Game of Thrones has ended for another year and as usual has left us all reeling in its aftermath. The finale was promised to be the best one yet and fair to say it lived up to expectation, it's even the episode showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have chosen out of the whole series to submit to the writing category of the Emmy Awards.
So have you recovered from it yet? As we've said before, this season went against the typical GOT format by having the major events of the season happen in the final episode as opposed to the penultimate one. It was also the longest episode yet coming in at about 66 minutes, and what a 66 minutes it was!
First up, we had Jon Snow heading off beyond the wall on a mission to find Mance Rayder, which wasn't altogether too difficult as it turned out. Two minutes after he said goodbye to Sam he was sitting in Mance's tent toasting Ygritte. It was difficult to imagine any good outcome to this meeting until suddenly the Wildlings entire camp was under attack by a gigantic army on horseback. Who, pray tell, was this? And sure lo and behold, it was Stannis and his trustee sidekick Ser Davos.
There's always a certain kick to be had when story lines cross over and characters meet in GOT, so Jon Snow coming face to face with Stannis, a man his father had fought for, was indeed a significant moment. We also got a reminder of how much of Ned Stark lives on in his son as Stannis asked him what he thought his father would do with Mance, full of honour this lot.
We then had the heartbreaking moment where Jon took Ygritte's body for her own funeral beyond the wall. We were wondering if there would be any acknowledgement from Snow of that pivotal moment in episode nine when she died in his arms (he does have a lot going on in fairness). But between that scene where he broke down in tears and his conversation with Tormund, it was clear that these two were one of the few truly real love stories in the series. But eh... while we're on the subject of Jon Snow, what was with that look he had with the red priestess over the fire at Castle Black? He certainly has a type wha'? It was an odd fleeting enough moment really, but there's summin' brewin' there!
There was more tears later on in the episode too as Daenerys had her own private moment of struggle when she was faced with the reality that one of her dragons had killed a three year old child. Realising these 'pets' were becoming a bit of a liability she knew there was only one thing to do, and brought them down to the catacombs. For a woman who fights so hard for freedom, it must have killed her to lock up her beloved dragons. Still though, they were killing the childers, to be fair.
One of the best partnerships of the show also came to an end in this finale with what was one of the best duels of the show (we haven't forgotten you Oberyn) as The Hound finally met his match in Brienne of Tarth. As much as we loved both these characters, it was only going to end one way, and we're glad it was Brienne who lived to fight another day. And what about the Arya leaving him to die a painful death on the mountain? She clearly never was going to let that butcher boy incident go.
The episode was named The Children so it wouldn't be right if we didn't mention the bizarre scenes with Bran and his mates at the tree. Dead folk coming after them, children who are hundreds of years old, and an aul fella who's been watching them all their whole lives.... where in the hell is this storyline going? It's definitely the most supernatural one on the show, sure your man even said Bran will fly... usually we would take this as a metaphor of some kind, but with this storyline, nothing would surprise you.
The biggest moment of the finale though was left to the very end as big bro Jaime released Tyrion from his cell to escape on a ship to a foreign land. Although,Tyrion couldn't quite bring himself to leave without a bit of closure from his father who wanted him dead so badly. He found himself in the King's Hands chamber, only to see his beloved Shae lying in his father's bed calling HIM her lion. Tywin's not your lion, Shae!
The moment proved too much for Tyrion to bear and after a struggle he ended up strangling her in the bed, bit harsh like, but this is Game of Thrones we are dealing with. It wasn't to end there though as Tyrion spots Joffrey's infamous crossbow on the wall and heads off to find Tywin. He stumbles across him sitting on the throne, and NOT the iron one, and aims the crossbow at this chest, with an almost disturbing calmness. In a last-ditch effort to get his son on side, Tywin told him he would never have had him executed, but the usual chatty Tyrion was long over talking, and sunk two arrows in his chest leaving him for dead.
Varys was then on hand to help Tyrion escape on the ship, however the accidental funniest moment of the episode came as Varys was walking away from the ship, heard the alarm bells from the castle, and turned on his heels to board. Time to get the f*ck out of dodge!
The last moments of the finale rather aptly went to a lone Arya Stark, as she sailed away from the land that had caused her so much pain and into a new world of adventure. The triumphant music belting over this scene pretty much made you want to give the whole thing a standing ovation at the end, as the credits rolled on yet another awesome series of Game of Thrones.