That’s it for season three. Head after the break for my thoughts on the finale and then discuss it in the comments!
Spoiler Note: This post is for those who have read A Storm of Swords. As such the post itself and the comments will contain spoilers. If you haven’t read ASoS yet, you can discuss this episode in our non-book reader recap, coming tomorrow. Thanks!
The episode opens on Roose Bolton observing the carnage at the Twins. The Freys are slaughter and burning Stark men left and right. They trot out the lifeless corpse of Robb Stark, only with Grey Wind’s head crudely attached to the body. Arya locks eyes on the grisly sight, before the Hound spurs his horse on and rides away. Later, Roose and Walder Frey discuss their “victory”.
What I Liked
Sam meets Bran – The north of the Wall storylines have been clashing quite a bit recently. I liked seeing Sam meet up with Bran and Hodor. Although it would have been a huge deviation from the book, I almost wish that Bran had gone to Castle Black with Sam. As it is, we get only the briefest of colliding of storylines and then it is back to scattered Starks.
Rat Cook – It’s always cool whenever we get these really deep lore stories into the show. I especially loved the way it cut from this to Walder Frey.
Season One Throwback – Going back to Castle Black and seeing Pyp and Maester Aemon for the first time since season one was fun.
Season Two Throwback – And look, it’s Yara and Balon! And Yara is going to rescue Theon? Interesting…
Arya’s First Kill – As Bryan Cogman promised, Arya’s character arc has been slowed down but it remains mostly in tact. And I rather liked this being her first kill, one done out of vengeance for her brother and mother, as opposed to just killing a random Harrenhal guard in her escape from the castle. And reminding viewers of Jaqen with the coin and the playing of his theme at the end? Brilliant.
Dragonstone – The stuff in Dragonstone was really good. Liam Cunningham, Stephen Dillane and Carice van Houten continue to do some great work. The scenes between Davos and Gendry were funny and heart-warming. The final scene was also beautiful and epic, the way it was lit. (Did the War for the Dawn come to mind for any one else?) I’m so pumped for what is to come with this story, especially since it seems like they are following the book pretty closely.
What I Didn’t Like
No Creepy Nightfort Door – It’s a little thing, but I always loved the creepy Nightfort door that Bran has to pass through. It really adds to the whole mystical feel that his storyline continues to delve into.
No Coldhands – As does Coldhands, who doesn’t make an appearance this season. The good news is we didn’t actually see Bran and Co. make it beyond the Wall, where CH would be waiting for him. So fingers crossed he appears in season 4.
No Lady Stoneheart!?! – I am completely befuddled that they didn’t end the season with this. It was set up so perfectly. And it would have fit with the other season ending scenes that they have done, both epic and supernatural. As it was, we got a happy scene of Dany with the freed slaves. Ok, that was nice. I guess. But this is Game of Thrones and I feel like they really need to end it on an “Oh shit!” moment. I was so convinced they were going to show it, even the credits rolling didn’t deter me. I was like, “Oh, it’s going to a post-credit scene. This is going to aweso— wait, what? A True Blood trailer? NO!”
All in all, a great season but I was left a little wanting with this finale. Definitely the weakest of the three finales. Some slow-moving scenes, especially in King’s Landing, and the lack of a really strong ending scene really let me down. The one thing that is keeping me excited, in spite of this lackluster finale? Season 4 is going to be epic!