This week in Game of Thrones, everyone starts to get stretched a little. They climb a wall, lose a finger, get slaughtered by a crazed King, have their dream wedding snatched away – there are still somelaughs, but as we enter the second half of the season, it feels like the fun part is coming to an end.
To pound home that theme, the episode is named after the Miley Cyrus song The Climb, which you could put on now if you want – God knows I have. Beware spoilers, as ever.
There’s Always Gonna Be Another Mountain
The most literal interpretation of the title is, of course, Jon Snow and a few of his new Wildling chums scaling the wall, presumably to let the whole of Mance Rayder’s army through on the other side? Must admit, this plan hasn’t been explained in much detail. Nonetheless, it’s an exciting sequence, which is good, as this area of the plot has been slow at times.
Still running pretty slowly: Bran in the woods! Sam also in the woods! Theon in the torture chamber! You have to assume these are going to get more time in season four, when they’re meant to adapt the second half of the third book.
And Arya loses her friend Gendry to the Red Woman – a short scene but interesting for its discussion of the Lord of Light’s religion – that seems to be getting increasingly real and scary. Roose Bolton, meanwhile, sets Jaime Lannister free but keeps Brienne. What a guy.
It’s The Cliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimb!
But as often seems the case, the big fun is back in King’s Landing – we finally get a scene between Diana Rigg’s Queen of Thorns and Charles Dance’s Lord Tywin, and it’s every bit as beautifully barbed as you’d expect. Slightly ambiguous ending, but I’m 90% sure we were meant to read it as Lady Tyrell reluctantly agreeing to the Cersei/Loras wedding. Also enjoyed the Tyrion/Cersei scene, as we’re reminded yet again that she can’t control her damn son.
And finally, a dark ending, as Littlefinger gives his “I’m a crazy power-crazed crazy bastard!” villain speech, revealing he’s punished Ros The Prostitute for her betrayal by feeding the poor girl to Joffrey. Well, that kid has clearly wanted to sex-kill someone for a while – at least they didn’t make us watch.
The King’s Landing scenes have been verging on dark-comedy-soap for much of this season, so maybe they want to remind us that this is still Game of Thrones and horrible death could strike at any moment, especially as we’re approaching the finale. Fair enough. Let’s see if next week’s episode continues this plummet downhill!