I’m pretty sure the Drake (feat. Lil Wayne) song “HYFR” was about this week’s episode of Game of Thrones. Such a good episode! Obviously, there was the epic battle, but also Queen Cersei revealing that she’s just a straight up lunatic, and also Joffrey being such a little bitch. Dumb bitch. But also don’t forget the battle because there was a big old battle. Dinklage face slash! I was at a bar yesterday honoring the troops and someone said “Dinklage face slash!” as if that was the coolest new slogan written up in a New York Times trend piece about people who make their own Kamboucha in Bushwick. As if we had all agreed that “Dinklage face slash!” was the hip new catchphrase. And you know what? Fair enough. DINKLAGE FACE SLASH! Man the gates! THIS. IS. GAMEOFTHRONESTOWN! Next week is the season finale. Hopefully we’ll finally find out what’s happening to Jon Snow on Sex Mountain just kidding who cares MORE EXPLOSIONS PLEASE!

Comments (100)
  1. “I can keep you safe.” SWOON. And finally everyone starts to understand why I’m pregnant with 100 of the Hound’s gargantuan, neck-beareded babies.

  2. That explosion. THAT EXPLOSION. Man, that whole scene was just how I imagined it in the book, save for the minor changes. More generally, that scene was just how I imagined the grandiose ambitions of the book series in general would look if brought to life. When the drums cut out, leaving only the sound of the arrow slicing through the night sky,arching lazily down on top of poor Davos and his men? Not even fair how good that was. And on that point; changing that scene from a day-time scene (in the book) to night-time was such a good decision. The green against the black sky? Please. Game Over. It was epic.

    ALSO it should be noted that this episode was written by George RR Martin, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it was also the best of the season. ALSO; the National’s song as the credits rolled? Haunting. Everything was great.

    • and by minor changes I guess I really mean major, most notably the lack of a chain across the opening of the harbour but also WHO CARES BECAUSE IT WAS SO GOOD.

      • Yeah I was just about to say “what about the chain” but then, exactly, who cares, there have to be some changes from page to screen and it was all so BAD-ASS!!

      • I was wondering several episodes again why Tyrion hadn’t commissioned the Building of the Chain, and was half afraid it’d just appear. Like, “They’ll never escape. You see, we have a GIANT CHAIN THAT STRETCHES ACROSS THE BAY!”

    • I know! When The National suddenly started playing in the credits…so great.

      I pledge fealty to House Berninger.

  3. Can we get wine-drunk Cersei her own talk show, “Cer-Sez It Like It Is”? Or at least get her a spot on “The View”?

  4. I like that they included Loras in Renly’s armour for us book-heads. I can’t see a way to do Renly’s ghost without it being silly with no internal monologues (Tyrion: “Hed, Pod! Isn’t that Renly’s ghost??” Stannis: “Fuuuuuuuck.”), but I’m glad they gave it to us all the same.

  5. The adoring troops: “Half-man! Half-man! Half-man!”
    Tyrion: “Oh. Fuck me.”
    Loved it!!!!!!!!

  6. Ugh, of course this posted right as I was about to leave for lunch/errands!

    I will just say that this episode was fantastic! The Battle of Blackwater was great, and even though it was scaled down from the books, they hit all the important points perfectly.

    Podrick Payne = the best! So excited for his entry!

    “HALF-MAN! HALF-MAN! HALF-MAN!”

    Can’t wait til we get the scene where Varys tells his story about getting castrated! Sure to be a laugh riot!

    Drunk Cersei was so great. She is Toon Town.

  7. “Those are brave men knocking at our door. Now let’s go kill them!”

    Best line ever? Best line ever.

  8. Due to said Dinklage face slash, Michael K Williams (who is, by all appearances, under a lifetime contract with HBO) may have to stand in as Tyrion to save on makeup costs.

  9. This episode really blew me away…I know it was supposed to and we’ve been building to it for a long time, but man, this was just so great.

    Obviously all the battle-related stuff but also:
    Tyrion getting Shae’s name wrong on purpose? Great!
    Everything Cersei and Sansa? Perfect!
    Cersei and her son on the throne!?! Amazing!
    Sansa and The Hound? Awesome.

    • Sansa!!! Go with The Hound!!!! He will take you to Winterfell and keep you safe!!! But wait, don’t, bc Winterfell is all kinds of fucked up right now. AAAAARGH this story—so good!!!!!

    • I definitely sniffled a little (wept like a child) when Cersei was telling Tommen the story about the lion cub. Lena Headey for an Emmy this time around? I think so!

      The only thing I didn’t like about the Sansa/Hound scene was that she doesn’t really have a good reason to NOT go with him. In the book he is swaying drunk and crying and eliciting songs from her at knifepoint and she has been making escape plans with someone. In the show, I don’t see how anything could have kept her from letting him take her to Winterfell after she realizes he won’t hurt her. I would have been on that offer like a flannel, even if I wasn’t all over the Hound.

      • That was my issue with the scene too. Cling to the idea that MAYBE Stannis will win and MAYBE he will be kind to her, or escape with the man who definitely SAVED you from rape and murder? Not really much of a decision.

        That said, I like it better that the Hound wasn’t as nutso on the show, I just wish Sansa could have given a good reason not to go. Even if it’s just “There’s no way I could survive all the way to Winterfell”

        • I get what you’re saying and Sansa not leaving with him frustrates me too! But think it’s just not in Sansa’s nature to be reckless; she’s stayed in King’s Landing this far, and I guess it’s a kind of “devil you know beats the devil you don’t” situation? So many unknowns out on the road, the Lannisters possibly pursuing her, being too afraid to really trust the Hound yet…….but yeah, she should totally have gone when she had the chance.

        • But wasn’t Sansa planning on leaving anyway? Wasn’t she in her room to grab her things or something? I can’t remember what Shae told her to do other than “get out of this room because of this dude charged with slaying all of us in case Stannis wins.” I thought she was ready to bolt when Sandor “The Hound” Clegane made his presence known.

          Can someone tell me definitively what Sansa was doing in her room?

          • I think Shea told her to go to her room and wait. Shea said that Stannis would probably not harm her, so she just wanted her to leave because if they lost the war, that guy was going to kill all of them in that room? Or get raped.

          • Ah! Ok. And she said she wouldn’t go with The Hound? I thought she said she would because she decided to believe that Sandor would not hurt her.

          • I thought Sansa was going to hide out in her room, per Shae’s instruction (which was basically “Go to lock yourself in your room, because if the Lannisters lose, this creepy old guy is definitely going to kill you/us, whereas Stannis might not kill you since he has no beef with the Stark family”).

          • Oops. Sansa Darko.

  10. “YES!” – my immediate reaction to seeing green flames on black water.

  11. Gratuitous Violence Case 7394: In a scene full of men burning alive, the camera cuts to a dude getting a BOOM HEADSHOT from a pulley that had swung loose from the mast, before cutting right back to men burning alive. It’s called variety, people.

  12. I’m reminded of an episode of the Tick where he’s watching an old WWII movie called Love under Siege or something like that. He starts grumbling about all the love until the Luftwaffe flies in, then he starts shouting “Siege! SIEGE!” with a goony grin on his face.

    I guess what I’m saying if there was a gif of that, that would perfectly encapsulate my feelings about this episode.

  13. I spent the last 15 minutes of the episode standing straight up. I can’t recall the act of standing up or what it was in the episode specifically that got me standing up, but there I was, eyes locked to the screen.

  14. Was I the only one who was kind of bored by all this? Like, seige seige seige, blah blah blah. Obviously Cersei’s a crazy monster person. It’s nice to see that Jeoffrey can still find new ways of being The Worst, and Tyrion new ways of being The Best, but other than that?

    I’m really looking forward to whatsisname shouting “KHALEEESII!” over and over again for the entirety of the next episode, which is what’s going to happen, right? Just that one shot, over and over again, for an hour?

    • Haha I’m sorry. I downvoted you and then realized how ridiculous that is. “How dare you have a perfectly valid opinion of something that I have a different opinion of??!?!?” When your blood is up, anything with a downvote button looks good…

    • Yup. You probably shouldn’t even watch the finale since you called it. Spend that hour you just saved yourself wisely.

    • Haha I’m sorry. I downvoted you and then realized how ridiculous that is. “How dare you have a perfectly valid opinion of something that I have a different opinion of??!?!?” When your blood is up, anything with a downvote button looks good…

    • “There are brave Monsters commenting that they didn’t like this episode. Let’s go downvote them!”

      • You aren’t the only one. I mean, I wasn’t BORED by it, but I felt like the pacing was off. As much as I enjoyed watching Cersei getting slizzard from that drank, it kept taking me away from the battle scenes. The wildfire looked awesome in the dark, but everything else was like “What happened? Did you see that? I think somebody got his head cut off but… I don’t know!”

        Loved Tyrion, how could you not? But Shae is annoying. I think everyone else is killing it, but that actress… woof. When Cersei is like “You can’t curtsey properly? Hmmmm… methinks thou might not be who thou sayeth thou are.” Etc. I guess, OK. But that only served to remind me of Tywin and Arya and how GOOD those scenes are in comparison.

        Looking forward to next week, though, but I hope we don’t spent ALL our time in Qarth.

        • Not to get too GAME OF BOOKS on you, but in the books, the Dany scene that’s going to happen next week is actually really good. Of course, in the books, Dany scenes are 40,000% less Dany screaming “WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS?!” and Jorah screaming “KHALEESI!” and much more, like, descriptions of figs, but it’s actually the first good scene she has since Drogo’s death. I don’t know how it will play out on the show (in the books, GAME OF SPOILERS, her dragons never get stolen, so she has other motivation for going to the House of the Undying), but assuming HBO didn’t actually spend all of their budget on the wildfire scene, it should be pretty neat.

  15. There were so many great parts (oh man, that wildfire explosion), but was I the only one who felt like the fight scenes were somewhat lacking? Not in gore/awesomeness, per se, but certainly in scale? I realize this is a television show and there are budget limitations (even for HBO), so it’s not like I was expecting a Lord of the Rings-style EPIC battle, but when Stannis’ men were storming the beach and trying to scale the walls, it seemed like there were only 50-75 people involved total. And when Tyrion and his 25 people snuck through the tunnels to flank Stannis’ men, which took them about 30 seconds to complete. Stuff like that. The only times it seemed like an appropriately large force of men were attacking were the second wave of Stannis’ men (i.e. the “Oh, fuck me” moment) and Tywin Lanister’s forces at the very end (which was badass).

    • I felt the scale was adequate. The battle hit all the necessary beats to understand how it was fought and won. I wasn’t expecting anything LotR-massive (i.e. I wasn’t expecting a huge, sweeping dolly shot similar to the one in Two Towers at the storming of Helm’s Deep), and even while watching the episode I can remember consciously acknowledging that.

      The number of ships (pre-wildfire) and the reserve of troops attacking towards the end were what really got the point across for me. ‘Stannis has a lot of forces.’ They were fighting in darkness and by torchlight, so if there was any darkness in a frame I just assumed more troops were lurking there, and it turns out they were!

      • I was fully aware of the limitations they were up against, and I generally think they did a great job of masking their limitations (e.g. using the dark and torches). But considering that the Mud Gate looked like it was only 50 yards wide and that beach was not that big (so the entire beach battlefield looked like it the size of half a football field), yet Stannis’ mighty forces didn’t even half-fill that space. Maybe I was just tired when I watched it, but it looked like there were about 30 people trying to breach the walls. For a castle that has never had its walls breached before, they came dangerously close to succeeding.

        Again, I knew there would be limitations and I agree that it still drove the overall point across, but one of the best things about GoT is that it has thus far made it feel as if it’s world is as grand as that of LotR. They have been building towards this battle all season, and while the CGI naval fleet was well-done and appropriately massive (and I know the wildfire must have put a huge dent in Stannis’ numbers), the beach fighting and wall defense seemed disappointingly meager by comparison. The AV Club addresses it in their review as well (although I disagree with his criticisms of the other aspects of this episode, which I thought was otherwise great).

        • Well, as Tyrion pointed out previously (last ep. or a couple ago), the Mud Gate is the most vulnerable, and it’s also the gate (not necessarily pointed out by Show Tyrion) that is most commonly used by fishmongers and sailors bringing in wares from merchant vessels, etc, so it’s bound to have a fairly narrow beach. I don’t deny that it looks like the beach was roughly the size of my couch, but that would make sense if it’s supposed to be the most penetrable gate.

          Something else that hasn’t been made as crystal clear on the show as it was in the books is that there’s been an enormous amount of dissent and general anti-Joffrey sentiment in King’s Landing, especially with Tywin having taking a bunch of dudes away to fight again Robb, so they are woefully under-manned. What had previously made King’s Landing nearly impenetrable was less that it has huge, strong walls and wide beaches (that would be Harrenhal), but that it had pretty good walls and gates that could be easily protected by a suitable number of soldiers. With most of the soldiers gone and the remaining soldiers being kind of crappy at their jobs, King’s Landing was rendered about as strong (relatively) as the castles occupied by the Night’s Watch.

      • Okay, I watched it the episode again last night, and the scale was MUCH better upon further review. Pretty amazing, really. I think I was just tired and/or my TV was too dark the first time I watched it. I was wrong. You rule, Game of Thrones.

    • Yeah, didn’t Stannis have something like 200,000 men under his command? I don’t know how many of that was represented by the Tyrells.

  16. Well, this may be a silly question, but where did Joffrey go? He was offscreen when Cersei went to find him down at the cave. And then next we see Cersei on the throne with the little one…

  17. Just wanted to say how cool it is that The National did a song for this. This, along with making a song for a video game and using Kristen Schaal for a music video should make them eligible for the coolest sad band award.

  18. Another question about a part that kind of confused me. So, when Tyrion was fighting that guy and the kid kills him… there’s that guy in the shiny armor staring at him. And Tyrion gives him a slight smile. I thought it was a smile of recognition and relief… then when he Dinklage face slashed him, I was like HUH? WHO IS THAT GUY?

  19. Oh, I forgot to mention how much I loved Cersei’s (very literal) GOLD BREASTPLATE! Stylin’.

  20. Bronn is the Wedge Antilles of “Game of Thrones.”

  21. Anyone see the Rolling Stone article about Game of Thrones that featured a two page spread of Peter Dinklage shirtless on horseback? GRROWL, what a lion.

  22. I was so torn during the episode of whose side I was on. I really wanted Stannis to win, because Joffrey obviously sucks, and that episode 8 I think really fleshed out why he felt entitled to the throne (other than of course by birthright). But, I love Tyrion, Bronn, Varys, The Hound, and Sansa (as of this season). When the episode started I felt like I did when I was sitting down in the theater to watch Saving Private Ryan, or when Katniss was getting into that elevator in Hunger Games.

  23. “The men will bleed out there and you will bleed in here.” Good talk. Sloshed Cersei 2012

  24. Bronn (is that right) v.s. The Hound, i would totally hate to see that, their both such badass characters and one of them would have to die. Also, i jumped out of my seat clapping when The hound said fuck the King, because that took balls and Jofferey is such a little pinched headed asshole.

  25. This was a great episode. I loved all the parts that didn’t really happen in the book series. The explosion was just like I imagined it to be. Very very excellent overall.

    Hands down, the BEST part for me– the singing of “The Rains of Castamere” during the beginning and the creepy-deepy version of it at the end. Absolutely gave me chills. I can’t believe no one mentioned that yet in this thread!

    CAN’T WAIT!!

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