This episode, And Now His Watch Is Ended, must rank up there with the best we’ve had so far in this fantastic show, matching up a scene of immense action and spectacle with some typically excellent low-key moments of drama and intrigue.
Of course, we have to start at the end, with Daenerys showing that she is a leader and tactician to match any of the other pretenders to the Iron Throne, with her offer to pay the slavers with a dragon turning out to be a set-up for a massacre.
The moment where she reveals to the arrogant slaver chief that she’s been able to understand his taunts and insults all along was expertly done by Emilia Clarke, with Ramin Djawadi‘s score echoing that incredible Season 1 finale. None of it should have been a surprise really, but it was still a thrilling twist and technically-speaking, a scene that wouldn’t have been out of place in any big budget movie.
Elsewhere, there was bloodshed up past The Wall, with the Night Watch turning on their unpleasant host, their grizzly leader and themselves as fear and hunger set in. Things went from bad to bad again for poor Theon, when his rescuer somewhat bizarrely turned out to be not rescuing him at all, taking him right pack to the torture chamber. Presumably we’ll find out why later.
The one-handed Kingslayer also had a fairly miserable time, getting abused and beaten by his captors, but his friendship with Brienne grew a little stronger again in some touching scenes. And at least he didn’t lose any more body parts. Speaking of which, we learned how Varys became a eunuch, along with the surprising revelation that he keeps the sorceror who did it to him locked in a box. As you do.
Varys also had a great scene with Diana Rigg as they plotted to keep Sansa away from the clutches of Littlefinger, with the poor Stark sister going from Obnoxious Joffrey to Scheming Littlefinger to Gay Loras in the space of a few episodes. But at least the Tyrells seem to be looking out for her, even if it’s in their own interests.
There was plenty more going on here that I could discuss, and it was all brilliant, but really this was all about that explosive finale. We’ve been waiting for Daenerys to look like someone who could retake the Iron Throne for a while now, but with her army of former slave killing machines, her dragons and her two wise men, things are looking up for the Mother Of Dragons. And I couldn’t be happier about that…