Created by: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss
Cast: Sean Bean, Lena Heady, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Iain Glen, Harry Lloyd, Jason Momoa, Kit Harrington, Aiden Gillen, Alfie Allen, Richard Madden, Jack Gleeson, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, David Bradley, Sibel Kekilli
Synopsis: Robb has some tough decisions to make as to how to proceed with his campaign, the first being whether to make a deal with Lord Walder Frey (Harry Potter’s Bradley). Khal Drogo’s wound from last episode threatens to take his life, putting Daenerys in a precarious position. Tyrion is placed in the army’s vanguard by his father, and we learn more of his history on the eve of battle. Jon Snow, while being honoured by Jeor Mormont, whose life he saved, struggles to observe his duty knowing his brother rides to war. Stark also debates whether his duty is to his honour, or to the life of his daughters.
Perhaps it was a bad idea for me to start writing this review immediately after having watched the episode in question, as the cliffhanger of this episode is apt to leave one speechless. Normally this bouts of lack of voice are brief for me however, so I shall soldier on.
One glance at the above synpopsis is enough to indicate that in this episode, a lot happens. However, there is no weak link in any of the stories, such that when the end credits rolled, it was hard for me to believe that the whole hour had now passed. It is an impressive mark of quality in a series that one thrilling episode can so consistently be followed by the next. This being the penultimate episode, it certainly can show Torchwood: Miracle Day a thing or two about how to construct a ten part series.
As I have already mentioned, no story thread here lets the episode down. Daenerys remains a strong character, despite the fact her actual power wanes as her husband’s life does. She makes some very controversial decisions, many of which displease the Dothraki as a whole. Jorah Mormont remains her staunch supporter, confirming that his loyalty has been to her all along. Yet this is not enough… the end of this story has an even more thrilling cliffhanger, which I only do not mention here for the threat of revealing spoilers.
Robb’s decisions at the head of his army are also a source of great drama. He has sacrifices to make to appease Lord Frey. The latter’s requests are unique, to say the least. Once again, for many a series, these events are enough to entertain. However, part of Robb’s strategy becomes clear by episode’s end. He may still be young, but his decisions are that of a man. Incredibly difficult, with great sacrifice required, yet brilliant nonetheless.
From an emotional standpoint is where the other storylines hit hardest. Sympathy for Tyrion is well and truly established, as he confesses his past to his new mysterious foreign “companion” Shae (Kekilli). These events go a long way to explaining the nature of his character. Snow is advised by an elder member of the Night’s Watch concerning the choice between his brothers of the watch and his birth family. His own revelations are quite game-changing in themselves. Yet, despite seeing Stark least of all in the episode, it is this thread that provides the greatest shock moments of the series to date, and fittingly at episode’s end leaving anticipation high for next week.
5 stars out of 5.
Game of Thrones Episode 9 trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4-xIfzxR80]