Sayonara Winterfell, nice to see you again Khal Drogo and the other most memorable comings and goings from last night's Season 2 finale, "Valar Morghulis."
Most Painful Demotion: Tyrion awakens from his post-Battle of Blackwater hangover to discover he's no longer the Hand of the King; he's been kicked out of his lavish chambers into a small, dingy room; Bronn has been relieved of his command of the Gold Cloaks; Varys isn't planning to visit him much anymore and... oh yeah, he's got a huge, freakin' scar running across his face. On the other hand, he's still got the love of a good woman (Shae) so at least he's got that going for him.
Most Improved Injury: In the book, Tyrion's battle scar wasn't just a nasty gash -- he was also missing "three-quarters of his nose... and a chunk of his lip." Also, someone had stitched up his features with catgut. In other words, he was left a heck of a lot uglier than the Tyrion we see onscreen. Hard to blame HBO for that though; after all, catgut doesn't come cheap.
Most Pungent Entrance: Tywin Lannister's horse relieves himself in impressive fashion before his rider trots into the hall at King's Landing to officially be named Hand of the King. That's one way to let everyone know you're coming.
Happiest Jilted Lover: After learning that Joffrey is breaking their engagement so he can wed Margaery Tyrell instead, Sansa is so upset that she can barely... suppress a big grin and a happy giggle. Leave it to Littlefinger to instantly harsh her mellow, informing her that just because she's no longer Joffrey's fiancée doesn't mean that she's free from his grasp. Dude, at least give her, like, a day to be happy before ruining the mood.
Reason #6,000 Why We Hate Joffrey: That ridiculous "I'm a total stud" expression he wears on his face while sweet-talking Margaery Tyrell. We're not surprised she averted her eyes from his gaze after his "Tales do not do you justice" pickup line. Easier to roll them that way.
Best Bit of Payback: Brienne dishing out the same punishment to three soldiers of the North that they gave to the three tavern wenches they left hanging in a tree: two quick deaths and one that's slow and painful. Clearly, she's a big believer in the whole "eye for an eye" thing.
Best Reaction to an Inspirational Speech: Last week Tyrion got his General Patton moment and this week it's Theon's turn, as the young conqueror of Winterfell rallies his twenty remaining men with a stirring call to arms. It's such an inspiring speech that it inspires Dagmer to knock Theon upside the head and drag him away. Man, we've been wanting to do that all season.
Most Bad-Ass Tyrion Moment: Despite having lost everything (save for Shae), our favorite imp still refuses to call it quits, insisting that he belongs in a place where he can outwit, outplay and outlast his fellow schemers. It takes a (metaphorically) big man to make that kind of decision, particularly when he's up against such vicious competitors in the ongoing game of thrones. We're betting he bounces back big in Season 3.
The Britney Spears Award for Most Poorly Thought Out Wedding: You'll excuse us if we don't rush to get Robb and Talisa a wedding gift. For one thing, we're not sure where they're registered (what is the Westeros version of Target anyway?) and secondly, we're pretty sure that this marriage isn't going to work out particularly well for either of them.
Reason #4,999 Why We Love Arya: Passing up a trip across the Narrow Sea to the land of Braavos with Jaqen in order to help her brother, mother... and, oh right, her sister too. It's the resigned, yet determined way she refers to finding Sansa that makes her so cool.
Neatest Identity Change: Jaqen H'ghar shedding his former face and acquiring a new one with a turn of his head. We'll miss that actor, but damn that's a cool parlor trick.
Most Uncalled for Demolition: Gotta say, it hurt to see Winterfell reduced to a smoldering heap. On the other hand, that's one less location that we'll have to keep track of on the opening credits map next season.
Most Welcome Reappearance: We loved seeing Khal Drogo again almost as much Daenerys did. Too bad it was just in a House of the Undying-inspired hallucination. Maybe we could get a prequel series that's all about him? It's not like Jason Momoa's big-screen career is going anywhere post-Conan the Barbarian.
Best Children to Have On Your Side in a Fight: Daenerys's dragon babies burning that crazy old warlock Pyat Pree alive rather than watch their mother be chained up for thousands and thousands of seasons. After all, what's the use of having dragon babies if you can't rely on them to set your enemies on fire?
Character We're Most Eager to Meet Next Season: We've heard so much about this Mance Rayder fellow already, we only hope that the show manages to cast an actor who can measure up to his legend. Too bad Daniel Craig has those James Bond movies keeping him busy; he'd give off enough heat to melt all the ice north of the Wall.
Reason #1,203 Why Game of Thrones is Better Than The Walking Dead: Because their zombies ride on top of zombie horses. More of those fillies in Season 3, please.
Most Memorable Lines:
"Littlefinger looks at you and sees a collection of profitable holes. I see a potential partner." -- Varys to Ros, tempting her away from Littlefinger and into his employ.
"The only parent I have left has no right to call anyone reckless." -- Robb to Catelyn, totally shutting down any more of her objections to his sudden marriage to Talisa.
"I will kill that man. I don't care how many arrows they feather me with, how many spears they run through me -- I will kill that horn-blowing cunt before I fall." -- Theon, making a vow he almost certainly won't be able to keep.
"It was a good speech. Didn't want to interrupt." -- Dagmer, explaining why he let Theon ramble on for so long before coldcocking him.
"Going into wars? Fighting soldiers? You're terrible at this." -- Shae to Tyrion, making a compelling case for why they should get the hell out of King's Landing.
"Or maybe I refused to enter the Night Lands without you. Maybe I told the Great Stallion to go fuck himself and came back here to wait for you." "That sounds like something you would do." -- Khal Drogo and Daenerys, reminding us why they made such a great couple.
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