So. What do I think of Valar Dohaeris?
This is a thing that is part review, part introspective analysis. If that’s the right phrase I want. It probably isn’t.
To put it simply, the plain parts are what happens in the show, and the bits in italics are things that I’m asking myself and theorising might happen down the line. Also there will be spoilers from the books, so if you haven’t read past A Clash of Kings, best avoid the bits in bold.
Interesting choice for a title, leading right on from last episode’s Valar Morghulis. All men must serve in this episode, whether they wish to or no.
More often no.
First of all, a question that’s been plaguing everyone since last year; how on earth is Samwell going to get out of being torn apart by a horde of walking dead people?
The answer is…we don’t know.
The episode picks up at least a few hours later, judging by the fact that, in the next scene, Jon and Ygritte are only just now entering the wildling camp. Presumably Sam found some way to escape from the various White Walkers and their masses of dead forces that I personally would have liked to see. The show, however, decides to skip over it by opening the episode with him just running through the snow without anything discernably chasing him, and coming across a dead Brother who is both kneeling in the snow and holding his severed head in his hands.
Then we see a sinister shadow in the distance and Sam is nearly killed by just one solitary zombie, which quickly gets dealt with by Ghost and set on fire by Mormont. There’s been a battle that we didn’t get to see at the Fist of the First Men, and Mormont and the surviving Brothers of the Night’s Watch are very disappointed in Sam, because he didn’t manage to send any ravens for help.
Wait. What? What just happened?
Now that I’ve got that immediate reaction out of the way; I’m sure a lot of people were disappointed by cutting the fight scene but, yet again, budget and time constraints.
At least Ghost looks quite impressive, although I can’t remember if he was supposed to be here at this precise point. I’m thinking he wasn’t.