SPOILER ALERT: Do not read until you’ve watched the episode.
Well here we are: the end of season five.
Which is also preeeeetty much the point at which having read the books becomes irrelevant. Sure, there are a few plot lines in the books that might crop up… and there are heaps of hints in those eleven thousand plus pages that might help us predict what’s to come… but we’re pretty much all in this together now.
So let’s get in to all the gory details.
I have to say I enjoyed watching this episode immensely, largely because of what I knew was coming in that final scene. You see, I was watching the episode with a bunch of fans at our Dan and Maz Game of Thrones Finale Feast, and I could not WAIT to see everyone’s reactions.
Also I was dressed as Jon Snow and we ate a whole roast pig with an apple in it’s mouth.
This episode began as a bloodbath. Stannis? DEAD. Myranda? DEAD. Myrcella? DEAD. Trant? DEAD, obviously. Let’s recap them all. And then… the big one.
The Battle of Winterfell was not an epic clash per se – the budget went to episode eight’s gripping white walker onslaught – but there was still plenty to get involved with in these scenes.
Does the melting ice mean that the sacrifice of Shireen was worth it? Queen Selyse obviously disagreed. Stannis, now family-less, decided to begin the siege of Winterfell. But by then it was too late – his army were outnumbered, outflanked, and outsworded. He still managed to take two men down while wounded, but it only took one woman to finish him off.
Or is he still alive? True, we never SAW him dead, but in this viewer’s humble opinion, that felt pretty final. So rest in peace, Stannis Baratheon. All your hard work to be likeable was ruined in one simple child burning. You will forever be remembered as a tool.
And meanwhile I guess Brienne has just been standing in that hotel window all series? Finally Pod, while out gathering kindling and fauna, managed to spot something to get her moving… but they missed the candle entirely! What happens next season? Brienne goes back to standing in her window, and Sansa’s candle blows out, never to be lit again?
Sansa, to her credit, managed to escape quite well with her scavenged lock pick (not a stabber, oh well) and her Harry-Potter-esque cloak of invisibility. “Oh, what’s that? A young woman who looks remarkably like the imprisoned princess, wandering about the grounds, mid battle? Oh – no – wait, she’s wearing a cloak. DISREGARD”.
Well, the escape goes well enough until she meets Myranda. What’s her deal? Never mind, Theon’s pushed her off a ledge. Which seems like a great escape move, but now Ramsay’s back. So the two of them jump off an even steeper fall. I’m going to assume they made it – snow is basically like a giant, marshmallow-y crash mat if Looney Tunes cartoons are to be believed.