Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What I’m Watching: Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 8 “Hardhome” (B+)

As this show’s latest season comes to a typically surprisingly quick end, this is the definitive hour of year five, and, fortunately, it feels a lot more like “Blackwater” than the slow-paced “The Watchers on the Wall” from last year, even though the plot much more resembles that. I’m glad that Arya’s plot is picking up and that her mission has gone from middling to extremely interesting quite quickly. As the episode began, I remarked that there really is nothing quite as engaging as the Lannister family story, and seeing Cersei struggling to stay spiteful in the face of her imprisonment and hearing Tyrion defend his status as the number one killer of Lannisters only reinforced that. It’s great to see that Daenerys has chosen to make Tyrion her advisor, and their banter is absolutely superb. It’s hard to know what will happen with the High Sparrow and religious rule in King’s Landing, but it feels so insignificant next to a zombie army obliterating an entire people just to turn them into the walking undead. Seeing the Wildlings wiped out in a way somehow even harsher than the way that we saw the Wildlings killing several seasons back. I don’t really know why there are zombies on this show, but there’s no denying the intensity of the final fiteen minutes of this show and its haunting finish, stranding Jon in the middle of a freezing ocean with the knowledge that those he fought to defend and protect have now been turned into his enemies.

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