Game of Thrones: ‘The Watchers On The Wall’ Review

A Giant Mess Of Epicness


Living up to the usual hype that is the 9th episode of Game of Thrones, The Watchers On The Wall did not disappoint. In yet another epic battle, we can compare this one to the 9th episode of Season 2 when Tyrion and his crew were defending King’s Landing with a little bit of wildfire on Blackwater Bay (OK, maybe it was A LOT of wildfire).  But this time, we head far North to the Wall where the Night’s Watch is under attack…by 100,000 Wildings–which includes GIANTS AND FUCKING MAMMOTHS! The night is dark and also apparently filled with epic-sized beasts!

Further, more death for some of our characters and one unbelievably sick scene where wildings were literally RIPPED off the wall by a massive grappling hook. Tears were also probably shed by all as we bid adieu to one of the greatest catch phrases of all time. At the end of the day, this episode was less about the plot and more about the action and, besides the yawnfest that is Samwell Tarly, loads of action we did get, I swear t’is true!

With only one week left until the Finale, The Watchers on the Wall did not disappoint although I am still very curious to see how they are going to fit everything into the finale unless every single scene is a ‘HOLY FUCK’ moment.

Check out the rest of the review below (Warning: Graphic images will follow as this episode was, just like last week, bloody as fuck):

The War On The Wall

I’m just getting right into this battle because all that story/plot crap at the beginning with Samwell and Gilly and Aemon, well, it was small time. We all knew a war was coming so I yawned quite a bit up until the horns finally went off! And the horns sounded twice which only means one thing: WILDINGS ARE COMING!

Now just to give you an idea of what our Wilding friends were up against…check out this dude attempt to shoot an arrow up the length of the wall. Unless you’re LeBron James or A GIANT….well, good luck, buddy:


Not even close is an understatement, bud! They might have the numbers over the Night’s Watch but how the fuck are they going to get over the wall!

Luckily though, at least the giants can reach the top of the wall with their arrows…in the most epic fashion ever. Mr. Giant is none too happy about the whole ‘giant wall’ situation, so he decides to let loose some arrows of his own. Only these ones can actually reach the top of the Wall.

Guy Gets Destroyed By Giant Arrow

So ya, that happened. A giant launched his arrow which literally THREW A GUY OFF THE WALL AND IMPALED HIM! Just beyond epic, right? And just like this episode, that landing was a PERFECT 10 too!

But we’re not done, folks. In fact, we’re just getting started because then…THIS FUCKING HAPPENED:

grappling-hook-on-cliffSeriously, a FUCKING GIANT GRAPPLING HOOK just plunged out of THE WALL and destroyed anything and everything that was climbing it! So ya, I don’t remember this ever happening in the books, possibly because IT DIDN’T, but this was easily the greatest addition I have ever seen. You say you got some wildfire??? Well, I’m pretty sure the Night’s Watch just beat that with their GIANT FUCKING GRAPPLING HOOK!

Obviously the entire battle was off the heezy fo sheezy. I really enjoyed how the writer’s basically had two things happening: first, the Wildings and Thenn’s, who had already made it over the wall, directly attacking Castle Black and, (2) the rest of Mance’s GIANT army attempting their luck at penetrating the wall.

And just in case anyone is confused, because after all this is Game of Confusion, you will remember that Tormund, Ygritte and the rest had climbed the Wall last season which is why they are separated from the Wildling army that is being led by Mance.

Either way, there was action on both sides of the Wall, so let’s get right to it.

The Outer Gate

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.

I cannot even begin to explain how important the gate was. If Grenn and his brothers had not let it all hang out at the gate, it may have been a very different result for the Night’s Watch at Castle Black. And remember, this was really only a PRE attack, Mance and the rest of his Wilding army are still advancing, they just can’t seem to find a way over the wall…or through it for that matter:

giant-opening-gateGiants and mammoths even struggled to get the thing open and I’m pretty sure this giant responsible for opening it was on some sort of roid rage after witnessing the death of his bestie who took an arrow in the back. Giants have feelings too, yo!

Ah but this entire scene played out so fucking perfectly. Mainly because it gives us this awesome sense of pride for just what the Night’s Watch represents. They will sacrifice everything, including their own lives, in order to protect the realm! Absolutely altruistic and awesome behaviour and who could not love Grenn for it:

Grenn-holding-the-gateGrenn and crew pledged their lives and honor to the Night’s Watch for all nights to come but sadly, this would be their last night. At least they will be written into the history books because essentially what they did was stop the wildings and Mr. Roid Rage Giant from getting through the outer gate:

grenn-death-by-giantJust a completely admirable way to go out, don’t ya think? Being the shield that guards the realms of men….even if they have to guard it against GIANTS! But they really could not have done a better job with this scene, especially when they read the words of the Night’s Watch as that Giant charged towards the gate. And now his watch is ended.

Hammer Time

The entire battle was so well shot from start to finish, but there was this one scene that I had to reproduce since they did such a phenomenal job. It was one shot that spanned over the battle, a piece of artwork if you ask me (that is not the whole clip below, either):

The War At The Wall, epic fight scene.After Jon comes down from the Wall, he goes all Jack Bauer on some Wildings. But first, in what was a COMPLETE surprise, we got an awesome speech from Alliser Thorne (of all people). And he ends up taking on Tormund in a fight scene that I can only describe as ZOMG! Honestly, it was fucking cool to see Thorne hold his own in battle, as much as we are supposed to hate the guy! He pulled the complete opposite of Ser Douche, aka Janos Slynt, who ended up running from battle to hide with Gilly of all people.

So ya, I am not entirely sure what the writers are doing with Alliser, because we’re supposed to hate his guts, yet after seeing him fight Tormund and motivate the Night’s Watch, it’s hard to hate the guy. Damn you, show.

I am pretty sure Tormund didn’t kill Thorne either, so expect to see more of him in the future. And before I forget, although really, how could I ever forget this:

stop-hammer-timeApparently the writers were all like “An axe in the head last week…that was just way too tame”, and so they came up with Styr getting his head smashed in with a hammer. This ain’t Bemidji, Minnesota…but the writers room did have MC Hammer’s ‘Can’t Touch This‘ playing over the loud speakers.

Of course, by the end of the battle, we had many dead bodies (some of which I haven’t even mentioned yet), but luckily for all of us Tormund was not one of them. Styr didn’t really do much this entire season except eat dead bodies (yup, that is not a type-o) so of course he was going to take a hammer to the skull…but Tormund, he’s just awesome and I want him sticking around for long periods of time! He is, however, taken prisoner by the Night’s Watch:

Tormund-CapturedJust love how Jon has a pre-existing relationship with Tormund as well! It should be very, very interesting to find out what happens to Tormund Giantsbane.

You Know Nothing, Jon Snow

There was a couple of things this episode did perfectly, in my opinion, and one of those things was Ygritte’s death. But before we get there, she had some serious ass to kick, at least until Jon came down from the top of the Wall. And she killed PYP! NOOOOOOOO:

Pyp-DeathGrenn AND Pyp…minor characters, but still sad to see them go. And easily the saddest scene of the entire episode…we see Ygritte confront Jon, and she is probably going to kill him because, ya know, Wildings don’t exactly take kindly to lying turncloaks…but he smiles at her and she hesitates for a brief moment. And then this happened:

ygritte-kissed-by-an-arrowFUCK FUCK FUCK! Seriously, who didn’t LOVE Ygritte. She was pure, red-headed awesomeness. And her last fucking words, of course, were: “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” That’s probably as sad of a scene as you’re going to get 😦

But man, we weren’t even done there because a little kid ended up being responsible for her death. But not just any little kid:

little-kid-with-bowYou’ll remember a few episodes back, Ygritte was actually responsible for pretty much killing this kids entire family and somehow the writers make us all think this at once: Well, Ygritte just died which totally fucking SUCKS! MY LIFE IS OVER!!!!! But wait, it’s OK because the kid killed her and she killed his parents, so that completely justifies it….

ygrittes-deathBUT STILL ITS YGRITTE! SO FUCK YOU GEORGE R MARTIN! As you can see, lots of emotions going on here and a very heart-wrenching scene as Jon holds a dying Ygritte in his arms.

So by the end of the battle, pretty much all of the Wildings who had made the climb over the Wall last season ended up either dead (Ygritte, Styr) or captured (Tormund). And our episode ends with Jon heading out through the Outer Gate to go say Hi to an old friend. That friend, of course, being Mance Raydar. And with that, we get our first scene shot in the light:

Jon-heads-off-for-ManceWhat an episode. Not much plot, but who cares. This show is always TOO MUCH about plot and so this episode, in all of its epicness, was an amazing break from all the twists and turns in King’s Landing!

Really, my only complaint was that there was simply too much George R. Martin Samwell and Gilly. Let’s just be real here for a minute…Gilly was hiding in a basement cellar with Janos Slynt and Samwell wasn’t doing much either. Heck, he only killed ONE guy…like c’mon! But really, these are minor complaints for what was easily one of the best Game of Thrones episodes EVER!

Next Week

SEASON 4 FINALE IS COMING. Next week marks the end of this amazing season of Game of Thrones and it is a little bittersweet, if only because we have to spend the next 10 months going through withdrawals. At least give us a new book, George!

Given the events of the story, I have no idea how they are going to handle all of the surprises for the upcoming finale. Needless to say, make sure you have a freezer full of pigeon pies ready to go because it should be the best finale we have had yet!

Check out the preview for GoT episode 10, ‘The Children:


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