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TV Review: This Week on Game of Thrones (S5 Episode 8/ May 31, 2015)


NOTE: Join us every MONDAY as we review the latest episode...

EPISODE 8: Hardhome

THE PLOT : The long summer is at an end, winter truly is coming and with it the cold winds of war as five self proclaimed Kings claim dominance over Westeros, but there can be only one winner when you play the game of thrones.

THE LOWDOWN: (The following column contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so I don't recommend reading this if you haven't watched this episode). Three out of five people have been whining about this season (maybe four), and I canít say I blame them. That said, tonightís episode should rally everyone back to the table. If not, you canít truly call yourself a fan of this show. Remember last week, how I said things were about to get bonkers? Well, shit got real in a huge way, but before we get to that, letís get the little things out of the way first. I hate referring to Aryaís storyline ďlittleĒ, but címon, whatís really happened with her this season? Yes, I love that sheís becoming a many-faced God (oyster girl) assassin, but holy jebus guys, next week is episode nine and itís taken this long for her to actually get the ball rolling. As I said before, her story is no doubt being setup for big things next season, but dammit, I donít want to wait that long!

Sansa doesnít get much screen time tonight, but she gets a bombshell dropped on her when Theon slips up and tells her that Bran and Rickon arenít dead. Itís been awhile since Sansaís gotten any good news, but with this new knowledge (and finding out Jonís Lord Commander), Iím hoping itís enough to get her to dig deep and make a move of her own, something weíll see (or not see) over the course of the last two episodes Iím sure. Not much going on with Cersei either, sheís shackled, angry, but not yet brokenóthough seeing her bend down and slurp water from the prison floor made me wince. Qyburnís visit was a bit of a mystery, not sure if he was working in some code when he assured her that his research was still going well. Iím assuming he means his work on Franken-Mountain. Wouldnít that be a sight to see, him busting through the wall like the Hulk to scoop her up and take her to safety. Donít think thatís going to happen, but with this show, you never know.

As I well expected, the banter between Tyrion and Dany is pure gold, down to the last syllable. What a great move bringing these characters together. For those who havenít read the books, this doesnít happenóeven though youíd think it was a no-brainer after watching them tonight. Iím torn over Jorah though, poor bastard canít catch a break, and the Grey Scale certainly isnít helping his situation. Not sure what fighting in the pits is going to accomplish for him, but most likely he has a part to play still to come. I love how Tyrion doesnít waste any time spelling it out for Dany, but I imagine thatís why sheís keen to listen. Canít wait to see how Dario reacts to him.

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 5's eighth episode quickly changes tempo at the halfway point, and kicks us straight in the teeth...HARD. Jon and Tormund lead the crew to Hardhome, and I have to say, the bit with the Lord of Bones had me in stitches, but I figured that would be that. Nope. Instead we get and all-out war with the White Walkers. The intensity this generates puts all other battles this show has produced to shame. Period. As many of you know, I review The Walking Dead via column as well, and for a second, I shook my head in bewilderment wondering if we got a crossover. Everything about this battle hit the mark. These guys have learned well, and it was glorious. The imagery alone was breathtakingófrom the mountainside, to the combat and then the eerie presence of the mounted King and his lieutenants looking down on them from the mountaintop. He sees Jon. He marks him, and then he boasts to him as they sail away. My mouth was still open when the credits were finished running. Iím seriously impressed, and stoked as hell for the remaining two episodes.

SEX/NUDITY: No time for nudity tonight, too many walkers to kill.

VIOLENCE: It was full scale war, blood, dismemberment, biting, chewing, tearing of limbs, it was all there in gory detail.

MOST EPIC SCENE: Jon Snow realizing his sword was made of Dragon Glass (what I meant was, it can do what Dragon Glass can do, yes, it IS made of Valyrian Steel). F*cking Epic on every level.



Extra Tidbit: If Stannis thinks heís got it rough now, just wait until the real fight gets to Westeros.



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