Game of Thrones: Mother’s Mercy
I have been so excited all week for the season finale, albeit somewhat nervous. There has been a lot of disturbing stuff happening this season, and the 10th episode (while usually not the worst) always has some shocking moments and the general tone of the show isn’t exactly what I would call uplifting, particularly lately. All worries and concerns aside, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what’s going to happen ever since episode 9 finished airing.
It starts back at Stannis’ camp, and though Melissandre claims the sacrifice of his daughter has brought them the luck and weather they need, his men have less pleasant news for him. Half of his army left during the night taking many of the horses and supplies. More bad news comes his way as he learns that his wife Queen Selyse has committed suicide.
Jon Snow is telling Sam of his experience at Hardhome with the white walkers, and the two of them about how to defeat the army of the dead. Sam asks Jon for permission to go to Old Town and become a Maester, since the wall will need a new one after Maester Aemon’s passing. He wants to take Gilly and the baby with him. Jon is reluctant, but he agrees and Sam promises that he will come back.
Stannis’ army continues their march to Winterfell, where we see Sansa is using the chaos to walk about the castle unnoticed instead of staying in the room where Ramsay has kept her. Pod notices the army marching on the castle, and calls Brienne’s attention to it, just before Sansa can light the candle in the broken tower to signal for them.
Stannis has been preparing for a siege, but the Bolton troops are coming out to meet him in open battle in the field. There’s an absolutely stunning bird’s eye view of the battle before it cuts to the aftermath. We see Stannis is still standing toward the end, though he is injured. He runs into Brienne who accuses him to his face of murdering Renly with blood magic before sentencing him to die and executing him herself.
On Ramsay’s side of the battle we see that the Boltons really have been doing well. Ramsay stands uninjured in a field of dead enemies before saying he should return to his wife, who is at that time still out of her room. Miranda finds her and tries to escort her back to her room with a bow and arrow, and threatens to torture her, but Theon pushes Miranda off the building before she can do anything. He then leads Sansa to the wall where they take hands and jump off the castle into the snow.
Back in Braavos we see the girls that the brothel has lined up for Merryn Trant, and he hurts each one in turn. He takes the quietest girl, and bids the others leave. The girls changes her face, and we see that she’s Arya. She stabs him repeatedly, in what has been one of the season’s gorier deaths (which in this season is really saying something.) She then returns to the House of Black and White, to the hall of faces, where she puts the face of the girl she borrowed back on its wall.
Jaqen tells her that he knows she’s taken a life, but not the life he told her to take. She owes a death to the many faced god, and only death can pay for life. He opens the vial of poison, but he drinks it instead. He then appears behind her, and tells her that the man who drank the poison was no one, which was who she should have been before she took a life. Arya then loses her vision.
In Dorne, we see Marcella and Tristain saying goodbye as they prepare to leave for King’s Landing. The boat sets sail, and Jaime talks to Marcella. He gives her a speech about people don’t get to choose who they love. Before he can tell her that he’s her father, she tells him that she knows and she’s glad. The two embrace, and it was a really touching moment, since she’s the only one of Jaime’s children to acknowledge she’s his. She starts to bleed heavily, and the shot cuts to Illaria, who also begins to bleed. Illaria drinks the antidote, and the sandsnakes walk away with the knowledge that they have poisoned Marcella.
Tyrion, Jorah and Dario sit in the great pyramid of Meereen not sure to do without Daenerys. They talk about where to find her and what they’ll do.They decide to leave Grey Worm, Messendei and Tyrion there to govern Meereen while Jorah and Dario search for their queen. Shortly after they decide, Tyrion is looking over the city where he meets up with Varys.
Daenerys meanwhile is still with Drogon. She tells him that they need to go home, but he doesn’t seem to understand, or is unwilling to listen. She tries to get back on him, but he has no interest in leaving anywhere. She wanders off to search for food when she comes in contact with a Khalasar.
Cersei isn’t faring any better in the black cells than she was in the last episode, and she is finally willing to confess her crimes. She kneels before the High Sparrow and confesses to having sex with her cousin, but she won’t confess to any other sins. The High Sparrow asks her about the rumors that her children were sired by Jaime, but she denies that. She asks to see her son. He says she can return to the Red Keep after her atonement. She is washed and her hair is cut away. She is then led naked on a walk of punishment through the city.
After an incredibly long scene that shows the whole walk back to the Red Keep, she makes it home where she is dressed and attended to. She is also introduced to the newest member of the King’s Guard, and though we don’t get to see him without his helm his size and bluish face paint the vivid picture of it being a zombified Ser Gregor Clegane.
Melissandre shows up at the Wall and she’s not looking so great. Unfortunately, neither is Jon Snow. Ollie comes in to tell Jon Snow that one of the wildlings has news about Benjen Stark, but it’s trap. Many of the Night’s Watch stab him “for the watch” leaving Ollie to finish it off. Then they all turn to go back into the castle, leaving Jon Snow to bleed out in the cold.
Having read the books, I can’t say that any of this last episode was particularly surprising (aside from Marcella’s poisoning, which I was blindsided by) but it didn’t really make it any easier to take. This was just as traumatic of an episode as I had feared, and it really has me questioning why I still watch this show.
I feel like the season just started, and now there’s another year to wait before there are any more episodes. On the brighter side of that, George R. R. Martin has gone back to working on the 6th installment of the books, and later this year will be releasing prequels to the series. If you’re looking for other amazing Game of Thrones content (or something else to binge watch while you wait for season 6) be sure to check out the official webpage: HBO’s Game of Thrones Thank you guys so much for reading the recaps and sharing the intense experience of this show with me, I hope to see you all next year.