|Season 2, Episode 10|
|Air date||June 3, 2012|
|Written by|| David Benioff|
& D.B. Weiss
|Directed by||Alan Taylor|
"Valar Morghulis" is the tenth and final episode of the second season of Game of Thrones. It is the twentieth episode of the series overall. It premiered on June 3, 2012. It was written by executive producers David Benioff & D.B. Weiss and directed by co-executive producer Alan Taylor.
Tyrion awakens to a changed situation. King Joffrey doles out rewards to his subjects. As Theon stirs his men to action, Luwin offers some final advice. Brienne silences Jaime; Arya receives a gift from Jaqen; Dany goes to a strange place; Jon proves himself to Qhorin.
In the Seven Kingdoms
Tyrion Lannister convalesces from the wound he suffered during the Battle of the Blackwater. He is informed by a gloating Grand Maester Pycelle that he is no longer Acting Hand of the King, as his father Tywin Lannister has returned to the city and will take over his duties as Hand. Varys visits and tells him that Bronn has been relieved of his command of the gold cloaks and his hill tribesmen have gone home with their plunder; Tyrion has lost all of his power. Varys thanks Tyrion for his part in defending the city, noting that no one else will do so. Shae urges Tyrion to leave with her for Pentos, but he refuses.
King Joffrey rewards those who served him well in the battle. Lord Tywin Lannister is officially named Hand of the King and Savior of the City. Littlefinger is awarded Harrenhal for brokering the alliance between Houses Lannister and Tyrell. Loras Tyrell asks that Joffrey wed his sister Margaery to unite their houses. Queen Cersei Lannister and Pycelle make a show of convincing Joffrey to set aside his betrothal to Sansa Stark, given the treachery of House Stark. Joffrey plays along and agrees to wed Margaery. In private, Sansa is overjoyed to be free, until Littlefinger points out that it will not stop Joffrey from tormenting her; however, he does assure her that he will help her escape , for the sake of her mother.
Following his defeat at the Blackwater, Stannis Baratheon has retreated back to Dragonstone. He rages at Melisandre for not foreseeing his defeat, despite her claims to see the future. Melisandre insists that the Lord of Light only allows her glimpses and that Stannis cannot abandon the war because of a single defeat. Stannis accuses her of lying to him, of knowing nothing about war and angrily begins to strangle her. When Melisandre insists her god is in him, Stannis releases her, realizing she is talking about the creature they created to murder his brother. Melisandre tells Stannis he will betray his men, his family and his beliefs but in the end, it will be worth it; she assures Stannis that he is the Lord's Chosen and he will be king. Stannis is skeptical, but Melisandre has him look into a brazier; Stannis appears to have visions, restoring his faith in the Red Priestess.
In the Westerlands, King Robb Stark speaks with his mother Lady Catelyn regarding his love affair with the woman Talisa. Catelyn urges Robb to remember his vow to wed a daughter of House Frey, or face severe consequences. She says that she and Robb's father didn't love each other when they first married, but that he grew to love her over time. She predicts that Robb and his betrothed might build a similar love over time. Robb disregards her advice and marries Talisa Maegyr in private that night.
Traveling east to King's Landing, Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister come upon the bodies of three women, hanged by Stark soldiers for having slept with Lannister soldiers. When the men return, the pair try to lie their way out of the situation. Jaime is recognized and Brienne is forced to kill the soldiers, demonstrating her prowess as a fighter. When Jamie reminds her that she killed Stark men, Brienne responds that she does not serve House Stark.
In Winterfell, Theon Greyjoy is besieged by a northern army under command of Roose Bolton's bastard son. Maester Luwin tells Theon his chances of holding the castle with only twenty men are negligible. Luwin suggests that Theon join the Night's Watch, gaining a chance to redeem himself. When Theon refuses and tries to rally his men for battle, they betray him; Dagmer knocks Theon out. When Luwin tries to intervene, Dagmer stabs him with a spear.
Some time later, Bran, Rickon, Osha and Hodor emerge from their hiding place in Winterfell's crypts and find the castle burning. They discover the dying Luwin in the godswood. He insists that the boys must go north to the Wall, as there are too many enemies in the south and Jon will be able to keep them safe and tell their mother of their survival. Luwin affirms his pride at having served the Starks before asking Osha to give him a quick death.
Traveling away from Harrenhal, Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie cross paths with Jaqen H'ghar, who has been waiting for them. He offers to take Arya with him to Braavos, where she can learn his skills of killing and find a way to kill those on her list. She refuses, wanting to be reunited with her family. Jaqen gives her a silver coin and the words "Valar Morghulis," telling her to speak them to any man from Braavos should she ever need to find him again. Jaqen bids Arya farewell and departs, changing his face to that of a different man as he leaves.
Across the Narrow Sea
Daenerys Targaryen arrives at House of the Undying and is magically separated from Jorah and Kovarro. She finds herself an empty circular room with many doors. She chooses one and opens it. She is presented with tempting visions. First the snowy, ruined throne room of King's Landing where she turns away from the Iron Throne. She then walks through the gates of the Wall surrounded by more snow, and into Drogo's tent. She finds Drogo and what would have been, her infant son Rhaego. They talk about whose dream they are in, and Daenerys silently leaves after touching Rhaego's hair. She returns to the room with many doors and finds her dragons chained to a pedestal infront of her. Pyat Pree appears and explains that she and her brood are the source of his restored magic and that they make each other stronger. Daenerys is also chained by Pyat's magic. The young queen is unconcerned however, and simply regards Pree with a cool, almost lazy gaze. She calmly utters a single word: "Dracarys"; after a couple of tries, all three dragons unleash their firey breath, and Pyat Pree is incinerated.
Daenerys knows that Xaro has betrayed her. She returns to his palace to confront him and finds Doreah in bed with him. She takes his key and uses it to open his Valyrian stone vault. She is surprised when it is empty, but observes that this proves something can easily come from nothing. On her orders, Doreah and Xaro are locked into the empty vault to die, their pleas cut off by the closing door. Daenerys salvages enough from Xaro's household to buy a ship. On Jorah's orders, the Dothraki seize Xaro's gold and jewels while Daenerys triumphantly watches with her three dragons.
Beyond the Wall
Jon Snow and Qhorin Halfhand are marched towards the camp of the King-Beyond-the-Wall, Mance Rayder, as captives of the Lord of Bones. Qhorin seizes a sword from a wildling and goads an initially reluctant Jon, whose sword is returned to him by Ygritte, into a fight. When Qhorin insults his late father and his unknown mother, Jon fights more fiercely, defeating and killing Qhorin. Jon realizes too late that Qhorin's intention was to make it seem that Jon has gone over to the wildlings' side. With his last breath, Qhorin recites part of the Night's Watch oath, reminding Jon that he must find out all he can about the wildings plans and get back to the Wall. Impressed, the Lord of Bones cuts Jon free. Ygritte shows him their vast army, gathering in a valley below. She promises to take him to their King and, with no other choice, Jon follows her.
At the Fist of the First Men, Sam, Grenn and Edd are foraging for fuel when they hear three horn blasts; the warning call for White Walkers. The three run back to the Fist. Sam is left behind, caught in a sudden blizzard. Seeing shadowy figures moving through the blizzard, Sam hides behind a rock and watches as dozens of Wights walk past him, led by a White Walker on horseback. Sam cowers, thinking it means his death, but the White Walker simply glances at him and then commands his army of wights and White Walkers, which turns out to number in at least hundreds to advance on the Fist.
- Main: Valar Morghulis recap
A detailed recap of the episode scene by scene.
- Valar Morghulis is a common greeting in Braavos, meaning "all men must die" in High Valyrian. It is meant in the sense of "all men must (eventually) die", sooner or later, somewhat like the Latin saying "memento mori". The customary response is Valar Dohaeris — "all men must serve". The actual translation is not mentioned in the episode and was not provided until Walk of Punishment.
- The episode was 10 minutes longer than usual to allow for the resolution of the Battle of the Blackwater and setting up new story lines for the third season.
- Executive Producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss decided to play a practical joke on Alfie Allen (who plays Theon Greyjoy), by giving him a fake script for the season finale, in which Bran Stark kills Theon Greyjoy, in a massive departure from the novels. Their hope was to get a rise out of Allen, on seeing that his character was not only unexpectedly killed off, but by none other than Bran. However, instead of being frustrated, Allen actually thought that such a major departure was an intriguing idea, to the point that he didn't realize it was a joke for quite some time, just a bold change the writers were making. Thus he had no particularly strong reaction to the fake script. Some time later they called him on the phone to say that they were thinking of bringing Theon back as a wight with no dialogue, which was so obviously a joke that Allen realized they'd just been trying to play a prank on him.
- The sword fight scene between Jon Snow and Qhorin Halfhand was filmed on a cliff with a 500 foot drop. It was a two day shoot, and they were sinking into the snow which left them both exhausted.
- The final sequence of the camera panning away to reveal the White Walkers and their army of hundreds of wights was meant to be filmed in Iceland in November 2011. However, the producers weren't happy with the White Walker costumes from Season 1, and they wanted to redesign them for their full reveal in the Season 2 finale (as up until this point they've just been glimpsed in the shadows). This meant the final scene had to be reshot on a sound stage in London. The design changes took so long that by the time they had finished, director Alan Taylor had to leave to work on Thor: The Dark World and was unavailable to film the reshoots. As it was primarily a special effects sequence being produced by the TV series' special effects studio Pixomondo, the sound stage reshoots were ultimately directed by Pixomondo’s visual effects supervisor Rainer Gombos.
- No less than 1,000 wights are depicted in the closing special effects shot. This was achieved by the series' special effects group Pixomondo using only fifty extras, digitally doubled up to make the entire army. Roughly 10-30 White Walkers are interspersed among them. However, only one full version of the redesigned White Walker costume had been created, so only one stunt man played all of the White Walkers, digitally doubled up (and sometimes wearing different equipment to try to distinguish them).
- At the end of the episode, when Daenerys' followers are ransacking Xaro Xhoan Daxos' palace, Jorah says in subtitled Dothraki, "take all the gold and jewels!" This was added with only a few hours before shooting had to wrap, but the crew was not able to contact language consultant David J. Peterson in time. Because Iain Glen (Jorah) has delivered a large amount of Dothraki dialogue before, the crew asked him to just ad-lib the line as best he could. The correct way to say this exact line in Dothraki is "Fichas ei hoshor ma dan", but the line that Glen ad-libbed was something close to "Mas ovray movekkhi moskay". Peterson retroactively came up with a translation so Jorah's line would make sense in Dothraki, with the literal translation, "The remaining valuables are for loading."
- Fans frequently asked the writers why Robb Stark and Talisa were married by a septon of the Faith of the Seven, when he apparently follows the Old Gods of the Forest like his father did. Writer Bryan Cogman explained that they just wanted to get quickly married in secret and there was a septon readily available. Cogman pointed out that Robb was raised in an interfaith household, since as his mother Catelyn follows the Faith and Eddard even married her in the sept at Riverrun. Robb therefore wouldn't be uncomfortable with a ceremony of the Faith of the Seven.
- In any case, the religion of the Old Gods doesn't even have clergymen or complex rituals; the books haven't even made clear if a marriage ceremony exists in the Old Gods religion – it might be something as simple as announcing the marriage in front of a heart tree, in which case Robb might have opted for a septon because he knew of no godswoods in the immediate area.
- Being from Essos, Talisa would worship neither the Old Gods nor the New, so the septon vs. godswood debate is a moot point from her perspective.
- "Maybe I told the Great Stallion to go fuck himself, and came back here to wait for you."
- ―Khal Drogo to Daenerys in a vision
- "I need to find my brother and mother. And my sister. I need to find her too."
- ―Arya to Jaqen
- "There are many who know that without you this city faced certain defeat. The king won't give you any honors, the histories won't mention you, but we will not forget."
- ―Lord Varys to Tyrion
- "After all the things you have seen, this is your question?"
- ―Jaqen to Arya
- "Do you know what it's like to be told how lucky you are to be someone's prisoner?"
- ―Theon to Maester Luwin
- "I'm a monster, as well as a dwarf. You should charge me double."
- ―Tyrion Lannister to Shae
- "I wish someone would have told me, I wouldn't have had to steal that pig."
- ―Jaime Lannister
- "And whoever kills that fucking hornblower will stand in bronze above the shores at Pyke!"
- ―Theon to his men
- "What is dead may never die!"
- ―Theon to his men
- "We are the watchers on the wall."
- ―Qhorin's last words to Jon
- "My father is dead. And the only parent I have left has no right to call anyone reckless."
- ―Robb to his mother
- "We die today, brothers. We die bleeding from 100 wounds, with arrows in our necks and spears in our guts. But our war cries will echo an eternity!"
- ―Theon to his men
- Only 21 of the 25 starring cast members for the second season appear in this episode.
- Starring cast members James Cosmo (Jeor Mormont), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Jerome Flynn (Bronn) and Rory McCann (Sandor Clegane) are not credited and do not appear in this episode.
- Natalie Dormer is credited ahead of Stephen Dillane when she was credited after him when they last appeared together in "The Ghost of Harrenhal."
- Natalie Dormer is credited ahead of Carice van Houten when she was credited after her when they last appeared together in "Garden of Bones."
- Richard Madden, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Maisie Williams, Alfie Allen and John Bradley are credited ahead of Jack Gleeson when they were credited after him when they last appeared together in "The Prince of Winterfell."
- Sophie Turner is credited ahead of Jack Gleeson when she was credited after him when they last appeared together in "Blackwater."
- Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo) is credited as 'also starring' during the closing credits of this episode.
In the books
- The episode covers material from A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords, book 2 and book 3 of A Song of Ice and Fire.
- The episode is adapted from the following chapters of A Clash of Kings:
- Chapter 48, Arya IX: Arya says goodbye to Jaqen. He gives her an Iron Coin and tells her, if she comes to Braavos, give a man the coin and say "Valar Morghulis." He tells her that Jaqen is dead and changes his face. When Jaqen changes his face, it is described as if he removed a drape of cloth from his face. His new face also has a golden tooth.
- Chapter 49, Daenerys IV: Daernerys in the House of the Undying. She goes through a door and is in the Throne Room in King's Landing. The dragons helps her escape.
- Chapter 66, Sansa IX: King Joffrey doles out rewards to his subjects. The Tyrells asks King Joffrey if he will marry Margaery. He accepts, after convincing from his mother, and breaks the engagement with Sansa. Sansa is happy until a man tells her she is not free, she's their hostage. Then tells her, he will help her escape.
- Chapter 67, Theon VI: Luwin offers some final advice to Theon, who knows he's about to die. Maester Luwin suggests Theon to take the black. Theon gets knocked down, Maester Luwin gets a spear in the stomach. Winterfell is torched, though many buildings are still standing.
- Chapter 68, Tyrion XV: Tyrion wakes in a new bed, and a new room. A Maester has taken care of his wound and tells him of the defeat. He is then told that he is not Hand of the King anymore. He wonders why Ser Mandon Moore wanted to kill him. He calls on Podrick and asks after Bronn.
- Chapter 69, Jon VIII: Jon and Qhorin fight. Jon slays Qhorin Halfhand.
- Chapter 70, Bran VII: Bran, Osha, Hodor, and Rickon come out of hiding and they see the pieces of Winterfell. They found Maester Luwin and he says his final words to them.
- The episode is adapted from the following chapters of A Storm of Swords:
- Chapter 1, Prologue: The Horn sounds three times.
- Chapter 2, Jaime I: Jaime and Brienne encounter the dead tavern wenches.
- Chapter 8, Jon I: Jon arrives at Mance Rayder's camp.
- Chapter 15, Catelyn II: Robb's marriage.
- The Riverlands women killed for consorting with "lions" are speculated to have been killed by men of House Bracken.
- Tyrion Lannister's wounds from when Ser Mandon Moore tried to kill him during the Battle of the Blackwater are much more grievous in the books: the sword-stroke cuts off Tyrion's nose, leaving him with a ghastly porcine appearance for the rest of the novels. The sword-stroke also leaves a disfiguring scar across Tyrion's face, though this was left in the TV version. It would have been extremely difficult to accurately portray the full extent of Tyrion's injury without heavy use of CGI or greenscreens, and it would have limited Peter Dinklage's acting ability. Instead, the TV series opted to leave in the disfiguring facial scar, to try to give some justification for why Tyrion is said to be disfigured (other characters still react in horror as if he lost his nose).
- Theon's loss of Winterfell is condensed from the books, resulting in major changes. Theon's own soldier Dagmer does not club Theon unconscious while the remaining twenty Ironborn flee. Dagmer isn't even at Winterfell in the books at the time; Theon sent him to hold Torrhen's Square.
- Robb's subplot involving his new wife happened "off-screen" in the novels, as Robb is not a point of view character. Thus many of the scenes from his romance subplot throughout this season do not explicitly occur in the narrative of the book (though they are inferred). Robb's wedding is not depicted in the novels.
- The Qarth storyline drastically departs from the books.
- Daenerys does visit the House of the Undying, though the magical visions she sees are radically different.
- The dragons were never stolen. Instead, the Undying Ones attempt to capture Daenerys and feed on her lifeforce, at which point the dragons burst in and use their fire to allow her to escape.
- Pyat Pree is not killed when Daenerys and her dragons escape the House of the Undying.
- Doreah was dead by this point in the books, having succumbed to a wasting disease when they were crossing the Red Waste. Daenerys personally buried her and wept for the loss of her faithful servant.
- Xaro Xhoan Daxos had no part in any plot to steal the dragons, and was alive and well when Daenerys left Qarth (albeit annoyed that she had rejected his marriage offer).
- The Thirteen were not killed by Pyat Pree and Xaro Xhoan Daxos.
- ↑ Westeros.org
- ↑ Comic Book Movie News reporting on the extended finale
- ↑ Westeros.org
- ↑ Access Hollywood Interview : Kit Harrington on Filming "Difficult" and "Emotional" Game of Thrones Season 2 Finale
- ↑ Fastcocreate.com "Collaboration Isn’t Always Pretty—Behind The Emmy-Winning VFX For “Game Of Thrones”
- ↑ David J. Peterson's blog, Dothraki.com, June 16, 2012.
- ↑ Bryan Cogman Q&A, WinterIsComing.net, April 24, 2013.
|Game of Thrones Season 2|
|#01 "The North Remembers"||#06 "The Old Gods and the New"|
|#02 "The Night Lands"||#07 "A Man Without Honor"|
|#03 "What is Dead May Never Die"||#08 "The Prince of Winterfell"|
|#04 "Garden of Bones"||#09 "Blackwater"|
|#05 "The Ghost of Harrenhal"||#10 "Valar Morghulis"|