Legion contributor Christina Janke is filling in for Dr. Janina Scarlet this week. Follow her on Twitter @IntrotoGeek!
The season finale is here! After two penultimate episodes, what does “Mother’s Mercy” have to offer as the season’s endpoint? Hint: Rocks fall, everyone dies.
The snow is melted and all seems to be looking up for Stannis to go do battle with the Boltons at Winterfell. We’re still feeling the effects of Stannis’ horrific sacrifice. Stannis is bitter towards Melisandre for being right (so far); he doesn’t even want to look at her. Five minutes later, however, we find out that half of Stannis’ army has deserted him and his wife hung herself. Melisandre herself leaves becomes disheartened and leaves Stannis to ride back to the Wall where Ser Davos is still trying to procure supplies for his King’s army from the Night’s Watch.
At this point, Stannis is probably thinking “F**k it, let’s go anyway.” What’s left of Team Baratheon march on to Winterfell. The Boltons are already refreshed, armed, mounted, and on their way to meet them on the field. No morning siege for Baratheon. The Boltons flank them immediately and just slaughter everyone not carrying the Flayed Man banner. Stannis is quite literally the last man standing, though he’s seriously injured. Brienne of Tarth, who had been watching the suicide run from afar saunters up to Stannis and introduces herself. If you all remember, we first met Brienne as Renly Baratheon’s personal guard. She saw Stannis’ face when Melisandre’s creepy shadow baby assassin killed the Renly. She holds up her sword, reads Stannis his rights, and executes him. Bye-bye, guy.
Speaking of Winterfell and Brienne, SHE TOTALLY MISSED SANSA’S SIGNAL! While the Boltons ride out to meet Stannis, Sansa uses the cork screw she lifted a couple weeks ago to break out of her room. I’ll not even bother trying to think about that logic, I’m just glad Sansa is finally doing something on her own! Everyone’s too busy to notice her quickly walk to the Broken Tower to light the candle.
At the same time, Podrick sees Stannis’ army approaching Winterfell and alerts Brienne. Brienne still has beef with Stannis, so she reluctantly leaves her post watch the battle from a safe distance. JUST as she turns her head, Sansa lights the candle. They literally miss each other AGAIN! How many times has that been in this season alone?
Anxious to escape soon, Sansa leaves the tower to prepare her escape. She’s impeded by Ramsey’s psychotic girlfriend who threatens possible dismemberment for the fun of it. Before she can do anything, Reek/Theon pushes the woman over the rail, to where she falls to her death in an empty courtyard below. Reek and Sansa both hear the Bolton army returning. They’re out of exits…except for one: a super high leap of faith into a bank of snow that does not look safe. Their fates are uncertain. Their jumping is literally the last we see of these two characters.
In Braavos, we see a switch-wielding Trent back in the brothel with three young girls. He beats each of them so he can get off on hearing their tortured and fearful screams of pain — he’s the worst kind of pedophile. By the time he gets to the third girl, whose face is hidden under a thick head of hair. He hurts her several times, but the girl doesn’t flinch once. Trent sends the other girls away, thinking he’s going to have a grand old time trying to break this defiant girl’s spirit.
Little does Trent know, the girl is actually Arya wearing someone else’s face, which she stole from the Many-Faced god. Arya reveals herself and goes all O-Ren Ishii on the knight.
Now because she directly disobeyed her orders to assassinate the Gambler (and because she stole a face from the Many-Faced god’s sept), Jaqen H’ghar decides to teach her a lesson. Arya’s indiscretion deserves punishment by death. Instead of killing Arya, Jaquen drinks the poison himself. Arya weeps over a dead body while the Waif looks on. Only…the Waif is actually Jaquen. The man lying on the floor is another Faceless Man. The whole scene is actually quite confusing. Jaquen is not Jaquen, and at the same time no one at all.
Arya peels away all the faces from the dead Faceless Man and finally stops at her own. Whether triggered by trauma or by the magic of the Many-Faced god himself, Arya goes blind.
In Dorne, the Lannister party departs. The Martels see the Lannisters off. Elia, who we saw reluctantly swear fealty to Doran last week, seems to have let go of her need to take revenge on the Lannisters for Oberyn’s death. She even kisses Myrcella goodbye. On the ship back to King’s Landing, Jaime is trying to have a heart to heart with his daughter/niece. He actually wants to tell her the truth of her parentage, but stumbles all over his words. Myrcella takes a comforting tone and tells him that she already knows. I mean…you’d have to be living under a rock to not hear even the slightest of rumors surrounding Cersei and Jaime bumping uglies. This tender moment is spoiled, however. Any sense of peace for Jaime as a character is soured when Myrcella suddenly starts bleeding out of her nose and mouth. What happened to Bronn in the prison is happening to the princess. Only this time, there’s no one around to give her the antidote. Meanwhile, back on Dorne, Elia’s nose starts to bleed as well. Her daughter casually hands her a handkerchief to wipe away the blood and the poison coating her lips. Then she takes the antidote for herself. That. B…bad, bad lady.
At Meereen, Jorah, Tyrion and Daario sit around in the throne room waiting for Dany, who hasn’t shown up since she flew away with Drogon. The Jorah and Daario decide to go search for her, leaving Tyrion, Missandei and Gray Worm in charge of Meereen. At the end of the scene, Varys finally shows up offering his services to Tyrion as Dany’s spymaster. Finally. She was in sore need of one.
Speaking of Dany, Drogon flew her to a grassy part of the world. It’s really far away from the desert kingdoms we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in Dany’s story. She tries to coax Drogon into taken them back home, but the dragon is too injured and too exhausted to listen. Giving up, Dany leaves her dragon to look for more food. When she’s finally a good distance away, she’s met with a huge hoard of Dothraki riders. Given what I’ve heard about Dany in A Dance With Dragons, these Dothraki guys are likely Khal Drogo’s enemies. This ought to be interesting for next year.
Next we have Cersei who finally decides to “confess.” She confesses to having relations with Lancel, but denies any rumor that her children are a product of incest — the rumor is merely something Stannis Baratheon started to challenge Joffrey’s claim on the throne. The High Sparrow accepts Cersei’s confession and arranges for her freedom…after her humiliating atonement. This “atonement” is a long, long, long walk back to the Red Keep totally naked. If that wasn’t bad enough, Cersei has to face the scorn of the masses during this humiliation. Cersei deserves a lot of bad things to happen to her, but this…I don’t feel like this was what she deserved.
Back at the Wall, Sam asks permission from Jon to go to Old Town and train to be a Castle Black’s next maester. Jon reluctantly agrees. Now he’s completely without allies. Later, Jon is talking with Davos until Melisandre comes through the gates. She has a look of disappointment and shame as she delivers the news that no one has survived the battle with the Boltons. Also something of note: she’s also wearing what looks to be a heavy shawl. Is the Lord of Light no longer with her? We hope not, because there’s something she needs to do… Like bring a certain someone back to life.
The final scene of the finale has everything to do with Jon. He gets word that someone has new of Benjen Stark, his uncle went been missing in Season One. When Jon rushes to meet the informant, he is instead met with a group of crows and a sign with the word “traitor” written on it. It’s a trap! The trap! All the crows take turns stabbing Jon in the gut, including his little squire boy. They leave him for dead on the snow, bleeding out.
Everyone who has read A Dance with Dragons saw this coming, but it doesn’t take away the fact that this is a dick move. And considering this is Jon’s final scene in both the show and the book, we have no idea what happens next. Before you all lose your minds, though, be calm. Kit Harrington is still listed as a returning actor for Season Six, and it’s said that Jon Snow somehow survives the stabbing. We don’t know how, though. My money’s on the Lord of Light having a hand in his resurrection.
What did you guys think of the season finale? Weigh in your thoughts with our master and commander, Jenna Busch, right here. Spoiler alert: she hated it. Go see why. Maybe you’ll agree!
As for me, I feel rather indifferent. This season in general has been sort of lackluster, yet at the same time, rather punishing towards any character who happens to be a woman. The men have had their share of wound-licking as well, but it’s nothing comparable to what the women have had to endure this season. Most of it was unnecessary too! Like, we didn’t need a drawn out scene of a naked Cersei being called a “slut” and a “whore” for 10 minutes. We didn’t need three other young girls present at the brothel before Arya strikes down Ser Trent.
Seriously, D&D, there are ways to treat the ladies better while still placing them at a disadvantage. Hannibal is more brutal than you are in terms of violence, and the women somehow make it without being needlessly raped. Up your game, and stop making excuses. I’m tired of searching for a reason to justify your actions.