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'Game of Thrones' scorecard: 'Hardhome'

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After a quiet run of episodes, "Game of Thrones" delivered an electric episode that ended in an extended, epic battle sequence. But just how many bodies hit the floor? Let our scorecard do the counting for you.

"Come at me, bro."
"Come at me, bro."
HBO

This "Game of Thrones" discussion is written by someone who has read George R.R. Martin's books, but will generally only discuss events that have happened on HBO's televised version -- not that it matters much now that the show is going its own way. Still, please respect these boundaries should you choose to participate in the comments section.

Episode 5.08, "Hardhome"

FINAL SCORE: Violence 38, Sex 0

Violence

Totals: The episode was largely free of violence until the narrative reached the titular Hardhome, the seaside settlement north of the Wall where Jon looked to win a few thousand wildling friends. Tormund Giantsbane, Jon's redbearded ambassador, began the talks by beating the Lord of Bones to death, an act of surprising yet casual violence. After that: some talking, then non-stop wight-fightin'. I counted 27 obvious human deaths, but awarded 10 bonus points for the widespread fighting meant to represent the slaughter of thousands of people. If this number seems low, keep in mind that a CGI giant stomping CGI skeletons doesn't fall into the official scorer's purview. Alas.

(via Uproxx)

Notes: Tormund caved in the Lord of Bones' skull with a club made from a skull while Bones was wearing his skull helmet. This is the first scene in the history of the show that has appeased my thirst for skull-related violence. (*sips from skull chalice*)

Sex

Totals: Nothing at all. This is as sexy as it got:

Notes: To be sure, there is nothing to dislike in the above photo (save for all the clothing), but when the sexiest scene in an episode is your memory of characters who were previously naked, it's not a strong episode for sex. (Miss you, Littlefinger's brothel.)

The Four Horsemen of The White Walk-alypse

Top Five Thoughts During the Scenes at Hardhome:

1. "AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!"

2. "WHY ARE YOU NOT ROWING?!?!?!?"

3. "Seriously, Jon? You want people to form a line? Yeah, I'm sure that's what the British did at Dunkirk, too. 'All right chaps, just keep things neat and orderly and we'll live to fight another day!'"

4. "Okay, so Valyrian steel is also useful against the undead. Noted."

5. "OMG have you lost weight?"

game of thrones wights

The Right Kind of Terrible

The episode's final 30 minutes, with their determined build to the extended white-knuckle action sequence, provided more than enough lasting images to get us through another week at the digital water cooler. But I was more drawn to the two scenes in Meereen, where the joy of seeing Daenerys and Tyrion feel each other out was matched only by the hope of what's to come of their alliance. I don't mean to demean the quality of the orgasms that Daario provides, but Tyrion supplied better counsel in his first two minutes with the Mother of Dragons than her entire council has for the last three seasons combined.

Dragonglass, A Play in 3 Acts

ACT I: Somewhere north of The Wall, Season 3

SAM: I ... killed a White Walker?

NIGHT'S WATCH: WHAAA? HOW?

SAM: I used this knife made of curious-looking glass.

MAESTER AEMON: Oh yeah, dragonglass! I've been studying everything about the realm for a hundred years and somehow didn't know this exceptionally useful piece of information.

JON: We should find as much dragonglass as possible and make an entire armory of weapons from it, as it's the only thing that can stop the vast undead army coming for us.

YGRITTE: You know nothing, Jon Snow.

NIGHT'S WATCH: Oooohhh burrrrrrn!

ACT II: Castle Black, earlier in Season 5

JON: Dragonglass. Sam used it to kill a White Walker.

STANNIS: Oh, we've got that all over Dragonstone. Where I live and have unchallenged dominion.

JON: So could you, like, send a raven back and have people mine all the dragonglass and send it up here so that we can stand a chance against the army of ice zombies coming for us?

STANNIS: I could.

JON: Okay, just checking. Maybe after you take Winterfell?

STANNIS: Eh.

ACT III: Hardhome, Season 5

JON: Okay, this is dragonglass. It's the only thing we know of that kills White Walkers, and the Night's Watch doesn't have nearly enough to arm itself against the undead hordes, but I'm just gonna give it to you, wildling lady I just met. Seeing as how we're north of the Wall and could be attacked at any moment, you should probably keep it on your person at all times.

WILDLING LADY: Sure, whatever.

The next day...

WILDLING: It's the undead! They've come for us!

JON: Get your dragonglass weapon!

WILDLING LADY: My what now?

JON: The dagger I gave you!

WILDLING LADY: [blank stare]

JON: THE PRICELESS MATERIAL THAT IS LITERALLY THE ONLY THING THAT KILLS THESE ASSHOLES.

WILDLING LADY: Oh right, I left that back in the hut. Instead of keeping it on me and getting on the boat with my daughters, I figured I'd put my daughters on a boat, run back to the hut to get the glass stuff, THEN get on the next boat. That's what made the most sense to me, an idiot who's about to be killed.

Fin.

The Drunk of Casterly Rock

Tyrion Wine

TYRION'S BACK, BABY! DRINKIN' WITH THE MOTHER OF DRAGONS AND POURIN' REFILLS! And yeah, okay, Dany took away his second glass after she named him her adviser, but still: TYRION BACK. TAKE HIM TO MEEREEN'S FINEST BROTHEL.

Meanwhile, in King's Landing:

Cersei's in a dark cell drinking floor water. Mmmm, floor water! Now with more grit!

Not Theon! Reek!

Here's a fun optical illusion! Is the image above a picture of an enslaved highborn woman speaking to the castrated turncoat she grew up with as she uncovers the truth about her still-living brothers? Or is it a vase?

Just depends on your perspective, man.

Cast Out of the Friend Zone (Again)

"Okay, Jorah. The Tyrion gambit didn't pan out the way you wanted. Stay cool. You got this. Let's run down the list of assets."

"Sword? No."

"Money? No."

"Horse? No."

"Encroaching deadly disease? CHECK."

"Lands? No."

"Reputation? No."

"Heh heh, BOOBS."

"... Where was I? Oh right, back to the fighting pits."

Coldest Stare Down

Stare Down

Ice Maul versus Nurse Ratched: WHO YA GOT?

Miscellaneous

  • Punitive ladle whacks: 2
  • Corrective stick whacks: 1
  • Destructive club whacks: 9
  • Oysters sold: 9 (5 to a hooker, 4 to a thin man)
  • Meaningful steps climbed: 2

DNP, Coach's Decision

The Sand Snakes (Obara, Tyene, and the one who hasn't gotten her own scene yet); Jaime and Bronn's A Tale of Two Cells; the raw sex appeal and suggestiveness of Myrcella and Trystane kissing; Stannis and the "Sacrifice Princess Scaleface" movement; Varys; Margaery; Cersei's conditioner.