Game of Thrones | Season 5 | Episode 8


TV-MA | 1 HR 0 MIN

Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Directed by Miguel Sapochnik

Tyrion Lannister and Jorah Mormont stand before Queen Daenerys Targaryen. With his identity and intentions in question, Tyrion explains to Dany that his knowledge of Westeros and experience as Hand of the King are exactly what she needs. She tests him by asking what she should do about Jorah. Tyrion reasons that "a ruler who kills those devoted to her is not a ruler who inspires devotion," but determines that she cannot have Jorah at her side. Dany agrees and spares Jorah's life, but exiles him once more. Broken and banished, Jorah checks the greyscale spreading on his arm. He returns to Yezzan, the slaver who bought him at auction, and trades his freedom to fight in front of Dany at the Great Pit.

Dany and Tyrion commiserate about being the terrible children of terrible fathers. Tyrion ponders if Dany is "the right kind of terrible" to rule a kingdom, and admits he is impressed by her. The two discuss Varys, and Tyrion assures her that the Spider is worth trusting as he is likely the reason that Dany is still alive. Dany decides that rather than kill Tyrion, she will make him her advisor. Furthermore, she tells Tyrion, her plan isn't merely to take the throne, but to stop the destructive cycle of Westerosi monarchs.

Cersei's jailer, Septa Unella, prods her for a confession. When Cersei refuses, Unella withholds water from her, forcing the queen mother to slurp what she can from her cell floor. Qyburn visits with updates: the High Sparrow is preparing a substantial case against her; there's been no word from Jaime; Kevan Lannister presides over the Small Council, and – most devastatingly for Cersei – Tommen has shut himself in, refusing to eat.

Roose and Ramsay Bolton discuss Stannis Baratheon's impending attack. Roose plans to wait for Stannis' troops to starve and mutiny, but Ramsay offers an alternative: striking first. "I don't need an army," he tells his father, "I need 20 good men."

Arya Stark plays the Game of Faces with Jaqen H'ghar at the House of Black and White. She expertly recounts her routine as an oyster vendor named Lanna. Pleased with her performance, Jaqen designates a route for "Lanna" with a task for the Many-Faced God. As Lanna, Arya meets the Thin Man, an insurer who is cheating his clients. Jaqen assigns Arya to keep watch over the Thin Man and presents her with a "gift" for him – a vial of poison. The waif maintains that the girl is not ready. "It is all the same to the Many-Faced God," Jaqen replies.

Gilly tends to Samwell Tarly's wounds and Olly enters with a tray of food. In a private moment, the young steward questions Jon's decision to rescue the wildlings when they mercilessly slaughtered so many. Sam tells Olly he's seen the White Walkers assemble. "When it's time," Sam says, "we'll need every last man we can find."

Imprisoned in her chamber, Sansa asks Theon why he foiled her escape. "He knows everything," Theon explains, recalling how Ramsay tortured him into submission when he himself tried to run. Admitting he deserves to be Reek, Theon lists his betrayals, and inadvertently reveals that he killed two farm boys – not Bran and Rickon Stark. Sansa realizes her little brothers are still alive.

Jon, Tormund and Dolorous Edd lead a group into Hardhome. Rattleshirt meets the rescue party and calls Tormund a traitor for allying himself with the crows. In response, Tormund beats Rattleshirt to death.

The wildling elders, including the giant Wun Wun and a woman named Karsi, gather to hear Jon Snow. The Lord Commander makes his case for an alliance and shows Sam's bag of dragonglass daggers. He offers to share the weapons – if the Free Folk come south of the Wall and swear to fight beside him "when the real war begins." News of Mance's death deters the elders, but Tormund explains that Jon granted Mance mercy and vouches for Jon's leadership. A fraction of the council agree to Jon's plan, but a larger contingent refuses. Thousands of wildlings begin boarding the Night's Watch ships, but Jon laments to Tormund that they are leaving too many behind.

The weather abruptly changes, getting colder. The Army of the Dead has come. The wildlings frantically shut the gates, and hear the wights massacre those trapped outside the doors. On the beach, panicked wildlings surge towards Jon's ships. Wights scale the gate and a bloodbath ensues. Jon frantically tries to save the dragonglass daggers, but finds himself cornered by a White Walker. Though every other weapon shatters against the Walker's sword, the Valyrian steel of Longclaw holds strong and Jon kills the creature. From above, the Night King takes note of Jon.

A large group of wights jump off a cliff, only to rise unharmed to resume their murderous pursuits. Just as the gates fall, Jon, Tormund, Edd and Wun Wun make their escape. As their boat drifts away, the Night King raises his arms. The fallen wildlings – including Karsi – stand, their eyes now bright blue. A hundred thousand new wights. The Night King has his army now.