Buzzing About… GAME OF THRONES

Miss last night’s episode? Here’s what you need to know about GAME OF THRONES’ “Valar Morghulis”

AIRDATE: 6/3/12 WRITERS: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss DIRECTOR: Alan Taylor SYNOPSIS: As Stannis Baratheon does his best to come to grips with his not-so-successful siege, the denizens of King’s Landing celebrate the outcome of the Battle of Blackwater. Joffrey rewards grandfather Tywin with a new title (Hand of the King), Littlefinger with a fancy new piece of real estate (Castle Harrenhal), and himself with a new Queen (Renly’s former bride-to-be Margaery). In other Lannister news, Shae helps Tyrion come to grips with losing power and gaining a bad ass scar (“I’m a monster as well as a dwarf, you should charge me double.”) while Jaime’s seemingly never ending trek to King’s Landing continues. Also on the move, Bran and Rickon return to a burned down Winterfell, Jon Snow gets his first look at the Wildling camp, while Dany — with the help of her little dragon friends — finally secures the means necessary to buy herself and what remains of her loyal Dothraki horde a [small] ship to cross the Narrow Sea. INTRODUCED: Zombies! Or in the parlance of George R.R. Martin’s world of Westeros, White Walkers. Freaky, murderous, blue-eyed killers who have the honor of closing out GAME OF THRONES’ second season by leaving audiences with the distinct impression that the war for Westeros has just begun. NOTABLE QUOTABLE: “This war will last for years, thousands will die at your command, you will betray the men serving you, you will betray your family, you will betray everything you once held dear,” was Melisandre’s response to a none-too-pleased Stannis Baratheon who starts to question whether or not killing his brother and starting a war based on the visions of one woman was really his best ideas. Well d’uh! LESSON LEARNED: More bad news for Sansa. Despite King Joffrey’s intention to marry Margaery (who according to brother Ser Loras Tyrell “remains innocent” following a brief marriage to Renly), Littlefinger is quick to remind Sansa that “Joffrey isn’t the sort of boy who gives away his toys.” CRITIQUE: Much in the same manner in which last year’s first season finale failed to live up to the — for lack of a better word — awesomeness that was its penultimate episode, “Valar Morghulis” ended on a somewhat of an underwhelming note. And while last night’s second season finale certainly deserves credit for delivering its fair share of spine-tingling moments — including but not limited to Daenerys’ reunion with her delightful dragons, the tragic death of Winterfell’s Maester Luwin and the unexpected manner in which Jaqen H’ghar revealed his true nature to Arya — it also has the dubious distinction of being one of the few episodes that felt as though it punished the portion of the audience for not being familiar with the source material. From what exactly went down between Robb Stark’s bannerman and Theon Greyjoy’s men that left Wintefell burning to why Qhorin Halfhand attacked Jon Snow, this non-book reader can’t help but feel as though writers co-creators Benioff and Weiss rushed this finale in an effort to check off a handful of events that must have been touched upon prior to the start of next season. GRADE: B-

GAME OF THRONES airs Sundays at 9PM on HBO (HBO Canada) Catch up on past episodes you may have missed for free online at

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  • To be fair, the books keep what happened to Winterfell sort of under wraps for a short while too. All we know now is that there were two forces, and one of them set fire to Winterfell.

    As for Qhorin, in episode 8 (and in the Previously… segment), he talked about how having a man on the inside of Mance Rayder’s camp would be worth a lot. Now, all the wildlings know Qhorin by reputation, and they would never believe him if he said he wanted to suddenly join them. A rookie crow (Jon) wanting to join the wildlings was relatively more believable. And the fact that Jon didn’t kill Ygritte will help him too. But to be truly seen as forsaking the Night’s Watch, Qhorin thought the best way would be for Jon to kill him, as nobody could doubt that gesture (the wildling leader immediately cuts the ropes binding Jon). Qhorin was going to die anyway (when they first encountered Ygritte, she tells them that if they ever captured Qhorin, they would never let him live).

  • Thanks for the insight. One I can trouble you for one more insight, without spoiling of course, can you please just assure me that I will one day be interested in any story involving Jon Snow. North of the Wall is quite honestly this show’s only weak link.

  • Yeah his story definitely becomes much much more interesting in the third book. They’re splitting the book into two seasons, so I’m not sure how much they’ll keep or cut out, but it will still be more interesting than what we’ve seen so far.

  • Liz

    I can only speak for myself, but starting in the third book, Jon and the Wall was one of the stories I was the most interested in.  So I hope you won’t be disappointed. 

  • Okay, should also mention about the White Walker stuff at the end.

    There were two things there. One, the White Walkers (also called the Others). These are a completely different race, not humans, not zombies. These were the two guys sitting on the zombie horses.They control the second type, known as wights (zombies) who are reanimated dead. These were the ones walking like…well zombies.So in the end, we saw two white walkers, with a small army of wights.