Synopsis of 5×08: The world is quickly changing as Arya learns how to be a Faceless Man, Cersei learns that no one is coming to save her, and Sansa learns what really happened when Theon took over Winterfell. Jon learns a far more important fact though when he witnesses the true power of the White Walkers.
Soooooooooooooo this episode was pretty damn awesome.
I can’t even begin to describe how good this episode was. The cinematography was wondrous, the music was great, and it was just a beautifully filmed episode. By far the best looking episode of the season with a great story.
We were able to catch up with many of the women of Westeros this episode, starting off with Dany who was shell shocked to see Jorah in her city. While she allows Tyrion to stay as her advisor, she removes Jorah from her city after Tyrion convinces her that a Queen who kills to inspire will never gain devotion. Jorah is heart broken, especially since Tyrion accurately deduces that he would kill for her and that he loves her, and returns to the man who bought him to fight in the pits, determined to see Dany once more.
Another queen is facing a different problem though, she’s stuck in prison. I’m not going to lie, Lena Headey is an amazing actress. Cersei is by far one of my least favorite characters in the right way – she’s hateful, conniving, and while she loves to see others in pain, she’s not going to go and skin old women for that to happen. She’s so disgustingly malicious that seeing her in prison hearing that no one wants to see her made me cheer so loud. As the woman demanded that she confess and beat her with a spoon, we see Cersei in the one spot she never expected to be at: rock bottom. And it was wonderful.
Cersei’s former prisoner, Sansa Stark, remains trapped in her own home, but she’s not about to lose herself to the mad man that is Ramsay. While he plots with his father about how to defeat Stannis, he asks him to give him just 20 good men to attack the forwarding king, Sansa takes her fate into her own hands and demands that Theon, as she refuses to call him Reek, tell her why he betrayed her. As she continues to scream at him for being a traitor, not even trying to mask her hatred, Theon slips up and tells her that the boys he killed were not Bran and Rickon. Realizing what he admitted, he runs off while Sansa stands there frozen still from the revelation.
The other Stark girl herself might as well be dead though. Arya is beginning to train with the Faceless Men to become someone else other than herself. She tells the story of how she is Lana, a young girl who sells oysters and other shellfish every day and how nothing out of the ordinary happens. The Faceless Man tells her that Lana would be changing her route that day, and to observe the thin man. She encounters a gambling man who takes the money of anyone who gives it to him and risks the lives of the men who gamble with him – leaving the grieving wives and children to seek out the Faceless Men. He tells her that she must come to know this man better than she knows herself and better than he knows himself and to give him a gift one day, passing along to her a small vial. As Arya walks off, she grins, knowing that her life as an assassin has begun.
But the real story centered on the furthest North point in this world, and beyond, at Hardhome, the land of the Wildlings. Jon has made his move to reach out to the Wildlings and offer them protection if they agree to fight with him if the White Walkers are ever to attack. The Wildlings generally don’t agree to living under the rule of those who used to try to kill them, and the tension seems even higher when it’s revealed that Jon is the one who ultimately killed Mance Ryder. While Tormund was able to eventually sway the others by reminding them that Jon’s killing was ultimately an act of mercy, many of the Wildlings refuse to join, even after given daggers made of Dragon Glass.
As they begin to load the boats with the Wildlings who want to join them, tensions are high and there’s a tender scene between a mother and her children and we all know that means only one thing; it’s about to go down.
But it went down in a way that I could not have expected.
The winds slowly begin to pick up and within seconds are blaring down the hills at alarming speeds. The Wildlings shut the gate leaving many of their kind in the grasp of whatever creature is coming for them and immediately the land becomes silent.
Which means IT’S ABOUT TO GO DOWN.
As one of the Wildling men leans in to peek through the cracks of the gates I yelled, “NOOOOO!” And then my screen cut to a scene straight out of the Walking Dead or something with these zombies and it turned to “YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” As the literally-just-seconds-ago-were-human creatures come barreling down the gate and crawling over to get the remaining living.
Jon makes eye contact with the White Walker King who changed Craster’s son and is watching above from a hill and makes his way to retrieve the Dragon Glass. When he enters the building we discover that one of the White Walkers is there to kill him. They begin to fight, and the Wildling who wanted nothing to do with Jon before decides to come to his aid to help fight, but ultimately succumbs to the fury of the mysterious man. Jon is able to kill him with the sword of Valyrian Steel, but it’s too late – the battle is lost.
Jon looks back at the many dead and the screams drown out in the background once the silence thickens. Looking back to the land, he sees the White Walker King is there now who solemnly raises his arms to the sky.
AND BRINGS BACK TO LIFE ALL OF THE WILDLINGS WHO LITERALLY JUST DIED A MOMENT AGO HOLY CRAP.
So yeah, this episode was probably one of the best of the series in terms of action. It was shot beautifully, the fighting was great, and the glimpses we saw of the other characters was good too. Over all, it was a really good episode and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season finally. Which is a damn shame cause there’s only 2 episodes left.