That’s it, guys. The season flew by.
The episode opens on Jon tromping through the charred remains of the battle. There are dead wildlings strewn about every which way, and happy little crows pecking away at the dead flesh. Gross! As you may remember, Jon is heading to the wildling camp to try to kill Mance Rayder, the leader of the wildlings.
As Jon walks into the wildling camp, he surrenders. I’m more than a little bit surprised that he wasn’t killed on sight. I’m also surprised that he straight up lies to Mance, telling him he was sent to negotiate on behalf of the Night’s Watch.
Jon breaks down the whole story of how he faked being a turncoat because Qhorin Halfhand ordered him to. “I was loyal to my Night’s Watch vows,” he claims. Mance calls bullshit on that one, as everyone knows that Crow was pecking around Ygritte’s nest. Ew, I can’t believe I even just wrote that. Ygritte seems to be as beloved to the wildlings as she is to me, as Jon and Mance spend a few minutes chatting about her fate before they get down to the pretty freakin urgent matters of state. They drink a toast to Ygritte, and to Grenn and the giant king he took down.
Mance claims that the wildlings are here to hide, not to conquer. That seems to be belied by the fact that they employed a huge murderous attack rather than just saying they needed a place to crash, but ok. Mance also states that ‘winter is coming’, which we haven’t heard in awhile. Pardon? I thought winter was already here. What the fuck is winter then if it isn’t endless snow and the raising of ice zombies?
Jon makes a half-hearted attempt to pull out his sword and kill Mance, but he obviously can’t do it without being killed himself. Also, it would be kind of rude to murder Mance right after he offered peace. Before that whole situation is resolved, the war horn is blown, and we see a giant cavalry riding in perfect formation from two sides. Who the eff is that? Also, another battle? I’m burned out on this shit.
We get a few moments of wildlings being slaughtered by armored men on horse back before Mance tells his men to stand down. There’s been enough bloodshed. Really? We couldn’t decide that before Ygritte got killed?
Who’s here to save the day? Its mother fucking Stannis, finally getting to feel like one of the cool kids for probably the first time in his life.
Him, Davos, and some other knights even do a cute little synchronized dismount from their horses.
Nobody seems too concerned that Jon, supposedly a Crow, is just hanging out in the wildling camp. (Again, what’s with the not killing on sight?) He even gets some special props from Stannis for being related to Ned Stark, and Stannis takes Jon’s advice to take Mance prisoner. Mance surrenders, but he won’t kneel.
Our next shot is of a big Night’s Watch funeral. We get some final goodbye shots of the cold dead faces of Pyp and Grenn. There’s no nice crematorium, so all of the dead just get burned in the middle of the yard. I wonder if it smells like barbecue.
Jon then goes to check in on the imprisoned Tormund; he’d like to know if the free folk have any special prayers to be said over their dead. Naw, says Tormund. The free folk don’t believe in shit. Again, the conversation turns to Ygritte. Even grizzly old Tormund knew that Ygritte truly loved Jon, cause she wouldn’t stop talking about killing him.
“I wish she wanted to cut off my fun bits like she wanted to cut off your fun bits.”
Sounds right. Tormund also asks that Ygritte be buried in the ‘real north’ – AKA beyond the Wall.
Jon again treks out beyond the Wall, dragging Ygritte’s body. Seriously? Are they just not even checking who goes in and out any more? Jon arranges her all pretty on a funeral pyre, then lights it up.
He walks away, leaving the fire and just dropping a burning stick on the ground. Smoky the Bear would not be pleased. (Also I cried again. Shut up.)
Despite appearances last week, the Mountain is still alive. However, he is slowly dying from manticore venom, which that crafty Oberyn apparently put on his spear. I guess he wasn’t taking any chances with the vengeance. We are introduced to a completely random, creepy man who was apparently kicked of maester school for being too curious. Maester Pycelle doesn’t trust him, but Cersei does and tells him to save the Mountain. The creepy guy is doing some creepy process to save the Mountain, which will ‘change’ him, but not make him weaker. What?
Cersei also pops in for a last-ditch chat with Papa Tywin about her upcoming marriage to Loras. She even kinda threatens to kill herself and Tommen a little bit, like she almost did in the Throne Room during the siege. She fears that Tywin and Margaery will put their claws in Tommen and rip him apart, which seems pretty likely; she won’t be shipped off to Highgarden where she can’t protect him.