Game Of Thrones: Mhysa Review -

Game Of Thrones Review

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  • Episode: Mhysa (Season 3, Episode 10)
  • Starring: Peter Dinklage, Alfie Allen, John Bradley, Thomas Brodie-Sangster
  • Written By: George R.R. Martin ("A Song of Ice and Fire" by), David Benioff (creator)
  • Directed by: David Nutter
  • Network: HBO
  • Studio: Home Box Office (HBO), Television 360, Grok! Studio
  • Series:

Game Of Thrones: Mhysa Review

The Season 3 Finale!

By Jarrett Kruse     June 10, 2013

After last week’s “Red Wedding,” we are given a giant episode filled with stuff for…next season. Such a great buildup but this finale did not really stick the landing. It was a good episode and I guess after last week I was hoping for out of this world awesomeness. Instead we are kind of given little snippets and vignettes of the state of things in each part of Westeros. Definitely fun and all but I guess since I did not read the books that as a strictly TV viewer of GOT, I wanted some kind of cliffhanger or another plot device that would give me some sense of closure for now. Instead I am left thinking that we have to wait 42 weeks to find out what happens next. While some plot-lines were sewn up in this finale, I kept thinking one thing: this is “smart TV at its finest.” The way GOT draws us in to be invested in these characters and this drama is done remarkably well. Leaving a finale does not have to be a jaw drop ending but feel like there is some sense of conclusion to the season. I just did not get that impression despite it being must see geek TV.

It is quite a scene after last week’s bloody ending we start with the remaining Stark bannerman being overwhelmed by Roose Bolton and his crew. In a brash state of bravado Frey’s bannemen have the newly deceased King of the North on a stick, literally. Where once the head of Stark was replaced with the head of the direwolf Grey Wind. Khartoum anyone? Just in time for the celebration, Arya awakes and sees the gore. This kid is going to need some serious therapy at some point. She just cannot seem to catch a break but I feel that she is in good hands with The Hound. Strangely the pair makes an odd couple tandem that reminded me of the classic Besson flick The Professional. 

Seeing Tyrion the diminutive outcast walking with his beautiful new bride Sansa, also an outcast for her last name was for a moment sweet before Tyrion was summoned to a council meeting. If ever there was a scene that could be compared to HBO’s The Sopranos, it was the meeting of the Lannisters. A giddy Joffrey is bursting with excitement at the news from Frey’s raven as Tyrion arrives. It was an interested tableaux with a towering Tywin at one end, Tyrion at the other and Joffrey in between. For a moment I was struck at just how sincere Tywin was in trying to keep the family name. When Tyrion gives Joffrey his comeuppance after he boasts that he will place the Robb’s head on Sansa’s plate at his wedding. It was a tense few minutes and spoke volumes about Tywin as both the Hand and as a father. Tyrion’s reminder to Joffrey that “Kings are dying like flies” when referring to the late Robb Stark is a killer jab to Joffrey as he pouts and yells at his Grandfather for how he was just spoken too. At this point I really thought Tywin shined as he explained why the King was tired. The realization that Tywin has been playing us did not come until my second viewing of the episode. After all, it seems that it was he that ordered the hit on the Starks. Tywin lays out how things will play out to his tiny son and that he and Sansa must consummate the marriage and produce an heir sooner than later. Tyrion remains to be the most likable Lannister and the only man that can bring their kingdom to be restored. Lord Varys explains this very well as he tries to persuade Shae with diamonds to leave the kingdom. Naturally the fire in Shae’s belly made her refute the offer and stay in King’s Landing until Tyrion says. Next year.

Before heading back to King’s Landing, we catch up with Arya and the Hound. The young Stark has certainly had her share of heartache and hearing men talk about her late brother fuels her anger enough to make her first kill. It was an odd moment to see that the girl in Arya had left and the woman that she is becoming. While Frey’s main hall is cleaned of all of the blood, he enjoys the spoils of his well-earned victory. I gotta say that Frey is a damn scary character and listening to him regale in his winnings (a new wife) of the slaughter is downright cold. I think that we all knew that he was a pretty bad dude from the get go but again, wow.

While Theon Greyjoy has been in the backgrounds of this season as a captor to Ramsay Snow, Roose Bolton’s bastard son is one sadistic SOB. Finally we TV viewers get a name for this creep. While eating pork sausage and filling us in that he has cut off Theon’s Greyjoy’s manhood, Roose eats and for a minute think that he is eating, well, you know. Yikes. This guy and Joffrey should play racquetball on the weekends. While begging for death at Ramsay’s hand, I am not quite sure what his endgame will be though but how much more torture can Theon endure? At least his sister Yara is planning to rescue him with or without Balon’s help….next season. Dammit. I am seeing a pattern here. 

In Dragonstone it was interesting to see Davos and Gendry bonding over about both being from Flea Bottom. Davos sees a bit of himself in the young lad and is sure to tell Stannis such before he orders his death after admitting to let Gendry go out to sea on his own. I was a little confused on how swiftly Davos was able to manage an escape for Gendry but there are bigger questions afoot. But hold that order, the Red Woman cancels it out letting Stannis know that Davos will play a big part of the future war. Nice save for the old man with a heart.

Returning to King’s Landing, Tyrion and his big sister continue to discuss her pending marriage to Loras. In a moment of weakness, Cersei actually is nice and tells her brother that he should give Sansa a child so that she can have some happiness in her life. She talks of Joffrey as a baby and what a delight the little monster was as a tot. First Tywin and now Cersei shedding a tear? In the words of M. McFly, “This is heavy.” I can just see a three year old Joff with a crown demanding more graham crackers like Stewie from Family Guy. A little monster that wants to rule the world. A cleaned up Brienne and Jaime are strolling around with the common folk and give each other a nod of acceptance to each other as the giant woman flanks her charge. It is another “nice moment” of the episode. Cut to Cersei’s chambers and her brother/lover has returned and the two are speechless for a moment. I guess that is what I would have expected after all that has gone down in the realm. 

Jon Snow is tracked down by his true love Ygritte but that is not enough for the woman and she puts the Medieval equivalent of a cap in his ass by lacing three arrows into the bastard. Sam and Gilly meet up with Bran and company and implore him to go to Castle Black at once. Unfortunately the little Warg turns down the offer despite Sam’s pleading. It does not seem like ANY of the Stark’s will ever be reunited. Thankfully Jon’s horse takes him back to where Sam and Pyp are and the former has truly become a real hero. And if there is one thing I have learned, it is that in Westeros it is much more difficult to be a hero than a villain. 

The Queen of Dragons was saved for last and Daenerys frees yet another tremendous number of slaves to add to her growing army. The free people embrace her and begin to chant “Mhysa,” an old word for “mother” as she walks her way through the crowd. Yeah it was cool to see all three dragons for a micro-second and seeing Dany be embraced was nice. The overview of her massive army was a nice touch. But just then, I knew things were at an end and the credits would roll. The more I have digested it the day after I think that a “B+” is a fair grade for the episode as a standalone but an “A” for setting up next year hence the “A-“. I am have complete faith in the cast and production that Season 4 will be another terrific but seriously, when is winter coming already?


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mike10 6/10/2013 8:06:29 AM

Looking forward to watching it on a weekend in one shot on DVD.

ddiaz28 6/10/2013 8:32:48 AM

Well it was definitely the weakest GOT finale yet.  Granted, every year the 10th epsiode is part fallout from epiosode 9 and  part setup for next season which it did extremely well.  What it didn't do was give us an awesome last scene to hang on for 10 months.  I was so sure what that last scene might be that I was incredibly disappointed that I didn't get it.  Oh well. 

So it looks like my one complaint about last week was taken care of.  They sure made it clear why killing guests in your house is so bad.  I liked how they did it with the Rat Cook story as well.  Maybe they could have included that last week but it might have forshadowed too much.  I'm just really glad they included it

My favorite story this finale was Arya.  From seeing her witness the FrankenRobb to her bad ass killing of that guard.  Uttering Valar Morghulis was just perfect and hints at where her mind is at.  I can't wait to see her story continue. 

I was also happy to see Davos given so much screen time.  For a former smuggler he is a very honorable man and it seems R'hllor is down with that.  Now we know why Stannis saw that war in the snow last season. 

Seeing Bran meet Sam was so great.  I'm glad they showed that he still has plenty of dragon glass because I know we were all screaming in our heads to not leave that dagger after he killed the white walker. 

Jon and Ygritte's scene was pretty surprising to me even as a book reader. Last week I was a little mad at how Jon seemed like such a dick leaving Ygritte the way he did.  It was good to see them have a moment to address that even though it ended up with Jon as a pin cushion.  Guess they wanted to add a little suspense regading his fate.  I thought this story would go a little further before the end but it looks like they are saving it for next season. 

The way they ended with Theon was awesome.  Having Ramsey eating a sausage (I'm so glad we can finally call him by name!) making us think it might be Theon's member and then having him send his "favorite toy" to his father was brilliant.  Thank you writers for not showing us the contents of the box!  And book fans will be happy that we now have Reek. 

A lot of characters had little to do and their stories are left hanging until next season like Jaime and the Tyrells. 

All in all it was a good finale that lacked the last surprising moment the first 2 seasons gave us.

Wiseguy 6/10/2013 9:43:46 AM

Yes I love that they expounded on why killing guests is bad. Can't wait to see what happens to Lord Frey, it better be something devious and  only a step less worse than Joffrey's end.

Theon deserves a lot of what he gets. Yeah sometimes I feel bad but he is a traitor IMO and killed kids. Having said that I applaud his sister and her decision to try to rescue him from that nut.

Arya is the one I'm worried about. I love that she's a fighter and strong but blood lust almost always leads you to a much darker place 

Wiseguy 6/10/2013 9:51:00 AM

Can't believe I'm saying this but I also felt a bit emotional watching Cersie and Jamie re-unite. Jamie has redeeemed himself somewhat but Cersei remains a class 1  bitch. I wonder if Jamie's views and behavior will change

Davos really likes tempting fate. I guess he really did know he'd be needed before setting Gendry free.

Daenerys is going to have the most loyal following of all the crown seekers. Her evil ass keeps freeing up slaves :)

Btw I want my very own trio of dragons. How cool is that, I love how they stand guard for  Daenerys

redhairs99 6/10/2013 10:06:10 AM

Good episode as we've come to expect with GoT, but still always disappointing to me when they have the BIG episode as the lead up to the finale and then mostly set-up for the next season.  On a GoT scale, I give it a low B, but compared to other shows that's still an A.

Am I the only person who thought of that SNL skit when Belon was redding the letter from The Boltons?  Even before he got to the part of the letter saying they sent "his favorite toy," I shouted out "It's His DIck in Box!"

isgrimner 6/10/2013 10:46:56 AM

I was surprised the ending didn't end in a cliff hanger so to speak.  I think they had several to choose from, but I'm pretty sure the main one I'm thinking of is the same one ddiaz28 is thinking of.  I’m sure it will be shown in an early episode next season though.

The Arya scene was a favorite, I think it took place in a roadside inn in the books and really stood out to me, because she just broke down when she started stabbing the guy.  I recall reading it and thinking this could be the last shred of any innocence she has left being removed.  Also, it may have been the first man she killed in the show, but in the book she killed a guard to escape Harrenhal with Gendry. 

Regarding Jon getting shot with arrows, I’m already seeing internet jokes invoking  a popular Skyrim (video game) meem, that “Jon used to be an adventurer, but then he took an arrow to the knee.” 

Glad all TV viewers finally know for sure that Theon has been a prisoner of the Bolton’s.   Their sigil is a flayed man on an X, and Theon has been getting flayed here and there.

I liked Jojen Reed in the books, in the show he comes across a bit arrogant and kind of a know-it-all.   I agree again with ddiaz28 about the Rat Cook story and how they pointed out how taboo it is to harm guests.  

I think Davos will be a fan favorite if he is not already.   I think the actor playing him fits him really well.  He is a lot like Ned Stark, but he understands bending the rules a little better.

It was good seeing the little bit of bonding between Tyrion and Sansa, well at least before the news of the Red Wedding reached King’s Landing. 

Overall I’m happy with the finale, and understand why there was no big cliffhanger as the season does not cover the entirety of book three, though they certainly could have ended on a cliffhanger if they choose to.  It might have irritated people more having to wait than it enticed them for season four, so I understand why they held off.   I think next season has the possibility to start having parts of book four and five mixed in, curious to see if it will.  It also seems to me that catching up to GRRM is a real possibility and I hope we don’t come to a point where we have to wait two years between seasons. 

smoke62 6/10/2013 10:50:15 AM

 Sorry, there are barely any (that not even occasional Pirate guy) people of color in the show, and all they have are the emotionless/characterless army guys Danarys has and then a city of black and brown SLAVES??!! And then they lift her over their heads like a messiah calling her MOTHER???!! I"m a big fan of the show, but as a black man it brought up everything I have a problem with in casting and imagedry. And yes, I'm in the THE BUSINESS and have worked on a lot of BIG films.  Beyond that, solid but not great finale.

CalamityJohnson 6/10/2013 10:53:30 AM

Not sure how "noble" freeing slaves is if you don't think through your strategy. Going from place to place knocking over the taskmasters and then on to the next would in reality be a very irresponsible tactic. Without taking the time to install a new government and ensuring the people could defend themselves and govern themselves they'd just be ripe for the picking for the next warlord/slavemaster of the month. Unfortunately, the vast majority of slaves are illiterate, uneducated, and unused to freedom. It takes educated peoples... caring peoples, willing to teach these newly freed folk how to care for themselves. This simplistic romp through the desert kingdoms, killing off the leaders and then... NEXT philosophy only benefits Daenarys because she's gonna get all the credit, but very little of the fallout from what would naturally come next. I don't recall GRRM ever addressing this much. The responsible thing would have been to conquer Westeros first, then return and free the slaves when there would be adequate time to tend to those matters. Just a thought... and perhaps too much of an injection of reality. Sorry to dampen the fantasy.

hanso 6/10/2013 11:02:11 AM

LOL @ the reviewer.  Another A for a crappy episode.  This thing got the same grade than the Red wedding episode, wtf!?  

I kept switching between this and the Heat/Spurs game cause it bored me.

The most uneventful thing of the episode was finding out The torturer was Ramsay Bolton.  Was that suppose to be a shocker?  Who cares, we dont even know Roose or the Bolton family that well for it to be a surprise.  H  Ramsay better become a player in GoT or his whole thing was a waste.

Tywin like a boss!

I'm hoping Arya's kill sends her on her way to Jaquen now.

@Smoke, I agree bout evil Dany.

During Theon's scene did anyone else think of Roots?  Kunta, Kunta Kinte.  No bitch its Toby!

hanso 6/10/2013 11:05:22 AM

 @red, lol!  I thought the samething bout the box.

@isgrimmer, EW has an interview with the shows creators and I think Martin too about catching up to the books and how they will approach season 4/5.

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