GAME OF THRONES Season Finale Recap: YouTube, Here I Come

by Sharon Mineo

Hello Thronians, did you miss me last week? I thought not. Anyway, I was away on a business trip at the only hotel on planet Earth that does not have HBO. Since HBO cannot be bothered to fix HBO Now so that it works on a computer, my only options were to stay in and watch Fresh Prince reruns or to head out and live a little. So I stuffed my fat butt into a bikini and hit the beach — which was amazing — and followed it up with some girl talk with strangers in the hot tub and a little night swimming in the hotel pool. So, sorry not sorry I was living it up while all you non-book-readers learned what a douche Stannis is. I mean, yeah, I’m surprised they went that far with it, since it’s not something that happens in the books (yet), but seriously, people, book Stannis is a dour drag and NOT a middle-aged-hot, doting dad, as some fangirls seem to think.

But I digress — poor Shireen is gone with the wind, Jaime and Ellaria are making nice in Dorne, Arya has her assassin’s sights set on Ser Meryn instead of the guy she’s supposed to be poisoning (he loves young girls! What a coincidence!), the wildlings are south of the Wall, and Drogon saved Dany from certain death and they flew off into the sunset. What’s in store for our heroes in our season five finale?

Some serious shit, that’s what. First I’m going to brag on myself for correctly predicting how they would end the season — the two obvious choices were Dany flying off on Drogon or Jon’s friendly encounter with the Watch, but I just knew it had to be Jon because what better way to end the season than to enrage the masses who didn’t know it was coming (seriously, people, read the books)? But for the most part we got a healthy dose of comeuppance and people getting what they deserved.

It’s hail and huzzah in Stannis’ camp, because R’hllor is appeased and the snow has broken! Except for the fact that half the army has deserted, Stannis’ wife has hanged herself, and Melisandre has left the camp. Oh well, might as well march on, right?

Cue Winterfell, where instead of stabbing Ramsay in the neck with that corkscrew, Sansa has used it to unlock her door, after which she promptly drops the damn thing on the floor rather than taking it with her. Seriously, Sansa, has your time with Littlefinger taught you nothing? If you manage to sneak a corkscrew, you keep the damn thing with you when escaping. But our heroine actually makes it to the tower to light her distress candle for Brienne…who, after watching like a hawk for ages, is distracted by the approach of Stannis’ army literally seconds before Sansa gets the candle lit. Just one more reason why Stannis is awful, people. But alas, he isn’t even allowed time to rest and prepare for his siege, because the Bolton army has ridden out to meet him in battle. Needless to say, said battle does not go well for Stannis and his ragtag pack, but it looks like he might make it…until Brienne of Tarth shows up with Oathkeeper. She gets him to admit to killing Renly by blood magic and sentences him to death. His last words sum him up pretty well: “Go on, do your duty.” And with that, R.I.P (?) Stannis (maybe — between offscreen deaths and the Red God, I don’t believe anyone is actually dead until I’ve personally seen them hacked up and buried. I’m still convinced that both the Hound and Syrio Forel are running around out there somewhere).

Back inside the castle, the Worst Girl in Westeros has captured Sansa before she can escape or get back to her room, and seems determined to take a piece of her with an arrow (just not her heart or her uterus — Ramsay needs the babymaking bits to be intact, though the rest is optional). To her credit Sansa stares that bitch down and doesn’t flinch. But Theon finally manages to de-Reek-ify himself enough to toss Myranda off a railing and make an escape with Sansa, and they jump off a wall into a snowdrift below.

Across the sea in Braavos, Ser Meryn is seriously creeping on some adolescent girls, but one of them isn’t terrified like the rest. Pro tip: maybe the one who isn’t afraid of you isn’t the one you should keep…because that girl might turn out to be the girl whose dancing master you killed and who has had you on her kill list for years. Arya stabs the shit out of him, and slits his throat for good measure (I’m gonna go ahead and give this one a definite R.I.P.). But Arya made a mistake by taking a face before she was permitted — upon her return she’s caught by Jaqen and the girl, and informed that she’s stolen a life from the god, and only death can pay for life. It looks like Arya’s a goner, but nope, it’s Jaqen. Or is it? Who the eff is Jaqen anyway? Because whatever dude/ette kills him/herself has many, many faces. So we leave Arya not dead, but blinded — possibly an aftereffect of putting on a face she hadn’t the right to use? (In the book she’s blinded by a poison, and not for the stolen-face-Meryn-thing, but — you guessed it — for something else because the Meryn thing doesn’t happen in the books.)

Meanwhile in Dorne, Jaime and Ellaria are still playing nice, and Tyene and Bronn are playing really nice (more of those two, please). In fact, Ellaria’s so happy that she gives Myrcella a nice big kiss on the lips. Now even my alarm bells rang at this point, and I had no idea Bruce Willis was dead in The Sixth Sense, so if you didn’t see where that was going I just don’t know what to tell you. On board their ship back to King’s Landing, Jaime is attempting to have a heart to heart father-daughter moment with Myrcella by confessing he’s her dad, but sweet Myrcella already knows it and doesn’t mind — in fact she’s happy and loves her fiancé and her dad, so naturally she’s immediately dead from the poison in Ellaria’s lipstick. Now this one did surprise me — in the books, there is no assassination attempt on Myrcella, just a botched abduction where she’s injured and disfigured but not killed. But as I’ve mentioned before, the Dorne storyline on the show is so markedly different, I really have no idea where they are going with it. We shall see.

In Meereen, after some verbal sparring, the plan is this: Tyrion will rule Meereen with the help of Missandei and Grey Worm — and Varys, who has conveniently shown up with his avian spy network intact — while Jorah and Daario head out to try to find Dany. The woman herself is dealing with an injured dragon and a shortage of food before being surrounded by 90 bajillion Dothraki riding around her in endless circles. They probably mean well, right? LOL!

Back in King’s Landing, it’s the penultimate comeuppance you’ve all been waiting for — Cersei has at least decided to confess! But only to bumping uglies with Lancel — not to the whole Jaime thing, or any other crimes for that matter. She’s still going to be put on trial, but she’s allowed to return to the castle as long as she completes her atonement, which is having her hair chopped off and being led naked through the city while followed by a septa who has finally added “shame” to her vocabulary in addition to “confess.” So we got full frontal Cersei body double, as well as random street whore full frontal, as well as street dude dick. (When, oh when, is feminism finally going to kick in for me here — I already only get 77 cents to a man’s dollar, and apparently it also takes a minimum of two naked chicks to get one naked dude.) Cersei eventually completes the longest walk of shame ever filmed, and is greeted at the castle gates by Qyburn and some kind of weird zombie Mountain in armor. Frankly I’m more interested in what’s going on there than the whole Cersei thing, though it was worth it just to hear a commoner shout “all hail the royal tits!”

But everything else pales in comparison to our ultimate ending, then one that’s going to have me searching for YouTube non-book-reader reaction compilation videos in the morning. All seems well at the Wall to start — Sam, Gilly, and the baby are going to Oldtown at last so Sam can become a maester to replace Aemon, with the show version of Sam actually asking to go. So at least we’ve got Sam off in the right direction (casting ideas for Marwyn the Mage, anyone?) after some adorable bro banter with Jon. Later, we see Jon arguing with Davos, whom Stannis had sent to ask for more men, when Melisandre rides in with the bad news: Shireen and Stannis are gone. I’m going to digress a moment here and become a Melisandre apologist, because HBO is giving her a bad rap. I won’t bore you with a long diatribe about how the book is different and how Melisandre becomes a more sympathetic character (Liam loves it when I do that) — but suffice to say that book Mel did NOT burn Shireen on the road to Winterfell. Anyway, things seem to be going OK for Jon, and things start to look up when Olly bursts into his office to tell him a wildling has news of his Uncle Benjen (MIA since season one). Of course there is no wildling, just Ser Alliser and a bunch of other brothers who proceed to stab Jon multiple times in the stomach “for the watch.” We close on Jon Snow bleeding out and looking up at the stars.

SO THERE YOU HAVE IT, Thronians. Stannis is probably dead, Sansa and Theon are making a break for it, Arya is blind, Myrcella is most likely dead, Tyrion is ruling a city again, Dany’s with the Dothraki, Cersei’s been publically shamed, and Jon Snow is…dead? (Think real hard about the possibilities there. I have high hopes.) What happens next is anyone’s guess — most of our characters on the show have reached the end of their book storyline (or pretty close to it), so unless GRRM magically unleashes a new book on us in the next 10 months, everything from here on out is undiscovered country. Until next spring: live long and prosper, and pray for GRRM’s continued health.

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