'Game of Thrones' Finale Recap: Mommy Dearest

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Emilia Clarke in the "Game of Thrones" Season 3 finale, "Mhysa."

"Game of Thrones" - "Mhysa"

Emilia Clarke in the "Game of Thrones" Season 3 finale, "Mhysa."

The episode "Mhysa" in a nutshell:

What happened:

  • Daenerys meets the slaves she freed in Yunkai

  • Jon comes face to face with Ygritte

  • Bran runs into a friendly face

Body count: Several backgrounders

Nudity count: 0

Dragon sightings: 3

New people and places: Ramsay Snow, Lord Bolton's bastard son

Best line: "Big words, no clothes ... what would you have done?" — Gendry to Davos, regarding Melisandre.

What's the deal with … Varys's offer to Shae? Why does he really want her gone?


"Mhysa" follows in the foosteps of previous "Game of Thrones" finales, in that it comes after a huge, game-changing penultimate episode ("Baelor" in Season 1 and "Blackwater" in Season 2) and doesn't attempt to end the season on some sort of giant cliffhanger.

Instead, just like the two previous finales, "Mhysa" once again demonstrates how brutal and calculating this world is. A would-be king is dead and a once-proud family is ruined, but … well, life moves on. There's no time for mourning — only readjustment and restrategizing. Sansa's grief is shown for about three seconds, while Arya's anger is brief and meaningless.

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As Littlefinger said earlier this season, "Chaos is a ladder." And after the chaos of Robb's death, you can either keep climbing or get knocked down into the sewage stream of Flea Bottom.

The Twins: Arya and the Hound

The show does not, thankfully, dwell on the aftermath of the Red Wedding. From the castle top, Bolton watches his men slaughter Robb's, and in the Great Hall, Walder Frey's servants mop up all the blood. Otherwise, neither man seems to have even the slightest bit of weight on his conscience.

Outside, the Hound carries Arya to safety, though not before she sees her brother's body with his direwolf's head on top (sob). She seems to be in shock — that is, until she overhears a group of men on the road trash-talking Robb and his men. Before the Hound can stop her, she jumps off and knifes one of them in the neck. Even the Hound seems impressed with Arya's murder, and helps finish off the rest of the guys.

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"The next time you're going to do something like that, tell me first," he says.

"Valar Morghulis," Arya whispers, fingering the coin that Jaqen H'ghar gave her.

She's killed her first man, and we have a feeling it won't be her last.

The Dreadfort: Theon and Ramsay

Well, now we know. Ramsay Snow, Bolton's bastard son, is Theon's torturer. And it still. Makes. No. Sense. Whatsoever.

Why is he doing it? From a message that Ramsay sends to Theon's father, it seems that Theon is insurance against Balon Greyjoy usurping the throne.

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Of course, Balon doesn't care that he received his son's d--- in a box, but sister Yara does. She declares that she's going to take their fastest ship and their best warriors and bring Theon home. You go, girl!

Then again, Theon isn't even really Theon anymore. He's "Reek." Wonder if there will even be any of him left for Yara to retrieve.

The Nightfort: Bran and the Reeds

We don't know that the best way to get a good night's sleep is to camp out in a really creepy abandoned Night's Watch station and then tell ghost stories — but what do we know? And, Hodor yelling "Hoooodoooor!" down into an empty shaft is also not a good idea.

Of course, Bran wakes up in the middle of the night to find a hulking creature upon them — but it's not a White Walker or even a Wildling. It's Sam! And Gilly!

Sam immediately figures out who Bran is and begs him to return to Castle Black. But Bran is deadset on his mission, so Sam gives him his secret weapon: the blade made of dragon glass. It's the only way to kill a White Walker, aside from fire.

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Just like Sam, when we watch Hodor carting Bran away and north of the Wall, we can only think one thing: He's totally going to die.

In the North: Jon and Ygritte

Face still clawed from Orell's last-minute warging into a hawk, a thirsty Jon drinks from a pond — only to look up and see Ygritte, her bow cocked.

"I didn't have a choice," he pleads. "You always knew who I was, what I am. I know you won't hurt me."

"You know nothing, Jon Snow," she replies. Burn!

"I do know some things," he says. "I know I love you. I know you love me. I have to go home now."

A tearful Ygritte answers with an arrow to his shouder and another to his leg. Jon flings himself on the horse and flees as Ygritte launches a third arrow into him.

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These kids are going to have some insane make-up sex in some hot tub somewhere, right?


Castle Black: Sam, Gilly, and the Night's Watch

After they say goodbye to Bran, Sam and Gilly present themselves to Maester Aemon at Castle Black. When Sam swears he isn't the father of Gilly's son (whom she names after him), Aemon charges him to write a bunch of messages with the 44 ravens they have left.

Later, a dying Jon Snow makes it to Castle Black. He's barely conscious, but recognizes his friends before passing out. Get a doctor here, stat!

Dragonstone: Stannis, Melisandre, Davos, and Gendry

In the dungeons, Davos bonds with his fellow lowborn, Gendry. Apparently, Davos once hailed from Flea Bottom as well. Faced with death, it seems Gendry has discovered his wit. When asked why he fell for Melisandre's sex-leech-capade, Gendry drily responds, "Big words, no clothes ... what would you have done?" Truth.

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Davos is apparently a pupil of the "Ned Stark, Hand of the King Stupidity School" and sneaks Gendry off the island. When he confesses to the deed, Stannis sentences him to death, but Davos shows him the message from Aemon. And wouldn't you know, it's Melisandre who saves Davos's butt — she puts the message into the fire and sees that they all need to go North to fight against the White Walkers.

King's Landing: The Lannisters

Evil Joffrey is practically dancing a jig about Robb Stark's death. He even wants to serve Sansa her brother's head at the next big feast. "Everyone is mine to torment," Joffrey cackles. Ugh. Can't he just die, already?

He even has the audacity to suggest that his grandfather, Tywin, was a coward for staying at Casterly Rock while his "father" Robert Baratheon won the war against the Targaryens. Sigh … children really should be seen, not heard! Tywin rolls his eyes, then dismisses the boy king to his room.

Then comes maybe one of the best scenes in "Game of Thrones" so far: Tywin and Tyrion in verbal swordplay. Tywin wants Tyrion to produce the next heir to Winterfell, while Tyrion refuses to rape an innocent girl. Family should always come first, Tywin intones. And when has the Lannister patriarch put family above his own needs?

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When Tywin didn't drown a newborn Tyrion in the sea. Yikes. Thanks, Dad.

Meanwhile, Tyrion could use a friend right now, and it's clear Shae is still feeling very frosty toward him. And yet, when Varys offers her a bag of diamonds to start over somewhere else, she rejects it. She can't bear to see Tyrion and Sansa together, but she can't bear to leave him. That leaves us feeling nervous — whenever someone waffles on this show, bad things happen to them.

Speaking of messed-up Lannister relations, guess who's back in King's Landing? Joffrey's real father and uncle, Jaime. And whom does he go to see first? His darling sister, Cersei. Ew.

Yunkai: Daenerys

Yeah, Jorah and Daario said Yunkai's slaves revolted against their masters in her favor, but Daenerys still feels trepidation about whether they are really going to welcome her.

When the city's gates open and a flood of people come out, she addresses them. "You do not owe me your freedom. I cannot give it to you," she proclaims. "Your freedom is not mine to give. It belongs to you and you alone."

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The former slaves start to cheer. "Mhysa! Mhysa!" Mother, mother! The adoring horde carries her on their shoulders.

Daenerys isn't just respected or feared; now, she is loved.

Check out some twitter reactions, and then share your thoughts on the finale in the comments below.


Jayme Perry, Kelly Woo, and Chrissy Le Nguyen contributed to the creation of this infographic.

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