Disclaimer I'm going to discuss and compare to the books, but almost everything that has happed in the books now has occurred on the show.
Well Hmmmm. I liked the season finale. At this moment in time I am still trying to process it.
Let's start with the things I liked. Arya storyline came to a dramatic finish this week. I truly think this was the highlight of the episode. Her killing of Sir Meryn was spectacular. It was brutal and gruesome, everything I wanted out of last week. I just wish she would have followed through and killed her initial target. You knew something was going to happen to her once she got back to the temple. I'm not going to spoil the lost eyesight storyline for those who haven't read about it, though who knows if they are going to follow the same story line. This was a great cliffhanger to end her story on. I really enjoyed Arya story this year, they did a great job with her. Maisie Williams was masterful again, she is becoming a great actress.
Cersei story also hit the right note. This was what I hinted about in my Hardhome review. I couldn't wait to see her walk of shame. Lena Headey again was great. Cersei started so proud at the start of her walk. She was still the queen when she started. She wasn't by the end. The people broke her, and Lena did a great job of showing the breakdown. The ending scene leaves me a bit conflicted. We all know there is no greater fury than a women scorned. I have a feeling Cersei is going to be out for blood next season. The high sparrow doesn't have long for the world of Westeros.
I liked where they left Tyrion. He is back in control of a city, right where he should be with the Spider advising him. The banter with their own form of the small council was good, but not great. Dinklage held the scene well, and it sets up the stories for all of our characters for next season.
The Stannis storyline is another departure from the books. It was good to see him lose. Though it would have been nice to see one of the Bolton's die as well. I'm not sure Brienne killed him. We know the show isn't afraid to show us heads, and the fact we didn't actually see her behead him, leaves me to wonder if she didn't relent at the last moment. On the same front we saw Reek turn back to Theon and save Sansa. I wish they would have started this storyline before the season ended, but it is what it is. It was good to see, and now we just have to hope he can get her out and to Castle Black.
Castle Black, I knew this was coming, everyone who read the books did. I just didn't know if we were going to see it this season or next. I'm glad we ended here, because I don't think he is dead. I don't think he is dead in the books either. The show runners had to get Missandei back to Castle Black, and they did this. She will revive Jon with the power of the lord of the light. I just hope Jon comes back whole. I think I remember reading that Beric Dondarrion felt less of himself every time he came back from the dead. I still liked how they handled this story for the show. It was a fitting ending for the season because of the changes they made to Daenerys storyline.
UGH!! That's how I feel about where they left Daenerys. This is mainly because it is a departure from the books. I am ok with what they have done with the show, but this departure stunk. I hate how they changed the meeting of the Dothraki horde. She is supposed to fly out of the sky, kill a horse, land and stand before her Dragon as Khal Jhaqo approaches her. This is how the fifth book ends, and in my opinion this is how the season should have ended. We ended last week with a little bit of fire after ice, and this week shouldn't be any different. I don't want to see her get caught by the Dothraki. I want to see her lead them. Maybe Martin is not going this way in the books, but I doubt it. He has positioned Danny to gain control of the Dothraki, and to use them as her army to capture Westeros. I could be off base, but that is where I see it heading. It would have been a much better ending if they used Drogon. I'm not sure why they didn't, hopefully it is well executed next year. I don't want Jorah and Dario to come in and have to rescue her. The mother of dragons does not need rescuing (though I guess you could say Drogon did that last week).
That's it (I'm not going to even mention Dorn, no need too) it was good season of Game of Thrones. One of the best I think. It leaves us wanting more, and I will be eagerly awaiting the start of season 6. I'll just have to re-watch or re-read to appease my appetite for Game of Thrones until then. Unless Martin actually gets around and releases the six book before the season, we can all only hope!
My thoughts on the episode overall: Good but not great.
My Rankings of the Series Seasons so far:
- Season Three
- Season Five
- Season One
- Season Four
- Season Two