Game of Thrones – Season Finale, “Mhysa” Review


Rating: 7.2


Tonight marks my final review of the third season of Game of Thrones. This season certainly was invigorating when it wanted to be, but I’ve been a little bit bored since episode seven. Don’t get me wrong, this series is fantastically written, produced, acted, and developed. It’s a great show. But… the final act left me with wanting more.

I can tell you why, and once again it will almost certainly be an unpopular opinion. For a multitude of reasons I have been forced to stop caring about the Starks as a whole. I know that I stopped caring about them before the Red Wedding—I especially stopped caring about Robb—probably back around episode 5, if not earlier.

One reason sticks out. Let me be clear: the Internet has ruined Game of Thrones for me. I can safely say it’s because of people who have read the books, who are producing memes such as “Every time someone asks George R. R. Martin when the next book will be done, he kills a Stark.” That’s a horrendous message to have blatantly thrown in your face day-in and day-out because it completely beats any desire to root for that family out of some of us sole-TV watchers. I understand that this is something that people have loved for a long time and that many have been waiting for years for a screen-adaptation. I understand how exciting it is to see your favorite character from a book series come to life and navigate the world… but all of you are ruining it for the rest of us.

I get it, we live in the social media age where nothing is sacred. Big whoop, I know how to keep my mouth shut when I want someone to watch Battlestar Galactica. I don’t go around telling everyone I meet who the final five are, or even the original cylons (Okay, I kind of accidentally spoil Cylon 8 sometimes out of excitement. BUT YOU FIND THAT OUT IN EPISODE FOUR, NOT THREE SEASONS IN).

I’m tirelessly reading compare and contrasts from book-to-TV, and that’s fine. I think that’s a great way for a fan to spend their time—I’ve done it with comic book adaptations of my favorite characters, and I’ve done it with True Blood. But there’s something that I really love about True Blood that Game of Thrones doesn’t appear to do that often*: True Blood takes liberties with the book material and creates a world that us readers couldn’t have even fathomed. I love the book series, but the television series has taken that world to a whole other level. Characters that should be dead in book-world are central characters in the television-world, and I accept them both equally.

I strongly believe in changing the source material when you turn the written medium to the screen because there’s just no way to translate the information perfectly. Someone is always going to be sad that a world wasn’t represented properly, a line wasn’t spoken, or what felt like an integral scene was omitted. That being said, Game of Thrones is remarkably consistent with the book material (or so I have been told), so any spoiler that can be written has been, and many a troll has sent them my way.

I understand the juvenile fun these spoilers can instill. I myself ruined a major plot point from the 4th season of Dexter for many people just for luls… but I was 18 and I was an immature idiot.

I’m done complaining, but for the record: I had to put out there for my sanity.

I’m not going to go too far in depth with my power rankings because I feel defeated right now. I watched all of the 2nd season of Game of Thrones a year after it had aired completely spoiler-free. I will most likely do this with season 4… but only time will tell if my pouty wounds will heal.

Let’s break down the fight for the iron throne one last time in We Love TV More’s weekly power rankings! These rankings are based solely on my enjoyment and understanind go the events that took place in “Mhysa”, not any given character’s viability for the throne. These reviews are unadulterated by the books as I am a television reviewer, not a book reviewer.

1. Daenerys Stormborn

There’s no one I like seeing on screen more than Daenerys. I’d totally watch a show just about the Mother of Dragons taking down the adolescent tyrant whose family stole her father’s crown. She barely did anything in this episode, but her kindness toward the freed slaves brought tears to my eyes.

2. Tyrion and Tywin / Tyrion and Cersei

King’s Landing is where the show’s writing truly shines, especially when it concerns any Lannister that is not Joffrey. Tywin’s grace as a true leader, Tyrion’s defiance, and Cersei’s clever desperation really held the season finale up on a whole other level than the other material.

3. Arya Stark

Something finally happened in Arya’s story and it was built up perfectly. She has not allowed the tragedies in her life to cause any kind of PTSD, rather she has become a fierce and unwavering rogue. I anticipate that this young woman will soon become my favorite character if I return to the series.

4. Lord Varys and Shae

This little bit of dialogue was absolutely fascinating because Lord Varys’ motive does not clearly come from Tyrion nor does it explicitly benefit himself. Has he taken pity on a character he previous had seldom interaction with? Only time will tell, but Conleth Hill (Varys) has some of the best screen presence in the series.

5. Jaime and Brienne

I’m relatively certain they had no lines in the season finale, but Gwendoline Christie (Brienne) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime) have the best on-screen chemistry of any two actors I’ve ever seen on television. Beyond that, Coster-Waldau and Lena Hadley (Cersei) also did not need any dialogue to convey a powerful message and longing for one another. These three actors need not speak to inspire awe.

6. Sam Turly and Ginny

They got to the wall. Yay! And Ginny named the baby Sam! Huzzah!

7. Davos Seaworth and Gendry

Stannis’ Hand of the King, Davos, set Gendry free thus allowing me to breathe a sigh of relief. I love Gendry and hope that he kills Joffrey as well as Stannis. By the way, I do not care about Stannis or Melissandre at all. The god of light should consume them to remedy the fact that we’ve been forced to endure this terrible plot for two long, tiresome seasons.

8. Jon Snow

Here’s the deal: Jon Snow’s story is incredibly dynamic. He shows us the whole world from a perspective other than that of royalty, for which I am thankful. As a conduit, he has introduced us to the wildlings, the Night’s Watch, and a whole lot of beautiful snow. Kit Harrington is cute and a fine enough actor to carry the role. I still don’t really care about Jon Snow that much, and I especially don’t like Ygritte, especially after what she did to Jon. I anticipate that he’ll survive the wounds and I am grateful that he’s made it back to the Night’s Watch… but yeah, I’m totally done with Ygritte and her entirely one-dimensional female character.

9. Theon Greyjoy

I’ve been done with this plot since the second torture scene. It’s gratuitous and takes up a lot of space that could otherwise be filled with Daenerys. If his sister had set off to find him mid-season I’d probably care more. But by now it’s been strung along for far too many episodes. They should kill him and be done with it.


Overall it was a good episode of Game of Thrones. Every plot has gone exactly where it needed to, and my only major complaint is that every story arc felt rushed and forcibly crammed into the next (which is almost certainly why the episode went for an extra ten minutes). This was also overall a good season, but my complaints are piling on top of one another, leaving me feeling a little bit helpless and as though I ought to just watch the fourth season as a binge in its entirety once it has concluded next year.

  • * – I recognize that Game of Thrones is considered a greater series both in written and filmed forms, but that does not lesson my admiration for the world of True Blood nor that this is a point of reference I can make. I’m not into Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or any other major book-to-film, so I’ve got to work with what I’ve got.



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1 comment

  1. I think it all has to do with the way the books are written and with GRRM’s plot lines. I think we can all agree the things that happened in The Red Wedding were way more shocking, surprising and traumatizing than anything Harry Potter/LotR-related and I’m gonna even extend that to events in recent TV series as well. There is a reason why the shock factor and people’s reactions to the Red Wedding became a meme. I think the whole deal with spoiling things for people is just a way to cope with the trauma itself – it’s almost as if people believe that lashing out and spoiling the plot or ridiculing people’s reactions to the events in the book/movie will make them feel better about themselves and quite possibly feel less butthurt for falling for the same shenanigans.

    “I understand the juvenile fun these spoilers can instill. I myself ruined a major plot point from the 4th season of Dexter for many people just for luls… but I was 18 and I was an immature idiot.”
    You pretty much said it yourself. The internet is filled with 18 years olds and immature idiots who have yet to learn and are thus entitled to troll or so it seems. I feel that in this day and age we simply don’t have the right to complain about spoilers. You’re never going to stop people from doing so so why bother? Are you honestly going to allow some troll who hasn’t accomplished anything in his life to prevent you from experiencing pretty much one of the best fantasy book and TV series ever written because of just that? Seems silly, especially because you enjoy bringing people up to speed about the most recent shows. Sacrificing the chance to cover some of the best, current content seems like a waste. Don’t do it, Blaire.
    I’ve read the books in two languages and I still watch the TV series. Why? For moments such as the ending of “Mhysa!”. That’s why. Brilliant acting, brilliant screenplay, brilliant adaptation of an important scene from the books. Really, a 10/10.

    I will also agree with you with the True Blood and Game of Thrones comparison. However, the plot of the books is way too complex and everything is so entwined that it is pretty much impossible to take way too many liberties with the plot or characters other than visuals or prematurely ending plot lines which are not that important in the long run to begin with. Having GRRM behind the curtains certainly helps in that aspect. While the world of “Song of Ice and Fire” is nowhere as complex as the well-established lore of Middle Earth, everything that GRRM mentions in the books is actually pretty relevant to the plot, even if it is a song. In Lord of the Rings a lot of things simply exist because “Hey, why not?” and their omission in the ecranisation of the books did not make the trilogy suffer. In my opinion, however, this cannot be done with A Game of Thrones. At least not without messing things up.

    Finally, I will disagree with your commentary on Ygritte and it really has nothing to do with additional knowledge gleaned from the book series. Ygritte is pretty much the same in the books and on TV. It has to do precisely with her one-dimensional female character, simply because it is realistic for her upbringing and differentiates herself from the rest of the female characters.. yet at the same time she is one of the strongest female characters that GRRM has ever written. Not everyone needs to be a special snowflake, or be cunning, or super philosophical, witty or with traumatizing past.. or with some kind of destiny.. or talent.. or skill.. or piece of equipment.. or lineage.. Ygritte knows what she wants and knows how to acquire it. Isn’t that a thing worthy of admiration? You are familiar with the Seven deities of the Faith: Father, Mother, Warrior, Maiden, Smith, Crone and Stranger. I have the suspicion that GRRM is really trying to tie some of the main characters to these archetypes, with Ygritte representing the Warrior “for courage and victory”. Brienne of Tarth is the Father, representing Justice. Lady Stark is the Crone. Danny is The Mother. Sansa is the Maiden. Arya is the Stranger. The Smith is kinda hazy.. I guess Melissandre.

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