Episode 9! A lot of action and very little plot. Also, a lot of Sam, for some reason but let’s be real. This episode, for all Game Of Thrones fans around the world, was only about Ygritte. And mammoth-riding giants. Let’s go, fols, we’re almost there!
I want you to tell me what it was like to have someone, to be with someone, to love someone and have them love you back. – Sam
While on watch, Sam and Jon engage in an awkward conversation about their respective relationships with Gilly and Ygritte, and how vague their vows exactly are when it comes to intimate relationships with other people. As usual when people talk about their feelings, the conversation doesn’t get anywhere and Sam leaves Jon alone at the top of the Wall, more confused than ever.
Right now, I don’t wanna think about the bear you never fucked. – Ygritte
Ygritte is cranky enough to interrupt a story about a bear some guy didn’t fuck – and we thank her for that. She is angry and rants away about the crows and the southerners taking their land. The Magnar of Thenn doubts her motivations, which is fair, seeing as she did not kill Jon Snow. Ygritte promises an arrow to anybody who will try to finish Jon Snow in her place. Aw. Too busy arguing, the wildlings don’t notice that they are observed and the spy quickly walks away.
Nothing makes the past as sweet a place to visit than the prospect of imminent death. – Maester Aemon
Sam is busy reading in the library when Maester Aemon joins him to scold him for wasting his time reading about the multiple ways the wildlings could have tortured Gilly and tell him about the time when he was in love with a girl himself.
Sam comes out of the library just in tie to hear Gilly’s voice coming from outside the gate. He commands Pyp to open the gate and welcomes Gilly and her baby. He promises to never abandon her again, just as the horn resonates throughout Castle Black. Both the wildlings and the Night’s Watch observe as Mole’s Town burns to ashes. It is time.
As the Night’s Watch prepares for the fight, Ser Alliser admits to Jon Snow that they should have sealed the tunnel, even though he still believes that they can hold on against the wildling army.
Sam hides Gilly in a pantry. Gilly wants Sam to stay with her during the fight. Sam, with his newly found guts, reminds her of his duty as a man before kissing her fiercely, because that’s how you prove how manly you are. Gilly makes him promise to come back to her.
Sam finds Pyp getting ready for the fight. Pyp is terrified and does not understand Sam’s calm demeanor. Sam basically explains to him that he may be afraid but is still going to fight. He gives some kind of inspirational speech to Pyp but to be honest, I don’t really care about it. The real reason why Sam is ready to fight is because he has a chance to get to second base.
The Night’s Watch will stand. – Ser Alliser
The wildlings march on Castle Black, yelling, chanting, waving their weapons in the air, while the brothers of the Night’s Watch wait anxiously for their first strike. The army of the free folk stops yards away from the Wall, some of them mounted on weirdly animated CGI mammoths, all of them hungry for crow meat. Ser Alliser gives his first orders. The brothers are so anxious that they drop one of their barrels of oil. Oh boy. There is no time to take care of frightened boys though. Down below, the fight has already started for the wildlings, who are running toward the gates under a shower of flaming arrows. No fucks given. Ygritte shoots one arrow and hits a crow right in the chest. Meanwhile, Ser Alliser decides to leave the Wall under the command of Janos Slynt to help the brothers with the fight going on on the ground. There, not only do the wildlings not care much about being showered in arrows, but they are actually making progress. Knowing that their enemies are about to invade Castle Black, Ser Alliser draws his swords and motivates his troups before the fight finally starts.
At the top of the Wall, Ser Janos Slynt seems to have lost his grip on reality due to a major case of shitting his pants. Grenn pretends that Ser Alliser has called for him on the battle ground below. Janos immediately runs to his master, leaving the men atop the Wall under Jon’s command. Desperate to prevent the wildlings from reaching the top of the Wall, some of the men suspend themselves to it, shooting their arrows directly at potential climbers. Then, a giant shoots his first arrow, bursting through the roof of Jon’s shelter. His second arrow pierces through one of the brothers, sending him flying on the other side of the Wall.
On the ground, it is actually difficult to see who’s slaughtering who. However, the Magnar Of Thenn is definitely having fun butchering his ennemies and Ygritte is one-shotting men like a queen. Janos Slynt reaches the ground. Instead of joining the battle, he runs to the same pantry where Gilly is hiding. Meanwhile, Sam and Pyp are still up. Pyp shoots a wildling dead. Proud of himself, he reloads his crossbow with Sam’s help when an arrow pierces through his neck. Ygritte. Pyp dies in Sam’s arms.
Hold the gate. – Jon
Atop the Wall, Jon commands that some barrels be dropped down to slow down the wildlings’ progression. At the same time, the giants unmount their mammoths and use their prodigious strength to try to force the outer gate open. Jon’s next order is for Grenn and five men to hold the inner gate.
Near the ground, Ser Alliser spots Thormund Giantsbane. The two men engage in a duel that leaves Ser Alliser severely wounded. His men immediately take him inside while he yells to the others to hold the gates.
Meanwhile, Sam leaves Pyp’s corpse to grab his crossbow and get to the top of the Wall. There, the brothers release flaming barrels of oil to stop the wildlings from breaking the gate open. The fire scares the mammoths away and they even manage to bring down one of the giants. Unfortunately, it only serves to anger the remaining giant, who attacks the door like it is his nemesis. Atop the Wall, a flaming barrel explodes, causing chaos. Things are not looking so good.
Sam joins Jon and informs him of the situation on the ground. Jon delegates the Wall to Dolorous Edd and follows Sam. The brothers understand that the end is near.
On the ground, Grenn and his men hold the inner gate while the giant finishes lifting the outer one and enters the tunnel. The brothers draw their weapons and recite their oath while their ennemy starts taking down the inner gate in front of their eyes.
You know nothing, Jon Snow. – Ygritte
As they reach the ground, Jon Snow asks Sam to free Ghost and retreat before diving right into the battle. He takes down wildling after wildling with badasserie. Sam frees Ghost, who leaps out and starts mauling wildlings while his master engages the Magnar Of Thenn in a duel. Ygritte spots Jon, just as the Magnar beats him like an old loaf of meat until Jon Snow, desperate, grabs a hammer and buries it into the Magnar’s skull. Jon walks away from the corpse only to find Ygritte aiming at him. He smiles at her. She hesitates, her bow trembling between her hands for the first time during the battle. An arrow passes through her chest. The boy who shot it nods at Jon, not knowing that he just killed the love of his life. Ygritte dies in Jon’s arms. I’m not crying. I DON’T CARE. I DON’T CARE THAT THEIRS IS THE MOST GENUINE LOVE STORY IN THE WHOLE SHOW. I DON’T CARE. AAAAH.
Don’t cheer too loud. They still outnumber us a thousand to one. – Edd
Edd commands that giant, sharp anchors be dropped down the wall, where they swing and crush the wildlings who were trying to climb. Nice. It seems like the first wave of the wildlings has been vanquished. On the ground, the men of the Night’s Watch surround Thormund Giantsbane, who keeps trying to fight until Jon Snow puts another quarrel in him, kicks him in the gut and commands his men to chain him up. Meanwhile, Sam joins Gilly in the pantry, where Janos Slynt is still hiding.
The Night’s Watch cleans up after the battle and cares for his wounded. Sam feels optimistic (probably because he got to that second base) but Jon reminds him that the mess they have to clean up is just the result of Mance Rayder testing their defenses. Things are not looking so swell, so Jon takes it upon himself to find Mance and try to kill him. Jon gives his sword to Sam, who asks him to come back, then heads out, ready to embrace his fate.