Game of Thrones Finale Recap: The War Ends, the Battle Begins [Updated]

game-of-thrones-season-3-finale-300Warning: This Game of Thrones recap contains spoilers from the Season 3 finale. All those who haven’t seen it, you are hereby banished north of The Wall. Everyone else, proceed…

After last week’s harrowing episode, Game of Thrones had to work pretty hard to finish its third season on a memorable note.

A dismembered phallus? Yeah, that’ll do.

RELATEDGame of Thrones Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on Brienne, That Bath and the Bear

Though the episode had nowhere near the flash or gravity of last week’s Red Wedding, it held a few small reveals and some absolutely stellar scenes between a few of our favorites, and it moved all the pieces into place for next season. Bottom line, I liked (not loved) it – though judging from the poll results so far, many of you don’t agree. So let’s get down to it and review what happened in “Mhysa.”

HOUSE GREYJOY | Theon’s torturer, whom I’d been calling Georgelgänger, turns out to be Roose Bolton’s bastard son, Ramsey Snow. And yes, he most decidedly emasculated Theon a few episodes back but no, that thing he’s eating when we first see him is not Greyjoy’s missing appendage. (Side note: Gross.) My new name for a dejected Theon: Lord Greyjoyless. But Ramsey’s got a better one: Reek, because all of this torture and penis-losing has given Theon that not-so-fresh aroma. As Ramsey beats Reek into accepting his new moniker, little Theon is making its way to Papa Greyjoy in the Iron Isles. If the Ironborn don’t skedaddle from the north, Ramsey promises, Theon will die in a very painful way. Balon pretty much says, “Meh,” but Yara gathers a boat and a crew and sets off to save her brother.

HOUSE STARK: MINI-MURDERER EDITION | Arya wakes up from the Hound’s blow just in time to see Frey’s men parade Robb’s body, which has Grey Wind’s head sewn on where her brother’s head should be. (A few side notes: First, totally disgusting and horrifying. Second, that is Martha Stewart levels of efficient crafting. Robb’s been dead, what, five minutes?) On the road a few days later, Arya overhears one man in a camp boasting that he was the one to do the grisly stitchery. Ned’s daughter plays innocent until she can get close, then plunges the Hound’s knife into the man. Her captor/rescuer jumps into the melee and they kill all of the gang, then Arya pulls out her coin and utters the phrase valar morghulis, which we’ve come to know means “All men must die.”

HOUSE STARK: HEADED-NORTH EDITION | Bran, Meera, Jojen and Hodor spend the night at Nightfort, where they run into Sam, Gilly and the baby. One look at Summer, and Sam realizes that Bran is Jon’s kin. “If you’re his brother, you’re my brother, too,” the portly Night’s Watchman tells him. Though he’s dubious that Bran is at all equipped to fight the beasties up north, Sam gives the Stark group the rest of the dragonglass weapons and shows them the way past the wall. Then, Tarly and his companions make their way to the wall, where Maester Aemon (still alive!) welcomes them back and has Sam draw up some ravens’ notes about the undead apocalypse bearing down on the south. (Side note: Gilly naming the baby after her savior was a sweet touch.)

HOUSE LANNISTER: KNOW-YOUR-PLACE-BOY EDITION | Tyrion and Sansa seem to be getting along well, if the companionable air between them on an afternoon walk is any indication. I’d even say they’re cute together, if I didn’t think Shae – who’s along for the stroll – would cut me for it. They’re interrupted by Podrick (the ladies murmuring about him as he passed gets a “heh” from me), who summons Tyrion to a meeting of Joffrey’s small council.

The boy king is vibrating with excitement at a coded message conveying the deaths of Robb and Catelyn Stark. He wants Robb’s head sent to King’s Landing, because “I’m going to serve it to Sansa at my wedding feast.” I don’t know which makes me love Tyrion more: when he says that will not happen because “She is no longer yours to torment” or when he replies to Joff’s calling him a monster with, “Monsters are dangerous, and just now, kings are dying like flies.” Tywin has even less patience for his psychopathic grandson, telling him that “Any man who must say ‘I am king’ is no true king.” Because he has no hooker handy to riddle with arrows, Joffrey channels his frustrations by calling the Hand of the King a coward – which gets the boy sent to bed like the impudent toddler he is. He even yells out, “I’m not tired!” just like every 5-year-old I ever babysat.

Tywin dismisses everyone but Tyrion, launching an amazing exchange between Papa Lion and his least-desired offspring. Tyrion figures out that Frey’s massacre was backed by the Lannisters, and his father says he did it — essentially ending the war — first and foremost to protect the family. There’s a lot of back and forth about the good of the family name versus the good of its members: Tyrion refuses to create an heir with Sansa by force, and then challenges his father to name one time where the “good of the family” wasn’t also the good of Tywin himself. The day of Tyrion’s birth, the older man answers. “I wanted to carry you into the sea and let the waves wash you away. Instead, I let you live.” Oof.  Well, Tyrion, you asked.

HOUSE LANNISTER: GUESS-WHO’S-BACK EDITION | Tyrion goes to tell Sansa the bad news about her family, but when he finds her, her tear-streaked cheeks signal that she already knows. Unable to comfort her (though I might’ve liked to see him try, given the growing closeness we witnessed earlier), he drinks with a very overserved Pod. Cersei interrupts them to exhort Tyrion to get Sansa with child, and quickly, as a way to save the girl. Though her own children haven’t made her very happy, Cersei admits, “They are the reason I am alive.” It’s the softest, most honest we’ve seen the queen regent in some time, and it’s a lovely scene.

Meanwhile, at the gates of King’s Landing, Jamie and Brienne are being treated like human garbage by some low-level officials. I know I’ve already waxed enthusiastic about the shorthand that Gwendoline Christie and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau have developed as these two unlikely friends, but I’m gonna do it again — the look of sympathy she aims at him when the guard fails to recognize Jaime is just perfect. Later, Jaime finds Cersei alone in her room, and neither of them can tear their eyes away from his missing hand. I’m very interested to see how next season is going to go for those two.

HOUSE BARATHEON | Ser Davos bonds with Gendry, who’s being held in Stannis’ dungeons, about their shared upbringings in the Flea Bottom slum of King’s Landing. The best part of the scene is Gendry’s reasoning behind getting naked with Melisandre: “Big words, no clothes. What would you have done?” (Ha!) When the Red Priestess in question decides that Gendry’s blood is so powerful he must die as a sacrifice – and Stannis is on board – Davos springs the blacksmith loose and sets him in a rowboat bound for his hometown. Stannis and Melisandre then decide that Davos must die for his treason, but he mentions the note he received from Sam’s raven and argues that Stannis will need strong advisors in the upcoming trying times. Though Stannis isn’t very open to the idea at first, Melisandre burns the piece of paper, stares into the flames and is all, “Yep, it checks out” – thus saving the life of the man she’d previously wished dead (and vice-versa).

HOUSE TARGARYEN | Though it looks for a moment like the slaves of Yunkai won’t join Daenerys, they eventually do. She gives them her standard, empowering stump speech, and they all start calling her “mhysa” — or “mother.”  Feeling the love, she steps out among the masses. Before long, she’s crowd surfing like it’s Lollapalooza 1992 and she’s Anthony Kiedis.

THE WILDLINGS | Ygritte catches up to Jon, who says she must’ve always known who he truly was, then adds that he loves her — and that he knows she loves him. The redhead gives us one last “You know nothing, Jon Snow” for the season before landing three (!) arrows in her beloved. Girl does not mess around. On a serious note, the fact that both of them are so upset during this conversation is a cool call-out on the turmoil their affection for each other has caused. Jon eventually does make it back to The Wall, where Sam and the other brothers care for him.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Grade it via the poll below, then sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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159 Comments
  1. Tonya says:

    So-so finale. I was hoping it would end on a big reveal, so I’m kind of disappointed by that aspect.

    • Warren says:

      I loved that if dost end on anything big. The final moments were actually kind of uplifting, which I think was really needed after last weeks episode.

      • Tonya says:

        I was expecting something specific (that I guess will now be part of next season). I do like that they touched on all the various storylines but jamming that into an hour and 5 minutes just left everyone with blue balls for their favorite plot. I’m only expecting rampant Internet bitching from here on out!

        • Yes! Same here! The major character reveal at the end of book 3 should’ve played a big part at the end of this finale. I’m so mad they decided to wait and use that for next season. I understand they split book 3, but they needed to drag things out from the end of that book, into this season’s final moments. But it was an alright finale!

          • sara says:

            Agreed! I was expecting so much more in this finale. And what is with the season being only 10 episodes?? Come on HBO! And how long do we have to wait now until season 4??

          • Dick Whitman says:

            SPOILER


            They need to give it time for the meat to rot a little.

          • ajintexas says:

            You must literally be the only person left on the planet that doesn’t knw that book 3 was split into two seasons, There is still a whole half of that book left and it would be stupid to use that to end this season. My only disappointment is they did not show how Sam got through the wall the way it was described in the book, which involved a magic door (Probably an effects budget issue). He also didn’t encounter the mysterious man in black on the elk with ice cold hands that told him where it was. They screwed the pooch on that. Anyway, I thought it was fine since the book was split in two seasons. Doing that made it a to be continued ending, not a big reveal ending. People should not bitch about that because they were told for months that this would be the case. Bunch of whiners.

          • ajintexas says:

            Sara, every season is 10 eps and you have to wait a year just like last time. It’s not secret information.

          • Penny says:

            they should have really had that scene it would have tied with the “mhysa” of the episode.

      • Brian G. says:

        It DOES end on a big reveal as it closes on Daenerys and her army of freed-slaves that has just grown by more than 200,000 people…

        And last week WOULD have been the finale, and it would have left you thinking that Arya was dead until this time next year, if fans wouldn’t have thrown themselves off of a highrise! But HBO decided that would be bad for business…

        • Tonya says:

          Pretty sure no one thought Arya was dead.

        • Futurologist says:

          There seems to be a pattern developing in this show, where the season’s ‘big’ episode is usually the penultimate episode rather than the finale. I like it, other shows would have ended with the Red Wedding, but the finale did a great job of setting up season 4, even though it lacked any moments as powerful as the ending of the previous episode.

    • matt says:

      If they had more then ten episodes then the show would catch up to the books… if the show was caught up then you would have to wait even longer for a season to come out.

      • l says:

        I don’t think they are that close to catching up to the books… 1 more season to finish book 3 and then books 4-5 should be at least 3, maybe 4 seasons and by that point the next book should be out.

        • Drew Melbourne says:

          Assuming that the combined books 4 and 5 take 3 seasons, that would give him till 2017 to publish Book 6 (seems likely) and 2018 or 2019 to finish the last book (a bigger challenge).

          But this assumes that the show can sustain itself for 10+ seasons, which seems overly ambitious for a television show.

        • Ty says:

          Martin takes half a decade to release a single book, and have you seen him? He is not exactly a healthy looking man, nor young. We may have a Robert Jordan situation here and if that’s the case they need time to adjust.

          • Penny says:

            the silver lining is that the ones in charge of the series actually know how its going to end. So if he goes… we just have to make sure the show lasts long enough.

      • Brian G. says:

        Were you expecting Catelyn Stark and her band of misfits to do a cameo one-full-year early?! PATIENCE!

      • Liam says:

        No because it
        Could be 12 episodes per book so we would still be in the same place and they could add more things in from the book so it would be on longer and more filming so actually it would take longer to catch the books up

    • A.J. says:

      I thought it was a terrifc finale: it was about time someone would tell the audience this was about The White Walkers. You know the first scene of the pilot has a point when Melisandre, Sam and Jojen repeats King and their armies can’t stop them three times.

      • Azerty says:

        I tought the same thing! The WW are the beginning of the serie. But I don’t understand the Wildings (i mean Mance Ryder and his people). Why would they want to take Westeros? I tought the point was to run away from the White Walkers but right now both of them are going to the same direction (South of the Wall), not logic.

        • A.J. says:

          They arenot taking Westeros: the wildling are taking the frontier to fight the White Walkers themselves. As Mance Rayder told Jon, at the beginning of the season, the only way to unite so many tribes that hated each other was through a common enemy.

          The wildling are doing what Westerosi people should’ve done since Ned Stark beheaded the deserter in the pilot: unite themselves against The White Walkers.

  2. Terry says:

    Terrible finale…so disappointed.

    • chad says:

      Totally agree. The word “disappointing” is about the best thing you can say about this episode.

      • christina says:

        I’m with you. This should have been a two hour finale & they should have tied up more loose ends.

        • Jennifer says:

          The books leave a lot of loose ends also. I don’t know how grrm is going to wrap it all up with only one book left.

          • cookie says:

            Jennifer u r wrong George has 2 more books after Dance with the dragons. He’s writing book six now. Check ur facts sister

          • G says:

            Not only does he have 2 more books left, even GRRM has said that might not be the end of it. He said he has a story to tell and the books will stop when the story is complete. There is no schedule though of when the books will be completed and finished.

    • it was just so-so. i was expecting more. very anti-climatic.

  3. Patricia says:

    Really? They can do better than that. I can’t Believe they chose to give Bran so much time. Not impressed. Liked the final scene, John and Ygrite but wish they showed more Jamie and Cersei

    • Bran more time? What about the boring scenes involving Sam and Gilly?! UGH. I know he plays a semi-major part in the books, but boy are his scenes so annoying? I lose focus and want them to quit wasting my time with this character. But so-so finale. Really felt they should’ve left off with a major reveal from the end of book 3. Maybe next season I guess…

    • Mike R. says:

      Bran is a very important character later on, and they barely show anything of him, until the final two episodes, and they had to get him beyond the wall for season 4.

      • Patchi says:

        I read the series up to book 4 and that book for me was just extremely boring. The way he decided to separate the characters and tell just the story of just a few so from now on I want be surprised. So I know Bran will have a bigger part I just feel like he had at least 3 scenes in the finale, when Jamie who was left out of the last two only had two seconds, they could have spread a little better

  4. Lauren says:

    Best book, weakest season. Unreal. They had the material to make these last two the best of the series. Next season there had better be no setup.

    • Jdurbs says:

      I’m sorry you don’t understand how stories are told. Without set up, there is no payoff. The books are 75% set up (if not more) – do you expect the show to be different? Or should they just skip over explaining why things are happening and jumps to the best parts?

  5. John says:

    Last week’s episode made a better season finale than tonight’s ep, IMO.

  6. Kerry says:

    as a non reader i enjoyed the final but last season finale was better. though i liked Arya’s moments

    • DarkDefender says:

      Didn’t that coin have magic? I thought if Arya’s held it and said Valar Morgulis that the guy who killed for her (that she saved) would appear and take her to train to be like him.

      • Maddie says:

        She had to give it to a Bravoosi man. What most people are suggesting is that she was making an allusion to J’aqar and the Hound because they can both teach her how to kill.

  7. Ronnie says:

    The final episode of season 3 sucked pathetic oh but did love the fact that arya stark got her first kill that was the best part for me

    • Mike R. says:

      second kill.

      • Azerty says:

        That guy Arya killed…was it Will Champion (from Coldplay)? I know he made a cameo as on the musician playing the Rain of Castamere last week but he looks like him but not credited for this episode according to imdb?

  8. This is was so boring. And I usually try to not allow myself to feel bad about the changes but some of the ones they made on this episode really got to me.

  9. Sean C. says:

    I can’t believe they made Sansa learning about her family’s murder all about Tyrion. Well, actually, I can believe that, after they made the wedding all about Tyrion too, even though that was all from her POV in the book.

  10. lisa says:

    I’m not saying it was terrible but that was soo disappointing! I can think of at least three other things that could have been used to wrap up this season and still leave plenty for next year. Very sad fan here :/

  11. John Snow says:

    So, so, disappointing and boring, I missed the remainder of the Heat vs Spurs game for this. Thank HBO, I really don’t feel like I want more.. Bring on True Blood and News Room

  12. Trresa says:

    WTF disappointed wanted more last week should’ve been the finale.

  13. Chovi says:

    You all shouldn´t be disappointed, it was a good finale! After all that tragic death last episode showed us, did you really wanted more? I feel that these episode was a good finale because it was different. Season one and two where cliffhangers, this one was like “ok, we have showed you this season BIG moment. Now, take a break! We will be back with more.” This episode was like a beacon of hope for every character (except perhaps, Arya) and I really think that that was what D.B. Weiss and David Benioff wanted to pull out. It was a good finale because it was not that intense. Through all the season the “board was set” for the Red Wedding. This last episode was like “setting the board” for the next season.

    • Amy says:

      Totally agree with you. The second to last episode is ALWAYS the big one every season. And I felt that this final episode did a really good job setting everything up for next season.

      • Hannah says:

        Yep, agree. I don’t think I could have waited almost a year for another episode to begin to wash away the images of the Red Wedding. I’m glad this episode was the way it was, although I’m never disappointed when it comes to this show!

  14. Lorrie says:

    The finale was OK. It would’ve been tough beating last week’s Episode that made most of our mouths drop. However, I understand that they had to set some things up for next season, there are way too many things happening right now. And YES I am waiting for some specific things to happen too. Guess ya can’t please everyone! Until next season!

  15. Jimmy says:

    There was really was no way to top the Red Wedding, so I was OK with the finale.

  16. jonathon says:

    there were some interesting scenes in this finale and I for one needed to move on from the sad ending last week. thought the scenes showing all the remaining characters and what they’re doing now was great. Possible spoiler alert if you haven’t seen finale yet….******* really thought Littlefinger would turn up again but hey, that’s fine save his evilness for next season. Joffrey being put to bed, Jon and Sam reuniting with Castle Black, Bran making it North of the Wall, Shae being told to leave before its too late and of course The Greyjoy family bonding moment from Yara was all very interesting and made for another great episode leaving me wanting more. I’m sure everyone that thought the finale wasn’t good just wanted to see more and we could all agree on that. March is too far away, guess we could just watch these 3 seasons over again and theorize to pass the time.

  17. Luna says:

    The last two episodes totally destroyed the show for me. The red wedding was simply gratuitous – adding Talisa’s death and her getting stabbed over and over in belly as if to make sure we know that her foetus doesn’t make it. Did they really have to add details to the book to make this scene more awful? Then the season finale was brutally boring. They seemed to save Davos only to prove that not every good action is rewarded by death. Finally, they closed with a culturally insensitive race fantasy of dark skinned slaves welcoming their liberator as mother – which, even so, was still the most uplifting event of the season. I’m done. Looking forward to forgetting all about this show over the break.

    • Mike R. says:

      You simply never understood Game Of Thrones, Lord of The Rings this is not, the minute Talisa was pregnant, she had to die or else the story would have been completely altered, and Talisa’s death was no more brutal than anything else we’ve seen on this show, and yes it was added to make the scene more awful, but it was not gratuitous. In this show good people die, just like reality where the good guys can;t always win, and where the good guys have to suffer and change before they can win. In this world honor and good deeds mean nothing, but only power, which the Stark severely lacked. The show has killed newborn babies before, I don’t see how you didn’t stop watching then, but you are now, but to each his own, but the Red Wedding was not gratuitous and will have many after effects, especially to the Freys. They violated Guest Right, that is a big deal in Westeros.

      • Anon says:

        Why do some fans get all “well, you only think that way because you don’t understand” whenever someone expresses an opinion they don’t agree with? This is the height of hubris.

        Whenever you attack the person instead of the subject in a discussion…well, it’s just plain immature.

        • Mike R. says:

          Fine, sure maybe saying she doesn’t understand was wrong, but I gave plenty of input on the subject of discussion, and why her reasoning is wrong in my opinion, and I did not attack Luna in anyway. Attacking the person is what the commenter below me did.

          • Just another dead Stark says:

            I agree with Luna the stabbing of the fetus was totally gratuitous and completely UN-needed. The season finale was a snoozer. Jamie finally seeing Cersei was boring and it shouldn’t have been. The Greyjoy (spelling? I don’t read books sorry) scene again totally nasty and gratuitous. The only good scenes in the entire finale were the ones between Tywin and Tyrion and the Arya scene. The end scene with Daenarys was weak. It was as if they were trying to create some epic moment to end the season, but again they failed. Really disappointed with GOT season ender, and I love the show. I will watch it next season for sure, but yeah, Luna was right on if you ask me.

          • Mike R. says:

            Opinions we all have them, but Talisa had to die, and her death was no worse than other stuff we have seen on the show, I don’t see it as gratuitous, I saw it as showing how evil the Freys and Bolton were, but each to his own.

          • Shri says:

            this finale was missing so many pieces at the end of the 3rd novel. They basically said Red Wedding was too much killing, so no more killing in the finale… I am not going to reveal the book spoilers, but COME ON!!! This finale was disgustingly terrible for anyone who has read the book.
            I agree with Luna that this finale totally sucked beyond disgust… This whole splitting book 3 into season 3-4 is a bad deal to me…

          • Mike R. says:

            This finale was dissapointing, but remember we still have a while another season to finish book 3 and they were clearly saving big events for next season, and my original comment had nothing to with the finale, only Luna’s opinion that the Res Wedding was gratuitous.

          • Mikael says:

            Season 3 is only HALF of Book 3. Once season 4 comes out and you watch them both together, it will seem much more complete. The people who didn’t enjoy the Dany scene at the end should really rewatch her scenes from the first 2 seasons because it is amazing where she started vs where she is now. Sure, her story is progressing slower than the rest, but I believe that it’s a slow burn that will have a huge payoff in the end.

      • no, talisa’s death was the most brutal because she was pregnant, and they stabbed her in her stomach multiple times and left her to bleed out. it was so graphic and haunting.

        • Mike R. says:

          I think that was the point.

          • M3rc Nate says:

            lol exactly. I dont get how people are saying it was gratuitous…i mean what do you think happened in the times of the dark ages and the ages of Vikings and such? And thats just an example of real world situations let alone this “middle earth” story. She was an enemy, she was pregnant, it was a slaughter, and people for thousands of years on this earth have murdered and slaughtered human beings in all sorts of shameful, disgusting, repulsive ways. Heck read the bible and im sure you will find some killings that were more than just a stab with a sword.

            It would not have been real to the story and the viciousness of them to have them politely murder her quickly by snapping her neck. The Red Wedding was a show as much as it was a slaughter. Notice the Lord watching in entertainment? Notice Rob was left to live to watch as they went for her and her unborn child first? It all has context and sub-context…look deeper than a show on HBO just wanting to show T&A and blood and guts. Sorry if your sensibility cant take watching a story of something that has happened to human beings by human beings since we were created/evolved.

    • Jim Bob says:

      You’re an idiot

      • Shri says:

        Wow – now we are resorting to name calling here !!
        I think the Finale totally sucked for anyone who has read the book. It is also kinda weak with the last scene of Dany and the slaves – it looked too boring…

        • Jdurbs says:

          I’ve read the books and didn’t hate the finale. I had expectations, sure, but I’m not going to whine about what I expected vs. what they did. Don’t lump all book readers together. This is the reason the people who’ve read the books prior to watching the show are coming off as a bunch of pretentious a$$holes online. Not everyone chooses to read the books. Some prefer to watch it unfold visually. It doesn’t make their opinions or their reactions any less relevant because “they don’t know what really happened”.

      • chris says:

        Jim Bob….your comment is same line a old room mate of mine liked to use when we were in college….45 years ago……Made me laugh then, makes me laugh now

  18. Melanie says:

    I had a feeling that the finale would be a let down after last weeks. Only because that’s exactly what happened on the last season of Mad Men- the penultimate episode was way more exciting. But I liked how they were setting up next season, I just wish there was a “wow” moment to tide me over. Daenerys Targaryen was not it.

  19. greysfan says:

    bitterly disappointed

  20. Anon says:

    I think one of the big problems was that the episode felt more like a prologue than an ending…this episode was all plot set ups instead of plot development. Even the most casual TV viewer has been trained to expect more from a finale.

    On top of that, they tried to include everybody….it is just mathematics that the more you have to share the less there is to give. That only leaves time for little bits of nothings for each character instead of a real storyline to follow. In trying to please everyone one, they succeed in pleasing no one.

    They ended with a filler instead of a finale.

    But hey, last episode’s ending was so epic it was reported on the Today show…it could be said they earned their story rest.

    And Peter Dinklage was a rock star as usual.

    • Completely agree with you. GoT’s finales aren’t usually mind-bending, or shocking, but rather a closure episode. I’m used to it, so I didn’t expect much from tonight. BUT! They could’ve added a few details from the end of book 3 into tonight’s finale to keep fans excited. Tonight just felt like a filler episode. They don’t need to give Sam more time than other main characters. His scenes are really boring, and Bran’s scenes have finally gotten interesting, thank God.

  21. Mike R. says:

    It was good finale, but ti was a cool down episode after last week. There was no way this episode was going to live up to the Rains of Castamere, but that is not to say it wasn’t good. The scenes in Kings Landing were excellent, specifically the one involving Tyrion, who once again proved he is the the best Lannister, but he is still a Lannister, and it will be hard for Sansa to easily forget that his family had a part in the death of Robb and Catelyn. It was cool seeing Bran interact with Sam, and next season they will be beyond the wall, which should be exciting. The scene between Ygritte and Jon, was heartbreaking, but he is a man of the Nights Watch, so they could never be together. Seeing poor Arya change before our eyes is especially hard to watch, it is hard to believe how much she has changes since the pilot, and she is planning to head to Braavos, which should be awesome.Jaime is in Kings Landing sooner than expected, but it shouldn’t change to much, and I doubt Brienne’s story will change much either. The biggest fault with the finale was that it didn’t have a great shocking ending, but maybe that is for the best, since we have a long wait until season 4. It was a good finale, mostly because it set up for season 4, but it was never going to live up to episode 9. All things considered still the best season so far.

  22. kate says:

    tired of the whining. they ended only half way through book 3 and set up next season (the second half of book 3). but I guess knowing this makes me elitist and whatever else. btw, all their season finales have been table setters, and the ninth episode usually serves as the epic blowout, super emotionally draining episode.

    • Dcfc3eb says:

      Lol I definitely feel like I’m whining. Trying to find the middle ground between book and tv series was difficult tonight. Thought it should have ended with a revea/cliffhanger but I probably should just roll with it.

      • ajintexas says:

        Why would they end with the reveal you keep suggesting? That’s the end of book 3. Stop complaining, they will get there at the end of next season. They can’t just take the end of book 3 and mash it onto the end of the ifrst half then jump back and tell the story of the second half of book 3 next season. There would be no suitable ending.

  23. M says:

    All of the season finales have been letdowns compared to the ninth episode. The ninth episode has always been the big, epic, episode, and the 10th is what sets the next season in motion.

  24. Dcfc3eb says:

    WhereTF was Lady S? Missed an excellent opportunity to build off of last weeks Red Wedding momentum and end with the mother of all cliffhangers. Didn’t we already end an episode this season with Danearys as “the liberator?” I yawned, then gasped in disbelief when the credits rolled. The season could not have possibly ended there….oh but it did. Maybe knowing key plot points of the books is my problem but I just didn’t see this season finale ending any other way. To make that specific reveal would have been equally WTF to both readers and non and the only payoff to last weeks Red Wedding. Missed opportunity GOT! Jmho….

  25. onlyakb says:

    Zzzzzzzzzz but okay Daenerys, Arya and Jon parts + Sam returning to the Wall were interesting , the rest ,well was the rest =s

  26. Bianca says:

    Last week’s episode was definitely better. RIP Robb and Catelyn Stark. I was disappointed in the finale. There was so much going on and it seemed they were scrambling to somewhat wrap things up and build plots for next season. A certain event that happens near the end of the book got cut and I am not happy about it. I really hope it makes it into next season because I was looking forward to seeing it on screen.

  27. rowan77 says:

    After last week, this was a real letdown for the most part. They should have ended the season with the Red Wedding if this was all they had to follow. Big snore except for Arya, Jon (and Sam) getting home and Tywin making the King take a nap because he’s cranky. The wasted so much short-handing what could have been great emotional scenes. Boo! Very disappointed in a show that normally kicks butt.

  28. Leah says:

    I haven’t seen this season yet, but I have read the books. Is it just me or did they really switch the order of stuff up this year?

  29. Jess says:

    Can someone please explain to me why, in a storyline about Sansa finding out about her family’s death, we never actually see Sansa finding out about her family’s death? All we got was a two second shot of her face by the window.

    • Mike R. says:

      The TV shows preference to Tyrion. Tyrion is toned down in the show, if they portrayed him more like in the books, he would not be everyones favorite characters. I agree it was disappointing. He is still the best Lannister, but that is not saying much.

      • chez rose says:

        your wrong, everyone I know who’s read the books thinks tyrion is one of the best characters in the both the show and books

        • Mike R. says:

          Perhaps, but he is toned down significantly for the show, to seem more noble.

          • kate says:

            I think that may only actually be because in the books you see his thoughts. I haven’t noticed any huge leap between show Tyrion and book Tyrion, except that book Tyrion THINKS a lot of mean/nasty/terrible/whatever things that he doesn’t say out loud.

        • Robin says:

          Agreed!

    • dani n. says:

      Had the sort of same response. For me though while reading the books Sands was one of the least interesting characters.

    • we never saw robb and cat discover her marriage either which angers me.

      • l says:

        I don’t think they found out in the books either… It’s not like they have internet or tv back then… news doesn’t travel as fast between different parts of the kingdom.

  30. GingerShehan says:

    I was very disappointed in the finale. I felt let down. Friends who have read the books got me so excited thinking something really big would happen but it did not. March is such a long time away but it is well worth the wait thinking that big event will happen then.

    • chez rose says:

      I have read all the books and I too was expecting Joffrey’s wedding this week to end the show, it will be amazing and would have been a great place to end the series, they should of had a two hour finale with this ep and then the wedding. but Jamie doesnt make it back till after Joff’s wedding, which annoyed me immensely……. another thing is Gendry, a bastard son of Robert was sacrificed by the red witch but Gendry had nothing to do with this storyline he stayed with the brotherhood

      • l says:

        They combined Gendry with the other bastard character from the books, probably so they wouldn’t have to add another character for the show…. Jamie making it back before the wedding surprised me too because it messes up Brianne’s story… she shouldn’t show up in King’s Landing till after Sansa has left..not sure how they will avoid having them see each other next season.

        • A.J. says:

          I’m more concerned about what happens when Brienne met Cersei more than anything else. Jaime didn’t seem aware of the fact he’s torn between the two of them.

  31. dani n. says:

    I knew there was no way the finale was going to top last weeks show. It’s ok. Emotionally. And I have read the books so I don’t have the added tension of not knowing what comes next. I do look forward to seeing how they realize the books.

  32. Bob says:

    People need to start realizing, I mean, it’s already the third season, that the season finales are typically to wrap things up briefly to open up new things while the penultimate episode (Baelor, Blackwater, Rains of Castamere) are the “epic” episodes.

    All the more reason to look forward to next season.

  33. Ligaya says:

    Haven’t read the books, won’t until series is over. Thanks for Great recaps – GOT gathers up some loose threads & teases Season 4. But the Dany end? Corny, disappointing, distasteful at the least or racist at the most. Really, producers – this is how you bring more diversity to GOT? Blonde woman is savior to brown/black masses calling her “Mother” & lifting her to the sky? UGH.

  34. Jase says:

    SPOILERS DON’T READ FURTHER IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOKS OR (like me) DONE A WIKI SEARCH

    OK so are they NOT bringing Catelyn Stark back to life? After season one ended with dragons hatching and season two ended with White Walkers marching, I was SO SURE they’d end season three on another supernatural note with Catelyn’s eyes opening before they fade to black or something.

    • Mike R. says:

      In the books it doesn’t happen until the end of the third book, and we are only half way there, odds are it will happen end of next season.

    • ajintexas says:

      Don’t post such assholish spoilers. I don’t care if you tagged it or not, people will see that. You should know better since that’s the END of book 3 and this season only went to the MIDDLE of book 3. What a jerkoff.

      • RyanC says:

        Wow, you must be like so super smart. Not at all like a petulant little child. Nope. Spoiling the entire book series so far for anybody reading a tv recap of the latest episode is definitely the mature thing to do. Well done you.

        • kelsey says:

          ditto

          • kelsey says:

            My ‘ditto’ was a response to a response to an inappropriate spoiler. So thank you to the staff for deleting the spoiler, tho the ditto makes no sense now. lol

            I enjoyed the finale. I needed a break from disaster drama after the RW episode. I still need time to process that, and this episode allowed me to do just that. This had some good character moments. The best were the scenes with Tywin and Joffrey and Tyrion; wonderful cast. The end was uplifting, which I like in a finale; and the women seem to be gaining strength with the seasons. Although I’m trying not to get too attached to anyone, I’m rooting for Arya, and hoping nothing bad happens to her anytime soon. The unlikely pairings in GoT really make for some great scene partners, especially Arya and the Hound, Jaime and Brienne, and now Tyrion and Sansa.
            Looking forward to next season!

      • kate says:

        BUTTHURT ALERT!

      • tripoli says:

        I hate spoiler posts as much as anyone but if someone is considerate enough to boldly point out that their comment includes a spoiler, they’re hardly being an ass. It’s pretty easy to quickly scroll past a comment like that and avoid the spoiler. I’ve managed to do it, so can you.

  35. bj says:

    Pissed off they left out a MAJOR plot scenario and decided to keep it till season 4. Readers of the series know what I’m talking about!

  36. Jules says:

    First of all, I want to thank all the book readers for holding back on the spoilers, very much appreciated by those of us who haven’t read the books!!!
    On the part of the finale, yes it was a bit slow, though I did enjoy some scenes very much. I just wish they would have had some little cliffhanger-y ending. I understand that the episode sets up a lot of plotlines for next season which came in the second half of the book, but still, it felt more like a beginning than an ending, (even if it was just so to speak the middle-ending) so I wish they would have put something in there that would have kept me a bit more on the edge of my seat rather than ending with “okay, so Dany rescues another city.”

  37. Crissy says:

    Have to agree that the final scene was a bit boring and a tad over the top since we get it, she’s the liberator. She is awesome and everybody loves her, no need to press that point anymore. The Lannister scenes are always the best and I am now hopeful that Sansa and Tyrion work out. I haven’t read the books so I’m not sure if that’s the direction they are pointing us. So Cersie is looking lovingly in her box of memories (I halfway expected a flashback of a romantic beach scene) and her lost great love/brother walks in and she just looks at him? She looks disappointed and he looks like he if he’s saying, “I lost my hand, am no longer a great warrior and will understand if you don’t love me anymore”! No great embrace? Sure he looks smelly but it seems like there would be a lot of ripeness kicking all around that place. That scene was definitely lacking.

    Also lacking was the Arya scene. She is changing for sure and despite the fact that the changes have been prompted by tragedy, they aren’t all bad. She is tough and was bound to kill being that she has been traveling with ruffians and swordsman (she did kill that boy before and she specified “man” this time). Will she realize that the big guy is not all bad and will help and protect her like he was going to do for her sister? Where are they going now? Arya is great and I am always left wanting more of her scenes, especially in this case.

    Too much time on Theon! Prideful as he may be, he was a traitor to the Starks and a weeny to his butthead dad. Sad that his family turned their back on him but watching him get tortured by that creep is ugh. The c*@% in the box was gross but hearing the Greyjoys get a threatening letter was cool. That ugly old man will get what’s coming in addition to his badass daughter defying him to his face! Booyah!!

    Jon Snow leaving Ygrette behind was sad but I didn’t feel the ache I’ve felt in so many of the other relationship scenes and they were super hot in the beginning. Her shooting him was definitely moving but he could have taken her with him so he deserved it. Plus, he already broke the Knight’s Watch code by getting busy with her so if he really loves her, why not just do what he just told her he was going to do and keep her 6? If she wanted to kill him she would have so he hasn’t seen the last of her.

    Sam is turning out to be a much bigger part of the plot than I expected. The relationship with the girl is so confusing though. Do they like each other romantically or is she really so dumb she thinks he’s a wizard? Is the baby important? Why was there a face on the tree in last weeks episode? Also, a huge peeve was that last week they obviously showed him dropping the dragon glass knife and running, but surprise…he has it this week. This show seems to pay so much attention to some details and not any to others. Like the damn Red Woman! How come she KNOWS he is the “one true king” but didn’t know that the real war was beyond the wall until now. Did she just get that alert from the Lord of Light when she put the scroll in the fire and made creepy eyes at it? If the hand of the king is so important, why has she been campaigning to get rid of him only to give him a stay of execution right when she gets what she wants? Who does she really want to be king? Is she loyal or is she just yanking his chain too?

    Overall I wasn’t disappointed in the finale, especially because of the massive plot twist last week. They touched on most if the characters current plights but after reading viewer comments I feel a little more frustrated. Obviously another major change is coming so why not give a hint of it now? I guess the real frustration is how long a break there is in between seasons. My vote is that the 1st and last episodes be 2 hrs long and we get a minimum 12 episodes! They seem to have plenty of great content!!

    • Cynthia says:

      A) Cersei is a bitch, so no surprise
      B) you’re wrong about the Hound
      C) Can’t take a Wilding to the Nigh Watch, they’re like cats and dogs

    • No Slave says:

      Finale was okay, not as bad or disappointing as some are saying it is.

      That scene with Jaime and Cersei, yeah…. Jaime’s expression was great but they cut off the scene too quickly imo. (P.S. It went down VERY differently in the book).

      And gosh, Arya’s scene. That also went down differently in the book, and in this case, it was much better in the book. She was absolutely vicious then and totally brought out her character more.

      Okay, so that Theon part, I actually sort of forgot what Ramsey Snow did to him last ep. but then when he was eating that sausage and said those things, I thought grosssss. Personally, the Theon-Ramsey story is actually pretty useful. It introduces us to Ramsey and I think the actor is doing a bang-up job at being Mr. Cruel.

      Did not like that Greyjoy father and daughter scene, especially when said sister declares she’s going to save her bro. Totally out of character for her.

      Ygritte is a wildling to heart. She’s not going to go with Jon Snow to Castle Black and live there with a bunch of crows for anything. I was actually really surprised when she shot him.

      Melissandre, Davos, and Stannis… that scene was just badly played out. It’s a major plot advancement but poorly done.

      And then the Khaleesi scene at the very end. Was not impressed. It lacked everything it was trying to achieve: grandeur, epicness, and victory. Only her dialogue in Valyrian was sort of touching. The rest was just bleh. (Did anyone notice Daario Naharis standing at the side with that grin?)

  38. Auntie Ralph says:

    I suppose the idea of homecomings and characters reuniting was more important than that one final ‘umph’, especially since there isn’t really one I can think of to draw upon from the source material. I mean it set up next season fine, just lacked that little bit of extra spark. Still at this point we should know what to get excited about given how the characters have fleshed out and such.

  39. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Lollapalooza! Haha, that’s great, I thought the exact same thing about her crowd surfing and had a good snort laugh over it. They needed to film that differently.
    .
    I liked the episode, but I’m still anxiously awaiting Jaime and Brienne to hook up. There is a very funny parody on youtube that’s made to look like a rom-com trailer of a Jamie/Brienne romance. Jaime loves Cersei…Brienne loves Renly…Renly loves Loras…I can’t not see that parody in my head every time those two are on screen.
    .
    So no Marjory for the finale, huh? Bummer.

  40. bobbie says:

    I suppose that all the complainers feel a letdown after the big shock of last week’s episode, because some very exciting things happened in this episode! Jon Snow being shot by Ygritte, for one, Tyrion and Tywin shutting down Joffrey, Shae turning down a chance to leave and start a new life, Jaime Lannister returning home to his sister.
    I never get enough of Daenerys, Tyrion, or The Hound.

    and, um “standard stump speech”? :P

  41. ajintexas says:

    Man what a bunch of whiners. No one cares if you didn’t like it. There is still a large portion of book 3 to be covered in season 4. Get your panties untwisted.

    • lisa says:

      You’re all over this forum crying about how its only half of book 3 wah wah wah you must still like the finale no matter what!! Wahh hahaha you seem more twisted in your “panties” than anyone that was disappointed in the finale.

  42. Pauli says:

    Nonbook reader here. I would say that the finale was good but not great. I thought the first half was better than the second half. I loved everything at King’s Landing and every scene with Tyrion the most, and those character moments with the Lannisters really lifted the episode as a whole. I would have liked a little more Jamie though! After not being in the last 2 episodes he only gets about 2 minutes of screen time? I am excited to see how he fits back into fold of King’s Landing next season though. My least favorite part was all the Davos/Stannis/Melisandra scenes. Maybe it’s just me, but the Stannis plot, particarly the Davos scenes, always bore me. I’m just not invested that much in him as a character. I know his actions and interactions with Stannis did a lot to drive the plot forward, but I found myself wishing we could be with any other character during those scenes, and it felt like there were a lot of them.

    I think after last weeks episode anything was going to feel slightly underwhelming in comparison, but like others have said, we needed an episode that was a little quieter.

    • No Slave says:

      Yeah, even in the book when the author focuses on some characters that I’m not really all that interested in, I’m just itching to skip their story and rush to my favourites. But then again, everyone seems to be important in some way.

      I think Davos/Stannis/Melissandre scenes aren’t quite as bad as the Sam/Gilly scenes. Those are just dull compared to some of the others.

  43. Beth says:

    Theon’s sister is listed as Asha in the recap above but her name in the series is Yara – for those who haven’t read the books are wondering who Asha is.

    • Kimberly Roots says:

      Amended! — KR

    • l says:

      I wonder where they are going with her on the show… she was not in the 3rd book at all… and certainly never went off in search of her brother… so this could be a big departure from the books…

  44. Bob says:

    They should have ended the season with last week’s bloodbath. Keep everyone talking until next season.

  45. SDLM says:

    I liked it. It wasn’t the high tension, big kaboom moment of the previous episode or what so many have come to expect of a finale. It did, however, tidy up some loose ends and open a few new ones so we have something to wait on for a year. Personally I would have been disappointed if last week’s epi was the finale. that was just too big and too singular focused. I am a bood reader, but I’m currently behind the series. I’m only part way through Book 2 at the moment. The thing that strikes me is that the book bounces from PoV to PoV. You go about 10-12 pages with a particular focus and then boom, it moves on to the next. You are getting bits and pieces of a character’s storyline and just when you get caught up in the unwrapping of that nugget you’re pulled into another thread. Last night’s show, as with much of the season, is just like that. The entire series (book and television) is about the game itself. The actual game is the main character and all these people we come attached to are merely pawns in moving the main foward.

    • l says:

      Yea, wait till you get to books 4-5 and they have a multitude of more characters to follow… it can get confusing as some characters sit out entire books… Not sure how they will handle this on the show.

  46. kelsey says:

    I liked it. And apparently a good set up for next season. TBH after last week I needed a break from the dramatic reveals. Lovin’ Arya even more, and even Tywin is about to win me over (in a different way). Loved his scenes with Joffrey and then with Tyrion.
    It will be a long wait, but I’m definitely looking forward to next season.

  47. Melinda says:

    I don’t understand how anyone thought that this finale would be action packed full of death. That was last episode. What else did you expect them to do after that? This finale was what everyone needed after that extremely gruesome episode.

    • Melinda says:

      And if the season finale was the red wedding, that would have just been cruel to make us wait a year to see what happened next.

  48. Tinemi says:

    I liked the ending, mostly because after last week’s murder-palooza I needed something less grim. It also left me wanting the next season to come as soon as posible. Like, next week.

  49. Cynthia says:

    Let ‘s just be greatful this show exist , especially in the wake of “the Borgias” ‘s cancellation (a little off topic but there were similarities) so thaks HBO and screw you Showtime!