Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 8: Hardhome

Wow! To quote Bad Boys 2 this shit just got real.

Before we get onto the amazing scenes with Jon Snow though we’ll start with what-in any other episode probably would have been the highlight. Tyrion and Daenerys first official meeting is great. The two actors spark off each other well and Emilia Clarke must be relieved to finally be getting scenes with the rest of the main cast. Tyrion carefully places his words but he doesn’t pull his punches either calling Daenerys out on a lot of things. At the end they seem to surprisingly bond over the fact they had rubbish fathers, hopefully together they can be more successful than both of their fathers. Or at least avoid dying on the toilet like Tywin. It’s a shame that Jorah couldn’t be a part of this joyous new union as he is sent away by Daenerys-again! But he hasn’t gone far as he returns to the fighting pits. Just what is his plan?

In Braavos Arya has taken on the identity of Lana, an Oyster seller and seems to have her first official target in sight. She is told to watch and poison a gambler who has denied payment to a sea captain’s family. I can’t imagine Arya will have a problem killing him, she’s racked up a body count over the seasons, but I’m not sure if it will go as smoothly as planned.

Meanwhile Sansa confronts Reek/Theon about his betrayal and he finally reveals that he didn’t kill Bran and Rickon. Thank goodness that’s out in the open, but can Sansa do actually do anything with that information? Maybe not at the moment but hopefully in the future she can start to look for her brothers and have a moment of happiness. Ramsey and Bolton however are too preoccupied with Stannis to know Reek/Theon has spilled the beans about the Stark boys. Bolton wants to starve Stannis men to death whereas Ramsey wants to take 20 ‘good’ men and bring the battle to Stannis. Please, please, please can Stannis or someone defeat Ramsey! This needs to happen soon.

Over in King’s Landing, Cersei is still suffering in her cell due to her ridiculously stupid plan backfiring on her. It’s hard to feel sorry for her considering she has brought the whole thing upon herself. Still even though she isn’t remote likeable or sympathetic, Cersei is still a great character so I hope she doesn’t languish in her cell for too long. She’s at her best when she’s scheming away. I’m also a bit worried for Tomman, hiding away from everyone in his room. And now his uncle has taken over as the hand of the king he’s going to be even more isolated. There was also an intriguing visit to Cersi from Qyburn, who says that “the work continues”. I presume he is talking about whatever experiment he is performing on The Mountain who was injured in the fight against Oberyn last season. Maybe if everything goes south Cersei’s contingency plan will be to have the Mountain burst into the cells and rescue her? Well she’s had worse ideas. Like giving the Sparrows power!

At the Wall Sam and Gilly are still loved up! Hopefully this bit of happiness will last a couple of episodes? Doubt it. Then theres Olly the annoying boy who keeps complaining about the Wildlings. I know I should be more sympathetic considering they did kill his entire village including his family but I’m so bored of hearing him go on about it. Sam tries to put him straight and say that if the White Walkers show up then they will need all the help they can get.

Which leads us to the moment that everyone has been talking about-the White Walkers attack the Wildlings and Jon’s men and it’s spectacular. As soon as those dogs started barking I knew something bad was going to happen, but I just didn’t even think about the White Walkers attacking the way they did. Like in the South, I was too preoccupied with who will end up on the Iron Throne and almost forgot the White Walkers. As the Walkers descended on the Wildlings the whole thing was just brilliant, from the direction, the action, the choreography, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Jon’s fight with one of the White Walkers was amazing, for a second I thought he was a goner. The ending was very good too, with the White Walker raising the fallen Wildlings into their ranks as Jon and co could only watch.

Apparently the majority of Hardhome features original material not in the books. If this episode is an example of what happens when the show diverts from the books then I’m happy to let the creators forge their own path.

What did you think of this episode? Have you gotten your breath back yet? Let me know in the comments below.

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8 Comments

Filed under My Kind Of Tv

8 responses to “Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 8: Hardhome

  1. Great episode with a brilliant final sequence. Usually the big event of the season is in episode 9, loved how they exceeded expectations here.

  2. This was a remarkable episode in every manner. Every character gets to have his or her moments this time.

    And they’ve been saying “Winter is Coming” since the first season but for the first time, it feels like, Winter Has Arrived! And the dead come with it.

    Fantastic dissection, Lauren!

    • Yes Winter has definately arrived! Although the rest of Westeros has yet to see it. They won’t know what’s hit them when it’s arrived!

  3. Such a spectacular episode!
    You mentioned the fact that this wasn’t in the book. It was actually in the book but only as a mention of past events. Survivors describe the horrific slaughter.

    I am extremely glad we actually get to see 😀

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