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Game of Thrones - S5E8 - Hardhome

Previously on Game of Thrones, ‘The Gift’

Tyrion/Daenerys/Jorah - Meereen

First things first: Jorah you can’t say shit. Keep your mouth shut and stand there looking pitiful. Let Tyrion do his damn job.

Tyrion is given an opportunity to explain why Daenerys shouldn’t kill him, but instead advise her. He boasts how he’s already killed two Lannisters, plus he knows everything there is to know about Westeros. She tests his skills by asking what she should do with Jorah. Oh, homie gotta go. Don’t kill him. And he ain’t gotta go home, but he gotta get the hell up outta Meereen, so that’s exactly what happens.

Jorah, hook a left out the city gates, walk two miles, make a right at Targaryen Parkway (formerly Slaver’s Road), and you’ll see the Friend Banished Zone. You have reached your destination.

Tyrion and Daenerys bond over wine. He mentions killing his father - again - but won’t go into details just yet. That conversation will happen, and when it does, Tyrion speculates they’ll need more wine. Speaking of fathers, Daenerys admits her father was cray cray. Tyrion approves of the moves she’s made so far in keeping the peace in Meereen, and muses that Varys may have been right about her. She bristles at the mention of Robert’s spymaster, but Tyrion points out Varys did what he had to do to survive.

Daenerys decides to keep Tyrion on as her adviser. His first bit of advice: Maybe she should give up on Westeros and just stay in Meereen. She refuses. He asks how she expects to gain the favor of the major houses. She points out those houses are all spokes on a wheel, taking turns being on top and squashing everything in its path. She has no plan to stop the wheel; she’s going to break the wheel.


Jorah returns to the slave trader and asks to fight before the queen. This man don’t know when to quit, but what does he have to lose, really?

Arya - Braavos

Arya is doing much better at the Game of Faces. She’s made up a whole new backstory for herself and Jaqen approves. He gives her an assignment: she’s to poison a bookie who takes advantage of captains and their families. She’s already proven herself to be a convincing oyster merchant who has sold to the bookie. Poisoning him should be easy.

Cersei - The Bed She Made a.k.a The Sept’s Cells

Cersei won’t confess no matter how many times the giant septa slaps her in the face with a spoon. That’s right: Cersei’s dome got rocked about three times with a big-ass wooden spoon.

She gets a visit from Qyburn who informs her of the charges against her (fornication, treason, incest, and murder). He has more bad news: Pycelle has called Kevan to the capital to serve as Hand of the King. Ain’t nobody heard from Jaime. And Tommen is too busy sitting up in his room, refusing to eat and listening to Drake to be bothered. Qyburn says she can always confess, but Cersei refuses to do so to the High Sparrow, the man she made. He leaves with an ominous, “The work continues.”

When the septa returns, she once again tries to get Cersei to confess. Cersei tries bribery and then more threats. Finally, the septa pours out the water she brought for Cersei and leaves. When she’s gone, Cersei drinks the water from the floor and cries. And that day shall forever be known as the day Cersei Lannister learned the thirst is real.

Sansa/Theon - Winterfell

Theon brings Sansa some food and she wants to know why he snitched like a little bitch. He was trying to help her, he says. If she’d tried to escape, she would have been caught, and then she’d get that Reek treatment. He talks a bit about what was done to him and Sansa is so unsympathetic. If she could torture his ass, too, she would.

Theon knows he deserved it and starts listing all of his fuck-ups. When he gets to the part about burning the boys, she demands to know why he would do that to his little brothers. He finally admits he didn’t kill Bran and Rickon, but he doesn’t know where they are and starts to freak out when she presses.

Roose is having a strategy meeting and plans to just sit tight until Stannis’ men either starve or freeze to death. Ramsay doesn’t agree with this plan and convinces his father to give him 20 men so they can sneak and hit Stannis first, Rainbow Six-style.

Sam/Gilly - The Wall

Gilly is tending to Sam’s injuries and he asks how she feels. Dude, you ain’t hurt nothing. Settle down. Their talk is interrupted by Ollie, who has brought Sam some food. They speak privately and Ollie wants to know what Sam thinks of Jon’s plan to bring wildlings into their camp. Despite all the horrible shit they’ve done, Sam knows they need all the people they can find to fight the white walkers. He explains sometimes a leader has to do things people don’t like, even when it’s for the best.

Ollie is going to kill someone before this season is out. He was not here for any of that bullshit. 

Jon Snow a.k.a. The Bastard of Winterfell a.k.a. Lord Commander a.k.a King Dingaling a.k.a. Big Daddy Long Stroke - Hardhome

Jon and company arrive at Hardhome, rowing to shore while Stannis’ ships wait out at sea. Tormund greets The Lord of Bones and requests an audience with the elders. But when they learn Tormund is not a crow prisoner, but an ally, Bones starts making off-color remarks about Tormund giving Jon oral pleasure. That earns him a fatal beating with his own big bone stick (not a euphemism) by Tormund. And then Tormund is all, “Now are you guys going to get the elders or nah?”

They meet with the wildling elders and the Thenns leader. The pitch goes about as well as expected with the wildlings not wanting to trust their sworn enemies. Tormund steps forward to pledge his trust in Jon and insists this alliance is the only way. Everyone is still skeptical, but since they trust Tormund they agree. All except the Thenns who throw up deuces and walk out. Jon offers up the dragon glass as a show of good faith.

Dolorous Edd side-eyes a giant who asks what the fuck he’s looking at. Thankfully, Edd doesn’t speak his language and he’s smart enough to not try and avenge Grenn.

As people are being loaded onto the rowboats, the dogs in the camp start barking and howling at the mountain behind them. A heavy cloud of snow and mist rolls down the mountain, swallowing up the people closest to it. Finally, people start running and the head Thenn demands the gate separating the camp from the shore be closed. They trap many of their own on the other side. The noise settles down to a few whimpers and small screams and the Thenn peaks through a hole in the gate. Then all hell breaks loose.

Those trapped on the other side are now wights and they’re doing their damnest to break through the gate. Tormund correctly points out that if the gate gives, EVERYONE dies so Jon calls on his crows to follow him and Tormund as they try to stop the wights from breaking through. High above, on the ridge of the mountain, four white walkers sit upon their horses and watch. Gulp.

They manage to seal one of the holes, but Jon spots the hut holding the giant and others being attacked. He knows the dragon glass is in there so he tells Tormund they need to get it. He instructs Edd to take his rowboat to the ship to get people to safety and then come back for him.

The Thenns leader and Jon enter the hut after the giant runs out, tossing wights off his shoulders like he’s brushing off dandruff. The inside is on fire and through the flames comes a white walker. The Thenn tells Jon to get the glass while he fights the white walker. The fight is over pretty quickly as the white walker’s weapon completely obliterates the Thenn’s sword. Unarmed, he is stabbed through the stomach.

Jon fights the white walker, and is unable to retrieve the glass. The white walker throws Jon outside where he grabs his own sword and tries to stay on his feet. When the white walker attacks him again, they’re both surprised as fuck when Jon’s sword stops the white walker’s weapon. Jon takes that opportunity to slice the white walker in half, and it explodes into pieces of ice.

One of the wildling elders, who’d put her daughter on a rowboat with the promise she’d be right behind her, takes out many wights, but pauses when she spots a half dozen wight kids. And I don’t mean caucasian. They run and attack her, knocking her to the ground so they can bite into her.

Edd has returned with the rowboat for Jon and he tells Jon to give up on the glass. A ton of wights and skeletons jump from the ridge above and land in a pile. Is it over? Nope. They rise and start running faster than they have any right to. Jon, Tormund, and Edd make their way to the boat while The Night’s King watches from above. As they row away, The Night’s King walks along the pier, watching them go. The fighting is over as everyone on the shore has either been killed or turned. The giant wades through the water, plucking off wights and skeletons as they try to attack him. Where the hell is he going? How he gonna get his big ass on the ship?

Jon makes eye contact with The Night’s King and watches as he slowly raises his arms and awakens those turned on the shore. Then they all just stare at Jon and company as they row away.

Score | 10/10Overall Thoughts:
  • The scenes between Daenerys and Tyrion were good, but a bit underwhelming. They said everything we thought they would and it ended exactly as we knew it would: she would accept Tyrion, but still tell Jorah to kick rocks.
  • There was very little movement with the other plots featured in the episode: Cersei is getting a taste of what it must be like for Margaery, Sansa continues to work on Theon’s conscience (but she learns her brother are alive!), and Sam and Gilly dance around the fact that they’re both not safe at The Wall.
  • Was that some book reader foreshadowing when Sam talked about Jon to Sam? “He always comes back.”
  • Clearly, the battle at the end tipped a good episode over the border into great territory. Now we know Valyrian steel is effective against white walkers, which keeps the theme of dragon-related items being key. Jon needs to send a raven to Meereen and ask if he can rent out Daenerys’ dragons, Rent-a-Center style.
  • I am now convinced, more than ever, that Jon Snow is a Targaryen.
About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

1 Comment on Game of Thrones - S5E8 - Hardhome

  1. I can’t believe some people decided to stop watching this show right before the Walking Dead crossover episode. This was such a great episode and I can’t believe we only have two more weeks to round out the season. I don’t care what anybody says, I’m here all day for Sansa. She had that “black woman scorn” look when Reek came to deliver her food and I thought for a minute he was about to get shanked. I’m interested to see what Ramsey does with 20 men against Stannis’ army, we always see him torturing people so I wonder what he’s like as a leader in combat.

    After last night’s episode I’m ready for Ubisoft, Naughty Dog, or somebody to make a Jon Snow video game with matching action figure. Only thing that would’ve made that battle better was if Jon ran out of the gates as they exploded behind him. I think even the most stubborn Wildling wants to come to Castle Black after seeing the White Walkers up close. Can’t wait for the podcast it’s going to be great.

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