Episode 8 of Game of Thrones delivered the most epic battle sequence on TV since I can’t remember when and it might be Season 5’s saving grace. The last 20 minutes of the episode rendered everything that had happened in the first half of the show totally and utterly useless. There is no other way to describe it because it was a bloodbath of epic proportions. So in the fashion of Game of Thrones (GoT) I shall begin with the now useless things that happened in the first half of the show and finish with the scene that changed my life or rather the life of Westeros forever.

Beware ‘throners’, winter is here.

SPOILERS are coming!!King White walker

Season 5 of the Game of Thrones has beena bit of a yawn fest and I say that with the utmost love. There were things that shocked us throughout the season like when Cersei  (I shall not call her Queen mother, even the high Sparrow can’t make me) conspired with the high sparrow to throw Queen Margery ( oh yeah that’s where my loyalty lies) and her brother in jail. And when Ramsay brutally raped Sansa on their wedding night, (not cool GoT and please tell me there is a special place in hell for Ramsay) but there hasn’t been much to write home about, until now. But first the useless stuff:

Daenerys Targaryen and Tyrion Lannister: the fanfic 🙂

got1

Finally the greatest orators of GoT finally met. With Tyrion’s brains and political experience and Dany’s army of unsullied and her dragons, this alliance will be a force to be reckoned with. Their meeting played out like a chapter from a fanfiction but since I have been waiting for these guys to meet ever since Dany emerged from the fire with three dragons sitting on her shoulders at the end of season 1, I do not care. Dany meeting Tyrion at this stage can only mean she is about to become a heavy hitter in the fight for the iron throne.  She got to where she is by being ruthless but as Tyrion reminds her killing and politics are not the same. She needs Tyrion if she ever wishes to ascend to the iron throne and Tyrion finally has an opportunity to advise a worthy ruler.

Cersei who?  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Cersei Lannister

Meanwhile Cersei is in jail and I couldn’t be happier. The irony is that she was imprisoned by the same High Sparrow she empowered just to take down Margery. Poetic justice is what I call it. Cersei’s situation is a matter of roosters coming home to roost. She has done so many evil things including giving birth to the spawn of Satan aka Joffrey. (Yes I blame her for that too). In this episode she is tormented to no end by the silent sisters who offer her water in exchange for her confession which she refuses to give even when her mad scientist implores her to do so. In the end she is left sipping water off the floor while her once glorious mane covers her face, probably to hide her shame.

The Starks are Legion

arya

As Cersei laps up her only source of water like a dog, Sansa is let in on a secret. There are more Starks and she is not alone. Last week, Ramsay told her that her brother Jon Snow was still alive and the Lord Commander of the Night’s watch, this week Reek told her GoT’s best kept secret, her brothers are alive. It’s about time the poor girl got a break. What she hasn’t learned yet is that her sister Arya is still alive doing the bidding of the many faced god, which includes euthanasia and avenging orphans and widows. Someone needs to tell her that…

Winter is hereGame-Of-Thrones-Winter-Is-Coming

The bloodiest scene on TV since Mason Verger cut off his own face on Hannibal, begun with Jon Snow arriving at Hardhome with Tormund by his side to convince the free folk to join forces with Night’s watch so that they would all have a better chance at surviving the coming winter.  When the Lord of Bones whom we shall call ‘bone guy’  tries to insinuate that Tormund must be doing unspeakable acts with pretty boy Jon Snow for him to be in alliance with the sworn enemy of the free folk, he is literally beaten to death by an enraged Tormund. Talk about an icebreaker! Without missing a beat Tormund then proceeds to call for a council meeting.  Just another day at Hardhome then! The council meeting involves alot of back and forth between the clan leaders and it finally ends when ‘Herolady’ (I can’t remember her name but I love her) decides to fight with the night’s watch because she trusts Tormund. However the Thenn leader does not agree and he tells them as much as he leaves to which Herolady says, “I hate Thenns”. Man, it took less than five minutes and I love this woman! As the Wildings and the Lord Commander’s men start loading up the boats their trip seems to end with no fatalities. In a normal show this would have been the end but this is Game of Thrones and things don’t just end without bloodshed. All of a sudden the dogs start barking hysterically and a mist covers the small encampment. Before long the free folk start running and the Thenn leader orders the gates to be closed. Alot of free folk are left on the wrong side of that gate and they bang on the gates as they scream to be let in. Just as quick as the panic rose it dies down and soon there is silence.  The Thenn leader peeks through the gates to see whether the coast is clear just as a skeleton rushes the gate. Behold zombie avalanche! All hell breaks loose quite literally as people run every which way. I was on the edge of my seat and I have never been more terrified. Sure, there are a lot of Zombie shows out there but nothing has ever come close to the precision or terror this scene possessed. Amid all that terror I was happy to see giant guy throw zombies off him and stomp on them like cockroaches. Big guy for the win!

Styr

As if the tension wasn’t high enough, Snow and the Thenn leader come face to face with a night walker dressed like a general when they go in search of the dragon glass. We are used to Zombies running around tearing people’s brains out but it is simply terrifying when they have a chain of command. I mean can you imagine? *Shivers* There is a moment long after the Thenn leader is dead and Jon Snow is fighting the white walker that I was genuinely TERRIFIED for the Lord Commander. In the back of mind I knew Snow couldn’t die but my eyes and my brain were having a hard time agreeing especially when Snow fell down and clutched his heart in pain. I was praying for that man and that, right there, is GREAT television! When Snow managed to kill the white walker, we all discovered something; Valyrian steel can kill a white walker. Saddest part about that whole fight, well, other than all the dead free folk, was that Herolady was killed by some zombified infants. (SMH! Mothers) I was rooting for her. But if I am being honest, I knew the moment she kissed her kids goodbye that she was a goner. It happens but damn!!

While Giant guy, Tormund, Jon Snow and the few men remaining made their escape to the water and the boat awaiting them, they left a grisly bloody scene behind them. But the battle’s, ahem, the bloodshed’s eeriest moment was when all the background noise stopped and all we could hear was Jon Snow’s breathing. It was just terrifying to watch the white walker king raise the dead and add to his army while Jon, Tormund and the other survivors on the boat watched. The new addition to the dead army included ‘herolady’. The silence continued into the credits and I was left staring at T.V long after the credits had ended. Now, that’s how you do a zombie apocalypse!

Like I said none of the other storylines mattered after that. Winter has come and it ain’t messing around.

Side note: Every single Episode since Season 1 on the Game of Thrones has been devastating. Does anyone remember Ned Stark’s death, the battle of Blackwater, the red wedding and the battle of Castle Black?  No? Then hold on to your seats because the next episode will be devastating.

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James Maina is the editor of What To Watch. Passionate about the creative world of film and media, James loves to create magazines, video games, websites and android apps in his spare time, but he is most passionate about one thing: Movies on the big screen. Email your feedback to info@whatyouneedtowatch.com