Okay I’m cool with the season finale
Well I’m still angry with HBO!Robb, his plotline and about Stannis choking Melisandre.
But the Jon and Dany stuff can actually work really well in continuity with what’s to come.
Jon won’t just show up in the wildling camp as the suspicious Night’s Watch kid who yielded to the wildlings at the last moment, he’ll show up looking like the guy who coldly killed off Qhorin Halfhand in a fight when he pissed him off (the former having done everything he could up to his last breath to show how much he believed Jon had betrayed them and would sell off the Watch in a heartbeat.)
So Jon fucked up a lot this season, which was a change from the books. He’s got the death of four men of the Night’s watch on his conscience now, and he killed one himself with the sword the Lord Commander trusted him with. The motivator for making this right isn’t just about sticking to his oath, it’s now much more about this big ball of guilt he’s got weighting on his heart. The ambiguity of Qhorin’s plan only adds to Jon’s confusion. He can’t tell himself it was an order like he did in the books because well… it wasn’t REALLY an order. It was Qhorin’s last resort to make the best out of a terrible situation, a best that didn’t even give him any chance of getting out of there alive. He did what he did for the Watch, without being entirely sure Jon would follow through with it. And Jon knows this.
With all the Mance Rayder & Ygritte stuff coming up next season I can’t see how they could fail to depict the conflict and character development going on in Jon’s head. And Jon and Ygritte have fucking amazing chemistry on screen.
I wish the scenes had been longer, but this could actually work really well. They changed the road in season two but if played well the outcome can have just as much impact.
‘Kay I feel silly now for expecting so much out of the House of the Undying, they haven’t been dwelling that much into prophecies or flashbacks earlier so I should have guessed this wouldn’t suddenly change.The original HotU offered such a wonderous glimpse of the past and cryptic images of what’s to come. A Song of Ice and Fire may revolve a lot around polical conflicts but to me it’s the lore, legends and prophecies intertwining them that really give the story that tasty full-fledged fantasy universe flavor, much more than the dragons and White Walkers.
And I really regret clinging to that idea of the story while watching this episode because while we had these ablsolutely stunning visuals of Dany in the snowy Throne Room (something that may come to pass?), beyond the Wall (something that will happen?) and the scene with Drogo and Rhaego (what might have been?), I just found myself eager for the scenes to pass quickly so that I could see the things I was waiting for. Obviously that did not happen, and I was really thrown out of the moment by my own unfulfilled expectations. I understand that there’s the issue that they can’t hype Dany’s story arc with so much foreshadowing of things that won’t become relevant before YEARS in a TV show the way Grrm did in his books.
But really, thinking about it, this episode brought her character development to the point it needed to be for her to leave Quarth more confident and ready for what needs to be done. We see her taking revenge on both Pyat Pree and Xaro (who serisously double-crossed her), as well as Doreah whom I believe was implied to be Irri’s murderer (still pissed off about Irri dying though.) We then see her and her Dothraki pillaging Xaro’s house for what they can find. She’s not asking anymore, she’s taking her due, as she’s been constantly claiming that she would but which we hadn’t witness yet. And she’s doing it the Dothraki way.
In the end I think that althought both these plotlines got less spotlight than anticipated, they both drove the point home and placed both characters where they need to be in their own minds for a strong start in season three. And we know A Storm of Swords is pretty much THE book where shit goes down. And they got two seasons to pull this off.
Mayyyybe I’m just trying to convince myself but I really thought this through and I do believe this can be cool for next season. Although these two plot ends weren’t so great as a final punch, they work great as set up for next season. I think they’re fully aware of this.
And that can work.
Okay I’m done.
I was gonna wait a bit to try and compute my feelings at the moment but… yeah. For the most part it kinda fell flat.
I mean, what happened on the House of Undying? Or better: what DIDN’T happened? That is one of my favorites Dany’s chapters, but in the show was incredibly boring :(
Let’s pray that next season Ygritte saves this show. She pretty much saved Jon’s life from a infinity of boredom so she can do ANYTHING.
I think that’s what went wrong for me. We’ve seen so little of Jon and Dany in the last couple of episodes, I was really expecting their respective season endings to be the highlights of the episode. And well… they weren’t. Thirty-five minutes in I was getting pretty worried.
I agree, I think the House of the Undying was really downplayed. I did like the way Dany got inside, and it looked sufficiently creepy at the begining. I loved the snowy throne room. But the whole sequence was just… missing so much. I would’ve easily traded the Jason Momoa cameo for ANY PIECE of vision Dany had in the books. When she walked out of the Wall I was certain she’d find a blue rose growing on the ground or something. That what I get for reading the books I guess.
On an even more negative note, this show is making me seriously dislike Robb. And I really hated Stannis choking Melisandre.
On a more POSITIVE note, Brienne and Jaime remain perfect. Loved Margaery and how she played the game impeccably. The Tyrion and Shae scene made me teary eyed. I did like the Jon/Qhorin scenes, they just felt rushed… again. Plus the very predictable shot of Mance Rayder’s camp. Theon’s scenes made me feel so fucking awful for him. Also, Luwin. LUWIN. Oh and, last but not least… three horn blows. Really awesome Wights and an unexpectedly good look at the Others. That was pretty intense.
All in all it had its highlights, they just don’t hide the more disappointing elements of the episode. I wanted to be as stunned as I was for Blackwater. Didn’t happen. Maybe I let my expectations get too high.
Okay I’m done vomiting my feelings.
I’ll watch it again tomorrow.
Just to be sure.
Edit: Yuck I sounds like a book purist… I’m sorry.
Since Blackwater is most likely devoted entirely to King’s Landing.
That means they are going to have to cram a lot of storyline arcs into episode ten. I just hope that each of them are not rushed. I was just thinking of all the things that have to be covered in one episode and I came up with the following list.
Spoilers for end of A Clash of Kings.
Oh please no. They’ve been doing this a lot this season already, cutting and reducing key character development. Especially with Cat/Dany/Sansa/Jon. I happily welcome change because they’ve created some really good material this season. I just wish they wouldn’t remove character and world building for the sake of… what? Turning Robb into the heroic young alpha male leader archetype they feel will please the audience more than Cat? That and whatever else they’re doing that’s detrimental to already existing character development. (I want to believe they’re pushing a lot of Sansa’s aCoK plotline to season 3)
I probably just have unrealistic expectations but I’m hoping the last two episodes will have a slower pace that will allow proper build up to the climax of each main character arc.
Crossing my fingers. We have good writers and directors on this show, they have the capacity to pull this off. I just hope they do.
Also… BLACKWATER IN 1 MINUTES AAAAH