Game of Thrones s5 ep 8



I wish I could write something elegant and insightful about this week’s astonishing Game of Thrones, but, two days later, my brain is still stuck on “OH MY GOD!” mode – after a very slow, very frustrating season, “Hardhome” was a long time coming, but it blew the roof off (and with it the season’s cobwebs, if you’ll forgive the mixed metaphor) when it finally arrived.

The episode was shaping up to be a great one from the start, in fairness, with plots and people moving apace. Daenerys met Tyrion, threatened Tyrion, bonded with Tyrion… and suddenly her scenes became a thousand times more bearable and the Meereen side of things actually, genuinely entertaining. I mean, Daenerys herself is still little more than an entitled nitwit with a baseless yet unshakeable belief in her own grandiose pronouncements – “break the wheel,” will you? How, exactly? – but Tyrion (“the greatest Lannister-killer of our time,” Heh) is smart enough and witty enough for both of them, and, thanks to him, the Meereen scenes sparkled. Tyrion for King, you guys. Of everywhere.

Things also progressed intriguingly, if not quite as quickly, back in Kings Landing, meanwhile: Cersei still in a cell, threatening unimpressed nuns; Tommen a shut-in; Uncle Kevan running the show; and that creepy dude Qyburn up to…. Well, we’ll see. There’s a palpable sense that something major is going to happen there, but this episode had enough major in it to staff an army, so it made sense, both dramatically and for the sake of the audience’s sanity, to save whatever that something is for later.

Let’s hope that particular something is more interesting than the Arya story, however, which moved forward a bit, but was still mind-bogglingly dull and annoying, thus standing out for all the wrong reasons in an episode that was otherwise mesmerising. Can’t she just head back North and team up with her sister? After all, even the Winterfell sub-plot took a tentative turn for the less unspeakably horrible this week, with Reek reluctantly fessing up to Sansa that there might be a couple more Starks alive than she thought. Thank God. Now if she (or Stannis) would only stab Ramsay in his smug face, watching GOT might become a significantly less stressful experience.

Or actually it might not, given the heart-stopping, nerve-shredding, frankly incredible last 20 minutes – the reason why people will be talking about this episode for years to come.

Jon Snow, the Bearded Dude and his Bros arrived at Hardhome to try and broker an alliance, and actually managed to persuade some of the Wildling clans to join them – including the marvellous Karsi, whom I was looking forward to spending a bit more time with over the next few eps (more fool me). The White Walker army crashed the party however and what followed was the most astounding, breathtaking, heart-in-your-boots, hands-over-your-mouth battle sequence I have ever seen in any medium ever. Blackwater was terrific, but this….. like I said, two days later and my brain is still stuck in “OH MY GOD!” mode. No random nudity, no sexual violence (for a change), just an utterly electrifying piece of tv. As I’ve said before, I wonder periodically why it is I watch GOT; episodes like Hardhome just gave me my answer.


6 thoughts on “Game of Thrones s5 ep 8

  1. Tim June 3, 2015 / 10:17 pm

    The best battle sequence I have watched ever – even better than Blackwater, even better than the Battle of Castle Black, even better than Helm’s Deep. Incredible that this was done by a mere TV show too. But then GoT is more than just a mere TV show when it’s at its best, isn’t it? From The West Wing to The Walking Dead. Loved Tyrion and Dany – a little bit of Josh and Donna or Toby and CJ there? And, bloody hell, those wights and White Walkers were scary. It probably didn’t help that I was watching in a darkened room at nearly 3am, mind you …

    Two more episodes and so much to wrap up. Bring it.

    • CJ Cregg June 3, 2015 / 10:27 pm

      Definitely – best battle sequence in anything ever. It was incredible. Everyone I’ve spoken to about it since then has had the same stunned look and exactly the same things to say about it. Absolutely amazing.

  2. patricksponaugle June 4, 2015 / 12:31 am

    This season had been pretty rough as seasons go. I know a lot of Game of Thrones haters (they seek me out because I love the show) and they’ve been happily piling on (not necessarily without merit) the past couple of episode…

    But Hardhome really nailed it. Great episode. Huge boost that this season needed.

    • CJ Cregg June 4, 2015 / 10:06 pm

      Yeah, this season has been difficult, but this ep has definitely revitalised it, hasn’t it? Or at least revitalised those of us in the audience (including me!) who were getting a bit fed up… 😉

  3. Benny From Crossroads November 30, 2015 / 11:07 am

    Valerian Steel FTW. Has anyone heard of this theory that the Iron Throne ultimately gets melted down to provide a few hundred VS swords for the finale?

    • CJ Cregg November 30, 2015 / 6:45 pm

      Might want to drop GRRM an email with that theory and help him out, Benny – seems like as good an idea as any and might help him get going with the books again😄

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