Game of Thrones: “Mhysa” Season 3 Finale Review

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As one war ends, the characters we’ve grown to love leap forward in various ways.

We picked up right where we left off last week, as the massacre continues while Arya escapes with the Hound.

King’s Landing was the first to know, and Joffrey is celebrating his grandfather’s victory. Tyrion, of course, has an idea of the issues this could cause for them in the future. He even questions his father’s nobility. Is it more noble to kill ten thousand men on a field or a dozen at dinner, Tywin asks. There’s no easy answer, even for Tyrion.

The imp faces another blow when Varys tells Shae it might be better to leave. This was one of two very sad “break-ups” in this episode, but more on the second later.

The story at the capitol this season ended with Jaime returning home with Brienne. The look on his escort’s face, and then the look on his sister’s were perfect. Jaime has been through a lot this season and he finally achieved his goal, perhaps making a friend on the way.

More aftermath from the Red Wedding included the reveal that Bolton’s son Ramsey is the one who has Theon captive. The torture of the young Greyjoy could turn around, as his sister Yara goes against her father’s will to rescue him.

Arya and the Hound ran into a few Stark killers on their route. We got our first taste of Arya’s revenge as she brutally murdered a man boasting about the massacre. She uttered “Valar Morghulis” as she looked at the special coin her assassin gave her last season.

But while the south grieved/celebrated, the north looked towards the future. Winter is coming, and the White Walkers could mean an end to all of Westeros.

And right now, the only person ready to face them is a crippled, parentless boy. Bran’s quick run-in with Samwell was worth it, as he showed them the way through the wall. For a second I hoped Samwell would accompany Bran, but he instead returned to Castle Black.

Meanwhile, the newly escaped Jon Snow became newly single as Ygritte fired upon him, piercing him with arrows three times. After last week’s shocking deaths it was scary to think that Jon Snow might see his brother and father sooner than intended. But he got back to Castle Black as well, as the Nightswatch ask for more troops in the fight against the dead.

Davos, who got to bond with Gendry in prison before being released, has that information ready for Stannis. Now he’s back as the potential king’s Hand. But he sneaks Gendry out, sending him to safety, assuring that Davos is the most likable character on Stannis’ side of the world. He later manages to convince Stannis and Melisandre to move their attention to the next war. Season four and beyond have some direction.

Then, just as the finale came to a close, Daenerys was a part of perhaps the most hopeful scene in the series yet. Is she a conquerer or a liberator? Neither. As the slaves of Yunkai leave their city, the Mother of Dragons has some inspiring words, signifying that people create their own freedom. It’s actually quite touching, as the crowd chants “Mhysa”, their word for “Mother”. After such a depressing episode last week, and the aftermath that followed earlier in this episode, it was an incredible move to end on the most hopeful note the series has delivered yet.

And so ends the third year. As usual, the finale merely wrapped up things rather than delivering a major shocker. The creators know that there is no need for it. It’s going to be a long summer, fall, and yes, even winter, but with some great moments, this finale left us with a dream of next spring. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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