Yes, I was still recovering from the Red Wedding. Luckily, "GOT" kills one storyline, and there are about 50 others to choose from in this complicated, wonderful, confusing, heart breaking show we love. (And hate. And love to hate.)
Somehow, after an episode with one of the bloodiest, most gruesome, and of course widely discussed television scenes I can remember, "Game of Thrones" ended its season with something completely unexpected: Hope.
Let's start with Tyrion Lannister. Last week's massacre made me momentarily forget about his impeccable one-liners. Examples: When he asks a smiling Joffrey, "Killed puppies today?" Or, "It's not easy being drunk all the time." This Lannister is also one of the most insightful: "Every time we deal with an enemy, we create two more.” It's astounding how one character can provide both comic relief and be a source of wisdom and morality. Now let's just hope his gal pal stays alive. (No, "GOT" readers, I have not read the books.)
Theon Greyjoy is, yes, horrible for his betrayal toward his pretend family, the Starks, but those torture scenes were unbearable to watch. Finally, we learn the identity of the torturer: It only makes sense that the evil Roose Bolton, who betrayed Robb Stark and was instrumental in the Red Wedding mayhem, is the father of Ramsay, the crazy-eyed dude who has been menacingly punishing the Greyjoy boy.
When Theon's father Balon Greyjoy learns of his son's captivity and his miserable state, he turns away, not needing a son who can't produce an heir. It's his daughter, Yara Greyjoy, who says she will disobey her father and sail to free her brother, because, after all, He is a Greyjoy. Funny how the same notion of family coming from Tywin Lannister results in sinful acts (again, Red Wedding).
I loved seeing Yara Greyjoy take control, and similarly enjoyed Arya enact a little bit of vengeance for the death of her family. More than that, it was fantastic to see The Hound take her side, making the duo a potential pairing for a fantastic spinoff (kidding). What makes this show so enjoyable is watching "bad" characters turn "good," and seeing unexpected friendships form.
Which brings me to Jaime Lannister. His character development has been one of the best story lines to watch this season, and I cannot wait to see the inevitble Cersei and Brienne face-off. Who knows, maybe they'll be friends! (...Don't see that happening.)
Of course, the episode had to end with the magnificent Khaleesi showing her kindhearted nature to even more newly freed civilians. She tells them, "Your freedom is not mine to give. It belongs to you and you alone." Remember when her brother used to be really mean to her and bully her around? Yeah, well now she's the mother (mhysa) of dragons. And thousands of other people.
Jon Snow. Brutal. Is he dead? Ygritte, how could you?! Well, I guess she had to. Like he had to leave her. Love stories don't really have happy endings on this show.
Arya, Yara, Khaleesi. Pretty awesome seeing powerful women on this show.
The living Stark boys. Please don't die.
Hodor. Had to mention that giggle when Sam said he had heard of him from John.
Daddy issues. Tyrion, you're not alone. A large amount of other characters on this show are dealing with them as well. (Theon, Jon, Gendry).
I'm glad they didn't end the season with the Red Wedding. Like the season 2 finale, it gave us much to look forward to (and so much to dread). There is a lot I haven't covered here, so I give this over to you. Watchers, what were some of your favorite moments? What are your predictions? "GOT" readers, don't tell us what happens, but please do tell us your thoughts on how the story is unfolding on screen.
About Viewer Discretion
ContributorsMatthew Gilbert is the Globe's TV critic.
Sarah Rodman is a staff TV and music critic for the Boston Globe.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.