Game of Thrones: Hardhome Review

Night of the living White Walkers

Holy hell this episode was insane! It makes you wonder what all this scheming and planning really means.  When it comes down to an army of death and Ice ready to destroy all that’s good in the world, who can stop it? Fire? Dragons? We probably won’t find out for a while. Don’t read ahead for this post is dark and full of spoilers.

In Meereen, Queen Daenerys is trying to decide what to do with her two prisoners, Jorah and Tyrion. She seems intrigued by the Imp and he seems to be equally intrigued by her, trying to figure out why he should serve her. Daenerys herself is unsure why she should let the Imp live, but he proves himself worthy as he talks. He tells her that she needs an adviser who knows the lands she wants to rule, if only he finds her worthy of them. Daenerys, knowing she has no alternatives and could simply kill him if he displeases her, agrees and gives him his first task: disposing of Jorah. Tyrion tries his hardest to reason with Dany to tell her that Jorah is not the same man he was when he was spying on her, that he is a man who is totally devoted to her and to her cause and would die to help achieve said cause. He even goes so far to tell her that Jorah is in love with her. Heartbroken, she asks if she should have Sir Jorah killed, and Tyrion tells her killing someone devoted to her would not look right, but she must not have him with her when she crosses the Narrow Sea. This makes me wonder whether or not Tyrion knows that Jorah is infected by Grayscale. If that’s the case then Jorah will become a danger to all those around him. Daenerys once again has Mormont removed from the city and It doesn’t take long for the heartbroken Jorah to find the slaver who bought him. If he can’t be with Daenerys then he will die for her, he tells the slaver that he will fight in the Great Games.

A small amount of time has passed and Daenerys asks Tyrion if he finds her worthy enough to rule Westeros. He talks about how they are two terrible children from two terrible fathers. He then goes on to tell her that Varys was right about Daenerys that she is worth it and also hints that Varys was probably the reason she wasn’t killed in her crib. Dany decides then and there that she will not have Tyrion killed but he will be her adviser to get the Iron Throne. He tries to persuade her to stay in Meereen where she is doing the most good. He probably thinks that Westeros can’t be saved by her or that she may perish if she tries. He tells that her having the common people backing her is not enough if she wants the Iron Throne, and the Great houses, or whats remaining of them, will not support her. She tells him that she will not stop the wheel of the great houses but crush them which makes me wonder: How will she do such a feat?

In King’s Landing, Cersei is exactly where she should have been four seasons ago, dirty, weak, and alone. The only visitor Cersei gets is Qyburn, the maester who practices dark medicine. He tells her of her charges and she asks about her son who has not come to see her and stays in his room. He also tells her that Maester Pycelle has asked her uncle Kevan Lannister to come back to the capital to be Hand of King. In her cell she asked to confess, but, being a Lannister, she is too proud and is reduced to drinking water off the ground.

In Braavos, Arya is learning the way of the many faced god as she has created a new alias for herself: Lana. Arya or Lana is an oyster seller at the docks. Jaqen tasks Arya with going to the harbor to sell her oysters and to keep watch on the goings-on there. While there, she sells oysters to an old man, and the old man is then approached by another gentleman who begs him to take his money for the sake of his children, the old man shakes his head and has the other man carried away. The old man is a gambler who bets money on the voyage of ships and whether he wins or looses he doesn’t pay up, making him a bad man. Jaqen asks her who is supposed to help the poor people? To whom do they turn when things go wrong? They turn to the Many Faced God. Jaqen tells her to watch the old gambling man at the harbor and learn as much about him as possible and when she is done she is to poison him.  Sooo the House of Black and White is an assassin for hire group?

In Winterfell, Sansa interrogates Theon about why he did the things he did, while yelling at him enraged, she finds out that Theon did not kill Bran and Rickon but instead killed some farmers boys. Meanwhile, Roose Bolton is trying to concoct a strategy to beat Stannis. The blizzard has completely left Stannis vulnerable and Roose knows that if they remain in Winterfell, Stannis will not beat them. Ramsey disagrees, he believes that waiting for Stannis to die due to cold and starvation is the cowards way and tells Roose that all he needs is 20 good men and he will get rid of Stannis Baratheon.

On the wall, Sam is recovering from his earlier fight and talks with Ollie who is still confused about Jon’s decision to help the Wildlings. Sam says what we all know: They need more people to fight the dead, they can’t do it alone. The White Walkers are after all that is living and sometimes great men have to make hard decisions but that’s the difference between being loved and being respected.

Jon and Tormund make it to Hardhome and are immediately met with opposition from the Lord Bones. This ends fairly quickly once Tormund beats his skull in. Tormund, Jon and the remaining elders of the Wildling families gather in a near by hut to discuss the exodus of the Wildings South of the Wall. Jon tells them about the White Walkers and about how to kill them showing each of them the Dragonglass that they have brought. Most of them are interested and a female Wildling steps up and agrees with what Jon is saying. She knows that they are as good as dead if they stay North of the wall and she agrees that her family and clan will follow Jon and Tormund south. The exodus begins slowly as they start loading their row boats with people, bringing them to the ships that will take them south.

This is where shit hits the fan. The surrounding land gets eerie thunder sound and a small sinking feeling starts creeping over the entire encampment. The White Walkers have come to claim Hardhome. All hell breaks loose as gates close and the living dead come smashing into them. It doesn’t take long for the Wights to overrun the camp, with many people dying in the process. From above the camp there are four horsed riders, White Walker Generals (that’s exactly what they look like. I’m also reminded of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse) watching the carnage from above. Now, Wights aren’t your usual ‘Zombie’ they are smart, fast, cruel and can also wield weapons. Getting devoured by one doesn’t turn you into a White Walker, only the magic they wield does.

Jon knows the key to their survival is getting the Dragonglass, he heads to the hut they were in earlier,to retrieve them but comes faced to face by what I’m calling a Shaman White Walker. He wields a staff of Ice which easily repels attacks , he even was able to put out fires when he walks by. Jon and the Shaman fight and as things start taking a turn for the worse Jon grabs Longclaw and blocks the Shaman’s staff, surprised, Jon then takes Longclaw to the Shaman and kills him in a shower of ice crystals. Jon and the remaining Night’s Watch and Tormund make for the docks while the camp is overrun. (the scene with the Wights jumping off the cliffs and reanimating was a nice touch) The episode ends with Jon and Tormund on a row boat looking back at Hardhome and seeing the King of the White Walkers standing on the docks. The King raises his hands, and to their disbelief, all their fallen comrades rise with new life. Kit Harrington’s face captured exactly what we were all thinking.

This episode was absolutely amazing and I feel like it just gave us a glimpse of what the true battle for Westeros is going to come down to. So here’s my question. How do you battle an army of undead? Dragons? The Lord of Light? Its gotta be something along the lines of fire right? Its amazing how incredibly sad you feel for Westeros and for Jon Snow. I also feel that the only reason why Jon’s sword Longclaw was able to kill the Shaman White Walker was because it was made of Valyrian Steel which was made in Valyria which was the birth place of the Targaryens, who are the blood of the dragon. But wow.. just wow. This episode was amazing and my favorite part was watching the look of horror on Jon’s face. In the books, Jon does end up going to Hardhome but it is after the Wights completely wipe them out. Them adding him to the battle was perfect.

I do have some predictions for the next episode, as we know from the history of the series that the ninth episode is usually the craziest but I’m seriously doubting that they’ll be able to top that one. I think that once Jon goes to the Wall with the survivors that Alliser Thorne will not open the gates to him. I have a feeling the Ollie will help sneak Jon in and doing so a great battle will take place on the wall. I have a feeling that Daenerys is going to be almost assassinated at the Great Games but Jorah will save her and as for Ramsey? I hope Stannis puts a dagger right into his heart.


Final Score:


Two more episodes left! Cheers!

+Cersei suffering

+Tyrion + Daenerys

+Night of the Living White Walkers


Sam Sarvis is The Geekiverse’s resident Game of Thrones expert. Check out her weekly reviews via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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