Friends, I am sorry to tell you this, but Game of Thrones has done it again. It finally felt like the season is picking up, but then this episode showed up to remind us that even with only 10 episodes a season, Game of Thrones doesn’t feel particularly rushed to move the story forward.
“Hardhome” felt mostly like a follow-up on what happened in the last episode or like a really long “previously” segment for the next episode, but not really like a full episode on its own. With such short seasons I would really like to be able to enjoy and savor every single episode, but that’s definitely not the case this season.
That being said, it was pretty pleasing to see Tyrion and Daenerys interact, and I’m definitely happy that she decided not to kill him. Khaleesi’s story is always so dramatic and all the people in Mereen take themselves very seriously, so Tyrion and his humor will make a great addition. When he told Dany that he’s pretty sure that Jorah is in love with her I laughed out loud. Always saying it like it is. Jorah, on the other hand, is just pretty pathetic. It’s time to move on, boy.
Speaking of pathetic, Cersi is still locked up in the High Sparrow’s creepy dungeon, and it doesn’t look like she’s doing too well. She’s being withheld water because she’s refusing to confess, and the only person who visits her is the creepy Qyburn. Her son, the King, is hiding in his room and is being completely useless, and Qyburn seems to think that Cersi’s only option is to confess. I would like to see that happen. But I would also like to see Tommen step up already and march in there with his army. What is wrong with this kid? Your mom is in prison! And your wife! Gosh.
In other not-so-exciting news, Arya’s back. I didn’t particularly missed this storyline. Sorry, Arya. Ja’qen is preparing her to take on a different persona and eventually go on a mission to poison some guy. I guess it’s exciting? Can’t she just go kill Cersi instead? And most importantly: what is the point of all of this? Who knows. We’ll just have to put up with it for a while.
Sansa confronts Reek/Theon about why he told Ramsay that she asked for help. She’s pretty intense and I like it. We also didn’t have to see her and Ramsay together, I really don’t think we could have taken it anymore. Anyway, Theon finally tells her that he didn’t actually kill her two young brothers, Bran and Rickon. We don’t know yet what this discovery will do to Sansa, but I hope it will give her the strength she needs to take over Winterfell already.
Also in Winterfell, the Boltons are preparing for Stannis’ attack. Daddy Bolton wants to exhaust Stannis’ army by hiding inside the walls of Winterfell for months, while little Ramsay obviously prefers to surprise and attack him. Hopefully they will go with Ramsay’s plan and get a beating from Stannis. Maybe Ramsay will die, if we’re lucky.
In Castle Black, Sam tells Ollie that sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, even if everyone else thinks it’s wrong. I’m pretty sure what Ollie understood from that statement is not that Jon knows what he’s doing, but rather that Ollie himself should take matters into his own hands. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing him trying to kill Jon or maybe the Wildlings’ redhead leader? Classic.
And then the entire second half of the episode is dedicated to Jon Snow’s diplomatic mission to Hardhome. It all goes relatively well until the army of the dead attacks. Fighting and action ensues. Too much of it. We finally meet an awesome female Wildling leader named Karsi, so of course she dies by the end of the episode.
Anyway, blah blah blah, White Walkers, scary zombie kids, violence, you know the drill. The big discovery at the end of the episode is that Jon’s sword, which is made of Valyrian steel, can kill White Walkers. That’s good news. Hopefully this will help the Crows and the Wildlings in their fight, because right now it doesn’t look too promising for them. I know a lot of people really liked this episode and the whole fight thing, but I just didn’t find it that exciting. It actually makes a lot of sense to me that Valyrian steel can kill White Walkers, because they’re all about dragons and such. I think I just need a little more intrigue and cleverness and a little less killing skeletons with swords.
Overall, I wouldn’t say this was a great episode. There are only two more episodes left in this season and they better give us something more than seeing Jon Snow being brave and handsome. We need some resolutions. We need some drama. We need Sansa to kill Ramsay already before I lose it. We can’t have an entire season that feels like it’s just setting the stage for the next one. Game of Thrones is a lot of things, but I never thought it would be boring. I guess it really can happen to anyone!