Game of Thrones review: Call him Sam the secret weapon

Jun 9, 2014 at 11:38 a.m. ET
Image: HBO

This episode of Game of Thrones surprisingly focused solely on the Night's Watch, aka Jon stepping up as a leader and Sam stepping up as a man.

This episode of Game of Thrones really came out of nowhere. In an unexpected, but brilliant way, obviously. It caught us entirely off guard by focusing only on the finally-arriving fight between The Night's Watch and the wildlings as they try to breach The Wall. Jon Snow and Sam took center stage on Sunday night, each coming into their own in separate but equally important ways.

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  • ICYMI last week...
  • The Mountain and The Viper face off. In a bloody and brutal battle, The Mountain is badly wounded but still manages to kill The Viper.
  • It is revealed that Ser Jorah was actually a spy for Robert when he originally came to Dany. She banishes him for his lies.
  • Tyrion is sentenced to death since The Viper fell during the trial by combat.

Not to mention, I expected some Tyrion last night, and, to my complete surprise, he didn't make a single scene. Not one!

The actual battle itself played out as though 300 and The Lord of the Rings merged into one spectacular episode.

Between all the hot oil slinging, arrow shooting, knife wielding spectaculars we witnessed in this episode, Ygritte's touching moment with Snow definitely rises to the top of our list when we think back to last night's events. After being fatally wounded by an arrow, Snow runs to her side, and the two share a tearjerker moment when we see their true feelings for each other rise to the surface for the first time this season.

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  • "Jon Snow. Do you remember that cave?" Ygritte asks him. "We should have stayed in that cave."
    "We'll go back there," Jon tells her.
    And, as her final words, Ygritte tells him, "You know nothing, Jon Snow."

Still, despite losing Ygritte, the night overall was a success for Snow. We think Ned Stark would have been proud. And while we are sad to see Ygritte go, we accept that it was kind of inevitable.

Snow really takes on the leadership role during the fighting. He even goes so far to put Sam in the line of danger if it means saving The Wall.

  • "I need him more than I need you," Snow harshly, but truthfully, tells Sam, sending him away during the fighting.

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Speaking of Sam, after this episode, we're obsessed. We loved him before. We rooted for him. Now, we want to swoon over him.

  • "I am a man of the Night's Watch, Gilly. I made a promise to defend The Wall, and I have to keep it. Because that's what men do." After saying this to Gilly, Sam passionately kisses her before heading out to fight with the troops.

OK, he's no Jaime Lannister, but talk about upping his game!

In the end, the Night's Watch holds The Wall, but Snow cautions that the battle is far from over. He takes it upon himself to leave The Wall to speak with Mance Rayder, the leader of the wildlings.

There's going to be a lot to cover on the season finale next week, and we really hope the show won't leave us hanging since it's going to be hard enough to survive the next season without Game of Thrones as it is. Still, after all the screen time they got last night, we have a sneaking suspicion this might be the last we see of Snow and Sam until next summer.

How would you rank Sunday night's episode compared to the rest of the season?