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Following several episodes of setup, "Hardhome" blends a sharp script with spectacular blockbuster action to offer viewers a powerful, game-changing payoff.
Let's talk about something pure and good. Namely, Tyrion Lannister's gold-plated advice.
When Jon was giving his speech, I had already started taking notes on this thematic throughline, and knew it was at the heart of the season's goals.
Daringly, they attempted to outdo the entire zombie thriller film movement in one epic 20-minute TV sequence. And they might just have managed it.
This was an episode that played to showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss' strengths and avoided some of their weaknesses.
Well then. That was by far the coolest episode of The Walking Dead I've ever seen.
Though it may seem "trendy" for Game of Thrones to hop on board the zombie wagon, it's important to remember that George R.R. Martin began writing this story back in the 1990s... before the zombie trend of this decade emerged.
The Hardhome was extraordinary.
This ending was a Game of Thrones highlight, and we're still a week out from the purported season five climax.
It's an undeniably rousing speech, and one that heralds what could be an optimistic, life-affirming ending for the series.
Last night's Game of Thrones was a welcome return to form.
Powerful stuff, and but a taste of what's to come.
"Hardhome," while not the season's best episode at a holistic level, was a return to fine form.