Okay, is it me, or should last week’s episode have been the Season Finale of Game of Thrones? While the creators have an every increasing loyal following, last week’s episode had what you want in a Season Finale: death, death and more death. Should the Third Season have ended with the Stark “Mhysa” (or mother) having her throat slit, I think so. I would have been far more pumped about Season 4 than I was after last night.
Don’t get me wrong, any episode of Game of Thrones is better than most shows on television, but the bar was set exceedingly high with Season 1. “Mhysa” seemed to be a minor let down, an episode tying up loose ends, setting the table for Season 4. Only problem is, we have to wait until next year for the story to continue (on TV at least). I can’t say after “Mhysa,” I’m as pumped as I’d like.
“Mhysa” opens quite sadly at the House of Frey, with Arya, having been saved by the Hound, forced to watch Robb’s decapitated body being paraded around with his direwolf’s head on top. It was quite a harrowing scene. Arya, only moments away from being reunited with her own Mhysa and oldest brother, has to brave through that ordeal in order to live another day. Later, Arya enacts her own revenge on a small band of Frey soldiers. She entices one of them with the coin she was given in Season 2 by Jaqen H’ghar. When the soldier goes for the coin, she stabs him repeatedly in back of the neck. Is this a foreshadowing of things to come for Arya? She’s had her first taste of murder. She also has the coin. Is she on her way to Braavos? For those of us who haven’t delved into the books, only time will tell.
As “Mhysa” continues, we learn of the political strings that were pulled ending with the death of the King of the North. In a terrific scene in the Tower of the Hand, Joffrey prances around in glee, as word has come down Robb Stark’s death. In deliciously typical Joffrey form, he wants to serve Robb’s head on a plate to Sansa. Tyrion defends his bride. An argument ensues, with Tywin stepping in, putting Joffrey in his place and essentially sending him to his room. The scene is filled with excellent dialogue and acting. Moreover, we begin to learn more about Rob’s fall. Tywin assured Walder Frey he would be compensated if they housed the slaughter, and Lord Bolton was named Warden of the North. Why is Bolton so important? Well, through him we finally uncover the name of Theon Greyjoy’s torturer: Bolton’s bastard son – Ramsay Snow. Unfortunately, for Theon, Ramsay is insane. It’s with mixed emotions that I watch his torture, as Ramsay is so entertaining, yet I feel increasingly bad for Theon. Sure, he’s an arrogant jerk, but his dismantling (and dismembering) has been too painfully severe. Ramsay has been given the honors of blackmailing papa Greyjoy to giving up his lands and titles. Balon Greyjoy is sent a box housing Theon’s once proud manhood (ever seen the Saturday Night Live skit with Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg. If so – title sound familiar?). If Balon doesn’t forgo his lands, more body parts will come. Not surprisingly, Balon turns his back on Theon and won’t help. But against his father’s wishes, Theon’s sister will.
Not surprising, one prominent theme from “Mhysa” is that of family. Cersei, being a Mhysa herself, talks fondly of Joffrey’s happy disposition as a child. What happened there? At what age did he enroll in Spoiled-BratSchool? Also, Tyrion challenges Tywin, asking if he ever did anything for the Lannister family that wasn’t in his own interests. Unfortunately for Tyrion, he did. When Tyrion was a baby, he wanted to drown him, but Tywin refrained because he was a Lannister. Another Hallmark warm and fuzzy moment – Game of Thrones style.
Season 3 ends with a few loose ends tied up and a crowd-surfing shot of the ultimate Myhsa, the Myhsa of dragons. Jon Snow, after being shot with a few arrows by a scorned Ygritte ends up back at Castle Black (thankfully for him she didn’t catch him, he might be looking more like Theon than he’d like). Gendry is set to be killed by Stannis, but before his doom, he is set free by Davos, having to row his way to safety. Jaime makes his way back to King’s Landing and into Cersei’s chamber, where he’s become almost unrecognizable to her. Finally, Dany along with her army of the Unsullied, stand outside the walls of Yunkai. Moments later, the doors open and streams of slaves pour out. They begin chanting “Myhsa” meaning mother. Dany walks down into the crowd, where they boost her up, and carry her high above as if she were a god, or had just hit a home run to win the World Series.