AFTER THE BOMBS: When you have a battle as big as the Blackwater, you usually spend part of the next episode counting up the dead. In Game of Thrones
there's no time for that. Everyone in the royal family: alive. Bronn: alive, but fired. Kept women (Shea and Sansa): alive, but imperiled. As far as we know, the only dead Lannister affiliate is the Kingsguard (Mandon Moore, I believe) who Cersei hired to kill Tyrion. And yet the consequences in Kings Landing seem profound. Tyrion, who as far as we know is the only both benevolent and competent person to hold any position of power in the Red Keep, but hiring one of the king's inner circle to kill somebody seems like a particularly effective way to deliver a pink slip.
Of Jon, Arya, Bran, Theon, Robb, and Stannis I have little to say. Each made a completely predictable (though sometimes questionable) decision. Jon killed his friend and mentor so that he could infiltrate the Hoth rebel army. Robb chose love over honor and, not incidentally, strategy. Theon chose honor over staying alive (nice speech -- as good, maybe, as Tyrion's last week), though it's not clear whether he is alive or not. Stannis chooses tactical retreat over surrender. And Arya, Bran, Rickon, Osha, Hodor, and the wolves chose escape over [null set]. It's a shame we didn't get to see who set fire to Winterfell -- Greyjoy men or Ramsey Bolton's group -- but I suppose we'll find out next year.
Daenaerys, though, suggests that we'll end this season like we ended the last, with a pointed fire bath that best illustrates the difference between the whiny, inconstant, self-doubting candidates in Westeros (each of whom is constantly reminded that his power derives in large part from his ability to maintain tenuous political alliances) and the woman in Qarth, whose power seems to grow only when she lets people know that she doesn't need their help or advice.
But, nope, that's not where we end. We end with a commercial for AMC's hit television series The Walking Dead: Canada.
Merchandising note: this series would make a great Lego video game. Can somebody make this happen, please?