I was convinced she would come face to face with Meryn Fucking Trant. But it was not to be. At least, not yet.

Confessions of Cersei, Take 2

Cuckoo Qyburn is alive and well and has apparently been continuing his projects as if all is well in the KL (not that he could do anything about it, unless of course lightning had struck the tower and FrankenMountain had risen).

Qyburn tells Cersei that Tommen has more or less locked himself away and will not be disturbed.

“There is a way.”

“Confess? To that barefoot commoner I put in charge? Oh, hell to the no.”

“Goodbye, my Queen.”

To be continued…

Dammit, My Name is Reek

Theon enters Sansa’s quarters and is confronted as to why he would not help her. Sansa turns the story back on Reek and exclaims that she would have flayed him as well which leads to Theon admitting that he did not burn Bran and Rickon.

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Each time the two meet, Sansa seems to be progressing in getting Theon to remember who he is, potentially setting up a situation in which he could rectify the bad decisions he has made in the past.

Bolton Strategies

Roose’s idea doesn’t seem like a bad one: hold the walls, hangout, and wait for them to starve, freeze and/or leave.

But Ramsay has a different plan involving 20 men and catching Stannis and Co. when they least expect it. Intriguing to say the least.

Confessions of Cersei, Take 3

“Thirsty? Confess.”

“I can make you rich.”

“Confess.”

“A lady of the court.”

“Confess.”

“I can kill you hideously.”

“Oops. I seemed to have spilled the water.”

In all seriousness, Lena is killing it with her suffering in the dungeon. As quickly as the story is having to progress in what I can only assume is building up to a climax in her story arc, Lena has essentially sold going from the highest of royalty to the lowest of lows in three short scenes. Her appearance is obviously a factor, but her portrayal was damn near flawless.

Hardly Home

It’s still unclear exactly why there continues to be an emphasis put on Olly. Obviously, he is struggling with Jon’s decision to join forces with the Wildlings. Perhaps he is already aware of a planned uprising amongst the rest of the Crows as it pertains to Jon’s continued leadership role as Lord Commander and he is trying to figure out exactly where he stands. Regardless, this bit of detail is in for a reason. Olly will most definitely have some kind of an influence in whatever may be coming.

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Now, to the “Holy Shit” part…

There were many issues and plot points that could have been covered or expanded upon in Episode 8 before pounding us with the greatness the fandom has grown to expect out of the annual Episode 9. An epic battle in the snow against the reemerging white walkers at Hardhome was NOT what I had in mind.

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But this is a perfect example of how Game of Thrones, when you least expect it, bitch slaps you with a spoon.

The Lord of Bones going down to the bashing of Tormund was not a huge shocker. It was easy to assume that the negotiation and the reasoning behind the partnership between the Crows and the Wildlings would not go down without some backlash.

The Thenn in the meeting seemed to be the only issue in what looked to be a relatively easy agreement. But when the Wildling Lady didn’t get in the boat with her children and then gazed at them as if it may be the last time she would see them, the impression that something was about to go horribly wrong was set.

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Ozzette was convinced that the Thenn was about to take her head off. Unfortunately, it was worse.

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My initial thoughts were that this was going to be an army of Wights similar to what we were given at the end of S4… only skeletal, with some seemingly unnatural movements.

But that concern was quickly put to rest. The mixture and the variation of the soldiers did include some skeletal only, but also included some that looked to have just been changed over to those who were in the process of decay.

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It was reminiscent of the Walking Dead, with a hint of World War Z (especially as the Wights piled up at the gate and fell over the cliff), only it was incredibly better.

Add in the realistic actions of the Giant, and this was undeniably one of the most fascinating things I have ever seen on screen.

Favorite Elements:

  • The Giant obliterating Wights.
  • The Four Horsemen overseeing the battle
  • The entire collage of Jon fighting this fucker…

WW fight

  • The children taking down the Wildling Lady after she had sent her children to safety

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  • Realizing that Valyrian Steel would disintegrate a Walker

White Walker

  • The scene where Jon, Edd and Tormund are running for the boats with the Giant in tow.

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Hell, what wasn’t to like?

We were due some White Walker action, but this… just this.

Episode 508 Personal Awards

Favorite Action Sequence (potentially of all time): Hardhome.

Favorite Quotes: “It’s too soon to know if you deserve my service.” –Tyrion

“I thought you were worth meeting at the very least.” –Tyrion

“Killing and politics aren’t always the same thing.” –Tyrion

“He’s prettier than both my daughters.” –Tormund

“Torrrmmunnddd.” –The Giant

“I fucking hate Thenns.” –Wildling Lady (who died too soon)

Ow, That Shit Hurts Award: While there were all dimensions of “ow” at Hardhome, the spoon slap looked awfully painful, especially for someone who is not used to receiving punishment.

And getting mauled by Wight kids probably wasn’t enjoyable either.

Jackass Award:. The doomed Thin Man for giving his clients unbelievably bad odds.

Overall Thoughts: Now we know where the budget went. These past two episodes have renewed my confidence in exactly what the show is trying to accomplish. If instances such as this are what we have to look forward to as winter comes, then the edge of my couch will need duct tape by the time we get to Season 7.

The episode reinforced the idea that the real war is in the North, and in the grand scheme of things, nothing else really matters.

If you are one of the few who made the conscious decision to stop watching the show a couple of weeks ago, then you have made an unwise decision.

What say you, Unsullied faithful? Speak up and speak out. 

Until next week, hang out and stay awhile. Invite an Unsullied to join us. And may there always be peace in your realm. –Oz

Find Oz on Twitter.

**SPOILER NOTE: The Management of this fine site would like to remind you that spoilers (book or leak) are not allowed in Unsullied posts. This includes spoilers that may be covered by code or otherwise. Personally, I appreciate feedback from Sullied and Unsullied alike, so long as they do not include any type of hinting or conversation related to the written verse. However, spoiler coded comments do tend to lead to further Sullied conversation and for that reason, we ask that you please refrain from posting any SPOILERY content whatsoever in Unsullied posts. Thank you for the coop. -Oz

110 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. This was probably one of my favorite episodes in the entire show. The Arya arc, Lena just absolutely hitting the ball out of the park with her role, Tyrion slipping into a favorable situation again (FINALLY), and finally one of the best, if not the best action scene of the entire show at Hardhome. Brilliant episode! Awesome recap OZ as always 🙂

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    2. Birgitte Hjort Sørensen as Karsi did a great job seeing as she came in for an important if small role in a “big” episode. Barely recognised her from her role in ‘Borgen’

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    3. These last two episodes have pretty much cemented Miguel Sapocknik as one of the top Game of Thrones directors. Hopefully they get him back for season 6. His directing work on Fringe was great too.

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    4. The third headbanger to the right in the wildings as wights picture looks a lot like Tormund. Kind of freaked me out for second.

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    5. One great thing this episode was juxtaposition of Tyrion and Cersei. He, sipping wine with a Queen, she sipping water off a filthy dungeon floor.

      If we think back to Season 1 when Tyrion was in the Vale, oh how the tables have turned…

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    6. The actors that played Karsi and the Thenn were fantastic. Well scripted, acted, edited, and directed. I’m anxious to see what they salvage from the Dorne arc in the next two weeks.

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    7. Can someone explain the Whitewalkers vs the wights vs the skeleton things (that we saw attack bran and we saw yesterday)?
      Also, are the whitewalkers the leaders only? the only 13 we saw in the episode “oathkeeper” in season four? or are there more whitewalkers and those are just the leaders?

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    8. Hardhome was the best episode of Game of Thrones in the entire series to date. I do not expect either episode 9 or 10 of Season 5 to top this one. It would be misplaced to think that either will.

      I expect any episode that may “top” this will have to wait until Season 6 or, more probably, Season 7 (or 8). It is entirely possible that it will never get better than what we saw last night and this is Game of Thrones at the very top of its arc. All else is so much shark jumping after this.

      If so, I’ll still take it and smile.

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    9. Deesensfan,

      Skeleton things & wights are the same: they are just “zombies” with some more dextrous than others. The White Walkers are some other race of people that have very strange powers, including Necromancy, being unfazed by cold, being extremely powerful, being able to create crystals (perhaps even just plain old water ice) that are much stronger than typical steel, but plagued by extreme allergies to obsidian and Valyrian steel. (Interestingly, they do not fear fire, it seems!)

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    10. Deesensfan: the only 13 we saw in the episode “oathkeeper” in season four? or are there more whitewalkers and those are just the leaders?

      Those are unknowns. There might be just 13, or those might be 13 of importance, or it might be just a coincidence that 13 happened to be gathered. We know very, very little about the White Walkers: in large part because the characters in the stories (Westerosi and Wildlings) know almost nothing about them.

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    11. Hi Oz,

      As promised I will not wait years to comment on the site. As always I enjoy your recap! My 2 cents is all the wars/battle mean nothing, everyone needs to unite to fight these Whitewalkers.

      I cant speak for anyone else but I held my breath when I thought John Snow was about to die. I was at the edge of my seat, and never cheered so hard for a hero to run away.

      Keep up the good work Oz 🙂

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    12. Wimsey,

      Okay. So I knew all that about the whitewalkers. It gets confusing sometimes… and I was mostly confused about the skeletons. Great thanks a lot of clarifying everything!
      I love this story (weird eh?) hahaha

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    13. This season seems to have been so much “hurry up and wait” that I was really caught by surprise by having an episode in which everything it legitimate action. I’m not just talking about the epic fight at the end. If anything, the fight was my least favourite part… Granted, I love everything about this episode, so my “least favourite” is still pretty darn beloved. The only reason it doesn’t rank higher is because a lot of stuff happened I’ve been waiting all season for and the battle took me completely by surprise.

      Dany and Tyrion play off each other wonderfully. I’m really looking forward to how this will all play out. These feels like an endgame move. Tyrion needs to advise someone he respects, which I get the impression he does Dany and Dany needs someone she’ll actually listen to.

      I love all of Arya and A Man’s interactions, but actually having Arya get past the sweeping and body washing is incredibly welcome. As a big Jaqen fan I wasn’t sure how I felt about him not caring if Arya lived or died. But it is in character and I think A Man has more faith in Arya than he lets on. After all, she did tell him to kill himself in order to appease the Many Faced God.

      Cersei’s plot was the only one that wasn’t pure action. It was a little more waiting. But you can’t rush that. Cersei’s not going to be broken just by spending a few days in a dungeon. It was wonderfully acted and kept short, so it worked really well just to remind us how Cersei’s not going to let herself be beaten so quickly.

      And Sansa knows about Bran and Rickon! Every since she got back to Winterfell I’ve been waiting for Theon/Reek to let it slip out. I knew the information had to be retrieved under duress. Alfie Allen did a great acting job, going back and forth between using the third person and first person when talking about what Theon had done. There is hope for Reek yet.

      I was completely surprised by the White Walker and the Army of the Dead fighting the Night’s Watch and the Wildlings. I figured we probably would get some sort of interaction during the season– it’s been building for long enough– but I was figuring it for episode nine. Which tells me this was NOT the big event that’ll happen during the season. But how can it get much bigger than knowing that WINTER IS HERE?

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    14. Great review Oz, thanks!
      This episode was pure epicness in any way.. I’m still tembling and shaking( I love Game Of Thrones!)
      Awesome cast( Kit, Peter, Emilia, Alfie, Hivju, ALL!) director, crew…
      ONE WORD: EPIC 10/10

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    15. Steel_Wind: All else is so much shark jumping after this.

      Everything else is shark-jumping after this??? This is the FIRST we’ve seen of what is alleged to be the “real war”; have a little faith for fook’s sake…

      Other than last year’s early-season bit with lil’ Joff saying farewell, hitting your stride late in the season is pretty much a “thing” for GoT at this point… but hit it they have! A big, super-slow golf-clap goes out to the actors, including some we haven’t even seen before and will maybe never see again… the “I fuckin’ hate Thenns” throwback, and certain other bits, could have come off super-cheesy and distracting if it wasn’t for the quality of the on-screen talent.

      I hold out hope that other storylines may yet have big payoffs in the next two episodes, but if Hardhome is the “big thing” this year, I will be fairly satisfied until next spring.

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    16. Deesensfan:
      Can someone explain the Whitewalkers vs the wights vs the skeleton things (that we saw attack bran and we saw yesterday)?
      Also, are the whitewalkers the leaders only? the only 13 we saw in the episode “oathkeeper” in season four? or are there more whitewalkers and those are just the leaders?

      Skeletons and wights are the same thing. Just think of the skeletons as more decayed versions of wights.

      White Walkers are the demon-like creatures that ride the horses and are surreal looking and have some sort of ice-skin. Much about them is unknown. We are not sure if they ‘control’ the wights (similar to warging) or just raise them from the dead and give them orders. Either way, they do ‘lead’ the wights. It is unknown how many white walkers there are. 13 were seen last season. 1 was killed by Sam in season 3 (So that would have made 14 total we know of). We saw four this episode (maybe 5 if the one Jon killed wasn’t one of the ones on the horses).

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    17. What’s going to happen to the wildlings if they reach the wall before Jon snow? He won’t be able to reinforce anything. Remember everyone currently stationed at the Knights watch despises Jon and his decision to team up with the wildlings.

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    18. In S05E07 Davos warns Stannis against marching to WF due to winter/snowy circumstances. ‘We can’t open the supply line until the snow clears’, he says. Biting cold has already killed 40 horses… In short, the winter has come for parts south of the wall. Obviously the winter hasn’t come for parts north of the wall (as HH, a far-north settlement, is practically without snow). How could that be?

      Mance was killed cos he didn’t want to knee for Stannis (or for anybody else). He chose to die rather than serve the (self-proclaimed) king. I thought all Freemen share the same (political) attitude. In S0508 we can see they don’t. All the 5000 Freemen that chose to flee HH practically betrayed Mance, ‘n the stance not to knee for anyone. Sad shit! I mean, is it really better to be (alive) servant than (dead) zombie?

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    19. This was by far the best episode of the series. Ever. So far. I watched it twice last night!
      Oz, great recap. “But this is a perfect example of how Game of Thrones, when you least expect it, bitch slaps you with a spoon” —– AMAZING. I laughed so hard LOL

      So much amazing stuff happened in this episode:
      – Arya becoming an assassin
      – Cersei drinking water of the floor, while Tyrion sipped his wine.
      – Tyrion and Danaeyrus.
      – Sansa finding out about Bran and Rickon
      – and well, Jon effing SNOW and the rest of the crew – whitwalkers wights giants dragon glass valariyan steel.

      I cant get enough of this episode. Everything about it was perfect. I am anxious to see what happens next.

      – Is Arya going to assassinate who she was supposed to assassinate? or is she going to run into someone else?
      – The king’s landing story worries me a little, only because of Qyburn’s work. It stresses me out and I feel like his work will save Cersei. And I do not like her.
      – Whats going to happen with Sansa and Theon? I have no clue. I sense a death.
      – I am worried for Stannis. I have a bad feeling about his battle. All signs point to Stannis losing, and well, we like him, and we all know what happens to a character we like. Also, Ramsay’s reference to the title of one of the books, a feast for crows. Ugh. It stresses me out. I hope we do not see Shireen burn.
      – I am not sure I quite understand WHY jorah wants to fight in the pits, and fight for her? How is he fighting for her? Whats gonna happen in Mereen? I am scared. I think Dany will be leaving Meeren by end of episode 10.
      – Not sure whats going to happen with the Wall story at this point… or if we will see any more WW or whatever. Benjen Stark crossed my mind yesterday while I Watched the battle/ I don’t know why.
      – I cant wait to see what happens in Dorne.

      Ugh, I just LOVE this show.

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    20. This episode reaffirms what Thrones does better than any other Tv show (and probably movies): show us drama both epic and intimate, complete with acting that hits every register. Like political intrigue? Check. Family drama? Check. Sexy time? Check. Skull crashing action? Check. Surreal fantasy? Check. History? Check. I feel bad (not really) for the people who “gave up” on the show two weeks ago. They missed a San Andreas sized fissure in the TV universe last night.

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    21. Deesensfan,

      They probably can swim. I think they just let the rest (nights watch/wildlings/jon) go so they can bring the fear back to the wall and the south with them. Similar to how they let the guy go in the very first episode of the show, so he can spread the news and fear that winter is coming for them.

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    22. Uknow.0: In S05E07 Davos warns Stannis against marching to WF due to winter/snowy circumstances. ‘We can’t open the supply line until the snow clears’, he says. Biting cold has already killed 40 horses… In short, the winter has come for parts south of the wall. Obviously the winter hasn’t come for parts north of the wall (as HH, a far-north settlement, is practically without snow). How could that be?

      Cold weather, when it first comes, is worse inland. Large bodies of water regulate the temperature. Hardhome is on the sea; the road between CB and WF is not.

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    23. The giant’s name is Wun Wun.

      That’s not a spoiler. Tormund calls him by name and tells him to go to the sea.

      And I agree, he was pretty awesome.

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    24. ..the market price for Valyrian steel just skyrocketed…

      PURE GOLD !! I still laugh at that comment!!!

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    25. harma dogememe: Cold weather, when it first comes, is worse inland. Large bodies of water regulate the temperature. Hardhome is on the sea; the road between the CB and WF is not.

      I was just about to say this. Unless it is bitterly bitterly cold, you usually struggle to find snow anywhere near the coast. Also, the Boltons mention how this sudden storm saved them, so its just a passing storm. It’s not full on blizzard all the time yet.

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    26. Uknow.0: In S05E07 Davos warns Stannis against marching to WF due to winter/snowy circumstances. ‘We can’t open the supply line until the snow clears’, he says. Biting cold has already killed 40 horses… In short, the winter has come for parts south of the wall. Obviously the winter hasn’t come for parts north of the wall (as HH, a far-north settlement, is practically without snow). How could that be?

      Well, think back to seasons 1 and 2, when we did see some snow in the regular old North, and the characters talked about “summer snows.” I think the North is used to cold and snow without those things necessarily signifying Winter. Winter is more… unrelenting.

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    27. Deesensfan,

      Wights are human beings raised from the dead by the white walkers and can be observed on the show in various states of decay from total skeleton to just died by which they can be distinguished from living humans by, among other things, completely blue eyes. White Walkers (called “the Others” in the books) are pretty much blue all over including the eyes. That episode last year seemed to indicate they are born human like Craster’s sons but they look like another species entirely when they are grown up as opposed to a rotting or rotted human like the wights. Also there are a lot fewer white walkers than wights.

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    28. But there is also a difference between the walker that Jon destroyed and the walker with the Darth Maul hornage. The former appears to be more of a Captain, with Horny resembling a 4-star (using unsuitable comparisons to the US military rank system). Without getting into spoiler territory, has the difference between these two types been described before?

      Or is this unchartered territory for everyone?

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    29. Darth White ..it would make sens if Darth Maul has been ressurrected as a bad boy. I would forgive GL for the poor Star Wars prequels…

      Yes, the Force is strong in Darth Maul

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    30. Oz,

      The show is ahead of the books on white walkers in most respects now. The darth maul guy has not shown up in the books. He was called the “night’s king” in the credits to last year’s episode. There is a backstory about the “night’s king” in the books who lived thousands of years ago but if, or how that story relates to what we are seeing manifested on the show is not really known even to book readers. We may have guesses and theories but we don’t know. That is pretty much all that is separating sullied from unsullied on the walker stuff now, we might can make educated guesses about things but we don’t know. For instance, we didn’t KNOW that valyrian steel definately killed white walkers until last night, it was strongly suspected but we didn’t see it actually happen until last night. On the flip side, a lot of sullied have been proven way wrong as to the identity of the night’s king if the show is any indication so knowledge of the books can be a hinderance as well as a help to the sullied because they can read the clues there wrong as easily as right.

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    31. In the “about the episode” on HBO GO, Dave Benioff explains that the White Walker on the end of the pier at the end is the “Night’s King,” so it’s safe to assume he’s in charge of Team Chill.

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    32. Winter is here! Damn what an episode! Really loved it!

      Dany and Tyrion scenes were great. Hopefully she will listen to his advice.

      Lena Heady was great as Cersei. Excited about the trial.

      And Sansa now knows Bran and Rickon are still alive! Curious what she wil do with that information.

      The last part was just amazing and awesome! Didn’t expect that or at least not in episode 8.

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    33. A Sullied cannot actually leave a comment here. I fear someone built some magic in Oz’s Wall threads. Perhaps it is time to don the Red Woman dress and wig. I also might need the blood of a king…

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    34. Deesensfan,

      There isn’t really that much to discuss, methinks. The last part of the episode is really THE episode (at least to me it is), and is better savoured than discussed (it was great).

      That said, I really did enjoy the wheel speech. It really affirms that Dany is a revolutionary (a highborn Che Guevara, if you like) – she wants to destroy the old structures of Westeros. She probably wants to dismantle the power structures of all the houses; no Starks ruling the north etc., but individuals she has personally chosen because they seem the best fit for the job, not because they belong to a particular house.

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    35. YouKnowNothingJonSnow: What’s going to happen to the wildlings if they reach the wall before Jon snow?

      I don’t think we have to worry about that. Jon was on his way back to Stannis’ ships along with the rest of the Wildlings that made it out alive so they should arrive at the same time.

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    36. When the rumbling and the mist came, I just flipped the fuck out.

      I’m just wondering, if we run out of book material this season and the latest book isn’t out by the time season 6 airs, there’s still going to be separate Sue and Oz reviews right?

      Regarding White Walkers; without getting into any specifics because I don’t trust myself not to accidently spill some book info, they and the Children of the Forest are supposed to be based on Irish fairy folklore. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aos_S%C3%AD

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    37. Hmm, for some reason one of my comments isn’t showing up. If at some point two similar comments show up forgive me.

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    38. “My ancestors would spit on me if I broke bread with a crow.”
      “Mine too, but fuck ’em, they’re dead.”

      That was the line that did it for me from Karsi, the wilding woman. It settled the matter for the rest of the wildings, too, just that easily. So naturally delivered, (with no silly grimace on her face or stupid accent.) I was sure she was set to be my new favorite second-string character, but alas. This is Game of Thrones. Don’t get too attached. Yet, with that small, but beautifully played part, she served to prove that the wildings were indeed as human and loving as any in the south, maybe more so. She made sure her children were safe, but instead of hopping on the boat with them, she went back to help the old people. What’s that saying about no good deed going unpunished? darn.

      Excellent episode, not a boring or off-kilter bit. Loved all of it, and every player brought their A game. Jon, pretty Jon, shattering the White Walker, Tormund beating the snark out of Rattleshirt to get the talks moving. Tyrion and Dany planning to rule the world, and we believe it. Cersei – dirty and disheveled for probably the first time in her life. I fully expected her to grab that ladle from the Septa’s hand and shove it down her throat. That scream of frustration had me almost feeling sorry for her.

      And Edd made it! I found myself shouting “not Edd not Edd,” at the tv.

      Can’t wait for your reviews every Monday, Oz. This one especially hilarious and insightful. But Oz, only two more to go? I can’t believe it. The last two episodes promise to be even more amazing than this one, but after that … another nine months of waiting.

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    39. After watching this, I have so many questions!

      Did Jaqen braid Arya’s hair?

      Is Salladhor Saan on one of those ships? Will someone send him off to get more dragonglass from Dragonstone?

      Where can I get some Valyrian Steel?

      What is White Walker armor made of?

      Will Edd ever start rowing that boat?!

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    40. Had Peter Jackson used the same fantastic CGI, the hobbit Movies would have been soooooo much better. Fantastic episode. Hope the ratings will benefit for episode 9 !!
      but D&D can suck it. There will only be 2 more seasons. FIRE THEM NOW! I want at least 20 seasons.

      And no F-ing prequels. Because it doesn’t matter what happens there, does it, for we all know what happens at present time. This deserve to live on for a decade at least. Employ more writers if GRRM is tired of it.
      There was ONE flaw with this episode, At the end, the boat they were in moved forward, but no one was paddling..:)

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    41. “When you least expect it, bitch slaps you with a spoon.”

      Luv ya Oz… that is the ENTIRE reason these books and this show rock… some of us like unexpected spoonslaps…

      My by far favorite moment is when Wun Wun the giant – his name is Wun Wun if you listen closely -when starts to run. He’s a giant, he’s got a flaming tree and he RUNS. Instant bolt of fear went up my spine. I mean, when you’re Wun Wun and you run for your life… as everyone has already said, Winter must be here!

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    42. Yeah, Wun Wun stomping wights into piles of mush. The best!

      Did I misunderstand, or did Jaqen basically say “if she dies, she dies,” about Arya? Wtf, Jaqen? I was so excited to see him at the beginning of the season. Now, he’s hitting Arya with sticks and letting that Waif girl give her grief.

      Arya’s already a killer, she’s just polishing her skills. There will shortly be no list. I loved that she is now looking all clean and perky, and Cersei – well Cersei’s the ragamuffin.

      Bran and Rickon alive and Sansa knows! What a gorgeous young girl Sophie has grown into. She just might be the beautiful young Queen that will replace Cersei.

      I can’t help but keep remembering the visions Dany had a few seasons back when she was going through the tower at Qarth, searching for her dragons. Remember? It showed her reaching out to the Iron Throne, but never touching it. I always thought that it meant she wasn’t going to rule the Seven Kingdoms. Or maybe it just means that King’s Landing won’t be the center of government anymore. Bran had the same vision of a burned-out throne room, and snow falling over a desolate, deserted throne.

      I sure hope it doesn’t mean that the whole land will be left bleak and wind-swept. GRRM was certainly taken with some of the bleakness of LOTR. But, damn, GRRM, LOTR was written between and after the effects that two world wars had on Tolkien. Surely there have been events and realizations about human nature that have enlightened us, you, that would make saving the best parts of humanity a priority, rather than showing a scoured Westeros. I guess I mean that the Starks that are alive better stay alive, damn it. I don’t think I can take any more major deaths. But, I will be here watching, regardless. Sigh.

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    43. Queen of the Keys,

      Thank you, oh great Key Queen…

      Thronetender,

      It is almost surreal that there are only two episodes left until another long off-season. But if these last 2 eps deliver, the season will have morphed from one of the weakest to one of the strongest and should give us plenty to talk about during the break. After last night, I am cautiously optimistic.

        Quote  Reply

    44. Sansa has finally figured out the right track with Theon.

      That boy may have been born a Greyjoy, but he was raised a Stark. It is Ned and Robb he has nightmares about betraying, not Balon and Yara.

        Quote  Reply

    45. WeirwoodTreeHugger,

      I would think we will maintain both reviews. I presume that book readers would still hold a different perspective from the show-viewers only even if the source material ran out.

      But you never know… Sue might kick the old dog to the curb. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    46. Oz,

      A great episode would naturally yield a great post. My favorites:

      Madame Tussauds
      *Spoon slap*
      Lanna Del Arya

      Will you be doing summations of the season once all of this is said and done in a few weeks? You realize that all of us will be Unsullied once Season 6 begins.

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    47. Uknow.0:
      In S05E07 Davos warns Stannis against marching to WF due to winter/snowy circumstances. ‘We can’t open the supply line until the snow clears’, he says. Biting cold has already killed 40 horses… In short, the winter has come for parts south of the wall. Obviously the winter hasn’t come for parts north of the wall (as HH, a far-north settlement, is practically without snow). How could that be?

      Hardhome is on the coast. Winterfell is far inland.

        Quote  Reply

    48. gewa76,

      According to Roose, the snow around WF is so deep that Boltons couldn’t get any army through to engage Stannis’s army even if they wanted to. It seems WF is being cut off by the heavy/deep snow. On the other hand, HH, the settlement that’s about 800 miles north of WF, is practically without snow. Unbelievable.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Uknow.0,

      As Gewa said Hardhome is on the coast, I repeat on the coast, which means that snow can be sparse. Whereas WF is far into the mainland which means that it can snow a lot. Furthermore winter is not associated only with the amount of snow that falls but mainly with the temperature. So that means that at Hardhome there is not much snow and temperature is lets say -10C and still it doesn’t feel that cold if its not windy, whereas at Winterfell or its surroundings is around 0C lots of snow or maybe snowstorm and therefore it may feel colder. So there is no black and white in this. You should have known if you were living in some northern settlement but you obvioulsy live in Hawai…

        Quote  Reply

    50. Deesensfan: Arya becoming an assassin

      Arya becoming an assassin is amazing? True, Arya is transforming from an avenger into an assassin. But that’s not so amazing, isn’t it? It seems if she tries to leave the Faceless Men, ‘n quits their ‘assassin program’, she would put herself in big danger.

        Quote  Reply

    51. The giant lives!

      And he fights like a giant!

      And he lives!

      Also of note, the skeletal wights were finally believable, unlike in the ‘Children’. The Wildlings were all great (poor Birgitte Hjort Sorensen’s character – in a couple scenes, I loved her). Braavos got back its magical atmosphere. Valyrian steel is worth something (You hear that Brienne? Get your ass up to the Wall, asap!). The boats struggling against the winds and waves looked great. Tyrion and Daenerys were worth it. Cersei and the Septa played it wonderfully too. And Sansa doesn’t give up!

      But man, that giant! All giants we’ve seen in GoT were absolutely perfect.
      And thank you for the recap, Oz. It oozes joy from the episode, rightfully.

      Last though: 4×08 was epic too. I even liked it better than the attack at the Wall. Epic eights!

        Quote  Reply

    52. Uknow.0,

      According to Westeros maps, there are dense forests hundreds of miles north of the Wall. Hardhome seems to be in, or fairly close to, one of those.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Yes, Oz, like I’ve said before, thank you for your recaps. They are a large part of the enjoyment of the whole GoT experience. Bitch slaps you with a spoon is right up there on the laugh-o-meter, but my favorite is still the one from last week: magical venomous vagina. Still chuckling over that one.

        Quote  Reply

    54. I don’t know how you Unsullied hold on through the episodes!!! I was both the same excited and afraid for not knowing what was going to happen, I enjoyed having the surpirse factor indeed, but getingt through so many seasons like this… well you have probably more courage than me, I would’ve had a heart attack by now lol

        Quote  Reply

    55. Uknow.0:
      In S05E07 Davos warns Stannis against marching to WF due to winter/snowy circumstances. ‘We can’t open the supply line until the snow clears’, he says. Biting cold has already killed 40 horses… In short, the winter has come for parts south of the wall. Obviously the winter hasn’t come for parts north of the wall (as HH, a far-north settlement, is practically without snow). How could that be?

      It happens in real world too. I live in southern Germany: during winter, we have much more snow in the South than in the North of Germany where snow is quite seldom.

        Quote  Reply

    56. I think the White walkers could have enticed more wight bait north of the wall if they had established a ski resort prior to attacking

        Quote  Reply

    57. Just finished my first viewing and all I can say is, HOLY S**T!!!!!!

      Seriously. What an amazing episode from start to finish. I really did enjoy Tyrion and Dany time and am so glad she didn’t feed to him to one of her dragons.

      I wanted Ghost to go with Jon to Hardhomme…but I am sure as hell glad he stayed at the Wall to protect Sam.

      But….just wow. Oz, I too might have to invest in duct tape for my couch.

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    58. Wimsey: Those are unknowns.There might be just 13, or those might be 13 of importance, or it might be just a coincidence that 13 happened to be gathered.We know very, very little about the White Walkers: in large part because the characters in the stories (Westerosi and Wildlings) know almost nothing about them.

      Is’nt 13 a pretty standard fantasy number to create a circle to do high level magic, I may be wrong but it seems you would know you have quite the knowledge base with regards to fantasy norms 🙂

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    59. Questions…
      Wun-Wun was bitten a few times & looked a little woozy as he disappeared into the water, do we have to worry about Wun-Wun becoming a big Wight???

      I was hoping Brigitte’s character would be a new love interest for Jon….do you think they’ll write in a wight cure??

      Cerci was very entertaining. Even though I hate her, I was happy she stayed true to her character and did not cower the first time her Queen Bad-assness was tested! I still want her head on a spike though…(a little Eddard Stark get-back!). What’s going to happen when Jamiee finds out what they’ve done to his Boo?

      So, is Jorah going to the pit a setup to save Dany from an assignation attempt by Daario??? Will Jorah lose his life by saving the woman he loves? Where’s Worm BTW???

      Arya looks like she is having TOO MUCH fun, it was surprising to see her Black&White housemate take up for her & say she wasn’t ready but weird that H’ghar kicked her to the curb.

      I can go on for days with this episode, but don’t nobody have no time for that… not when I can go rewatch it for the 3rd time. Absolutely LOVEGoT!!

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    60. The Plot Thickens…: Cerci was very entertaining. Even though I hate her, I was happy she stayed true to her character and did not cower the first time her Queen Bad-assness was tested! I still want her head on a spike though…(a little Eddard Stark get-back!). What’s going to happen when Jamiee finds out what they’ve done to his Boo?

      How fast do you think news of Cersei’s incarceration would reach Dorne? Jaime CAN’T go back to KL now, not openly. If one of the charges against Cersei is incest, then the other participant will be arrested as well, no? And Myrcella can’t go back, either. So it looks like Jaime will have to pledge to Doran – against Tommen – in order to keep himself and Myrcella alive, and to keep the marriage on track.

      BTW, what did happen to Ellaria? Would she get special accommodations, having been Oberyn’s paramour? I was wondering why she wasn’t in the cell with Tyene, until Tyene pulled her little act. Tyene is Ellaria’s daughter, isn’t she? Unless they were all agreed on the necessity to get Bronn’s blood racing, then Ellaria wouldn’t have so much minded the strip act.

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    61. Favorite episode of the entire series, methinks.

      The fact that this episode was as epic as it was reinvigorates my confidence in the writing of this television show… yet on the same note, it leaves me that much more frustrated that some of the past episodes this season have left a lot to be desired.

      Without getting into book details, the writers have not done the Dorne storyline or its characters justice. The writing and editing of those scenes have been terrible, and I have no emotional connection to Oberyn’s daughters. Whoever wrote this episode, KUDOOOOS. In less than half an hour, we met Karsi the wildling and became invested enough to mourn her loss, which happened far too soon, imo. I felt more for her character than any of the Sand Snakes, and the latter fact irks me to no end.

      So many mistakes this season. But this one episode KILLED IT. I just don’t know how to interpret these contradictions.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Uknow.0:
      In S05E07 Davos warns Stannis against marching to WF due to winter/snowy circumstances. ‘We can’t open the supply line until the snow clears’, he says. Biting cold has already killed 40 horses… In short, the winter has come for parts south of the wall. Obviously the winter hasn’t come for parts north of the wall (as HH, a far-north settlement, is practically without snow). How could that be?

      Snow can be quite localized, and in fact colder (or farther north) does not necessarily mean snowier. Climate might give you general trends of what to expect, but weather is unpredictable. You can get blizzards in the autumn or spring that are just as bad (and sometimes worse) than those in winter.

      This is Buffalo, NY last November (not even winter yet, but it wanted to remind everyone that it was coming).
      The Wall

      There were plenty of areas farther north that didn’t get that much snow.

        Quote  Reply

    63. The Plot Thickens…:
      Questions…
      Wun-Wun was bitten a few times & looked a little woozy as he disappeared into the water, do we have to worry about Wun-Wun becoming a big Wight???

      I hope not. As it is we lost two members of a dying race. And I have no recollection of ‘wightitis’ being in any way contagious. They just kill. And then a White walker comes and raises the dead.

      Thronetender:
      BTW, what did happen to Ellaria?Would she get special accommodations, having been Oberyn’s paramour?I was wondering why she wasn’t in the cell with Tyene, until Tyene pulled her little act.Tyene is Ellaria’s daughter, isn’t she?Unless they were all agreed on the necessity to get Bronn’s blood racing, then Ellaria wouldn’t have so much minded the strip act.

      I presumed she got a room similar to Jaime’s. Doran noted previously how much he respects her for her love of Oberyn (and having made him happy).

      Phyllis Ashley:
      Favorite episode of the entire series, methinks.

      The fact that this episode was as epic as it was reinvigorates my confidence in the writing of this television show… yet on the same note, it leaves me that much more frustrated that some of the past episodes this season have left a lot to be desired.

      Without getting into book details, the writers have not done the Dorne storyline or its characters justice. The writing and editing of those scenes have been terrible, and I have no emotional connection to Oberyn’s daughters. Whoever wrote this episode, KUDOOOOS. In less than half an hour, we met Karsi the wildling and became invested enough to mourn her loss, which happened far too soon, imo. I felt more for her character than any of the Sand Snakes, and the latter fact irks me to no end.

      So many mistakes this season. But this one episode KILLED IT. I just don’t know how to interpret these contradictions.

      Unfortunately, I have to agree. I still hope Dorne will get its due and make us forget of most (Doran was fine throughout, but he had like 5 lines) that happened there prior to episode 7.

        Quote  Reply

    64. I have a question about Dany’s Unsullied. Why in all hells after the beat down the Sons of the Harpy gave Grey Wurm are they still only carrying the longs spears instead of short spears and long swords?

        Quote  Reply

    65. I used to enjoy Oz predictions, what happened to them? And the canoes were pulled by the tude, maybe? And the hooded guys in the canoes were sitting, unmoving in the cold, so the had to be all covered up.

        Quote  Reply

    66. I think Olly will have a big role in letting Jon Snow and the wildling army through the gates when Ser Allister will most likely stand his ground.

      Think Bran will make an appearance in this season at all? Gendry? Rickon?

        Quote  Reply

    67. A-Train,

      Really?
      That’s interesting..
      I feel like Olly is gonna turn on Jon Snow! Sam tells him that sometimes you need to do something that seems wrong to everyone but for the greater good or something.

      And no, I don’t think were gonna see Bran or any one else this season. Cant wait to see Bran’s story next year!

        Quote  Reply

    68. Olly will definitely heed Sam’s advice that sometimes you have to do the right thing, despite it being difficult.
      The problem is that what Olly considers a right thing might doom Jon, Sam and the Wall. Or maybe quite the opposite, I have no idea. But he’s definitely got some thinking to do.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Deesensfan,

      I’m like you… the whole “Olly reoccurring” theme leads you to believe that he will do something that is going to shake up the whole deal. What concerns me the most is that the show has a history of parallels… and Olly killed Ygritte.

        Quote  Reply

    70. I posted a response but it is not showing up. AGAIN! so you may end up seeing three posts from me.

      I agree with you. OZ
      I thought there would be more to JS based on my theories and Mel’s obsession with him… but maybe I was wrong :(:(:(:(

        Quote  Reply

    71. Did anyone else half expect/hope that we would see Jojen Reed as a wight when the children wights showed up?

        Quote  Reply

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