It seems like numerous people were disappointed with the followup to Game of Thrones’s “The Rains of Castamere,” wanting the action to continue and even escalate all the way into the season’s end. However, “Mhysa” gave viewers what they needed instead of what they wanted.
After all the unforgiving carnage brought upon us by the infamous Red Wedding, the season three finale leaves us with something the previous seasons’ do not…
Hope comes as Yara defies her father and sets out to rescue her brother, Theon, from his torturer, Ramsay Snow.
Hope comes as Davos convinces Stannis and Melisandre of the true battle with the White Walkers.
And, hope comes as Bran pursues his quest to find the three-eyed raven beyond the Wall.
Still, “Mhysa” is not without its moments of despair. Arya witnesses her brother Robb’s body paraded around the Twins with the head of his direwolf, Grey Wind, sewn onto his shoulders. Then, as a result of the hatred born for those who have wronged her family and after brutally killing Robb’s desecrator, she calls for Jaqen H’ghar to train her to be an assassin, a path we know will lead to her eventual descent.
We also witness a cruel blow to Shae, Sansa, and Tyrion’s already tumultuous, burgeoning friendship after the latter two’s wedding, as Lord Varys tries to persuade Shae to leave for the benefit of the Realm and Tyrion discovers Sansa has already received the news that makes her assume she is the only surviving heir to the Stark family name.
But, even with these two critical blows (and knowing we haven’t seen even half of the horrors left to come in A Storm of Swords), the last scene of the season three finale offers us the character who serves as the perfect denouement to this string of episodes filled with entrapment, torture, and brutal, untimely massacres: Daenerys.
As the thousands of slaves she has freed from the yellow city of Yunkai lift her into the air while chanting “Mhysa! Mhysa! [Mother! Mother!],” Dany realizes her role, not as the great conquerer but as the great liberator, and we are given the hope that she can make right all the wrongs of Westeros.
(Note: This review treats Game of Thrones as its own entity and does not expect the television series to fully follow the books.)