This Sunday, viewers around the world will be treated to the final episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ season three. Stunned viewers watching the previous episode, ‘The Rains of Castamere,’ on HBO were treated to the following preview of the finale after the shocking closing scenes and the silent, contemplative credits.
As morbid as it may sound, the airing of the Red Wedding was a breath of relief for book readers who had been keeping the secret from their peers, eagerly awaiting the on-screen visualization, as they had visualized it in their head for so many years. It was one of those Joss Whedonian twists that really solidified the series as one of the greats, where, just like life, not everything is fair and no one is safe.
But what shockers can be left for the final episode of the third season remains a bit of a mystery. As mentioned, the ‘Game of Thrones’ third season encompassed roughly the first half of ‘A Storm of Swords’ (with a bit of ‘A Dance With Dragons’ thrown in, for those who just couldn’t wait to watch Theon Greyjoy be tortured), but those who know the plot of the second half of the book may be at a loss to guess where we go from here. Will the season be tied up in a bloody bow, or will we be left with a cliffhanger?
As gathered from the shots in the preview, without a leader, the northern army doesn’t seem to be faring too well. Arya’s dead eyes frighteningly nod to her mother’s own in her last moments, gutted for coming so close to happiness. Tyrion, ever the fan favorite, echoes the sentiment shared on social media the world around last week: “The northerners will never forget.”
We also have developments in Bran’s trek north with the Reeds, having lost a fighter and two emotional supports when Osha and Rickon left for safety with House Umber. Stannis and Melissandre brood melodramatically as per usual, but what’s to become of Gendry? Finally, Tywin seems to be right on his game of terrifying everyone around him with whatever secret plans of power he has cooking up.
In the tense, quickly spliced scenes at the end of the preview, we see glimpses of Theon, his sister Yara, Samwell looking terrified, and the final expenditure of the special effects budget: Daenerys’ dragons flying into the sky.
As much as I don’t want it to be true, I know George R.R. Martin, D.B. Weiss, and David Benioff love to play our emotions like a lute, so it must end on a cliffhanger. The Lannisters and Daenerys both seem to have things right where they want them, which is ever a ripe time for a twist of fate. We know Bran and the Reeds are walking (or being carried) right into terror’s reach, and Jon’s only got an entire continent against him.
Me? I just hope the identity of Theon’s torturer is revealed so I can stop tiptoeing around monikers while explaining relevant plot points to friends.
The 30th episode and the Season 3 finale of the ‘Game of Thrones’ series airs Sunday on HBO.