The Kingdom of Westeros is vast, and as season two comes to a close, every story needs a strong cliffhanger to keep us guessing for the months to come. While the final episode of season two, “Valar Morghulis,” is certainly less bloody than the previous episode, it still leaves the viewers with many unanswered questions, hopes and fears.
In King’s Landing, Tyrion has lost a lot in one night. He awakens, face slashed, recovering and unseated as Hand. Since Tywin’s successful return to the citadel, there is no longer a need for the imp. Tyrion is left to heal, his face and his pride, in dungeon-like quarters. The only person who seems to show him any loyalty is the eunuch Varys, who tells him the people will always know what he did for King’s Landing. Varys also rewards him in the only way he can: he brings Shae to the imp’s bedside. She pleads with him to flee with her and start their own lives elsewhere.
Meanwhile, at the glorious Iron Throne, King Joffrey hands out rewards and accolades. For their part in the fight, Tywin Lannister reclaims his title as Hand of the King, Lord Baelish is rewarded with his own less-than-perfect kingdom, Harrenhal, and Sir Loras Tyrell, who sided with the King after Renly Baratheon’s death, is granted anything he desires. His desire (and that of his sister, the widowed Margaery) is to join houses through marriage. There has to be a plan in motion here. I can’t imagine she’d want to go from Renly to Joffrey without some ulterior motives.
After being assured by his council that the gods would prefer this union, he accepts. Relieved, Sansa thinks this means her freedom, but Baelish assures her it means only more harsh imprisonment. It’s vile the way Little Finger compares Sansa to her mother. No doubt he intends to pick up Joffrey’s scraps and take his fantasies of Lady Cat out on her daughter.
The rest of the Starks seem to be falling apart as they try desperately to keep the family together. To save her daughters, Lady Cat released Jaime Lannister in good faith. Too bad he didn’t arrive before the battle ended. Brienne still escorts him to King’s Landing, killing Stark bannermen along the way. Robb ignores his vow to Walder Fray and his arranged marriage, marrying instead his new love Talisa. I can’t imagine that will go over well in the Riverlands. Wandering aimlesslessly in search of Winterfell, Arya meets Jaquen, who gives her a special coin to summon him when she needs him again. Before he departs, he magically changes his appearance. I think I like where this is going.
A weakening Theon Grayjoy continues to hold Winterfell. He’s down to twenty men, and they are surrounded. Maester Luwin advises him to run and make way to the Night’s Watch where his crimes will be forgiven. Instead, he rallies his men to fight to the death. After a very impressive and motivating rally cry, his men knock him out, burn Winterfell to the ground and flee like cowards. Apparently, they find much less honor in the whole “dying-for-the-Iron-Islands” bit.
Osha and the Stark boys emerge from hiding to a smoldering Winterfell and a dying Maester Luwin. He tells them there are too many threats to the South and urges them to head North to the wall where Jon Snow will take care of them. It has to be safer, right? Sure it is.
Remember that pissed off Dragon Mother? Daenerys is on a mission to get back her dragons. At the warlock temple, she is tempted and taunted by memories of the past, visions of the future and Khal Drago visions from the other side. When the warlocks try to enslave her along with her “babies,” they join together and burn the place down with dragonfire. How many times have I said it? Do not piss off the mother of dragons. It’s that simple.
Infuriated after their escape, Daenerys confronts Xaro Xaro, the king of Qarth. Intending to steal money from his vault, she finds it empty. His wealth has been an illusion. For his betrayal, she locks him and his mistress inside the empty vault, steals what gold he has and secures herself a ship. She will return to Westeros.
On the other side of the wall, an enslaved Jon Snow fights and kills his lord commander, so he is treated better when he meets the King North of the Wall. While the other Night’s Watchmen, Samwell, Pyp and Grenn forage for anything useful in the wasteland, the undead army of the north, the White Walkers, begin their march south. Here comes the endless winter.
What did you think of this season? What’s your biggest question you can’t wait to have answered? Let us know in the comments section below!