* Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen “Valar Morghulis."
Tyrion's Terrible Awakening
Post-Blackwater, Tyrion wakes up to Pycelle's wrinkly form. The Grand Maester fills him in on Tywin's victory and gleefully informs him that he's no longer Hand of the King.
Only Lord Tywin Can Get Away with That
After his horse drops a steaming load, Tywin rides his horse right up to the Iron Throne and accepts his appointment as Hand of the King from Joffrey. Littlefinger is rewarded with Harrenahl for bringing the Tyrells into the fold. Loras asks Joffrey to marry his sister because, you know, Margaery loves him. Not because she wants to be Queen or anything. Joffrey's engagement to Sansa gets the kibosh, and she couldn't be happier until Littlefinger warns her that she's not out of danger. He says that for her mother's sake, he'll help her get home to Winterfell.
Another Little Bird
Varys goes to see Ros with a purpose: he wants her to spy on her boss, Littlefinger, for him.
The Cruise Ends Here
Brienne and Jaime's river trip reaches an end, and probably not a moment too soon for Brienne because the Kingslayer has yet to exhaust his supply of insults. What's not funny is when they run into a trio of Northmen, and Jaime tries to hide his face. One of the Northmen recognizes him, though, and Brienne kills all three.
Mark Your Mother's Words
Ah, the wisdom of a mother. Catelyn warns Robb that Walder Frey is a dangerous man to cross, but Robb is still mad at her about releasing Jaime and not inclined to listen to her. Which is the biggest mistake EVER.
Stannis Is a Sore Loser
Stannis, not a very happy man even before the Battle of the Blackwater, is especially dour over his defeat by the Lannisters and the Tyrells. He doubts the Lord of Light and grabs Melisandre by the throat. He releases her, and she spouts her usual mumbo jumbo about how Stannis is destined to be king.
Theon's Last Stand
Winterfell is under siege by Northmen, and the Ironborn are severely outnumbered. Luwin, who's watched Theon grow up at Winterfell, is quite kind to him, and advises Theon to run to the Wall and make amends for what he's done. Outside, Theon tries to rally his troops, but at the end of his speech, Dagmer Cleftjaw knocks him out. When Luwin demands to know what's going on, Dagmer sticks a spear through him.
All of Tyrion's Hard Work Is for Naught
Varys tells Tyrion that Ser Mandon Moore tried to kill him on Cersei's orders. Bronn is no longer Commander of the City Watch, and the hill tribesmen have gone home after having been paid by Tywin for their service. Shae arrives and wants to see the damage Ser Mandon Moore did to Tyrion's face.
Robb Follows His Heart
Robb and Talisa are married, and so his promise to Walder Frey is irrevocably broken. This being Game of Thrones, you'd better believe there are going to be consequences.
The House of the Undying: Such an Appealing Name
Daenerys arrives at the House of the Undying. Jorah is walking behind her and she suddenly disappears around a corner. Inside the super creepy place, she hears her dragons.
Jaqen H'ghar's Makeover
On the road with Hot Pie and Gendry, Arya runs into Jaqen H'ghar. He's one of the coolest characters in the ASoIaF universe, and Arya tells him she wants to learn to be like him. But she has to find her mother, brother, and sister. Jaqen gives her a coin that she can use to find him again. He then says that Jaqen is dead, and when he turns around, he has a new face!!!
A Sad Goodbye to Winterfell
Osha, Hodor, and the boys leave the crypt to discover that Winterfell is a burning ruin. They find a dying Maester Luwin in the godswood, and this scene is utterly heartbreaking to watch as he talks to a tearful Bran and Rickon. He tells them to go to Jon at the Wall because there are too many enemies in the South. Luwin charges Osha with protecting them and then, once the boys are out of sight, asks her to end his suffering.
When in Doubt, Use Dragon Fire
In the House of the Undying, Daenerys stands before the Iron Throne. She walks on and sees a tent, where inside, there's Drogo and their son! As much as she wants this to be real, it isn't, and when she returns to her starting point, the three dragons are there, chained in place. Pyat Pree appears out of nowhere and does that freaky thing where he splits himself into multiple Pyat Prees. Daenerys is suddenly in chains, too, and she and the dragons are to remain there for . . . a really, really, really long time. As small as they are, though, Daenerys is able to get the dragons to spit quite a bit of fire, and Pyat Pree is set ablaze. All of the chains disappear, and Daenerys and her dragons are reunited and free.
Jon Plays Traitor
Jon and Qorin Halfhand are being dragged by the Wildlings to Mance Rayder. Qorin manages to get hold of a sword and goes after Jon, who suddenly has Longclaw returned to him. The two fight hard, but it's Jon who puts his sword through the Halfhand in the end. As they near the Wildlings' camp, it's revealed to be massive.
Back in Qarth, Xaro Xhoan Daxos and Doreah have been messing around together, and now they've been caught. Xaro's vault is opened, and . . . it's completely empty. But not for long, because Xaro and the traitorous Doreah are locked in there. The Dothraki clean out all of the gold and jewels in Xaro's house, which will help Daenerys purchase a small ship.
It's a Freaking White Walker Army
Sam is talking about Gilly to Grenn and Dolorous Edd when they hear the horn blast three times, the warning for White Walkers. Sam falls down and hides behind a giant rock as the White Walkers, of which there are many, including a creepy White Walker-ified horse, march past.
Final Thoughts on Season 2
A host of new characters were introduced this season, including one of my all-time favorites from the ASoIaF books, Brienne of Tarth. I seriously couldn't wait for the second season to start because she was going to be in it.
Joffrey's insufferable tyranny operated at full capacity this season, but at least we got to see Tyrion smack him. Speaking of Tyrion, how incredible was he as Hand of the King? But this being GoT, naturally, it's not the sort-of-good guy who gets the glory.
Theon turned out to be pretty despicable, eh? Why does all of the bad shit happen to the Starks?
"Blackwater" was a totally awesome episode. The visual effects used for the wildfire were amazing, and it was just a brilliantly assembled hour of television.
Peeps We Said Goodbye to This Season
RIP: Renly Baratheon, Maester Luwin, Ser Rodrik Cassel, Qorin Halfhand, Yoren, Lommy Greenhands, Matthos Seaworth, Maester Cressen, Irri, Rakharo, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, Doreah, Pyat Pree, Amory Lorch, the Tickler, Alton Lannister. (And anyone else I forgot)