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‘Game of Thrones’ Finale Recap: “Mhysa”

Game of Thrones

If you missed tonight’s season three finale of Game of Thrones, “Mhysa,” then jump in a rowboat like Gendry and sneak away, because there are spoilers ahead.

The opening of tonight’s episode is the immediate aftermath of the horrific Red Wedding. Roose Bolton surveys the scene outside the Twins–there is fighting everywhere and direwolf tents and banners burning as the Northmen are slaughtered. The Hound is doing his best to get himself and Arya away, but he’s momentarily halted by all the fires. This leaves just enough time for Arya to wake up and see the cruel display of Robb’s body and Grey Wind’s head that the Frey men have cobbled together to celebrate their murderous victory. She looks on, her face bathed in tears.

In the Red Keep, Sansa is walking with Tyrion, and the two seem to be getting along. A couple of lords pass by and snigger at them, and they bond a little over their outcast status. “The disgraced daughter and the demon monkey–we’re perfect for each other,” Tyrion says wryly. He’s suddenly called away to the small council, where he learns about the Red Wedding. Joffrey can barely suppress his glee, and orders Robb Stark’s head to be sent to him so he can serve it to Sansa. Tyrion replies angrily, “No. She is no longer yours to torment.” When Joffrey calls Tyrion a monster, he offers up this little gem: “Monsters are dangerous, and just now kings are dying like flies.” Joffrey responds with outrage and a threat. When he sputters, “I am the king!” his grandfather finally interjects, and this leads Joffrey to then turn on Tywin, calling him a coward. The whole table falls silent, and Tyrion watches with interest. Tywin, as always, rules the day, dismissing the king in his cold, polite way. Everyone but Tyrion is dismissed. Tyrion knows his father is behind the Red Wedding, and Tywin, ever the pragmatist, has no remorse. He tells Tyrion he does everything for his family, and that if Tyrion wants to follow suit he’ll get Sansa pregnant, no matter what it takes. When Tyrion accuses his father of only ever acting in his own best interest, Tywin counters by telling his son, to his face, that he wanted to drown him when he was a child, but he didn’t, because Tyrion was still a Lannister. Tyrion will never stop being hurt by his father’s cruelty. When he returns to his chambers to speak to Sansa, she turns to face him and, like Arya earlier in the episode, her eyes are full of tears, so he realizes she has already heard what happened, and he turns away, his face registering pain and anger.

Bran, Hodor and the Reeds have found the old Night’s Watch castle known as the Nightfort, and as they rest inside, Bran tells them a scary story about the Rat King, a legend connected to the castle. In the story, the Rat King is a man turned into a giant rat, punished by the gods for breaking the ancient laws of hospitality. “He killed a guest beneath his roof. That’s something the gods can’t forgive.”

At the Twins, servants are cleaning up the evidence of the Red Wedding while Bolton and Frey consult over the events that have taken place. Frey is gloating, and Bolton is his usual calm, measured self. When Frey asks him how he handled Theon Greyjoy and the Ironborn at Winterfell, he replies that he sent his bastard son, Ramsay Snow, to take care of procuring Theon. About his bastard, Bolton has only this to say: “Well, Ramsay has his own way of doing things.”

Thus Theon’s tormentor’s identity is revealed. Theon is still hanging on the rack, now only a fraction of a man, while Ramsay eats a sausage in front of him. There really is no limit to the ways that he will mess with Theon’s mind and body. Theon begs to be killed, but Ramsay says Theon is needed. He then saunters over to Theon and pronounces him a shell of his formal self…no longer a lord, barely even a man. “You’re just meat…stinking meat. You reek!” He then tells Theon that his new name is “Reek,” and drives the point home with a couple of well-aimed punches.

Back in the Nightfort, worlds collide when Sam and Gilly discover Bran and his party. Sam recognizes Bran from Jon’s description almost immediately, and offers to help them in any way he can. Bran wants him to take them North of the wall, but Sam urges them to come with him, because of the danger that he’s seen up there.

In the Iron Islands, Balon Greyjoy receives a letter and a box. The letter demands he remove his men from the North. In the box is Theon’s manhood. The longer Greyjoy waits to call his Ironmen back, the more pieces of his son he’ll be receiving. Disgusted and angered, Lord Greyjoy writes off Theon as a sacrifice to the cause. No longer a whole man, he cannot provide heirs and has little value. Yara is shocked at her father’s abandonment of Theon, and leaves with a crew of dangerous Ironborn killers and marauders to attack the Dreadfort and get her brother back.

Up North, Sam and Gilly are showing Bran and the Reeds the way to pass through to the other side of the wall. They also arm them with some of the dragon glass, and all of the younger people look at Sam in surprise when he reveals that he killed a White Walker…something that hasn’t been done in thousands of years. “I suppose someone had to be the first,” Sam says sheepishly. After he warns them about the undead and the White Walkers, he and Gilly watch in concern as Bran and his friends walk out into the Northern wild.

At Dragonstone, Davos pays Gendry a visit in his cell, and the two bond over their common heritage (both are Fleabottom boys).

In King’s Landing, Varys seeks out Shae and offers her a bag of diamonds to start a new life somewhere. He makes his case as gently as possible, saying that he knows that Shae loves Tyrion, and he loves her, but that her presence in King’s Landing puts them both in danger, and that Varys believes that Tyrion is one of the few people who could help put the realm to rights. Shae hears him out, but when he’s made his speech she tosses the diamonds at his feet. “If he wants me to leave he can tell me himself.”

Tyrion is getting drunk with Podrick when Cersei arrives. She urges him to get Sansa pregnant, just like their father did, but her reasoning is slightly different. She says it will make Sansa happier. It will give her someone that belongs to her…someone to love. Cersei as a mother is the most human that she ever appears, and listening to her talk about how much she loved Joffrey as a baby is tragic. She knows what he has turned into, what she has helped turn him into, and mourns that loss. “Nobody can take that away from me, not even Joffrey.”

The Hound and Arya come upon a group of soldiers who were at the Red Wedding, and as they ride past, Arya can hear them making fun of how her mother died, and which one of them cut off the head of Grey Wind to sew it on her brother’s body. She slips down off the horse without a word and approaches the soldiers, who treat her with disdain. But she offers a coin for a chance to sit by their fire…Jaqen H’gar’s coin. When she purposefully drops it and one of the soldiers leans over to pick it up, she pulls him down quick as lightning and stabs him repeatedly. As the other three leap up to close in on her, the Hound swoops down and makes short work of them. When the Hound asks her where she got the knife, she replies dully, “From you.” As her victim lays on the ground, gushing blood, Arya slowly bends down and picks up her coin, whispering “Valar Morghulis.”

Jon Snow has paused for a drink of water on his escape back to Castle Black when he’s confronted by Ygritte. He tells her that he has to go home, that she knew that all along. He also tells her that he loves her, and that he knows she loves him, and she answers only by shooting him. He manages to climb back on his horse and ride away from her with three of her arrows running him through.

At Castle Black Sam introduces Maester Aemon to Gilly and explains as best he can what has happened North of the wall and what he and Gilly have seen. Aemon agrees to let Gilly and her son (now called Sam) stay with them where it is safe, and he orders Sam to write messages about the approaching threat to attach to every raven they have, seeking help from every leader of men in Westeros.

One of these messages actually reaches a target who cares. Davos is practicing his reading by sorting through messages sent to Stannis, and comes upon the small scroll with the black seal. As he makes sense of the words, he is suddenly called to Stannis’ presence by the chiming of bells, where he learns of the Red Wedding. Those events have prompted Stannis to continue to follow Melisandre’s path, and Davos knows he has little time to act. He sneaks Gendry out of Dragonstone under cover of night, giving him a small boat to escape.

Jon finally makes it to Castle Black, fainting and falling of his horse at their doorstep. His friends come to his aid, however, and he wakes up briefly as he’s carried inside.

Jaime makes his not-so-triumphant return to King’s Landing, as he enters the city on foot and is not even recognized in his current, humble condition. Brienne is still following, and she offers him a sympathetic look. But the person he most wants to see is Cersei, and he enters her room quietly. He says her name just once and she turns around, shock on her face when she sees him.

Back at Dragonstone, Davos freely confesses to freeing Gendry. He is staunch in his belief that he did the right thing, but he also offers a reason why Stannis should not put him to death. “You’re gonna need me.” He shows Stannis the scroll from Aemon, about the dangers in the North. “Death marches on the wall…only you can stop him,” says Melisandre. She even agrees that Davos should live. “He has a part to play in the war to come.”

Outside of Yunkai, in the final scene of season three, Daenerys waits with her retinue and her army, all of their eyes resting on the gates. When the doors open, the freed slaves begin pouring out, none speaking a word, but simply moving toward her. Missandei introduces her, and Daenerys then speaks to them, urging them to take their freedom back for themselves, not for her. They then all begin to call out the word that the episode is named after. “Mhysa!” It means mother, and Daenerys wades into the crowd, unprotected, to feel the love and adoration of all her new children as her dragons swoop and circle above her.

Quote of the night: This exchange between Tyrion and Cersei…

“How long does it go on?”

“Until we’ve dealt with all our enemies.”

“Every time we deal with an enemy, we create two more.”

“Then I suppose it will go on for quite a long time.”

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