We look at 5 of the most interesting games that never were.
Game Of Thrones Season 3 Episode 10: Season (Finale) Review
It’s been a week since Game Of Thrones third season tied up with a finale. One can’t say that it went out with a bang, as the bang all happened in the penultimate episode. But we can say it set up some pretty fantastic stuff. That’s what the episode is: it’s all setup – but it’s totally thrilling setup.
By the end:
- Bran and clan are armed with DragonGlass and prepare to travel north of the wall.
- Yara is heading on a crusade to retrieve Theon, who has been renamed Reek.
- The Onion Knight releases Gendry and nearly loses his head because of it.
- Daenerys becomes a full-blown Queen Of The Slaves, basically.
So in terms of the kinetic energy, the things that happened, in episode 10, nothing happened. But in terms of potential energy built up for the show’s future? There is tons of it. This is one of those episodes where the viewer catches glimpses of the plot lines that have been developing for years, since day one. Characters are on their way to fruition.
In the North, Bran is discovering powers, and his madcap troupe are ready to wage a one-band war against the supernatural forces beyond the wall. They meet up in a genius scene with Samwell Tarly and girl; a scene where they emerge from a well in the tower as if Satan himself was coming up for a peep at Earth (not that this is Earth). It’s a tense and scary moment — and provides a moment of comic relief unusual to the series.
In an exciting development, Samwell gives Bran’s troupe a bunch of dragonglass. Basically making them the only individuals on the planet capable of fighting the White Walkers and zombies emerging from beyond the wall.
Some other cool stuff happens. Overall, it’s a really nice episode.
The Onion Knight and Gendry become best pals. That’s two of the most endearing characters teamed up. And The Onion Knight lets Gendry escape in a boat, even though he can’t swim (leads to some good dialogue, that one). The Onion Knight gets in trouble but Stannis can’t resist that gently, genuine Geordie accent for long.
Now remember when I said everything was nice in this episode, about two sentences ago? That’s not strictly true. Arya sees some serious horrors (vis-a-vis the image above), but also gets some interesting character development.
She kills her first man.
The show is now undeniably ahead of where I am in the books, and while I expected this to happen, it was still a surprise. She really nails a Freyite and The Hound comes to dispatch his two pals. I can see Arya and The Hound becoming a generally amazing duo, like a less funny and charismatic Tyrion And Bronn.
There’s an incredible scene where Lord Tywin utterly destroys Joffrey. Joffrey is his typical, belligerent, asshole self, and nobody deals with his rubbish anymore. He insults Tywin who basically stares him down to the level of an infant. Unfortunately, immediately after this, he also savagely insults Tyrion, essentially saying that he made a mistake in not casting infantile Tyrion to sea.
So back when I said it’s a really nice episode? Yeah, that was basically a lie.
There’s also some savage horror when Ramsey, torturing Theon Greyjoy, renames him. Renames him “Reek.”
I’m really hoping that a season and a half down the line we’ll have a troupe of utterly badass, ruined anti-heroes like Arya, Theon, and Jaime, who will travel Westeros destroying everything in their path.
Anyway, back out of the realms of fantasy. Into the realms of fantasy. Iwan Rheon as Ramsey is terrifying. He’s perfectly psychotic. I never thought Rheon could pull of a role like this after his quiet teenage boy in Misfits, but he totally does. Frankly, he’s a better actor than the lad playing Greyjoy, by a long shot. I don’t think any of the Theon/ Jon Snow/ Rob Stark actors were particularly good. They are all pretty dull.
We also have a remarkably touching scene where Lord Varys goes to Shea to try and make her leave the city for Tyrion’s good. She refuses, impolitely. But it shows Lord Varys actually has some honorable balls. Ahem. We stick with Tryion a lot in this episode, which is nice considering he was completely non existent in Episode 9. Cercei chats with Tyrion about how lovely Joffrey was as a babe.
In another savage development, Ygritte finds Jon Snow, and shoots the shit out of him with arrows. Which I didn’t expect. He runs off, barely alive — I was worried he was genuinely about to die. But he makes it to Castle Black with Samwell et al, which is nice. Samwell Tarly back in his home element with scrolls and books and stuff, Jon Snow recovering in agony. ROLE REVERSALLL.
This season’s final scene is relatively powerful. Daenerys’ rise to power grows as all the slaves of Yunkai call her Mother, basically as a queen.
So Where Are Things Going?
There are things which I know happen in some coming plot lines, which I shan’t spoil. But they’re pretty brilliant.
Ignoring those, and focusing on what I don’t know, there’s a lot of potential here. I hope Daenerys gets across the sea soon. I hope Gendry makes it somewhere and makes a name for himself. I hope Arya becomes a badass warrior under the guidance of the Hound.
I think this season has been the best thus far. Not the first half, the first half was fairly weak. I think it was the best simply because it has cauterised its stories:
Now we know who the big players are. Now we can see where the characters are going. Let the good times roll in season 4. It drew me in — now let’s see where it goes.