What kind of a year has it been in Westeros? Last week’s Battle of Blackwater was the obvious climax for the season, and in some ways “Valar Morghulis” performs an advanced version of the pawn-arranging shenanigans seen throughout this season, the difference being that the board is almost unrecognisable compared to how it began. We’re back on our horse to trot around the world of Game of Thrones, so let’s get to it.
For the first time on Game of Thrones the action took place in one location over one night, under the direction of The Descent’s Neil Marshall and written by G.R.R. Martin himself, which might explain a thing or two about a thing or two. For once recapping this show chronologically might be the better option so here goes.
If you’ve seen the bit in The Wire where a quotation appears at the start of the episode that ties up its thematic business into a neat bundle, you’ll be au fait with GoT doing something similar, where a statement is dramatically foregrounded, like “Do you want to lead? Then learn how to follow,” or “You can’t tame a wild thing. Wild creatures have their own rules, their own reasons, and you’ll never know them,” or, this week, “The more people you love, the weaker you are.”