Mr. Smith's Watch is Just Beginning.

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Episode 24 “And Now His Watch is Ended”

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I live for the fall. You remember the fall. It’s that time of year when you can run around saying “Winter is coming.” and you don’t seem like a total dork. People just say, “Yup. It’s just around the corner.” and go on with their lives. Any other time of year and you’re met with either quizzical looks, or the secret handshake of Game of Thrones fans. Where I live, the fall also brings the local Renaissance Festival. It’s a wondrous place, ripe with….wonder. There’s a lovely village covering a few acres with tons, and I am measuring by weight, of corseted wenches and men with tights that have little hammocks for their family jewels. There are pirates, mostly the Caribbean kind, not so much the Penzance kind. There are Harry Potter characters for whatever reason too, along with gypsies and what passes for English royalty. There’s even a mermaid. I don’t know why. Entertainers abound, like the two or three pirate themed bands, magicians and comedy sketches about being rogues and wenches. There’s a show all about Robin Hood that used to be pretty fun for the first ten or so years I saw it,  and food vendors of course, as turkey legs are plentiful, but you know what’s not there? GoT fans. Yet. It’s coming though. As sure as winter in Westeros. This year the Ned Starks and Cercie Lannisters and fanboys with sword replicas will be thicker than flies on a peasant butt. Mark my words. MARK THEM!!! Now, on with the show.

[SPOILERS AHEAD]

Jaime’s hand dangles from his neck as he rides, still a captive of whatever band of cutthroats are taking him back to Robb Stark. He falls off his horse and gets the snot bubbles beat out of him in the mud. Wait. Am I starting to feel sorry him? What’s going on here? I’m about five minutes into the episode and I already don’t know who to root for.

Tyrion visits Varys to try to prove that his sister tried to have him killed at the Battle of the Blackwater. Varys gives Tyrion some very good advice indeed. Patience. See, a long time ago a sorcerer removed Varys’s manhood. The reason he became the spider, the master of whisperers, was to extend his reach to capture that sorcerer. That’s why he’s in a position to help Tyrion, and that’s why there’s a sorcerer in a box. Bet you didn’t realize — and neither did Tyrion — that Varys can be truly dangerous, huh? I’m definitely rooting for both those fellas.

The Night’s Watch remains in Craster’s keep, and a couple of brothers who’s names I’m not even going to bother to remember are shoveling pig pens. They don’t trust Craster. Duh. He’s a Wildling, and Wildlings don’t like the Black Watch. I think they’re just angry because they have to shovel so much. You know what they’ll be doing if they defeat the Whyte Walkers? More Shoveling. Their time would be better spent doing their duty, or maybe thinking about how they are never going to chat up a lady again, so they might as well shovel.

Sam visits Gilly, who is desperately trying to keep Craster from discovering her son. She explains it to Sam. She needs Sam to help her save her baby’s life, dashing his hopes for a whirlwind, forbidden romance. Boys go to the others with the glowing blue eyes, you see. Much more important than a relationship. Besides, it’s Craster’s keep, so Craster’s rules.

Bran has another dream about that three-eyed crow. This time he climbs the tree it lands in, but is met by his mother, who tells him to stop climbing, causing him to fall. Probably could have had that conversation on the ground, but the fall is significant.  I think Bran is starting to realize that it’s partially his fault the kingdom is in ruin. Had he obeyed his mother in the first place, he wouldn’t have seen Jaime putting it to his sister, wouldn’t have broken his back, and wouldn’t be running from who knows what to who knows where because of what all that caused. It would’ve happened anyway though. Hopefully he’ll come to that realization too.

Varys is getting the skinny on Podrick’s dalliance with those prostitutes from Rose. Or should I say not-so-skinny, if you know what I mean. I absolutely love it that nobody can figure out how he pulled off such an extraordinary feat of daring-do. This is how legends are made. Once word gets out about his prowess, Tyrion is going to have to look in every bedchamber in Westeros just to get him to send a crow across the street. Rose also tells Varys that Little Finger is about to depart for the Eyrie with two feather beds. One for him, and one for Sansa. That Lord Baelish sure is a rascal. His aim is to secure the Eyrie and the North at the same time. It’ll be nice to see Catelyn’s sister again. She’s a frigging loony.

Joffrey gives Margaery a tour of the Great Sept of Baelor. Kind of the equivalent of the tour you get in LA that shows where all the famous people died. Joffrey is more interested in the how. And the gore. Margaery lures Joffrey outside to greet his adoring public. Well, his public with mixed feelings about him. This infuriates his mother. She’s losing the reigns on her little boy. The way Cercei looks at Margaery makes me think she’s not long for this world. I will miss her beautiful smirk.

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Margaery wonders if Joffrey is going to give her two headed flipper babies.

Theon is still in the middle of being rescued. Flapping his gums like there is no possibility that this could be a trick, or some sort of ruse to get him to relax and spill the beans about where lie his loyalties. Theon is kind of an idiot. And now he’s back in shackles. And yes, his dad’s on board with all this.

Brienne talks Jaime out of starving himself to death. She basically questions his manhood. Jaime still has his manhood. So that’s good. You know, it always bugs me how no matter how good the effects team is, they never make an amputation look like it’s shorter than it used to be. It’s either that or Jaime’s right arm was always seven or eight inches longer than his left. I do not know what that implies about his manhood. I must not have noticed before.

Cercie pays a visit to her father to make sure everything’s cool with the search for Jaime. She also makes the case that she’s more qualified than Tyrion or Jaime to advise him. So he allows her to advise him. She lets Tywin know that the Tyrells are manipulating Joffrey. Joffrey is in for a family intervention from the sound of it.

I just want to reiterate last week’s comments about Diana Rigg. She’s amazing. Okay. That’s done. Varys pays a visit to Lady Olenna to talk about her interest in Sansa, interrupting her as she toys with her handmaidens with their embroidery. Ahh, to be Queen of Roses and a spitfire to boot. Great role for Rigg. Varys informs Olenna that Little Finger is plotting to marry Sansa when he takes her out of King’s Landing. Did you get all that? I’m not sure I did, but this will presumably give Olenna the opportunity to prevent Little Finger’s ascension by betrothing her to one of the Tyrells. Presumably of course, given we’re clever enough to figure that out. And we are.

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The nonexistent and the decrepit. Weaving schemes.

Margaery interrupts Sansa in the God’s Wood as she prays. Sansa finally comes to trust her a little when Margaery tells her that when she is queen, she’ll be safe in Highgarden. If Sansa marries Margaery’s brother, and if Margaery lives long enough to be queen, with Cercei and now Tywin keeping an eye on her.

The Night’s Watch are holding service for one of their fallen brothers, concluding with “And now his watch has ended.” It’s a beautiful sentiment, but it was an awkward service. Lord Commander Mormont, barely knowing him, did his best. Got the point across with a little embellishment at the end. Seeing that kind of thing doesn’t comfort those with wanderlust wearing the black though, as they ponder the events of their life culminating in the Lord Commander not even knowing their home town. At dinner one of those nameless yahoos calls Craster a bastard and kills him, another murders the Lord Commander, causing all hell to break loose. In the Chaos, Samwell rescues Gilly and her son, while the nameless yahoos call for their heads.

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RIP Lord Commander. Your watch has ended too.

Aria is still captive of the Brothers Without Banners or whoever, kinda. She’s safe and unharmed so she’s not going anywhere. They are on their way to the secret lair or headquarters of the secret brotherhood, so Aria is kept hooded with her friend (the real King, if you’ve been paying attention since first season.) as well as the Hound. Upon arrival, they put the Hound on trial for Murder, but since whatever God they worship calls the shots, they’ll duke it out. Next week. Trust me, it’ll be amazing. The question you may be asking yourself is why Aria isn’t pressing the Hound for information about her family. Trust is an issue I’m sure. For all she knows they are all dead, which is why, I’m sure, her journey is about to take a drastic turn. You’ll see.

They do tend to save the best for last, don’t they? Daenerys arrives to trade a dragon with the slaver folk. They make the trade, and well…any description of the following TOTAL AWESOMENESS would be completely inadequate. Daenerys gets her eight thousand unsullied and keeps her dragon. That’s all I have to say about that.

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SWOOOOOOOON

I don’t know about you, but I’m spent. This was an amazing, amazing episode. Whew. I hope it goes on forever.

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DRAGON SWOOOOOOOON!!!!

Game on, friends.

Mr. Smith

[Official Show Site at HBO]      [Previous Recap: “Walk of Punishment”]

Curtis Smith

Curtis Smith, a native of Curtistan, is an actor, whip maker, and musician.

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