Game of Thrones “Hardhome” Review

Winter is here.

Game of Thrones HardhomeHoly sh*t folks!  This is easily the best episode of the season, and if not, the best episode of the series so far.  Either the show broke its “episode nine is the best” rule, or what’s coming next week is going to be more intense than this episode.

I’m pretty sure no one expect the full-fledged attack of the undead army happens so early.  It begins with Jon and Tormund trying to convince others to join them, then suddenly storm approaching, dogs barking, and people screaming.  Before you know it, the wights are breaking down the wall and there’s nothing our people can do about it.

It’s been a while since the show makes the White Walkers and wights an actual threat, and they have done a terrific job with this episode.  Last we seen this army traveling around the snowy land is back in season two’s finale, and I don’t remember them being this fast and strong.  There’re still many things we don’t know about the enemies, but the fact that the more they fought, the bigger their army becomes is a seriously terrifying concept.  This episode also gives us the first glimpse of how much strong a White Walker really is.  They’re indestructible and skilled in combats, easily the biggest threat the show has ever introduced.  Jon is really in a tight spot, and there are many moment I believe he’s going to bit it, until the White Walker and his weapon is suddenly shattered by Jon’s Longclaw.  What is his blade made out off???  The Valyrian steel is forged by dragon fire, so can that be the reason it can be used to defeat White Walkers?  Can Denny and her dragons really be the final hope of Westeros?

The episode also introduced a new wildling named Karsi, and I’m pretty sure most people, including me, thought she’s going to be Jon’s new Ygritte.  But no, she was killed by a herd of zombie children.  That’s so Game of Thrones to introduce a promising new character just to kill them off right away.  There are also many moment the fight is seemingly over, just to have more zombie jumping down into the fight like an avalanche.  I was almost sure Jon and the others can’t get out the fight, and the final stare down between Jon and the Night’s King sends chills down my spine, especially when the dead begins to rise.  Everyone who has fallen are now the enemy.  How’s the Seven Kingdoms going to defeat an army that’s going to grow bigger and bigger?

Meanwhile, Tyrion and Denny finally get a chance to sit down and have an one on one.  The two are going to work together now, and that’s something that’s supposed to break the internet, but the whole thing is overshadowed by the fight with the White Walkers.  It’s fun to see both Tyrion and Denny really want the union to happen, but both are both to pride to just beg or ask for it.  Finally, Denny wants Tyrion to be her adviser, and she wants to destroy everything over at Seven Kingdoms, even though Tyrion suggest her otherwise.  It’s funny how the two are stressed over the house, lords, and regions of Westeros, but the bigger threat is one that can conquer everything they arguing for.  If anything, Denny’s dragons might be the only hope for the kingdoms, and I can actually see her sit on the iron throne where she belongs because of it.

Game of Thrones Hardhome 1Arya received her first assassination gig in this episode, and it’s cool to see her adopting a new identity, in the spirit of Many-Faced God.  It’s a bit a shame we didn’t get to see the result of the assassination gig this week, but ti’s still good to see Arya’s plot actually moving forward.  Meanwhile, Sansa learns that Bran and Rickon are still alive.  I have no idea what she’s going to do with that information, but I’m glad at least she has a peace of mind.

And of course, Cersei’s jail cell scene.  Not much there, but her unwillingness to confess to her sins.  She has sank down to her lowest by slipping the water off the ground, and it appears that Uncle Kevan is already at King’s Landing.  He’s clearly not going to visit Cersei after that last time he was treated, but it’s still depressing to see the only one willing to visit her in cell is Qyburn.  Exactly what they’re experimenting in the dungeon is everyone’s guess, but I doubt it can get Cersei out of her situation.

At the end, let’s not forget the exchange between Olly and Sam.  Sam telling Olly doing the right thing that might seem wrong to the others, but good in the long run (something like that) has me worried.  It seems Olly is really taking what Sam said to heart, and he seems determine to do something about it.  If anything, I’m worried he’s going to kill Jon thinking it’s for the greater good in the long run.

“Hardhome” is the best episode I’ve seen in the longest time, and perhaps the best Game of Thrones episode ever.  Brand new content even for the book readers, the episode really shows why the White Walkers are a terrifying threat, and why we should be concerned with the invasion.  Already a fantastic episode, and if the show still follows the “episode nine is the best rule,” next week is going to be even better.

9.8/10